Yesterday the woman across the aisle from me on Southwest Airlines flight 362 was reading Cosmo. The page she was reading was all about sex.
Then she turned the page.
And that page was all about sex.
And so was the next.
And the next.
And the next.
After watching her flip through her primer on sex for the hour long flight (I, of course, was dutifully engrossed in a book on the Catholic Epistles) I was dismayed. After giving it careful thought for those 42 minutes, I decided that Cosmo was basically the equivalent of porn, but geared toward women rather than men. I was also on the verge of deciding that just as I would not want my daughter to marry some dude who looks at porn all the time, so I would not want my son to marry some chick who reads Cosmo.
But then I had to stand around for 7 minutes waiting for a shuttle to my rental car, so I gave the matter some further thought.
In particular, I started wondering where else people might go to talk about sex. Are there healthy and helpful venues for having discussions about sexuality as something that’s larger than the time we spend with someone else in bed? about differences in ways that men and women tend to experience and think about sex (even if stereotyped and not across the board true, these are often helpful starting points if we don’t get stuck in them)? about …. about… about… ?
And, in particular, are there good places for these conversations where people can speak honestly and struggle honestly even while striving to live within something like the parameters of a traditional Christian sexual ethic?
I’m guessing that there aren’t a lot of good answers to this question. When we talked about sex here a few weeks ago one of the voiced frustrations was that the only times Christians talk about sex is when we are telling you who you can and can’t sleep with–not so helpful, and not conducive to creating people who are holistically aware of themselves and devoted to God as beings that are not only physical and spiritual and emotional and relational and mental but also sexual.
So that’s my question for you: what have (and have not) been helpful places to engage and/or absorb conversations about sex, especially as a Christian?
I’m looking for some help here, because otherwise I’m going to have to get a subscription to Cosmo.