If there’s one thing churches/religion universally control it’s sex and sexuality.
Sexual identity is formulated based upon a patriarchal (and religious) world view. Or is all patriarchy formed from religion? Mary Daly is right to say that our idea of God “the Father” creates an idea of fathers and males as God. She also says that the categories of heterosexuality and homosexuality are classifications based on patriarchy.
If this is true and if we live in world of patriarchal religion, then women who are comfortable expressing their sexuality in a way that isn’t necessary reliant on men’s power or satisfaction are easily demonized. Doesn’t this date back to the witch hunting days? It’s easy to demonize anyone who varies the “norm.”
One thing being in a cult taught me is that men are not all powerful. The minute you decide to possess your own mind, you can be an enlightened woman. Or if you are a man who lives outside the gender norms (maybe you’re kind and gentle instead of tough and aggressive), you don’t have to be suppressed by an idea of the “manly man” being the only version of what a man is. In a non-patriarchal belief structure, people who vary from the “norms” have an important place.
I’ve found sex and sexuality are an important place to liberate ourselves and our identities, post-cult. A lot of us spend very important time discovering what sex is, and how we can enjoy it. Most people who remain closely tied to church, post-cult don’t seem to have the same liberties in regards to sex. A lot of women I’ve heard from or read about (who are still religious, or who were deeply entrenched in a patriarchal marriage) have varying degrees of associations with rape and sex (even in marriage). It’s easy to feel that way, if you still embrace the idea that men are the head of the household and women who are sexually liberated are witches. Regardless of where that belief stems from, it’s an imprisoning system of belief. It’s not a fact. It can be destroyed and deconstructed with time and upon a deeper examination of the root of that belief.
Instead of acting modest and covering myself up, I’m now able to be comfortable with sex, the idea of sex, and wanting sex. I embrace the irony of the religious label of “witch” and act freely. I also am fully conscious of the fact that the church and the religious want to CONTROL SEX and what is deemed appropriate when it comes to sex. If in fact they control it, then they have power over our lives. The church has exerted its power over sex for hundreds of years because we have let it. We haven’t enlightened ourselves and we haven’t taken responsibility for our minds and bodies. Take back your mind and your body from the church and celebrate it with sex.
Or you can choose guilt, the one thing the church implants in your mind.