The following is a quoted section from an essay found on the Books & Culture website:
"I do not think the church, in particular, has done an adequate job of explaining the biblical view of sex and marriage in terms of whole-self giving. With ignorance of the overriding principles and purpose of sexual self-control comes a tendency toward technical adherence - following the letter of a misunderstood and disrespected law, rather than the wise and lofty spirit of it. We must do a better job of rooting our understanding of sex in the character of God and his image-bearing purpose for mankind. People may wrestle with the question of his goodness, but an honest fight with the real issues is better than brushing God off as a daft and irrelevant uncle.
Secondly, we must stop speaking of abstinence as if it has no post-marriage value. The fact is, we are talking about self-control — a virtue that matters as much to marital monogamy as it does to premarital chastity. And those are just the sexual applications! But when all we tout is abstinence, rather than sexual self-control, the connection to all other spheres of healthy restraint is lost — and with it the urgency and relevance of being disciplined people, of being adults."
In other words, there is a bigger issue at work in God's view of human activity than just our sexual behavior, it is the issue of healthy behavior as a whole. Have we reversed this and made sex the bigger issue? I think so. But, ironically, BOTH those who argue for "guilt-free sex" AND Christians who over-emphasize (or hide from) sex are a part of this reversal, and thus part of the problem.