Monday, January 7, 2008

How's Your STD?

If you are a 17 to 26 year old male reading this blog right now, and you live in the state of California, it is very likely that you are reading this in physical discomfort. A recent article published in the LA Times entitled “State and County STD Rate Soars,” October 10, 2007, states that 1 in every 4 or 5 people between the ages of 15 and 24 are estimated to have an STD. Now you will notice a minor discrepancy in terms of the ages I have given in this first paragraph. I said if you are between “17 and 26” and the story says the rate is soaring between 15 and 24. This discrepancy is resolved by noting that the study was conducted in 2005 and that the Times is merely reporting the information 2 years after the fact –so all those who fit in the 1 in 4 or 5 number 2 years ago are in the 17-26 category today.

Well, what then is the answer to such a menacing problem? You can guess what the typical proposals are: more condoms readily available, better sex education classes, transparency about former sexual partners before engaging in promiscuity with a new one, etc. But these proposals aren’t new, and they aren’t effective either. Public schools have been providing sex education programs now for 40 years or more, condoms are more readily available to young people than ever, and as for transparency, who really cares about that when the moment is right and you just feel like “getting it on.” None of these proposals are real solutions, they are band-aids at best.

So what is the solution? I think it is rather obvious, but not desirable: abstinence, except with your spouse! I don’t want to sound callous, but the hard fact is far fewer people would be itching, scratching, dripping and feeling intense burning when they urinate if they had sex in the right place, marriage. Notice here, I am not preaching “radical abstinence,” rather, I am preaching “limited abstinence.” Have all the sex you want. Enjoy it two, three, four times a day, however much you want, just limit sex to your wife!

Of course, I know this is going to be immediately discounted. It will be argued that sex is a basic human need, like eating or sleeping, and so going without it is out of the question. Again, let me reiterate, I am not saying “go without!” I am saying, “go have sex,” just make sure it is with someone you said, “I do” with. A lot of you will say that is totally unreasonable, because after all, since sex is a basic human need, it is ridiculous to limit yourself to one way of meeting that need. Comparing it to the food analogy again, it is argued, that you don’t limit yourself to only oatmeal for breakfast lunch and dinner in order to satisfy your appetite, especially when numerous alternatives are readily available, so why should you limit yourself to your spouse in order to fulfill your sexual appetite? My response is, yes, you would limit yourself to oatmeal to satisfy your appetite if that was the only thing didn’t seriously harm you when you ate it! Think about people with severe food allergies. Say someone enjoys cashews, and they want cashews on everything –their pancakes, their salad at lunch and their ice cream after dinner. Now they certainly have other options to complement a meal with, but they have an insatiable appetite for cashews, so that is what they choose. Then one day, they wake up to discover they have a deadly food allergy to cashews. Now, are they going to keep hitting the cashews because they are savory, and they have the freedom to eat them if they want? Obviously not! But why? The answer is obvious, natural law says these things are harmful for them!

We could multiply examples of ways in which we limit our choices in order to fulfill our desires and urges because we know that the things we want are physically harmful to us. So take that basic thought and let’s bring it back to sex. Why is it so hard to believe that natural law doesn’t work the same way with regard to sex? Honestly, why do we feel such a sense of entitlement to have promiscuous sex, free of harmful consequences, as if sex is so unique and so inherently necessary that we must be free to engage in it with anyone that we want, so long as they are willing partners? Just to say it out loud like that hopefully gets us to realize how ludicrous this idea of consequence free, promiscuous sex is. Promiscuous sex violates natural law, therefore it will always come with harmful consequences. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Its just like the cashew food allergy example above, you can enjoy cashews all you want, but that enjoyment is only going to last a moment before anaphylactic shock sets in. Promiscuous sex is no different, and inevitably leads to serious physical consequences as the LA Times article documents.

Sex is one of the greatest the greatest pleasures man can experience. But to enjoy this pleasure and find real satisfaction in it you better keep it within the law, that is, keep it with your spouse alone. That is the right way to do it, and the way God intended it to be enjoyed. Just as God has seated man at the table of life and gave him of every plant, tree, shrub or cow to eat in order to provide for the need of bodily nourishment, so He has established the provision for satisfying the basic human need for sex. But that provision is not found in multiple partners or a harem of lovers, its through monogamous sexual relations with your spouse. That is just the way things are, because that is the way God made the world. You do it that way, and you will experience all the pleasure and more that you receive from promiscuous sex, just minus all the itching scratching, dripping, and burning.

1 comment:

Charlana said...

people are going to say that sex is a basic human need, but if we all stop and think about it, we haven't always had sex. We didn't really start until we were like 15 or something. So stopping now at 28 or 30 for a while until we find the right person is not a big deal. This is more a matter of self restraint!