Book Review: Sex At First Sight

Richard Simmons III has revealed the must understood and least discussed part of the culture of unrestrained sexuality and the hookup culture: the sexual liberty so praised and promoted is purchased at the cost of dignity, health, and intimacy. Those who have indulged in the culture are fighting many more sexual diseases than before, feel used and guilty for using others, struggle to develop relationships, and are feeling lonelier than ever.

Sex At First SightSex At First Sight by Richard E. Simmons III

Richard Simmons III has revealed the must understood and least discussed part of the culture of unrestrained sexuality and the hookup culture: the sexual liberty so praised and promoted is purchased at the cost of dignity, health, and intimacy. Those who have indulged in the culture are fighting many more sexual diseases than before, feel used and guilty for using others, struggle to develop relationships, and are feeling lonelier than ever.

Though Simmons presents the message from a Christian worldview, he cites numerous scholars, former proponents of the open sexuality movement, and other non-Christian experts who admit the truth of God’s moral regulations of sexuality despite their reluctance to follow Him. There are cautionary tales from college campuses and the therapists couch. Even those who encouraged the so-called sexual revolution have come to see that it did not grant freedom but became a prison. Feminists are seeing that the sexual revolution, far from freeing women, has made them more objectified and considered only for what they can do do please another, not for who they are.

Yet Simmons also presents the hope of escaping this culture, returning the dignity and peace of a virtuous life. He urges us to consider how God did not make sex dirty, as the critics claimed, but God made sex. It was a gift for man that, like other gifts, man has made an idol to his detriment. The Bible praises the sexual relationship in marriage as honorable and to be a pleasurable “knowing” of one’s spouse in a special, secret, and sacred way. The Bible also reveals the destructive consequences of an individual and society of sexual relations outside of that context.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. I’ve worked with so many young people for decades and heard the stories echoed in this book and have seen the impact, decades later, of people who followed this lifestyle when younger, whether they were people of faith or not. Everything in life has consequences whether felt immediately or in the far future. Don’t dismiss this important fact.

I woke up late one Saturday morning and read the whole thing before lunch so it will not be a long read but it is so packed with good information from secular and religious writers, therapists, psychologists, and people living in and recovering from this unfortunate social experiment. If you work with young people, or have children, read this book.

If you are a high school, college student, or past that age and are struggling with the emptiness, confusion, and loneliness that this life has brought PLEASE read this book. He will not preach at you; he will enlighten you gently and lovingly and show you the lies and ignorance that created this environment that is pressuring you and show you a great way of escape to find forgiveness, fulfillment, and true intimacy in a real relationship.

Buy from Amazon (affiliate link)

Do Not Awaken Love Until It Pleases

bigstock-Young-couple-taking-a-walk-on--43394470The most profound advice for romantic relationships is found several times in the Song of Solomon. The phrase “do not awaken love until it pleases” is used within the Song as an encouragement to others and a reminder to be patient in one’s own relationship. What does this phrase mean?

Love can be compared to a lovely flower that blooms beautiful in its proper season. No amount of sunlight, water, or nutrients can force the flower to bloom before its time. Attempts to physically force the flower from the bud will only damage or destroy it. However, if you provide the nutrients and proper environment the flower will bloom beautifully on its own and often at an unexpected, unobserved time.

Consider some common mistakes in failing to “awaken love until it pleases:”

  • Trying to force a romantic relationship. I have known frustrated people who liked someone then relentlessly pursued them trying to make them fall in love. They usually repelled the person instead. Usually the other person feels like prey in a predator’s shadow instead of flattered by the attention. A manipulative person might take advantage of the pursuer, acting interested to get what they want from the desparate person, then dropping them when they are finished playing.
  • Changing oneself to please another. When you try to change who you are to appeal to someone you are infatuated with, you are trying to force the flower open. Ultimately the relationship is destined to dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and failure because you will tire of playing the part and long to be yourself again. When you revert to yourself the other person will feel deceived and hurt that you could not be honest with them. They will probably be uninterested since they fell in love with a character you were playing–not you.
  • Settling for someone. Sometimes people will decide to “fall in love” or marry someone because they either dated for a long time or because they are older and “there aren’t many available men/women.” There is no predetermined time or natural law that states when people will fall in love. How sad it would be to just marry someone because of habit or fear then meet someone that would be the ideal spouse. If you have dated someone for years and you are often fighting or have no deep love for the person, spare yourselves future heartache and damage and break off the relationship so you can be ready to meet someone with whom love can bloom.
  • Rushing physical expressions of love. True love develops through friendship, not the passionate scenes of Hollywood productions. Couples should not feel pressure to hold hands, kiss, or show other physical signs of affection. In fact, it is healthy to hold off on any physical expressions while you let the relationship develop. When the physical expressions of love are introduced sometimes they become the focus to the neglect of the non-physical and the pressure to escalate the physical aspects of the relationship intensifies.
  • Sex before marriage. Some feel that if they give in dating what should only be given in marriage, that they will win the heart of their love interest. Statistically, it has the opposite effect. As with the one trying to force a relationship, a user will play on this tendency and get what they want until they are bored or an opportunity with someone else arises. God gave the sexual relationship for marriage to bind the couple closer together but the secret to its power is the ’til-death-do-you-part commitment between the husband and wife. Keeping this relationship for marriage alone will allow it to blossom and grow: a special flower for the husband and wife alone.

True love is more beautiful than any flower but it must be allowed to grow and bloom in its own time. “Do not awaken love until it pleases.” Be patient and enjoy the friendship until the love blooms then take care of it like a precious tender plant.