So as I posted last week, the idyllic sexual liberty on campus has resulted in some complaints.
Now that the old rules of sexual conduct have been scrapped, it turns out we need some new rules. In fact, sexual revolutionaries who wanted to craft a world of “no inhibitions sex” have found that sex always seems to need some rules to accompany it.
But with the “rape crisis” on campus, we now we have the legislatures involved. You know your romantic activities are going to be increasingly delightful once the government starts making laws governing foreplay. Why who better to solve the complications of men-women relationships than a politician?
So both California and New York have passed laws requiring college students to ask permission each step of the way—that is from hand-holding to the final frontier. And though rape is already against the law, apparently adding laws that govern every aspect of “the moves” one student puts on another is going to decrease misunderstandings and rape accusations.
Of course, these laws are aimed only at college students now, but the American Law Institute would like to see these kinds of laws apply to everyone. Oh please! Give us back the chaperone! That has to be better than going to jail if you try for second base without being waved on. Even the most uptight Victorian prude would never have considered passing laws this intrusive.
Even this New York Times writer is concerned about how these laws will actually be enforced (selectively, she fears).
I can hardly wait for the next romantic movie that incorporates this new dating methodology. No more wondering if the awkward boy will get up the gumption to kiss the girl who doesn’t know he’s really in love with her. He’ll have to tell us and her exactly what he is thinking before he does anything. Won’t that be entrancing?
Why before you know it, the legislatures will come up with some law that says men and women can’t have sex until they have signed a contract and have committed to lifelong fidelity.
Or maybe individuals will realize that the current situation is not liberating or life-enhancing and opt for some other way.
On some Ivy League campuses there are groups of students who affirm “the importance of the family, marriage, and a proper understanding for the role of sex and sexuality.” They call themselves The Anscombe Society (after a Christian philosopher named Elizabeth Anscombe). There is also site called The Love and Fidelity Network cataloging colleges where groups committed to chastity before marriage exist. While members represent a minority view (and sometimes a despised one), they are providing a safe haven for students who want to escape a sex-driven college culture they don’t find all that much fun.
It’s interesting that these groups are sometimes not well-received on campus. The thrust of campus sex politics now is “affirmative consent,” which means a person should not be forced or manipulated into having sex they don’t want to have. So progressive students are all about being able to say no. But they also don’t seem to cotton to these groups of people who never say yes (at least not until they are married)—particularly if the reasons for the no are religious.
Dawn Eden, a news editor, wrote a book called The Thrill of the Chaste (Catholic Edition): Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On that discusses the real costs of the hookup culture. She had been a part of that culture till she made a major change in her life. She says that “my life changed radically when after being an agnostic Jew for my entire adult life, I had what Christians would call a born-again experience.” She also changed her mind about having loveless sex for the sake of companionship and acceptance, and she began to live a chaste life. She writes about how putting sex before the relationship had kept her from forming relationships built on the things she knew were more important. The book narrates her adventures in chastity and her discoveries about how a life in relationship with God calls her to deeper relationships with others.
Another book that discusses chastity as a spiritual discipline is Lauren Winner’s Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity. Interestingly she too became a Jesus follower as an adult and also was from a Jewish background (her father was Jewish). She was a writer and she began publishing articles in such magazines as Christianity Today. In one article for that magazine, she casually mentioned reading a book in bed with her boyfriend. While apparently the CT editor didn’t take note of this situation, hundreds of CT readers did, and Winner found herself being introduced to Christian virtues she was not familiar with (through reactions both gentle and harsh).
This book is a result of her investigation into the virtues of Christian sexual purity. I found the book to be a deep meditation on a theology of sex, and thus it is not just for single people. The arguments she makes for chastity are so much deeper than the ones I hear from the purity proponents in churches. She doesn’t just quote the “be pure” verses but lays out a very insightful account of how God intends sex to lead us to think of Him. Yes, it’s certainly better to wait for marriage even if you are not a committed Christian. The dangers of having “unsafe sex” as well as multiple sexual partners who are not committed to you are well documented. But if you are a Christian, the practical hazards are not why you should abstain from sex before marriage—there are very serious spiritual matters at stake.
There are many books out there discussing the dangers of the hookup culture and of using others solely for the pleasure they can provide us. But these two books are a good start for your young person who is about to start participating in a culture that will almost insist they partake sexually.