He did not consult us when he invented sex.
Mere Christianity, C.S.Lewis.
I will start with a disclaimer that no. I do not revel or make it a habit to disagree with Lewis, who I truly think is the greatest Christian apologist that ever lived and I am not even a Christian. That should tell you something.
Just for today though, I will disagree with him.
The first phrase on this post is from his book where he discusses how we should be prepared for sex to be odd, repulsive and sometimes downright degenerate. How much of it we want, how we want to it. All of that. He advises us to welcome the oddity because rationale may be truly inadequate to explain the ins and out of the whole thing.
He says God did not consult us when he invented it so we should come prepared to deal with that.
I mean it’s true that God, the Higher Power or whatever you choose to believe didn’t consult us. I mean. he didn’t consult us about anything, but I think in that phrase Lewis was using the phrase more to mean ‘consider’ or maybe I’m just imposing my Freudian slip to his work because I really can’t stop interchanging ‘consider’ with ‘consult’ whenever I say it.
If that was the case though. I disagree.
I think God considered us particularly. So much so that he created a pocket called sexuality for us and us alone. Where our choice interacts with sex and sex interacts with our unconscious needs. Animals can’t have sexuality, in fact I think sex is the wrong word for what animals do. What they do is more or less just reproduction and what does reproduction tell us about them? That they live to die another day and further that cause.
So what does sex tell us about us? About our lives, how much we want it and why we want it at all, especially when it has nothing to do with reproduction. I mean to live to die another day is the obvious reason but that’s only part of it. What about the craving we have for it, the insatiability we have even after years of copulation. What does that tell us about our lives?
I think it tells us there is a great amount of loneliness in the world and it is as if this strange phenomenon of ‘horniness’ is the alert that we have more of it than we can handle at any one moment. By it, I mean loneliness.
In fact for me the physical desire for the act of sex is such a huge metaphor for the loneliness we feel and the true magnitude of it. The need to literally have someone hurtle into your body or you to theirs and I’m not talking about just the physical act even just kissing, it’s quite literal there too. I think in many ways sex is a comfort for the intense loneliness life has to offer us.
And I should say ‘correct sex’ that is just to mean, the kind of sex that fills the void, if only for a time. Any other kind of sex is incomplete in its goal thus more or less null and void, with the side effect of only increasing the hankering for ‘correct sex.’ The insatiability I was talking about earlier
Although, this void filling isn’t just about sex. I think sex is just a complex form of communication and more on the extreme side when you have had as much loneliness as you can take. ‘Horniness’ is not the alarm when the fire breaks out, it is the literal phone call to the firefighters when the heat is unbearable. There are plenty of remedies before we get to that level, not to say that those who do not want sex are not lonely because we all are and the physical desire has its roots in our biology too. But the desire coupled with the heightened intent to act on it usually points to the apex of loneliness.
As such this is why I think children have less inclination to want sex, usually. There is a kind of loneliness reserved only for the matured, when you no longer have your parents within that close reach.
In fact I think sex is the adult equivalent of bonding between babies and their mothers. When we are born we are truly vulnerable and saddled with our new individuality, I think we experience a profuse amount of loneliness. Enter mom. She provides the solace we need to encounter this new world we are now in away from uterine comfort.
When we want sex, we really just need to bond, badly, as the loneliness bites and thanks to our heightened awareness being adults the loneliness can be torturous. Unfortunately at that point bonding with our mothers like we used to, chest to chest, nipple to mouth is much less of an option.
I think this is why a mother dying in childbirth or a closed adoption is usually such a traumatic event. When the one person who could ease your new found loneliness is the one person you will never meet.