Archive for the ‘sex’ Tag

PG in an Erotica World   10 comments

This week’s blog hop discussion asks me “How do I feel about all the sex and sexual innuendo in the world? And how do I deal with it?”

Before we get started, Stevie Turner is discussing this subject over on her blog too. While you’re there, check out her books. Hit the link below if you want to check out others in the hop … or join us if you are a writer with something to say on the subject.

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I’m an evangelical Christian who thinks monogamy is a God-mandate for Christians. Christian spouses are directed to not only keep themselves physically clean of adultery, but also mentally clean. Porn for men and erotica for women serve the same purpose — a type of mental adultery that Christians should not participate in. I further believe that single Christians should remain chaste or find a willing spouse. Better to marry than to burn, as Paul said.

So, yes, the United States is a challenging culture to the practice of those beliefs. Sex is everywhere — movies, music, television, books, magazines, advertisements … literally everywhere. It is impossible to avoid, so practice of my beliefs requires something different.

Believe it or not, I have a very pragmatic view of sex, and especially the tenderloin trade, because I grew up in Fairbanks Alaska, where many of the ladies of society had been Fourth Avenue Line girls. Hey, don’t knock it! They made more money than the miners they married and that made them business people in their own rights. Alaskans are extremely pragmatic people that way. One of my mom’s best friends was a former “line” girl and retired madam. My parents owned a cafe between a bar and a strip club. During the Pipeline boom in the 1970s, there were prostitutes walking up and down 2nd Avenue (our cafe was on the same block on 1st) and I regularly turned down $300 an hour on my way home from junior high school.

I like sex and prostitutes and strippers can be entertaining to talk to. I’m no prude, but I think the sexual relationship between a Christian husband and wife is a metaphor for Jesus’ relationship with the churches and I have an obligation to interact with my culture in a way that is blameless by Biblical definition.

I don’t read erotica. No, I’m not a prude. If you want to read erotica, go for it. I don’t read erotica because I feel the images it conjures in my brain constitutes cheating on my husband. If you don’t attend my church, I don’t care what you do. I care what I do.

On the other hand, I read Song of Ice and Fire novels. Yeah, there’s some salacious sex in there, but I know when it’s coming (Martin is kind of obvious) and I just skip it. I don’t dwell on it and therefore, I don’t carry it with me into my life.

Brad and I like to watch television in our time together, but we have to be selective these days. We pretty much ignore the occasional innuendo and even the inevitable sex scene, but there are television shows we don’t watch because they seem focused on sex. Sense8 lost us on the third scene of the pilot. It looks like a great sci-fi series, but we’re not going to wade through salacious sex scenes to the good parts. I’ll never find out if the lesbian dildo scene was just an outlier because I’ll never watch the series again. We both felt assaulted by this unnecessarily lewd scene in a show that didn’t seem to be about that.

Brad used to really love Orange is the New Black, but the latest season to go up on Netflix lost him because of the sex. He was okay with the occasional innuendo and women kissing (we used to work in prison ministries, we know what goes on), but apparently this last season goes where he is not willing to follow, so he’s stopped watching it.

On the other hand, a show that has a fairly tame sex scene halfway through the first season doesn’t lose our fandom just because of a montage of people rolling around in the sheets. Yeah, we know they’re supposed to be having sex. It’s not sex we have an issue with. It’s in-your-face sexual content that we want to avoid and if that is what a show is dishing, then we don’t need to watch it.

Right now, the world we live in is sex-obsessed. Somehow we’ve gotten the idea that this is normal and healthy and every show and half the books must have sex featured prominently, preferably the kinkier the better. I have it on good authority from the God of the Universe that this cultural obsession is psychologically unhealthy and destructive of marriage. He speaks to me through the apostle Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, that city being a highly sexualized city not terribly unlike the society we live in today. Taking the apostle Paul’s advice, I’m not fighting secular society on the subject because I don’t think it would do any good and I have better things to do with my time than waste it.

I do think Christians need to wake up and smell God’s coffee brewing on this subject. This is what we were told in the New Testament. We damage His message when we don’t stand out from the world on some subjects and since Jesus used the marriage relationship as a metaphor for His relationship with Christians, that’s a good place where Christians ought to stand out. Just hit pause on Netflix, open your Bible and see what God has to say about it. I am only talking to Christians here. The rest of the world is not my concern.

People can say I’m sexually repressed if they want. They’re wrong. I’m not going to invite them into our bedroom to prove otherwise. People have been wrong about Christians a lot over the centuries. That’s okay. I’d rather be right with my Savior than right with my culture. And ultimately, I’ve been married to the same man for 30 years next month and a lot of the folks who would criticize my view can’t stay married for weeks, let alone decades, so I think my views rather vindicate themselves.

Believable Writing   1 comment

When considering a movie or a book, Christians are often told to avoid sexual content, drug use, foul language, violence, etc. We do this for a few reasons. We don’t want to appear to be condoning these activities. We don’t want to expose ourselves to things that adversely affect our relationship with Jesus. We don’t want to promote activities that children might idolize or mimic.

