Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Does Physical Contact Lead to Sex?

This is the second in a two-part series addressing the claims of Lily Dunn that the Church taught her lies about sex. In my first post I agreed with two of her claims and gave my own solution for how the Church or her parents could have done it better. This time I'm going to disagree with her assertion that the Church (it is Churchianity really, not the orthodox teachings of the Church that come from Scripture) was wrong to teach her that "Any and all physical contact is like a gateway drug to sex."

I'm going to quote a paragraph here where she sums up her idea on this issue and sets up a straw man:

If you are committed to waiting until you’re married to have sex, there are many valid reasons to set boundaries on your physical relationship, but the fear of accidentally having sex shouldn’t be one of them.

The straw man in the above paragraph is the use of the word "accidentally." In her own analysis of the issue she accurately describes, I believe, the things she was being told. One of them was that kissing and petting become a "slippery slope" to more sexual activity, including intercourse. I am not sure why she would characterize this warning as her teachers saying that holding hands would lead to accidentally engaging in intercourse. I'm pretty sure, as a matter of fact I'm positive, that her teacher meant that a girl who engages in small sexual behaviors is more likely to choose to do more. Sex isn't something that happens to a woman, it is something she does. A dog bites a child. But a woman is a participant in sex. 

While Lily accuses her teachers of saying that "(g)irls don't care about sex" (Her point number 3), what they were very clearly saying in teaching her to avoid physical contact is that women care very much about sex. They care about it as much as men. At no point did she accuse her teachers of telling her to avoid physical contact because a man might misunderstand her willingness and thus force himself upon her. They were saying that when you want to bake bread, you first heat up the oven. If you have absolutely no intention of baking bread, why are you heating the oven?  I wonder if Lily expects her husband to preheat her oven before having sex with her? Does she not consider that when he is petting her and kissing her that he is hoping or wanting to move on to intercourse? This is not craziness and it is not a concept that only Christians believe. The difference between Christians and the world on this issue is not whether sexual contact begets more sexual contact, it is whether sexual contact between non-marrieds is appropriate. The world says it is ok, as long as the woman wants to do it, so naturally they aren't going to be saying, "don't hold hands" or "don't kiss."

This opens up her whole blog post to the criticism that while she may have believed the wrong things about sex, it was not because of what she was told but because of how she interpreted what she heard. Her teachers said that some sexual contact (physical touch) leads to more, she heard, "you might accidentally have sex." That is as ridiculous as it sounds, and it isn't what they said. She heard, "girls don't care about sex," but what they said was "you young women care about sex and will do it if you get aroused."

Here might be an appropriate place to discuss what IS a permitted amount of physical touch or romantic involvement between an unmarried man and woman. Lily certainly gave no guidelines as to what the Church should have taught her or whether the Scriptures address this issue. She seems to be saying that each woman should be free to decide that for herself because she knows herself and will make good decisions. Of course, all of history would be against that idea and all women, even old ones, need to have good boundaries to keep them from sin. We flee temptation, not revel in it to see how close we can come to sin without really doing it.

There is no Scripture saying how much physical contact non-marrieds can have. Perhaps the Word is arguing from its silence on the subject? After all, this is a very modern question. The answer to our ancestors was apparently obvious. I shall endeavor to address it by asking a question. What level of physical contact is acceptable between me, a married woman and a man who is not my husband? Would it be acceptable for me to sit in the back pew at church and hold hands with a man? Why not? What about kissing another man? What about letting him fondle me over my clothing? Put his arm around me while we walk on the beach? What is the reason that we cringe when we read those things? What is wrong with them? I am not talking about having sex with him, right?

Here is the answer. As far as we know from Scripture, romantic or sexual contact is only permitted between married people. A woman is to reserve her romantic and sexual behaviors (and they are the same thing) for her husband exclusively. If she is not married, she has no one upon whom she can bestow these behaviors. They are no more appropriate to shower upon on a man who is not her husband before she gets married than after she gets married. Sex is for married people, don't we all agree? It is wrong to include only intercourse in the definition of "sex". If so, fellatio is in the same category as hand holding. That is the "not sex" category. No serious person can say, "I can hold hands with this young man because the Bible doesn't prohibit it" unless she is also willing to say, "I can suck on the penis of this man because the Bible doesn't prohibit it." But then, maybe that is her argument to which I throw up my hands and say, "I get it, you won't have your behaviors restricted by anyone." The feminist imperative at work.

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