The comedian, Katt Williams, has this silly joke in one of his stand-up specials where he says that he doesn’t understand people who don’t believe in God because he doesn’t know who they call when they cum, and, after all, if fucking cannot include a few exclamations of “Oh my God!” or “Oh Lord Jesus, that feels soooo good,” then what use is it?
The joke makes me laugh. Cos he is sooo wrong, chale. There might be some dedicated atheists or agnostics who make a conscious effort to never mention God and instead go with “Ooh, baby, baaaby, you’re driving me crazy,” or “Fuck me harder,” or, if they are pretentious Presec boys ;> “But dawn! What light through yonder window breaks?” but generally, Judeo-Christian influence is so bloody pervasive that phrases in which there is a reference to God have just sort of become part of regular English dialogue. So most people, regardless of personal religious identification say something along the lines of “Oh my God!”when you are putting it on them hard and strong.
I find that a really interesting paradox because most people, as much as they are calling out his name, try very hard not to think about God during sex.
This is because the general cultural messaging we get is that sex (outside of marriage) is dirty and shameful and filled with furtive moments of stolen pleasure that leave us awash in guilt. This is the messaging that makes my religious friends rationalize things like not having protection or insisting it be used because that speaks to some kind of fore-planning and some awareness of what they are doing. The rationale they use is that, when it comes to sex, it is something they do because “the flesh is weak”. It is a moment in which they fall from God’s grace due to a lapse in judgement and thinking through it before means that you are presented with a second in which you can make a rational decision not to do it. Getting caught up in the carnal where their desires just got the better of them is more acceptable. Before and after their momentary fall from grace they go back to being the good, rule-following, Christians/Muslims etc that they are. They sin in a lot of ways, they tell me, and their premarital sexual activity is one of those ways but the Lord knows their heart and sees it as just one more mistake in the long litany of mistakes that he is certain to forgive them for because He is merciful and kind.
I get it this kind of thinking. I really do. I think for most people like us—African, coming from societies where conformity and structure and restraint is important, the messaging we get about sex comes from a societal need to maintain some kind of decorum in our lives and ensure that we do not become slaves to pleasure. I think we are surrounded by socialization that tells us that sex is often dangerous (mentally, physically, emotionally) and is only a source of excitement, fulfillment and beauty if we are doing it within the sanctity of marriage. So every time we fuck we come to the activity with all this psychological baggage and latent guilt.
For people who are not religious this messaging is less dogmatic. They don’t bring religion into the bedroom with them every time they get it on. For them it boils down to: sex is awesome and it feels good and it has nothing to do with God. There is the sexual and there is the spiritual and they are like a Victoria Secret’s model thigh gap.
But what if the sexual is spiritual? What if fucking has everything to do with God?
I didn’t grow up believing this or having it affirmed but once I became sexually active I realized something: I am never more sure about the existence of God than when I am having sex with another human being. The perfect engineering behind the human body, the fact that our bodies must have been created as opposed to just formed is most obvious to me when my thighs are wrapped around another human being and our pelvises make a perfect fit. The fact that we are put on this earth to be the best versions of ourselves that we are capable of and we are not random beings unaccountable to no one, is so clear to me when I am touching someone and they are touching me and we are both naked and open and singular but reaching for something together. The search for the divine, for peace and solace and acceptance seems to be manifested in this physical exchange I am having with someone else and when a person stares into my eyes and tangles their hands in my hair when they are cumming something mystical happens. All that is good and right and just in the world seems to be in the bed (or floor, or wall, or car, or bush 🙂 with us. The kindest and most truthful and most forgiving we are capable of being is evident. We are shorn of adornment, of pretense, of ego. We are communing, as nothing more than people. When I say/moan/scream God’s name out loud I really mean it. Like, really. I feel like one of his chosen ones, like I am truly the child of some Creator.
“That’s beautiful,” I can hear you thinking, “but that is some hippie-drippy shit.” “I don’t know what kind of sex you’re having where you see God, VV, but I’m finding it hard to swallow.” So let me clarify something. I believe in God’s existence and feel fervently that something must have been watching out for me or I would be dead by now, considering all the challenges I have had in my life, but I won’t say I usually feel God’s presence around me. I don’t feel engulfed by God’s life or sure of God’s purpose or certain of his protection or his favor. I know it (which is by definition what faith is) but I can’t really say I feel it. Until I’m fucking. And then I feel all of it. In the rare instances outside of fucking when I have felt this way—it is doing something that is associated with God: witnessing a phenomenal and honest performance where people are lost in their craft and have become a vessel someone else is speaking through, or dancing and feeling like i’ve left my body behind.
Now I’ve seen people praying or watching their child be born or their sick spouse walk again where I’ve sensed that that is how they feel. But the surest I personally ever feel about religion is when I’m doing that thing that is often considered the most ungodly thing in the world. And there is a distinct correlation between the times I have been known to soliloquize about blessings and purpose and when I am getting a regular supply of amazing vitamin D. I am at my kindest and most Christ-like when I have great sex in my life.
I’ve begun to believe that if you’re having consensual sex—having it because you want to; not just to make someone else happy, and having it with someone who you can articulate your desire to and be yourself with, you make room for God. If you allow yourself to let go off all the voices in your head and the associations between the intimate parts of your body and filth, if you force that image of God looking down at you from heaven and shaking his head with a frown on his face and that image of your mother/father/mentor/friend/society wringing their hands in disappointment if they ever found out, you make room for God. Because you make room for truth, and light and honesty.
So next time you’re on your knees, whether it is to go down on someone or to switch to doggy style, maybe you should think of it as praying, think of it as communicating to God and telling Him how wonderful all his creations are and how thankful you are to be alive to enjoy them. In all that thankfulness and praise and rejoicing only good things can happen.
We all know that sex is pleasure. Pleasure is love. Love is the essence of God. So God is sex. Let the church say Amen. Let the church say Amen.