One of the most popular books about sexual pleasure is the Kama Sutra. Written by Vatsyayana, a Hindi philosopher, it claims to be the first book written on the art of lovemaking. (At a glance, it seems to be purely about physical pleasure, but it is rooted in Eastern mysticism and many of the sexual positions are modified Hindu worship positions.) In her applause for this book, Bobbi Dempsey, author of the tragically confusing modern book on sexual pleasure, says that “Christian and Jewish texts and teachings contain no mention of…sex. In fact, these two religions make little or no connection between sex and worship at all.” Mind if I blow her out of the water?
In truth, of all the world religions, Christianity alone boasts the most radical of holy books. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called the Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs. This celebration of unashamed physical pleasure stands out uniquely among religious books. Written in approximately 970 B.C., it beats the Kama Sutra by 1,320 years. How’s that for a thrashing?
In the next few days, I’m going to reveal four really world-opposing views on sexual pleasure contained in the Song of Solomon. But before I do that, I want to share something that I discovered about Song of Solomon when I was writing What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex. You see, I’d always assumed that everyone considered the book allegorical. That is, the lovers are representations of God and the church. Turns out, not everyone believes that. Some really heavy-weight Bible scholars believe that the book is simply a literal celebration of the deepest encounter that a man and woman can share together. Author and church planter C.J. Mahaney writes,
“Spiritulizing the Song of Solomon just doesn’t make sense. What’s worse, it denies to us the powerful impact God intends for it to have on our marriages.”
Some scholars suggest that perhaps Solomon is not the author, or that he wrote it but not as a description of his own love life. Consider the fact that the poem is about one man’s love for one woman. It can hardly be about Solomon since he had as many as three hundred wives and up to seven hundred concubines (mistresses for the express purpose of his sexual pleasure.)
What makes more sense is what Pastor James McDonald suggested on his radio program Walk In The Word: that it was written by Solomon as he observed a love so pure and tender that he pined for it.
In other words, Solomon penned a poem to honor a relationship, exclusive, faithful love that he witnessed but never knew. Solomon’s life was characterized by going along with his culture’s sexual norms. Is yours? Join me for the next few days as I uncover the four oddest (that is culturally rebellious) views about sexuality as portrayed in Song of Solomon…and how they are statistically proven to increase the pleasure in your sex life. (Or future sex life, as the case may be.)
P.S. The Song of Solomon wedding ring in this blog is actually available for sale here.
Sources: C.J. Mahaney, “Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs To Know,” in John Piper and Justin Taylor, eds., Sex and The Supremacy of Christ. and James MacDonald, “Romantic Love is Exclusive,” April 13-14, 2010, Walk In The Word, www.walkintheword.com