Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Casual Sex "Not for everyone"

I just located this bit of cotton-candy from FoxNews's "Sexpert,":

FOXSexpert: Casual Sex, Can You Handle It? by Yvonne K. Fulbright

Idiotic bit of ignorant puffery.

I've never had casual sex; my wife and I were virgins when we married. Do you think I missed out?

The plain fact is that casual sex is inevitably depressing. I can't say so from personal experience, thank God; but I can say so by observing friends and co-workers and the blogs of the singles around me.

Casual sex is inevitably a depressing outcome.

Think not? Consider that much of the excitement comes from doing something naughty, something risky.

Setting aside the question of whether THAT'S a healthy attitude, ask yourself what happens twenty years down the road. Thirty? Forty? Will the memory of, "wow, that was stupid of me" still bring pleasure at that point?

"Pleasure is only full-grown when it is remembered." The wise person sets about making the moments of his life have value. But casual hook-up sex is inevitably looked back on in a negative way. For either:

(1.) One looks back and says, "Wow, that was memorably great sex...."

(2.) One looks back and says, "Well, the notion seemed exciting at the time, but it really wasn't all that great."

And statistically, option 2 is far more likely. It's rare not to fumble a bit when first becoming physically involved with a new person.

But in either case, one knows that, as middle-agedness elapses, the likelihood of this kind of mindless rutting fades away along with the beauty and energy of one's twenties. One cannot live the club scene forever. "Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it / For you the blind who once could see, the bell tolls for thee."

In the meantime, pursuit of casual sex meant that one wasted one's time, energies, affections, and intimacies on people who weren't interested in pursuing a lasting and meaningful relationship.

So you find yourself: Thirty-eight, having never met the love of your life or even a reliable ally and partner against life's oncoming travails. And there WILL be travails, times of heartache. Who will you lean on during your first serious illness? The first death of a parent? Of your last living parent? The loss of your job...or your sibling?

We were meant to walk the path in tandem; it is a poor and astringent thing to watch one's age-lines deepen while alone.

Meanwhile, the people who (a.) didn't sleep with each other before getting engaged or married and (b.) consequently took personal relationships more seriously from the get-go are the ones who married in college, graduate school, or early adulthood. They now have children. They've outlasted the seven-year itch. They're less likely to divorce than other segments of the population. By age forty they have around fifteen years' shared experiences and have made a life together, and regularly pray that God will allow them to keep their health, so that each can have the privilege of growing old with the other, and so that both will have the joy, twenty years hence, of their married children's untarnished respect and the giggles of their grandchildren.

That's what I've got.

Anybody want to trade your memories for mine? Well, get over it. I don't care what hottie you've slept with; I won't trade my platinum anniversary for your fools gold.

The wisdom of your youth will determine whether you live the rest of your life in regret or fulfillment. And wisdom cries out in the street, begging young folks to pay attention before time is up.

But life is short; and youth shorter. Get wise while you can.

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