Symptoms of a Hyper-sexualized Culture: Tiger Woods & David Letterman

Let’s face it.  America and the whole of North America is obsessed with sex.  Actually the focus on sex is far more extensive, throughout most of the world there is a huge focus on sex.  The pornography industry makes billions of dollars for a reason.  However, it is not just the titillation and gratification of the erotic that is part of the focus but the focus on the comings and goings of famous people makes billions of dollars as well.  Talk of sex of any kind draws interest.  An article on this blog about some sexual inpropriety at the Metrodome brought many hits. The fact is in general people attend to and are even over-focused on conversation about sex. 

Currently the United States and world is attending to the choices and sexual behavior of Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Wood.  Tiger is famous worldwide for his ability to hit a little white ball into a small hole with a stick.  Tiger’s choices are not really any different than a lot of people, he simply has unlimited opportunities based on his fame and fortune.  Another famous person in the news for his sexual daliances is David Letterman.  His behavior and infidelity should not be a shock to anyone.  He has always been very flirtatious with female guests.  There are many, many others as much money is made tracking the sexual proclivities of those famous and infamous.

Now while the culture is fascinated by the sexual activities and indescretions of the famous and infamous, efforts are underway to encourage assorted sexual engagements and minimize the difficulties.  A recent study at the University of Minnesota concluded that casual sex does not result in negative emotional consequences. The study surveyed just over 1300 sexually active students and used self-esteem and depression questions to measure negative consecuences. The study concludes that in general sexually active people are not disturbed and feel generally good about there sexual encounters and do not feel bad.  While the researchers report the results a suprise when you examine the emphasis culture puts and teaches on sex it should not be a suprise. Rather, in this day and age people are prone to feel depressed and have lower self-esteem if they are not engaged in sexual encounters either committed or casual.

The evidence of hypersexualization of culture cannot simply be concluded from that study.  A study in Montreal recently made the news by indicating that there is no men in Montreal that are “porn virgins.” Universite de Montreal assistant professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse wanted to study the difference between men exposed to porn and those that had not been exposed to porn. He could not find any young men not exposed to porn.  He then went on to interview twenty men and concluded that porn does not have a negative impact on the viewers and their life choices.  In essence it minimized any negatives that come from use of porn and normalizes it, all based on interviewing twenty men and asking them about there porn viewing, sexuality, and relationships.  Ultimately it is simply another flawed study that supports the hyper-sexualization of culture.

The fact is sexual intimacy has really become about seeking pleasure and self-fullfillment. It is about not witholding that which is gratifying. Our culture no longer considers all the relational aspects of sex, rather is pushes the seeking of self-fullfillment.  When people such as Tiger Woods and David Letterman engage in that self-gratification, then society focuses on their lack of self-restraint and publicly mocks them for doing that which culture ultimately encourages.

Ultimately we are all responsible for our choices.  The values and mores that embrace self-gratification and fullfillment above all else are engrained, but we each have responsibility for our own choices.  There is a better way than that which is promoted in our culture. It is the way of a pure, committed relationship within the confines of marriage.  Sex should be the final step of intimacy between a man and woman and should reflect the bond that is already formed between the two. Sex is the joining together of two people and it creates a lasting bond.   In comparison, the current elevated view of sexual pleasure in society is a damaged view. Relationships suffer over and over because of choices made related to sexual self-fullfillment. 

So given these symptoms and the ongoing efforts to normalize and minimize the negative consequences the self-fullfillment approach to sex, how do we reduce those symptoms.  Well, the world is the way it is. Ultimately even if you personally maintained healthy sexual initimacy within the confines of marriage there are many temptations and snares to create negative relational consequences.  Both men and women a like are assualted with tempting sexual options to seek self-fullfillment.  However, at the end of the day, whether by sexual pleasures or other efforts to seek self-fullfillment they all end up returning with emptiness. For the pleasure is temporary, and each of us have an ongoing yearning for more.  That yearning for more is not satisfied by any level of pleasure and is but momentary.  The reason is ultimately we need connection with the Creator.  We need to be in proper relationship with the author of love.  We need to experience true love, instead many settle for the momentary and fleeting pleasures. The world distorts the reality of what was created to build and reflect love. The created pleasure is used to fill the whole from the loss of relationship to God and His love.  His love though is readily available and is far more satisfying in the long run than any pleasure of the moment.

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News Commentary: Jeff Dubay Update-Exchange one prison for another.

Well the Star Tribunehas reported that Jeff Dubay has been sentenced to 180 days in the workhouse for his drug related offenses.  Judge Smith also gave him a stiff warning that the next step is prison.  He had failed to follow through with the diversion program and substance abuse court and had failed twelve drug tests while missing eleven. 

Jeff sadly turned to cocaine to fill the emptiness inside after finding the truth in Ecclesiastes that what he had chased after was ultimately all nothing.  He lost everything including now his freedom for his drug.  Perhaps his lawyer is right and his moving to Brainard, Minnesota away from his drug connections would be the answer. However, this is often not the case for people who have turned to drugs for an answer.   Here it is moving from the prison of addiction to actual time in jail.  It is the told bottom of self.  

