Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sex is not a recreational activity



There was an opinion piece in the Irish Times last week called Why are we still discussing the 'gay gene'? If you wish to decide the merits of the author's arguments, feel free to read it for yourself. What I was most perturbed by was what was almost a throwaway comment at the end of the:  'A person who disapproves of somebody on the basis of his or her recreational activities with consenting adults is a bigot.'

Leaving aside the other issues one might take with that statement, I am not happy with the suggestion that sex is a recreational activity (presuming he is using the word 'recreational' in the common sense of a way of passing the time, which the tone of the article leads me to believe). Sex is not a recreational activity. It is far more important than that.

The writer describes himself as an atheist, so most probably he won't see people as being made in the image of God or our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit. But one doesn't have to be a Christian to see all the evil that flows from reducing our intimate acts to the level of any other casual way of passing the time. We see it in the world every day: casual relationships which cause all kinds of heart-ache & lowering of self-esteem; teenage pregnancy; adultery; marital breakdown; the spread of STD's; the pressure to engage in unwanted sex.

And of course, if its only a recreational activity, then why should the natural result of sexual activity, pregnancy, be seen as anything other than a nuisance which an abortion can take care of?

So if only bad things come from this attitude, why does anyone try to pretend that it is a good thing, some kind of societal advance? This may be simplistic, but it is in large part, I think, because of an attitude that has gained prevalence that any kind of restriction on our behaviour is a bad thing and that we are brave and daring when we defy the authority that is trying to control us.

Well, guess what?  We no longer live in a society where those old controls are in place. There's no point being a rebel when the revolution is over. So maybe the time has come to simply wake up and have some common sense. Sex as a recreational activity is of no benefit to either the individual or society. It hurts everyone involved. And you don't have to believe in God to believe that.

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