I recently read a book about sexual patterns among young adults called Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker. Let’s just say that the news is not good. Americans are having sex younger and sooner in relationships, with more people and are ultimately experiencing less satisfaction in intimate relationships. As a psychologist, I can only imagine the emotional and spiritual fallout this trend will bring in the years to come!
The authors noted that young adults are far more concerned about what they eat than they are with whom they have sex. The proud vegan who sacrificially forgoes designer jeans to shop at Whole Foods may not be so concerned about her latest sexual rendezvous.
We are people who want to punish fast food restaurants for making people fat, but we are happy to leave the multi-billion dollar porn industry flourishing. The truth is, “junk sex” is killing us just as fast as junk food.
1. Junk Sex Creates an Insatiable Desire for More
I know you’ve done it. You’re starving, and the quickest, most accessible food is that bag of chips in the cupboard. So you start munching, and munching, and munching until the bag is empty. You can’t believe you ate the whole thing!
Did you know that junk food is intentionally designed to make you want more? The texture of it, the combinations of fats, proteins, and carbs—it actually lies to your brain. The chemical makeup of junk food tells your brain that you are eating, but not enough to be full. So you keep eating empty calories.
There are two sensations related to eating junk food: wanting more and then feeling sick. The same is true with casual sex.
Porn and casual sexual relationships play on your brain’s response to sexual novelty. You can literally get hooked on the high of a new sexual experience. The problem is that you must continue to seek and experience novel sexual things to repeat that same sexual high. It is why “junk sex” continually pushes the limits. But just like junk food, it will make you want more until that feeling of sickness sets in (shame, disgust, and regret). It creates an endless cycle of desire and regret.
2. Junk Sex Ruins Your Appetite for True Sustenance
One of the most frequent complaints I hear from young wives today is that their husbands have little desire for sex. The stereotype of women trying to avoid their husband’s sexual advances has been proven to be wrong in many marriages, particularly among young adults.
Without a doubt, the primary reason for this seeming disinterest in marital sex is that porn and other forms of sexual expression have ruined the appetite of many men. Over years, their brains have been fed unrealistic sexual images and sexual scenarios that make normal sex with a woman seem frustrating and dull. He’s been looking forward to sex within marriage, but now his wife’s beautiful body can’t even arouse him! He’s ashamed to admit his failure; it’s far safer and easier to continue with porn and masturbation.
While the impact of this approach to sex has impacted the majority of men in this generation, it is also beginning to affect women. Fifty Shades of Grey has made female “junk sex” vogue and acceptable even among Christian women.
Just like a constant diet of doughnuts and French fries will spoil your appetite for chicken and broccoli, “junk sex” destroys your appreciation of the great gift of sexual intimacy within a committed relationship.
3. Junk Sex Hides in Normalcy
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has made some pretty drastic statements about the dangers of obesity and poor eating habits. It is a crisis, an epidemic and the greatest health threat we are facing in North America. Yet, no one worries about junk food like they worry about Ebola or the bird flu. Junk food kills us slowly, silently, and integrated as a normal way of life. While our eating habits will ultimately shorten many of our lives, we don’t think of junk food as a poison because it’s all around us.
Friend, it is the same with junk sex. Sure, many 20somethings sleep around, and porn is almost as familiar as cheeseburgers. But the prevalence of this poison doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Junk sex is killing us emotionally and spiritually. It is destroying marriages before they even begin.
Bad Food Kills the Body, Bad Sex Kills the Spirit
Every comparison eventually breaks down, and so must this one. As much as junk food and “junk sex” have in common, they have one critical difference. First Corinthians 6:13 says, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies are made for sexual immorality. They are made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.” In this passage, Paul continues to teach on the importance of sexual purity for both singles and marrieds.
Eating junk food is unwise. Consuming “junk sex” is immoral. What we eat only affects our temporal bodies, but what we do with our sexuality impacts our eternal souls.
I recently spoke with a woman who, after describing her promiscuous past flat-out stated, “I feel like my soul is dead. I don’t know how to connect with a man, and I don’t know how to connect with God anymore.” Although you may not be able to physically see the damage done by casual sex, there are women all around us who can testify to its destructive force.
Just like a dietician isn’t trying to keep you from culinary happiness, God’s standards for sexual expression are ultimately to keep you from great harm. Can I challenge you to be honest with what you are consuming sexually? Will you be even more careful about the health your spirit and soul than you are with your body?