Camassia has a great post up today on the teens and sex thing. Read it all.
In the comments below this morning's post, she also has a challenge for me:
You know Hugo, this is a side issue -- or maybe it's not such a side issue -- but I've been thinking about this term you keep using, "genital expression", and why it grates on me so much. I think it's because it makes it sounds like you think God gave you genitals as a sort of embedded paintbrush or musical instrument for you to express your inner feelings with. Look, you don't have to be a Roman Catholic, or even particularly religious, to acknowledge that our genitals exist for reproduction. Their other uses -- expression, pleasure, intimacy, etc. -- are only there because the primary purpose is there. I'm not going to go all Augustinian and say that is therefore the only good reason to have sex, because I think it's more complicated than that. But it does make me wonder how seriously to take the "sex is about more than just me" line if you keep insisting on calling it "expression."
With respect, I disagree about "primary purpose." I also would like to know exactly how the clitoris "exists for reproduction"!
Let's take for instance, the tongue. What is its purpose, talking or tasting? We use it to speak and to communicate; we use it to savor food. We might use it to provide someone else with sexual pleasure. Which of these is clearly primary? The tongue communicates outwardly through speech; it communicates inwardly through taste. Both taste and talking are gifts of the Creator, and it is easy to acknowledge multiple intended purposes for this particular organ of the body.
Why can we not reach the same agreement about our genitalia? Our genitals do play a role in reproduction (though the clitoris and the penis play very different ones). But the fact that they are reproductive does not mean that pleasure is not also a purpose! We are much more likely, over the course of a lifetime, to use our genitals more for pleasure than for procreation -- which might suggest that pleasure itself is primary. Pleasure is not a by-product of reproductivity any more than tasting is a byproduct of talking; pleasure is a good in and of itself.