When I was in college, a movie some of my friends and I became quite enamored with was 9 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger.
The 1986 R-rated movie is full of overtly sexual scenes and sexual manipulation (subtle and not-so-subtle).
It is disturbing and erotic, all at the same time, as it follows the unconventional and unhealthy relationship of two people. Kim Basinger’s character becomes conflicted in her sexual attraction to a man who is clearly so damaging to her.
No big surprise that a bunch of young 20-somethings would find this movie fascinating and alluring.
We probably were drawn to it not only out of curiosity (so much we didn’t know about sex), but also as an attempt to shore up our flimsy sense of adulthood. We watched this movie as if we were oh so sophisticated and grown up…as if we did indeed know so much about sex.
I actually remember thinking that. “Clearly, I’ve left childish teenage days behind if I’m watching this movie.” Oh the irony. To think of oneself as grown up, all while behaving as someone who is not—someone who needs a movie to make her feel like a grown up.
So many years have passed since I watched that movie. I am able to look back and see it as one more example (among so many) of how easily sex becomes warped—in media, in entertainment and in real life.
God meant sex for good. No wonder it’s so easily warped.
It’s fascinating how thin the line is between godliness in sex and distortion in sex. There are sexual scenes from 9 1/2 Weeks that in the right context of a loving marriage would be god-honoring. But put them in the context of a manipulative relationship between two people who are not married, and the sex becomes tainted. Ruined. Wrong on every level.
It is why we cannot lose sight of context.
9 1/2 Weeks is merely a movie. I know. And I know we could find countless other mainstream movies, as well as many not-mainstream movies, that would reveal this issue of context.
Across the societal landscape, examples abound of how sex has been skewed. We often have become desensitized to where things have gone astray. Not only are we no longer shocked by any mishandling of sex; we fully expect it, at least on some level, to show up in the societal landscape.
By the very nature of being God-designed, sex becomes a target to take out of context and twist. Our sinful free will nature contributes and, of course, Satan intentionally attacks anything that reflects God’s goodness.
God meant sex for good. No wonder it’s so easily warped.
In the right context of a loving marriage, sex has profound potential to fuel spiritual, emotional and physical oneness between a husband and wife. I’ve long believed that the extent to which we experience and learn of the goodness and holiness and pleasure of sex in marriage, that’s how far to the other end of the spectrum we will see it misused and misrepresented.
Hindsight, of course, is 20/20. Knowing what I know now, what would 50-year-old me say to 20-something me eager to watch the movie 9 1/2 Weeks? I’d probably tell her that context means everything.
The eroticism and tingly feels and passion are God ordained. But they are meant for the loving context of a covenant marital commitment between a husband and wife. They don’t just mean more in that context. All their value is in that context.
I would tell her that God meant sex for good. And to pay close attention to how easily it is warped.
For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts, as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.
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3 thoughts on “God Meant Sex for Good. No Wonder It’s So Easily Warped.”
I remember the movie. The much younger Mickey Rourke was good looking. Now men his age don’t have to try at all, but older women, Christians and otherwise are scolded for letting themselves go.
No doubt the movie is warped but why do Christians in the “CMBA” do not call out their fellow bloggers for things that are equally warped. One blogger promotes hogtieing, clitoral slapping and anal sex, and he has got his male readers believing this is something they are owed.
You can ramble about a movie from 3 decades ago but you can’t call out the seedy people in your own organization that warp and twist?
Or your strident, abrasive divorced friend that you keep plugging…you know who I mean. Don’t you think you should disclose EVERY TIME you are getting a kickback that she is divorced. I remember reading on her old blog that she said men shouldn’t even have to talk much or at all in order for their wives to provide them sex. Why is she divorced anyway?
One needs more than a piece of paper to full have the right context. Many Christian teachers aren’t teaching it.
If my younger unmarried self could have ever dreamed that one day I would be reading marriage advice from Christians that was seedier than 9 and a half weeks… I wouldn’t have believed it–but your fellow Christian marriage experts are putting it out there.
Until you are willing to step out of your “pick me” role to your male readers, you and similar bloggers don’t offer much to women when your tone is often shaming and strident.
Kate makes some important points. There are boundaries in married, Christian sex, and yet when a person reads various “Christian” marriage blogs one is confronted with so many confusing messages. For example: Is anal sex really permissible? If so, why?
Perhaps, ultimately the confusion stems from there being as many interpretations of Scripture as there are individuals reading it. Christians need to be careful about cherry picking certain verses and taking other verses out of context. As well, Christians need to govern their religious fervor with reason and common sense to avoid harmful extremes.
I remember a bunch of my friends watching and then talking about 9 1/2 Weeks (specifically, “the ice cube scene”). I never saw it. Never wanted to really. But you’re right: context matters. Also, privacy matters. I don’t want to watch that scene, or anyone doing the deed; rather, I want my sexual energy focused on the hubster. Finally, 9 1/2 weeks is nothing compared to my 27+ years! Now THAT is a love affair! 😉