Call to Action
Sex sex sex. Last week a friend and I were talking as we drove over the hill, and priests and pedophilia came up (doesn't it always?). It's an interesting topic, that. The choice of celibacy is seen with so much suspicion these days, especially the priesthood. Statistics keep cropping up (or tabloid examples anyhow) that men who join the priesthood often have "deviant" sexualities, ranging from homosexuality to pedophilia to fetishes to simply extreme fear of intimacy or fear of women. What they have in common though, is that they have chosen to deny their sexuality entirely, rather than confront it head on, look at it, and figure out if or how they can live with it.
I think it's rather odd that such an institution even exists, to take in such men (and women I suppose too, although you rarely hear about the deviant nuns). I mean, when I was a Catholic, I thought that if you were a priest or nun, you weren't supposed to have sexual feelings at all; not that you were supposed to deny them. Na´ve, to be sure. But which is more na´ve, believing that people can simply stop having sexualities or believing that if they are bottled up and hidden away, that they won't ever be expressed?
And sadly, it seems that those sexualities are being expressed, and often in harmful ways. I suppose that if you believe that sex in general and your sexuality in particular is something to be ashamed of, that there is no other way to express that but with more shame and harm. Why bother seeking consent, because that would mean that you yourself were agreeing to be doing what you were doing. How much easier is it to just divorce yourself from the whole proceeding and act like nothing happened?
My friend brought up something he read or heard somewhere, some woman talking about how in the last century, the view of homosexuality has gone from evil to mental illness to somewhat accepted as just how people are. And her focus was that as homosexuality is a sexual orientation (issues like whether it's ever acted upon, whether it's evil, immoral, etc. left out of the discussion), perhaps things like sadomasochism and pedophilia were also just other sexualities. (I'm not advocating doing these things, people, and if you think I am, you're nuts.) But it's an interesting idea to chew on.
Why are people turned on by things I think are abhorrent? Why are people turned on by things they think are abhorrent? I don't know, and neither do they, it seems. I know occasionally someone walks by me and my clit twitches and I think "Him? Ick!" as if I was in control of what my body thinks. I'm in control of what it does, but not necessarily what it's turned on by. And I presume others are the same way. But how much responsibility we take is what sets us apart, I think. I don't act on my body's every response. I don't exclusively get turned on by things I think I shouldn't do. And I try very hard to think of sex as a gift, something to honor and value.
Anyhow, I don't know where I'm going with this. Sex and priests and deviant sexualities. Maybe if we all as a planet could stop thinking of sex as a bad thing, this wouldn't be an issue. Maybe if every persona was able to believe way deep down that boring vanilla sex was not a bad thing, then people wouldn't want to do things that would hurt others or themselves.
Or maybe not.
But does anyone else want to try?
Columns by Wanton Hussy