Authorial Note/ Update: The following piece was recently published in the February 2015 Issue of the University of Toronto Independent newspaper, accessible here

            On Tuesday Sept. 17th, I can honestly say that I was given the chance to rediscover my heterosexuality in a more appropriate way. The following is drawn from my adventure to The Bongo Club in Edinburgh, which is so far the only place I could find that had any kind of a HipHop scene.  I’m not typically a ‘clubbing’ person, so this was somewhat of a new setting, but it actually helped a lot that I was alone. See, unlike the HipHop places in Toronto, the ratio of women to men at this place was 4:1. It is a little unbelievable because HipHop is such a male-dominated musical genre and culture, but here there was in the most unlikely of places, a bunch of beautiful women willing to dance to HipHop music with the few amount of men that there were. The women were confident, sexy without being gross, and (most importantly) not snobbish or afraid to dance in a close and adventurous manner (if you know what I mean).

            Why I say this was my ‘rediscovery’ of my heterosexuality was because for about a good part of a year, due to my mental episode, I was put on a medication called Sertaline, which for most men not only kills one’s sex drive but even one’s ability to ‘enjoy’  (not permanent sterility, thank God!). It was only during this summer now was that the effect had began wearing off, and its all coming back in its God-given vitality. So that night at the club, while I had not lost my virginity, as is most surely proper [intentionally mentioned to keep criticism at bay], it was the closest I have come to that (get the pun?).

      As one friend related it, after I shared my experience at this HipHop club and the women ratio, “Congratulations. Enjoy your stay in Heaven”, which brings us back to theology. After that wonderful experience, I had a very unique experience while praying. I didn’t know whether to thank God, the creator of our bodies and our sexuality, for that experience, OR whether to ask for forgiveness for indulging and fantasying about ‘the flesh’….You see the tension, no? On the one hand, in some evangelical contexts, Christians want to proclaim, due to criticism from secularism, that they are not ‘anti-sex’ but that God made sex to be enjoyed as in the Song of Songs….BUT on the other hand, he created it to be enjoyed in a certain context, and outside of that context its dirty and sinful.

            In addition to this, a text from the Book of Proverbs had appeared itself in full colours during a church service, in which was the following (Prov. 7:13-20, NET),

So she grabbed him and kissed him,
and with a bold expression she said to him,
“I have fresh meat at home;
today I have fulfilled my vows!
That is why I came out to meet you,
to look for you,and I found you!
I have spread my bed with elegant coverings,
with richly colored fabric from Egypt.
I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let’s drink deeply of lovemaking until morning,
let’s delight ourselves with sexual intercourse.
For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a journey of some distance.
He has taken a bag of money with him;
he will not return until the end of the month.”

            When I first heard that, my immediate mental reflex was, “Damn! That’s like every sex scene I’ve ever watched….oh my goodness, THAT’s my first response?” The justifications didn’t fall too far behind, e.g. “It was wrong because it was adultery, not because it was ‘naughty sex'” or “It was wrong because it wasn’t done out of love!” The text is clearly focused on the evil of adultery, but is not the secrecy and indulgence a big factor here as well? Speaking as non-academically as possible, I have to admit that I now struggle deeply with the aforementioned tension in Christian theology. It makes marriage seem just like a ticket that allows you to fulfill all the fantasies of sexual desire that you couldn’t before you got married (though you wanted too!). However, I’m really glad I waited a few more days before finishing this post, because what happened on another Tues. night gave me a wider perspective.

            The Bongo club was once again filled with a large percentage of women, but this time, something was different for me. What began to form during my mental process was to look at them as whole persons, not just whole bodies. Once this had occurred, it was no longer just “Hey! I’m a free young adult!” It was more, “What a shame…these men and women…why do we do this to ourselves”. Not in an arrogant manner but in a manner of…I get it. There are not too many men my age that can understand the social shame I face, being a 22-year old virgin. And not just a virgin, but a super-virgin, if that’s possible. I’ve never had a girlfriend, have barely had what you can call a ‘date’, have never kissed  a girl or been kissed, and needless to say that the only women that I’ve had sexual pleasure with were digital. The immense social pressure, biological pressure, and ‘religious’ pressure all reach here at a nexus, and weigh as  big as burden of anxiety from which I cannot be relieved so easily as you can imagine. Furthermore, my heart is very fragile and for some reason women just seem to think it is the most meaningless thing one can possibly break.

           I understand more than ever why our north-American culture is so sex obsessed, and it because for many of us, sexual relationships are to be viewed as the most intimate, and for those of us who feel very lonely and unjustly deprived in this area…is it any wonder why we might hire people to cuddle with us? I will go so far as to say that for some of us, the reason we might have turned to pornography was NOT

581ca25150e10a6ab35fb5448a664f28because we were lust crazed sex fiends…it was because we were lonely, and consensual physical intimacy was so far beyond our reach that even if the people we watched were digital, at least they in our minds were willingly to be with us in any close way. We didn’t turn to digital images for sexual pleasure because we got bore with real people, we turn to them precisely because our first choice of real people didn’t seem to want anything to do with us. “We know its not ideal”, we say to ourselves, “but what other choice did we have?”, so we can rationalize our bad habits. Furthermore, any moralizing from anyone usually comes from people that have had relationships or haven’t felt sexually ignored, and we want to scream at them “F*ck you! Don’t tell me how sinful I am!”, as a way to ignore getting rid of our bad habits.

         What exactly am I trying to get at? Well to be honest I don’t have any solid conclusions, only some hints at the truths I’m trying to get at and hopefully get others to understand: (1) Despite all appearances to the contrary, because of medication or whatever else, I’m not just a ‘brother’, ‘friend’, ‘preacher’, ‘sage’ or whatever titles people want to bestow upon me…I’m a sexual being, and this aspect of me causes me the most grief, (2) It shouldn’t have to cause me the most grief, I should be able to enjoy it, but it seems like even in our so-called culture of openness about sex or whatever, people are more closed off than ever from one another, (3) How I wish I could give you moral platitudes about waiting for marriage, or how I’m so glad to be so ‘pure’ for a man my age, but truth is, in this case, H.G. Wells was right…any moral indignation about things matters on my part would be “Jealously with a halo”. I’m so envious of all my Christian friends that can tell me how they repented of their past sexual sins and now they’re better off for it. I feel like elder brother in the Prodigal Son, “Oh they get to sin all they like, like how I desperately want to! and they get the inheritance!…no fair”.  (4) I bemoan how one of the only places I feel like I can talk about these matters openly and honestly is on my blog. Truth is, I carry so much guilt for always burdening my friends with my complaining about these matters. All the genius in the world won’t keep me warm at night. If I could take away my sexual urges right now, sadly, I would. Life would be easier. All the confidence and pride I have left is muster up so as to avoid self-loathing. I wonder in the back of my mind if I should have written this at all, and the only reason I have is because I have a relative certainty that I’m not the only one, and that even if you’re not in the same situation as I am, you can definitely sympathize/empathize with parts of it. The only comfort that I can offer and the only thing that consoles me is the simple fact that we can thank God we’re not just sexual beings, because if we were, life would be unbearable.