The Mystery of Sex

So I recently learned that Kim Kardashain took 1200 selfies and sent them to Kanye West as a Valentine’s Day gift, because apparently “all guys love it when a girl sends them sexy pics.”

Yesterday I was at the store and I saw the latest issue of Cosmo, and Emmy Rossum was on the cover. She was quoted as saying “Men only need two things—grilled cheese and sex.”

Today, on Hulu, I was looking at the list of movies they have available for watching, and one of them was simply called “Pornography.”

Sex is literally everywhere.

It’s so disappointing and disheartening. Sex is such a beautiful thing, and beautiful things should be honored and cherished, not thrown in your face until you become numb to them.

I grew up by the lake. I remember telling my mother as a child that the lake was just a giant puddle, and not very exciting. I saw it every day, and I thought it was lame.

Despite this, there was a part of me that knew I was wrong. There was a part of me that knew the lake was beautiful and special, and that it was actually quite a gift to be able to live near it. But I grew used to seeing it all the time, so I took it for granted.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to truly see the beauty of the lake, and now when I visit home I realize every moment I have there by the water is a moment spent basking in the glory of creation, and it’s awesome.

We, as a culture, have made sex into what that lake was to me as a child – something that is taken for granted. We see sex on every magazine cover, in every television show, and in every book we read. Sex is on nearly every website, and in the ads on social media, calling out to us to buy into it.

Sex is so in our face, and such a common thing, that we are slowly becoming more and more numb to it.

This is why pornography is so prevalent today. People are bored with sex, so they feel the need to find new and exciting ways to change it.

But if we could all just take some time to think about what sex really is and what it’s meant to be, maybe we would all appreciate it for the glory that it contains.

Sex is super awesome. It has power. It has mystery. It is beautiful.

But beautiful things are meant to be honored and cherished.

They are meant to be something, that when encountered, resound in the depths of our very being. Beautiful things are meant to be a little mysterious, to draw us in, and to slowly reveal to us the glory that lies within them.

Would you like to live a life void of beauty and mystery?

I have good news: you don’t have to.

You are meant to be a beautiful mystery to the world. You were made for unraveling and unveiling in the presence of someone who loves you, honors you, cherishes you, guards and protects you.

Ladies, you don’t have to send sexy pics to anyone just because Kim says it’s what men want. You don’t have to make grilled cheese sandwiches and give in to the pressure of having sex just because Emmy says it’s what men need. You don’t have to buy into sex as our world wants to sell it to you.

And men, you don’t have to be that guy. You don’t have to ask for sexy photos of your girlfriend, just because our world says you want them. You don’t have to be the guy who lives off grilled cheese and a woman’s body because you’re told it’s all you want. You don’t have to fall prey to the sex-obsessed stereotype the media portrays you to be.

We are all made for more.

Go against the culture—take mystery back! Claim sex for what it was meant to be! Let the beauty of human sexuality be a mystery to you! Let it be something you honor. Let it be something that, when you finally encounter it within marriage, rocks your world and reaches the depths of your very being, revealing to you the power that is unleashed in it—the creative power of the One who made you. Don’t let it become commonplace. Don’t let it get boring. Don’t take sex for granted. Because the best news is: it doesn’t have to be.

_______________________________________

ash

Ashley Ackerman is first and foremost a daughter of God, and after that she works for His glory as a high school religion teacher, campus minster, speaker, and blogger. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she earned her master’s degree in Theology. You can read more of Ashley’s blog posts by visiting her personal blog, “A Heart Made for Grace” where she shares her musings on all things Catholic.

36 Comments

  1. Is it really so hard to ALSO mention that sex is PLEASURABLE? I mean, would that really kill you? And maybe that’s why you see it everywhere? You make sex sound as exciting as reading Shakespeare in 11 pt. font, in the dark, narrated by Ben Stein!! Sexx is pleasurable too, and once you’ve had it, once you’ve tasted that fruit, to give it up forever is pretty tough, impossible really.

