7. The Deep End of the (Car) Pool
CAR TIME IS CONVERSATION TIME.
8. Naked and Unashamed
SPOUSES HAVE ONE ANOTHER’S PASSWORDS, AND PARENTS HAVE TOTAL ACCESS TO CHILDREN’S DEVICES.
For countless generations, sex was hardly ever easy, and it certainly was not everywhere. It was not easy, above all, because it was intimately connected to the begetting of children, and the arrival of a child is one of the most gloriously complicated events that can befall a human being. As far as possible from being everywhere, sex was meant to be confined to a single lifelong marital relationship, where –as almost any married couple can tell you- sex can be fulfilling and rewarding, but it is by no means always easy.
The easy-everywhereness of sex is dramatically increased by easy-everywhere access to alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs.
The norm, now, is for sex to be everywhere, available to everyone at every stage of life and in every configuration of desire, and to be easy –that is, unencumbered by consequences hang-ups, or commitments.
With sex dissociated so completely from the family, it is perhaps not surprising that family itself, so totally the opposite of easy-everywhere life, is being reconfigured.
Growing up without one’s biological father, specifically, is related to everything from early onset puberty, to early initiation of sexual activity, to vulnerability to sexual advances from nonbiologically related household members like stepfathers and half siblings.
The New Normal
Evidence is piling up that the earlier and the more you use porn, the less you are capable of real intimacy with real partners. There is no lasting sexual performance, let alone satisfaction, without the development of wisdom and courage.
All addictions feed on, and are strengthened by, emptiness.
So the best defense against porn, for every member of our family, is a full life. This is why the most important things we will do to prevent porn from taking over our lives and our children’s lives have nothing to do with sex.
A home where wisdom and courage come first; where our central spaces are full of satisfying, demanding opportunities for creativity; where we have regular breaks from technology and opportunities for deep rest and refreshment (where devices “sleep” somewhere other than our bedrooms and where both adults and children experience the satisfaction of learning in thick, embodied ways rather than thin, technological ways); where we’ve learned to manage boredom and where even our car trips are occasions for deep and meaningful conversation -this is the kind of home that can equip all of us with an immune system strong enough to resist pornography’s foolishness.
The Naked Truth
All sin begins with separation -hiding from our fellow human beings and our Creator, even if, at first, we simply hide in the “privacy” of our own thoughts, fears, and fantasies.
Martin Luther said, we can’t stop birds from flying over our head, but we can stop them from building a nest in our hair.
People who plunge into addiction can emerge from that shallow madness, retrain and rewire their brains, and rediscover real intimacy.