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What Women Want (Sexually)?

One could ask why this is such a troublesome multi-generational question that simply is not yet answered? Sigmund Freud asked it and never came up with a satisfactory answer. Now Daniel Bergner, a writer for the New York Times, has written a book on the topic after interviewing sexologists and sex researchers  all of whom are honing in on the physicality of women's bodies as well as the sociology of women's conditioning. I have written my own book review (below) but let me put on a pastor's hat and suggest that the monotheistic religions, but specifically Christianity, have, for the most part, failed women. Or, put more radically the Christian Church especially has by intentionally trying to wrest control of women's bodies from women and giving it to men and then brainwashing women into accepting a secondary gender role is the primary reason we have to ask this question! After this two thousand year history even women don't know what they want sexually or who they are sexually!

If the church followed Jesus Christianity would be focusing on liberating all humans, male and female and trans people to become the best people we can be instead of preaching cultural roles. The scriptures reveal God is concerned with the heart --not the body part-- (to quote former Bishop Gene Robinson) and how we are to live righteously. The prophets and Jesus were clear that keeping all the rules but neglecting  the matters of righteous lives and holy hearts was an abomination to God. So where does that leave women's sexuality? (Or anybody's for that matter/)

We are sexual people from the time we are born. We respond to touch and caress and even babies have sexual responses in utero. It is time to get over our embarrassment about that simple fact...and our repression of it and simply accept the fact that this is our naturally created state. (And let's remember it was pronounced "very good" by the Creator.) Then, we must accept that these bodies transmit pure pleasure and delight in many sensual and sexual ways. There is no shame in that --hence, no cause for guilt. It just is. When we embrace pleasure as an incredible gift of life we are freed to follow our hearts-- and our bodies--in living righteously and wondrously. Our freedom leads us to explore our bodies and our intimate lives with care...even as we do so sometimes with total abandon. Perhaps it is when we sink into the bliss of pure pleasure that we each can discover the inner "sex goddess" or "sex god" that indeed resembles God. Made in God's image, who is to say that it is not in the midst of pleasure that we most eloquently and perfectly reflect or resemble God?

What women want and what all of us want--though we are equally afraid of it --is to be loved and cared for in our most vulnerable intimate lives, to live rejoicing in the pleasure of our lives freed from rules we did not make and roles we did not choose. Alas, we are a long way from a body-friendly Christianity and the sex-goddess movement within the church has yet to be birthed. I am waiting for that day....

Here is my review of Bergner's book that attempts to discover the answer to what women really want. tinyurl.com/l334st4




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