The one subject the world and the church don’t seem to want to have a healthy discussion about.
Before quarantine/lockdown/ whatever your country is calling it, I was able to live the ‘ladies who lunch’ dream and visit some christian girlfriends for lunch midweek. While on both occasions the intent was merely to visit friends on bedrest from operations, both turned into conversations about all the things we’re not supposed to talk about: sex.
We hit porn, masturbation, do we like sex, do we not. We’ll talk about all that in detail another time but for now, let’s talk about the relief on their faces. A look that says, finally, I’ve found someone I can talk to about all these things with. I’m not alone.
As I listened to a woman who has fed so much into my spiritual walk tell me how she still finds sex dirty, even though she knows she shouldn’t, I thought, how did we get to this point?
In the garden of Eden, after the fall of man God asks Adam and Eve, who told you you were naked? (Genesis 3). In other words, who told you to be ashamed? Who told you your bodies, that I created, that I said were good, were no longer good enough to be seen?
In my other life as a biology teacher, we always began the reproduction unit with the students telling us every word they knew to describe their genitals. We would then put a line through all of them and then say we won’t be using these words here, we only say penis and vagina. They would laugh and say, I can’t say that Miss. In today’s world most kids are having some form of sex by the time they are 14. A lot by the age of 12. Probably because putting your ‘cock’ in a ‘pussy’ sounds more like you’re feeding a cat. It’s as though our censoring, both the church and the world, has made it easier not to think about what we’re really doing.
The worst thing that both we as the church and the world open ourselves up to by not talking about it openly and healthily is when someone takes advantage of that shame and sexually harasses or assaults another person. Child or adult alike. Those who have been sexually assaulted feel dirty, feel ashamed and feel they can’t talk about what has happened to them because no one talks about sex.
I’ve heard stories of children telling teachers that their uncle licked their ‘cookie’. The teacher thought it an actual cookie and advised the child that her uncle should have gotten his own. When the mother came in and asked what might have caused a rash on her daughters vulva, the teacher realised she could have acted earlier had the child used the correct words. You may have seen this in a Facebook post, but from my years as a teacher, I heard so many similar stories.
Having saved my first sexual experience for marriage I now see and understand the benefits in doing so. It was awkward, I wasn’t good at it (to begin with), and my feelings of inadequacy in the bedroom filtered out into other areas of my marriage. I, personally, can’t imagine having to deal with these feelings in a casual relationship, on top of, will he call me? Does he actually like me? Do I like him? However, this isn’t enough of a reason for us as the church to decide that not talking about sex other than “save it for marriage” is enough to keep young people ‘pure’.
What is purity or holiness? To be set apart. But God knows that being ‘unclean’ is a part of life and He’s made ways for us to get clean again no matter what ‘dirtiness’ get’s on us. Married women, we need to be talking about what sex means to us as a couple. Women who did have sex before marriage need to be talking about whether there is a difference and what that difference is physically and emotionally. It can’t just be ‘better‘ and we know they won’t just ‘figure it out when they get married‘ and we sure as hell know they won’t save themselves for marriage just because God says so. Otherwise, why are christians eating pork because he said not to do that either? That’s a debate for another time, let’s get back on track.
Through Jesus death and resurrection, we don’t need to come under the shame that the law of Moses gave or the same extensive ritual cleansing routines. THANK GOD! I’m not saying we should sleep with anyone or anything (the Bible could give you some ideas) or even walk around with our sex stank on after getting it on with your husband instead of having some sort of bath (Leviticus 15) BUT we can go back to the Garden, because we now have access to the Tree of Life again in the form of Jesus. We can remember that our bodies are good. Sex, is good, periods are good, ejaculation is good, orgasms are good. We can remember to have reverence for the things God has created for us; the things that come naturally to us.
So let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be (Salt and Peppa,1990) Because, like Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery (John 8) who has the power to tell you your dirty?