Thoughts on Sex, Part 1

This is going to be a series…. a rather lengthy series probably, because there is alot of stuff I’m hashing through and I’d rather keep my posts short in the hope that that will keep the ideas distinct and therefore more clear.

I’m trying to write my dissertation on medieval Christian ideas on marriage, so that means I’m reading what alot of people, ancient and modern, have to say about it. Apologies as I’m just journalling my thoughts and feelings, so it will be rather rambling.

Idea #1. Even if I were an agnostic, I think sex tells us that our existence is not a meaningless material thing.

There is something intensely personal about the act of sex. The combination of hormones and the inherent physical vulnerability make it so. And this moment is what makes new human beings. We aren’t the product of just an individual, or some mechanical process, or grow on a tree or fall out of the sea.

It is absurd and breathtaking when you think about it. We come into being through–of all things–an ephemeral, intense union between two human beings. The fact that THIS—a vulnerable and hence tender moment between two humans is what produces new baby humans, proves to us that whatever the powers-that-be are, they think that human relationship matters. It matters so much that it is the only way that new human beings can even come into existence.

It is apparently important for us to know that each of us came from a moment of love. However induced by hormones, and however fleeting, it is never casual. Babies can’t be made from a casual handshake. It can never be minimized. The only way to have it outside of this is through rape–through violent force rather than personal vulnerability–and by its very jarring horribleness, it is the exception that proves the rule. Our very existence is the product of a human relationship. Every one of us is an incarnation of two other people’s union.

And if human beings matter, than anything that produces new human beings is A Very Big Deal. So “love” (the hormones and the yearning, the vulnerability and the pining) isn’t something trivial or petty. It might be absurd, but then it is also absurdly important. It matters absurdly much.

So the girl sobbing into her cellphone on the subway is not taking things out of proportion. She’s not silly. She’s right. This is what makes life itself, so of course it matters. The people who dismiss it as “just drama” and ridicule her are wrong.


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