I think I’ve discovered something strange about my beliefs through discussion with some friends today. And I think this needs an explanation of sorts. Given that they were so confused during our conversation. But in any case, it’s on the role of intimacy.
See, I’m a bit of a prude (so say all my friends). I don’t want to see anyone making out or doing anything sexual in public. I don’t care who you are, keep it in private. It makes me uncomfortable to see it, and personally I’ve always believed in the point that relationships should have all their physical aspects without an audience. Or rather, I don’t want to see it, and I wouldn’t want people to see me doing anything, so that’s just my personal way of seeing these things. So I’m a firm believer of, keep your relationship private. I’m not saying that I think people shouldn’t kiss in public, or hold hands…but I do think that there’s a point where you should just go in private. So, I’m a prude. Because I don’t want to see two people all over each other, when I think that relationships, and sex or sexual acts, should be private and between the 2 people involved. Not between them and their audience on a street. Which I suppose, if that makes me a prude, fine. I can handle being called that.
However, I’ve just managed, in the last few days, to shock my friends. Because they all think that you’re cheating on your partner by fantasizing about someone else. And I don’t think that. See, if I have a crush on, well let’s say Harrison Ford (I do, he’s handsome), so what? I’m probably never going to meet the man, and besides that, a harmless crush doesn’t matter. The conversation freaked my friends out though when I admitted that I didn’t see anything wrong with people occasionally fantasizing about having sex with someone famous or a fictional character they played on film/TV. Besides, I’m pretty sure that every human being has at least once fantasized that their partner was “famous person X”, or even just “really hot person Z seen on the way to work”. There’s nothing wrong with that. Humans fantasize. And I personally don’t see anything wrong with occasionally fantasizing that you’re making out with “Fictional Character Y” or “Famous Person X”. After all, it’s part of human nature. Besides that, I see fantasies kind of like role-play. Some couples role-play scenarios, which my friends said was fine. So how is a mental thought any different? Needless to say, my friends were all horrified. Mostly I think, because I’m the “prude” of the group who doesn’t even want to see people locking lips in public, but then I don’t care that people have personal mental fantasies on occasion. As long as said person keeps fantasy as a fantasy and doesn’t become obsessive about it, I see no problem. Now, I wouldn’t want my partner to tell me constantly that he likes to pretend I’m “Actress A” (I dunno, like Scarlett Johansson or someone else really hot) all the time, that’s true. But I don’t see the problem with occasional fantasy.
But, then my friends are confused, because I’m extremely private about that kind of stuff for me. I will admit which actors I think are attractive, yes. But, I don’t go gushing on. And, I don’t share anything about my personal relationships. My sex life is totally private. Honestly, none of my friends know from me what my past entails in this regard. Some of them know, but that’s from ex-boyfriends that decided it would be hilarious to tell all our friends about our relationship particulars, because I don’t talk about it. Actually, none of my friends even know at what point during a relationship I actually would kiss my boyfriends. I’m that private about it. I don’t really feel comfortable doing the whole “couple” things in public, like kissing or holding hands. I just don’t like doing any of that. So I’m exceptionally private about everything related to my private life in this regard.
Here’s the fun and confusing part to my recent revelation.
My friends are all very open about their relationships. Sans a few points, but that’s irrelevant really. Their religious beliefs however, they’re tighter than clams about, unless (with a few) they’re trying to convert you. I mean…they don’t talk about God, or their beliefs, what they do at church, none of it. Most of my friends won’t even tell you what the sermon last Sunday was about if you weren’t there. I understand religion is highly personal, which I think it should be, but I’ve always found this relationship they have between these 2 different points of life to be a bit amusing. After all, it seems counter-intuitive to me: speak openly about what you and your partner do sexually, and then completely shut down and don’t speak at all about your religion.
I’m the opposite. I don’t speak about my relationship with my partner, ever. I do speak quite a bit about my spiritual beliefs, up to a point. There are some things I don’t share, obviously, but for the most part I do lots of talking. I have to explain a lot for reference, to be fair, but I also enjoy discussions. So my friends know a lot about polytheism and how I feel about all of it. There’s a lot about my beliefs that I’m willing to share. I do see my spiritual beliefs as personal, intensely so, but I don’t clam up about it. I speak about it. After all, sometimes I learn things from talking I would never have thought of without enjoying conversation with others. I talk spirituality frequently. It’s just normal for me. I mean, I doubt I’d discuss with my friends the contents of any rituals or spells or communications that I had, unless I thought I had to tell them. But, I talk about my beliefs, my research, what I’ve been seeing/sensing/hearing lately. It’s interesting really, since I am so open about my religious beliefs.
And to be fair, my openness is possibly a reaction to being forced into being totally “out of the broom closet” so to speak relatively early and without much intention on my part for everyone to know. Once a few people knew though, it spread and I just went all out. Dumb really, looking back, since I did do things to deliberately cause problems or to stir up an argument with someone I knew would disagree. I would possibly rethink doing that, if I could do it all over again. But then again, I’m also me because of it. Well, I am so open about my spiritual beliefs, and I’ve always thought that I’ll never go back to being hidden. I don’t shout it from the roofs, but I don’t lie either. I have the luxury of being able to live this way without trouble, which I am grateful for. So I’m very open about my beliefs. But it does raise the interesting conversation on occasion about how me, a pagan and therefore probably more likely to have trouble in the States, being more likely to share my beliefs than my Christian friends is amusing. After all, they have nothing to fear in the States. Most of my friends are from Evangelical traditions of Christianity, which in the USA is the largest group, so they’ve got all the power, per say. And yet…you have a total reversal. They have their religion as totally private, and I’m the open one who doesn’t mind answering questions.
So it was a fun and unique conversation. I seem to be dead opposite all my friends. Very private sex life even to generalizations and just normal “couple” stuff that couples do in public, and yet near total openness in my spiritual beliefs. Unique really, at least among my friends. It was an amusing conversation that we had, not to mention making me think about how I really do see these two things a bit differently. Dunno. Just thought it a bit strange that I’ve realized that while I find my spiritual beliefs to be intensely personal and private, I’m also quite willing to speak about it with others and share my thoughts and what’s going on.∗