Religion and Sexuality
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
So, I recently received the following question:
You seem to be a VERY open-minded person when it comes to religion and sexuality. Are you atheist, religious, spiritual or agnostic and why? How do you think that has affected you sexually? Are you more open-minded or do you avoid some things because of it? It has been said that the whole "sin" thing just makes certain acts taboo and therefore that much more attractive. What are your thoughts on this?
Being African-American, I come from a broader social construct that is heavily influenced by the Christian ethos. Roughly 45% of Black America is Baptist according to BlackDemographics.com ,however; I was not brought up this "traditional" way. Religion was seen as a false panacea to those in charge of my education and upbringing--logic, facts and scientific thought was where I was taught to seek answers. I also was brought up to be very open-minded about cultures, religions outside of Christianity, as well as persons of differing ethnicities/cultures being that several of family members have married outside of the Black American community: Specifically, Caucasian, Asian, Mexican, and African. This “free thought” concept also included sex and sexuality.
The word 'sex' was never a dirty word in my household. It was spoken about openly and objectively. Sex-ed started as soon as my cousins and I exhibited signs that we were curious about our bodies and began to ask questions. Of course, human sexuality was discussed in an age appropriate manner, but the message was always the same for as long as I can remember: Sex is a natural part of ALL of Nature that does include YOU. Your body is sacred and should be treated as such, sex should always be consensual and pleasurable; and it is best to wait until there is a true connection before doing it otherwise it can be an empty pursuit. However, never allow yourself to be judged nor should you judge others for engaging in sexual activity purely for pleasure.
My personal belief: I define myself as an atheist-agnostic which means that I am uncertain of the existence of an intelligent Creator(s) force, but I am 100% sure this “force” does not seek nor require supplication from us. If It exists, it merely observes its creations but doesn't care or judge--It is totally objective, accepting of our vices and virtues, and It plays by universal rules. I believe that everything that lives in the universe has an animating force and that our great, beautiful planet, Gaia, has one as well. I also believe that sex between two consenting adults has the potential to be a very spiritual and healing endeavor if we open our minds and hearts to such an incredible experience. Most people are afraid of intertwining sex and spirit, but my question to my readers is:
How can you have one without the other?
Our corporeal form and the sensations and desire it experiences are a gift--a very sensitive, highly erotic, and pleasurable gift at that. One in which we should allow ourselves to enjoy wholly without placing the
the additional burden of religious judgment upon each other's shoulders. I am very open-minded, and although I understand monogamy (non-religious definition) to be a gift of human relationships, I still remain open to the fluidity of sexuality and desire and would never deny any of my partners the full consensual pleasure of another lover. Monogamy is more of a mindset. I think everyone (if they were honest with themselves) would realize that we go through physically "monogamous periods" but true monogamy occurs on an emotional level. Sometimes you crave a different body or mind, sometimes you want to touch only yourself, and sometimes your current partner is simply enough which can last years…even a lifetime.
Religions have put themselves in the business of policing human sexuality for hundreds of years--particularly that of women. Women's sexuality has been viewed as a malevolent force to be controlled since the fabled story of Adam and Eve, where Eve is presented as the original temptress. The result is that women are told our bodies are not our own. They are to be covered and only seen by our husbands and that sexual interest (and in some instances thought) was a sign of impurity and of harlotry. Ancient texts continue to affect how we as a society view and treat women around the world.
A woman who sleeps with whomever she chooses when she chooses is a whore; the one with few or no partners has also become undesirable--something is 'wrong' with her or she is frigid. These messages are confusing at best for most women which leads to lots of sexual frustration and repression. I don't think the word "sin" really plays a role in the sexual behavior of many Americans unless their upbringing was a very strict, religious one. Most adults might believe they are "sinning" in a detached and vague sense when they have pre-marital sex, shack up with a girlfriend/boyfriend, have a one-night stand or seek compensated company, but this sense of "sin" doesn't conjure the sense that “hellfire is nigh” the way it might have in the past. Much of the aforementioned is seen as normal or just a part of being a well-socialized, NORMALLY adjusted, socially astute sexual creature that we have always been and will continue to be.
Be gentle with yourself. Love ALL of you. Play with your parts and play consensually with the parts of others. Seek not to judge the sexual expression of others and you will find yourself also free to express the beauty of your own sexuality without limitations.
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