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August 25, 2004

Who The Hell Wants Reverence With Sex?

That's what Sheelzebub at Pinko Feminist Hellcat had to say when she saw this mood killer from the Catholic Educator's Resource Center. Utopian Hell had a similar "ick" reaction.

Little girls, of course, grow up. How beautiful when a bride can say to her husband on their wedding night, “I have kept this garden virginal for you, and now, with God's permission I am giving you its key, knowing that you will enter into it with reverence.”

That sounds about as exciting as finding potato chip crumbs in your bed. I know what the "secret garden" talk is referring to, though. The next time you want to woo your beloved with some erotic literature, skip the smutty erotica paperbacks and magazines and grab the nearest Bible. Find the Song of Solomon.

Here is an excerpt:

1: Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
2: Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.
3: Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
4: Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.
5: Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
6: Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
7: Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.
8: Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
9: Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.
10: How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
11: Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
12: A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
13: Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,
14: Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
15: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.
16: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Oooooh, baby, is that ever hot. The Song of Solomon is a love song. Have you ever eaten a pomegranate? They are some of the most sensual fruits in nature. The tart little edible beads inside will wake you right up, and the juice runs down your arms, staining your clothing bright red. Burn a little frankincense and myrrh resin incense that you can find at any natural food store, put on Enigma's MCMXC (the one with the track "The Principles of Lust") and your sexy evening is complete.

Posted on August 25, 2004 at 06:41 PM | Permalink


The bit that really got me was; "Moreover, when a wife conceives a few hours after her husband has embraced her"

You can get pregnant from hugging?! Uh-oh...

Worst. Euphemism. Ever.

Posted by: thisgirl at Aug 25, 2004 7:43:00 PM

I think you're boning up for that Scarlet gig.

Posted by: Rox at Aug 25, 2004 8:44:18 PM

It would be nice to write for them. I've noticed a bit more hits since all my sex posts today. Isn't that amusing? ;)

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Aug 25, 2004 9:55:03 PM

Amen! Love this post; thanks.

Posted by: Hugo at Aug 25, 2004 10:32:04 PM

Actually, the Song of Songs is a love poem about human sacrifice. It celebrates the annual sacred marriage between the King of the Year and the Queen of Flowers, and all the fertility that comes from it to the flocks, and the orchards, and the fields, and the gardens, but the pomegranate is the fruit of the dead (that Persephone ate) and the lillies are the spilled blood of the king (Adonis, or Tammuz).

So the ardent lover gets to marry his goddess and frolic happily with her, but the price is that, when the time comes, she and her sisters get together and tear him to pieces (although they promise he will be reincarnated as a serpent, and be immortal).

Still pretty romantic, in it's way.

Posted by: Sigmund Bjornstein at Aug 25, 2004 11:33:57 PM

This bit is my favourite:

"5:4 My beloved thrust his hand in through the latch opening.
My heart pounded for him.
5:5 I rose up to open for my beloved.
My hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with liquid myrrh,
on the handles of the lock.
5:6 I opened to my beloved;
but my beloved left; and had gone away. "


Someone's going to tell me that's really an allegory about the importance of going to Church regularly, or something... right? :-)

Posted by: Catherine Redfern at Aug 26, 2004 7:42:56 AM

I've found it's best to eat pomegranates in the nude outdoors for that reason. Downright Edenic, that.

Posted by: Amanda at Aug 26, 2004 10:40:05 AM

Nope, it is allegory about the love of G-d and Israel; Israel, as B'nei Yisroel, the daughters of Israel (Other wives of the king who clap their hands at and make fun of the woman in question) are the other tribes in the land, who come to possess the land. But G-d never really deserts Israel and his love continues.
It is a common theme and there are many examples of it in Jewish literature.

But Judaism has always viewd the sexual love between husband and wife as good; hot stuff isn't bac in the Jewish world view. It should be hot and wonderful and fun and not just someething one does to have babies; sexual love is encourage even when there is no possiblity of conception.

There is a story (obviously allegorical) told that when Abraham died and was buried, he and his wife Sara embraced in the grave; even after death they sought each other's arms.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at Aug 27, 2004 12:46:29 AM

No, it is a celebration of a myth that was prevalent throughout prehistoric Europe and Asia Minor, involving the Goddess of Plenty and her sacred marriage, and all of the elements are right there, duplicated in the myth of Tammuz, Osiris, Adonis, etc.

The iconotropic interpretation is a distortion used by Bronze Age Hebrew philosophers in order to pretend that they had never worshipped the goddess Anatha; that Jehovah had never married her, usurped her powers, and divorced her; that He had never been known as Dyonisus at the Feast of Tabernacles; and that the Hebrews had never practiced sacred prostitution and ritual sodomy at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks and Egyptians did the same thing, although they never made Hera and Isis disappear from the picture altogether.

I think you've read The Greek Myths, The Hebrew Myths, and The Golden Bough, and you know all of this already, which means you're teasing.

Posted by: Sigmund Bjornstein at Aug 28, 2004 1:56:34 AM

Reverence has too much of a churchy sound to it for me to associate it well with sex, even with good, respectable, only within the marriage bed sex. I mean, reverence is a good thing in itself, but still, even in worship I associate it more with good High Church liturgy than with, say, speaking in tongues. So, yeah, it doesn't wind up making the wedding day sound especially hot.

It reminds me of the beginning of that song in "Three Penny Opera" - the one that starts with the young woman going out with men who know how to treat her with due respect, and keeping her head screwed on, but ends with her meeting altogether the wrong man and "That's the day my head was not screwed on, and to hell with going slow." Something in the phrasing about reverence and keys makes it sound as if you're still supposed to be in keeping your head screwed on mode even after the wedding day.

Sacred, on the other hand, is a broader word to me. Sacred can be King David dancing in only his loincloth, and shocking his wife Michal. Sacred can certainly include that hand thrust through the latch opening. And I do believe that sex is sacred, and powerful, not "just sex" or "no big deal" or any of those things people sometimes say to make light of it, as a way of arguing against saving it for marriage.

G.K. Chesterton

Posted by: Lynn Gazis-Sax at Aug 31, 2004 1:08:58 AM