I Still Want It: Holy and Horny

I’m only writing this blog post because one of my friends on Facebook nominated me to do so. She sent me the following message:

“Sooooooo I just saw this:

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And I nominate you to be on the call & wrote a blog post about it.”

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Another friend mentioned this same event in our phone conversation today.

Then I saw this in my newsfeed:

I’m taking this as a sign that I need to write about this. As the great philosopher Marvin Gaye once sang, “When I get that feeling, I want sexual healing.” It’s worse if you’ve had sex before and you know what you’re missing.

Question is, how do I write about this while keeping it real and maintaining my church membership and my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life? (*unchecks “Share to LinkedIn” box so that this post is not broadcast to my professional colleagues*).

I have no answers for any of y’all. I’m walking this lonely territory by myself. I’m single. I think I’m saved — I’ve accepted Jesus as my Saviour. I hope that counts for something. But that doesn’t keep me from wanting to have sex. I want to have sex. I really really do. I have a healthy libido. Jesus is my husband but I can’t have sex with Jesus. I have no shame in writing that or admitting that. My sexuality does not scare me. I am not repulsed by myself. I am a sexual being. I was made to want these things.

And I just shared that unabashedly in an open forum because I know that chances are that you — yes you, dear reader — want to have sex too. If not now, soon. Maybe even after reading this post. And that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to want to have sex (and normal to not want it — asexual anyone?). The question is what do we do with the desire, because it runs deep.

Because the Christian church has largely been silent on this topic, providing no practical guidance or solutions whatsoever, Christian singles have largely taken things into their own hands (literally — no pun intended, lol. I’ve heard some people call it “hand ministry,” “personal ministry” or “personal devotion.”). Some masturbate. Some don’t. Some take-up weight training. Some paint. Some cook. Some dance. Some find a creative hobby. Some go for a walk. Some take cold showers. Some phone a friend. Some pray. Some write. Napoleon Hill in Think and Get Rich has a whole chapter on transforming and utilizing sexual energy. We do what we can. Christian singles find solutions that work for them, that don’t violate their conscience, and are in keeping with Biblical principles (i.e. staying away from fornication and adultery and “sexual immorality”).

Many people, myself included, would argue that the church needs talk about these things. However, the church has often grievously mishandled these conversations and I no longer trust it to be able to host the much-needed conversation on sexuality. I remember a few AYs (Adventist Youth — aka youth group meetings) where we had an “Ask the Pastor” session, and those sessions were disastrous. Old people dominated the discussion, shaming young people. Bible texts were taken out of context. I left feeling worse than when I came.

I am now of the opinion that if we are going to have real conversations about sex and sexuality — and I mean really real — they are best left to small groups of friends of the same sex and not in the church sanctuary with judgmental, sanctimonious, out-of touch elders who haven’t seen a dick in years.

Thankfully, despite growing up in a conservative Christian church and despite having conservative old-school Jamaicans as parents, my parents were not shy when it came to sex. I have to say that when it came to telling me about my first period and sex in general, my parents have done surprisingly very well, especially given their upbringing.

My mom gave us age-appropriate books to read about sex. I asked my parents if they were virgins on their wedding night and I asked my dad if pregnant women can have sex (never did ask how though, but I have since educated myself, lol). I felt comfortable asking these questions because of the space they created so that I could ask these questions, and my parents responded honestly, and gave me just enough information, depending on my age at the time. I remember my mother carrying a basket of laundry up the stairs and she randomly (like out-of-the-blue) and casually said in passing, “Don’t marry a guy that’s too old, because you’re gonna want to have sex and he won’t want to.” My sister and I exchanged glances in utter shock and awe (“What the… Did she just say that?”). Another time we were watching TV in the basement and we must have been talking about sexual partners and the lack thereof and my mom was like, “Well, he could just masturbate.” I remember my mother using the phrase “kinky sex” to describe something she saw on TV and I thought I was going to die…

My mother has never failed to leave us speechless.

My parents and sex education in public schools (praise GOD!) were my saving graces. If we had left sex education up to the church or even only to parents, I shudder to think where I would be.

I later went on to work as an assistant coordinator at the Glendon Women and Trans Centre in undergrad, hosting sessions on sex toys and healthy sexuality and handing out free contraception (making sure that the envelope with the free condoms actually had condoms in it, making sure we had dental dams, etc.). Ever since I was young, I would read about sex and sexuality in my free time (sex is SOO interesting guys!). I was always known among my grade school friends as the one who was never scared about answering questions in sex class. I guess that helps explain my comfort in discussing sex and my sexual openness.

Oh but woe to the young people who only got their sex ed in church. Smh. As young people, we were told not to fornicate, not to have pre-marital sex. We were told not to have sex and told this by people (I’m going to make a big assumption here) having lots of sex and who hadn’t been single in years. In Biblical times, people started puberty later and got married sooner — so there was little talk of being single and horny. Today, people start going through puberty as young as eight, and are expected to stay abstinent and celibate until their late twenties, early thirties or later (not to mention shamed if they are over a certain age and haven’t had their cherries popped. The pressure is real y’all). And then we are somehow supposed to spontaneously turn on the sexy on our wedding night and go from literally 0 to 180 overnight with the flick of the light switch.

Hmmm… Something doesn’t make sense.

All we got in church were blanket statements — masturbation is wrong in all places at all times point blank (like what about mutual masturbation in marriage? What if your partner has a long-term illness and you masturbate thinking about your partner? Maybe one day I’ll write a post about masturbation. For now I’d like to remain a member of the Adventist church and avoid condemnation and damnation, lol.). We hear that homosexuality is wrong — sinful. But we were never able to have an open, honest, frank, transparent, non-judgmental and real conversation, taking into account lived experiences, shared challenges, fears, complications, different contexts and nuances (we are able, however, to have these conversations outside of the church, which is why so many of us got our education from secular media and in secular fora). (On another note, sometimes when these old timers talk, it makes me wonder — what kind of sex are y’all having? Are you enjoying yourselves? I sure hope so.)

That’s why I’m so happy for books like Scandalous: Things Good Christian Girls Don’t Talk About But Probably Should by Emily Dixon. That book leaves no stone unturned. She talks about divorce, lesbianism, dating, masturbation, porn, abuse — you name it, it’s in there. And she talks about it from a Biblical standpoint and in an open and honest way. The book was real and refreshing. I’ll do a review of it later.

I think people are going to read this post and think that I am advocating for masturbation. I think people are going to read this post and think I was horny while writing it. While I try to be really good about saying things without saying things, I am not necessarily advocating for or against anything and I neither confirm nor deny anything. The point that I am trying to make though, perhaps rather inarticulately, is that DiShan Washington should be applauded for having the convo.

I don’t know if I will be on the call tomorrow but I’d like to hear what goes down.

Originally published at simonesamuels.wordpress.com on March 5, 2017.

Written by

I like big stories and I cannot lie. Authentic, transparent musings & connecting with others so we can all feel less alone. https://linktr.ee/simonesamuels

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