Pleasure After Purity Culture
Sep 02, 2022
The first time a girl I knew from Bible Study signed up to work with me in UNCOVER, I didn't feel what I expected...
...there was no anger
...there was no panic
...there was a brief moment of wondering if perhaps she was only there to try to save me, but it quickly faded
To be honest, there wasn't even much of a feeling of vindication/validation, though the piece that was, didn't have the edge of ::I WAS RIGHT:: but more felt like a soft, open, welcoming nod...
No one taught her about pleasure either.
Of course it must have been terrifying to say yes to a program called "Uncover" taught by a girl who you had accused of being gripped by the devil just a few years before..
(she did apologize for that part)
but there was a deeper YES that needed to be learned,
like so many of us,
all she had been taught was NO.
And so even for the women who WANTED to stay married, and be the perfect wife, or at least enjoy being married...
After years of being threatened with becoming damaged goods,
Pledging purity that made them feel more like property than people,
and actively un-learning how to listen to the part of them that might lust or hunger...
...it turned out it was hard to just SUDDENLY jump freely into bed.
Even -- especially -- on their wedding night.
CAN WE REALLY PRETEND TO BE SURPRISED???
So one by one,
brave Christian women,
and Muslim women,
and atheist women but who had grown up in a Puritan-roots laced Western culture,
and an Orthodox Jewish woman,
and ex-evangelicals who still sometimes longed for church,
and and and
began joining my programs.
Quietly, courageously, stepping toward pleasure.
For the first time, I'm teaching an entire program, just for us.
It isn't about staying or leaving,
it isn't even about agreeing or disagreeing,
it is about claiming the power of your pleasure in the presence of someone who recognizes you as: divine. Holy. Worthy. And already, inherently, whole.
not a freaking lollipop already sucked on or used up chewed up wad of gum.
Ready for a more sacred relationship to pleasure.
My advisor at Yale worked on puritans, my degrees are in religion & gender, my foray into spirituality has included everything from Quaker meetings to charismatic dancing to mission trips to interviewing Imams for social surveys.
There is nothing you can't bring, and, there is no time we need it more.
Rapture, my newest program is now open for enrollment.
Bring your scars and scarlet letters, bring your rings and pledges, bring your questions and your longings.