Sunday, 3 February 2013

Some effects of petting
 Boys and girls should know what their sex experimentation is all about. A kiss for example, can express friendship and companionship and a general appreciation of other aspects of a relationship. What does petting express besides self-gratification? If a couple really care for each other, they should be bringing more to sex than mere pleasure. Outside of marriage, this is not possible, and sensible couples will not get involved in anything that will endanger emotional and intellectual growth in other spheres of their lives.            

The sex pleasure obtained from petting by mutual consent may satisfy a young couple for a while, but it may have the disadvantage of blocking any further interest in each other as persons. Such a relationship tends to become restricted; for the couple may have nothing else in common but the pleasure obtained from the exploitation of each other’s body.            

Many people who have talked over these problems with counsellors have admitted that other problems follow in the wake of petting. Social evenings, for example, become battles for control, and the light-hearted enjoyment of former times turns to tension and conflict. Often there is an over-all feeling of frustration, even disgust, with themselves and with sex in general. On the other hand, when sex is kept in an important place but in control, it is forming the attitudes and habits towards self and the opposite sex that will be carried on into later life.            

Once it is understood that sexual expression alone is not the most desirable goal in life, and that much more is needed to achieve satisfaction, it becomes obvious that it is sensible to sacrifice one kind of temporary satisfaction in order to realize a better set of values. Youth, for example, needs the respect of others, the ability to work in with others, particularly with friends and parents, and, most important of all, it needs self-respect.           

 Moreover, we do have stronger desires than the desire of sex satisfaction. We desire to be needed, for example; we desire to love and be loved. These desire do not manifest themselves as urgently as the sex desire sometime does, it is true, and so they often pass unnoticed.            Those who constantly indulge their sexual desires before marriage risk losing the ability to achieve these goals. They tend particularly to lose their self-respect. Such people often “protest too much” in trying to rationalise their behaviour, and, because of the dominance of their sexual desire, they have a sense of enslavement which may have far-reaching effects on their whole lives. Petting provides “instant pleasure”, but the easy way is not always the best way.            It must not be thought, however, that young people, drawn to each other in the normal “youth to youth since the world began” manner, ought to have a relationship lacking in warmth and affection. But if there is a true mutual appreciation, there will be concern and thoughtfulness in their relationship, and not a “using” of each other for self-gratification. In other words, the couple will treat each other as persons, and their attitude to each other will reflect their own attitude towards life in general.            

In sex matters, this means that those who are attracted to one another want a relationship that is based on much more than physical enjoyment. They want the good of the other person, they want the respect of those who already love and are responsible for that person, and they want to develop their own ability to know such a person. Thus, they prepare themselves for true love that may be yet to come.            

The giving-in to the desire for quick and easy sex pleasure is a stumbling-block to such developments. Sex pleasure becomes an end in itself. When sex demands are not made, however, couples learn to talk and listen to each other and get to know each other as persons. This gradually establishes a companionship basis that will provide a valuable contribution to their happiness in marriage, if the attraction proves to be a lasting one. If it does not, they will still have taken a valuable step towards maturity.