Sometimes my world swirls in chaos and I get lost in the kaleidoscope colors. I need to choose a sliver of light in the prism and grab hold. In my current state of chaos I have grabbed a sliver of incandescent blue light. A light that represents sex, a subject that has been on my mind as of late.
I like sex. When it’s good, it’s hot and sticky and so full of sensation that I want to stay in that moment forever. I love getting lost in sensation, having the focus of my world narrow down to just the two of us. To just touch and taste and smell and sound. When it’s good, sex transports us to that island where two people are so focused on each other, the rest of the world fades to black. Oh god, is that good.
When it’s bad, sex can erode a person’s sense of self. I’m not talking about the sex a couple has when they are just learning each other, that potentially bumbling and inadequate sex. Nor am I talking about abusive sex. That’s a whole other blog post. I’m talking about selfish sex. Sex where you feel coerced or lacking. When the silent treatment is used to punish. Or when a partner is so caught up in what s/he wants that no thought is given to the other. When sex is requested when there is anger or hurt. Angry sex may seem like a good idea in novels and movies, but in reality, it sucks. We use what should be one of the most intimate of acts and we punish each other. Or we lay back in silence, fuming, not allowing ourselves to sink into the pleasure, creating a rift in relationship that devastates.
I’ve had my share of good sex and bad sex. I far prefer good sex. I’m a sensualist. I process and experience my world through not just my intellect and spirituality, but also through my senses. I have been known to sit on a beach with my eyes closed, just listening to the rush of waves, feeling the subtle dampness on my skin, breathing in the lush green scents. Or tilting my head to the sun as though every pore could absorb that radiant heat. This is how I experience my world. And during good sex, all my senses are heightened. During bad sex, well, those same senses are heightened as well. Which may be why the bad sex is so easy to remember.
Emotion enhances memory. Negative emotion can actually enhance memory more than positive emotion (online citation). If sex was bad due to anger, shame, even hate, that experience may be logged with more accurately than sex that was achingly beautiful. Have enough of this bad sex and we may find ourselves conditioned to associate sex with anger, sadness, shame, despair. The joy is gone. The delight in discovery is swept away. No longer do we rush toward our partner with lustful abandon. Sex becomes something to avoid or to endure. We lay back, spread our legs and try to think of England. Or we come at the act with such disgust or anger that sex becomes a war zone with you as a key combatant.
Sex should never be used as a weapon. Shame should never enter the bedroom (or living room, dining room, backseat of the car, or wherever you might enjoy getting freaky). Coercion, anger, disgust have no place with sex. I don’t know all the answers as to how to eliminate the darker side of sex. I know it can be done. My husband and I, we aren’t perfect. We have used sex as currency. We have used sex to punish. We can admit to what we are doing and we can work through healing. Thankfully, we have had far more good sex than dark sex. And through curiosity, education, and practice we are able to overcome inadequate sex. Trust and communication are so important. Lose one or both of those and…it’s going to be bad.
What does this have to do with my blog? Well, my last post was about sex and shame, two words which should never ever be seen together. How are we supposed to know what sex can be like if we don’t educate ourselves? If we don’t talk about it? How are we supposed to feel good about ourselves as sexual beings if the messages we hear are only about the darker side of sex? Or about shame?
I am a christian and I love sex. I have experienced the dark side. I have had sex used as a weapon against me and I still love sex. Why? Because I was able to talk about it. I had people at various points in my life who were willing and able to help me figure out what sex is really supposed to be and how it could make me feel. God created me with primary and secondary sexual organs. God gave me, a woman, an organ where it’s sole purpose is pleasure. I have a partner who has a high sex drive and while not always willing to go where I want to go, understands that sex is about sensation as much as it can be about intimacy.
Too many people, too many Christians, don’t talk about sex. There is little discussion about sexuality, sensuality, or how sex is more than procreation or marital duty. Sexuality is more than the Kama Sutra or pornography. It’s not just an act. Sex done right is the most intimate expression of relationship, of love. It satisfies a hunger deep within us we didn’t even know we had.
It’s beyond time to start the dialogue. I hope you join me.