Sex is easier than love: why sexuality is at the very heart of life and learning

Only if the Christian vision of sexuality can make sense of what I feel most deeply, of what I know most profoundly . . . only then can I be persuaded of the Christian vision of everything else.

Appears in Fall 2008 Issue: Making the most of college (third annual)
September 1st, 2008
Do you believe in love?
I believe in saying, 'I love you.'
—All That Jazz

A couple times each year I teach a course called Learning to Read the Word and the World, at the Same Time. We spend the first month exploring sexuality. Although the class has a reputation now, in some ways it is always a surprise for the students. Why? Simply, most have never been invited to think seriously about the meaning of sexuality.

Sex, they know, of course. Everywhere in every way in everything. As the wonderfully gifted poet Steve Turner puts it in "Creed," capturing with his characteristic brilliance the air we all breathe,

We believe in sex before, during,
and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

Or in the words of Jon Foreman, the front man for "Switchfoot," who puts his poetry to song,

Sex is currency
She sells cars,
She sells magazines
Addictive, bittersweet, clap your hands,
with the hopeless nicotines

Everyone's a lost romantic,
Since our love became a kissing show
Everyone's a Cassanova,
Come and pass me the mistletoe

Everyone's been scared to death of dying
here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It's easier to fake and smile and bribe

Most understand this, painfully so. They know the aching and the yearning that is always mixed up with the hope and dream of being young—and male or female. They know that there is something about being a body that is beautifully right, viz. "This is the way I am meant to be! This is how I am meant to feel—and I feel most alive when I feel this way!"

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