Sex dating and relationships a fresh approach
Clearly some physical activities (like shaking hands, a kiss on the cheek) are not inherently sexual. A great way to judge the sexual nature of a physical activity is to consider the activity against the backdrop of the nuclear family.And other physical activities (oral sex, fondling) are clearly sexual. We call it the “family test”: if I wouldn’t engage in x activity with a biological relative because it would be sexually inappropriate to do so, then that activity is, by definition, a sexual activity. There’s more to sexual purity than this, but framing things in this way provides a good deal of clarity regarding appropriate sexual boundaries.Foreplay is meant to propel us toward consummation.It shouldn’t surprise us that evangelical teens and singles are struggling to maintain sexual purity; we’ve basically said it’s OK to begin having sex, just as long as they don’t finish. In addition to exacerbating sexual impropriety, you also argue that dating relationships tend to create unhealthy emotional expectations. A primary concern of the book is to help pre-engaged couples keep their wits about them.Our conclusion in this matter is pretty countercultural, and so my temptation here is to provide a prolonged defense and justification.But since that would require an entire chapter’s worth, let me briefly state the argument and then hope people will go to the book for the details.For instance, most Christian women won’t make out with just any guy; but they will make out with their boyfriend. In short, we can’t slap the label “dating” on a male/female relationship and then justify engaging in sexual activity that we would otherwise deem inappropriate between unmarried men and women.
A main problem with contemporary dating relationships is that they tend to grant license to sexual activity that we would otherwise intuitively deem inappropriate. In our book, we argue that a dating relationship is really just a subset of the neighbor relationship, and thus must be governed by its sexual guidelines.
The great compromise of contemporary evangelical sexual ethics is that we have justified foreplay as a legitimate part of pre-marital relationships.