AND THE LACK THEREOF*

*we put the "mmm" in communism

about

This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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Throughout time, human sexuality in western culture has gone through a multitude of phases, which modern culture tends to use as evidence for the superiority of modern sexual customs. The story starts with Grecco-Roman abandon, which at times saw an abundance of pedophilia and orgies, mixed with classic anti-female mindsets. Pompeii - the Roman city frozen in time by a volcanic eruption - touted many a penis on the threshold of each home (though it should be noted these were more concerned with fertility than sexual conquest). Some men even felt that since women were simply a necessary evil, homosexuality was the far more wholesome and manly option, though it seems to me these men were simply bitter towards their mothers in some sort of reverse Oedipal complex. In any case, this leads many neoconservatives to believe that any abandonment of homophobia, particularly the allowance of gay marriage, will see Americans forced into duct-taping dildos to their front doors.

After half a dozen sexual revolutions between now and then, American culture is at something of a half-way point, it could be said. The Internet's chief use continues to be porn, with every search engine finding that their most abundant search requests are always related to porn. yet while Brazil hosts its annual carnival involving children in costumes and women wearing nothing but glitter and thongs (NSFW, but it's not porn, trust me), Janet Jackson's career was briefly shattered by the brief and completely un-erotic glimpse of one of her breasts. There's something wrong, here.

I think of all this as I return to pondering the nature of sin. Sin is defined as what separates one from God, quickly followed by a long list of no-no's, which for America's Christianity will revolve around sex. Every Christian camp and rally I attended as a child was intensely focused on sex. Since this all took place after the 1960's it was qualified with a "Sex itself isn't bad", but the message was definitely a little mixed - very few seemed comfortable speaking positively on the matter, but were quite prepared to launch into a sermon on the havoc it can cause.

The damage this sort of repression has caused is well-known. More than a few have fled from the faith of their youth, but find themselves eternally wounded by the thoughts and habits that were built in to them. One blog, Letters from Johns, features letters from men that are confessing to having visited a prostitute. A common theme in these letters is sexual repression in youth. For some, it simply creates the kind of curiosity that comes only when told we can't have something. For others, it sparked an insatiable desire for the forbidden, for which they could find no suitable outlet.

I guess the conclusion I'm approaching is that sex is not as important as many set it up to be, including myself. If the pursuit of this distant goal drives us to other iniquities more deadly, is it truly worth it in the first place? And, since when did nudity become erotic regardless of context? While I still hold to my decision to abstain until marriage, perhaps it wouldn't be the death of beauty were I to fail (more than I already have) in that endeavor. There are certainly those that value sex too little - but I would venture that America's Christianity has valued it too much, perhaps as a reflection of its own obsession - though that may be a matter of the chicken or the egg.

The source of these convictions is far from new. Virginity (in women, at least) has long been associated with purity and innocence. The loss of virginity then becomes a scarring of the heart, a blackening of the soul, and the physical significance of this makes it feel that much more pressing to preserve. Unfortunately, however, innocence is not a technicality. Innocence is a quality of the heart, not of the genitalia. If virgins hold any innate purity above their peers, I must have missed it.

Purity is the ideal. We do not live in the ideal, however; we live in reality.
posted by MC Froehlich at
Anonymous danielreid said...
sex = consummation of marriage

the final act of intimacy and two becoming one flesh.

christian's preach against it outside of marriage because it is a sin (and we are to obey, no?). too frequently i think they ignore the positives of waiting though.

the benefits of sharing that final step of intimacy with only one person in your life - the person you choose to spend your life with cannot be ignored.

thus, it is not the end of the world if you fail. all sin can be repented of (boy is this a slippery slope). however, you've lost something you can never recover. you can recover your innocence before God, your purity... but never 100% before the woman you end up marrying. maybe she won't mind, maybe she will.

obviously i'm in the camp that putting off the immediate gratification now would be far better than dealing with a lifetime of a tainted relationship - the degree to which would be different in each case... but even 1% for a lifetime just doesn't seem worth the pleasure.

i've met three kinds of people:

a) those who chose to wait, none whom i've met have regretted that choice

b) those who failed to do it, and regretted it

c) those who just don't see the big deal, sex is just sex, right?

for what its worth, i've always respected your choice to wait, brah :)
Anonymous Anonymous said...
While respecting leaving sex till marriage, I do not think you have considered all view points on this matter. How can you qualify what other people feel and think about sex? It is an experience which you have not had, which is fine and admirable, but it does not validate you to pass judgment on how this experience makes other people feel. With your assertions about sex, "c) those who just don't see the big deal, sex is just sex, right?" you cut out a whole range of views. Not all people who have had sex see it as something that is no big deal, just a means to an end. Yet do they regret it? Not necessarily. It can be an emotional experience they will always value, which doesn’t lose its meaning just because the context it was enacted in does not exist anymore. Waiting for self defined reasons is a valid experience but you will not lose a part of yourself if you make a consious decision, not in the heat of the moment, but with thought and care. Memories and experience is valuable, and life can be lived without regret. Make your own decision, but do not assign your views of regret and non-value to others.
P.S.
In considering all views on the matter, I have met people waited and regretted because people can be just as hurt and betrayed in marriage as they can be in a "casual" relationship.

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