Many (younger) people these days seem to have such a relaxed attitude about sex. Hooking up, living together (with several partners over a lifetime, and oftentimes with one partner as a substitute for marriage,) and casual sex on even the first date are no big deal to them. When challenged, a typical response is that it’s “no big deal; it’s just sex.”
While we may have many retorts to this statement, including quoting church teaching and the reasons behind the teaching, as well as statistical research showing the individual and societal harms from cohabitating, I thought an additional approach that “calls them on it” might also be appropriate, especially for those folks who are “too cool” to go along with the church. With that in mind, here are some thoughts you might try the next time this discussion comes up.
If it’s no big deal, then why do it? After all, it’s no big deal. Do you really want to waste your time doing something that doesn’t matter, lacks meaning, and is “no big deal?” Wouldn’t you rather spend your time on something that is a big deal?
If it’s no big deal, why is there so much pain (especially for the woman) if the relationship ends? After all, it’s “just sex” right? And if it feels good when you’re doing it, where does the pain come from when the relationship ends?
And what does “just sex” even mean? Is anything “just?” If we eat, are we “just eating?” If we pray, are we “just praying?” Is there not some deeper meaning to our actions? Certainly it may not feel like everything we do has a deeper meaning, but that doesn’t mean that our actions are trivial and without meaning (although some might be, but I bet you can come up with a deeper meaning for most if not all of what you do.)
If it’s “just sex,” why would you be mad if someone else had “just sex” with your girlfriend or boyfriend? After all, it’s “just sex” so why would you care? Is “sex” no different from a simple show of affection? If it’s “just sex,” why would you need to worry about disease or unplanned pregnancy or birth control? “Just sex” implies a trivial activity with no consequences.
If it’s just sex, why would you break up with me if I refuse to have “just sex” with you? After all, it’s “just meaningless sex.”
Would your spouse be mad at you if you had “just sex” with another partner, even for “just” one time? Why? It’s “just sex!”
I think these counter arguments prove the point that physical intimacy is way more than “just sex,” regardless of someone’s moral convictions. And if it’s “just sex,” then maybe people can “just say no!”