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Emily Joy @emilyjoypoetry
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I like to think that the fact that evangelical Christians assume that the opposite of purity culture is a 24/7 lascivious sexual smorgasbord says more about them than it does about any of us lol
I have THINGS TO SAY about this and about the idea of pleasure as a useful moral guide but I just got home and I am very hungry so I need to make soup first
Okay I made soup and yes it is as delicious as it looks and I thought about this while I was making it and here is the thing:
This whole, “well what’s the alternative? a sexual free-for-all?!” thing is a really common tactic for defenders of purity culture. If I had a dollar and so on and so forth. And I find it fascinating.
I WILL SAY as an aside that I think it’s possible for us to push back against this tactic without shaming people who do enjoy having safe and consensual sex with various numbers and genders of people at various stages of commitment and I think that’s important.
I’ve seen some #faithfullylgbt folks in particular play the whole “look cishet Christians, we’re just like you, we’re monogamous, we’re getting married, I’ve never even heard of a threesome” game and I don’t get it. Proximity to Christian heterosexuality will not save us.
But anyway THAT BEING SAID I don’t know a single person, monogamous or not, vanilla or kinky, whose sexual ethic can be boiled down to “anything goes!” Like, that’s just not real. It’s a straw man, and it’s easy for those that hold a “traditional sexual ethic” to knock down.
What’s most fascinating to me about this tactic though is the role it plays in exposing its user’s view of pleasure.
The person using this tactic has to make it extreme in order for it to work, so they reach into the recesses of their mind and come up with whatever they can imagine to be the absolute naughtiest, most indulgent sexual behavior, probably something they saw in porn one time lol
And this utter excess of pleasure and indulgence is supposed to be one of the proofs of this mythical person’s moral bankruptcy. If it’s pleasurable, especially if it’s extremely pleasurable, it must be wrong.
I went to a conference a couple months ago where one of the speakers was talking about pleasure as a credible moral guide and that honestly knocked me off my feet. Post-purity culture I think that’s one of the most essential shifts in thinking to make.
It’s actually real sad to me that there are people out here going, “If we give up purity culture, what’s next?! This Thing That Is Very Clearly A Fantasy Of Mine??” when I’m like. You could probably have that if you freed yourself from these sexual chains and asked nicely.
Me giggling at my own use of “sexual chains”
1. Proximity to Christian heterosexuality will not save us
2. Nobody’s sexual ethic is “anything goes”
3. When someone is trying to tell you what to do with your body, check out how they’re conceiving of pleasure
4. Unless of course you want them to tell you what to do 😏
5. PLEASURE CAN BE A CREDIBLE MORAL GUIDE and IMO we don’t give it enough space in our lives to tell us what is good and important as what we should care about. We should sit with our pleasure a lot longer and more often and ask deep questions of it.
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