I was taught at church that having sexual desires and/or attracting sexual desire was a sin. They gave it a special name — the lust of the flesh.
Human sexuality was seen as a rampaging carnal impulse which must be abolished at all costs. Impure thoughts, even without any action, had the potential to cast you into the depths of hell at any moment. The only remedy for this huge character flaw was to get married. Apparently God didn’t quite get the design right when he gave us a libido years before it was appropriate to have one.
Not surprisingly, my sexuality came with a huge side order of shame. Not only did I find all manner of boys and men attractive, I also enjoyed watching them look at me when I wore a tight skirt or a low-cut blouse. I suppose I should have worried about objectification, but to be honest, I was too busy asking God to forgive me for masturbating (again!). I was ashamed of my desires and thought they somehow made me a bad person.
I no longer feel that way, but I know women who still do. The tentacles of religion reach deep into people’s hearts, turning what is healthy and normal into something to be kept under control.
But it’s not true.
Human sexuality is one of our greatest gifts. To be able to connect with another — skin on skin, mouth on mouth — is divine pleasure. It is no coincidence that we cry out ‘Oh God’ in the throes of passion, as we glimpse for a moment the bliss of being beyond what our minds can comprehend.
Our culture has become sexualised, with scantily clad women featuring in car and beer commercials, and yet we are sometimes prudish when it comes to discussing sex. If we’re married, then married sex is private and personal and one shouldn’t talk about it in polite company. If we’re not married and getting jiggy outside the blessing of the church, then we pretend it’s not happening. We don’t talk about masturbation or porn or the best positions to stimulate our G-spots.
It is my heartfelt desire that we could all be more open and frank about our sexuality, and embrace it once and for all as a wonderful, glorious gift. It is not shameful or wrong to be overtaken by sexual desire — it’s what brings sparks of light to our existence.
Let’s celebrate our sexuality today, by saying “Fuck yeah.”
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.