Virgin Territory, the show

There’s a new[er] show out on MTV these days called Virgin Territory. It delves into following around virgins who come from many backgrounds, and subsequently many reasons why the guys and gals of the show are virgins. Some (no surprise) come from religious background, others are virgins for personal/painful reasons, but all in all I find it to be a pretty decent show.

The thing is, I too am a virgin. I realize that for me and my sexuality it is there but it is dormant in a positive way. I say this because I think sometimes, and yes this is coming from Rob Bell’s SEX GOD book, that culture…Christian and otherwise…tries to dictate how we should be as sexual beings (animals or angels) and even that is being dictated, asexuality / asexuals isn’t talked about.
But, for us who are aware of our proclivity to be sexually attracted to others, whether it’s the same sex, opposite sex, or even for those who are attracted to both sexes there’s a sense of competing voices.

***

As a follower of Christ I’ve heard a lot about sex in Christian circles. Coming from an Evangelical upbringing it was almost on par with that quote from Mean Girls;

And for me that is very misleading, and it drives Christians (or at least a good portion of the ones I’ve met) into thinking/shutting down their sexual drive. I am quite certain, despite being a virgin, that isn’t what God had in mind.

Then there’s other-culture. Sex is sex, no harm no foul as long as it’s consensual and no one gets pregnant and/or an STI they’ll be fine…well, at least that’s how it’s spun time and time again. I do appreciate MTV Virgin Territory’s commercials of only you get to decide whether you want to have sex or not and honestly, yes! That is the answer. Even that is the answer for me, though I am one for waiting for something with commitment and security and intimacy in its truest form.

Here’s my Rob Bell’s Sex God tie-in:
When we deny the spiritual dimension to our existence, we end up living like animals. And when we deny the physical, sexual dimension to our existence, we end up living like angels.

And both ways are destructive, because God made us human.

I am human. I am sexually attracted to women. I know this and I have always known this and despite all the competing voices of what I should / shouldn’t do with my sexuality, I personally am going to wait for something substantial relationship-wise before I have sex. It’s not my religion talking, it’s what want to do with my sexuality. What you do is up to you, your morals might be similar like mine or they might not be, however you choose to work it out is up to you.

~Nathanael~

reclaiming my sexuality from Christians

re·claim

[riˈklām]

verb (used with object), re·claimed, re·claim·ing

retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of.

***

Truth to be told I heard diverse perspectives about sexuality growing up. In my immediate family, mum was the word. Amongst my peers it was something talked about in secret braggadocio whispers about who did what with whom, and in church…well, in church, purity was put on a pedestal.

I was never part of any True Love Waits conferences, the quintessential Evangelical event that coerces instructs kids to make a pledge to save sex for marriage and only marriage. The pledge is as follows: “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.”
It is sexual to some degree education but solely from an abstinence perspective. While there are some things within the program that might be beneficial, I truly believe that followers of Christ who aren’t willing to give kids a well-rounded/holistic view on sexuality might be setting them up for failure or worse if kids have sex (gasp!) there might be some sense of worthlessness per no longer being “sexually pure”.

This is my story so I will get back to it. Despite not going to any conferences that were promoting sexual purity and waiting for marriage to have sex, some of it seeped into my subconscious. I didn’t ever write off any of my peers if they were not being “sexually pure” or anything like that, but I did know of some peers who seemed adrift and perhaps even at a loss when they went “too far”.

My first dating relationship was to a woman who had two sons, and while in that season of life I loved her unconditionally, it was sad to hear indirectly people talking about my relationship with this woman who had two children who wasn’t married. It pissed me off for many  reasons, but there was the nature of they didn’t even know her and they made assumptions about this ‘promiscuous woman’ I was dating.
I have a great deal of respect for single parent households, it’s a tough position to be in and having been in a relationship with a woman who was for a while I learned quite a bit. Still among Christians there’s a taboo about it. To those who talk and whisper and cut down such individuals to their face or behind their backs, to those who do that fuck your actions!  Engage them in conversation and maybe you’ll find out where they’re coming from.

