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SELF >> Sex ( the problem )

Sex ( the problem)

Within the gay community, sex often is the topic of discussion, or even a social event for some. Such tendency is expected since sexuality is what we have in common. This is partly why we are so stigmatized: we are often a symbol of sex. It is obvious, however, gay people are not sex people; we need not be more sexual than anyone else.

Due to the repression of sexual exploration in adolescence, gay young adults are often very sexually active for one or more of the following (yet not exhaustively listed) reasons: to identify with their sexuality, to gain pleasure, find acceptance, to make up for lost time of intimacy, to establish connection. Many hope to find real relationship through such ventures. Sadly, role model of good stable relationship are not always the most visible. And everyone in the sex pool is caught up in their own search for "the one".

Such sexually-active life is often empty and dissatisfying. Why do you think many sexually active people are still sad even though they have multiple sexual relationships in the past? The fast relieve - sex - is not the solution to their needs. Here, I am making a point against casual sex and open relationships (couples who agree on untold, extra-marital sex).

First, I would like to bring up a good definition of sexuality (which also involve intimacy):

Sexuality involves consideration of health, personal safety, politics, ethics, laws, and question regarding the meaning of life. (Intimacy between men, Driggs/Finn, 78)

It is important for gay men to distinguish sexuality and intimacy. Sexual relationship can often be short lived, emotionally and spiritually empty. On the other hand, intimacy involve long term commitments, decisions, and a willingness to grow as a spiritual and emotional being. The two are often confused because they both involve close connection with another person which often involve similar physical feelings, e.g. joy, excitement, and nervousness. Being able to distinguish the two and allow each to act appropriately is crucial in learning how to love deeply. Just because you needed to hug a person to feel affection, does not imply nakedness and orgasms.

Sex is never an emergency. One can always satisfy themselves physically with masturbation. And there are even less excuse for open relationship: if one can find sexual pleasure with your beloved partner, having sex outside of the relationship is a mere reaction to lustful feelings. To be clear, here are some significant disadvantages for casual sex:

- it diverges time and energy from cultivating a meaningful relationship

- the commitment and demanding nature of intimacy implies that extra-relational (and causal sex) sexual activity is obstructive for real spiritual and emotional fulfillment

- outside sex is often a vehicle for avoiding (or being ignorant about) issues in your primary (or potential) relationship

- there are S.T.D.s (like AIDS), don't play Russian roulette with you and your partner's life or health

- It breaks trust and honesty even though it was mutually agreed that the relationship is open. The unknown inevitably brews fear in time.

- sexual dishonestly is inherently disrespectful

- according to study, gay couple show a greater decline in sexual activity as a relationship prolongs (10+ years) because of anonymous open-sex policy: interest and trust eventually diminishes (Intimacy between men, Driggs/Finn)

- sexual interest in general also decrease because of deeper emotional problems (many related to what's been mentioned above)

- such problems can snowball and become harder to solve

The possible "advantage" of open or casual sex becomes silly in light of the above. The biggest taboo, even believed by some gay Christians, is that sexual contact brings emotional healing. But think about it: can short-lived, random physical contacts really save your eternally emotional and spiritual self. If sex is the answer, why are we still asking questions? It may be true that sexually active people don't have a problem with theirlife right now, or that conservative people don't have all the answers. However, it is obvious, through our experience as a community, our needs are not momentary; and momentary satisfaction is eventually going to fail us physically and spiritually. We may not have the perfect answer, but we know enough to see that a promiscuous approach is a dead end.

The misleading mental connection between intimacy and sex often shame people from attempting healthy intimacy. There is no simple formula to tell you how to fit the two together, but being able to distinguish the two and be more aware of your needs is a good place to start. Being homosexual does not simply mean just having sex with the people of the same gender. We have other needs as a holistic being. Balance your view, and I hope we all find our true love by the grace of God!