I Love God and I Love Fucking

Updated March 29, 2016 4:10pm PDT
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I love getting to know people after having sex with them.

I love the moments post-orgasm, laying in bed with someone,  asking questions about what they occupy themselves with when they're not in my bed. For me there's something really special about those moments, even when they're with people I'll never see again. It's a little glimpse into the context of someone's life, a reminder that though they may be only a one-off character in my story, they are a whole story themselves.

 Of course, sometimes this conversation goes sideways.

 For me, sideways mostly looks like this:

 “What do you do?"

I sigh and fidget a little bit, “Well...I write some, do a podcast, and,” long pause, “I'm in school to be a minister.”

 “Oh shit.”

Often the conversation that follows is about if I'm “allowed” to have done what we just did, if I'm just getting it out of the way now because I have to be celibate later, and if I'll get kicked out of school or ministry if anyone finds out. Yes, I'm allowed. No, I don't have to be celibate; that's just priests. No, I won't get kicked out of anything for having consensual sex in my own house. 

I understand my bedmates' confusion. In a world where discussion of religion is dominated by rules-obsessed, anti-pleasure zealots and where most fictional representations of clergy are of obligatorily celibate Catholics, I'm an aberration. Even progressive Christianity doesn't often get further than “it's ok to love sex with your spouse,” and you have to look around to find that.

You may find space for people who are nebulously spiritual and sexual, or stories about people who are religious but “bad” at it, but in the popular imagination, being religious and reveling in your sexuality is unheard of. The way we as a culture understand the world separates the sacred–the religious, the pious, the God-fearing– from the profane–the sexual, the dirty, the visceral–and there is no contact between the two. Being both is supposed to be rife with pain and conflict.

There is no conflict between my calling and my coming. My religiosity and my ministry do not preclude me from fully experiencing my sexuality. I love God and fucking.

For me, God is not an old white man on a cloud who is obsessed with whether or not I am appropriately following his rules for the use of my genitals. God is not my father, not my boss; not even a thing separate from me and everything else. When I talk about God, what I'm talking about is a creative force that is in and of me and all the rest of the world. My experience of living in my body is central to my connection with that force.

In almost the exact opposite way that many take on a practice of meditation to free themselves from their physical body to find something beyond, I like to sink in to my experience. To find what's transcendent in the particulars of here and now, of my body and of physical sensations.

My theology–both my academic work and my personal beliefs–is heavily informed by the work of Womanist theologians likeDr. Emilie Townes and Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon; Latina feminist and Mujerista theologians and authors like Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and Gloria Anzaldúa; boundary-breakers like Dr. Ibrahim Farajaje whose multi-faith, queer theology defied any attempts at linguistic confinement; and Marcella Althaus-Reid whose work Indecent Theology focuses on the experiences of poor women in Argentina and asks us to consider “[i]ndecent proposals for women who would like to do theology without using underwear.”

My theology is focused on the particular, on the experience of being in the world, on the margins. In theology we talk about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: a methodological approach to theological reflection that understands all theological work to have four sources: scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. Most of the time this quadrilateral is understood to be in order of importance–I strive to flip that. Experience of the world, of God, and of God in the world is the primary source for my theology and my faith.

I experience the world from my particular, then I reason and read others' experiences and contextualize, then I consider tradition and scripture in light of what my body and my life know.

God is important to me and I believe that if I wish to know God, I need to really know myself and know other people in a variety of contexts. Connection is important; even the most casual sex is a type of connection. That window of knowing other people is special, not just in the moments of discussion afterwards, but in each moment. 

People feel, smell, taste, act, look different from one another; sex can be a way to experience people in a level of detail we otherwise aren't privy to. I'm interested in sex as a particular way of knowing; in fucking as both pleasurable experience and a way of deepening my connection to the world. Each partner is a new perspective, a new approach to connection that lets me know more about connection as a concept. 

I don't need to have woo-woo, spiritualized, “sacred” sex (not that that's without its merits)–I need time to let go of pretenses and focus on pleasure. Sometimes mine, sometimes theirs, often times both.

I don't know if there's any one way to live that's best. I am not suggesting that you will definitely find God in a string of hookups or in polyamory or in any particular form of relating outside of whatever is consensual and feels authentic for you. What I am saying is that there does not need to be any conflict between religion and sex.

Those conflicts are the product of someone else's imagination and do not have to be your reality. There is no need to close yourself to one for the sake of the other. 

You can love God and fucking. 

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KC is a bad fat bitch, super femme rust belt girl, non-traditional self-decorator, abortionista, and Unitarian Universalist scholartivist (scholar, artist, activist, and spiritual leader all in one). She’s about all multiple everything: bi/pansexual, polyamorous, and pantheistic. You can find her lost in dresses, putting on too much makeup in order to get writing done, dancing with fats, and having too-deep conversations with her cats.