Let’s talk about sex, baby. No, I don’t want to.

I hate this. I hate it when I am compelled to talk about a subject I’d rather not.

I don’t even know where to begin.

But there are some discussions we must have. Because they are way overdue. And sex is one of them. Let’s talk about the birds and the bees. Because the stuff that’s going on lately is for the birds. You know it. And what we need to talk about is how we want to be as a society, the A, B, C’s of sex.

My mom used to say something like, “the parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” Where did she get that stuff? She was very Biblical sometimes.

Anyhow, the saying is apropos of our time. Very. The statistics are showing that among developed nations the United States has very high rates of child sexual abuse and incest. Almost 10% of children will be the target of sexual misconduct by educators. * Generations have messed up the country and our kids are paying the price. Not just the kids associated with the Penn State scandal. All kids are at risk in this time where the pedophiles seem to be proliferating, where young girls are now feeling pressured to engage in group sex, where five year old boys are asked, “And how many girlfriends do you have?”(Ain’t that a recipe for later adultery!)

The other day there was a hashtag trending on twitter that said “whostoblame.” Who’s to blame for the state of promiscuity we now encounter ourselves in? A lot of people would answer, “Hollywood.” Some folks like to blame gays, as if they are the only population in this country that engages in promiscuity. Some, point to the bad example set by professional sports figures and celebrities. Some like to blame women’s fashion.
Well, you know what? I blame the rest of us, the silent 99%. Because somehow in the land of the free we’ve let our “freedom” run amok. Yes, we’ve been so concerned with protecting the freedom of the individual to do whatever he or she wants to do that we have failed to engage in a national discussion of what is good for society, where the line is, in terms of healthy sexual behavior and unhealthy sexual behavior, and have thereby condemned ourselves to an ever increasing deluge of depravity and sexual deviance. C’mon, we’ve done it before. Just because we couldn’t figure out how to ensure religious freedom in our schools we threw out the baby with the bathwater: we banned prayer in our schools. Was it really that hard to let the Muslim kid lead prayer on Monday, the Christian kid on Tuesday, the Hindu kid on Wednesday, and the atheist kid on Thursday? (Yes, atheists can say nice prayers too, exhorting us to do good and appreciate the beauty in life).

But no. We grownups are so hung up on our religious separatism that we forgot that teaching our kids to live with and respect diversity is more valuable than protecting their ears from being polluted by the neighbor kid’s prayer. As if! How many Gods are there? And does He listen to every little kid’s prayer or just your kid’s?

So, we deprived our kids of a daily spiritual exercise and condemned them to ever greater tension in schools and an explosion of bullying. That was smart.

Back to the dialogue on sex: what is healthy sexual behavior for our society?

If you say: consensual sex, then you have to define what age is appropriate to start having sex. Tell me. And if it is inappropriate for someone to have sex with a minor then is it inappropriate for minors to have sex among themselves? Is it inappropriate only for minor girls or is it inappropriate for minor boys too? Do we mind some older woman approaching our thirteen year old boy as much as we mind an older guy approaching our thirteen year old girl? Isn’t that a double standard?

Oh, that is a good one. What about equality of the sexes? Should women be able to do everything that men do and have done over the ages? Would we want to jump over a cliff just because men have done it before us? Shouldn’t we first ask ourselves what is sane, what is appropriate (seemly) and what we actually enjoy? Does anybody know that the so-called sexual revolution which launched us into the “free love” era was actually a movement promoted by men so that they could “get some.” Oops, I should have said, “get more.” Talk about a mega swindle.

What about the frequency of sex? How often should we have sex with consensual partners? Well, that opens up a whole different line of questions. How often do we need it? Is sex a need, like eating and drinking? Do we actually need sex and end up unhealthy if we don’t get it? Then what about children? Isn’t that an argument pedophiles make? That everyone needs it, including children? And what about our grandma’s who lived long, honorable celibate lives? Let’s ask ourselves, what happens to the millions of celibate people in the world? Are they all stir crazy? Or do they simply chose that lifestyle out of some conviction and adhere to it for the protection it provides, even if it is difficult to do. Ask the celibates around you, we all know some.

Well, now I’ve brought up the subject of protection let’s deal with it. Sex has a few consequences, how should we protect ourselves from unwanted consequences? How well should we know our partner? Can you tell what a person’s character is by simply meeting them in a bar or a party? If you were looking for someone to baby sit your kids would you go to a bar and pick the best looking guy there? Would that be safe? Then is it safe for you to sleep with someone you barely know? Maybe they won’t turn out to be a psycho, but what if they have a silly little STD, the flu or athlete’s foot? Let’s say they turn out to have none of those things. Does having sex with multiple partners in serial monogamy have a lasting effect on you? Physically?Emotionally? Spiritually? Does it encourage you to become dehumanized, desensitized, to view women or men as objects? Does it affect your soul?

