Sex is Not a Toy

… Or is it?

When I wrote the first draft of my woman’s novel, Play It Again, Sam, one of the issues I wanted to address in the story was the growing cavalier attitude about sex. This was back in the early 90s, and I had a contract for the book from Kennsington for their To Love Again series, which they dropped just before my book came out. The book languished for a while, then came out as an e-book a few years ago.

In the story, the central character, Samantha, is divorced after 25 years of marriage and one of the myriad questions she faces is what is she to do about sex. The normal human desires are there, but she no longer has a partner. Her friend, Margaret, encourages her to find someone and just have fun, but Sam doesn’t feel like that is something she can do. “I’ve been preaching to my kids about the dangers of casual sex. How can I be a hypocrite?”

In many ways that reflects my attitude about casual sex, and I was dismayed to read a recent article in The Dallas Morning News, Waiting to Wed by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker.  In the article they write that young adults, whom they keep referring to as emerging adults, are waiting longer and longer to get married, while pursuing active sex lives before hand. They quote psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, “Those who do not experiment with different partners are warned that they will eventually wonder what they are missing, to the detriment of their marriage.”

Who hasn’t played that what-if game about sex and about a lot of other things in life? But is doesn’t have to be a detriment. Think about it, even fantasize a bit if you want, then get back to appreciating what you have. 

The article continues to support the benefits of exploring different relationships, “…there is value placed on flexibility, autonomy, change, and the potential for upgrading.”

What? Is this like buying a car? Let’s start with a GEO and end up with a LEXUS?

One of the major reasons cited for delaying marriage was a belief that getting married signaled the end of really good sex.  Hmmmm, most of my contemporaries would disagree. Just thinking about…. no, never mind.

My point is, sexual intercourse is one of the most important intimate acts we can participate in, and I sure wish the younger generation would not have such a casual approach to it. It is not recreation. It is not the same as playing video games or any of the other things we do to amuse ourselves. It is part of building a relationship, and that is not a casual affair.

What do you think? I’m sure younger readers are going to have plenty to say. LOL

2 thoughts on “Sex is Not a Toy”

  1. I think times change. Long ago sex was for procreation only. Our grandparents did not have sex before marriage. Even our parents were stigmatized if they had sex before marriage – women were ostracized if they got pregnant. (Women have always taken the brunt of the venom more than men.) The stigma lessened with my generation and has lessened more with my children’s generation. It may continue to lessen or there may be a big shift back in the other way.

  2. Actually, I don’t know how young your readers have to be to consider sex ‘casual.’ I came of age in the 60’s. The pill had just come into being, there was no AIDs, and the motto was “make love, not war.” There are a lot of older folks who might be even more cavalier than some of the younger ones who have to consider a lot more consequences than those of my generation did.

    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

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