Casual sex can lead to the slow death of the soul

Lorraine Murray’s latest book is “Death Dons a Mask.” Her email is lorrainevmurray@yahoo.com.

When it comes to sex, society seems to be spiraling downward. Some college students indulge in a pernicious practice called “hooking up,” which refers to a sexual encounter devoid of all pretenses related to love and commitment.

The whole point of hooking up, you see, is just to have sex. You needn’t know your partner’s name, age or interests. You meet at a party, get drunk and fall into bed together, and then walk away the next morning with no questions asked.

Hooking up is the ultimate descent into mechanized sex, since it attempts to turn human beings into objects. For the hook-up culture, the sex act is seen as a physical release and another form of entertainment. The very phrase “hooking up” darkly calls to mind someone connecting physical objects such as a computer and a printer. The underlying, very tragic message is that people are just bodies.

If a baby is conceived during one of these encounters, how sad to envision the woman telling her child at some future date, “I have no idea who your father was.” How equally tragic for a young man to have a child somewhere that he doesn’t even know about because he was intimate with the child’s mother after meeting her in a bar — and then never saw her again.

These scenarios assume that a baby conceived during casual sex will actually be welcomed into the world. Unfortunately, in the dehumanized scene of anonymous relationships, the unborn child, too, is in danger of being reduced to an object that can be disposed of like any other thing. Sadly, when intimacy loses its special, sacred element, the natural outcome of sex — the baby — does, too.

Bedding down with strangers obviously can lead to horrendous physical diseases. But let’s not forget the slow and tragic death of the soul.

People are much more than physical beings. We have thoughts, feelings, a history, yearnings, hopes and dreams. When we try to relate to another person through the body alone, we are tiptoeing dangerously close to the same thought process that fuels the pornography industry, in which women are transformed into objects of lust.

It is natural to yearn for relationships that continue into the future. We want friends who will be there for us over the course of years, who will laugh with us, cry with us and share memories with us.

In the old days, folks dated each other because they were looking for a suitable mate to settle down with. You gave someone your phone number in the hopes of seeing them again.

Many may mock the playground saying, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Susie with the baby carriage,” but it sums up the tried-and-true attitude connecting sex with love, babies and commitment.

Today, many young people have bought into the notion that making love is simply about momentary physical pleasure. Let’s pray they wake up and realize hooking up is fine for computers, but terrible for human beings.