The sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s changed most of America’s view on sex. Before that, it was shameful to even mention it. But now sex seems to be unhealthily glorified, and the news is constantly littered with sex crimes. Tom Krattenmaker, a writer for Religion News Services has proposed a solution to these crazy culture extremes.
“Do we need to go back to the more restrictive sex culture of old?” Krattenmaker asks. It’s a rhetorical question. The restrictive sex culture bred its own problems, plus it would be nearly impossible to go back now, he says. Instead, Krattenmaker suggests that it’s “time for a sexual counterrevolution”.
“We can credit the sexual revolution for honoring the joys of sex and creating space for more people to enjoy it in more ways, provided that no one is forced or harmed. But in elevating the pleasures of sex, the revolution contributed to the development of a greedy fixation on it that now prevails among some men,” Krattenmaker claims.
The problem Krattenmaker diagnoses is, “It’s made sex too much a form of recreation, too much the spoils of power and wealth, too much a commodity that men clamor to get and have.”
“When desire morphs into entitlement,” this wise author continues, “as it can easily do, sex-pursuers distort the women whose bodies they want.”
So how do we get culture back to the “spirit of love” that this revolution started with?
“All people are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated with honor and respect,” Krattenmaker begins, pulling on this Christian common ground, which he adds is also a principle taught in Islam.
He notes this wisdom for Jewish culture as well, “Sex [is] not merely a means of reproduction, but a source of joy and companionship between partners provided they approach one another without coercion, abuse or selfishness.”
“Despite the abuse and irresponsibility that have grown out of it, the sex revolution has done a lot of good, too,” Krattenmaker reminds us.
“Think about LGBT people, who enjoy rights and levels of acceptance that would have seemed unimaginable a half-century ago… women, not just to enjoy noncoercive sex on equal terms with men but to pursue careers and lives free of male dominance.”
Krattenmaker believes that we can create a healthy sexual culture based on these ideas, without wiping out all the good things that have come with celebrating sex.