Sex Is Not Sexy

purpose of sex

I think it was my second year at Bible college when I first had this mini-revelation.

Like most young red-blooded Americans (especially of the virgin persuasion), I had this notion that marriage and sex would assuage all feelings of emptiness and quell all my upset desires. I looked forward to finding and marrying that one person who, once found, would satisfy me once and for all. As I’ve written about before, I have awoken from this misguided belief and cultivated more realistic expectations.

I specifically remember where I was this one night in college, though, when the seeds of this realization first took root. I had grabbed a couch from the sidewalk in Chicago and used it as my bed for an entire school year. At the time, I was reading Lauren Winner’s book Real Sex, which argues for a holistic and healthy view of sex and chastity, so the topic was heavy on my mind. I was grappling with this question of whether or not to continue pursuing a girl who was in my life at the time, and there on that tattered couch-bed, it hit me.

The Purpose of Sex

Sex will not satisfy me once and for all.

This ethereal entity which seemed like a haven of ecstasy and satisfaction would leave me no more permanently satisfied than a good meal fills up my stomach once and for all.

Give it enough time and the well runs dry again.

This thing which, since middle school, had seemed like the finish line to the human race would not satisfy me once and for all. I specifically remember the scene playing out in my imagination. I imagined myself married to a woman, regardless of how beautiful and (ahem) sexy, once the act was over, I would be in the same place I was in reality: just trying to fall asleep, get a good night’s sleep, and go on with life.

The act of sex would not permanently fill the elusive voids within my soul. After the act, physically speaking of course, I’d be content for a while but life would continue madly on, and the urge would return again. I realized it is not a permanent fix-all for whatever ails the insides of me.

You could say I realized that sex is not sexy.

I mean, what sort of terms come to mind when we think of the word sexyIsn’t it some sort of glamorous, polished and unrealistic ideal which is constantly sought after but never actually grasped?

Sexy is arousing.

Sexy smells nice and doesn’t have morning breath or hangnails.

Sexy is airbrushed and may or may not have had some plastic work done.

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Ethan is a speaker, writer, and photographer currently living in Los Angeles. He has lived on 6 continents, gone to 6 schools, had 28 jobs, and done 4 one-armed pull-ups. He recently graduated from Moody Bible Institute. Follow him at ethanrenoe.com.