I hope a stroll down these streets will weave symphonies that cast darkness away and soothe the ache in your heart. I hope the soft words labelled here will pinch a clot out of your blood and leave you oozing nothing but greatness.
Welcome to our third episode of the stories of hope series. Our Third guest decided to board the unique bus and showed face in a pseudonym character.
Reader discretion is advised for paths filled with strong language.
A round of applause as we welcome the great one! Such an honour to have you here, Sir!
It is shame that makes me write with a pseudonym.
It is shame, as well, that makes living with this moral weakness a lonely affair. My infamy is of the flesh. Lust is my vice.
I remember my first bite of the forbidden fruit with absolute clarity. I was in middle school (Grade 10) at a boys only boarding school. Most of the students were at the sporting field for a fixture. That left the dormitory empty.
Walking through the rows of beds, I saw a magazine peeking from under a mattress.
I had heard the titles for 2 years from peers. FHM (For Him Magazine). (XXL), Sports Illustrated. Penthouse. Playboy. Smut. Slut.
It was one of the seedier variety. Not swimsuits, but entirely naked Female bodies. Flesh. Stripped down and presented for my viewing pleasure. For my titillation. And addiction.
Over the next 12 years, lust has taken many different forms. Of fumbles in the back seat of a car. Of stolen moments in movie theatres. Of seedy brothels in the wrong side of town. Of fake names and stripper poles. Of older women and no strings attached indulgence. Of relationships, cheating and tears.
But, mostly, it’s taken the form of pornography. An unending real of written and visual smut to feed insatiable lust.
In the 21st century, there is an ease of leaning into sexual energy. Before, you would need another PERSON to be able to do it. To kiss, cuddle, f***. Now, you can be that… alone. With the help of the internet, that doesn’t say no. That doesn’t need to be courted. That doesn’t need to be asked. That doesn’t need to be in the mood. It’s ALWAYS there.
I, and millions more oil the industry of lust. I am not the only fan of smut.
Do not be ashamed of SEX!! EMBRACE SEX!! INDULGE IN SEX!! IT IS YOUR BODY!! DO WHAT FEELS GOOD! F*** WHO, HOW AND WHAT YOU WANT!
Mainstream media tells me I do not need shame. It is not fornication, it is sex. It is not prostitution, it is sex work. It is not lust, it is desire. This is how my body is, nature’s calling.
I have an uneasy alliance with guilt. It is debilitating in most instances. It co-exists with regret. Cohabits with humiliation. It triggers anxiety. Depression. Withdrawal, Isolation.
These aren’t just mental health buzzwords. They are nights spent in tears. Semesters lost, academic progress paused. They are missed calls from friends, strained relationships with family. They are missed work deliverables, underperformance, written warnings, dismissals.
I have an uneasy alliance with guilt. In fact, one therapist said don’t feel guilt at all. “If most people in the world do it… Why should you feel guilty? It is not that you spend more time/energy/effort/money than the norm. You are “normal.”
I have an uneasy alliance with guilt. It reminds me of a moral code. That, I have a moral code.
One *I* do not determine. But one defined by a power greater than me. Infinitely wise, infinitely gracious, infinitely merciful. Omnipotent. By God.
Without guilt and reflection, I have no *need* for redemption. I do not need mercy. I do not need to fight that which wraps to my being. I do not need to serve anyone or anything other than the desires of my flesh.
But, I am called to righteousness. Holiness. I am called to adherence to divine law. I must embark on the process of reconciliation.
This post might feel like it doesn’t answer the prompt. I am NOT saved. I am STILL living in sin. I have no redemption arc. I am infirm.
But, the first step to deliverance is acceptance that we need it. I am in need of being saved.
I am… A sinner.