Sex is a sin. Women should provide sexual pleasure for men, but never experience it themselves. In fact, pain during sex is normal for gals. Masturbation is wrong, and God for bid (literally), you have sex of any kind before marriage. So…all that shame you’re experiencing? Valid.
Who else cringed at these words? For many of us, they ring familiar. While there are exceptions, denominations that embrace sexuality, religion is a huge contributor to sexual shame and related complications, particularly for women and folks in the LGBTQIA community.
Last week on Girl Boner® Radio, I interviewed the fabulous Lana Fox, an erotic writer and co-runner of Go Deeper Press. Her powerful story in Embraceable explores her upbringing in a cult, and how she found her way to accepting and loving her sexuality and full self.
I hope you’ll listen to our chat on iTunes or below! In the meantime, here’s a bit of advice Lana and Dr. Megan Fleming had for anyone who wants to do away with sexual shame without giving up on their religion, thanks to a listener’s important question.
(Psst! Don’t miss two special offers, in the episode and listed down below!)
I feel that it’s really important that you come back to love. I have spiritual beliefs myself. I would never say to anyone that their religion or their faith is wrong for them ever. But…you can come back to what your faith or your spiritual beliefs teach you about love. That has to always be number one.
That love is not something that you just give to the rest of the world. It’s not something that comes out of you to other people. It doesn’t have to be sacrifice. Love flows in all directions, and when you’re loving yourself, really loving yourself, really, really taking good care of yourself erotically and in every other way that you can, when you’re doing that, others will feel that love, too.
I think there’s a lot in religion that says you have to sacrifice this. You have to push that away, and I think that’s just all our communal hurt just coming up. I really feel that you will find your own way if you always come back to love, to yourself, to loving yourself and knowing what you love, who you love, how you love.
I take baths. [Do] whatever it is you do to look after yourself. If you can close yourself in that metaphorical bathroom, put those rose petals in that bath, sink down and say to yourself, ‘Okay, I’m only going to come to this from a place of love. I’m not going to entertain any hatred, any blame. I’m going to say, I love me, I love me, I love me, I love me. If you can do that, you can find your own way. You will. I really believe that. And if you are in a religion that teaches love is sacrifice then there is work you can do there, too—if only in your own sphere—to heal that, which I think can be a really beautiful thing.”
There are so many out there who are deeply religious and conflicted about their sexuality or their rights to feeling pleasure in their body. Some people feel that the right answer is to turn away from faith or religions and that may feel what’s right for them, but importantly, we all make our own choices and decisions.
I want to be the first to say that there is a way to have both. You can really take and appreciate all that you value and feels right and speaks to and feeds your soul, and also think about the bigger picture and the messages that you’ve been given and not been given about sexuality and feeling pleasure in your body.
I can’t speak for everyone’s faith, but I believe in a loving, generous God, universe, spirt, that we really were built to feel pleasure in our bodies and to enjoy those pleasurable experiences. In my mind, being religious should never be separate from the experience of being playful, passionate and romantic.
I really believe it’s that mind-body-soul connection, and sharing that and exploring pleasure and turn-ons with a partner or human being is divine and is that source energy. I hope that you find a place to explore your sexuality, to take it out of the closet, so to speak, and learn how and what way you might be able to express that in your faith community, or to what extent you maybe only share it with your closest friends, or maybe it’s just with your partner.”
To learn about Lana’s brave and beautiful journey, stream the episode on iTunes or below. You’ll also hear more insight from Dr. Megan and my review of The Naughty Box—a spicy subscription service you may want to check out!
Lana and her team at Go Deeper Press are generously offering 50% off all e-books in their store! To peruse and purchase, click here, then enter girlboner when you check out.
If you loved what you learned about The Naughty Box, sign up here, entering the code GIRLBONER for a free gift! You’ll have your choice of a finger vibrator or cock ring.