There is no shortage of jokes about sex. Late-night cable is full of would-be comedians who find the subject of sex to be an easy road to quick laughs. Movies aimed at the teen audience do their part to push "humor" that dehumanizes sex. Girls use food objects to teach their friends how to perform sexual acts. Boys masturbate with desserts. And how many times must we see a woman's breasts used as the consummate distraction for moronic males? These attempts at humor trivialize sex and ridicule people—both of which are creations of God. Trivializing his design and handiwork is anything but holy.
However, in most of these carnival sideshows found on television or in movies that get passed off as entertainment, any difficulty in a character's sex life produces only momentary anguish. A few scenes later the leading man or lady is back in full form, completely recovered from the temporary sexual setback and ready to love another day. The emotional damage is always short-lived in the media, and we're led to believe that this frantic pursuit of sexual fulfillment is, in fact, quite funny. But deep inside we know that such a view is terribly broken. When sex is treated with such disrespect in entertainment, and especially in real life, it's no laughing matter.
The amount of emotional, physical, and spiritual pain that is produced by the abuse of God's gift of sex is astounding. It ranges from sex being demeaned in the media to sexual predators getting depraved thrills by victimizing women and children to many forms of unholy sexual practices both within and outside marriage. There's a lot of pain associated with our sexuality, but we must face that pain squarely if we are to appreciate fully God's design for sacred sexuality.1