As you may know, I like to talk about sex. I like to joke about it, and I certainly like to do it. I blog about it; I make innuendos about it; in general, I’m pretty much out there with it. My FB wall is known as the smut wall, and people feel safe to post pretty much anything about sex on it. Once, I had written as my status that I had given into temptation. I went out to buy chocolate, and when I returned, there were many comments, increasingly ribald in nature, discussing exactly what to what temptation I had given. It was fucking hilarious.
I grew up in a Christian household with many secrets and lies. As I was told that sex was an evil, sinful, dirty thing–until you got married when it became beautiful and holy and all that–I was also being sexually molested by my father. As I have said before, I do not know for certain that it happened, but I am pretty sure it did. At the very least, there was emotional incest going on. At the very worst, actual physical penetration. In addition, it was a poorly-kept family secret that my father had affairs with the women of our church. I always knew which woman was his special lady and when she was replaced by someone else. So, hypocrisy would be the word in my household when I was a child. In addition, I remember stumbling over my father’s stash of porn mags (magazines, so quaint!) and realizing that he wasn’t as upstanding as he pretended to be. Do as I say and not as I do, indeed. Granted, he was married, so that meant that sex was OK, I guess, but still, the porn stash was at direct odds with what the church preached every Sunday.
As I got older, I became disillusioned with the church. Granted, I never really believed, but I at least gave lip service to being a Christian. Once I stopped calling myself a Christian, however, it made it difficult for me to talk to the relatives on my mother’s side. They are all devout Christians. One of my cousins said to me, seriously, that he decided not to kiss a woman before marriage because kissing led to sex. And, he said that sex outside marriage was a sin. I said, “So, if I never get married, then I can’t ever have sex?” He said, “Yes.” Of course, this is the same cousin who proposed to his wife a few months after starting to date her and who now has four kids (she’s a practicing Catholic).
I was turned off by the church’s position on sex. It seemed about control and negation and shaming of something that, quite frankly, is one of the few real pleasures in life.