by Amanda Earl
Some of my most memorable lovers have been lapsed Catholics. One of them took me into a mostly empty local church on a weekday where I gave him a blow job in a pew. For me, the taboo nature of blowing a guy in a church was a bit of a kick because it was a public space and anyone could catch us in the act, but for him, committing a sexual act in a church was an incredible turn on, a life-long fantasy come true.
I once danced with a man in a habit at a Halloween party at a swingers' club. I could tell he was aroused by dressing a) as a woman and b) as a nun. I did not get to peak under his habit, oh woe is me.
Alas I am a heretic, or at least I was raised as one, with no church, no rituals, no religious symbols and no belief that I was a sinner or subsequently if I confessed my dark and dirty sins, I could somehow be absolved of them. When I asked my mother what to do when I got restless, her advice was to take up sewing. I think I was about 12 at the time. I didn't take up sewing, I took up masturbation, which I learned by watching my little Chihuahua rub himself on a pillow, but I digress…
Basically the concept of eternal life in heaven or hell as reward or punishment for the life you led on Earth is outside of my childhood education. You did something wrong and you were punished for it right there and then. My mother always said you make your own heaven and hell on Earth. No long lasting feelings of guilt or fear of the flames of hell for me. What we feared in my family were the drunken rage and unpredictable behaviour of my father. And these outbursts came whether we behaved or whether we didn't. There was no absolution for confession and penance of transgressions either. It simply wasn't inculcated into the fabric of my existence as it is with Catholics. Or at least as I am led to understand it is. Not being a Catholic I can't possibly begin to understand Catholicism, particularly the sexual triggers of its observers.
What I do get from it, in my naïve and very rudimentary understanding based on portrayals of Catholics in film, literature and my various licentious encounters with men of the faith or formerly of the faith, is the idea that lust is a sin: "Lust is a disordered desire for or an inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2351)
To let oneself succumb to it is to unleash one's inner demon, which we all seem to have. When that demon is unleashed, there will be orgies and an apocalypse. I may now be confusing Catholicism with fundamentalist Christian religions. But the point is that for the religious, there is such a thing as evil and one can succumb to it. It's just waiting there inside us, the desire to grab the local priest and hump the bejeezus out of him.
This is an exceptionally potent thought. No wonder there are so many randy Catholics out there. But as randy as I am, all the fucking time, I don't feel that my thoughts or desires are innately taboo. I'm not a murderer, nor a thief (not in adulthood anyway) nor an embezzler, but I do enjoy fornication and don't feel the slightest degree of shame or guilt over my enjoyment or desires.
So what is a writer who is interested, nay driven, to write about sex and desire to do? How to articulate that feeling of pent up forbidden desire, of evil and taboo?
Isn't it fortunate that negatives attitudes against sexual desire outside of the confines of heterosexual marriage and for purposes of procreation have managed to become entrenched in secular society? The tension in my stories often comes from the intense desire felt by my characters and a world where such desire is verboten or frowned upon.
In "Daddy Complex," a woman has a need to be fucked by daddy figures. She goes online to find such. When these desires are in danger of being revealed, she is wracked with guilt and fear.
In "the Third Floor," a submissive woman finally overcomes her fears of danger and exposure and succumbs to her need to be mastered. I just finished writing a story called "A Whore's Reward" about a woman who meets a man who ends up giving her money for sex and the strange combination of guilt and arousal she feels about it.
I have a plethora of stories which explore this tension between lust for its own sake and the accepted world view of sex for romantic heterosexual love and procreation. When this desire is struggled with, confessed or revealed, it produces a storm of sexual frenzy. It's a powerful thing to admit one's desires. Especially in a world where slut-shaming and sex negative attitudes continue to exist. See Sinead O'Connor's letter to Miley Cyrus.
I came out of the closet to myself and others long ago about my sexual nature, the fact that I am a complete nympho who adores sex. But I was a late bloomer. I didn't begin to truly explore my sexual nature until my mid 30s. And I had a lot of exploring to do: threesomes, BDSM, facials, snowballs, pearl necklaces, public sex, phone sex, the whole gamut except for same sex fucking (damn my heterosexual bones) & orgies (I'm too picky). I'm simply fascinated by sex in every way. And I'm both frustrated and intrigued by that tension between one's desires and sex negative attitudes that permeate our culture.
Also important to note is that these tensions are not just between the outside world and individuals but within the individual. How much need or courage or pluck does it take for a young man to admit his submissive tendencies or for him to confess he likes to wear women's underwear or whatever it may be. If it is sexual, it is likely going to be exposed to mockery and insult and more often than not cause the desirous ones to feel shame. While these tensions still exist in the world and I suspect they always will, since they always have, I will continue to explore them in my erotica. And I will continue to stand up for my fellow fornicators and whatever consensual kinks between adults they may enjoy.