June 15, 2011

An Atheist Reflects On The Irony Of Saying “Jesus Christ” During Sexual Intercourse

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What is the issue?

It occurred to me rather suddenly the other day, in the glistening post-coitus glow every sex-practicing adult should know, that I often invoke the name of a supernatural, all-knowing being while I am engaged in the most intimate of acts; that act being fucking.

Oh God. Oh Lord. Jesus. Jesus Christ. Christ Almighty. Christ — Catholic variations on that theme and everything between will routinely escape from pursed, determined lips with a single, solitary purpose: To enunciate that special moment during sex when, holy shit, whatever it is that just happened right there felt so damn good I need to say something, anything to ensure maximum impact for me and valuable feedback for my partner.

Trouble is I don’t believe in any of that mystical hooey and haven’t for quite a while.

I’d say I might as well be crying out random selections from Wikipedia for all the significance these words and names have in my daily life, but upon further examination forcing “Claia cu Brazi River” through grated teeth at the moment of orgasm doesn’t have quite the same ring as a good spur-of-the-moment “Jesus Fucking Christ.” To me it doesn’t anyway, and that’s why the other night, with the dirty deed done and done again, I lay staring at a dark ceiling wondering why that is.

Like many “new” atheists who were born in 1980s, my religious upbringing immediately sprang to mind. I don’t blame my parents for raising me Roman Catholic, or for bringing me to church nearly every Sunday when I was a wee lad of six through eleven or so. Nor do I take them to task for the hours of CCD I was forced to endure during middle school and high school so that I could learn just how amazing it is for a Christian to be confirmed and be given a “confirmation name” (Spoiler: it wasn’t).

Nope, not one bit. It was simply the Way Things Were back in the late 80s and early 90s, just as it was the Way Things Were for them back in the 50s and 60s. As they had been indoctrinated with the great Catholic Guilt back in their younger years, so too was I force-fed an education about an invisible, all-powerful being and living forever in a miraculous kingdom in the sky.

As a young kid, it stuck. Death was scary! Ignorance was bliss; my mind was a sponge. But then I discovered science, Star Trek and OMNI Magazine in my teens, and things weren’t so scary anymore. I matured. I got curious. I asked questions. My family just kind of stopped going to Mass. When I looked at churches and priests I ceased thinking about bloody wine and body bread, and began to realize what a big waste of time and real estate the whole operation was. Piling on, the biggest contribution from CCD arrived the day I realized I could draw a pretty funny pair of cartoon pigs having a 69 in the margin of my workbook.

Most importantly, perhaps, was that I started noticing girls and I never really had a problem getting naked with one before a man in a robe shackled our ring fingers, chattel was exchanged and it was officially deemed OK to do so.

And so today I’ve accepted that religion is simply a vestigial tail planted above the ass of this non-believer. When I am clothed it is hidden and forgotten, and when I am naked, vulnerable and have reverted to my most primal state it resurfaces to remind me of what was but will never be again. I am descendant from apes, this is true, but I am no gorilla, and in that light I admit I am the descendant of religious folk but am no longer a believer. Religion is my coccyx bone, and the fact that its residual echoes choose to surface during moments of passion is something I have come—pardon the pun—to relish.

When it comes to the bedroom, I will continue to go with what I know. I will continue to remain uninhibited. The primitive brain will react the way the primitive brain wants to react, and I will not fight it. I doubt I could anyway.

After all, when the singular dominating thought in your consciousness is “cum cum cum” and variations thereof, it becomes rather difficult to think clearly or with any great degree of originality or ingenuity anyway (in all honesty can you even remember the last time you considered writing an essay or article while plagued with an erection–let alone the last time you attempted to sit down and actually write with one? I imagine it would prove to be quite difficult, both mentally and logistically).

So, yes, Jesus may still be my co-pilot, folks, but be wary: When I say the phrase all it means is I’m about to cum.

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