Now what confuses me is the pedestal in which sexual purity is placed amongst followers of Christ. There’s no reference of saving sex for marriage in the Bible because in that day and age sex was marriage, and even the nature of it was more procreational not necessarily recreational, although if you read Song of Solomon and between the lines, yeah it was to be enjoyed. Marriage was also transactional; to keep peace between family members or tribes, a daughter and son would unite to hold things together in that way. Plus there’s the age in which people were getting “married” in that day and age, individuals in their early to mid teens! Nowadays people are getting married later and later in life, statistically via Huffington Post; “For men, the average age at first marriage is 28.7, while the average woman is getting married for the first time at age 26.5.
There is also the nature of shaming those who are no longer virgins. Everything revolves around being sexually pure and once that comes to an end, you’re used up and discarded. I know I have felt collective guilt in the past for making out, and it was never really my own guilt! I do see that if you’re feeling guilty by your own guilt and not because of some collective guilt…well, maybe that should be your cue if anything.

When it comes down to it I have for sometime now reclaimed my sexuality from Christians. I reclaim it because I realize having lived life for 29 years now that sex is important, but people are more important. I cannot snob or look down upon someone who is having sex or had sex, that is their purgative and not mine at this time. I am a sexual being, but I am a sexual being in waiting; I will learn, I will ask questions, I will cross “Christian” lines to educate myself sexually instead of just siding with “don’t have sex until you get married/abstinence only” rhetoric.

***

When the time comes to have children of my own it is my intention to give my children a holistic sexual education.  That includes bringing up abstinence but also different forms of protection for safer sex. I will share with them my story without getting into details that will freak them out to the point of not wanting to discuss sexual matters out loud with my wife/their mom and I, the last thing I want for my children is to feel like they cannot talk to me about anything, now whether I’ll be ready for said conversations time will tell. 😉

Sex is important, and it can be very good at times. It needs to be talked about in a way that doesn’t elevate sexual purity in a way that one’s worth is defined solely on whether someone has had sex or not. In recognizing and engaging my own sexuality I realize that there’s more to sex than sex and certainly there’s more to purity than purity. I am doing what I can to live holistically and through this stance this is how I choose to reclaim my sexuality from Christians.

~Nathanael~

reshaping my sexuality from me

re·shape

[ree-sheyp]

verb (used with object), re·shaped, re·shap·ing

to shape again or into different form.I am a follower of Christ, a heterosexual male, the oldest kid in a family of 6, a good cook, an active and participatory talker as well as listener, a craft beer snob aficionado, a dark but hopeful and wandering soul…

Yet as I embrace the whole of who I am, when it comes to being a sexual being…well, I know that I like women, but it hasn’t been much apart from knowing it and picking people’s minds about sex, and learning via books, as I am a 29 year old virgin.

I have for sometime now been in the process of reshaping my sexuality.  Where do I begin, well, I guess I will start at the beginning…Sex isn’t something talked about out loud in my family. I know that my parents have had sex at least 4 times, hence 3 sisters and myself, so I’ll just leave it at that.

My sexual education consisted of an old[er] book that was going to be something my father and I were going to go over…but instead, he threw the book my way and I read it on my own. It was horrible, sheer WASPy Evangelical-based horror. The part I remember best from that book due it being so bad was a statement something along the lines of “sex is like asparagus, I might not like it now but when I am older I will” (reader’s note, I have always liked asparagus, so…bad analogy! ;-))

My first encounter with porn was when I was 15 or 16 at the local park. A clipping saying I could “extend my male member by 3-4 inches”…even then I was rather stupefied by the why’s and what’s, but was too…self conscious/innocent to ask what was that advertisement was suggesting.

There was gossip mingled with braggadocio amongst my fellow Boy Scouts, but not much, and even then I knew how to spot a liar (it takes one to know one, and that’s another story for another day).

***

But still I waited, and still wait. But I have come to terms with my sexuality. Perhaps at one time I did think that it was a “wait to get married to have sex” reason why I chose to hold out on having sex. Not that the opportunity hasn’t come up. There have been opportunities where I might have gone further than making out or times when on the job (not the current one, mind you) where I was solicited for sex from coworkers, and one teacher at a school where I worked as a janitor at a local school.

