Faith and the submissive
I struggled to write this because I didn’t want to make this about me. I wanted it to be anonymous. I wanted to be distant. I wanted to be analytical and disconnected. But how do you explain the two most intimate parts of your mind and soul without it becoming personal? And <shudder> if you can, do you want to bare it for all to see? So reader take this in with mercy and grace for the writer who humbly shares her inner struggles and openly admits her humanity, inherent sinfulness, and the possibility of incorrect conclusions.
I figure I will have two types of readers here, the other submissives who also have faith, and the curious interested unbelievers. To the other submissives I hope I encourage you and make you feel less isolated, and to the unbelievers I hope I adequately explain what looks from the outside like two complete contradictory lifestyle choices.
So really the question that comes up is : How do you reconcile Christian faith and D/s relationship? Or possibly: How do you reconcile Christian faith and Bdsm and kink?
I will attempt to answer both.
I am going to skip over my personal conversion to Christianity. Suffice it to say I have been a devout protestant Christian for more than a decade, I believe the bible to be inerrant and wholly true, I go to a mainstream conservative church, and my husband and I have been on the D/s journey for about two years and are still growing in it.
Our journey into D/s started with scripture, a church run marriage course, and a few dirty memes. Yes, really. I will leave it at that to keep this concise and dive into the nitty gritty of the original question. Reconciling kinky bdsm and a D/s lifestyle with the Christian faith.
I did a lot of research into the Bible and sex. I have read every scripture that talks about sex from Genesis to Revelation. At some point in our journey towards D/s my Sir challenged me to do so, so that I could distinguish what the bible actually prohibits and what my personal hangups or limitations are and why.
So with the premise that sex was created by God, that it was created with multiple functions of both pro creation and pleasure, that God would not want His children to be in the dark when it comes to sin, and that there is nothing new under the sun, I will attempt to explain how my beliefs and my D/s come together.
Lets say that Sex is a playground, fun, and pleasurable with many different games and equipment available. God has set up a fence around the playground with specific prohibitions, a tall fence with fenceposts. Not to box you in but to protect you from the dangers outside.
These are named and repeated and there are precious few, most of which seem obvious ( like incest, beastiality, and adultery).
Inside the fence is a vast playground with all sorts of equipment, games, and various activities. Some people find that they like the seesaw and they ride the seesaw their entire lives and are perfectly content, and so they erect their own fence around that. And others explore a few of the activities but stick with the few they feel are the most satisfying or safe and then erect their slightly wider fence around that. Some want to try all the activities and games and see what they like best, or find they prefer some activities that are beyond the fence that most of society erects, still inside God’s fence, but much wider than the average vanilla couple.
Unfortunately those with small fences usually assume that their fence IS God’s fence- because they find the activities beyond their limitations to be distasteful, intimidating, perverted, deviant, and downright sinful. None of which is actually backed by scripture. The self righteous proclamation of what is acceptable sexually inside Christianity led to things like laws against certain positions, a negative overall worldview of sex and a womans body, and unnecessary shame and condemnation for anyone who would stray outside of what is deemed sexually acceptable by the church. Still Sex is so taboo it is rarely talked about in Christian circles, few Christians are openly sex positive, and those of us who would be kinky and in the faith quickly hushed and condemned by a much larger majority. Which has led to the original question. Because Christians are viewed by unbelievers as so sex negative and prude, as well as false information in the public about what the bible actually says about sex (a result of people using scripture to justify their own vanilla positions),the idea that we can embrace kink and be devout believers seems contradictory. Those of us who would speak up would be loudly hushed by the church and openly condemned, (maybe not much differently than unbelievers in the secular world since kink and bdsm is still widely unaccepted), but the fear of rejection, condemnation and alienation from the church community surely keep us silent. I hesitated to write this, even under a false name. But none the less, have no doubt there ARE sex positive kinky believers out there. I do not know how they would explain the coalition between both lifestyles but I will make an attempt.
So bdsm is not mentioned in the bible. But – submission certainly is. Many times. I would say it could be debated that many vanilla Christian relationships look akin to D/s, the woman gifting her submission to her husband, the traditional patriarchal model.
Ephesians 5:22 “ Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as unto the Lord”
1 Peter 3 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands…like Sarah who obeyed Abraham and called him Lord”
Ephesians 5:24 “now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything”
Colossians 3:18 “Wives submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7:4 “the wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband”
Clearly there is a commanded power exchange here. A headship and authority given to the dominant man and submission commanded from the submissive woman.
I think it logically follows that this same power exchange will follow the relationship into the bedroom, honestly it seems as though God mostly designed women to be in the submissive position by how our bodies fit together (mostly). And is a man being commanding in the bedroom sinful? I think not. So that covers the D/s.
That only leaves the bondage, sadomasochism, and various other kink to be looked at.
Nothing new under the sun. Did not the romans practice such things? Other ancient cultures? Do we think we invented kink? Really…? Definitely not. No person spanked their wife? No rough sex? No bondage? No anal? No masturbation?
