October 7, 2009

Jesus is a Sexy Beast

Posted in Jesus, religion, sexuality, Spirituality tagged , , , at 5:42 am by Lakshmi (LaChelle)

sexy jesusI spent a whole heap of years accepting that God/Jesus was my Daddy, BetterThanABoyfriend, Romantic Prince Charming, Protector, Bryan Adams Doing Everything for Me (My Jesus was HOTT!), and I wasn’t the only one. As much as Jesus and the male God have been pronounced as celibate, asexual beings, the sexiness of Jesus is well promoted for mainstream Christians. I remember my youth pastor saying that, “As much as that cute boy at school makes you smile, Jesus should make you smile more. Jesus always thinks you are beautiful.” When the Da Vinci Code movie came out in 2006, it caused a bit of ¬†stir among Christian churches, the main complaint being that Jesus could have never have children. Not only would that (having sex?) compromise his divinity (although no one really ever explains why), it’s practically impossible (do NOT think of Jesus’ penis. Do NOT. It is not there. He does not use it. End. Of. Story.) Yet his sexuality was just that which was coveted by some people, including my friend. When I asked her what she thought of the movie, she said that she was fine with it, except that she would be sad to think of Jesus as having a wife. . . because she doesn’t want to share his love like that.

So as girls, we (being myself and this friend and others) were sort of allowed to see Jesus as romantic. We were the brides of Christ. A major motivation to stay virgins until we married was because if we didn’t, it would be like we were cheating on Jesus (yes, this was another youth service sermon). Yet, to think of the historical Jesus as feeling lust, but more to the point, engaging in sex, would be wrong. Right? Because sex is . . . not divine? What happens if he has sex???? Is sex sin? What IS it? But hey, if he DID think about sex, it was certainly heterosexual sex. That is just a given. Come on.

God is sort of given the same rap, although He isn’t as sexy since he’s sort of amorphous and spirit-y. Yet He’s definitely male (Zeus, anyone?) and yet definitely asexual (although. . . he kind of did it with Mary to make Jesus. . . omgz I’m so confused).

But what consequences do such messages have on our theologies, on our lives? Jesus/God is a sexy beast we can’t really have. Is there a place for the erotic, for sexuality, in our theology? Can it be seen as divine and good and therefore not to be avoided in our deities and in our own religious/spiritual lives? Do we have to separate it? Here is me being holy and sacred (not having sex). Here is me being human (not divine, having sex). I’m not sure really what I want in theology, but it might be nice to discover the sensual and the sexual and not have it be a disconnect with the sacred. At the same time, the sexualizing of God/Jesus as husband/boyfriend/great body as it happens now seems problematic. But I’m not sure how to articulate why.

As we think on these things, may this music video from the film Hamlet 2 be of aid:

September 23, 2009

Cute Pink Bunny Vibrator: My Worst Enemy

Posted in religion, sexuality tagged , , , , , at 3:08 am by Lakshmi (LaChelle)

rabbit-pearl-vibrator-big. . . well, not really. But it does scare the hell out of me. It’s hidden away in a cozy beige bag in the hallway cupboard, right next to the clear baggie of brightly colored vegan condoms flavored blueberry, strawberry, wildberry, and vanilla, which is next to a goddess-lovely tube of vegan lube. The first time I have sex with the person I love most (me), I want it to be a truly organic experience. (You can get all of these things, well sans the vibrator,¬†here.)

Um, okay, I don’t even know if that last joke made sense. But whatever.

To put it bluntly, nothing has ever gone inside me “down there:” not a tampon, finger, penis, or even the seemingly innocent little vibrator with a rabbit and pearls that someone paid $79 for.

I’m a pretty, blonde, Ph.d, all-around-fabulous person who has done plenty of other things and gone on many dates, but I’m a little over a year away from being 30 and I sort of have a complex about this. My feelings range from OMG-I’m-a-Horrible-Weird-Ogre-Freak to Ha!-Queen-Of-Purity! But mostly, I don’t really think too much about it at all.

Growing up, I was the speaker on “abstinence” at a Youth Leadership Conference because I religiously believed that God had a soulmate for each person and so you should save yourself for him/her until your magical wedding night which would be stars and Bryan Adams playing in the background and a bed that overlooked the Mediterranean Sea while it rained. I’m sure my evangelical tradition had something to do with this idea as did growing up in the Bible Belt. I was even taught that masturbation was a dirty little sin that could send you to hell. I really had little sexual outlet.

All my boyfriends at my Christian college were equally as repressed and so I was never really confronted with the idea that anyone would even want to have sex with me. . . not until graduate school. But we didn’t. Actually, we never really even had the conversation and my boyfriend, another virgin but not a Christian, did not suggest it. We increasingly became more and more intimate though. And with each step I felt increasingly more guilt and shame, and the disapproving floating head of God in my mind looked a lot like my mom’s. I was beginning to be less shackled my traditional Christianity after I moved away from home, but the new world of sexual intimacy, drinking, late night intellectual discussions, clubs, and basically experiencing life was intimidating.

By the time I finished my MA, I went back home and began dating someone else that I eventually moved in with, but he was even more adamant (being a Christian) that sex was for marriage. So no-go there. And finally when I was feeling okay and adventurous! I even remember staying up late one night with my older woman friend discussing how to seduce a man. But Mr. D could not be seduced. My last boyfriend was also a virgin, but he wouldn’t have minded having sex, yet. . . I just can’t. I don’t want to. First it was religious, and mostly now it’s that having a baby would in my opinion absolutely ruin my life (I hate the idea of having children, call me a monster if you will). And partly. . . because pink vibrators won’t get you pregnant. . right?. . . I just don’t want to take the plunge. I’m scared? I don’t know. If you’ve never had chocolate before, maybe you stop caring about trying to eat it. If my religion would have celebrated sexuality and bodies and my mom would have been less BoysOnlyWantSex/ToRapeYouOneThing, maybe just maybe, I wouldn’t now be coveting/idolizing my body-as-temple or, to rephrase someone brilliant, putting the penis on a pedestal. I do understand that I have the ability to change my mind about sex now that I am agent of my life. But I’m honestly just not sure how to do that.