Friday, August 15, 2014

Matt Walsh Rocks I: Sex isn't safe

I meant to post something about this a week or two ago but got involved in other things. (We've been raising caterpillars around my house. You'd be surprised at how time-consuming raising monarch caterpillars can be, especially if they get sick and you feel a compulsion to stare at them, worry about them, and wonder if they are really sick and if they are going to get better and whether you should isolate the ones you're worried about from the others. Of course you have to google all these questions. So as not to leave you in suspense, I will tell you that we raised two successfully earlier in the summer on beginner's luck. Out of the twelve thereafter, eleven died; one turned into a beautiful butterfly and has just been released. We're now done for the summer. End of digression.)

Matt Walsh put a wonderful post up about the lie of "safe sex." It contains so much wisdom that I'll just put up some quotes. (It is not, of course, a child-safe post.)


In truth, though, most of the people in this country are petrified of sex. The very thought of it terrifies them. Modern society plays host to the most pathetic collection of bored, sexless cowards ever to walk the Earth. We have taken the honesty, love, passion, beauty, and creative power out of the act, and replaced it with something sterile, guarded, frivolous, and disinterested.
It’s kind of ironic, really.
In this nation, we are concerned about the integrity of our produce and our peanut butter, so we only buy them if they have words like ‘organic’ and ‘raw’ on the packaging. But, when it comes to human sexuality, we’ll sip whatever chemicals we need in order to stave off the natural emotional and physical consequences of our behavior. Imagine the college students who have to chug 6 rum cocktails and 8 Natty Lights between them before they can anonymously copulate in someone’s dorm room. But they require more than booze; they also need pills and condoms and explanations the morning after about how this was all just for fun and it didn’t mean anything.
Why do we say that these people enjoy sex? The man who makes love to his wife of 20 years enjoys sex; these people only enjoy certain physical sensations.

 [snip]



Perhaps most absurd of all is that we call these alcohol-fused...sessions ‘safe,’ so long as they involve a layer of latex and a dose of steroids. We tell young people to wear condoms to protect against ailments like hepatitis and AIDS. The obvious insinuation here is that there is a ‘safe’ way to fornicate with a diseased stranger.
Nameless, random, uncommitted sex is never safe. Not emotionally, not spiritually, not physically. In fact, no sex is safe. Sex is not supposed to be safe. Sex isn’t supposed to be physically perilous like it often is these days — thanks, mostly, to years of ‘safe sex’ education — but it is supposed to be an act of great depth and consequence. Sex is meant to be open and exposed. It’s meant to bring out scary and mysterious feelings of desire and devotion.
Call that whatever you like, but you can’t call it safe.

I think one of my favorite lines in his entire post is, "The obvious insinuation here is that there is a 'safe' way to fornicate with a diseased stranger." It's hilarious, in a dark and sad way.

That passage reminds me of this, from C.S. Lewis, about Aslan:

"Is - is he a man?" asked Lucy
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king I tell you."
Precisely. Not everything that is good is safe. There are also holy things, which are anything but safe.

Back to Walsh:

It’s funny that in the world of petty one night stands, when someone commits the crime of being a human being who develops natural pangs of emotional closeness and affection, the other person is allowed to accuse them of being ‘weird’ or ‘moving too fast.’ And when the manmade barricades fail and a human life is tragically formed, both parties can, with a straight face, say that it was an ‘accident.’
This is like planting a seed in the ground and calling it a mistake when a tree begins to sprout because you thought the soil was infertile. You may have believed this, but still the seed is doing exactly what seeds are supposed to do, and you did exactly what a person is supposed to do if they want to make a tree grow. You may be a fool, but this was no accident.
That is positively Chestertonian. Compare this, from Chesterton's "Birth and Brain Control," with reference to a correspondent who wrote that a man does not want sex to have "unforeseen and undesired consequences" such as pregnancy. Says Chesterton, in response,

And then comes the joyous culmination and collapse; of calling a baby an unforeseen consequence of getting married. It would be entertaining to wander through the world with Mr. Neuberg, sharing all the unforeseen consequences of the most ordinary actions. Life must be full of surprises for him; he strikes a match and is indignant that it burns the sulphur; he throws a stone into a puddle and is irritated that it makes a splash; he keeps bees and is furious because they fertilise flowers; he breeds dogs and stands astounded before the unforeseen consequence of puppies. Wonder is a wonderful thing and, with less irritation, might be a beautiful thing. But we rather doubt whether anyone who argues like this has any right to a tone of such extreme intellectual arrogance.

Back to Matt Walsh:

The abstinence-before-marriage plan paints an affirmative and uplifting picture. It says, “this is something so good and so important and so joyful that you should leave it be until you grow up and find one special person to share it with.”
The ‘safe sex’ model, however, tells a sterilized and paranoid story. It says, “this is something so frivolous and so joyless that you can do it with whoever, for whatever reason, even if just to alleviate boredom. By the way, though it is just a recreational activity, like Parcheesi or air hockey, it can also lead to broken hearts, chlamydia, pregnancy, and AIDS. So, in that sense, it’s a little different from a board game. Hey, let’s look at some super-magnified images of genital warts!”
And, somehow, that version gets to pretend it’s the ‘positive’ and ‘encouraging’ one.

[snip]


You don’t want your kid to drink and drive, but if he did, you’d prefer he wear a seatbelt, right? Well, would you ever say to him: “junior, I know you’re going to drink and drive. You shouldn’t, but everyone does. So just wear your seatbelt”?
Why not?
Because that statement seriously dilutes your anti-drunk driving message, lends a tacit endorsement to the behavior, and assumes the worst in your son before he even has a chance to make his own choices?
Exactly.
Also, what is your job as a parent? Is it to give your child low bars, easy goals, and mild challenges to meet? Or is it to point her towards what is right and good, and then give her the tools to attain it?
Also, for how long have the majority of parents been using the “well, my kids are going to have sex anyway” logic? Decades, maybe? And has sex among unmarried people become generally more or less prevalent during that time? More, right? So do we, perhaps, have here a case of a self-fulfilling prophesy?

Okay, I've left a little unquoted, so feel free to go and read the rest.

3 comments:

William Luse said...

Yesterday, I followed your link to the guy's blog and my antivirus program popped up a malware warning. Not sure what that means exactly.

Lydia McGrew said...

That's very odd. McAfee Site Adviser gives it a green light.

William Luse said...

No problem this time.