Why are they kissing already???

y r they kissing

by Kenneth Justice

~ Last week I was watching one of those typical films where the bad-guy-stereotype tries to hatch some ridiculous nefarious plot but is stopped by the hero of the film who happens to also save a beautiful damsel in distress and they fall in love during the process….

My 11 year old daughter (who was watching the film with me) remarked during the lovey-dovey moment of the film, “How come they are kissing already? He just met her!!” My daughter has made similar comments about other films, “The girls in these films always fall for the guy before they even know him!” she says

As you can see, my 11 year old isn’t too keen on getting hot-and-steamy with someone you’ve only just met…..But that is what our Culture seems to encourage….doesn’t it?

–)  Casual sex

–) No strings attached

–) Guilt-free-sex

–) One-night-stands

Aren’t those supposed to be fulfilling? Aren’t those things supposed to be what our baby boomer parents fought for during the free-love concerts of the 1960’s?

Yet……the further we get away from the 1960’s the further we get away from community…..You see….I’m all about community. While I’m not about to say community is the sacred cow that all other elements of culture should bow down to…..I do believe community is one of the more important components of a culture.

When we talk about feeling disconnected, lonely, isolated, and unloved we are usually talking about things that are interconnected with the quality of the community we enjoy…..or lack thereof.

I don’t need to tell you that Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social networking thrive off of our natural-born instinct toward community.

We are social creatures

We need positive forms of community.

—) When community in our real life is lacking…..we look for it elsewhere (enter Facebook)

—) When Social Networks fail us in our quest for community….it can leave us feeling even more disconnected and confused…..

But, what does that have to do with casual sex?”

Very simple; When a culture exchanges meaningful relationships with casual sex…..people can be left feeling a little bit lost…..When a culture exchanges meaningful relationships with casual community, people can be left feeling a little bit lost. Actually, treating anything important as nothing more than ‘casual’ can wreak disastrous consequences to many facets of a culture.

Last year while I was working at the rehab clinic I came face-to-face with hundreds of men who had wrecked their lives with various forms of addictive abuse…….and in between all of their stories I began to see a thread that tied each of these people together -> a lack of positive community in their lives

I must have heard at least 2 dozen men tell me, “I don’t need friends“. These men LOVED casual sex…….and they seemed to treat everything in their lives rather casually;

—) casual jobs

—-) casual friends

—-) casual family

—-) casual community

Much of my time was spend asking these clients, “Don’t you think you need to value your friends, family, community, and job a bit more than you currently do?” While some may think this article is all-about-sex….I would say, not necessarily…..

On the one hand; yes, I’m concerned with where this casual sex mentality might be taking us as a society…..But I’m also concerned with where this casual-community mentality is taking us also. If you’re familiar with my writing you know that I’m not about condemning….and that I’m all about asking questions…and this is what today’s post is all about; a question.

Do we really want to keep pursuing a casual approach to life or is it time to start being a bit more serious?

I’ll tell you one thing, I’m never casual about my coffee and I think it is time for another cup


Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

22 replies

  1. Really glad you peaked in on my site. I know exactly what you are saying about the 60’s, community and ‘social’ networks. Not only don’t they offer real community but they are invasive so almost anything you do online becomes public knowledge–what you think, what you read….Well you know the drift. Good job Kenneth. And I’m glad you don’t refer to yourself as Ken. >KB

  2. I think your daughter is very insightful! Women, in my opinion, who follow the model of the movies are pretty stupid. Getting to know the potential mate before actually mating is smart, safe, and successful. Don’t even get me started on exposing cleavage…..

  3. Seriousness in work and life is important

  4. You must be doing a great job with you daughter! And yes coffee is a very serious matter! 🙂

  5. You pose an interesting question. I cannot help and think that ‘casual’ is reminiscent to ‘disposable. The way I see it is that if you believe something is easy disposed then you have a casual approach and very limited room for serious things. It sums up our world today, right? Not necessarily. It all depends on your geographical location. Each place will either be more pronounced ‘casual’ than another will.
    Disposable/casual needs a rethink. We can no longer afford as a society to being blaze.

  6. Another thought provoking post from you. You are right about people feeling disconnected from community and leading empty lives. The lack of community and trust in institutions lead to a lot of paranoia and me first culture. Many people also treat marriage casually, it is not sacred any more. No wonder there is a resurgence of religion/born again Christians in North America. People belong to a community when they go to church.

  7. Oscar Wilde once said “Life is too important to be taken seriously…” and I use to believe this was true… I was one of those who treated all aspects of my life casually… I have changed over the past decade, but after years of being casual I now realize I don’t really know how to form real relationships… I am still in many ways isolated by my own choices only now my choices are very deliberate and not casual at all… I try my best to not engage in destructive behaviour anymore… a lifetime of “freelove” it has left me empty… so I know beyond a shadow of a doubt casual sex is not a good thing… its akin to sticking your face in a beehive for a momentary taste of honey… it may be sweet but you will be stung…

  8. I hope your daughter never loses her sense of propriety, or at least never conflates what she sees in film with real life. I was on the tail-end of the “free love” movement and thought it was more about free will than free sex, the right to say “no” as well as “yes.” In the 80s, I felt a growing tension in society to value the individual over the community, to focus on “me” rather than “us.” I agree that some social media is used to regain a sense of community that we’ve lost in the physical world (partly due to lack of mass transits, more suburbs, greater use of technology as in text messaging). In our social “evolution” we’ve devalued community. I do think it’s due to our (American) myth of the “rugged individual.” We are not supposed to need any one, thus we do not need to value friends or our family or our colleagues or our neighbors. No wonder that so many of us are so lonely.

