When I was a little girl my mom told me two things that always stuck with me.
“Your body is a temple and should be honored as sacred to you and by those around you.”
“You were created in God’s image. You are perfect to him.”
It wasn’t until much later that I realized the gift she’d given me by approaching sex clinically, and body talk spiritually. Because this was a frequent theme in my house growing up, I didn’t have many body issues. In fact, the closest I came was not exactly loving my toes. I assumed that my body was pretty close to perfect because my mom said I was designed in His image. How could I be anything else? Then puberty hit. I heard friends talking about themselves. In their eyes they were ugly and fat and in need of dieting. Whoa! They looked perfectly beautiful to me…and THAT’s when I realized that the lenses through which they saw their bodies must have been distorted. No one had ever told them how amazing their design was.
Even more important was the shame people seemed to feel about their ‘temples’ and the natural instincts that came with this gift. For me it all felt contradictory. Why on earth would a God…who designed us in His image give women a clitoris, a part of the anatomy strictly designed for pleasure and no other purpose, if he didn’t want us to enjoy the finer pleasures in life? How could touching it be considered sinful? Yet how many people are ashamed to admit or have actually NEVER TRIED masturbation because they believe it somehow goes against God? How? Why would he create it and put it on our persons if not for us to share in the joy of his creation?
Some of the first known (and most beautiful) erotica came from the Bible! Don’t believe me? Here’s a verse from Song of Solomon 7:1-13
How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
the work of an artist’s hands.
2 Your navel is a rounded goblet
that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat
encircled by lilies.
3 Your breasts are like two fawns,
like twin fawns of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon
by the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
looking toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
Your hair is like royal tapestry;
the king is held captive by its tresses.
6 How beautiful you are and how pleasing,
my love, with your delights!
7 Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.
8 I said, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
9 and your mouth like the best wine.
May the wine go straight to my beloved,
flowing gently over lips and teeth.
10 I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me.
11 Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.
12 Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom—
there I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
and at our door is every delicacy, both new and old,
that I have stored up for you, my beloved.
Pure sensual seduction and admiration of lovers. And it’s beautiful, not ugly! It’s a celebration and appreciation of the gifts given them, the differences of form…and how they were meant to fit together. Pleasure and passion shared is to be a joy, not dirty. Not something that happens only strictly for procreation.
We made it dirty. Historically speaking, let’s look back. Biblically speaking, David had at least 8 known wives and 10 concubines documented between 1 & 2 Samuel. Solomon? Something like 700 wives and 300 concubines. And these guys were considered loved by God.
Perception of what was appropriate and acceptable in marital and sexual practices actually changed with Roman rule, thanks to their strongly patriarchal society. It was changed because the ruling culture required we find a way to fit in. This meant that power and land were passed down through the male line and it was important to keep these lineages “clean” and clear of doubt. Women had no real say in how things were run. They were merely property used to strengthen the family line for rulership and wealth, so their chastity was guarded carefully.
If you’re anything like me, you’re already drawing lines of why finding pleasure in sex/mating began to be discouraged…and why sex became a “duty” rather than a joy. Can you imagine what would happen if a teenage girl discovered self pleasure during this time? Why on earth would she wait to be married off to some man she probably didn’t know, much less love (and probably a zillion years older than her) if she knew the joys she could explore with someone she found visually pleasing? It wasn’t an accident that the two most powerful entities were Royalty and the Church and that their ties were strongly intertwined. Care to guess what those sermons sounded like for women? I’ll leave it to your imagination.
But as often happens with universal truths, the pleasures of the flesh began to be acceptable to explore again. Unfortunately, the church (who’d been thriving on threats of death by fire and brimstone for sinners) felt that this new, modern way of thinking took away from their power….and Puritans with even stronger rules against sexuality pushed their propaganda on the world….conveniently leaving out all the beauty and joy that should be experienced with lovemaking.
So why are we, in the new millennium, still letting archaic views dictate our thoughts, feelings and responses to sex? Isn’t it time we changed all that? Our bodies are temples. They’re meant to be worshipped, not left to decay and grow cobwebs from lack of use. If someone makes you feel less than beautiful when the clothes come off, kick him or her to the curb. They obviously don’t recognize that you’ve been created in God’s image and are beautiful.
Remember there’s nothing wrong with loving yourself or loving yourself. Getting in touch with your body is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and your partner(s). Learn how you like to be touched and pleasured. Teaching your partner(s) how to increase your enjoyment of lovemaking only strengthens the intimacy between you. When couples treat themselves and each other with great appreciation and their fantasies as gifts to be appreciated and explored, lines of communication are strengthened. The need to look outside the relationship for fulfillment is lessened. In fact, I’d hazard that if any venturing is done that includes outside parties, both partners are actively involved in the decision making process.
At the end of the day, nothing is more worshipful than celebrating each other. Afterall, you’re gifts of God to one another, designed in His image. Sex? That’s a gift, too. He didn’t have to design lovemaking to be pleasurable, but he did! Do you really believe he’d do that if it were an act solely to be saved for procreation? I don’t think so. Why deny yourselves the joy of your Sacred Sexualities by placing it on the altar of societal bullying and fear? Our (as August McLaughlin would say) Girlboners deserve better.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you been made to feel ashamed of your body? Your sexuality? If so, have you overcome those feelings? How? If not, how can we help you? Afterall, we’re all on this big, beautiful world together. Maybe it will help you to see how other people celebrate The Beauty of a Woman, #Girlboner style. Click here to read more on why we should love our bodies and sexuality.