When is sex a loving act? Only when it is given freely, totally, and faithfully. “Totally” means that it cannot be selfish, turning you (or him) into a mere object of pleasure. You are so much more than this. You deserve to be loved for who you are, not to be used as an object.
“Believe in yourself” We hear it all the time. It is the favorite message of Hollywood.
“Believe in yourself.” It is good advice, for it tells us to have confidence in ourselves and to persevere when we’re discouraged. But it also leaves us a little lost. Do you ever feel like you are just an empty shell, a false persona that you’ve built up to adapt to life around you?
Many times I’ve looked at myself and thought, “Who am I, anyway?” I dress a certain way so that I do/don’t stand out (depends on the occasion). I have a certain degree of charm, which I use to be comfortable in my social life. It gives me the power to win/lose friends. I’m known for the person that is good with kids, clumsy at sports, likes coffee made properly, swims, etc.
I talk, look, dress a certain way, do certain things. But if you take away these external qualities, what am I? Who am I really? Many times I’ve looked at myself and thought, “Man, I’m so empty.” Sound familiar? We all have these doubts.
It’s hard to know who you are in a world of conflicting messages. The media tells us that being too large, too short, too quiet, too poor, too anything, is unacceptable. It stirs us up to be dissatisfied with ourselves and to buy products that will improve our looks, our happiness, or our performance. It tells us that we’re inadequate as we are.
Then it tells us to “believe in yourself.” No wonder we feel confused!
Yet everything about you has a special purpose. Who are you? You are a human being. You have dignity and worth, and you have the special powers of a human being: You have a mind, free will, and a body. Your mind is for knowing, your will is for loving, and your body is made to be a gift.
We all have such a yearning to give ourselves away, to give ourselves completely to another person! That’s partly why we desire sex. Even though the glossy mags have you believe that sex is for getting as much pleasure from another person as possible, sex is much more than pleasure.
It involves your emotions, your psyche, and your identity. When you offer your body, you are also offering your self. Sex is the ultimate gift for someone you love. We do a lot of damage to our bodies when we give them away randomly and cheaply, because sex too has a purpose. It is not a random animal instinct. Animals cannot control their urges and response to those urges, but humans are free to give or not to give their bodies.
If someone is manipulating you, or demanding or forcing sex from you, this is not love. When is sex a loving act? Only when it is given freely, totally, and faithfully.
“Totally” means that it cannot be selfish, turning you (or him) into a mere object of pleasure. You are so much more than this. You deserve to be loved for who you are, not to be used as an object.
“Faithfully” means that you deserve commitment. Often, girls are tempted to use sex to get love from guys. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. “My boyfriend will break up with me if I stop having sex with him.” In this case, her boyfriend has to seriously reconsider his motives for dating her. She deserves commitment from her boyfriend. Perhaps he needs to hear from her that love isn’t just about getting sex. If a young man is to be worthy of you, he can be held to a high standard of behavior. Often, guys don’t know what they are capable of, but you might be surprised at what he will do to prove his love. I know many, many knights in shining armor, disguised as regular joe’s!
A little girl I know once said, when she was having a bath with her brother, “I’m a girl and Jake is a boy. I can tell he’s a boy, because he has a little tail.” A four year old notices that boys and girls look different, but as we get older, we notice that there are inner differences, too.
Boys and girls behave differently. My brother, for example, can shave, brush his teeth, spiff up his hair, use the toilet, and change his clothes, in two minutes flat. The teenage girls in our house, on the other hand, hold bathroom conferences. I don’t need to name you the other differences. There are essential emotional, sexual, and psychological differences between guys and girls which become glaringly obvious whenever they live together or work in the same office.
These differences might not seem very important, but being a woman is something to be proud of. As women, we have powers that men don’t have. We have the privilege of conceiving and nurturing a baby in our own body. We get to participate in the amazing bond of nursing. We have an awareness of our emotions that tends us to be more sensitive, adaptable, sympathetic, and intuitive.
What does all this mean? What is it for? It’s all part of the great complementarity of the sexes. Men and women are meant to be cherished by each other. When we use another individual, for pleasure or for any other reason, we work against our own happiness. “Believe in yourself-believe in your own worth” This is the first step in knowing who you really are. Giving of yourself is the ultimate step, but only when it can be done totally and faithfully with a guy who is doing likewise. Marriage, a total committment, is the right framework.