This work is as much a reaction, as a pro-action.
I grew up in the ’70s soaking up the popular culture. And in newspapers, magazines, television, and books I saw an explosion of “sex.” I put scare quotes on that, because — despite what I was told, what I was seeing wasn’t sex. It was about sex, but it wasn’t quite the real thing.
I was reminded of this while visiting a major urban area. We were semi-lost, following our GPS through a dodgy area, when we passed a business called SEX WORLD. One of our party thought that was so funny, she insisted we take her picture in front of the sign. Much laughter later, a thought hit me:
There was no sex in that place.
There were undoubtedly lots of pictures of people having sex. Probably some devices that simulated sex, too. But no actual sex.
And yet, the proprietor would claim to be catering to people who wanted/needed sex, while selling them everything but.
That’s how the media merchants of the ’70s (and on into today) got our attention. They talked about sex, even published photos and drawings of it, but they had no actual sex to sell. And the advice they proffered was pretty awful stuff.
But because it’s all there was, people bought it. Especially those who didn’t have sex in their lives. Kind of sad when you think about it.
There was a vacuum for sexual discussions and advice designed to help people better understand it. The sexual purveyors claimed that by selling an unsatisfied woman a vibrator, they were doing her good.
The problem was, they were fighting one enemy with another enemy. Vibrators — and porn, and strip shows, and romance novels — aren’t actual sex. The more time you spend in/on those things, the less you have to devote yourself to the understanding and practice of fullfilling, actual sex. The sort that God intended when he chose your sex and gave you the equipment to enjoy it.
Meanwhile, to my perceptions, the good guys in the culture were doing nothing. America’s great priesthood seemed silent at best, a caricature at worst. For all I knew, the clergy and the great apologists had nothing to say about sexual conduct, because I couldn’t hear them. A complicit media helped with that, ignoring thoughtful commentators and ridiculing every outspoken prude they could find.
Sex being a private thing, whoever went public with it first and loudest had the advantage. So the war raged on, with the libertines shouting down everybody else and blaring their “Two consenting adults in the privacy of their own home” mantra everywhere. (I can’t remember a single Norman Lear sitcom without a character reciting that trope.) By the time the war was over, the scorched landscape made fertile ground for hookup culture, same-sex marriage, and strangers masturbating on webcams.
And what’s wrong with that?
Nothing, if you’ve abdicated all reason.
Yes, the war is over. The bad guys won. Here’s how far it’s gone: Odds are that if you’re middle-aged, you will never see as much pornography as a typical teenager has already seen.
Innocence can’t be lost if it never was there in the first place.
So here we stand in the 21st century, and when I Googled “Christian sex columnist” I got one hit. Not for a Christian sex columnist.
What are your qualifications?
Interestingly, there are no qualifications to become a “sex columnist,” just as there are none for becoming a journalist in general.
In the Oughties, for example, a wave of sex columnists started popping up at college newspapers. All the job seemed to require was a willingness to have your name show up forever on search engines next to graphic sexual advice you wrote in your early twenties. These seem to have been inspired by a widely syndicated sex columnist whose hook was that he was a homosexual purporting to advise heterosexuals on sex.
For people wandering through a barren landscape, it seems, any direction will do.
But it’s only natural to ask the background of someone whose advice you are considering, so here: I’m a married, middle-aged father who lived through the age of disco and AIDS; who knows premarital and marital sex; who’s seen all the same things you have on the Internet; and who’s watched his friends pursue all different paths of sexuality to their end.
And I don’t believe the decline is irreversible.
Why are you doing this?
I have little doubt that if this column starts getting attention, the libertines will target me personally, seeking to discredit, embarrass, and silence me.
But they won’t engage me on the merits of what I write. That’s always the surest sign of a coward: one who will not debate. All the world’s worst have been like that, from Marxists to atheists to modern-day political liberals. They know they can’t win a fair fight. They seek victory through infiltration, subversion, and propagandizing young people, who are neither equipped or in a position to push back. Anything but a level playing field where their lies and treachery would be exposed.
It’s always destruction they wreak. Never construction. Evil cannot construct.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Sexuality in the America I know suffers from two bad influences: Victorians and Libertines.
The Victorians are often confused with Puritans, Christians, Orthodox Jews, and others who don’t make a show of their sexuality. The Libertines promote this confusion, because it helps them look like liberators, people who save you from those who would keep you ignorant.
The problem isn’t talking about sex. The problem is, what are you saying?
Years ago I found a quote, but I haven’t found the author. It went something like this: No one was saying what needed to be said. So I decided to say it.
And here goes.