My favorite movie? Pretty Woman, without a doubt! I watched it twice in one night when my friends and I sneaked back into the theater when we were in college. This is the ultimate chick flick. Julia Roberts had it made—a sexy, rich man wanted to take care of her and lavish attention on her with no strings attached. Of course, in 1990, the only way Hollywood could get away with portraying that ideal was to make the main character a prostitute—a likable one you’d want to be friends with—but a prostitute nonetheless. As if the picture of a woman who was in control of her sexuality and using it for her benefit was somehow unbecoming for the average woman.
Now we’ve grown into a more sophisticated sexual freedom. My girlfriends and I meet eligible single men at trendy clubs downtown. Most of the men there are stockbrokers or successful lawyers and doctors. We’re adults with disposable incomes and time on our hands.
I was nervous the first time I had a guy I met at a club over to my flat. I poured some drinks, we talked about our families and work and then we messed around until he had to go home for work the next day. I recall looking in the mirror the next morning and strangely not recognizing my own face right away, but I also remember the rush of feeling empowered. Every time I hook up with a guy, I feel as if I break through some other barrier. It’s as if I’m in control of my life in a way I couldn’t have imagined before.
I’m not actually sleeping with these guys. Some of my girlfriends do, but I’m just out to have fun. It wasn’t that long ago when only men were allowed to have fun like this, but this is an equal opportunity planet. More power to us!
The sexual revolution drastically changed how women viewed their sexuality. In the past, women hid their sexuality under restrictive clothing and severe social codes. Now we flaunt it. Women used to be envious of men’s supposed sexual freedom and the apparent power it gave them. Now we have that same “freedom,” but where has it gotten us?
Legalized abortion—A world in which even if a woman wants to keep her baby, her partner has no responsibility to stand beside her and support her. Too many women feel alone and pressured to abort their children. Is that freedom?
Disappointment—Relationships in which men won’t commit because they don’t have to. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
Emotional baggage—Past physical attachments, emotional scars and the weight of guilt so that women can’t enter fully into their marriages or the relationships God intended for them.
Disrespect—In a world of sexual freedom, women are often treated like (surprise, surprise) sex objects. When was the last time a man held the door for you?
Expectations—Just because a man buys you dinner doesn’t mean you owe him sex—not after one date, four dates, six months or two years.
We’re no better off sexually than our mothers and grandmothers. We may feel a sense of control, but it comes at a very high price—the price of our clean consciences, of our whole relationships, of our sexual purity.
God wants women to experience the powerful, intoxicating pleasures of their sexuality. Yet he has specific parameters in which that experience should take place—in a monogamous, marital relationship, one man and one woman, for life. Satan exploits a woman’s sexuality by enticing her to express herself sexually outside of God’s ideal—through promiscuity, premarital sex or adultery.
Sexual freedom God’s way
We think we feel empowered. God says we are enslaved—either to sin or to righteousness (see Romans 6:16).
We tell ourselves we’re in control when we use sex in relationships (since we have what men want).God calls that kind of control self-deception (see 1 Corinthians 3:18–19).
The world assures us sexual freedom is life’s highest reward. God warns us that we will reap what we sow. (see Galatians 6:7).
“CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new [sexually transmitted disease] infections occur each year.”
—CDC STD Surveillance 2006
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.” Galatians 5:13