Call of the Wild
SEX! It’s a very powerful thing. It is the ultimate form of give and take and has been used throughout history to rise in power, gain leverage, or to manipulate. It is also one of the most divine ways of connecting with another human being – an actual exchange of DNA information and energy. And, while it has been generally reduced to it most minimal, base characteristics in the popular media, I believe it is a power that should be wielded with respect.
I will be honest with you, I truly have no idea where this post is going today, but I’m going to forge forward with it, knowing that some of my best posts have come from this same place of inspired uncertainty. If a topic simply won’t leave me alone, but I have no words pouring forth, then there is generally something really delicious hiding beneath the block of blankness. So let’s see where it’s going to lead us today…
This topic came up for me as I thought about my teenage years. Over the last couple evenings, I’ve had the opportunity to be submerged in teenage energy as I’ve supported my daughter in her participation with her school’s musical production of the Broadway show, The Wedding Singer.
Because of this opportunity, my senses have been in overwhelm due to the high, frenetic energy of teenagers in general. As the only adult present at the “after show” events, I’ve chosen to separate from her so she had freedom and, by doing so, I put on my Cloak of Invisibility and simply sank into my own projects. It is an interesting experience to be the silent observer in the space, distant from the activities by choice, and to blend with the surroundings so the kids would forget I was there. I didn’t choose to go invisible so they would forget, but that was one of the happy side effects. And then, because they forgot I was there, they didn’t mask their teenage selves and I had the honor of witnessing them in their high school glory.
Their energy, their flamboyance, and their general, overall, loud presence took me back to when I was their age. I was shy. And, while I was on the drill team and dance company and I performed regularly on stage, I was generally quiet. I remember watching other girls be incredibly boisterous and not understanding the “why” of it all. I didn’t behave like that and didn’t understand why others did, but it seems that, for most healthy teenagers, being L!O!U!D! is part of the teenage experience.
The other thing that was interesting was being witness to the sexual energy that was being carelessly and unknowingly flung about. I was able to see who was getting some action, who longed to be getting some action, and who didn’t give a flying rats ass about getting some action. I watched the “new boy” in school strut his stuff like a peacock, flirting with every person – boy and girl – equally to keep everyone guessing – and they are talking, trust me – about whether he was straight or gay. I watched him cuddle up to a girl then sit on boy’s lap with his arm around him lazily. Then I watched him run his fingers through a girl’s hair before doing the same to a guy.
I watched the four “older” kids who isolated themselves in the corner in a “double date” sort of situation. Their body language was entirely “we’re together” – the couples sitting across the table and lounging against one another. I could tell both of their relationships were in the budding stage and the boys were ready to get some action but the girls were in the “no way! ohmygosh! I’m not going to go there. Not now. Not ever. Not until we’re married, ever” stage.
And I watched my daughter for awhile. She is so different than me. She makes friends easily. She’s comfortable in her skin and in her body. She likes her life. She likes herself. She is amazing and she seems to humbly understand that. But, in some ways, she’s like me a little. She likes the idea of being part of a couple. One of the boys she’s curious about was there and I watched her face light up when he walked in. I watched her bounce happily to the table when he asked her to be his “date cuz they all have dates and I need one” and then I watched her interact with him briefly. Soon, she was laughing with everyone else and he was off flitting about, coming back every now and then to land with her.
As I was thinking about being a teenager, sexual chemistry and the workings of relationships, I had a flash of a memory… I lived with my fiancé before we were married. (*gasp!* I know! Sinful!) That summer, one of his friends came in town to visit family and spend time with us. While he was visiting us, he met a girl who thought he was the end all, be all. He brought her to our home on a day when my fiancé and I had plans, so they had the place to themselves.
After all our errands, my fiancé and I came home. His friend rushed out and met us in the garage. We knew what they had been up to (and didn’t care) because he was only half dressed and his hair was standing on end. He walked over to my side of the car to lean in to talk to us (presumably allowing time for his lady to get her clothes back on). He crossed his arms on the window ledge and leaned in.
My senses were accosted by the smell of sex. It was on his hands, his arms, his face. It was everywhere. And it was in my face.
Now, when I was my daughter’s age, I was a bit of a prude. Well… let’s get real here… I was a sexual being parading around in the body of a “good Mormon girl who was scared out her mind about being damned to hell for exploring her sexuality” so I kept my sexuality in check and didn’t have sex, even though I wanted to. That day though, there in the garage, I was grown up and open to exploring, so the topic of sex – and getting action – was one of my favorites, but the scent of someone else’s sexual fluids hitting me in the face was too much.
My fiancé saw me flinch, but he wasn’t able to pick up on the scent and his friend was totally oblivious to the truths he was revealing… to my nose. After his friend went back in the house, I revealed the cause of my flinch and he laughed until he cried. I laughed too, but that smell is burned in my brain. Forever.
Our lives are a collection of “nows” where life flows in all directions at once. Sex is the ultimate expression of Creation, whether a baby is created or not. I remember wondering, as a teenager, why “sex” was so bad and why churches (especially the church I was raised in) made such a big deal of not having sex and that, if you did, it was something for which you should feel great shame – until, of course, you were married. Then, magically, that piece of paper would make it ok for you to have sex. Somehow.
I understood why murder was such a “sin” and couldn’t ever fathom committing that one. But, I didn’t get the whole “sex is a sin” thing and really wanted to play around with it. I asked my dad why sex and murder were punished equally and he responded something along the lines of “murder is taking the life of another and sex is for creating the life of another – that is something only God should do.” At the time, I sorta got what he meant. I understand it a little better now, but that is because I have developed my own understanding of the power of sex and what it means to me for me, instead of what it should mean to me according to everyone else.
It’s weird to think that my daughter – the little person that was created through me, grew in me and was born into the world of me – is now facing into her own sexuality. And, I’m sure for her it’s disgusting to think that her mother was/is ever sexual. At times, I get the greatest kick out of reminding her of what a hussy I once was and that I loved having sex with her dad, just so I can see her turn beat red and yell, “Mo-o-o-o-o-o-o-m!!! GROSS!”
The one thing I’ve learned through my journey with understanding my sexuality is this… sex is a connector when it is practiced with intention and respect. When used abusively, it is one of the most demoralizing, dehumanizing tools on the earth. The power of it is undeniable and it’s very easy for me to understand why it can be the driving force for many monstrous or uplifting acts. And the one thing I like to remember… sex IS creation. That concept is what helps me remember that I have the power within me to CREATE! This life IS my creation.