This is my ode to God's gift of sex and Salt n Peppa as I'll be seeing them in concert this weekend!
Is it OK for a “good” Christian woman to write about sex? Is it OK for me to want it, given my circumstance and all? I hate that in my culture, the good, pure, Christian community things like this aren't OK to talk about. I actually hate that Christian women in general are made to believe sex is a chore. Really?! I mean out of all the things in life a person “has” to do, is sex really a chore? I must be an exception because it's never seemed like a chore to me… It's a natural urge, a God given gift and I'm a woman in the prime of my life, actually, physically at the height of my sexual drive probably and I've been deprived because of … well, differences in opinion that are leading to divorce.
The thing is… I'm a good Christian woman so I'm not supposed to talk about my urges, maybe I'm not even supposed to have them. Apparently from what I've read in Christian literature and the Huffington Post, women have a limited desire for sex. What?! For real?! I cannot be the only woman who thinks about sex ALL THE TIME... Can I? Please say no!
I absolutely believe in what the Bible teaches about sex and so I'm not saying I want to have sex right now. Obviously I won't go out and have it with just anyone, nor would I want to, that's gross and wrong and depraved and sad.... That's not the part that bugs me. What bothers me is that in the unchurched community this conversation, with someone who's been sexually deprived for WELL over an acceptable amount of time would be understood, sympathized with, and not frowned upon but in my world, my culture, my Christian community this talk is going to get me in BIG trouble!
My question is why? Sex is natural, good and necessary to life, seriously not a single one of us would be here without it. (Ok, ok there may be a scant few artificially inseminated people out there but you get my point). I'm the first to admit it's a precious, intimate act that should be appreciated and special and shouldn't be misused or taken or had lightly or promiscuously but why can't I talk about it? Why do we as a Christian community keep sex so under wraps or as one of those things men want and women must give in to? Is this something Christian men talk about and keep from the women? Because Christian women don't talk about sex… like ever! Like seriously, I've been a Christian woman since 1999 and I've NEVER had a conversation with another Christian woman about my sex life (ummm except recently in my frustrated state, thanks JC an TT for putting up with me :).
So I'm going to talk about it… I've been having sex regularly the entire scope of my marriage and, for that matter, most of my adult life, and now obviously I'm not and it's a big deal to me, like a big deal!!!! … but one I don't feel safe talking about because I don't want to offend any good Christian people and I don't want to give anyone else the wrong idea. But I'm ready to go there (sorry dad, moms, Gramma, kids and all the other good Christian people reading this). I like sex! There I said it!!! I LOVE SEX!! It was one of my favorite parts of life and now it's gone, and if I have it, unmarried well... that's not even an option. It's a solo mission for my foreseeable future and that makes me sad!!!! I don't want that, but I want to be able to talk about the frustration. I want to hear someone say it's OK to feel robbed and cheated of a natural, God-given gift.
Maybe that's why I write hot, sexy scenes (between married characters) the way I do. Because I don't think it should be so hidden (but then again I hate porn so… how do I justify writing scenes like the ones I do?). Private, intimate, personal, that's everything sex is supposed to be. I don't want anyone knowing my sexual business and I think porn and objectification or idolization of sex is wrong but to appreciate it, to talk about it, to bring it out into the Light… that's not wrong. What I think is wrong is trying to deny or admit God-given urges. What I think is wrong is me not feeling safe admitting I miss sex. I don't want it with just anyone, but I want to feel safe admitting that I genuinely miss it. Most of my adult life I had amazing, mind-blowing sex, and yes my husband was an amazing lover! I miss it! It was an awesome part of my life, and it's gone. Is that wrong to admit? Didn't God make me to desire it, to get enjoyment from giving and receiving sexual pleasure to and from my spouse? Yes He did! It's in the Bible!!! I read it daily, sex is most assuredly in there! For me to be without it is not God's perfect plan. And since reconciliation seems to be off the table, I promise you I'll be looking for a partner in life, in spirituality, and in sexual intimacy as soon as this divorce is final if reconciliation doesn't happen.
I'm in a place where I don't have the opportunity to enjoy making love to my man. It's not fair, it's not God's plan and it's ummm, uhhhh, frustrating…!!!!! ... But it's my life right now. I'm a Christian woman, left for reasons that are still unclear to me and I miss having sex. There I said it again! I miss sex. I believe God made it and it is GOOD! And if my writing reflects a strong sexual desire I say to you it's because God made it, God blessed it and sex, in the right context, is beyond good! He didn't make a mistake, He made a pretty awesome mechanism for procreation and intimacy. I thank Him for it and I look forward to the day I can have it again. There! Whew! Glad I got that out of me! I will continue to write passionate sex scenes the way I do and if I'm being punished for it, I guess I'll answer for it in due time… until then, if you're married make good love… because some of us can't right now!!!
The last two weeks have been a tidal wave of sensory rich nostalgia. Yes there's been life happening too that's complicated the whole thing but I've tasted, touched, smelled and bathed in the warm tide waters of nostalgia. What a cool word! What a cool feeling. I've never participated in a class reunion before so I didn't know what to expect, only that I wanted to be part of it. Sure, I wanted to see how everyone was but it was more than that. It was connection. Slowly, over time, we grew up. We've lived each day twenty-four hours at a time but we remember high school as we perceived it. We've been left with fleeting snapshots of school, classmates, Tis Allegany fight songs and high school antics. And then all at once in a colossal moment of fusion, all that was came full circle with all that is. And we call it nostalgia.
