Sex is for marriage and in marriage. That is foundational

I have received some feedback that worries me a little.  Some of my readers of and viewers of appear to be under the impression that I believe that sex is not about marriage.

Let me make myself clear.  Sex is for the purpose of binding together a couple in intimacy.  It teaches us what a closer union with each other is like, and therefore what our eternal union with Christ (as his bride) will be something like.

The key, here, is intimacy.  “Sexual Freedom” as it was interpreted by the ’60’s hippies, meant that humans should behave like Bonobo monkeys.  Do it any time, anywhere, with anyone.   I have patients who have attempted to live that lifestyle.  I cannot describe for you how “hard” these patients are.  It is almost impossible to form a therapeutic relationship with them.  Their souls have been bonded and then ripped apart so many times that they are like teflon.

I often tell women who are in this condition, “I do need to know if you have been sexually traumatized, but I don’t need to know the details right now.  I am a stranger to you, and I do not want you to share with me all of the secrets of your heart – only to not see me again for months.   This would not be healthy for you, and I am here for your health.”

This is not to say that I am against solo masturbation.  This behavior maintains erotic desire for single people and for married people who cannot be together right then.  It is allowed for in the old law and not condemned in the new.

I also believe that a couple’s intimate moments can be filmed and shared with others without breaking or weakening the bond between the two.   Solomon did not weaken the bond of the Shunamite beauty by writing about it in the Song of Solomon.  He rather wrote about how strong it can be.

Song 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Do we actually have to go without sex in heaven?

Harps but no sex? That doesn’t sound heavenly

One of the verses that has confused me a lot over the years is the following.

Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

This seems to imply that there is no sex in heaven.  From the standpoint of us in our current bodies, the idea of eternity without sex sounds, well, like hell.

 It would be strange to think that God gave us a pleasure here that is not imagined in heaven.   That is contrary to most people’s understanding of heaven.
Let’s look at the different conceptions of heaven.   Some of us see heaven similarly to CS Lewis’s description of the Platonic idealized Narnia.
Image result for narnia heaven
“The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more.”
Other’s of us see heaven like the Precious Moment’s “Childs view of heaven”
We all get together and smile a lot

Note that both of these visions of heaven are CHILDLIKE.  They are meant to explain to children the concept of eternity with God.  They are not very good adult versions.  In fact the “eternal spring” idea of heaven sounds remarkably like HG Well’s dystopian version of the Eloi.

Remember, also, that these images do not come from the Bible.  In fact, the Bible is remarkably silent on what heaven is actually like.  It mainly tells us what is NOT there.

Re 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Re 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

There are only a few indications of what it will be like.

I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Revelations 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

We also get the Revelations 21 and 22 telling us about the outside of heaven, jewels, a river of life, a tree of life and that Jesus is the light thereof.  But nothing about how we live when we get there.

In his book “Job” the agnostic Robert Heinlein does an artistic job of making fun of heaven.  He shows it as an overcrowded city with everyone divided into classes like a bad imitation of Hindu castes.

But, I think Paul does the best job of discussing this issue in his chapter on the resurrection.

I Corinthians 15: 39-44 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

So, in other words.  We cannot imagine what our spiritual bodies are going to be like or what we will do with them.  If we are like to be like Jesus, then we should have “joy unspeakable and full of glory” but not as if it was an eternal ecstasy high (for even this would be boring) but rather some sort of joy that we can’t imagine at this time.

Ok, having said all we actually know about heaven, let’s move on to sex, which we know a whole lot more about.

What is it that we really like about sex?  Why do we talk about it, think about it, dream about it, do it, so often?   I think the answer it (at least) threefold.

  1. Orgasm- Well, duh, it feels good.  Moments of upswelling pleasure that differ from the moments surrounding it.
  2. Intimacy – There is something wonderful about joining together physically with another person – “becoming one” in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way that is unlike any other activity in the human existence
  3. Fulfilling a primal drive – Let’s face it, to have sex, sleep, and eat food are three things that we love to do because we simply NEED to do them.

So, in this new unimaginable resurrected body, will we still be able to feel good, be intimate, and fulfill our basic needs?

