‘Do you dare liberate yourself to your own self-nature?
To the stuff that you’re made of? The very things inside you?
Or do you continue to shackle yourself in the name of the sacred.
Taught and preached by those who..
If exposed their inner desires would shock and awe you.
Ahhhhh, the virgin/whore dichotomy.
Give me my human nature, a label lobotomy.
I define me, nobody else.
Release me from my shackles,
My level of pleasure and respect….
Are controlled by only me……myself’.-from “The Liberation of Pandora” by Brian Lilly
Since starting this blog, I have not addressed the subject of sex in my posts. I’ve shared my thoughts and experiences regarding religion, culture, gender(to an extent) and family. However human sexuality, especially as it relates to the Abrahamic faiths, was a subject that I was very reticent about broaching here. As a female skeptic, I know that my disbelief alone is enough for people to make assumptions and level personal attacks at me, as I discussed in my last post. With that in mind, I did not want to give them any additional ammunition to do so.
However, I now realize that avoiding the subject out of fear is nonsensical on my part. The reality is that judgmental and bad-minded people are going to be that way regardless of what I say. Imposing a certain level of censorship on myself isn’t going to endear me to those who already think lowly of people like me. Furthermore, there are individuals out there who are currently experiencing the same conflicts with sexuality and religion that I once faced, and these people should know that they are not alone in that. Regardless of whatever flack I may occasionally receive, just knowing that even one person out there will read my blog and take something positive away from it makes everything worth it. So for the next week or so I will post a series which deals with human sexuality. As usual, these posts will be autobiographical, filtered through my own experiences. Premarital sex,puberty, homosexuality, the virgin-whore dichotomy, sex education, teen pregnancy, birth control and abortion will be addressed. If certain posts end up becoming very frank I may add disclaimers and/or password-protect them. Now with that introduction out of the way, I will address what made me want to write about this subject in the first place.
The intersection of religion and sexuality has been on my mind for a long time. When I apostatized from Islam in November 2010, I knew I could not go back to Christianity, the religion of my adolescence. I had no desire to attend church, nor did I accept the tenets of the faith. Yet I found that when it came to my sexual mores, the church still had my mind on lock. It wasn’t that I’d always adhered to the standards set by conservative Christianity. I’d engaged in premarital sex and had a child out of wedlock. In spite of that, I always felt a deep sense of guilt and shame regarding sex. When bad things happened to me, my repressed mind told me that I deserved it and was being punished for the sin of fornication by ‘god'(more on this in another post). All sex outside of the strict parameters set by the church was deemed fornication, a wicked,horrible sin that could lead one to eternal torture in hell. To even have sexual desire for an individual was to commit the sin of lust! So even after I walked away from Islam and wasn’t feeling Christianity, I found myself thinking that I must get remarried at some point in the future in order to have and enjoy sex without guilt. But the voice of reason asserted itself, and I thought about it all. Did it really make sense to believe that having sex without a marriage license was some sort of moral crime? Did it really make sense to believe that IF there was a god, he was up in the heavens looking down with deep concern and interest in my sex life and that of the seven billion humans walking around on this planet?( At the time I actually wrote and posted a blog about it. I made it password-protected due to my fears, but I have reached a point where I am comfortable making it available).
It was at this point that I realized how deeply my views on sexuality had been twisted and distorted in a psychologically damaging way. After this epiphany I knew that I would have to deprogram my mind from what it had been fed for so many years regarding both religion and sex. In sharing my own struggles with this topic, I hope that I can help others do the same.