This one’s for unmarried women because married women have husbands to play with 😛
The lens in which we view sexuality in the church is very male. Our religious attitudes seem to be dominated by this very laddish culture which acknowledges men as hyper-sexual beings whilst giving little credence to women and their needs. Transparent conversations on sexuality from a female perspective are often missing in church-y circles and when they do exist, they’re often lacklustre. Christian women are so far removed from these conversations because obviously we don’t get horny, we don’t have libidos, we don’t have sex drives, we don’t want to be caressed, we don’t want to be touched, we don’t want closeness, we’re just one dimensional canvasses without biology, we don’t want to have sex, we don’t deal with sexual addictions or pornography because such experiences are exclusive to men alone (I hope my sarcasm is deafening). Yet when references to proverbs 31 and submission are made, women are the topic of conversation and I’m not satisfied with this. I’m not satisfied with women being exempt from the dialogue, particularly when I’m having ongoing conversations with them about their experiences. I want the church context to recognise that both male and female are being exposed to sexual stimulations and react naturally to those sexual stimuli which births sexual desire in women too. Thus, conversations need not stop at men but include women.
This is me adding to the conversation by stating that suppressing a high sex drive is not easy and it doesn’t make it any easier when there’s a root rejection and (probably condemnation) of the Christian woman’s biological (and consequently) sexual experience. “I didn’t even know Christian women felt that way” was one man’s response after a conversation around the subject but the question is why wouldn’t/ shouldn’t they? The dissonance is concerning considering women participate in sex as well. Why should sex drive then be unique to men?
We’re told that men, by virtue of them being men, desire sex in a certain way over women. Phraseology like “they just have higher sex drives”, “they think about sex more”, “they want sex more” are credited to men and their sexuality and whilst I’m not an advocate for sexual perversion (i.e anything that strays from God’s intention for sex) where’s the empathy for unmarried Christian women who want sex right now or are struggling with sexual repression/ suppression/ thoughts more generally?
What’s happened is the focus on men has subtly led to some females never accepting they have a desire, ignoring it away, pretending it isn’t there, thinking they’re above it or even being surprised by their displays of passion and lust. Some have contained it by running away from men (I used to do this, I’d go as far as saying this is my default lol),structuring their lives in such a way so that the desire lies dormant, whilst others have put themselves in compromising situations, felt guilty, almost victimised themselves because of the refusal to take responsibility for their sexual nature. The focus on men has led to some of us not calling our sexual desires, sexual longings or high sex drives by their names because culture tells us that only men deal with these things. We’re slipping under the net because our libidos, as women, are being overlooked. Assumptions about our biology and sexuality are the reasons why we aren’t as well equipped.
As a woman having to deal with my own sexuality (because running away from men you are attracted to might seem like a good idea to begin with but isn’t sustainable if you plan on settling down with someone who should set your insides alight) I want to reframe the narrative and in turn equip. We are sexual, with deep sexual longings and it’s ok to admit that. Admit it so you can entrust Jesus with it. Admit it so that you understand that you too are capable of intense passion with a man. Admit it so that you can save yourself from overestimating your will power and hopefully stop you from inappropriate sexual activity. Don’t allow the assumption that men’s sexual needs are more intense than women’s cause you to neglect your own fire. It’s damaging and will you stop you from taking responsibility over your sexuality.
Consideration of sexual pleasure for women is wrought with inaccuracies and in the church more so. Due to preconceived notions of sexuality, conversations around the female libido (which can be as high if not higher than men’s) have been hijacked by men. It’s time we nailed our sexual double standards that say “men want to more badly”, “have it more badly” to the cross, so that real equipping that serves Christian women and accepts their complex biology and sexuality, can begin.
i just want us to feel seen.
Love Cris x
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