Playing With Fire
“There is no such thing as safe sex. There never will be.” (Norman Mailer)
For a long time, I’ve thought the best metaphor for human sexuality is that of fire. In and of itself, fire is essentially good, and a necessary element for human survival. In the right context, within the proper constraints, it cooks our food, warms our bodies, and powers our machines. We cannot live without it. Outside of that context, however, fire is powerfully destructive. Forest fires, chemical explosions, lightning—fire is among the most destructive forces in the world.
Sex is the same way. Sex, I believe, is inherently good. In the right context, sexuality has the capability to connect human beings in the most intimate way possible, bonding them for life. And speaking of—sex has the power to create life itself! Every single one of us is the product of a sexual connection. Like fire, however, sex outside of the right constraints (a lifelong, committed relationship), sex has an immense power to destroy lives. Rape, molestation, disease, death, unwanted pregnancies, abortions—sex is, like fire, among the most powerfully destructive forces in the world.
This us why “hooking up” should be called “playing with fire.”