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Christian Sex Toys!

It has long been the case that the religious right has concerned themselves too much with what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes. Their “religious moral superiority” gives them the right to tell you how to raise your children, tell you what you can put in your body, and tell you what you can put IN your body. I was surprised to see a Christian website devoted to selling adult toys.

Book22 tags itself as an outlet for “intimacy products for married couples.” According to their about page, they sell their products only to married couples, because in Genesis it says some shit about man and woman symbolically being one flesh in marriage. It’s easy to make symbolic inferences when you believe that man was created from dust and woman was created from a rib. They quote 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, “For God wants you to be holy and pure and to keep clear of sexual sin so that each of you will marry in holiness and honor.” Their website name is derived from “Song of Solomon” being the 22nd book of the Bible, and Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, so obviously he’s the best choice of mascots for a website that celebrates monogamy.

The twenty-second book of the Bible is Song of Solomon. We believe that God intended that such love, as spoken of in Song of Solomon, be a beautiful and normal part of marital life. Unfortunately this gift from God has been grossly distorted and abused by both ancient and modern people. Book22 is offering quality products to enhance the intimate life of God’s children. Our hope is that our products will serve as intimacy enhancers for your marriage.

While the website owners’ choice to sell adult novelties to Christian couples is considerably progressive, their inner prude shows in their packaging policy. When they order their products wholesale, they request that they be poly-bagged to avoid exposing their tender audience to the crude packaging that can often enclose such products. They have no problem selling a jack-off sleeve or jelly cock ring, but Jeebus forbid they send it to you in a package that might include an “inappropriate cardboard backing with images of nude or partially nude people.” Whew! That was a close one. I almost saw a penis on a package. Oh wait, what about one of the products on their site, Happy Penis Cream? Is that a series of multi-colored, smiling, anthropomorphic penises on the product’s label? Surely a pure Christian site such as this would put a sticker over the crude image in their promotional copy. (Yes, they actually do that.)

Again, I’m pleased that they are using their twisted interpretations of their twisted scripture to mainstream the usage of these products into Christian households, but it would be nice if they didn’t just hide behind a website. These people should be out lobbying their prudish counterparts across the globe to stop treating the idea of using such products as sinful and lascivious. They should be confronting people like former Alabama Assistant Attorney General William Pryor, Jr. who said that there is no “fundamental right for a person to buy a device to produce orgasm”. While that may be true, there is also no fundamental right for a person to buy a device that uses rapidly-rotating blades to shorten their grass, but you don’t seem to have a problem with that, do you? Apparently, your smug sense of superiority gives you the fundamental right to decide what people can enjoy behind closed doors. If recent history has shown us anything, it is possible that we may one day see his face on TV with shocking charges that he has committed some act that he has protested his entire life. Like every other time that type of story breaks, I will laugh my ass off.

P.S. According to an article at Huffington Post, as of 2009, Alabama is the only state that still has a law on the books that bans the sale of sexual devices. I’d like to think that Alabama is oblivious to the fact that the rest of the nation (including Mississippi) is laughing at them. Sadly, I know this isn’t the case, because I lived there for eight years.

Update: The couple running the website moved on to other ventures, and endorse Covenant Spice, a similar company, on their domain.

Christian Dating Sites – Are They Even Necessary?

christiandatingOnline dating is not a new phenomenon. Well, I guess that all depends on your frame of reference. I doubt the Department of Defense individuals that first utilized networked computers were doing any e-dating on the side, but as far as a prominent business, it has existed for several years.

I’m sure everyone has seen an e-Harmony television commercial or any of the millions of banner ads online for everything from match.com, gaysingles.com, peoplewholoveparcheesi.com, and every other crowd you can think of. The point it — it’s prolific. The one niche that I’ve noticed in greater numbers recently, is Christian dating sites. I don’t know if this is because there are more of them or because I am just noticing them more.

I really have two thoughts on them. 1) Good for them. The internet has really opened the world up for people to connect with others that they otherwise never may have met in their lives. 2) Are you effing kidding me? Christians exist in such massive numbers in this country, it surely can’t be hard to meet others. I live in a college town in Alabama, where the cup runneth over with Christians, and with all the meetings of Campus Crusade for Christ, Reformed University Fellowship, Baptist Student Union, Navigators, Beta Upsilon Chi (Brothers Under Christ), Baptist Campus Ministries, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Christian Student Center, Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Ministries in Action, Encounter, Students for Life, and the Wesley Foundation, you’d think they’d have plenty of opportunities to find a mate.

By the way, that list is in no way exhaustive as there are many more campus and local organizations affiliated with individual churches and sects. There are a plethora of opportunities to find similarly brainwashed people just in a small college town in Alabama. Surely it is similar elsewhere, if not just in the Bible Belt.

If anyone needs help with dating in my town, it’s atheists, gays, and Muslims. And if you are all three, you are screwed (though not literally).

Maybe I’ve interpreted this all wrongly. Maybe it is difficult for Christians to find someone else who shares their same twisted, literal interpretation of an ancient, contradictory text.

Anyway, the CALL TO ACTION! I’m sure on your travels around the interwebs you’ve encountered particularly humorous postings or profiles on Facebook, MySpace, or dating sites that are of the Christian-seeking-Christian type. There are too many sites out there for me to browse, so if you’ve ever bookmarked a particularly ridiculous specimen, please share it here!

I leave you with a small excerpt taken from a Christian singles group on Facebook. This girl had written this massive treatise on how guys pursue their prospective Christian mates. It was quite nauseating, and for your courtesy, I have pared it down to just a taste of what was written. You can easily find more on the thousands of Christian Facebook groups.

