Question: Dear Luise: I am curious about why sexuality has so many different sides to it. Some religions see it as wrong and others embrace it. Many people see it as wrong outside of marriage, yet sex outside of marriage is extremely prevalent. I’m just coming into my own sexuality and am confused by so many differing options and advice. Lee
Answer: Dear Lee: I guess you could be male or female, so I won’t slant this in any special direction. No wonder you’re confused. Initially, sex is simply sex. The problems come when we look at how it is used and what it means from varying viewpoints. It might be easier to look at a parallel in something very different. Take cars, for instance. They aren’t good or bad. Some are not reliable and you are not safe in them. Some are too costly and you can go broke trying to buy and own one. You could go on and on, because the perceptions about cars are endless. It boils down to your opinion about cars, and how they figure into your life. What works for you? Does your approach work well in society? How could it work better?
I can honestly say that I have never heard of a religion that says sex is bad. Not that there may not be some, it’s just been my experience that they usually realize that new life is produced through sexual expression, and new life is a necessity…or it’s all over. You are right, that there are some pretty rigid rules out there, and that sexual appetites can ignore them. Look at how you were brought up and see if that model will work well for you. In the final analysis, you make your own rules. If you want to be a responsible adult then that takes some doing, some control and some goals. When I was raising my sons, I talked openly with them about how being irresponsible could harm them and others. They both grew up to be responsible partners but I don’t have a clue if anything I said even helped. I want to acknowledge you for your concern. You’re well on you way to working out your own code of ethics just by addressing this issue directly and openly. Blessings, Luise