TMI Tuesday – Sex & Religion

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Good morning lovelies,

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Tuesday. It’s one of those days that the UK is famed for: cold, wet and windy. Autumn is creeping in now and the days are definitely getting colder and darker. In a way, I don’t mind it too much. I do struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder but since embracing the Swedish practice of Hygge, I’ve been a lot better.

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at sex and religion. It’s very interesting for me because during lockdown, I’ve become friends with a lady from my local Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. A lot of people think I’m foolish. but actually I’ve come to realise how sweet and kind she really is. Do I believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult? Absolutely. Will I be joining them? Definitely not. More than anything, though, instead of turning her away, I’ve come to know Hannah and know what a great and wonderful woman she is outside of faith and religion. She too is a married woman with health issues and with a husband with anxiety, so in spite our of vastly differing beliefs, we’ve found lots in common, too. I do understand a little about the Jehovah’s Witness faith, and I think the fact that she’s decided to be friends with me in spite of our differences is really admirable. She’s essentially turned her back on her religion for me!

I personally have had a lot of interesting experiences over the years with religion and I attended a church that perhaps not many outside of the UK have heard of. I grew up in a quiet and unassuming port village in North Bristol and attended a C of E (Church of England) church, as well as a C of E school. I was essentially raised to be a reformed Catholic, though never found my true connection with God. Given that, I’ve dabbled with all kinds of faiths over the years to find where I am today. Are you ready to explore my answers to these questions a little further? Then let’s get stuck in!

1. How important is religion in your life?

I think a connectiom with God is important, but not that important. Like I mentioned, I was raised in a C of E family but my grandmother had a much more relaxed view on religion than what my grandfather did. Her view was always “why be at God’s house (the church) when I can be out doing God’s work?”, and that’s since been the way that I have always been. Helping charity, fundraising, helping those in need, for my family and me, these are all ways that we can be doing God’s work. Instead of attending church, we did things to help our neighbour (metaphorically speaking, of course) and prayed in our own home. The church was always there, but non-attendance was never viewed as sinful.

Over the years, I found that two things happened to me. Firstly, I called into question how I saw ‘God’. I’d seen these pictures and paintings of him with long hair and a golden halo, but how did we know? Who was alive to see him, to paint him? Nobody! So then, to me, the idea that anyone knew what he looked like was complete hogswash. I was also confused by the Holy Trinity. I imagined them like three brothers, and that’s all well and good, but which one’s which and how do we know?

One of my biggest frustrations was with the Lord’s Prayer. I found it not just respectful, but even forcefully humbling and subservient, I couldn’t be dealing with that. I wanted a connection with God, but I wanted a connection with God whereby I could make him proud, I could work hard and hope to one day be rewarded not by begging and humbling myself to him, but instead by working hard and trying to please him. I felt detest if I was asked to recite the Lord’s Prayer and that wasn’t the connection that I wanted to have with God. For me, my connection with God is almost journal like, it’s informal. It’s not uncommon for me to begin my prayers with “Hey God” or “Yo, Big Man”. I talk to him like I used to talk to my father.

After leaving the C of E, I explored Paganism for a long time. I loved Paganism and I loved a lot about Paganism, too. I loved the appreciation and worshipping of nature, I loved the worshipping of the sun and I loved that Pagans are generally happy, peaceful (and sometimes crazy) people. Paganism felt ‘right’ for me apart from one devilish little detail. Pagans have many Gods and Goddesses, and I only believed in one.

After Paganism I explored Humanism, but I found that the absence of belief in reincarnation did not sit well with me. I believe that we are and can be reincarnated at least once, and that we are all returned to Earth to pass on one last message before leaving earth and spending eternity in Heaven. It’s our chance to wrap up and finish business, if you will.

Today, I define myself as a Unitarian Universalist. The nice thing about being a “Unie” is that you’re free to believe in whatever you think God looks like, however many Gods you think there are, what they want you to do, what they don’t want you to do and so on. My C of E roots have long stayed with me and I still believe in working hard and staying faithful to my husband. but along with it, I believe in reincarnation and the power of rituals, crystals and reiki healing, too. I believe that I was put here to make people smile and to help people, and so I try to do that. Is religion important to me? Not entirely, I’d say kindness is, and being kind is all part of my larger beliefs.

2. How often do you use pornography?

Days passed since I last looked at pornography: 0 😉

A girl has needs, you know? Compared to my husband, I’m a right dirty bitch. I have kinks that he isn’t into and days when I want and he doesn’t/can’t. I think pornography can be healthy in a relationship, as long as you talk about it and share what it was you liked, I can’t see a problem. How else was I going to show my husband how a girl likes to be handled? James Deen had to make an appearance somewhere..

3. Do you feel your religion restricts sexual behavior?

Ha, it doesn’t, not really. Basically, don’t cheat, that’s it. Is that religious or moral though? You decide. Basically, I believe that whatever a man and woman decide is okay, is okay. If a couple is into swinging, sharing, hotwifing or whatever, cool, go for it.

4. Is your participation in sex, of any kind, tempered because of your own religious beliefs?

Nope.. I mean I came across Paganism and I still have strong Pagan feelings.. there was really no going back from there, was there? Sure there is The Wicca Rede, but to me, causing harm means to do something that another doesn’t consent to, rather than to cause a mark. If you’re both in agreement, cause all the marks you want 😉

5. Can you be kinky and practice religion?

Christ, Roman Catholics came up with self-flaggelation. I think so, absolutely. Like I said, as long as you’re faithful to your partner, I can’t see a problem. To me, being bad or being sinful is going against your partner’s wishes. What goes on in a marital home (or at least. any agreements made within it!), stays. Oh, and I do believe that living together and not marrying is sinful, but then there are people who will probably judge me for losing my virginity before marriage, even though I did go on to marry the same man. Who am I to judge, really?

Oh, and do note that I didn’t say that there was anything wrong with self-flaggelation. A little self-flaggelation can be quite beneficial for tense and stressed out shoulders, in fact 😉

Bonus: Are you aspiring to anything?

Aspiring? Well.. I don’t think so, not really. I mean some weight loss would be good, but other than that, just to keep doing well with my blog and helping people, really. I don’t have a long-term goal as such, I’m happy with where I’m at now.. apart from my added cuddle!

Alright lovelies, I hope this post has been informative and interesting for you. It turns out, I don’t just call out to God, I believe in him, too. Who knew? 😉

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,

Helen xx

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