Two weeks ago, I was in the run-up to our local performance of the Vagina Monologues, in which my part was the monologue on "Hair". "You have to love hair if you are going to love the vagina" was my opening line. I had volunteered for the cast because I wanted to do something edgy and a little daring; I was pretty sure my congregation would be fine with it, though I wasn't totally sure. (They were; it was fine.) What I wanted was to push the limits of my general prudishness.
You probably wouldn't think that I am a prude, if you looked strictly at my blog or hear my jokes or my bookshelf or if you investigated my social-life history. And yet, there it is. Whether I act like one or not, I am embarrassed by too much information. I have to make myself not act prudish.
I have wondered about this quite a bit, especially in the past several years since I entered the ministry. Ministers are discouraged from looking very sexy or dressing provocatively or flirting inappropriately. I don't remember anyone specifically saying "don't wear that" or "don't do this", but the lesson came from somewhere---maybe the darker reaches of my brain.
I have been this way for a long time. I think it stems from having been felt up by a funny uncle in early adolescence, being rescued from that relationship by my parents, and then being intensely interested in boys and scared of them at the same time. So I made myself pretend that I was perfectly comfortable with sex talk, with porn, with all the titillating accoutrements of sexuality between adults.
(Don't read this part, Favorite Son, if you don't want to know this.)When I was single again after a divorce, I went way overboard on it for several years, until HIV/AIDS scared us all into a more healthful reaction to the Sexual Revolution. Fake it till you make it, say the 12 steppers. For me, it was more like "Fake it till it looks like you made it." Because except for a couple of very important relationships, I was always faking my comfort level.
When I went to seminary, I could talk about sex in a classroom, as a theoretical subject, but, boy, I wasn't having any. I could be supportive and activist about others' sex lives and got very involved in the BGLT civil rights movement, but that was others' sex lives, not mine.
In 2007, I had to have open heart surgery and acquired a long red scar down the center of my chest, which took me off the playing-around field for quite awhile. Aging now and the dearth of appropriate single males has kept me sidelined ever since.
The Vagina Monologues experience got me all hot and bothered, though. I'd come home from a performance thinking, "boy, betcha a lot of people got laid after that show!" And I'd go to bed with the cats, who really are no good at the kind of comfort I was hungry for!
I am always on the lookout, though, and hopeful. But I'm still a prude in many ways. And all this is by way of telling you the latest news: I had a colonoscopy today and everything was fine and pink and perfect, just the way one's colon is supposed to look. But I realized I had gone into prude mode again when I mentioned it the other day and I wanted to be more informative.
For anyone who is getting ready to have one, it really isn't bad at all. Even the clear liquids and the purge were easy, a little crampy but not bad. And the medical staff at the hospital were marvelous. They sedate you so completely that you don't feel a thing.
My friend brought me home from the procedure and I went to bed for a nap. Just now I got up and had two slices of sunflower seed toast slathered with sunflower seed butter and orange marmalade and a glass of milk. Delicious! And it's done.