Thepassionposterface-1-.jpgThose are worthy reason for avoiding some films and books. Kill Bill comes to mind as a movie filled with images I could easily not have seen.

On the other hand, some movies contain images where the violence, sex or drug use are an integral part of the story. The conception of John Connor, for example, or the brutal death scene in Braveheart that drives home the point of what the main character was fighting for. I know Christians who rejected Lord of the Rings because of the war scenes.

And, that fine … if those sorts of scenes bother you. But recognize that the real world has violence, death, sex, drug abuse and foul language. I’m not proposing to write erotica, but it seems to me that if Christian writers want to reach the world for Christ, it might be a good idea to acknowledge the reality of the real world.

Several years ago, we took our kids to see The Passion of the Christ. It’s a brutal movie filled with hard images. My coworkers objected. How could I take my children to such a violent movie. My answer was “Jesus didn’t die a PG death.” My daughter still remembers scenes from it that she says help her to hang onto her faith as a 20-something. My son says he thinks about that movie every time we take the Lord’s supper when the line “This is my body which is broken for you” comes.

The Bible itself contains a good deal of violence and sex (Song of Songs) for example. I’m not saying we should glorify these things, but that we should not hide from them and that they do have a place in Christian literature.

On Being Pro-Choice   Leave a comment

This is actually a fleshing out of something I posted on someone else’s blog.

The discussion was abortion. You’d think an evangelical mother of two would be anti-abortion, but I said I was pro-choice over there.

Life involves choices. We’re surrounded by them all the day long. Being against the murder of babies in the womb does not mean you’re anti-choice. It means you recognize a whole range of choices that others often seem to ignore.

We have a choice to take responsibility for our own behavior. We’re not brute animals condemned to act upon our instincts. Yeah, sex is fun and primal, but a part of being human is the ability to control yourself. My grandparents had six children in a day before there was contraception. At a family gathering once (in the midst of the Sexual Revolution), one of the granddaughters asked Grandma how it was that her children were spaced years apart and they only had six. Grandma replied “We found ways to love one another that didn’t make babies.” She never said what she meant by that, but Grandma and Grandpa were known for being physically affectionate with one another. It’s interesting to note that, demographically, the smallest generation in American history were the children born (or not born) in the Great Depression. Yes, some people were having abortions, but many others were delaying marriage (provable through demographics) and “finding ways to love one another that didn’t make babies”. People exercised the choices available to them at that time and we can do the same today.

Sex is fun and primal, so it’s fortunate that controlling ourselves on that level is no longer required. We modern Westerners have the choice to use contraception. Today’s contraceptives are highly effective, some as high as 99% if used according to directions. I have never personally met anyone who got pregnant while using contraception … other than condoms. Condoms fail so often in the laboratory (23%) that they really shouldn’t be used as a form of contraception except in conjunction with another form, where they can improve effectiveness. There are literally dozens of choices in contraception. There is no real excuse for not using some form of it if you want to have sex and don’t want to get pregnant.

It is absolutely sickening to me that in a society where contraception is as available as it is and as effective as it is, that we abort so many children. It sickens me because it shows just how lazy and irresponsible so many people are when it comes to their sexuality.

The slim chance that contraception will fail does exist. You’re in the 3% who that happens to. Now what? You still have choices.

My mother was a sexually active female in post-war America, when contraception was not easily obtained or effective. In 1958, she found herself pregnant by a man she wasn’t married to. A doctor here in Fairbanks would perform abortions, but he didn’t do them lightly (that murder charge he was facing if caught might have been one reason). He gave his patients the phone number the Sisters of Providence in Anchorage and sent them home to think about their choices. My mom made use of that phone number and I have a sister who was adopted. I hope she had a good life and I’ve taken steps so she can contact me if she chooses. Mom made a hard choice … a loving choice. She took responsibility for her own sexuality, carried the pregnancy to term and gave her baby to people who wanted a child badly. I’m sure my sister would thank her for it if she knew her.

Mom got pregnant out of wedlock again in 1960. She went to Dr. Weston again, but this time things were different. She was dating my dad. She was sure that a 47-year-old man who had never had kids wouldn’t want a baby, but when he found out that she was pregnant, he took responsibility for his own sexuality. I thank them both for that choice.

I have serious reservations about the use of the “morning after” pill. Contrary to popular belief, it is not without health risks to the woman. However, I would reserve its use for incidences of rape. I think there should be a police report involved, however. Remember that the woman behind the Roe v Wade case claimed a rape that she later admitted didn’t happen.

We are surrounded by choices and the road to the table with the stirrups has many waypoints along the way. I’m pro-choice, but anti-abortion. I think we have dozens of choices we can make before we choose to commit murder. I’m all about the choices. I just don’t think that murdering our children should be one of them.

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