I've been reading Sex and the iWorld, by Dale Kuehne. Kuehne, a pastor and professor of politics, describes the tWorld, in which traditional morality ruled, and the iWorld, in which "the immediate desires of the individual have been deemed paramount." Kuehne says both worlds have failed us, and that we ought to try to move towards the rWorld, in which "a larger web of healthy and nourishing social relationships provides the most personally fulfilling context for sexuality and relational well-being."
The tWorld let us down in some ways—it allowed for slavery and denied many rights to women, for example. As for the iWorld—as Kuehne puts it:
“The driving force in the development of the iWorld was the desire to champion the idea of individual choice. While the focus was not on sexual freedom per se, this has become one of its most cherished freedoms. By challenging and changing our understanding of what it means to be human, the iWorld fundamentally altered our perception of human nature, the self, and the purpose of family relationships, and sexuality.”
One way iWorlders have influenced us all for ill: The idea that sex is an essential component for happiness. Unfortunately, the church has bought into this idea as well. The result: “As this reasoning goes,” Kuehne writes, “if sex is an essential aspect of human fulfillment, then if Christians, or anyone else, are missing out on sex, and if God wishes us to have the most fulfilling life possible, then that which stands in the way of this fulfillment—divorce, remarriage, or cohabitation—must not be wrong after all.”
Kuehne notes that both heterosexuals and homosexuals use the same rational to justify violating biblical teachings about sexual boundaries: “God wants me to be fulfilled; sex is an essential part of relational fulfillment; therefore the Bible can’t really mean what it ways about sexual boundaries because that would rob me of fulfillment.”
Except that the Bible really DOES mean it. What does real fulfillment look like? Read the book. (And see Chuck Colson's commentary on it here.)