    By John | 3 years ago Reply
    • John – I think you missed the point of Ashley’s article. She says sex is something that should “rock your world and reach into the depths of your very being.” That sounds extremely pleasurable and exciting to me!

      If sex is something that’s readily available whenever you want, and you’re not in a lifelong committed relationship, sure, it’s pleasurable and thrilling, but it will get boring and unsatisfying pretty quickly. However, if you view sex as sacred, and patiently wait for that right person, and you commit your entire life to that person, sex can be truly fulfilling even after many years of marriage have passed. That’s how to not let sex be boring and commonplace.

      By Jessica | 3 years ago Reply
    • Nothing is impossible with God! But you wont read that in Cosmo.

      By tania | 3 years ago Reply
    • I think you’re missing the point here… Yes, sex is pleasurable, I think we ALL know it, no need to mention it because that’s not what this post is about.
      That’s precisely the point of this article, sex is about so much more than physical pleasure.
      No one is asking you to give up sex forever, so I really don’t now what you’re talking about. But in any case, giving up on sex is not impossible. Difficult yes, but far from impossible.

      By Claire | 3 years ago Reply
    • True, sex is pleasurable. But it is more than just that. You have set up sex to be not a good, but a drug. Drugs also can be pleasurable, very much so. But does that mean that we should encourage people to indulge in drugs such as morphine and Oxycontin? We call those people addicts and urge them to seek help so they can stop being a slave to drugs. You claim sex is even more so a slaver, for it is ‘impossible really’ to escape once you’ve had a taste. At least addicts can go through rehab…

      Or you can look at sex as this nice lady does. A beautiful thing worthy of holding in high esteem, but ultimately not the highest good. I can make this claim as one who has had sex, but am never going to have it again, as I am studying to be a priest. I can do this because their is a higher good than sex. And what’s your problem with Ben Stein?

      By Danny | 3 years ago Reply
    • Is sex just a drug?
      If so, “sexual love” is an oxymoron.

      By Gabriel | 3 years ago Reply
    • Saying “sex is pleasurable” is like saying “the sky is blue.” It’s something that everyone already knows, and isn’t going to teach anyone new information nor does it offer encouragement or guidance for people who are living (or trying to live) chaste lives. So there really isn’t a point in mentioning it on a blog like this.

      I think sex outside of marriage and pornography can be compared to drugs in that it’s easy to get addicted and difficult to stop once you’ve started it. But it is possible. Think of how many converts there were to Christianity from paganism in the early Church. And of how many saints from all centuries turned from sinful lifestyles. Humans are creatures of habit: if one is used to living in virtue, then it’s going to be difficult to sin because one’s conscience gets in the way. Temptation also doesn’t happen as frequently (unless one deliberately dwells on such thoughts/fantasizes about sex or puts oneself in situations where it would be easy to sin). Faith and reason tell that person why he/she should not sin. But in order to sin, one must somehow justify that sin in one’s mind by either convincing oneself (incorrectly) that it’s not a sin or by convincing oneself that a particular sin is the lesser of two evils so it’s better to sin than to commit an even worse sin. Once that path has been taken, it gets easier and easier to sin. One’s conscience shuts off to that particular sin. That is why it’s so difficult to get back to chastity, because the temptations are very strong. But as one continues to practice virtue, the temptations become easier to overcome and happen less frequently. What was once an addiction becomes something manageable. But this takes time and patience, and most people are so used to instant gratification that they do not feel they can wait for anything.

      By Stephanie | 3 years ago Reply
    • “…Sexx is pleasurable too, and once you’ve had it, once you’ve tasted that fruit, to give it up forever is pretty tough, impossible really.”

      Anything that has to do with doing the will of God and pleasing Our Lord is possible; as long as you do it with Him, with his grace. Sorry John, everything is possible with God, nothing is possible without God. Simple. God bless.

      By maricarmen | 3 years ago Reply
    • I started having sex at age 16 and I chose abstinence until marriage at age 17. I’ve been sex free for one year and three months. It’s possible, @John.

