Free Love: Is It Really Free?

Webster’s dictionary defines free love as:

1: the practice of living openly with one of the opposite sex without marriage; and 2: sexual relations without any commitments by either partner.

Many people consider their choice to have sex an act of freedom—Freedom to make their own decisions, freedom to express their love to another, freedom to enjoy physical pleasure without commitment, or the freedom to feel independent and in control of their own body. Webster’s dictionary defines freedom as:

1: the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : Independence.

3 common reasons why people start having sex:

1) “We’re in love.” There’s nothing like the euphoria of falling in love. When he kisses you, the world around you disappears. You can’t imagine life without him. Expressing your love through sex seems only natural, so why wouldn’t you take that next step?

2) “I’m afraid he’ll leave me for someone else.” Are you sleeping with your boyfriend out of obligation? Do you worry that he’ll be bored with you if you don’t? Does he pressure you to sleep with him to prove your love?

3) “I need to have sex to feel loved and to feel confident.” Does having sex make you feel more attractive? Does it make you feel wanted and accepted? Do you question your self-worth when you’re not having sex?

Are these 3 reasons “acts of freedom” by definition?

1) We’re in love. If he doesn’t intend to marry you, then he isn’t fully committed to you. When you give yourself fully to someone and they reject you, the feelings of heartbreak, insecurity and regret can imprison you for many years to come. Freedom is 1: the quality or state of being free.

2) I’m afraid he’ll leave me for someone else. True love does not demand sex when you aren’t ready to give it. True love does not use sex to control or threaten. If you fear he’ll leave you if you don’t sleep with him, then he’s only using you. Freedom is a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.

3) I need to have sex to feel loved and to feel confident. Sex without love can leave you feeling empty and used; worthless. You may find it difficult to maintain a lasting relationship when you do want one, and multiple partners put you at greater risk of STI’s. If your confidence comes from external sources only, it will rely completely on the fickle emotions, attractions and commitments of others. In other words, if your self-esteem is contingent on regular sex, you are in bondage to the give-and-take affections of others. Freedom is b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : Independence.

The definition of Free Love conflicts with the definition of Freedom. Why? Because there is no freedom in a broken heart, low self-esteem, unwanted pregnancy, or an STI.

But why should one wait for marriage when the divorce rates are so high? It seems there is no more guarantee of commitment in marriage than there is outside of marriage. The truth is, there are no guarantees in life; we can’t see the future, and people we love and trust sometimes let us down. Simply being married doesn’t guarantee your partner won’t one day betray you or leave you.

SO, WHY WAIT?

It’s about self-respect and integrity. It’s about doing the best you can to protect your body and your heart from desolation, from enslavement, from disease. True sexual freedom is the freedom from coercion, guilt, rejection, unwanted pregnancies, and STI’S. If, after having done all you can to protect yourself, you suffer one of these things anyway, you will at least know that you did your best to live in freedom. There’s no use pretending that marriage is a guarantee of protection, but it certainly is the closest we can get. Eating a diet of healthy food doesn’t guarantee that we’ll never develop a disease, but it definitely reduces our chances.

What I’m suggesting is that you consider saving yourself for a man or a woman who is worthy of your love.

Allow yourself to find fulfilment in self-control and dignity. It can be scary to be single – there’s the fear you might never find someone – but don’t settle for second-rate. Be realistic, but set your scopes high. Choose wisely. Many marriages end in divorce, but many marriages *do* last a lifetime – a lifetime in which two people, fully committed to each other, enjoy each other’s companionship and lovemaking with security, confidence, and satisfaction.

This kind of sex is worth waiting for – it’s the expression of genuine, unconditional love – true freedom.

If you’re willing to search for it, you can find it.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

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Bekah Ferguson

Hello and welcome. :) I’m the author of the contemporary romance novels, When the Fog Cleared and A White Rose, and many short stories (sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy, coming-of-age). I live in Ontario, Canada, with my husband, Robbie Ferguson (Category5 Technology TV), and our three children. I'm a "My Fair Lady" of sorts, egalitarian and LGBTQ-affirming, with a passion for philosophy, psychology, and history. I mostly write fiction, but also blog about my various Christian musings from a progressive perspective. you can follow me on Facebook & Twitter.

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