Just as important as what is in scripture is what is NOT. You cannot make the bible say something because you “feel” it to be morally unacceptable or distasteful, or because society deems that to be so. Logically if God knows all, sees all, and the bible is inerrant, He is love and light and desires those that follow Him to live in holiness, I seriously doubt that it was an oversight on God’s part to overlook these sins in scripture. So lets be careful when we call sin Sin, that it is not our opinion or perception, but is backed by what God says in His word.
The bible says the marriage bed is undefiled. And devotes a whole book to the sexual desire and marital love between a husband and wife. And does not condemn sex acts between married men and women.
So specifically the bible does not call bondage and sadomasochism sin. It does have principles of love and kindness that can seem to contradict practicing bdsm. And the majority of Christians believe that the two, faith and bdsm, should never overlap and are disgusted at the mere suggestion. But then, many secular vanilla people are offended by it as well. There is a stigma with kink and especially bdsm. The perception of people in general is fairly ignorant and the judgment and condemnation stems from a lack of real knowledge as well as the picture of kink painted by the media, not from a real source of truth in the Christian faith.
So for those of us who practice bondage with love, thanking the Dominant for the freedom and liberty that bondage can bring and fully trusting he will never harm you, breathing a sigh of relief as you surrender control to someone who loves you, this is not sin. This is intimacy and love practiced in such a way.
Sadomasochism- how can THIS be ok for a Christian to practice?! Since again this is not prohibited specifically, you must weigh it against what else we know from scripture.
“Love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails “ 1Corinthians 13.
Pain and pleasure are very closely wired for some people, the pain increasing the pleasure. Is it wrong to enjoy sensory play? What if its painful and that increases your pleasure? What if that is how your body is wired? Inside the marriage bed where you trust your partner will consensually hurt you but not HARM you? Where it increases your love and intimacy and trust?
Those of us who have ventured into this part of the playground have found it doesn’t look like what the media portrays. And can in fact be practiced in love with consent from both partners. That covers the bdsm.
KINK. I won’t go over all the kink. There is too much. I’ll touch briefly on some of the big ones that come up as objections for Christians.
Anal. This is commonly objected to because it is believed that it is expressly prohibited in scripture. The definition of this word changed over the course of the last two thousand years and has now come to mean anal sex in general. That was not the original context in the old testament and is not the meaning of the word in the original Hebrew either. Anal sex between a married couple is never mentioned at all in scripture.
Which says a lot.
Why does the bible not address this? Were men not trying to stick their dicks in every available orifice?! This didn’t exist?! I seriously doubt that. I think men have always been sticking it every where they can stick it!
For those who say it is “unnatural” and obviously was not designed by God for this purpose- I ask you – were mouths designed for this purpose? Are blow jobs sinful? Why is one orifice acceptable but another is not? The bible specifically talks about oral sex in the song of Solomon. If its OK to stick it in one orifice I cant see why it is NOT ok in another.
Masturbation and Sex Toys. Neither of these are mentioned in the bible. Masturbation is not prohibited and I am quite sure that men have been doing that since Adam. However, anything that has control over you or becomes an addiction becomes sin. That being said, masturbation or mutual masturbation can be fun and a spicy addition to a healthy sex life. Sex toys are just objects used for pleasure, I really cannot say any particular object is sinful of itself. No objects are named as sinful in scripture (except maybe pagan idols). If you have a vibrator addiction that could be sin. But again, you own it, it doesn’t own you.
Pornography. I think there are many reasons to avoid porn as a Christian or an unbeliever. I think its harmful to women, I think it contributes to sex trafficking, I think it creates unrealistic expectations and fantasies in your sex life, that it can be very addictive and destructive for many people, and for us definitely falls too close to adultery for comfort. All good reasons to not watch porn. However, I will say I think creating your own porn videos for your selves can be fun and creative and not harmful.
50 Shades of Gray.
That is to say – there are gray areas. Not everything is black and white. And some things are difficult to navigate as a Christian. I think no one should practice anything that violates their conscience. I may have liberty in an area where someone else does not, therefore that person should not practice that activity until they are at peace in their conscience. We all have fences, even inside God’s fence yours should exclude anything that hurts your conscience or even makes you feel “icky”. But keep the fence flexible. Question your limits and discover why they are there.
As a submissive I stretch and question my limits, examine them consistently, and weigh them against my conscience and my comfort and my faith. My desire to please my Dominant can sometimes outweigh my ability to adhere to my own limitations and as a sensitive and loving Dominant husband he knows and remembers this. I have called it “the war within”- the desire to please my Dom, or even myself, and also be at peace in my conscience. I doubt this is a phenomenon exclusive to Christians, but probably specially effects them.
I have found much joy and LIBERTY having the freedom to embrace my sexuality and enjoy the Dominant and submissive dynamic we have now. We are much happier than we were in our vanilla relationship. I feel I have a much better understanding of what God’s limits are and what my own are , and instead of living in fear, suppressing my sexuality and my submissive nature, I can now embrace this, explore it and accept how God himself has wired my body and my mind, without shame.
I am happy to answer specific questions through personal message. –Emma Butler