I had an interesting debate with my mother about what sex is. I know I'm just 15, but I know enough from TV, school, and my four pregnant friends. you see, my mother and I have DRASTICALLY different views of sex. I believe that sex is how two devoted people consumate their marriage, sortof "sealing the deal". this means that their together, they've become one. I also believe that the reason sex feels good, and we want to do it, is so that we want to reproduce. it's basic science.
my mother feels that casual sex should be like "going to dinner". it doesn't matter if people just do it to do it. she also says people want to have sex to have sex, and it stops there (whereas I believe people want to to have children). my mother also believes that you shouldn't have to marry to have sex a/o live together. and that people shouldn't be stuck with just one lover for the rest of their lives. I ask her if she condones polygamy, and she does not. she believes that people can just casually have sex with anyone they care about, and not have to own up to any commitment.
who is correct?! am I to conservative when it comes to this? is my mother too liberal?
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
No, your are not being too conservative, but relent from nearing finger pointing at your mother (as others on this thread have wrongfully done) as she is being realistic, and quite miraculously honest to discuss this so practically with you. Her advice is based on reality, and the Church deals with reality above all else. I was raised in a staunchly conservative environment, and I have always been surprised to see how diverse sexuality is even amongst other conservative cultures/communities/traditions. Sexuality is so mysterious and pervasive that it defies easy definitions. Further, it is a taboo in many cultures and so open and honest dialogue is hard to find, but it crucial and necessary!
The trouble for you is that you are young, and inexperienced, and while I am by no means suggesting you should suddenly pursue experience, I would say you should reserve any absolute judgment or opinions on the matter, and take your mother's sincere words to heart. It doesn't sound like she is promoting hedonism or promiscuity as much as just being honest with you and also letting you know she is not prepared to judge or condemn you in the future of your life. That is a dear mother, and you are blessed to have her.
Science does not explain sex by the way, it only deals with the mechanics, not the psychology or the spirituality or especially the theological interpretations you have sparked and witnessed on this thread. Some of the ideas you have suggested, you might see in the future of your own and others experiences does not quite adequately deal with the matter. There is no easy or simple way to explain or understand sexuality, and you will witness in this world a wide range of diversity in this matter. A limited perspective will only become confused at the prospects of differences, but God operates in a real world, flaws and all, and we as Christians have to continually reevaluate the Will of God as it operates within out lives and the world, and make sense to each experience as it comes.
My own testimony is that in the context of love
, sexuality is an expression of altruism, and that it is the way to convert the physical sensations of sexuality from the potential for mere lust into the joy of selfless giving in pleasuring another person and also receiving such pleasure. This may be what the Apostle Paul was suggesting or what Saint John Chrystostum was hinting at. While many folks are able to express their bodies sexuality in self controlled ways, to easily maintain virginity, or celibacy, or abstinence or various things, this is a Gift from God as Christ explained regarding Eunuchs. For others, marriage and other appropriate sexual activities are condoned and approved expressions of the language of sexuality which in the human experience is complex, compelling and mysterious. But we see from experience that sexual expression defies such concepts and boxes, and is quite honestly a baffling phenomenon. Further remember not all marriage is love, and not all love is married, so even by my own definitions there arise divergences.
I have no advice for you other then to follow your heart, be careful never to condemn anyone, especially your own mother (not to suggest you were by the way) and I applaud your honesty and ability to ask the right questions, continue in it and God will reveal His Will and understanding to you. As a high school teacher, I see kids your age dealing with a lot of important life changes, including expressions of sexuality, and my only hope and ambition, is that in all things, is that kids (and adults) learn to express all their experiences in a healthy way, for the emotional, physical and spiritual body. In Orthodox, we teach a different Gospel of health then the textbooks, but the focus is the same, health.