Sex is great stuff, an adventure that involves all the senses. It is even better when it stirs the emotions and the intellect.
Most people know this. Attraction of the flesh is one thing, but personal attraction, combined with the fleshly sort, takes the physical experience up several notches.
If you keep up with news now, you might get the impression that young people don't understand these simple facts.
I spoke yesterday about how high school students now are being taught to say yes to each escalation of interpersonal physical activity.
We read also now of a rape epidemic on college campuses, often involving people who are not sure the next day, or even months later, whether they really meant to do what they did.
And there are websites that allow people to exchange pictures and emojis and then to meet up for sex shortly thereafter.
All I can say about this stuff is this: Ick.
Before long, I fully expect that colleges and popular clubs will set up notary public stations during evening hours. The NPs will have consent forms detailing every potential bodily connection and specifications of limited time periods for same. People will mark their preferences, sign and have their agreements notarized before embracing. Smart college administrations probably will make blood alcohol tests available at the same locations.
The Real World
It's easy to be cynical, but the reality is that young people crave the ideal -- romantic love AND sex. We all want the grand passion.
How many poems, novels, movies and songs have there been over years that glorify the romantic experience?
Millions, that's how many.
Hollywood would have gone broke decades ago without romance and seduction.
In my experience, women want to be pursued, to be valued and, yes, to be seduced by partners whom they find attractive.
Men do too, by the way.
This is why the phrase, "swept off my feet," comes up again and again, even in rap lyrics.
Seduction is not achieved by force but by attention, flattery, romantic gestures and genuine interest. Once accomplished, the seduced and the seducer are moved and satisfied with their new connection.
Young people learn the facts of sex and reproduction in high school classes, usually from teachers who also stress the importance of self-respect and respect for others.
But teachers don't show inexperienced children how to approach each other. For these lessons, they study the behavior of older siblings and friends, or characters in movies. There are some pretty great romantic films, even among the crud.
And young people DO want romance in their lives.
In many cities now, young men issue extravagant "promposal" invitations to their desired prom dates. Think huge bannners stretched across high school entry halls or a capella quartets singing on family front porches. I am certain there have been swains wearing armor and riding white horses.
This may be a little goofy, but when it comes to romance, it's a pretty good way to start.
This Andrew Marvell poem is the most famous seduction piece in the English language.
To His Coy Mistress
Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
A hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.