The perfect example of freedom is the animal. What is the animal’s behavior with respect to sex? From what I’ve observed on my street, the dogs just follow their urge. A female comes in heat, all the males follow her around, until she chooses one. A few months later cute little puppies arrive. Are we the same as animals? Some would say one big diff is that we can actually enjoy sex. Well, I won’t dispute that. But should we be as free about it as the animals? Given that they seem to use sex mostly for procreation I don’t think we should be as free as the animals. Surely we humans can do better than just follow our urges, we have the capacity for self-control. (Yes, men do too, even though some would have us believe it’s too hard for them).

Many religions prescribe chaste behavior(not having sex outside of marriage) for the protection of girls (since girls are the most impacted by the consequences of unsafe sex) and for the preservation of the family (after marriage). Some folks believe marriage is an institution created by God, others don’t even believe in marriage anymore. But then again, many cultures perverted their scriptures and came up with twisted interpretations like honor killings, 72 virgins, pedophile priests and double standards like “man is of the street and woman is of the house.” No wonder we threw out the baby (chastity) with the bathwater.

I’m sure I didn’t explore all the questions here, but I hope it sparks some dialogue. We have to come up with something we think is a reasonable picture of the healthy use of sex impulse and then begin to push back.

Why is that necessary? Because our culture has now pushed us so far that we have loosened all restraints, lost our moral compass and become a sexually addicted society. What is an addiction? It is doing things to a self-destructive degree. We accept as the norm insidious, constant sexual innuendo in advertising, television programs, movies, music and literature. We have STD’s running rampant, runaway teen pregnancy stats and abortion being used for birth control. Then there are the pedophile, sexual tourism and sexual slavery scandals. Yes, we’re addicted. Maybe somebody is selling us a load of crap and we’re eating it. And then we’re exporting it. We even accept pornography as a slightly naughty but necessary evil. Really? Is that cool to support an industry that is based on human exploitation, a multi-billion dollar industry on the same level with drug dealing, arms dealing and human trafficking?

Perhaps it’s no wonder some cultures are looking at the U.S. as the new Sodom and Gomorrah. We should beware, freedom taken to an extreme degree can become the downfall of a civilization. We worry about the financial deficit we are leaving our kids. We should worry about the moral deficit too.

The parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. Yeah. Our generation, the baby boomers did it. It’s up to us to fix it. Let’s push back, for our kids’ sake.

10 ways to push back:

1. Chose abstinence as a lifestyle if you’re not married
2. Chose fidelity (in both body and mind) if you are married
3. Dress and act with modesty
4. Select entertainment that is seemly. Veto the nasty stuff.
5. Expect your kids to be chaste (until marriage or till age 18) and talk to them about it
6. Expect men and women both to shun sexual addiction, coercion, harassment and promiscuity.
7. Expect men and women both to control their urges and act with good sense
8. Speak out against sexual exploitation and the pornography industry
9. Be vigilant against child sexual abuse by anybody
10. Bring beauty, caring, and respect into your (monogamous) relationship, not depravity and abnormal appetites. They’re not cute, funny, or the best expression of our freedom.


* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse#United_States_and_Europe

About rheaharmsen

Rhea Harmsen is a scientist, novelist and author of Language of the Spirit, a volume of selected poems. She has also released three novels, The Harvest of Reason, Intermarry, and God Created Women. Harmsen was born in a family with a black father and a white mother at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in some states. Her parents gave her a vision of world citizenship that informs her writing and her lifestyle and has caused her to reject traditional views of race and gender. Harmsen's article "Science in the Hands of Women: Present Barriers, Future Promise" appeared in World Order in 1998 and provides the foundation for the story line for her novel The Harvest of Reason. She co-published the Monroeville Race Unity Forum Bulletin and authored many poems on racial topics, crystallizing the "conversation on race" in the novel Intermarry. Her work with domestic violence survivors in Puerto Rico inspired the novel God Created Women. Harmsen holds a doctorate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently resides in Puerto Rico. Upcomming projects are described in her web page at rheaharmsen.com
This entry was posted in chastity, child sexual abuse, freedom, national discussion, pushing back, sexually addicted society, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Let’s talk about sex, baby. No, I don’t want to.

  1. Miles Palino says:

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