It's November, which means it's National Novel Writing Month again. While over 114,000 people around the world are giving the decade-old 30-day novel-writing marathon a try, this year there are some decidedly sexy NaNoWriMo spin-offs to note. Aside from NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and NaPoPoMo (National Podcast Post Month), whose abbreviations both sound vaguely dirty, there's also the news that a Dallas mega-church pastor by the name of Reverend Ed Young has recently issued a "seven-day sex challenge" to married members of his congregation.
According to an AP news report, the Texas-based pastor of the nondenominational Fellowship Church is concerned that American society promotes promiscuity, and "he wants to reclaim sex for married couples." According to Reverend Young, "Sex should be a nurturing, spiritual act that strengthens marriages."
This whole sex-marathon concept boggles my fragile little mind. Embroiled as I am in grinding out a novel in only 30 days, I'm finding that my sex life has become a bit more erratic than usual, due to my equally erratic sleep schedule. Waking up in the middle of the night to jot down novel ideas and getting up earlier than I normally do just to get back to work on my NaNo novel are not exactly behaviours that are conducive to having sex. That said, even if I weren't in the midst of a writing marathon, this whole notion of church-decreed marathon sex is, to me, absurd.
Scheduling sexytime often makes that time together not terribly sexy, so anything remotely resembling an iCal-appointed time for lovin' makes me cringe. Indeed, the idea of having to have sex every day for a week strikes me as gross - not because I'm not interested in daily sex, but because of the forced nature of it. Not to mention the creepy visual of your church pastor that you'd undoubtedly get when carrying out his sexual decree. Shudder!
Furthermore, anyone who tells me when, where or how to have sex is likely to receive a slap in the face. I've got my own sexual agenda, thanks, and don't need anyone else's input on how my sex life ought to be run. Anything that gives the impression that I don't measure up, from women's magazines to pseudo-scientific surveys, can kiss its ass goodbye as I chuck it into the nearest recycling bin.
Not that a real sex marathon wouldn't be fun. I'm sure it'd be entertaining as all get-out to stage a fuck-in where the couple with the most stamina receive a tidy cash prize for their extended session. Like all contact sports, however, I'm sure the winners would be accused of doping. Would Viagra and heroin users be allowed to participate?
That sounds fun, but a church suggesting that married couples go home and get it on seems awfully suspicious to me. It smacks of both fascism and intolerance, mostly towards people who fuck without procreational intent. It even brings to mind a term that a blogger friend uses ironically: "marital duties."
"Marital duties," when referenced in fun, is simply a polite euphemism for two married people getting it on. There's no need to go into graphic descriptive detail of sexual acts that the participants prefer to keep private, because it's, well... married sex. It may not be boring, especially for the two people involved, but nobody is really clamouring for the particulars.
Of course, those using the term non-ironically really ruin things for everybody, with their implication that sex isn't fun at all but merely a duty one must fulfill. If sex is perceived as a chore for the couple involved, I can only assume this is because of its heterosexual use as a means to an end, i.e., pregnancy, something I can definitely see as boner-deflating and the inspiration behind many a faked headache.
For those who don't use sex as a baby-making activity, who engage in it for the sheer fun, excitement and release, there's really no need for a church-sponsored marathon. Healthy individuals of all sexual orientations get a kick out of a different kind of sexual challenge, trying to outperform ourselves on a regular basis whether in terms of quality, quantity or multiple Os. We don't need a religious group to sanction our unions, much less dictate our behaviour inside or outside of the bedroom.
Sexual free thinkers, unite! If you're thinking about having a sex marathon this November, I say go for it! Get wild and crazy and break all your records in a ProSexPoMo (Promoting Sex Positivity Month or Pro Sex Postmodernism, depending on your feelings towards postmodernism). Be sure you're doing it for the right reasons, and you'll get to cross that glorious finish line over and over and over again.
Causes Laura Roberts Supports
SPCA, Greenpeace, Amnesty International