I had a guy friend, or two, tell me that I should be flattered that men liked me. That’s when it hit me: there was some serious miscommunication going on. I didn’t feel flattered! I felt worthless. I felt like a trendy dress hanging up in Forever 21, next to the other exact replicas of me in different colors. Yes– Those clothes are cute; but they aren’t special by any means. I am hand made by a God who isn’t into trends. So, where is it? Where does a man’s intention of treating a girl right, turn into treating her like a mass produced clothing item? I believe I have found it. It’s in the pursuit.

Barf. No wonder you’re single.

Masturbation: The Supreme Sin

I believe it was George Carlin who first put into words what I had believed for so long yet couldn’t quite express. He said it perfectly. Mankind has urges, desires, and wants, and then God sets all of the rules in exact opposition. This is one of the key reasons I believe organized religion to be malarkey. Religion, in its earliest days and to this very day, seeks to keep mankind in order. In an article I came across on DesiringGod.org, the specific area of control is sexual desire. This website purports that the human body is a vessel provided by God that we do not own, but merely cohabitate with our Lord. Since God created our reproductive system for reproduction, anything contrary to that is a dirty sin. The author of this site offers ten words of advice for single people facing sexual desire. I share with you a few of those.

First, do not seek regular sexual gratification through masturbation, that is, the stimulation of your own self to sexual orgasm or climax. Masturbation does not solve sexual pressure for very long, it tends to become habitual, it produces guilt, and it contradicts the God-given design of sexuality. Our bodies and desires were designed for the sexual union of persons, and masturbation contradicts that design. But perhaps worst of all, masturbation is inevitably accompanied and enabled by sexual fantasies in the mind which we would not allow ourselves in reality and so we become like the Pharisees: well scrubbed on the outside, but inside full of perversions.

Pure bullshit right from the start. Masturbation does not create guilt. There’s nothing to be ashamed of unless you create rules that forbid the act. What’s that about fantasies that we would not allow ourselves in reality? Who says I’m not replaying past fantasies or that my fantasies are easily accomplished. Play it up with big words and scare the kids that much more. Deuteronomy 23:10 states: “If there be among you any man that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall ge go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp.” It then explains that once the sun sets he can wash his pubes and return to camp. God doesn’t care about a nocturnal emission that can also be accompanied by fantasies. All you have to do is wash yourself. Why should self pleasure be different?

Second, do not seek sexual satisfaction through touching or being touched by another person, even if you stop short of sexual intercourse. Everyone knows that intimate touching is the prelude and preparation for sexual intercourse, and therefore it belongs where that event belongs, namely, in marriage. Where the permanent commitment that characterizes marriage is missing, caressing becomes depersonalized manipulation; it turns the other’s body into a masturbation device to get a private physical thrill. God made us in such a way that if we try to turn that moment of touching into a personal, spiritual expression of love, we are not able to do it without making promises of faithfulness. Implicit in our hearts at that moment is the statement: You may touch me because you have promised never to leave me nor forsake me. You may have me because you are me. We are so made that we cry out for permanence when giving away our most intimate gifts. They belong in marriage.

This is just some outdated bullshit. This is purely an authoritarian edict that presupposed that one cannot determine for themselves what is truly passionate, spiritual, and permanent. By using loaded words from the beginning like “depersonalized manipulation” you demonize the act without any support.

Third, avoid unnecessary sexual stimulation. It doesn’t take any brains to know that there are enough X-rated movie houses and adult bookstores in this city to keep a person livid 24 hours a day. To visit these crummy places is temptation enough. But the real test is what you do with the more legitimate sources of sexual stimulation. PG movies, Time magazine, the newspaper, television, drugstore magazine racks, rock music lyrics. In our society you cannot escape sexual stimulation, but you can refuse to seek it. And you can avoid it often when you see it coming. This is the great test of whether we are enslaved or free. Can we say no to the slave driver in our bodies who wants us to keep on looking and keep on lusting?

Is this guy asking if I jerk off while reading Time Magazine and watching A Bug’s Life? Though it does bring a new meaning to Avril’s song “My Happy Ending.”

Fourth, when the stimulation comes and the desire starts to rise, perform a very conscious act of transfer onto Christ. I wish I had learned this much earlier in my life. While riding down the road, if some billboard or marquee puts a desire into my mind for some illegitimate sexual pleasure, I take that desire and say, “Jesus, you are my Lord and my God, and my greatest desire is to know and love and obey you, so this desire is really for you. I take it from your competitor, I purge it, and I direct it to you. Thank you for freeing me from the bondage of sin.” It is remarkable what control we can gain over the direction our desires take, if we really long to please Christ.

So when the Casino Le Fantastique billboard makes me itchy, I need to pray? Basically, you are saying that Jesus is a moodkill. Sure, call it “freeing me from the bondage of sin”, but this is no different from Austin Powers yelling “Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!” to keep from becoming aroused.

Christians spend so much time worrying about people having sex that they don’t look at the big picture. Does it really matter? Is “lost innocence” even a concern in today’s society? I know some people who somewhat regret their first sexual encounter, but live fulfilling lives nonetheless. Not everyone who has sex before marriage is going to transform into a guilt-stricken, cry-baby that sits in the corner all day wishing things had gone differently. Stop worrying about the bedroom (or kitchen, den, hallway, turnstile, deep freeze, etc.) and worry about yourself. Worry about leading a good life in more important ways such as taking care of those less fortunate and generally spreading goodwill. I’m sure at the end of the day, you’ll feel a lot more accomplished with zero guilt.