Today’s blog will seem a bit strange coming from a celibate monk but here goes! I have found very disturbing the casual attitude about sex among today’s young. I’ve heard some say, “It’s just sex! What’s the big deal?” The premise that undergirds this statement is that there is no price to pay for casual sex. Just having sex is not the same thing as intimacy. Physical nakedness is not the same thing as intimacy’s vulnerability! So what is the purpose of sex in a human life? Obviously sex serves to enable the species to continue. But more than that sex can facilitate the revelation of intimacy between two hearts!
We all seek to be known, to be seen. And yet at the same time we fear the vulnerability involved in this. Will they accept who they come to see? Will they reject me if they know me too well, and what would that rejection do to me? To safeguard our hearts we should approach intimacy carefully and not casually. Intimacy allows another into the depths of our inner self. Intimacy is not possible without vulnerability. Sex that is no more than the physical coupling between two beings does not enable intimacy.
Can we have sex and not pay a price? Without using sex as the door to a deeper intimacy, indiscriminate sex can actually harden the heart and prevent us from actually loving. When we do not engage in loving others we experience an existential aloneness that no amount of coupling can fill. How ironic that the impulse given to help draw us to one another, if misused, can close us off from the very intimacy for which we yearn! It is possible to have sex without being at all vulnerable, like two animals that couple and then each go their own way. After all, “It’s just sex! What’s the big deal?”