      By joy | 3 years ago Reply
    • John, I didn’t read anything that said sex wasn’t pleasurable. I don’t think that was the point of this any way.
      But more importantly no one said anything about giving up sex! All this is asking is that we use it as what it’s meant to be, an expression of love between a husband and his wife. Having chastity isn’t about repression, saying no to our sexual desires. It’s about using them as they are meant to be used like I said before. And I think priests have proven its more than possible to “give up sex forever” as you said.

      By Ryan | 3 years ago Reply
  2. Its so nice to read this. It makes me stronger in knowing what I do is right! When you have so many people telling you to your face should do this. Its not bad. Your citizen you. Because you choose to be pure. Thank you!

    By Kyrstin Gauss | 3 years ago Reply
  3. That was such a beautifully well written testament to the mystery and dignity of sex. Since my wedding day, my husband and I marvel at this divinely bestowed gift. it’s a treasure and society has trashed it. We need to return to the dignity of the mystery.

    By katherine | 3 years ago Reply
  4. This was just what I needed to hear at this time, so thank you

    By Rosa | 3 years ago Reply
  5. Wow ! this has to be one of the best articles I have read about the mystery of sex.. i was recently talking to my mum about how sex is everywhere in our culture and in the media today .. in comparison to when we were in the 90’s with our innocent cartoon network and music .. i really do wish sex could be given more value and cherished for what it truly is ..

    By Madonna | 3 years ago Reply
  6. I am a TOB member in Calcutta, India…. and ur teaching just amazes me…. truly it’s a blessing to know more of the different mysteries of a Christian life… thank u…

    By lisa paul | 3 years ago Reply
  7. NOBODY should do anything Kim K does or say…at least nobody with the least bit of self respect.

    By Jen | 3 years ago Reply
  8. Love this article keep writing.

    By Danny Snydrr | 3 years ago Reply
  9. Great article!

    By Lynne | 3 years ago Reply
  10. That is so true sex is a beautiful thing that needs to be honored. Let’s leave something for behind closed doors and the imitation.

    By Renee | 3 years ago Reply
  11. John – I think you missed the point of Ashley’s article. She says sex is something that should “rock your world and reach into the depths of your very being.” That sounds extremely pleasurable and exciting to me!

    If sex is something that’s readily available whenever you want, and you’re not in a lifelong committed relationship, sure, it’s pleasurable and thrilling, but it will get boring and unsatisfying pretty quickly. However, if you view sex as sacred, and patiently wait for that right person, and you commit your entire life to that person, sex can be truly fulfilling even after many years of marriage have passed. That’s how to not let sex be boring and commonplace.

    By Jessica | 3 years ago Reply
  12. I wrote a poem about this before swim practice 2 years ago…

    By Joe | 3 years ago Reply
  13. I think you should have focused more on how society uses and views sex in greater detail. The rest of it was really just assertion without grounds. Sex is a mystery, sex is beautiful, sex is etc. Sex can be a lot of things – you’re writing about what you think sex should be, but you haven’t really parsed out why (you think) it is the way it is other than that Kim Kardashian and Emmy Rossum said so. Why did they say so? What has occurred in our societal conscience to allow that to make news and effect the way people live their lives?

    I feel like this article could have been better if it went into the meat of this issue rather than expounding on what you think sex should be, especially when your viewpoint really draws no support from your writing. It just appears, “sex is such a beautiful thing, and beautiful things should be honored and cherished, not thrown in your face until you become numb to them”. What? Not that I’m disagreeing, but why?

    By Prolixitasty | 3 years ago Reply
    • I find it rather disheartening that common sense should need to be explained. The Truth is still the Truth because it is the Person of Christ rather than some abstraction. I think if more people simply said and lived by the Truth rather than take the apologetic approach or try to explain this SomeOne Who is beyond all human comprehension anyway, the world would be much more faithful today.
      I think this is a heartwarming post and one that needs no explanation or apology.

