“For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook.” -Quentin Crisp
It’s almost indisputable that we live in an instant gratification world. My husband and I constantly turn to the Internet to answer even the silliest of ponderings (take for instance, last night’s Wikipedia query as to why Cody on Dual Survival never wears shoes). We can barely stand not knowing the hourly weather forecast on an hourly basis; we order our movies “On Demand”; we save our financial information on every site we shop on so we can simply click “buy” whenever we want just about anything. In our country, in many ways, what we want is what we get.
And, in our hyper-sexualized, porn-fueled culture, this plays out by meaning that many satisfy their impulses by jumping into bed with just about whomever they want whenever they want. Just last week, I was reading an exchange between a magazine editor and reader discussing how it just might be beneficial to wait beyond the first date for people to see each other naked. Sadly, when I talk to singles (and pay attention, parents: teens too!)—both Christian and non-Christian—this reality plays out in the flesh far too often.
Despite my line of work, I was surprised when in last week’s popular Fox show, The Mindy Project, the show began with main character (played by Mindy Kaling of The Office) in bed with her new “ultra-cool” urban pastor boyfriend. Somehow, I had fallen into some sort of cultural naivete and assumed that part of the storyline would include the struggle between “anything goes”/hook-up-culture-minded Mindy and her boyfriend who would, as a Christian, naturally be saving himself for marriage. But no, the subject of sexual purity was not even addressed in a light, comedic fashion—it was simply bypassed as so many of our churches and “the churched” seem to be doing today.
Sadly though, by choosing to ignore God’s Word and the plan He prescribes for purity and sexual intimacy, we are settling for a shallow, Easy-Mac, and frankly unhealthy life relationship pattern. Additionally, as brain-science would support, we’re training ourselves to love instant sex over sex built on the sort of love, respect, trust and relational intimacy that can only come in the commitment of marriage. To those who would tell me that hook-up sex can be “pretty hot”, I would say this: Yes, I admit, I do like Easy-Mac. Sometimes, that quick, simple, microwavable, powder and water-made stuff hits the spot, but can it ever compare to the homemade, freshly-shredded cheese, oven-baked macaroni my grandmother used to make for me when I was growing up? No, it will never come close to being that good. And instant sex, whether it’s pornography, sex on a first date, or even sex outside of marriage will also always pale in comparison to the deeply intimate, vulnerable, passionate, other-focused sex that can bloom in a healthy marriage.
So, parents, what does all of this rambling mean for you? I hope it opens your eyes to the critical need to discuss healthy sex and healthy sexual boundaries with your kids. If you leave your kids to the whims of this culture; if you outsource your kids’ sexual education to pornography (which you are doing it you don’t use parental controls and filters on all Internet-connected devices); if you leave it at what is taught in school, then it’s highly likely that that your kids will cave time and time again to instant gratification sex, without ever knowing there is something greater to hold out for. We have a number of resources to help you, but to start, just take a quick look at our resource “The Talk”, which can help you get started in combatting the “instant sex is supreme” cultural myth in an age-appropriate fashion.