We’ve Been Sold a Lie


The idea that we should save physical intimacy for marriage, or even a committed, long-term, loving relationship, has long since given way to the promise of as much guilt free, casual sex as we desire.

The quaint, old notion that we should ‘save ourselves’ for one person comes from an era that encouraged sexual repression; a remnant of a time where we were expected to adopt someone else’s strict moral code. Welcome to the new order. Welcome to the ‘hook-up’ culture.

But is the ‘hook-up’ culture delivering on its promise?

Columnist Miranda Devine suggests that rather than providing the freedom it promised, the hook-up culture encourages “behaviours and attitudes that damage women, and threaten the health of society.”

And it’s not just Devine trying to impose her moralistic ideas on the rest of society. She backs up her thoughts with recently published research.

Sex and human connection, let alone love and compassion, have effectively been decoupled in the hook-up culture, in which dating has given way to no-strings-attached physical encounters.

The term “hook-up” is exactly as dehumanising it sounds, and a fascinating study by the American Psychological Association last month shows how disconnected are the sexual behaviours and private internal desires of young men, and especially young women. – Miranda Devine

We’ve been sold a lie.

We forgot that actions always have consequences and that some of those consequences won’t become apparent immediately. Intimacy isn’t just about sex, so when we disconnect physical intimacy from a deeper knowing of someone else, the intimacy that comes from long term commitment and the desire to always seek the best for the person we love, we don’t just break someone else’s moral code, we break something deeply embedded in the human soul.

Sex without commitment doesn’t provide the safe environment that fosters the security and acceptance that we so desperately seek. Not only does it not satisfy in the short term, it can rob us of contentment in the future.

In a new book, The End of Sex – How Hook-up Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled and Confused About Intimacy, Donna Freitas has compiled eight years of research into a revealing exposition of Gen Y life.

“Amid the seemingly endless partying … lies a thick layer of melancholy, insecurity and isolation that no one can seem to shake. College students have perfected an air of bravado about hook-up culture though a great many of them wish for a world of romance and dating.”

Among her most striking findings from American college campuses is that 41 per cent of students “expressed sadness or even despair” about hooking up. These students suspected it robbed them of healthy, fulfilling sex lives, positive dating experiences and loving relationships. At its very worst, hooking up made them feel ‘’miserable’’ and ‘’abused’’. – Miranda Devine

So the very thing that was supposed to provide freedom seems to be leaving young people feeling unfulfilled and empty.

People have been looking for physical closeness as ‘entertainment’, without the commitment and constraints, and it’s just not working. While many might claim that they want one-night-stands and ‘relationships’ without the strings, the evidence clearly shows that at the heart of it all, we still yearn for deeper relationship.

Saddest of all is that while most men and women did not expect a romantic relationship as the outcome of a hook-up, fully one third of men and almost half of women “ideally wanted” such an outcome.

Anyone who has much to do with young people will have observed a sadness beneath the polished, perfected surface of Gen Y’s smiling girls.

As the mother of boys I have had only glimpses of the existential pain of young women but it is enough to make my female heart ache. – Miranda Devine

Let me encourage you to read the full article by Miranda Devine.

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What is Love?

To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.

What a remarkable man and an amazing example to all men.

Grab some tissues and take three and a half minutes to watch this video.

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Hope in Bangladesh


I thought I would find desperation but I found hope. I thought I was about to experience heartbreak but instead there was expectation of a better future. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an enormously emotional day but yesterday was a lot different than I imagined it would be.

Where is the hope?

What do you do when everyone you thought you could trust turns their back on you? Where do you turn when you have no home and no hope?

For many homeless young women in Bangladesh the only place to go is the streets. They’re young, some very young, they’re vulnerable and many end up being sexually exploited or even sold into prostitution. Many of the most desperate are those who are pregnant or who have young children.

This is where SIMaid’s Girls off the Streets project steps in.

The past doesn’t have to dictate the future.

Yesterday I visited a centre with many happy, beautiful young ladies who have found care, trust and a purpose. They’ve been rescued from the kind of abuse that’s marked their lives to this point. They’ve found someone who will care for their health needs, help with their babies, give them educational training as well as skills that will prepare them for a far more optimistic future.

I also visited the area where many used to live. An open street side area full of desperate people, many begging for the essentials of life. The difference between those in SIMaid’s project and those still on the streets was stark. It wasn’t hard to imagine that so many more young, vulnerable women could know safety and care if only there were more resources available for the work SIMaid is doing.

Lives are being changed.

The photo above shows just one of the young women who have had their lives transformed. Her life on the streets has become a life of learning skills that will lead to a hope filled future. Through Girls off the Street she can earn money to create a real home for her and her children.

When you support SIMaid, you’re supporting hope and I know that if you could have only spent five minutes with the ladies we met yesterday, if you’d heard their stories, if you’d seen the joy in their faces, you’d become a passionate supporter of Girls off the Streets.

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It Was 20 Years Ago Today

(This post was written to be published yesterday but has only just been posted due to there being no easy access to Internet where I travelled in Bangladesh.)

On a hot summer day in 1992 said, “I do”. I was standing with the most incredible woman I’ve ever met and we’re still standing together twenty years later.

It’s an unusual anniversary for us because we’re many thousands of kilometres away from each other. I would desperately love to be spending this very special day with Pauline but circumstances have me half a world away.

I could never have imagined spending my life with such a beautiful woman and yet twenty years on and the dream continues. And Pauline’s not just beautiful, she’s smarter than she’ll ever admit, far cleverer, more caring and much more fun to be with than anyone I’ve ever known or will ever know.

How can words express how I really feel about this amazing woman who chose to share this journey of life with me? I still can’t get over how blessed I am to have Pauline by my side.

Pauline, thanks for walking down that aisle two decades ago. Thank you for saying, “I do”. Being with you still brings me the greatest happiness I’ve ever known. How about we stick at it for another twenty?

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I Absolutely Do

WeddingBW.jpgAmongst the frantic pace of this time of the year I’m taking a little time out to reflect on the last couple of decades. It was almost twenty years ago, in January 1992, that I met an incredibly beautiful woman. I don’t know that I believe in ‘love at first sight’ but I certainly believe in ‘overwhelming, all consuming, attraction at first sight’. That attraction was the beginning of the best thing that has ever happened to me.

On a hot December day back in 1992, I married an amazing lady.

Pauline and I met in the January of 1992 and were married on the 12th of December the same year. Once we got engaged, half way through the year, we couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait until ‘next year’ to be husband and wife, so we picked a date in the last month of the year and started planning.

I’m still hopelessly in love with Pauline and plan to stay that way for the rest of my days. I really can’t recall a day in the past nineteen years that I haven’t told Pauline that I love her. I guess there have been a few times when I’ve been travelling and we haven’t been able to talk but we’ve talked on the phone on most of those days.

It still amazes me that such an incredible lady would choose to spend her life with me. She’s clever, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, wise, remarkably beautiful and so much more. Words really can’t describe how I truly feel about Pauline and how I adore her.

On that day nineteen years ago I said ‘I do’ and today and every day I still do.

Happy 19th Anniversary to the most wonderful woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

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