Ok, now that I have your attention, welcome! In the 90’s my favorite female rap group Salt-N-Pepa recorded a song titled “Let’s Talk About Sex.” The song promotes safe sex, as well as looks at the positive and negative sides of sex and the censorship that sex had around that time in American mainstream media. Since then there have been dozens of songs recorded centered around the subject of sex, each one being more raw than the one before. But as many songs there are written; as much as it’s shown on television and the internet; are we really “talking” about sex? Are we as free sexually as we appear to be? Or is it all a facade?
I recently watched a video of a young man discussing the virtual symposium, Single, Saved, and Still Wanting Sex; hosted by author DiShan Washington. While the video is humorous, it also has a very real component that is not being talked about: the fact that there are a large number of Christian men and women who love the Lord, have chosen a life of abstinence, yet still want sex. Or as Ms. Washington puts it; “Holy and horny.”
Someone reading this may be bothered by that. Bothered because (1) sex is much like the topics of religion and politics….off limits; (2) their own hang-ups and ideologies makes the subject of sex taboo; or (3) it’s believed that a person who loves God regardless of their religious beliefs should be so grounded in their faith that the desire for sex is gone. No one who loves God should be “Holy and horny.”
But my question is, why not? What does my love for God have to do with desiring sex? And why isn’t this a topic discussed more openly in the church? Why do we avoid this topic when a large number of church goers are single? Single Christians who love the Lord and are struggling to remain abstinent. Single Christians who are one date away from throwing in the towel and tearing off their clothes.
As a single Christian woman it’s important to me to have an avenue where I am able to discuss my struggles without being judged or beaten over the head with the Bible. I want more out of the conversation than “just pray” or “read your Word.” I know all of this. I am wise enough to know that prayer changes me in the midst of a struggle and wise enough to know that the answer to all of life’s woes is in God’s love letter to humanity. But sometimes there is a moment where I just need to talk about it. Sometimes I just want to have open dialogue, a no holes barred conversation about sex and all that the topic encompasses. Sadly, I once had someone quote 1 Corinthians 7:9, “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” REALLY?! At the end of the day I know that the decision to remain abstinent is mine. But when we can’t even talk about it or we can’t discuss it without making people feel bad about how they are feeling, then we have a major problem.
On the other end of the spectrum are young adults……13 and older who are either already engaged in some sort of sexual activity or thinking about it. If the church is not discussing it and parents are not discussing it, then where will our children get answers to their questions? We must reach that place of freedom where we can discuss sex openly. We must stop shaming and judging those who are struggling. We must stop condemning those who may fall. And we absolutely must talk to our children and young adults about sex, because they will get the information, it just may be the wrong information.
Sex is a gift from God; a gift that he designed to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. But if we are afraid or unable to have a conversation about it, then we run the risk of attaching shame to something that God intended for us to enjoy in the proper context.