The Myth of Consequence Free Sex

by Matthew Archbold

I know a guy who married the wrong woman because for the first time in his life he was having sex. And he was fooled into thinking he was in love—for a while.

I know a girl who was smarter than seven colleges. She dropped out of high school when she got pregnant.

I know a guy who’s haunted by the abortion of a casual hook up.

I know a young woman who’s confused and angry because she never had a father.

I know a man who has a venereal disease and after a few dates with women he has to explain it to them and watch them recoil.

I knew a man who died of AIDS.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that sex was consequence free; whether it was the genius advertisers pushing The Pill, or Hugh Hefner, or just some kind of agreed upon cultural delusion, it doesn’t really matter. The reality is that we’re all stuck with the consequences of the myth of consequence free sex. In fact, we’ve promulgated the myth for so long we have generations for whom the thought of consequences to sexual relations is an oddity. Abstinence has become a cultural punchline.

Now, not only do we have an expectation of consequence free sex but we have a right. And this supposed “right” has left generations pursuing an unnatural myth with calamitous consequences for our culture. The myth has fostered the “right” to abortion and now the “right” to contraception, even at the expense of religious institutions.

Sex, I’m sorry to report, has consequences. Lots of them. Heartbreak, pregnancy, disease, abortion, and single parenthood are just some of them.

In college, I saw the results of the myth of consequence free sex. I can’t count the number of heartbroken girls who thought that sex meant more than a night spent rubbing up against a guy. And the guy in the morning would rub his head and wonder where she got the silly idea that they’d be something more than epidirmi to each other for an hour. He’d say, “I was honest. I didn’t promise her anything.” But honesty is not the greatest good. Being honest about using someone is still using them. The mere matter of mutual consent doesn’t make it a good.

I saw girls get pregnant. And what then? The girl pursued the logical ends of consequence-free sex. She had an abortion. So it’s not that the sex didn’t have a consequence. The consequence was the child. That child was killed in the womb. That is not inconsequential.

Right now, there is a serious demand that even religious institutions must pay for others to continue existing as if sex had no consequences. Here’s the thing—having sex is a choice. And so obsessed with maintaining their choice, many people are content to remove the choice from others in order to serve their choice.

The myth of consequence-free sex has led to millions of abortions, heartbreak, single parent families, rampant disease, and other calamities. We know there’s no such thing as free sex. It’s just a matter of who pays.

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2 Responses to The Myth of Consequence Free Sex

  1. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    This is a very gloomy and pessimistic view of sex.Of course some of the points are valid,but to roll out this litany of misery is a BAD THING.

    And it´s no good saying all this and expecting young people especially to refrain. Every advert uses sex to sell not only goods but self esteem. The last lines are spot on “it´s a matter of who pays” No mere metaphor I´d say, it´s all about cash and until Mr Archbold focuses on consumerism then he´s not going to make a difference. Maybe he does, elsewhere.

    “Having sex is NOT a choice for many young people,who have been conditioned otherwise.


  2. Jacquelyn Taylor Baumberg says:

    I agree with you, Mr. Whippy, that this is a litany of misery, but I cannot agree that rolling it out is a bad thing. Sometimes, unfortunately, it is necessary to be blunt and plainspoken about the seriousness of these social realities which hurt so many. It is the only way to show the widespread extent of the damage and to clarify the connections between different aspects of it. I hope that speaking clearly about these realities will help many to take a stronger stand to protect themselves and others against them, and to lead our society in a happier and healthier direction.


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