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Sex, Marriage, Friendship

"The media continually takes the line that romance is indispensable
and sex vital to personal fulfilment.
Sex is seen as a safe, low-consequence activity engaged in by just about everyone
- except,oddly, within the context of lasting marriage,
where it can often represent stagnation and freedom-curtailing responsibility.

"In the real world, meanwhile,
friendship runs the risk of being demoted
- still important, perhaps, but a second-best option
without the prospect of upgrading to romance.

"Rootlessness and mobility have encouraged the expectation
that our partners should fulfil the role of every other kind of relationship,
and the same is true in reverse as
friendships have become increasingly sexualised."

Guy Brandon, Spring 2007, Engage, Cambridge, UK: The Jubilee Centre<

If Guy Brandon's insight is true - and I think it is - it explains a lot. I have for a long time been deeply concerned by the almost universal denigration of marriage and the implication poured through the media channels that sex-outside-marriage is mandatory. Not just 'ok' but mandatory, and one is to be scorned, sneered at, giggled over, laughed at, suspected, if one does not engage in sex-outside-marriage. In Defence of Marriage.

I have also been deeply concerned that intimate friendships without sex are very difficult these days. Female-male non-sexual intimacy is assumed to be impossible; it's not! Male-male and female-female intimacy is assumed to be a lurking homosexuality; what rot! Why cannot we engage in intimacy without that undue pressure towards sex! We've lost not only the ability for this, but even the vision that allows us to expect it's even possible. Let us reclaim that vision!

Note

This is, incidentally, also a massive demonstration of Simone Weil's statement ... about the distorting effect of media that operates at a deeper level than content. It operates at the level of worldview, and is religious in nature (in Dooyeweerd's sense of that term).
Number of visitors to these pages: Counter. Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2003.

Part of his xn pages, that open up various things from one of the Christian perspectives. Comments, queries welcome.

Created: 18 April 2007. Last updated: 23 October 2008 a bit expansion.