It’s amazing how many opportunities, if I chose, to have sex have come up in my life. Even when I was young I was very surprised at how easy it could be. Then and even now I wonder why does sex just sometimes happen. I like picking people’s minds about this, and for some because I am holding back (rather than holding out) I am ideal, I am the individual who has held back and therefore I am in a place of power. There is power in sex, yes, but to be the one not giving in to sex at times makes you out to be the one who has the most power.

So at this point in my journeys as a human being, I think I am waiting to have sex…for me. I am not selfish when I am in a relationship, but I have boundaries. Despite sometimes getting caught up in emotions, feelings, and a heavy dose of oxytocin and dopamine (yes science is on my mind, among other things) I pull back. I pull back not out of individual guilt or collective guilt that “a Christian should not…” I don’t buy into that, and if I did I know I wouldn’t be functioning well on my own because I’d be overly keeping myself in line (more on this in the next post).

Now to the reader who has already had sex, this isn’t a post about me being superior to you for me waiting and you not. Absolutely not. You make your decisions (and hopefully it’s consensual) and I am making mine.

So why re:shaping you might ask. Well for my sexuality it is still there, no doubt about it, I won’t deny it. But I do realize that I have quite a ways to go with it. I am aware of the short comings in my early sexually active days yet to be had, but I do realize that it will be a culmination of being in a committed relationship to my June* (*term of affection, I’m a Johnny Cash fan/Man in Black kinda guy) in which I am looking for her, and praying with my eyes open for her.

Sex is important to me, but some things have to come together first. I don’t want a one night stand with someone I don’t love, I don’t want a pity lay because I am 29 years old and haven’t had sex, I want it for better reasons than my own and that is why I am in the process of reshaping my sexuality from me.

~Nathanael~

Sex! Or, how to get any* reader’s attention

Hey there reader!

Have I got you snagged by the most used hook out there yet? Well heads up, things are about to get heavy.

I have for sometime now been toying with writing more about sex/sexuality, and finally I have taken the edge off myself and this topic (thanks Jack Daniels! JK LOL maybe) I will be writing about it very soon. I have a few ideas what I want to talk about, but let’s face it, sex sells and snowballs…so I will have plenty to talk about all in due time.

So stay tuned, if you want to, nobody is forcing you to stay here (and I am not a nobody for the record).

Oooh look! Awkward Virgins kissing for the first time!

awkwardvirginskissing-o

(I will be writing about purity, sexuality, and Christianity soon enough. It is a part of my story, and perhaps maybe even yours)

~Nathanael~

P.S. Any* is in reference to individuals such as Janeane Garofalo who identify as being asexual; the lack of much or any sexual drive for anyone.

Promoting healthy sexuality one marriage at a time

SEX!

Do I have your attention yet? 😉

Is a very beautiful and wonderful thing for humans to enjoy, in which for the past several years whenever I go to a wedding I bring as a wedding present a gift card to Lovers Lane.

Because while I think that sex can be good apart from marriage, it can be better still in the context of marriage, to which I believe that regardless of your sexual orientation that you should have the right to get married.

With that being said, the card that I enclose to couples who get married has a note attached to the gift card – Have fun and pick out something together. I do think that it is important for couples to be open and honest with one another in all facets of their lives, including their sexual lives, in which I think that by communicating what’s good as well as what’s bad in the marital bed can help both individuals out, hence the together part in my wedding card message.

I think that sometimes in particularly in Christian culture (as one who’s a follower of Christ, so I’m writing of what I know and perceive) sex is given a bad rap, or sex is viewed as “for procreation and not for recreation only”, or worst of all “sex is dirty.” Yet I don’t think it is, I think that everything is permissible in sex as long as everyone involved in the act of sex is for it, but if some part of sex is problematic for an individual it should be stopped and not coerced of the person until they break down and give in.

So have fun and pick out something together with your SO! 🙂 Have a lot of happy and good sex!

~Nathanael~