  9. sometimes i feel like im the last person on this place that believes in taking one’s time when it comes to relationships; that im “old fashioned” at the ripe old age of 31 – this reassures me im not – thank God! this is very insightful (as always from you) but i totally agree. i think social media, being addicted to phones, etc., has caused people to be far to casual in any relationships – which is funny (odd) because the idea of those things were to bring people together and it’s done just the opposite. people have forgotten how to be considerate – when out in public they’re hooked to their phone checking facebook all the time; it’s kind of like that phone commercial where that woman was breaking up with that guy in multiple ways just because she had all that access on her phone and she was so excited and totally forgot he even had feelings. yeah very sad commentary if you ask me. people have been casual in “romantic” relationships for a while – women now do it to keep pace with men so to speak (if he can so can i mentality) but also because people are so much more selfish and shallow (generally speaking) so they hurt many in the dating process so people decide screw it, i’ll just have fun and not get hurt anymore – or something like that. just like people are not opting for marriage as much now because why? it just leads to divorce, etc., so may as well be casual. what they don’t see is that attitude contributes to the problem not solves it.

  10. Fantastic post. I couldn’t agree more.

  11. You know, I have pondered this myself, about the sexual revolution and free love and everything, and how breaking the stigma of one-night stands, and casual sex has led to a break down in the seriousness which people used to approach relationships with. ‘Back in the day’ you had to know someone, know their family even, before deciding to date, and then the dating process was long, included the families of both people, gave them a chance to really know who they were getting involved with, and then the proposal, and the marriage, before the delight of partaking in physical intimacy with this person. I’m not saying I think everyone has to be virgins until they’re married, and that marriage is the be all, end all goal in life, not at all. But, think of the safety that used to exist in knowing someone, and knowing their family before being involved with them, as opposed to all the date-rapes and “find em, f*** em forget em” mentality that is so pervasive, think of how much less baggage people had, think of how much less fatherless children there were, think of how much less single mothers on welfare there were. The sexual revolution, and the subsequent casual regard for sex outside of marriage had its benefits, but the degenerative affects on society have been very serious indeed. Another wonderful post, quite thought provoking!

    • I think, if you’re up for it, and you’re smart/ safe about it, casual sex is good. If casual relationships aren’t your *only* relationships, if you’re still enveloped in some manner of community, then it’s harder for a casual thing here or there to damage you. If you’re close with your family and have good, supportive friends that you’re able to get your needs from (and give in return), then something casual on the side can still be great.

    • Kristin,

      I think we look at the subject very similarly 🙂

  12. Your daughter is awesome 🙂 And I believe you’ve hit the nail on the head about community.

  13. Brilliant write up and worth giving a thought, I in fact agree with everything you talked about and even the questiones your daughter raised!! Sometimes even when i watch movies i ask myself , is that even realistic ?

  14. Pre-pubertal kids often show amazing insight and common sense – then the hormones kick in and they turn into teenagers. Cherish your daughter and help her stay sane – taking nothing for granted and questioning, questioning. Or will that drive you both crazy :-D?

  15. You hit the nail on the head with this post. And yes there is a connection, as you describe. Back in 1998 I was living downtown across a very famous psychanalysis center. It was summer and pretty hot, so both my windows and theirs were open and I coudn’t help but hearing an angry woman shouting:” You talk about problems? Give me some money and I am out of here. All problems solved.” This is the same approach with casual relations and casual life. You think that there is one way of dealing with things, when in fact all actions are part of the way of life you live and eventually who you are.

    Your little girl is on the right track!

  16. I don’t think it can be one way or the other. Both kinds of society are of value, depending on what a person wants and needs. Not everyone who lives on the casual side ends up in a clinic and vice versa. We need options so that people can follow their own path, so to speak. We also need to define what a non-casual community would look like. Who has that definition? Wouldn’t it be different for everyone? Why should people be committed to their jobs when jobs are no longer committed to the people? Perhaps we are evolving into a more casual society. Maybe that’s good and maybe it’s not but it’s happening for a reason. Everything is happening faster and faster and we are being desensitized by the media to the point where things that used to mean something, now mean nothing at all. I can’t imagine where we will end up but having a more tightly controlled society, if I remember past generations correctly, didn’t make anyone happy. Rock & roll was the devil’s tool. Divorce was destroying our society, marriage was forever, no matter how hateful it was…blah, blah, blah. People believed that…for them it was true. Is that what’s happening again? Are the changes we see taking place truly terrible or do we just see them from an old perspective, the same way past generations saw they future unfolding in front of them. I don’t know. I don’t have any answers but I think we need to look very carefully at where we point our fingers.

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