Sex is Love.
Most would agree with that statement. Some would even draw inspiration from it. But, is it true? Is sex, love?
We’ve all seen it before on the big screen, or on our own screens back home: the young couple lost in each other’s eyes. The music begins and their passion for one another becomes a physical manifestation. That heightened state of passion becomes so intense that the clothes fall off their bodies. Everything about that moment, the camera, lighting, music…it tells us they have finally done it. This couple has finally achieved the greatest love that the world has to offer, passionate “love making.” The two ideals are merged right there in front of us. As integral to each other as yin and yang, yet much closer in likeness.
Who could deny it? Sex is love.
Through the power of cinematography and music we are convinced of the splendid, matromonic harmony of sex and love. Didn’t you hear the music? Didn’t you see them making such sweet, sweet love?
And, there is truth to it – certainly. Even in the Christian ideal, sex was created for the purpose of joining two people together in matrimonic harmony…to keep that couple’s bond unbroken and to bring life into the world. So even here, again, sex is love.
The idea that sex is not love is foreign to us, because of these hollywood moments, these moments we’ve witnessed time and time again.
And yet, the implication that Sex is Love, is dangerous.
When it suits us, we don’t have a problem with the statement. The unification was made through Hollywood, through stories, it was made to look beautiful. It was made out to be the height of what it means to care for someone. Found in the coitus of two (or three) individuals was the ultimate depths of love.
But divorcing these two concepts is messy. It does not carry with it the same magical touch of the movies – and only through forceful and impactful imagery are we able to separate those two distinct entities, one from the other.
The images of a man molesting a child or a woman being raped by her boyfriend. In these two graphic, horrifying cases, the truth becomes so apparent – that it may be rejected outright. Sex is not love. Sex in these cases is the gratification of sexual appetite. Even Hollywood will aknowledge this and yet, in the same breath, they will tell us sex is love…still.
So the truth then. The truth is that sometimes, sex can be a representation of love, a true matrimonifc harmony, where both husband and wife are lost in each others arms.
But even in the case of a married man and woman, the love is in the relationship, it is characterized by the sacrificial nature of their relationship…how each of them serves the other. How each of them, each day, lives for the other.
Okay fine, then in this specific case of marriage, can we say that case sex is love?
No, we cannot: Sex is one of the many ways that they (the married couple but also, other couples) express their love, for one another. But, their love would remain even if they were never able to have sex again. Therefore, the love is not dependent on the sex.
In all cases, sex is not synonmous with the word love. Not in English, nor in the more complex, foundational languages such as Greek. Where, instead of one word for it, we have many, many words for love. The word love, in the Greek, is broken down into categories, where a selfish, erotic love, is the very lowest form of human affection. At the height of true love, the love that measures all others, love is defined as sacrificial.
In one example of such love, we have Christ, a figure of true love, dying for those who did nothing to deserve it (Romans 5:8).
And still, to this day, we have that same opportunity — to love others through charity. To love with this love is to sacrifice our own wants and needs for the needs and wants of others. This is true love. It does not look like a golden sunrise, music does not play the moment we give our parking spot to another. But just like the stories, this charitable form of love, this sacrificial love, is the love that will set us free from all hurt, pain, and condemnation.
Written by Nick Beard