Faith Column: Let’s talk about sex, baby
….and not having it.
If reading that headline didn’t make the song by Salt ‘N’ Peppa pop into your head then you probably weren’t subjected to as much 90s music as I was growing up.
That song always pops into my head at this time of year. I had a youth pastor growing up who did a sex series in every February. As a hundred or so pubescent and hormone filled teenagers filled into our sanctuary, that song was blasting over the church’s sound system.
Everyone talks about sex around Valentine’s Day — to me when you talk about sex, you’re also talking about marriage. I am part of a rapidly diminishing minority (in both religious and non-religious circles) that still lives as though one should not happen without the other. Even most individuals of faith have abandoned (intentionally or unintentionally) the idea of “no sex before marriage.”
I don’t think that this makes me better than anyone else — it doesn’t — however, I do sometimes think I am a bit more fortunate. I feel like I’ve suffered a little less because of my decision to wait.
AMP Radio Calgary started a Facebook discussion in November by asking their listeners what they wish someone had told them about sex. As you can imagine, there was a wide array of answers ranging from graphic to hilarious to sad.
Two comments really stuck out to me. A women named Tyla wished that someone had told her to wait until she was mature enough for sex and a lady named Mandy commented, “I wish that someone had told me that for your first time it should be with someone that you love.”
My heart broke reading those comments.
Obviously, these women felt like sex (or at least their virginity) was something special and they were upset they had lost that too soon. I recognize that not everyone actually believes that sex is “special” or anything more than another physical act you can do with your body. I just can’t bring myself to fully understand that mentality.
That same youth pastor who played vintage hip-hop taught us about this amazing chemical in your brain called oxytocin. Oxytocin has been called the “love hormone” for a while and this name stems from its neurological role. The release of oxytocin creates a bond between two people that are having sex and increases feelings of love and affection.
This same chemical is almost primarily responsible for the bonding between a mother and child (both in child birth and breastfeeding). Long story short, oxytocin’s main purpose is to bond people for life. That’s why when a relationship with someone ends, it’s like a drug withdrawal — your brain is being deprived.
The same radio station, which asked what people wished someone had told them about sex, has a new promotional campaign running this month. This campaign is called “The 90.3 Hour Marriage.”
AMP Radio is marrying two random strangers on Valentine’s Day, sending them to Vancouver to see Miley Cyrus in concert and then flying them home to get… divorced? They pride themselves in “ruining the sanctity of marriage since 2014.”
Frankly, I don’t know what the “sanctity of marriage” is exactly. What I do know is that the idea of only ever having one person that my heart (and brain full of oxytocin) call “lover” sounds really sexy.