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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Focussed on Fatherhood

Warwick Marsh has a background is in the building and construction industry both as an employer and employee, but he’s better known as a public speaker, writer, musician, minister, producer and TV director. In 1998 Warwick received the FOL Fatherhood of the Year Award and in 2001 was awarded a centenary medal by the Governor General for ‘service to musical leadership for youth and the Aboriginal community, both in Australia and internationally’.

Warwick’s a founder of the Fatherhood Foundation and I spoke to him this morning as part of my radio program on 98five.

I spoke to Warwick about the Fatherhood Foundation. I’m sure we’d all agree that there’s a very real need for good parenting but I wanted to know why he focuses specifically on the role of dads.

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My New Café

I’m starting a new venture tomorrow. I’m creating my own café.

I’ve been on annual leave from my job at 98.5 Sonshine FM for a couple of weeks but tomorrow I’ll return with a re-branded morning program. What used to simply be called ‘mornings’ will become the Morning Café. It’ll be a mixture of good friends and great conversation, just what your favourite café should be. The strangest part of the whole café experience in this case is that you’ll have to provide your own coffee or beverage of choice. I’m sure to be sipping on a long black throughout the morning.

From nine to midday, Monday to Friday, it’ll be a place to talk food, footy, leadership, relationships, spirituality, fitness and health, technology and a whole lot more including national and international guests.

Many of my regular guests will remain as part of the Morning Café but there’ll also be a range of new segments which really excite me. I’ll reveal more as the days and weeks go on but it will certainly be a much busier program with plenty of ways for listeners to get involved.

If you’re in the Perth area you can listen in by tuning to 98.5 Sonshine FM. If you’re anywhere else in the world you can hear the Morning Café streaming live online. You can check what day and time you need to listen by going to timeanddate.com and searching for Perth, Western Australia. If that means that it’s in the middle of the night for you, you’ll still be able to listen to many of the Morning Café segments by visiting the Audio on Demand page at 98.5 Sonshine FM’s website.

What kind of radio programs do you enjoy? Who would you like to hear me interview? I’d really enjoy reading your comments.

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Can Love Last?

In an age where we’re told that we shouldn’t hang around in a relationship if it’s no longer working for us, and that life time commitment is a concept from long ago, FamilyLife Australia co-founder Rex Campbell believes that love can last. He joined me in the studio this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM.

You can listen to our conversation by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

I started by asking him why he thinks we have lost faith in long term love. We also talked about some of the practical steps we can take to ensure that our relationships can last the distance.

Do you have any advice on keeping love alive and making it last the distance?


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700 Billion Minutes

So think about this one. Four years ago most of us did not use Facebook at all. And today we are using it compulsively.

Tim Challies has written a fairly confronting article for those of us who use Facebook titled 700 Billion Minutes. It focusses on the time we spend on Facebook and highlights some alarming statistics.

While I was away last week I did manage to ‘stay connected’ with various online sites to a limited degree but I must admit that it was rather freeing to be somewhat disconnected while making real life connections with other members on our cycling team.

I certainly thought about my involvement online and about achieving a better balance in that area of life. I’m not going for a knee jerk reaction and closing down accounts all over the web but I do want to use my time wisely. I think the thing that most hit me while I was cycling last week is how our time can be so consumed with things that didn’t even exist a decade ago. Tim’s article brings that out very clearly.

For the majority of us, Facebook is a new thing. Those 700 billion minutes are not minutes that we’ve taken away from other online pursuits. They are minutes that we’ve taken away from real life. Studies show that time spent interacting online comes at the expense of face-to-face relationships and about at a 2:1 ratio. So every hour we spend on Facebook comes at the expense of 30 minutes talking to a person face-to-face.

Do you think you need to step back and look at your time priorities? Have you noticed your online life robbing you of ‘real life’ relationships? Are you taking time away from your family and close friends to interact with those you’ve never met?

If you want some great food for thought I encourage you to read through 700 Billion Minutes and then consider your own plan of action.

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