King of Pleasure

The unfortunate thing about TiredChristianity is that it has failed to acknowledge one of the most riveting, interesting things about SexyJesus—his acceptance and celebration of pleasure.

If we look closely, we see that SexyJesus was a man every woman wanted. The women who were drawn to him and who followed him did it because he was a leader and a model for others. He was gentle and kind, but also strong. (We don’t often realize these things can go together.) He kept to his word. He spoke truth, and he wasn’t worried about status quo, or pleasing people in power. And most of all, he stuck up for women. He supported them, over and over again, when they were being criticized or condemned by narrow-minded men. That’s why women were so devoted to him.

And I mean, there is some intense PDAs happening here in the SexyJesus world. That’s why it’s so strange that 2000 years later, we think that being a follower means we need to button ourselves up and repress all our emotions and desires, cut our hair short and wear turtlenecks and all that stuff.

A lot of people don’t know how to experience pleasure. We think it’s dirty and wrong. We’ve been taught through repressed sexuality that feeling good is kind of a bad thing, and then it’s only through feeling bad that we can get turned on.

(This is so effed up.)

But SexyJesus is like, Nah, it’s fine, bring it on, I’m worthy. You can watch.

Such a badass.

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 

(Reclined, people. Reclined!)

A woman in that town who had lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 

The Pharisee is one of those uptight guys whose butt is always clenched. He probably drinks his tea with his pinky sticking out. So he starts to judge SexyJesus and the woman, because thinks the woman is dirty, because that level of devotion and adoration is gross, not something to be done in public. This is a guy whose sex life is likely very miserable.

SexyJesus reads his mind and starts a conversation about love and money and forgiveness and all that good stuff. But the point is really to show the Pharisee that he’s a withholding son of a bitch. SexyJesus says:

Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss….

But this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

All the people at the dinner party are like, What. is. going. on? What. is. happening? They’re drinking their wine with their eyeballs popping out.

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Wink, wink. Hint: Maybe I’ll see you later.

I mean, we don’t know all the specifics, and so much of reading these Scripture passages is conjecture, but SexyJesus, over and over again, seems to be totally into physical affection and public displays of love. This guy eats and drinks and shoots the shit with anyone who will listen. He sticks up for those less fortunate. He lets women kiss him and anoint him and pour expensive perfume all over his head. He lets women pay for his spiritual movement, because the women are so grateful for the reiki healing he’s done for them that they want to pay it forward:

The Twelve were with him,, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. 

SexyJesus didn’t have a sugar daddy to help him spread his message, he had wealthy, independent women.

Mm-hmm.

So how, from all of this, do we get a Christian church that teaches people to repress sex, that your body is wrong, that the only way to know you’re “good” is if you carry shame? Oh my God, puh-lease, let’s finally move on from this bullshit and get in touch with reality.

There is nothing wrong with pleasure if you don’t become addicted to it. That’s the kicker. SexyJesus knew this. He could engage in wild nights because he didn’t need them. He wasn’t aimlessly searching in the dark, grasping for something to fill his holes, using people for his own ends. He knew truth and light and love, and the way he taught was to sit at tables and talk to people, so he necessarily drank the same wine they drank and ate the same food they ate. And we don’t know what his sex life was like, but you can be sure that if he had one (which he must have, at some point, in some manner!), his use of physical expression was a deep and abiding love people knew and felt and were filled with in his presence. Not many people can offer this kind of love, and not many people know how to receive it, either. Because the way most people operate when it comes to sex is as though it’s a materialistic transaction—I get this, you get that. We’re even. Or it’s domination, one person asserting his or her power over another so he or she can experience ego-fulfillment, or a story to tell friends. (This is why I can’t even watch Sex and the City; all of those sexual interactions are empty and superficial and usually mean.) Or it’s fast and quiet, something to get done, like going to the bathroom, and we don’t talk about it later.

And of course, pleasure is not limited to sex. Pleasure is walking in bare feet. It’s drinking your coffee and watching the birds. It’s rubbing a loved one’s back, or playing with your daughter’s hair. It’s opening a bottle and smelling lavender shampoo, or rubbing your arms with shea butter soap and letting the steam of the shower rise around you. It’s sitting in the peace and quiet of meditation. It’s dancing to one of your favorite songs.

This world is beautiful, and engaging with it, being present in it, often lends itself to the erotic, to the experience of pleasure. But because we’re so lost in egoic minds, because we don’t know how to be present, and because we’ve been taught that our bodies are shameful and wrong, we think that a good life is one where we’re suffering and planning ahead and getting all our ducks in a row. We think a good life is knowing what’s to come, having clear expectations, making plans and having things to look forward to (even though we may not live long enough to experience the thing we’re looking forward to). And so we end up with lifestyles where we mostly feel numb, and the only way out of that numbness is to look for a jolt of pleasurable satisfaction, an addictive behavior, some activity (like porn) we can control rather than knowing how to envelop ourselves in the pleasure of the moment,  in seeing what’s actually here.

In walks MotherJana, the prophet in cowgirl boots and a red scarf.

I have a lot of thoughts. I have a lot of plans. I have a lot of divinely inspired leadings in this regard.

Stay tuned.

 

“Dinner table set for dinner party” by Toby Simkin is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Categories: love, spirituality and faith

Tags: , , , ,

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