“Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues.”
— C.S. Lewis
At this very moment, I have an intense craving for some Milk Duds. The soft, chewy caramel wrapped in a luxurious, sweet milk chocolate? It haunts my dreams. All day long, my tongue says to my jaw, “Look at you, being lazy. You could be masticating Milk Duds til you’re sore. It’s basically exercise, you know.”
Whoever decided to introduce a 10 oz. package should be locked in San Quentin.
But I’m not snacking on Milk Duds. I’m not snacking on anything at the moment. I, like most of you, can recognize that I don’t need to indulge my every craving. More than that, doing so would be unhealthy for my body and also diminish my future enjoyment of those succulent morsels.
I think we need to take this logic just a little bit further. We are buying into a myth about sex and sexuality: any sexual urge that we don’t indulge gets labeled “repression,” and we’re told it leads to very bad things. But if we can understand our sexual appetite the same way we understand our culinary appetite, I think we can see very quickly that there is a difference between healthy urges and unhealthy urges, and there’s a line to draw between sexual indulgences that benefit us and those that do not.
If you guys are anything like me, very rarely do you crave the things that are healthy for you. I’m not sitting at my work desk thinking, “Damn, I need some carrots like right now.” If we’re looking for health, maybe the type and intensity of our cravings better measures what we should avoid rather than what we should embrace. I say this in relative ignorance, and also possibly stretching my analogy too far. But I hope we can all agree that not all urges need to be indulged, and health always requires sacrifice.
So no matter what metric you use to determine what constitutes healthy sexuality, embrace it. Hold it up against your cravings and decide whether that indulgence will benefit you, or whether it will leave you with the psycho-sexual equivalent of obesity.