What Is Sex?

I am sure most of you are somewhat stunned at this title. What is sex? Doesn’t everyone know what sex is? I asked someone recently what it was and they gave me the straight answer. They mentioned four terms and left me to put the pieces together, but I will state that it was all what we might think crude. I don’t want to say dirty as sex is not dirty. It is sacred and beautiful.

That’s part of our problem in the church in fact. We’ve made sex something dirty. We’ve made talking about it a hands-off topic. We don’t speak about it from the pulpit except for when to not do it and how to not do it. When do we ever hear “Rejoice in the wife of your youth,” or “Drink your fill O lovers!”? If we do hear something good about sex, it’s always followed by a list of negatives.

Could it be this is why the Hollywood view is more popular to us? Honestly, I do have those same feelings of excitement when I know something is about to happen in a movie or TV show. I don’t get excited about sex though during church services because of the way we paint church. I don’t walk out of church often and think “Wow! I can’t wait til I get married!”

And rest assured, if we don’t accept the biblical view of sex, we’ll accept another view.

So let’s talk about sex.

First off, the first question. What is it?

This person I talked to had it wrong. Sex is not an action. Sex is a nature. It is what you are. It is not what you do. Intercourse is an action. Sex is what must be for that action to take place. If you are a lady, everything you do, you do as a female. You do not do it as a male. I, as a male, do everything I do as a man. I do not do it as a woman.

There are many things both of us can do. We can both drive cars. We can both walk and run. We can both do mathematics. We can both use logic and reason. We can both read and write books. Now I know there are some other differences even in these areas between men and women. Unlike many Politically Correct people today, I actually acknowledge that men and women are different.

There are some things that only men can do and only women can do. As a man, I am the only sex that can give the cell that starts a new life in a female. It’s not going to come from a lady. It’s going to come from someone of my sex. A lady, on the other hand, is the only one that can get pregnant and then bring a new life into the world. A man cannot do that.

That is when the action comes in. The action flows from the essence and the action is the fulfillment of each person doing their unique role. It is intercourse I believe that allows a man to fulfill a unique destiny that only he can fulfill and it is that which allows a woman to fulfill a unique destiny only she can fulfill. Naturally, it’s not essential to being a man or a woman though. Our Lord was not married, and he was the greatest man that ever lived, and he also had a very high view of marriage that made his own followers say that it was a difficult view.

The reason we have so many acting out early could be that we don’t have a full view of women or men today. We don’t know what masculinity is and we don’t know what femininity is. With my more Platonic bent, I am one who has a belief that masculinity and femininity are eternal realities. They are not physical but they are expressed in the physical in human beings. The man’s body is designed to show masculinity and the woman’s femininity.

These are both rooted in the nature of God. Man is made male and female in his image. (If this was literal, we’d be talking about a hermaphrodite concept of God.) God most often describes himself in masculine terminology in the Bible, but there are times he uses feminine terminology as well. I believe our Lord was God’s wisdom incarnate, and that wisdom was also described in feminine terms in Proverbs 8.

Thus, sex is sacred because those ideas are in God. We Christians are often accused of treating sex wrongly, and like I said earlier, there’s good basis for that. My contention is that the truth is the opposite. It’s the world that has a cheap view of sex. It’s the Christian that has an exalted view of it. After all, it goes all the way to the nature of God. One can’t get much higher than that.

For the world, it’s often just a pleasurable act. I think of the quote from Dr. Allison Cameron from House, a favorite TV show of mine:

“Sex could kill you. Do you know what the human body goes through when you have sex? Pupils dilate, arteries constrict, core temperature rises, heart races, blood pressure skyrockets, respiration becomes rapid and shallow, the brain fires bursts of electrical impulses from nowhere to nowhere, and secretions spit out of every gland, and the muscles tense and spasm like you’re lifting three times your body weight. It’s violent, it’s ugly and it’s messy, and if God hadn’t made it unbelievably fun, the human race would have died out eons ago.” (from Occam’s Razor)

I think many married couples would agree to the last part.

This is meant to be something fun and pleasurable. God made it that way. He designed the system. He invented all the parts. I marvel when I think of female beauty that God did make that body to be beautiful in the eyes of men like myself and while we do condemn lust, let us make sure that we are not condemning the joy of the handiwork of the creator.

It is pleasure, but it is not just pleasure. It is intimacy and the ultimate trust and also meant to bring about children. Unfortunately, if we treat it as just another fun thing a man and a woman can do together, we cheapen it. I have female friends that I could do many fun things with and enjoy their company, but if it came to having sexual intercourse, that would change everything. If it didn’t, I have a low view of intercourse, a low view of her, or both.

Now if you’re married, I believe you have a right to that intimacy and if you want to have a night of pleasure, then by all means go for it. (I think of someone who recently blogged on this topic who pointed out that his wife taught him how to play strip poker on their honeymoon. It’s pleasure like that that we single guys like to hear about and I think should.)

I also think it’s important that other people know about the pleasure. I’m not saying to go into private details of a sex life, but I’m saying the impression should be given to those of us who are still single and waiting that this is something awesome indeed and very enjoyable and we need to preserve ourselves so it can be as awesome as possible. If all we hear is a negative message, it will be hard to enjoy the thought at times. (And there are couples who have a hard time adjusting to seeing sex as positive after all their lives seeing it as negative. It can cause trouble on a honeymoon.)

In conclusion, what is sex? It’s a gift from above rooted in the nature of God. It is an action that flows out of masculinity and femininity. It is a gift to be enjoyed and too sacred to treat as if it were common and cheap. It is to be celebrated and honored by all because it is the ultimate gift that one person can give to another. It is the gift of themselves.