“Sanctified” Exhibitionism

facepalm_stencil_by_killingspr-d4ngb9nThe other day I happened upon a Christian blogger who felt led to share an erotic poem he had written for and about his wife. I’ll refrain from linking to the thing; all considerations of taste and discretion aside, the poetry itself is really rather bad, and sounds like fifth- or sixth-rate Chaucer. The most interesting part, in my opinion, is that when challenged as to the wisdom of sharing his poem with the world, the author responded by saying that “my marriage, like all marriages, is a public sexual relationship.”

[clears throat]

And now it’s time for Silly Songs with Larry, the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a Silly Song.

Marriage as a public sexual relationship. Gotcha. I can honestly say I’ve never heard that one before, but as Josip from Island of the World would observe, “you learn something new every day.” You learn, for example, that some people are chowderheads, and ought not to be taken seriously about much of anything – sex least of all.

We are the pirates who don’t do anything/We just stay at home and lie around…

Public sexual relationship. Public sexual relationship. Pray, what crazy hermeneutical gymnastics does one have to perform for this to be a viable statement? Has irony crawled off somewhere and died, or is he just asleep? Can someone please wake him up? My word, people. Some things really should not be said with a straight face. The man who combines “public” and “sexual” in this way and for this purpose clearly has a doubtful grasp of the true meaning of either.

And I’ve never bathed in yogurt/And I don’t look good in leggings…

Let’s not kid ourselves: if escaping the ditch of Victorian prudery tumbles us into the ditch of “sanctified” exhibitionism – all in the name of Christian liberty – we still have not found the road yet.

But what is harmless in private is not necessarily harmless, let alone beneficial, in public; and those who think that their private and public behavior should always be the same, for fear of introducing hypocrisy into it, have a view of human existence that lacks subtlety, irony and above all realism. (Theodore Dalrymple, Spoilt Rotten)

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13 thoughts on ““Sanctified” Exhibitionism”

  1. “if escaping the ditch of Victorian prudery tumbles us into the ditch of “sanctified” exhibitionism – all in the name of Christian liberty – we still have not found the road yet.”

    TRUTH

  2. Jean Brainerd says (just so you know it’s not Pastor Brainerd :-)) – “He’s absolutely correct when he says that their marriage is a public sexual relationship. They took vows of marriage in the presence of God and witnesses, and God Himself tells us that one of the reasons He ordained marriage is to create godly seed. The means for that (among us humans, anyway) are sexual… so of course their marriage is a public sexual relationship. His error lies in the assumption that either we don’t understand that (so he needs to clarify it for us), or that we need to know the details of it (we don’t). It’s either an insult to our intelligence or a lack of discrimination on his part between ‘public information’ and ‘private information’. Either way, thanks for not linking to it.”

    1. “They took vows of marriage in the presence of God and witnesses, and God Himself tells us that one of the reasons He ordained marriage is to create godly seed.”

      Agreed. But within the context of the conversation, this was clearly not what the author meant by his response. His use of “public sexual relationship” is entirely different from your (entirely correct) use of it – a limp-wristed attempt at defending his indiscriminate sharing. And as you said, we don’t need to know the details. :)

      1. Jean Brainerd says – “Oh, yes – totally agree that his use was incorrect. I was simply trying to clarify for those that haven’t quite escaped the Victorian ditch that there actually is a sense in which the phrase ‘public sexual relationship’ is appropriate. Just not within the poet’s meaning. His is just ‘ick’.”

        1. And this is precisely the problem with the usage of modern language. It’s been muddied, and thus weakened, by the presence of what can only be termed as amorality.

          And where there is a lack of morality, there’s concomitant lack of understanding.

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