the day has arrived. fifty shades of grey is out for all the world to see, review, drool over and . . . yum. . . yea.
i almost wish i would have written this post for earlier this week, before people went to see it. i mentioned in a previous post that fifty shades of grey isn’t a how-to manual for relationships, bdsm or sex, but i can’t help but wonder if people really understand that.
the author has stated she isn’t “apart of the bdsm community” and while she said she wouldn’t release details about which parts of the book are true to her own life, we’re left to assume she has little to no knowledge of this type of relationship.
of the things i enjoyed about this book, the one thing i did enjoy was this comment by christian after a “scene”. anastasia was really upset and confused about what had happened. she didn’t want to open up about it, but he came back and told her that she needed to be honest with him if their relationship were to work.
he says, “do you feel this way or do you think you ought to feel this?” [emphasis added]
why do i like this question? i like it because it draws out a huge message of shame many people feel when it comes to their sexuality.
have you seen ‘forgetting sarah marshall”? there is a christian couple who is honeymooning in hawaii where this movie takes place. we watch just snippets of the couples discussions surrounding the sexual activity they will participate in. while one person desperately wants to do certain things the other continues to say, “it’s ungodly!”
i find this comical and sad. the truth is, no matter where we are with our faith, we have likely experienced some form of shame around our sexuality. this shame drives people to keep themselves hidden and never truly explore the way God intended sex to be.
sex is supposed to be an experience that is different from all other pleasures. it bonds two people together for life. it can create life! there are tons of how-to guides on sex. as i’ve mentioned before there are tons of books directed towards women on how to enjoy sex, even when you don’t want to. what? how is this a real thing? more importantly, why do we, as a culture, still buy into this idea that sex was created for men to enjoy and women to suffer through?
fifty shades has a bad rap for focusing on christian grey’s pleasure in “beating” anastasia. but the “deeper” message of this book, what i think drives women to want to read this book, is all the sex scenes in this book begin and end with a mind-blowing orgasm for anastasia. (okay, there are like 1 or 2 scenes that don’t end that way.) isn’t this something i hear women complain about a lot? that their spouse or partner doesn’t know how to “please” them?
this book makes sex seem like a great thing for women. i only wish it didn’t have to be full of “abusive” tendencies. i absolutely think this book has the potential to cause more women to open up to their spouse about what they’d like. i’d encourage everyone to think long and hard about the ramifications of engaging in bdsm, and rather get down to the basics. what does sex feel like for you? what do you want sex to feel like for you? are you willing to completely submit yourself, not only to your spouse, but to your body?
right after christian says the above qoute he says something that angers me, “if you do really feel this way, then do you think you could just try to embrace these feelings, deal with them, for me? that’s what a submissive would do.”
um. . . no. i’m not a submissive, and even i know that in a “healthy” bdsm relationship the submissive doesn’t just submit to pain and shaming that they aren’t okay with for the benefit of their dominate. this is false. this message, i believe correlates to the broader idea that a lot of christian women hear about sex. the idea that a wife should have sex, for their husbands, not for themselves.
let’s be clear. God created sex for his children. i am his child. my husband is his child. so, basically philosophy skills tell me that sex was created for me just as much as for my husband.
so what does the bible say about sex?
- you should not go near a person of your own family
- do not take the clothes off a woman and her daughter
- do not go near a woman to take off her clothes during the time when she has a flow of blood.
- do not have sex with your neighbors wife
- do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman.
- do not have sex with any animal
well, the old testament certainly has a lot of “do not do” directions. we see in the new testament some of the same stuff being said about homosexuality, but more of what we see in the new testament is “how-to love” someone. i’m left to wonder if this passage is how God designed sex to be,
love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it keeps no records of wrongs. love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” nit 1 cor 13.
and because i love definitions so much, let’s look at the definition of dishonor
the state of one who has lost honor or prestige or to feel shamed.
whoa, do you see a familiar word up there? to feel shamed. God is telling us that we are NOT to feel shamed when love is present.
then why do i feel so much shame about sex? then why do so many churches and pastors, and christians, and religious people shame others into hiding their sexuality?
songs of songs is beautiful book of the bible. did you know the catholic church didn’t want this book in the bible? they believed it was too sexually loose and not from God. i like this book. it’s beautiful and poetic. it talks of the love that two people hold for one another. it talks of the way they love each other, shamelessly.
this is where i want to see us, as a church, move. i want to see us revel in the beauty that God created. i want to see us teach morals, i want to see us talk about the importance of sex, the positives of sex, what consenting really means and looks like. i want us to stop teaching that sex is for the pleasures of man, therefore, “boys will be boys.” and begin teaching that sex is for all God’s children (obviously, of legal age).
i want to teach our boys that sex isn’t just for them, that sex is not selfish. i want to teach our girls that sex can be enjoyable. i want to teach our girls that we have a choice of whether or not to engage in sexual activities no matter our marital status.
i want victims of sexual assault to no longer feel shamed into silence. i want wives to no longer feel obligated to have sex, but to look forward to having sex. i want husbands to acknowledge they don’t own their wives. i want us, as a culture, to stop looking to books, or diagrams for how to have a better sex life, and start talking to each other.
we don’t need to hide behind books like fifty shades of grey or the karma sutra book to say, “i think i’d like that.”
look your lover in their eyes, break down the shame wall you’ve built up around you and talk.