I started reading a book called ‘Finding God Through Sex’, by David Deida, ‘one of the world’s most insightful and provocative teachers of our time’, so the blurb at the back says. I have had issues in the area of sexual fulfilment myself, being influenced by the Christian society I live in (but am not necessarily a part of) and having what I would describe as guilt associated with sexual pleasure, whether with myself or a partner in whom I trust and love.
I had hoped that this book would help me to discover the divine in this area of my life and help me to embrace my sexuality more. I had hoped to gain more insight as to how I could honour my own divinity through sex. I had also thought it might help me to overcome some of my own negative emotions regarding sexual enjoyment.
I won’t say it has done nothing for me: I now understand that it is possible to become aware of the divine through sexual expression and enjoyment. In fact, it seems it is one of the best ways to commune with the divine and infinite love. I will be more aware of certain things I do in my future love making and see how it brings me closer to the divine and my own, and my partner’s, inherent divinity.
What I wasn’t prepared for were the several references to ‘whore’ he made throughout the book.
You can be a whore, making him beg for more. (Page 120*)
This is just one example of the many references in the book.
My immediate thought was – why do you have to be a whore to know what you’re doing in bed? I haven’t had that many sexual partners in my life, but I would not consider myself bad in bed and I haven’t had any complaints. In fact, having an honest, exploratory, trusting, open and communicative relationship with one partner did more for my experience than the few randoms ever did.
Why can’t a mother, maiden or Goddess leave her partner feeling this way? And why is this term used in reference to a sexually experienced woman? Why can’t she just be a woman?
Also, why do you have to be a whore to make him beg for more? Why couldn’t you do this with the only person you ever slept with, if you know them deeply and understand what turns them on? I would much rather be ‘inexperienced’ and have my partner chomping at the bit, than have slept with a thousand guys to the same end. The point here is, the number of partners you’ve had doesn’t even matter…
Now I think about it, why has he not mentioned this term in relation to the men? Why is it that only women are referred to as whores? Most of the men I know have had many more partners than I have, why don’t they get called whores? Why is their ‘experience’ not making them more accountable for our pleasure?
Another ‘offending comment’ was the following:
You can be a demoness, tearing him apart.*
Again, another derogatory term in reference to a sexually promiscuous woman. Why do I have to be possessed by a demon to enjoy sex with my partner? Can’t I be a Goddess (Aphrodite?), or a mother, or a nerd, or (Gods forbid!) myself!! Why can’t it be the power of God/Goddess that moves me to such extreme excitement that I want to tear my lover limb from limb? Why can’t it be the power of the divine and my own love that gets me to such an extreme and pleasurable emotion? Why can’t it be my love of life and all it has to offer? Or simply the fact that our emotion centre is close to our aggression centre in the brain and the two often overlap… (first year Psych, coming in handy!!)
The answer is simple – the patriarchy.
Please, don’t get this confused with ‘men’, for men have been just as hurt and emasculated by the expectations of the patriarchy, as I have mentioned before . The patriarchy is essentially a certain group of men (usually white men) telling everyone else what to do, wear, be etc out of a misguided need for power. This has lead to many issues throughout the last 5000 years, including the oppression and subjugation of women, children and most racial groups. And, it has lead to the pervading rape culture and recent development of ‘incels’ who believe they are entitled to sex (Google it, it’s a thing…).
It is also the reason why women are labelled ‘whores’ if they are sexually active, experienced and enjoy sex. Why we have to be ‘demons’ in order to feel the strong sexual energy that most men feel on a daily basis is beyond me. I guess it goes back to the ‘Adam and Eve’ thing and the resultant repression of female sexuality. Why do women have to live up to certain archetypes in the first place?
Do we need to reclaim the term ‘whore’ like some racial groups have reclaimed their derogatory terms? I don’t think so, because I dislike this appropriation in all its forms. The intent of the use might be different, but it’s hard to erase 2000+ years of energy, no matter how well meaning you are. The negativity is built into the words, permeates them. This is not the answer.
For me, the answer is to stop using them all together. Not out of fun with our friends. Not in reference to women we don’t know. Not to women who dress a certain way. Not for anyone. Ever.
We also need to reclaim our sexuality. Make people (yes people, women are included in this as many of us seem to be as confused as the rest of the world) aware that women are sexual beings and that it is ok to explore your sexuality. It is ok to try new things and express this side of ourselves. We can be the goddess in the bedroom and it’s ok!
Also, we need to educate people on the true purpose of sex. Many people are having sex for the wrong reasons – myself included for a very long time. Sex is often seen as a way to be accepted and approved of by, not only the people they are sleeping with, but society as a whole. Men and women are using sex to achieve a state of belonging and love that in reality can only be found from within oneself. Again, I speak from experience.
I see this happening with teenagers at schools I teach in, girls who brag about sleeping with X amount of boys at a party and think this is cool. Teenage girls walking around asking the boys how big their dicks are. They get short term approval from the guys, but it never lasts and people need to be aware of this.
Maybe this last will be addressed in a separate post, as this has turned out to be a much deeper issue than I had first thought. The issues of derogatory terms, warping of sexual attitudes and the rule of the patriarchy are becoming more and more important to me. I have been affected and hurt by the all of these things in my life and I have a desire to educate people so they don’t have to be hurt by them either.
We have so much to unlearn about sex and sexuality, but we can do it. One comment at a time.