Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!
Disclaimer: The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues. If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss. Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some. I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.
When I was a person of faith and religion, sex was an uncomfortable topic for me and those around me. Mostly because there is this whole notion of sin that is injected into the picture. Plus there was a lot of shame associated with being found to have a sexual attitude that differed from the acceptable norm. Certainly, my sexual education really didn’t have a chance to get anything factual unless it was by accident. Being the rebel I have always been when it comes to social mores, I found myself at odd on the subject of sex and nudity in the Christian context more than once. The real issue for Christians is keeping the desire for sex inside their so-called god-given boundaries. That being one man, one woman in marriage for life. This avoids the deadly sin of Lust.
When I realized that the whole sin thing was made up, this caused me to change my attitudes about sexuality quite a bit. Mostly things get really basic as I think that the whole ideas of faith and religion actually complicate the matter of sex quite a bit. In religion, everyone argues nuances to see how far they can push their own sexual proclivities. The discussion, if it is had at all, is one of arguing small details of ‘how far is too far’. I mean it really comes down to looking at each sexual issue and asking does the Bible or the religion allow it? In my own faith, the issues of masturbation and whether in marriage oral sex, anal sex and BDSM were allowed. The one thing for sure was no one is allowed to think for themselves on the subject.
This leads to all kinds of secret behavior that in many ways is far more erotic, unsafe and in many ways weirder than outside the church when it comes to sex. The most common being that religious teens are often told little about birth control if at all, but sooner or later the young couple gets alone and things happen. Unwanted teenage pregnancies anyone? Not to mention that while abortions are opposed by Christians, the people who actually get them the most, probably because of the unwanted pregnancies, are Christians.
If only birth control were taught in a proper manner, then fewer of these abortions would take place. But that is the kind of logic that religion causes you to not even consider. Sex before marriage is a sin and so is abortion. You don’t need birth control because its a sin to have sex before your married and you will thus never need an abortion. If only human behavior conformed so nicely into such black and white terms.
This, of course, leads to the hypocrisy of the public maintenance of certain standards while at the same time privately not even at times being remotely close to those standards. Divorce, infidelity, and abortion are higher among the religious than the irreligious and I understand now why. There is an incredible power to guilt to keep control but at the same time, such guilt produces curiosity.
I experienced this over and over myself as people would tell me such and such behavior was harmful and then I would start thinking about the behavior and why it was harmful. Sooner or later I would engage the behavior and then discover it wasn’t that harmful – let’s just say if masturbation makes you blind, I should have been sightless a long time ago. If there is some physical malady that arises from watching or looking at porn, yeah, I would have that too. So far all I could say was I developed a lot of guilt for nothing.
Since deconverting, I have no hell to worry about, no wrath of a god that doesn’t exist. The guilt aspect has diminished quite a bit. Sex has become a part of life, nothing more or less. Much more rationally approached. I enjoy making love to my wife; we have a good time. but, I don’t get guilty about it when I find myself sexually attracted to other females though – it’s normal. What I do consider is consent, safety, and maturity which includes societal consequences. In the case of my wife – fidelity as a virtue is actually much more important than it was as a believer. Because I don’t assume it anymore and look at it as something to strengthen and improve because that is what you do with virtues.
I personally am much more open to a polyamorous relationship, but my wife is not, so I honor that and respect it as long as we continue to choose to be together. Because all those vows made before God, don’t mean shit to me anymore. My religion was discarded a long time ago and with it the attitudes it has concerning sex and marriage. What matters is fidelity and honor. For those, I stay true but rationally realistic about my own sexual desires. I see religion colors the lenses so badly, it leads to more trouble than it is worth.
My Two Cents,
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.