02 February 2008

This article makes me sad, too

"Even great sex can end in post-coital blues."
Q: I’m male, 33, and wonder why the majority of times after sex with a chick I feel depressed. It could be the greatest sex ever, but afterwards I'm depressed and can’t wait to get away from her. As soon as I’m back in my car and on the road I feel better. Any insights?
Brian Alexander, the column's author, replies with some quotes from literature, then serves up the obligatory scientific reason:
There may actually be a scientific reason why this happens, though I like the poetry better. It involves the hormone prolactin...
But ... but ...

What if the emotions are real? Some (I suspect many) men are suffering from a couple of issues: 1.) their emotions are separate from their selves, and entirely ignored unless they cause a problem - in which case, the man just wants to fix it, like a broken alternator, and just move on; and/or 2.) men are persuaded at every turn that sex is good and necessary, and it has nothing to do with love, permanence, etc.

But inside, we know the difference.

Men talk a good game, but I suspect that most want a loving home, too. This man is engaging in behaviour which the wisdom of ages says is best reserved for husbands and wives in the context of home life. When he doesn't have that, his body may be satisfied, but his soul cries out in loneliness and grief.

In fairness, Brian alludes to this by writing, "We communicate other things with sex, too, like satisfaction, bonding and commitment. If we aren’t emotionally invested and ready to communicate those, however, repenting in the car might seem like a great idea."

He does, of course, stop short of the obvious: "If we aren't emotionally invested and ready to communicate those with someone to whom we've committed ourselves in marriage, then we shouldn't write checks with the body that the soul can't cash," or something like that.

And he does point up gently the questioner's apparent immaturity: "By the way, if you try explaining any of this to a lover who asks what’s the rush, you might want to avoid calling her a 'chick.' Just a thought."

Great sex isn't just what happens in bed. Great sex is talking and paying the bills together and reluctantly making time to visit the folks and walking the dog at oh-dark-thirty when the mate wants to sleep. It's getting up in the morning and resolutely going to work, whether that's to an office, a construction site, or the kitchen. It's looking into the eyes of your child in one of those moments when it hits you just who that child is, and how he or she came to be. Mere sex alone is nothing compared to that, and going through the motions just to have physical closeness and nothing more is sad.

Maybe the man will figure that out one day. Maybe it's the Spirit, working on his soul. Let us pray for him to know what's really best for him and for the women he is now merely using.

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