Considering the world's obsession with "sex," it's interesting to find how squeamish most people actually are about it!
Sex Is NOT A Dirty Word
I really didn’t give much thought to the title of my debut novel, Sex In The Sanctuary, until the raised eyebrows, tongue clucking and “are you saved?” questions began. Before that, I just thought of it as a catchy, divinely-inspired phrase for a book about love, relationship, friendship and more. It had come to me so simply, the title, along with that of its sequel, Love Like Hallelujah and the third book, Passion In The Pews. But the more resistance I got to what I thought was simply an eye-catching title, the more I started to delve into just what the problem was with the s-word, especially among people who claim a relationship with God.
For the record, the word ‘sex” is fairly innocent. Dictionary.com describes the word as follows: 1) either the male or female division of a species, 2) the sum of the structural and functional differences by which the male and female are distinguished, or 3) the instinct or attraction drawing one sex toward another, or its manifestation in life and conduct. The word that actually describes what most people think of when they hear the word “sex,” is “coitus.” Now, if I’d said, “Coitus In The Church” or “Screwing In The Sanctuary,” I might have thought the raised eyebrows justified. But then again, even then, maybe not.
Understandably, society has made ‘sex,” a dirty word. But does that fact deny the truth? Isn’t sex, like all other things, something that God made, a gift to be exchanged between two people as the ultimate act of oneness? If “everything the Lord made was good,” then what’s the problem with sex among saints?
I ask this question first because of a specific customer, at a stand I’d set up outside T. D. Jakes’ “Mega-fest Convention” in Atlanta two years ago, and her judgmental inquiry after reading the title of my novel: “Are you saved?” Laughing, I asked her if she was married. She answered that she was. I then asked if it wasn’t God’s will for married couples to enjoy sex. She looked horrified, then doubtful, and then rephrased her question to me: “Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?” Geez…I thought. No wonder there’s so many divorces among Christians, and no wonder so few single Christians are getting married. They think that sex is a dirty word! They think that the word, let alone the act itself, is a curse and not a blessing. But God disagrees. Okay saints, what are you going to do with this truth? Deny it? It’s okay if you do, but send your emails to Solomon, not me. He waxes poetic erotica in a way I never could with his biblical “song.” He recognized the blessing. And so do I.
Later, I had a spirited conversation with one of my best friends, another married woman, named Sherri. The discussion ensued after my sharing another much asked question, “Are they having sex in the sanctuary?” Like any self-promoting writer I answered in the obvious: “You’ll have to get the book to find out!” Still, it got me thinking. Would that be a problem? So, in discussing this with my highly enlightened friend I was a bit surprised to discover her hesitation. “Well,” she said slowly, “I don’t think that would be right.”
“Hum,” I answered, pondering her response. “So, if a married couple, say two people who cleaned the church on Saturday night, got amorous in the basement, would that be a sin?” (By the way, I’ve heard that many church basements have been the sight of amorous activity.)
“I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with that,” she replied.
“Interesting,” was all I could say. After all, this is one of my most progressive-thinking friends and even she’s trippin’ on the s-word. Due to prudish paranoia, “sex” and “sanctuary” in the same sentence, puts some people in a tizzy!
All, however, is not lost. While the tongue clucking woman questioning my salvation didn’t buy my book, many others have, including my best friend Sherri, and loved it. “It’s so true to life,” Sherri enthused, “and romantic, and different than the watered down stories that are out there. I loved it.”
“Even though it’s sexually explicit,” I asked?
“Well, it wasn’t that bad; you didn’t go too far,” she admitted.
Could it be because the sex in the scenes was just an expression of love, God’s first commandment? Could it be that “sex,” is not a dirty word, after all?
Lutishia Lovely is a writer, actor, producer and poet. Her debut novel, Sex In The Sanctuary, is available in bookstores nationwide, and online. For more information, visit her website: www.lutishialovely.com.