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Why Sex is Private

February 6, 2002

by Henry Makow Ph.D.

Do the crude sexual references and nudity in the mass media offend you?

Do you ever wonder if you are just prudish?


Conservatives are accused of being old fashioned but this isn't true. We cringe at public sex and nudity because sex is sacred and private.

I'm not referring to sex as physical release. That's masturbation.

I'm talking about making love.

The act of love expresses our fundamental spiritual need to overcome our ego-isolation.

Sex manifests the union of two people in Love.

God is Love. The union is marriage.

By definition, the act of love is about relationship, exclusivity and privacy.

This is the intimacy we all seek.

We are looking for release from the cage of the ego. We need to be accepted and cherished by another human being, and to give love. This environment where we can be "ourselves," is essential to our emotional and spiritual growth. It is marriage.

Powerful political and economic forces are opposed to love, marriage and family. They prefer that people remain isolated and dysfunctional vulnerable to sexual cues. They are imposing their immorality on us.

Although scientific studies say married people are happier and get more sex, marriage is rarely portrayed in positive terms. Instead, we are taught that relationships are based on sexual attraction. Bombarded with soft- core pornography, we are conditioned to always be "on the lookout", in a state of perpetual courtship.

The prime time TV program "Temptation Island" is an example: Six hard-body single couples arrive on a tropical island to "test" their feelings. They are paired off with six other hard-bodies in skimpy bathing suits. The game is to see who can resist. Most cannot. The couples cavort in bed with the TV audience as voyeur.

  A friend summed it up: "the producers of this show wish to prove that all loving committed relationships can be destroyed. Why? Because they hate the expression of heterosexual love, blessed by God, within a moral context. As agnostics, they view marriage as an artificial construct which is morally equivalent to any sexual contract, even a one-night stand."


Karl Marx once remarked that under socialism women would also be publicly owned. Isn't this what has happened?

Feminism promised to "empower" women. In fact women have become public property.

Economically, they are cogs in the machine. Young women are taught to eschew marriage, remain "independent" and to seek satisfaction in careers.

Sexually, they are a commodity on auction to the highest bidder. At a young age, in sex education classes, their dignity, privacy and natural modesty is stripped away. They are given role models like Britney Spears whose act is pure strip tease. When contraceptives fail, they and their babies become wards of the public services.

In contrast, look at the religious view of woman. Her sexuality is private and reserved for marriage. So is her mystery, her deepest self. She is covered. Her nakedness is an expression of her love. Her spiritual, emotional and physical selves are in sync.


Women spend billions trying to look beautiful. But men will attest that, regardless of this effort, women become very beautiful when they are loved.

In the love act, they transcend their individuality and know themselves to be divine. The Bible thus refers to a man "knowing" his wife.

More than anything, a woman wants to be "known": considered, cherished and utilized by her husband for a cause she believes in. She wants to surrender an aspect of her power in return for his love. This is how loving union takes place.

In this process, the man also transcends himself. He sees his wife as part of himself. His desire is not to stifle or control. He nurtures and wants her to flourish in her own right. She is part of him.

This mystical union is what makes people whole. This is the source of the Intimacy we seek.

If singles looked at potential partners in these terms, they would not be distracted by all and sundry. But sex is promoted as a substitute for love, marriage and family.

As inevitably we become frustrated, the sexual drumbeat becomes louder, more perverted, and more public.

Gay activists are leading this trend.

Gareth Kirby, the editor of the Vancouver gay newspaper Xtra West recently wrote that gays don't need marriage: "We know that a 30-year relationship is no better than a nine-week or nine-minute fling; it's different but no better. Both have value. We know that the instant intimacy involved in that perfect 20-minute [tryst] in Stanley Park can be profoundly beautiful thing..." (Quoted in "Reality" Jan/Feb 2002.)

As Kirby says, sex for many gays literally takes place in public, in washrooms and parks. It is flaunted in parades and on TV programs like "Will and Grace" or in Dan Savage's column "Savage Love." There is nothing "private" or intimate about multiple and/or anonymous partners.

This behavior strikes me as an act of defiance for having been deprived of a father's love.

Unable to find true intimacy, they "up the ante": engaging in sadomasochism or wallowing in filth. Based on sexual attraction, their relationships are short-lived and not exclusive. Surveys show that only 2% are long-term.

Heterosexuals are being encouraged to emulate the gay model. The "trend-setting" TV program "Sex and the City" is an example. The women are looking for love but the scope of their quest makes them unfit for it. The character Samantha has slept with hundreds of men. The other three women are not as ambitious. The program chronicles their relationships, and abounds in nudity and scatological references.

In conclusion, the attempt to achieve ersatz intimacy by sex is sick and doomed. Its promotion in popular culture is a deliberate attack on the human soul.

All human beings are looking for self-transcendence and wholeness. The only way this can be found is though love: union with another human being. Sex expresses this sacred marriage. That's why sex is private.

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at