“At My Beloved’s Garden, we provide a safe non-pornographic place to shop for all your Christian sex toys and romance needs, while keeping Christ at the center of your marriage. Packages arrive in a non-descript plain brown box. Your information is never sold or shared, we respect you and your privacy.”
What sort of guilty broken-Bible-brain does one have to have in order to need to use a Christian dildo, instead of just any old dildo?
Hint: embracing Paradox works better than Viagra or dildos.
What pisses evangelicals off–at least the ones who have a penis or vagina–is to stumble again and again on “nonbelievers” who seem happier than they are.
Take sex. I can only offer my speculations about the damage Bible-believing views of sexuality can do. But porn consumption is highest in the most church going parts of America. And now Christian dildos.
(NOTE: to first timers, avoid the cross-shaped one!)
I think the many, many biblical exhortations about the body make for a self-loathing that drives people to take it out on others or to flip to the other extreme and head into a one-way Internet porn thicket of ever-more-degrading material while trying to find what they think they’ve somehow missed out on. Enter an article on Christian Sex Toys…
As it turns out, a market for Christian sex toys exists, and it’s serious business. The Huffington Post recently published a short piece on Book 22, an online sex aid shop that’s been around since 2006. The store’s name comes from Song of Solomon, the Bible’s famously erotic twenty-second book. We weren’t sure what to expect before logging on—would they sell essence of frankincense and myrrh massage oils? Dildos shaped like the staff of a shepherd? The possibilities are endless, perhaps borderline offensive. The Best Sex Toys for Couples
Alas, our expectations met an anticlimactic end. Book22’s offerings are more or less indiscernible from those of any other sex shop. Lotions and oils are labeled benignly with names like “Ounce of Passion” and “Oil with Pheromones.” Noticeably missing, however, were BDSM aids, nude pictures, or references to the forbidden fruit.
As a Christian sex shop, Book22 encourages “God’s plan for people to remain sexually pure.” That is, the company’s policy requires that products be purchased exclusively by married couples. Book22’s sex aids aren’t just fun playthings, they’re means by which Christian couples can enjoy the intimacy they believe God has given them. What Do Men Think About Vibrators?
Why would anyone have to dress up sex toys as “Christian” rather than just toys? The reason is that evangelicals have to make everything, including art, into some sort of religious propaganda. Now they are even messing up dildos.
Either way, as a sincere (or even a former) Bible-believer, you’re doomed to hate your own body because it tricks you into Lust. And since you hate your own body but don’t want to kill it just yet, you redirect your hatred to other people’s bodies and what they do with them. Maybe that’s why people like Franklin Graham are such jerks.
Maybe that’s why the Bible belt is the sex belt too… As Publisher’s Weekly noted:
While Southerners may be famous for churchgoing and family values, they also “like to liberate themselves,” according to journalist Parker, a Little Rock, Ark., native with a reputation for sexual controversy. One needs only an Internet connection, a car and an open mind, and the South is a veritable sexual smorgasbord, with its Passion Parties (“think 1970s Tupperware parties but with rubber penises instead of plastic ice trays”), Iron Belles (for “muscle fantasy”), bondage and s&m clubs, aqua porn, swingers parties, strip clubs and BBW (Big Beautiful Women) parties. The South may look straight-laced, Parker admits, but the same ladies trying and buying double-penis dildos at Passion Parties in Maumelle, Ark., are also reading the Christian apocalyptic Left Behind novels and going to church every Sunday.
Or you push for legislation like anti-gay-marriage initiatives to stop Sinners from entering into the union you believe is “only for a man and a woman,” perhaps because you’re bitter that the inerrant Word of God has come between you and your body or between you and the many other bodies you’d like to have had Sex with. Or maybe you are gay too and this is a way to protect yourself from being outed.
You must “stand against all compromise”; you must hate every “deviation” because you are in a constant battle with temptation.
Maybe your temptations lead you to question what you say you believe. Above all, your temptations make you wonder if you are “Saved.” So, as I point out in my new book WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace, you don’t open a door to doubt; rather, you just yell all the louder to drown out the nagging thought that you may, after all, be no better than anyone else and may be just as “Lost” as the next guy.
Maybe you build a career out of all that yelling and/or “legislative initiatives.” And this works! Check out the self-loathing sex-crazed GOP.
But at some point you have a choice: to listen to your reasonable doubts, follow your questions, and perhaps, as I did, embrace the inexplicable fact of Merciful Paradox, or deny the reasonable voice of doubt and redouble your efforts to “keep faith.”
Want good sex? Then stop worrying about other people’s “Sins” and if you want a vibrator I don’t think it needs a Bible verse to make it holy. The God-Of-The-Orgasm doesn’t need buying off. He didn’t scrawl Bible verses on your penis or vagina, so why should you, as it were?
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace