Last night I enjoyed another semi-regular, good late night conversation with the flat mate. The subject of soul-ties came up. What’s that? As good Pentecostals we like to acknowledge — in contrast to secular western tendency to differentiate between the spiritual and material — that everything has a spiritual aspect to it. And this is the logic of soul-ties, that sex is also spiritual and a deep spiritual connection is made with another person through it. Perhaps Pentecostal interpreters were thinking of such verses as:
‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
(1 Cor 6:16-17).
The logic goes that after having sex with one person, even though that sexual relationship is finished the spiritual connection remains. I wonder though, where does sex start and finish? Is it even possible to use the absolute term, “virgin” to describe someone’s sexual history?
Does having sex make you lose your virginity? What if you spend a few seconds in coitus and then decide to stop? What about oral sex? What about two people who are mutually sexually aroused when in each other’s presence yet unaware of the other’s being aroused? What about viewing pornography? What about seeing a sex scene in a movie? What about masturbating? What about having a wet dream? What about entertaining a stray sexual thought? What about getting a stiffy? What about using a tampon? What about producing sperm or eggs, you dirty little sexual being? Really how virginal are virgins? How sexual is sex?
All this is not to undermine what different things that will come about from engaging in any of these actions, and I would be very reluctant to acknowledge something like pornography as “just part of growing up.” However, perhaps the ideas of soul-ties and virginity as absolute categories need to be re-examined when considering someone’s sexual history? Maybe it’s best for Christians entering into marriage to discuss their differing sexual histories on individual bases?