I know, I know, just rock with me for a second.
Last night during a convo with my girl Renina she mentioned I should check out an essay on the Crunk Feminist Collective blog. Already a fan of the site, I let my fingers stroll on over and stumbled upon one of the most honestly written essays I’ve come across in a long time. The title alone, “Single, Saved, and Sexin’: The Gospel of Gettin’ Your Freak On,” let me know I was in for a serious piece of writing, and it did not disappoint.
In “Single, Saved, and Sexin’” the author (who posted anonymously so that she may speak freely) muses about her struggle to satisfy her sexual needs, while staying in compliance with God’s word.
Like most conservative Christian folks, I grew up believing, that sex was reserved for marriage. For years my sexual experiences were laden with guilt. I routinely went years at a time with no sexual contact, until I would finally, in a fit of weakness give in to my urges. I was caught in a continual cycle of self-denial, self-indulgence, guilt, confession, rinse and repeat, topped off by five years of celibacy. I was treating sex as if it were a bad habit that I desperately needed to break.
All of that is a prelude to a confession: I’m single. I’m saved (as in born-again Christian). And I have sex. Unapologetically.
As the granddaughter of a preacher, and someone who was raised in a strict Baptist household, I totally understand where she’s coming from. The need to balance your sexual desires with your religious beliefs is a struggle for many, especially women.
The author asserted that, instead of shrinking to fit the limited definition of what’s allowed within the standard understanding of Christianity (her religion), she wanted and needed an “expanded view of God,” one that no longer made her feel trapped in a cycle of guilt and regret for simply expressing herself sexually.
While I read, her words not only resonated with me, but they also struck me as sort of a declaration of liberation more than a woman trying to justify getting her freak on. Too often women, both in religious and secular society, are made to feel like we must adhere to ultra modest standards while our male counterparts are free to live life how they see fit. I don’t think Jesus believed in double standards, so why is so much of our (religious/secular) society predicated on such ideals?
Now I know, some will view her words as the ramblings of a self-indulgent woman who is looking to make God shrink to fit her needs, instead of expanding to meet His. But I find her words pretty spot on. Not only because I am leery of the validity of some of the Bible’s writings (I mean, it was written by MEN after all), but also because I believe that each person’s relationship with God is personal. And God is much too big and too expansive and too alive to be held to such antiquated words. The beauty of God (if you believe) is that S/he meets us where we are and loves us in spite of our decisions.