Sex, n. One of the God-given blessings of which different cultures are
most universally intolerant.
The most obvious example of this is found in the most ridiculously
idiotic monument of Victorian culture. Victorian thought held that,
because the marriage bed is private, it is to be an object of shame.
While claiming to be Christian, Victorian thought flaunted a blatant
disregard for the Song of Songs, an extended commentary on the words
in Genesis, "Male and female he created them." and "Two shall become
one," and utterly ignored Paul's words, commanding that the husband
and wife should yield to each other's conjugal rights. The Victorian
mind found sex to be, at best, an unfortunate but necessary evil in
order to produce children. Hence, in a letter to a newlywed bride, a
minister commanded that she give occasionally, give sparingly, and
give grudgingly; what they were to have as sex precluded the
possibility of seeing each other's bodies, and, if the husband began
to fondle or kiss anywhere not strictly necessary in order to produce
children, the wife was suddenly to excuse herself.
Current American culture, by contrast, considers sex to be a faceless,
underclothed, and underweight model holding a product in an
advertisement, or, taken further, still little more than a cheap
thrill, to toy with when other forms of amusement become boring. Sex
is not a cherished bond, a union of body, mind, and soul that
encompasses conversation and silent walks as well as foreplay and
intercourse, best described by the word 'know'; this present
lexicographer is reminded of monks who used pieces of the oldest known
Septuagint manuscript to start fires.
People who have cohabited and quickly introduced intercourse to
romance wonder why sex after marriage seems a contradiction in terms;
along with adulterers, they are befuddled at why it is so difficult to
keep a marriage together. Even the people who recognize certain limits
are inclined to ask, "How far can I go?" rather than, "How much do I
want to have left?"
The harm stemming from a culture using pornographic magazines and
casual sex is not that its people experience too much sex, but that
they experience too little.
Herein lies a very illuminating glimpse of American culture.
- -- Hayward's Unabridged Dictionary