ex is super awesome! It is like the most awesome thing in the world. I know that most of you begin thinking about it from a very early age, which is completely natural, and there are a lot of resources out there that show you about all kinds of sex. You hear about it from fellow boys before you hear about it in the classroom. You see your female classmates blossoming as your grow older and, as your curiosity grows, most of you will find porn. You may discover magazines or movies or online porn with your friends as a “joke” or by yourself one night alone in your room. You realize that THIS is what sex is like. This is what the boys were talking about on the playground and in the locker room. This is what your parents and teachers told you about in cold, awkward, clinical terms. Oh, but this is so much better than you could have pictured in your own naive mind! You might only see it once or you might grow to partake in the world of porn every day. For this letter, I am going to assume that you have used porn occasionally, but not to the amount where it becomes obsessive. You only use it when you “need it”. This habit has continued on for many years — through your dating, possibly even your subsequent engagement and marriage. You were told in church that “porn is wrong”, but it was no more than a verbal slap on the wrist and a wink while the men around you looked the other way, as they themselves had gone through what you were going through.
I would like to take this moment to apologize as a member of both the church and the female sex as a whole. We have done a horrible job educating you about sex. We have left it up to your peers and the porn industry to do what we could not. There are so many things that you need to know before you continue on with your lives and, while I am not equipped to tell everything, I do hope I can give you some wisdom and insight.
I will speak first in my role as a woman. Porn is a lie. I’m sorry, guys, I know you didn’t want to think like that, but it really truly is a huge lie. (So is what most of the boys told you in the locker room) There are few situations in which you will find yourself that one might consider as “perfect conditions for sex”. Women are rarely that bendy or vocal and more than likely will not do half of the things you see in those movies. Most of your initial sexual encounters will be awkward, hesitant, and unsure, whether pre- or post-marital. You may even find yourself in a relationship with a woman who does not crave sex nearly as much as you do. This is relatively typical. We may enjoy sex just as much as you do when the time comes, but it is not constantly on our minds. The best way to approach your significant other in a sexual manner is through mutual exploration. She will not mind-read your porn thoughts and do exactly what you have seen on screen. You can tell her and show her what you would like, but please respect the fact that she has wants and desires of her own. Your relationship’s sexual preferences should be discovered as a couple. Please, men, do not be disappointed when she does not act, sound, or look like the women you have watched in sexual situations. Her body will be imperfect when viewed through that light. Her sexual skills will be lacking and her mannerisms will be less than adequate.
If you continue to view your women through the filter of porn, one of two things will happen. One, you will end each sexual encounter unsatisfied and turn to porn (or potentially other women) even more than you did in the first place, furthering your vicious cycle of high expectations and crashing let-downs. Two, your woman will want to make you happy, so she will extend herself far outside her sexual comfort zone and resent herself or you for making her feel that she needed to do this to keep you happy. Men, I know you are not constantly horny. I realize that is a horrible stereotype that we have placed on you because you think about it more than we do. I know you are intelligent, funny, and a contributing member of society. I know that you genuinely care about the person you are with and want the best for her. I am not joining the league of “man-haters” who believes that you only think with your penis. But this is a problem I have seen time and time again in teenage boys, college males, even middle-aged and elderly men. Sex is on your mind and I’m just trying to help clear the air.
As a member of the collective church, I’m sorry we’ve dropped the ball. We taught you how to pray, how to read your Bible, and how to work with those in need. And sometime in middle- to high- school, IF you are lucky, we mentioned sex. We separated you from the girls in the youth group and gave you a good “talking-to” about sex. We did all the talking about what the scriptures sex about not having sex before marriage and keeping yourselves pure (in both mind and body) and then asked if you guys had any questions. Oh, there might have been a brave soul in the room who raised his hand and asked something. There might have even been little slips of paper for you to write your questions on and hand them in so you could remain anonymous. After that day (or days, if you were really lucky), we were done. We failed to realize that you would probably not be comfortable in a group setting, even “anonymously”. We didn’t say, or didn’t emphasize the fact that you could come talk to us, ANY of us, about sex. Or maybe we did tell you that we would listen and talk to you, but rarely did we have the follow through. We didn’t form good enough bonds to make you feel comfortable talking to us about something so personal.
On behalf of the church, I am sorry.
There is nothing I can do to change what has happened to you. I want to beg of you, men of the churches, please change this. Please pray and be in communication with God as well as our boys. Please form relationships with the youth even if you are not one of those called to “work with the youth”, because you never know when one of them might need to talk to you. Please listen to them openly without interrupting, judging, or “teaching them”. This will be tough, as you have probably already been through what they are currently going through and have come out the other side. Talk to them, though. Listen and discuss their feelings. Teach them about women and how to love them as both sisters in Christ and potential spouses. Lead them not just by your words, but also by your actions and thoughts. I know you’re not perfect, so don’t try to be. This will close you off from the young men who are blatantly imperfect and you will be unable to connect with them. Be yourselves. This horrible epidemic that is spreading through our churches regarding ignoring sex can be stopped if we work at it. These younger men need you, please be there for them.
Males as a whole, thank you for reading. I hope you were of the mindset to read and absorb what I had to say. Even if you already knew all of what I said, I hope it brought a new perspective that helped you see women in a different (read: better) light. If anything, I pray for a renewed dedication to the women around you.