Feb 102015 2 Responses

The Appeal of Easy Sex

We want sex to be easy.

We assume it should be so. Attraction is easy. As soon as hormones kick in, a child begins their journey to adulthood and it is no struggle to be attracted to someone. It’s exciting and enjoyable.

The culmination of attraction is a sexual encounter, and we assume that something which begins without effort will continue without effort.

Yet nothing can be further from the truth.

Great sex is rarely easy. (See: The Greatest Aspect of Sex)

It might begin easily. For most, the sexual relationship in the first year of marriage is not difficult. It happens frequently and without much complication.

But give it some time. Add children. Expand work responsibilities. Just let the movement of time be at play in a couple’s relationship and sex is not always easy.

Fights occur.

Grudges are held.

Vulnerability is tried and then questioned.

Expectations are unmet.

And sex becomes difficult.

It feels as though it shouldn’t be that way.

Many years ago I laid in bed and told my wife, I understand the appeal of prostitution. She nervously laughed and said, “Oh really?” I said, “You’ve served people all day long. You worked all day to help others with what they needed. You came home, cooked dinner, played with the kids, and served our family. I’ve done the same. All day long I was giving of myself to help other people. Now, fourteen hours after we got up, the day is almost done and we are trying to have sex. How nice would it be to not have to give anymore and simply be served?”

She agreed. (See: What Your Husband Wants from You in Bed)

This is an appeal of 50 Shades of Grey. We want sex to be easy. We find it far too complicated and we assume we are missing the key which will make it easy. Ease is offered in two separate ways—either find someone who will do whatever I want and is solely about my pleasure or submit myself to someone else so I don’t have to make any decisions.

Either way it’s sex without the constraints of a mutually respectful and caring relationship. It removes the give and take dance of a healthy sexuality. It allows us to use others or be used by others. It either exploits our pride and allows us to demean others or it manipulates our insecurities and allows us to be used by others.

Neither is the true intent of sex.

Sex is supposed to be an erotic dance between two equals. It is the both the avenue through which our weaknesses are revealed and the fuel which keeps our relationship moving forward.

It is one area, which on occasion, should make us feel most alive, most like a man or a woman, and most connected with the person we love.

But it won’t every time. (See: What I Tell College Students About Married Sex)

In fiction, sex appears easy, but real sex is much messier than we like it to be. It confronts our deepest insecurities and wounds. It tempts us with an easy love only to leave us with complexity and difficulty. It lures us to trust, but then causes us to question. It gives amplification to the voices in our heads saying, “You are not loveable” or “You are not worthy” or “Something is wrong with you.”

Sex on the screen is easy and without attachments. Sex in real life is difficult and messy. It’s so complex and personal that humanity often trades meaningful sex for a mirage. Pornography promises sex without emotional demands. Prostitution promises sex without the expectation of relationship. Sex outside of marriage promises the physical experience without any responsibilities. But they are all a mirage of the real thing. They never fully provide what they promise.

I understand the appeal of easy sex. Life is difficult enough, shouldn’t something be easy? Maybe something should, but sex isn’t that something. (See: One Tip to Improve Sex)

It is supposed to be difficult and complicated. It is supposed to challenge us and test the relationship. It is supposed to be one of the best things about marriage and one of its more frustrating elements.

Resist the temptation toward easy sex. Have the courage and wisdom to know real sex is more complicated than what you read in fiction. It’s complicated, but it’s worth it.

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