Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

A godless sexual epiphany

So here it is. Yet another blog about sex. Let’s go waaaaay back.

Since I was a kid, I always knew that woman were somehow special and different. I also knew that I wanted to something special with a female, even if I was too young to understand exactly what that meant. I watched and heard my parents fight constantly, which sort of led me to the idea that men and women think very differently.

Around the age of eleven or so, I felt like the one thing I needed in the world was a girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to get laid as much as the next adolescent, but I didn’t want to just have some lousy sex with some girl. I wanted a girlfriend, with drama and hand holding, and disapproving parents; the whole nine yards. As I mentioned just above and many others times on this blog, my parents fought constantly. This put me in a ticklish situation. I really wanted a woman in my life, but I didn’t want to be treated the way my dad was treated.

Also around the age of eleven, the Church begins to notice her daughters are getting boobs, and her sons are casting longing glances at the girls and spending a suspicious amount of time alone. The quest to be loved and desired are enormously strong forces on human beings, particularly strong in the high school crowd. The Church knows this and begins building a lens for you, through which you will view the human sexual experience, lest anything you see lead you away from her. (I note here, other people grew up indifferent sects than I did, so I can only speak for the lessons I learned as a Dobsonite.)

1. God made sex

2. He made it to be fun

3. He made it as a special blessing only for married people, just as kids are special blessing only for married people.

They start teaching this around the time you are twelve. Now, it is made clear to you that sex is only for married people. It is also made clear to you, that only married people get to think about having sex. ( But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Math 5:28 ) So, now you have a problem. You have an physiological need to think about sex constantly, and a subculture that tells you that doing so is sin. Sin of course, is that which makes God (who loves you) sad. He loves you, but hates sin. You have this thing that you want to do, want to think about, want to see, but everytime you even think about it you are hurting the person who loves you most in the world.

Around this time (11 to 13) I was encouraged to read I kissed Dating Goodbye. The basic premise of which is that one is single for a purpose, and one should enjoy being single. When you meet a girl, just try to be her friend. Get to know her as a person rather viewing her soley in the context of someone-who-can-meet-my-needs. It’s good advice for anyone, Christian or otherwise, but it also has this to say: Since God has a perfect plan for you,with one perfect person, smooching, holding hands or even having emotionally charged conversations with anyone but the person you marry is taking something away from your future spouse. In short, while hand holding, and moonlight walks with a girl you don’t marry may not be per say, adultery, it’s different by degree and not by nature.

I dealt with this the way many of my peers did. We started thinking about marriage. There was no other context in which we could think about sex, or even intimacy, so we thought about marriage. Specifically, we began to prepare for marriage, in any way we could. Many of us were further validated in this preparation by this verse: Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1st Cor: 7 8-9. Didn’t we burn? Didn’t we want sex? Only one answer for it then, get hitched. It was this mindset that made my wife, at the age of 15, cry herself to sleep. She didn’t have a boyfriend, and if she didn’t have a boyfriend by the time she turned 16, how could she possiblely get married straight out of high school?

So, to sum up so far, I hated my parents marriage, but I wanted to get married on my 18th birthday if possible, because that was the only way I could have sex without breaking God’s heart. I took the Bible and my religion very seriously, so doing things God’s way was very important to me.

The only form of sexual release I could have without guilt was “preparing for marriage”. My father and mother seemed to have a lot of misunderstandings , and the common cultural message was, “Men don’t understand women.” So, around the age of thirteen, I made understanding woman my secondary purspose for existence. I read Cosmo, Redbook, Child, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s World, and just for good measure, Ms., and Seventeen every month at the library. I watched soap operas for many months (Hating every second of them, by the way). I read the best of Harlequin Romances from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I got college text books on gynecology. I read every two-bit quack who could string enough sentences together to write a relationship book. I read everything the Merck Manual had to say about sex and gender.

I became an expert listener with fantastic advice to give. Throughout highschool, I was surrounded by a cloud of woman of all sizes and shapes. They joking called themselves my harem, and came to me whenever they were sad, or lonely , or needed a back rub. They came to me for any relationship need they had, except a real relationship. I was the guy they called when their boyfriend broke up with them, but when they actually wanted a boyfriend I guess they preferred someone who knew less about yeast infections than they did.

This resulting in a increasing sense of bitterness and confusion about women. According to the all the bullshit I was reading, I should have been exactly what woman wanted, but for some reason I wasn’t. Over the years, I mellowed. I got married, I figured somethings out. I grew up some, but female sexuality still confused me.

Obviously, the Church creates conditions where you are not supposed to do certain things. But she also creates conditions in which you are not supposed to feel certain things. Of course, no one can really control what they feel, only what they do about those feelings. Remember the book 1984? By changing the language, the government sought to keep people from feeling certain things, because without the words, how do produce the thoughts in your own mental dialog, and how would you even think something. Similarly, In the Church certain conversations are forbidden. There were few woman I could talk to about female sexuality, and those woman experienced sexuality purely through the lens the church had given them. Neither I, nor the women I talked to, could feel certain things or talk about them, so I stayed confused. I guess we all did.

I have few friends in the Church now. Most of my friends are Deists, Agnostics, and Atheists. There are no limits on what I can feel now, and the only limits I have on what I can do are the ones I choose. (A note here, that doesn’t magically remove the consequence of my behavior, it just means the plain ol’ consequences are what motivate or de-motivate me and not fear of eternal punishment.) So I have been having some very frank conversations about sexuality with my close friends.

I’ve come to a startling conclusion about men’s and woman’s sexuality: Baring bogus cultural values, human beings experience sexuality in almost exactly the same manner; we all just want to be loved. Slightly different things make us feel loved, but we all just want to be loved.

There is no huge dichotomy between the male and the female sexual experience. We all want to be loved, and we all want have sex with some one we care about, and occasionally, but not most of the time, we all just want to get our freak on with whoever.

Now, I know some people will say that guys want much more of the latter, and much less of the former than woman do. I don’t think so. If guys are so promiscuous, who exactly are they promiscuous with? The same 100 woman worldwide? It takes a man and woman to have sex, folks. If men are unfaithful, so are women.

I think guys have an image to live up to. I have an acquittance who fell asleep at a titty bar. He talks the talk, he looks at porn, he goes to strip clubs, but I have to say, if he falls asleep on the bar he’s going for reasons besides titillation. He’s going because it’s a cultural norm.

Woman also have an image to live up to. Woman are supposed to like cuddling and hugging. They are supposed to like sex when it is part of a loving relationship. They aren’t supposed like sex for the pure experience of it, that’s slutty. So woman have a cultural norm to live up to as well. (My favorite example of this cultural norm stuff is Domestic Discipline. It’s pretty obvious to everyone but the practitioners that DD is a way for conservative Christians to get into erotic spanking [and whole slew of other sexually free behaviors], but do so in away that lets them fit it within their cultural norm.)

I think in a perfect world, men would just be men, and woman would just be woman. Men wouldn’t have to prove their manhood by acting like they want sex without strings, and woman wouldn’t have to prove their femininity by acting like they don’t ever want sex without strings. We could all admit that most of the time we want sex with somebody we really care about, and occasionally we just want to get thrown down by someone we barely know.

Knowing all this, I have a lot more peace about who I am, and the thoughts that go through my mind. I don’t have the bitterness against women that I used to because I no longer see them as failing to meet a certain standard. As is often the case, a godless perspective brings me more peace than a Godly one.

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments