For much of my adult life, I’ve been a consciously sexual being. I recognize in myself an enjoyment of the human body – mine and others – and have had a number of satisfying (and a few unsatisfying) sexual relationships. I love that part of our being human that makes us both sexual and aware of our sexuality. I love that we get, as they say, warm for another’s form. Even when I am single, like I am now, I enjoy flirting, feeling sexual and sensual, dwelling in desire and passion. I love performing with a bit of sexual sparkle (as I did in the UTS drag show last year). And I absolutely love that we teach healthy sexuality to all ages in the Our Whole Lives curriculum.
In other words, sex is pretty awesome and a celebrated part of who I am.
Thus I’m finding it awfully unnerving to be in a space where there is no passion, no attraction, no feeling of sensuality or sexuality, no desire to be sensual or sexual. This just isn’t me. I’m not asexual. I’m not cold or unmoved. So it’s been odd.
I’m keenly aware that a number of things may be contributing to this: I’ve been stressed in my work and home life (both of which have just recently released their anxious grip). I am in that wonderful stage of a woman’s life known as peri-menopause (Lord, help me to hold out / until my change comes!). There is a distinct lack of interested parties within 3,200 miles of me – including myself. Before now, I could overcome lack of partner or lack of peace and still get in touch with my sexual core, but right now, I’m feeling like a dud.
This is typically the place where I would spiral into negative self-esteem – no one will ever love me, I’m utterly unattractive, there’s something wrong with me, I’m officially a broken mess. If I can’t be wholly whole, then I am completely broken.
But now, this is where my faith steps in – a faith that says we can never be completely whole, because then we wouldn’t be human. A faith that says its in the cracks where the light gets in. A faith that says there is space for all the ways I am.
Except that for a long time, I wondered if I was too sexual for this path, too expressive with my passion and enjoyment to be the perfect pastor. Even through three OWL training weekends, I wondered if my personal enjoyment was inappropriate despite a clear call for some to be healthy sexuality religious professionals.
And then I met a colleague, Dawn, at General Assembly in Providence, whose energy connected to mine (and we became fast friends), whose queerness of both gender and preference is intriguing and delightful, whose fierce work in sexuality is inextricably connected to their call, which makes them come alive and evoke aliveness in others. Dawn showed me that all the facets of who I am – artist, nerd, extrovert, brain, geek, sexual being – make me the minister I am called to be.
Even now, when I’m not feeling it. And I mean, I’m really not feeling it. I can’t even fake feeling it right now.
But I am still a sexual being. And an artist, and a nerd, and an extrovert, and a brain, and a geek. All at once, and in different measure at different times.
So what if I’m not feeling sexual right now. It’s okay. I’m still whole and healthy and worthy.