Somehow, I think that the God who created sex is not going to leave out these three important features from our next life.  I’m certain we shall have moments of upswelling joy (“And when the beasts cry holy, the four and twenty elders cast their crowns before the throne…..”)  We will have true intimacy with God himself (we are the BRIDE of Christ) and I am confident that we will have a purpose that we can fulfill.  I don’t know what this purpose is, it may be different for each person – just as it is for the angels.

So, this all comes down to is a matter of Faith.  We either believe God loves us and wants us to be happy, or we don’t.  If we believe in God, then we simply must trust that all of the joys of sex will be in heaven and will be greater and more wonderful than they are down here.

So, sex as in penises and vaginas?  Probably not.  But sex as in upswelling pleasure, joyful union and fulfilling desire.  Yes.

Porn, Masturbation, Sex, and Intimacy

Intimacy is necessary in life

I have received several feedback questions and comments about masturbation and loneliness.  None of these were from the puritanical crowd.  So I want to address an issue that some readers may find useful.

I believe that masturbation erotic videos/stories/pictures should be a part of a persons sexual life.  In fact, I go further and say that it ALREADY is a part of almost every man’s sexual experience and most women’s.  A problem occurs when there part of the universal sexual experience is considered shameful.

According to the psychologist Erickson, there are several stages of life that are not only universal, but necessary for psychological health.  A baby learns  “Trust vs Mistrust.”   A toddler learns “Autonomy versus Shame.”  A pre-school child learns “Initiative vs Guilt.”  An elementary child learns “Industry versus  Inferiority” and a teen learns “Identity versus Role Confusion”

It is in this “Identity” phase of growth that healthy, mature, and normal masturbation begins and, usually, erotic art is encountered.   When the teen boy encounters erotic material he discovers that he has a certain feeling about girls.  Thoughts of girls make him hard.  Girls in bikinis give him wood.  Girls in tight jeans make his jeans tight.  Thoughts about sex with girls make him cream  his underwear when he is asleep.   Eventually, he discovers that by touching himself he does not have to wait for an erotic dream.  He seeks out erotic material for masturbatory help.

This is normal and healthy.  But, and this is important, this is not the end of his sexual development.  In order to grow into a healthy adult, he must step into Erickson’s next stage “Intimacy versus Isolation”.  He must learn to share this sexual life with another person.  This proceeds in steps.  He first learns how to kiss girls, date girls, treat girls with respect.  He begins to learn that it is not enough to kiss a bunch of girls, but that this experience is best if it is shared with a single, special girl.    The search for a single, special girl with whom he wishes to be completely open with, to hide nothing, to bare his soul as well as his entire body.  To be truly naked, body and soul.  Is frightening and dangerous.  Many mistakes are made.     This search can consume only a few months of high school, or it may consume the next decade of his life.  This is the way it worked for me.  I spotted my soul mate at age 24 and married her 11 weeks later.  We are still together 3 decades later and will be separated only by death.

This new “Intimacy” stage is a universal NEED.  If a man misses out on it, he cannot be whole, he cannot be truly healthy.

Ok, that is not entirely true.  According to Jesus (who never married) it is possible to be a “Eunuch”

Matt 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

These men are called specially by God for some reason that only they know.  However, this I know.  Such a man is a EUNUCH.  That is, he does not desire or want sex at all.  He will not be drawn to porn.   This is fairly rare and if someone is like this and wishes to talk about it with me, then he can hit the “Reply ” or “Contact Us” button.

Now, for the rest of us.   It is a mistake for a young man to get caught in the “Identity” phase of life, when he is just discovering his sexual self, and never step on to the “Intimacy” side of life.

Porn allows a man to delay his development into an intimate person.  This is fine.  In our society a man becomes sexual at least a decade or more before he is ready to be a husband and father.  But it is a mistake for any man to think that he can not ever step into the intimacy of an adult.

Porn has a place in an adult, intimate, man’s life.  It allows him to maintain his sexual desire for his one woman by maintaining a health fantasy life.   But it becomes a problem when it becomes a substitute for intimacy.  The man will end up feeling lonely, isolated, and cut off from humanity.  The result of this are depression and despair.