It felt like swimming in a deep tropical ocean of azure blue, with find white or golden sand depending on which AHS I was reuniting with. I was surrounded by faces that confused me, they were young in my mind, still the children I grew up with, but my eyes told me they had gray hair, or no hair or facial hair. We were bigger or smaller, some were much the same, those Jazzmine boys still sang on key. We were us but we were different, wiser maybe, living life but wanting to remember what we used to be. The waves crashed, good memories, good times … and not so good ones of bullies and blunders and stupid parlor tricks. I was so afraid as a child of who would laugh at me, who would be my friend and if I fit in. Twenty years later that didn't matter anymore. We didn't compete, we weren't comparing... we were one. The geeks, the jocks, the nerds, the short, silent contemplative ones. No longer us against each other but together we were us against a world that sucks us in and eats away at our youth.
Together we hang on to what once was, somehow reviving our souls with our shared energy. Together we share our dreams, real-life dreams for our families our children, our businesses and grown-up adventures. We talk about how we became who we are and what we did before we knew who we were going to be. We plunged into what was and back-stroked in a safety net of unique connection.
And it is unique. Of the seven billion people in the world these are the ones who know me. Not well, at least not most of them but I know them and they know me. We are forever connected by a past we alone share. No one else on the planet can share what we've shared, know what we know, or understand our school culture. What a glorious reconnection!
The best part was making the most of the time, though I wish I'd had more with so many old friends. I was finally able to say things I've wanted to say for so long. Things that won't change life as it is now, but words that hopefully stitched up old wounds and ended run-on sentences. I saw places that that are memorialized in my mind and found out that in many instances the places are quite possibly more special all these years later than I ever realized they were back then. I made peace that was long over due and I learned that even twenty years later I'm still so ashamed of what I said to some people that it was too hard to talk about it. But to see the faces and know they are well. To remember the classmates that we've already lost. To wonder if any of our pictures will be added by the next reunion. To celebrate how incredibly fortunate we all are for the most part. To be one with the few others who share this common bond was a precious gift.
I am so grateful to have done this and am eagerly awaiting the next round. I am hopeful it will be just as meaningful.
This season of my life is unlike any I've ever known. It's not good, in my opinion I've been abandoned by the one person who was supposed to be with me for life. My soul is torn up, my spirit is crushed, my self-confidence is shaken. I try to put on a smile but I'm too emotionally driven to hide the feelings boiling inside me. But then again, it's one of the best times in my life. I'm living my dream. I know what God put me on the earth to do and I'm stepping in that direction. I haven't yet achieved my goal but I'm getting there. How can I remain depressed when there is so much good? How can I celebrate to the fullest when my partner in life has pulled away?
All I know is that I want to inhale deeply of every emotion and experience this season throws at me, no matter how bad or good it is. Feelings deserve attention and I want to wrap up in them and taste them, touch them, savor them and learn from this so I can come out better, stronger and more empathetic to others.
So what's the shift? Loneliness, emptiness, the state of belonging to no man.
I'm at this place in my life where everything I thought I could count on has changed. There is nothing I'm sure of, not God's will, not my relationships with the people who matter most to me, not even my housing situation. Everything is confusing. Most of all who I will spend the rest of my life with.
And that's it. Since all of this happened the question has been who? Who is my partner for life? It was him for fourteen years, and now I don't know him. He wasn't perfect, neither am I. But it was never about perfection it was about belonging. We were us. We belonged to each other no matter what. He was air, breath, the beat of my heart, a hand, a mind, a body, a soul, the one and only soul that knew mine intimately (enough to know how devastating leaving would be). He was the one body I could touch however I wanted with no sin or shame. He was the one person who was supposed to never leave until death did part us. And he left me.
The question didn't change when he left. Who? Who will be with me in this life? Who will I belong to, because more than anything I need to belong. Will he do the work to come back? If so, when? Am I even worth the effort? Were we worth it?
When I haven't been thinking of him coming back (which is most of the time) I've been thinking of who might replace him? When will he be replaced? Should he? Do I know who it is already? Do I really want anyone? If I do, what do I want? How can I think of replacing him? Besides, will anyone really want me? How could anyone want someone like me?
Then it hit me today… who? Always who? I've said I should probably stay alone but I don't meant it. I'm not an alone kind of person. I'm an independent person, I'm an awkward, opinionated person, but I want to belong to someone. What if I could get over that? What if I could stop asking who? What if I could just be me? I've never been a 'just me' woman. I've been someone's girlfriend, lover, wife. I've been on a year-long break from men to figure out who I was in Christ, but the plan was never to remain single or alone. Now what? Do I give up on who? Can I? I've tried to think about it all day. What if there was no who. Not him, not someone else. Can I not belong to someone for the rest of my life when acceptance is one of my most intimate needs? Can I keep my ring on and not hope he thinks it a sign of my fidelity and comes back? Can I take it off and not hope someone might notice me? Can I let go of the hope of belonging to a man? I don't know. The thought of never having another lover, soul-mate and companion is hard to imagine. Can I let go of my need to belong?