Jeff Dubay’s struggles are not uncommon and we all think we are good enough.  The mindset is that if you just have enough strength and will power and drive to succeed, you will do what it takes to be successful and avoid anything that can drag you down. Yet, each of us at one point or another turn to something to feel the emptiness.  It does not matter whether what is turned to is socially acceptable or not, but it is something that is an attempt to fill what Blaise Pascal called a “God-shaped vacuum” inside us all. The true satisfaction only comes when one is in right relationship with God. The only way anyone can get right with God is through Jesus the Messiah by turning from self and accepting the gift Jesus has to offer.  If you want more details on turning to Jesus please read this page: https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/how-to-become-a-christian/. Please don’t wait till you reach bottom to look to turn to Jesus.   The consequences and problems will still exist but there will be peace and the driving emptiness will be no more.

Now for any who struggle with addiction, including Jeff Dubay. I strongly recommend getting involved with the Teen Challenge treatment program.  They will deal with both the addiction issues as well as the connected spiritual issues.

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Please see this post for most recent thoughts and update: https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/addict-lost-in-addiction-and-the-pathway-to-death-1-12-10-update-on-jeff-dubay

News Commentary: Hilton Sex Scandal

Today the Star Tribune posted another article regarding sexual impropriety and scandal. This time it involves Hilton Executives who reportedly had an orgy in a Hilton banquet room that ultimately led to two employees leaving or being terminated from employment. Unlike the recent Metrodome incident, this incident involves people in positions of corporate power engaging in recreational sex but also using their power to dismiss those that had a problem with the event or refused to go along with the event.  The event would be considered similar to the infamous Vikings “Love Boat” the difference being the location.  This is a another example of folks who ultimately have deep emptiness turning to sexuality and substances to satisfy themselves with momentary pleasure.  It also displays what can happen when positions of power give individuals perhaps a sense of entitlement and invulnerability. 

       In terms of entitlement, it seems that when people attain levels of power it is often followed by several indulgences that often accompany the increase in power.  The more money and more you have, you have more access to whatever you want.  At some point, individuals can reach a point where they believe they have the right to do whatever they want.  In terms of this Hilton executive scandal, it can be viewed as they run the Hotel, they can do what they want within the privacy of their Hotel. If they want to use one of their banquet rooms for a party that devolves into a drunken orgy, they have that right.  Ultimately it becomes a viewpoint that these people in power view the power as giving them the right to do whatever they want and whatever anyone else thinks is irrelevant because they have the power and authority.  This kind of mindset can be seen here or anywhere any type of scandal rises to the surface.

      These people in power can also exhibit a sense of invulnerability.  It is a matter not only that they can do what they want, but that no matter what they do they can overcome any consequences.  Some people reach a level of influence, money, and power that they reach a point where there is no fear of consequences.  Perhaps years have gone by doing the exact same thing and no one complained or had any problems.  The longer a person goes without facing consequences or only receiving minimal consequences, the concern over consequences diminish.  However, there is a Biblical principle based on Numbers 32:23 that your sins will find you out.  Ultimately, no one is invulnerable to consequences.   Each of us sooner or later will face consequences to what we do. 

       And in reality, it is not just people in power who exhibit tendencies toward entitlement and invulnerability. Each of us in our own self focus exhibit both.  Anything that happens or reported we all have the capacity to do.   We all have selfish pursuits and things we feel we have a right to have and often do things thinking that we won’t face consequences.  Often times we do not, but ultimately there comes a time when the consequences occur.  If not in this life, then certainly in what comes after death.

      There is only one answer that gets us away from self centered pursuit.  There is only one way for ultimate freedom from the eternal consequences of our selfishness.  The answer is the Gospel. The answer is accepting Jesus sacrifice as taking on the consequences of our own selfish actions.  Only in Jesus is there freedom and true peace.  Yet, in this day and age not only is there a lack of regard for the temporary consequences of this life, but no consideration for the eternal.   Where are you today?  Are you caught up in your own pleasures and distractions.  Are you any different then the people being reported on in the article?  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Please consider your eternal position and let Jesus pay the price for you.  Turn from your selfish pursuits and turn to Jesus.  It is worth it.

New moral trend: heteroflexible

I recently came across this column on what is and it really gives evidence to the slippery slope the morality of our society. The article basically discusses a trend of girls kissing girls to attract men. This practice is being called being hetero-flexible.  It displays the trend toward focus on sexuality and sex as recreation. And yes, men find women kissing women attractive, there is something about it that is alluring.  Perhaps the visual stimulation that triggers arousal.  This trend is a symptom of doing what want and need to do to get what you want, which in this case is sexual interactions and arousal.  There maybe some who engage in practice simply to tease. 

     Regardless, we live in a world that engages in recreational sex. We live in  a world where people exchange physical intimacy for true intimacy.  We live in a world where the lines of what is publically acceptable keep being crossed. It is the world we live in. It is a sad thing.  It is sad to see what  should be the culmination of intimacy between two people and what results in two becoming one, relegated to recreation and a focus on seeking after physical pleasure. 

    The behavior being called hetroflexible simply relegates women to being objectified.  For the women who engage in the practice, they perhaps feel power in being able to trigger arousal and attention, but it is fleeting. 

    So the final question is how does a Christian respond? While the behavior is a sign of moral decay, it is a sign of people really longing to be loved. It is a sign of someone chasing after temporary pleasures and power.  It is a sign of someone deep down needs to be shown the true love of Jesus that is unconditional and gets beyond the woundedness that stems from the sexual pursuits. A Christian, if aware of someone engaging in such practice can point out the negatives of the behavior but should never do so in a condeming way. It is simply unhealthy behavior that will it may bring a temporary pleasure, in the end just leads to emptiness.