Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ruminations on real sex (pt. 1)

i got this book in the mail couple days ago per the recommendation of jameschoung.net's library page. very very fascinating book so far - the author, lauren f. winner, has made a really conscious effort to challenge the way the christian church (evangelical, western church) talks and engages on the topic of sex. imma post thoughts as i read through it...

“Indeed, one can say that in Christianity’s vocabulary the only real sex is the sex that happens in a marriage; the faux sex that goes on outside marriage is not really sex at all. The physical coming together that happens between two people who are not married is only a distorted imitation of sex, as Walt Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is only a simulation of real wilderness. The danger is that when we spend too much time in the simulations, we lose the capacity to distinguish between the ersatz and the real.” p.38

i laughed out loud when i read this part. the walt disney parallel just brings the point home.

its true though isn't it, if we spend enough time with the counterfeit, we forget what the real thing is? there's the anecdote that if you want to learn to detect the counterfeit - become deeply acquainted with genuine.

i'm assuming that the sex that is often portrayed by mainstream media is definitely not the real thing. even so-called "pagans" understand that what hollywood or the tabloids tell us about sex is very much removed from the reality of what happens in between the blankets or what really happens between two consenting adults.

but i also think that the mainstream western church also has a whacked out perspective of sex, how we view our bodies, sex in the context of marriage and what it means to be a sexual being. part of the reason why i'm reading this book is that all my life i've been told that i shouldn't look at porn, think about sex, blah blah. which all ends up insinuating that sex is bad as a single male and then somehow after i get married sex is something good?

i'm not quite getting the message of what it means to function as a human being that God created with sexual desires. somehow we're supposed to keep those desires under wraps when we're single, and somehow "we don't have to worry about it" when we get married?

i'm not being terribly fair with the last statement - but i hope you get my point. i feel like society AND the church has ripped us off in terms of what true sexuality looks like.

isn't it about time we start dealing with this issue in a way that honors the fact that God's original depiction of sex is in the garden of eden - where everything God created was good.

anyhow - first thoughts, lots more good stuff to come along the way.

1 comment:

  1. i read this book a while back...it's a mixed bag...I also recommend A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shallit and Intimacy by Nouwen.