      By Iulia | 3 years ago Reply
  14. Great post!
    I would just like to add that the reason making love is undervalued is that people think it is just another appetite:
    A man has gotta eat! Through some grilled cheese at his slobbering
    mouth!
    A man has gotta have his sex! Through some sexy cows at the rabid
    bulls!
    It is sad. People have forgotten about what is attractive about sex, which is the loving self gift and physical, emotional, and spiritual union. I dare say, people have forgotten all about beauty! If women are only beautiful because they are “sexy”, then women don’t really possess any beauty. Male swine think sows are sexy.
    Real men are thrown to their knees before women’s beauty! And to receive such from a woman who gives it…How can’t a man fall in love!( I mean REAL Love!)
    That is the beauty of sex for a man, and even perverts know they are not worthy!

    By Gabriel | 3 years ago Reply
    • It is spelled THROW, not through. Apologies.

      By Gabriel | 3 years ago Reply
  15. I love this article!!! So well said! Thank you!

    By Maureen | 3 years ago Reply
    • Yes, this article is interesting 🙂

      By f.eka.k.r | 3 years ago Reply
  16. Does it really matter if people are having sex before marriage?? I’m not telling you how to live your life, so why are you trying to tell me how to live mine?? ✌️

    By Emilee | 3 years ago Reply
    • This makes me sad when someone says things like this. Why read an article of this nature on a chastity website if you’re going to respond this way?

      By Austin | 3 years ago Reply
    • Emilee I DO perfectly understand you. You have an opinion and it Christians need to honor you as a person while I do love you as a person and know from a loving Jesus that sex is what He says it will be and this can “take” years to see though you are free to think as you want to Emilee. Thanks for reading!

      By Nick Cihlar | 3 years ago Reply
  17. Thank you so much for writing this! As a youth growing up in today’s society, I can’t tell you how hard it is to explain to people that sex isn’t just something you lose easily. Thanks so much!

    By Emily | 3 years ago Reply
  18. Thank you for this article. Well said. Taken for granted so easily happens between 2 people. What role does self worth play when you have the desire to do this alone rather than with someone special?

    By juli | 3 years ago Reply
  19. I had sex with my now husband, 30 minutes after I met him. It didn’t make us love each other any less, and did not take anything away from the “mystery” of our relationship. In fact, it immediately got all the akwardness out of the way, and we were able to enjoy each other’s company, rather than worrying about trying to put padlocks around our underwear and shaming ourselves by being turned on.
    You believing chastity makes you good, and sex makes you shameful, does not make it true. Sexuality is part of human nature. I have had sex for fun, because I am bored, and because I am deeply in love. Not one of those times do I regret, and I am not any less of a person because of it. As a woman, it is my right to have sex whenever, and for whatever reason I feel like.
    It’s interesting that you feel that you are superior to other women, just because you aren’t having sex. You portray sexuality as something to be ashamed of, rather than a normal part of life. It’s also strange that you believe having sex too much will make it meaningless, despite the fact that you will surely have sex many times once married.
    When I was a child, we had a pond. I saw it every day. Each time I walked over and looked at it, I noticed something different and interesting. When I took the time to enjoy the view, I saw many mysteries. Perhaps your view of things is skewed.
    Also, grilled cheese and sex are both amazing.

    By jessica | 3 years ago Reply
  20. stay a virgin tell you get married because sex a beautiful thing and should only be shared with your spouse!!!!!!

    By Sunny | 3 years ago Reply
  21. Great article. Itz not about those of who are virgins feeling superior, itz about God. What would Jesus do? (WWJD). We direct our lives doesn’t mean we own our lives. We are pencils in the hands of the Creator. He’s the one going to judge us. Premarital sex can never be justified. Thanks Ashley for this wonderful article.

    By Isabel | 3 years ago Reply
  22. Agreed, marriage is too “new-fashioned” for it to dictate how and where and with whom to have sex. Let’s stick to the good-old fashioned way – that is; if you have sex with someone, they are technically your wife / husband – for life! Marriage just provides for a formula that says this is binding, but it was actually binding the very first time you slept with the person. Meaning that adultery abounds in our world!!!

    By Nondumiso | 3 years ago Reply

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