Comforting Words: DOF 5: Sex on My Mind

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DOF 5: Sex on My Mind


I really should be packing at this time or at least reading the book sent to me in preparation for the meetings.

Since last night, I have been trying to rally myself to focus on the things I need to do in order to catch my red eye flight to Toronto and be reasonably intelligent at the 4-day long meeting I am attending.

My list of to do’s look something like this:
 Get Angello stuff together to take him to the kennel
 Do some laundry to have enough clothes to take with me (I am one of those persons who pack for every minute of the day when going on a trip!)
 Read at least the highlighted chapters of the book the meeting planners sent to you
 Water the plants and fill up the fountain
 Call Dr. B and make sure he remembers to pick up Angello from the kennel as scheduled
 Change email notification at work so that people know you are away for a few days and not waiting for responses from you
 Start packing so that there is no last minute rush

Well, it is now Wednesday morning and except for calling Dr. B, everything else will be done on the fly!

Why am I procrastinating? That is not my usual style but I have other things on my mind, give me a break.

What could be so important that all these very urgent things are left undone?

Sex.

I have sex on my mind.

This all started with a smile last week. Well, actually the smiles have been coming for a couple weeks now but only last week I smiled back. And now, my ‘to do’ list is getting shafted as sex has taken over my focus.

Three of my friends upon reading this post will be laughing but will also know what this is all about as I called them to get their opinion on – sex.

Let me explain.

Regular readers know that I have been doing a series on Dating Over Forty – DOF I like to call it. My interest in doing this series, which started at the prompting of my man-friend Lance, really has to do with my continuing commitment to share my journey. If sharing my story helps one – I am way satisfied.

Speaking of satisfied let me get back to the main point – sex.

So here I am a woman DOF, who is using all the available resources that allow someone of my age and newly single to get back into the dating scene. Being totally averse to the bar and club scenes, the internet has been a valuable resource for me –so too have been a couple friends who have been trying to hook me up.

Now at forty, with a 20 year old daughter, have travelled a fair portion of the world, been through ‘stuff’ – both healthy and not so healthy – divorced and ‘dumped’ – I have been around the block a few times one could safely say.

Therefore imagine my surprise when I received this smile and finally decided to smile back only to later learn that the individual do not believe in sex outside of marriage!

Being as I am truly practicing not being judgmental – lest I be judged – I put aside my immediate reaction which was “You f….. liar! That’s just a nice line to get l… .” Yes, unfortunately, my vocabularly is limited sometimes and my place of employment has helped to colour it even further :(

All non-judgmental I pursued the conversation, only to find that the individual was serious! Themselves over 40 years old, divorced with kids, this person seriously wanted to date for whatever period, then marry and only after marriage have sex. I asked, “Are you serious,” probably sounding like some randy sl.. but who cared? I could not believe what I was hearing.

“Yes, I stand on the biblical teachings on this issue!” was the forceful response I got. This stumped me even further as the individual had only minutes before listened to my entire life story – gore and all – and said they were cool with my journey. It just was not making sense to me.

How can you be such a biblically righteous person and be cool with a woman whose journey included rape, battering, pre-martial sex, same-sex relationship and consensual sex outside of marriage, yet would hold a hard-line (pun intended) on fornication?

I quickly ended the conversation, saying “Okay, I have to go now, talk to you later,” and for the rest of the day played this conversation over and over in my head. That is how sex got a hold of my mind.

By the following day, I came to my conclusion but wanting to ensure that I was not being judgmental or ‘out to lunch’ about this issue, I decided to check in with three persons.

The first one thought the individual might be impotent and wanted to trap someone in marriage before they figured that out. The second, Anni, after she picked herself off the floor, thought that this was a religious nut who wants to convert me so was saying the right things about my past but let the proverbial cat out of the bag when it came right down to it. And the third, my gentle giant R., thought this was a ploy – to sound like a nice person and then there would be hell to pay when Jezebel (me) got them into bed before marriage!

Bottom line was – all my ‘consultants’ agreed that this was one person to run from as fast as I could. I loved what Anni said – “You are no goddamn teenager! That’s something an 18 year old would say but for a woman of our age that’s ludicrous!”

Is it really? Is fornication such a silly notion in the year 2008?

I thought about it – hence my luggage still not being packed and the plants dying from thirst – trying hard to find some merit in this person’s position. My conclusion is, Anni is right. Fornication or to be more politically correct – not engaging in pre-marital sex might be a value we need to instill in our children and young people. Actually, let me adjust that statement somewhat.

Pre-commitment sex is the real issue. Regular readers know my love and adoration for Bishop John Shelby Spong. I have read all his books, met him in person twice and have his autograph – am I a fan or what? The first of his books that I read was a life-saver for me.

“Living in Sin: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality,” saved me from the years of condemnation and feelings of shame that I had inflicted on myself – as society had judged me or told me that I was unclean, worthless and not pure.

It was not my fault that since the age of two I was the target of male fantasy to have sex with a minor. Neither was it my fault that a man thought it okay to rape me – as I was his property. But try telling that to a teenager and worse yet, try convincing an adult who has lived all of her life feeling this way.

And so for years, even while in a long-term relationship, I silently lived with the shame and guilt – afraid to share the pain that I was going through even with my dearest because I felt no one would really understand…and in fact even my closest really did not.

The healing process started for me when I read that book of Bishop Spong and his understanding of sexuality and sex within a committed relationship. That healing deepened when I was able to sit across from him (back in Jamaica) and in less than 15minutes poured out my desire to be a spiritualcounsellor but the shame I felt about my past. His words to me placed me squarely on the path that I now trod.

Sex only after marriage does not guarantee a successful marriage. The divorce statistics prove that. Equally, sex before marriage (or even before a true bond and commitment has developed) – consensual or otherwise – changes the nature of the relationship and brings challenges with it.

I do agree that sex is not the be all and end all of any relationship and therefore whether one continues to engage in a particular relationship should not be determined solely on the basis of sex. But I also agree that sex without commitment is merely lust and involvements started on that basis will not end in a long-lasting and committed relationship.

That is what I eventually shared with this individual. I sat at my computer and did what I do best – I wrote a long email explaining my position that:
(1) I have no desire, at this point in time or in the near future, to get married to anyone regardless of the gender;
(2) we are sexual beings and sexuality is part of our DNA and therefore it would be hard for me (and for anyone) to deny and repress such an essential part of their ‘beingness’;
(3) having ‘been around the block,’ as many times as I have, asking me to either not express who I am at my core for someone who I truly care for and love would be the real sin.

As Anni said, I (nor you DOF’s) are not teenagers, although one have to wonder about some of us. I think I can differentiate between lust and when two people have spent time really getting to know each, time and effrot getting in touch with each others deepest feelings and emotions, and based on those things make a commitment to share the journey for however long life allows.

I received a equally long reply, filled with biblical quotes of judgment and condemnation. The ‘pus’ [cat] was let out of the bag finally! I had a good laugh and then thought – this has to be written; this is Part 5 of the DOF series!

Now I am going to throw a few pieces of clothing in a bag ( I will not be making any fashion statements on this trip :), put the book I should have read weeks ago in my hand luggage to read on the flight tonight and go to Toronto and pretend to be wise (ha-ha).

Blessings,


Claudette

Photos as usual are courtesy of Renato

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1 Comments:

Blogger Lucy said...

Claudette-

What an un-comforting exchange! Sorry you had to encounter such a hypocritical and passively judgmental individual. And glad your people helped you realize you deserve far better.

Sun Feb 10, 04:53:00 PM MST  

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