Sunny and the Sacrament of Masturbation

7 min read

Sunny Li was used to ridiculous reactions to her name.

“Is that your real name?” was a common response.

“Like the orange juice?” was another.

“No, that’s SunnyD,” Sunny would say patiently.

The most memorable reaction would change her life. Even a fading memory from her eighteenth year still gave her the willies.

She had never seen the man at church before — maybe a new Sunday School volunteer, she wondered. He had wiry glasses and a body type to match. His hair was greasy and his crooked teeth were corrupt in yellow. She wanted to punch him even before he opened his sly mouth.

“What’s your name, princess?” he asked.

“Sunny,” she said.

“Like the porn star?”

“Um, I don’t think so.”

“Are you Asian?”

“Asian? American.”

“Family help us during the war?”

“My grandparents were doctors from…”

Before she could spill her entire family history, her mother had grabbed her by the shoulder and dragged her away. On the way home, she reprimanded Sunny for talking to a stranger. But Sunny was lost in confusion.

“Mother,” she said, “what’s a porn star?”

Her mother slammed the brakes and narrowly avoided the ditch as she swerved to the side of the road. Her eyes looked crazed — like a mother bear — in the rearview mirror. When her breathing slowed down she pulled back on the road and they drove home in silence.

Her mother’s silence wouldn’t be broken until she tucked Sunny in for nighttime prayers. “Father, protect your child. May vile thoughts find no dark corner to hide in within her mind.”

Sunny didn’t feel like the prayer had worked. She kept herself awake with curiosity until her parents went to bed. Sneaking into the dark living room, she woke up the family computer and launched Explorer. Sunny porn star, she typed into the Yahoo search bar.

Her heart flooded with blood as quickly as thumbnails of naked women — one in particular — filled up the screen. She scrolled through the images, feeling sedated, until one caught her attention. She blew up the image of a smiling starlet holding a dick in her hand. The woman was overwhelmed with satisfaction, opening herself to the world. Between the porn star’s spread legs Sunny swore she could see into her soul, pixelated in pink.

Her mind drifted to the creep. She was troubled by the fact that a sinister man — “sketchy as hell,” she had texted a friend — was behind this discovery. But he was just a gatekeeper, like that imposing man she remembered working the corner of a street that prompted her parents to lock the car doors.

“What’s he doing, mother?” Sunny had asked.

“Probably selling ecstasy,” said her mother.

There was a tone that indicated she should not ask a follow-up question. “Why would you have to come all the way down here to find happiness?” Sunny wondered to herself.

Sitting at the computer, Sunny felt a strange sensation coming on. She’d always been interested in her privates and was often scolded by her mother for having her hand where she shouldn’t. But these images made her feel different. It was as if her touching had a purpose. And when she slipped her hand under her PJs, the slick slide of her fingers told her it would be a blissful night.

Sunny closed her eyes and saw a blinding light of revelation that burned between her legs. “Oh, thank you, God,” she whispered.

It was their little secret. And it was theirs alone for a few sleepless nights until her father came across her browser history — he was much better at covering his tracks online. The punishment was swift. No more computers unless they were at a public library or school.

Sunny didn’t take it well. She ran to her room and screamed from the top of the stairs. “You can’t unplug my imagination. I’m thinking of people fucking right now. I’m thinking of threesomes, anal sex, creampies,” she said, slamming the door.

“Creampies?” her mother said.

“Why are you looking at me?” her father replied.

Sunny buried her face in her pillow to suppress her tears. There was a flashing again in the darkness of her mind as graphic images popped up. Her threat to her parents had not been idle. She didn’t need a computer. She had all the porn she needed in her head.

Home coming

Sunny and her mother never resolved their differences, even when she departed for college. Her dad was more sympathetic. He always returned Sunny’s calls, at least when mother wasn’t around. But no matter what she said or did, Sunny felt defined by that one moment. Summa cum laude didn’t matter. Being chosen to address her graduating class didn’t even get a smile. Her mother couldn’t see her in any other light: her daughter the pervert.

Their most extended conversation in years came during Thanksgiving in her senior year of college, when Sunny told her mother she planned to go to seminary. Sunny craved the idea of remaining in school and continuing to have the opportunity to indulge her mind in a new theology. But she had a hard time explaining it.

“Why would you do that?” her mother asked.

“I just need more space,” said Sunny.

“For what?”

“To think.”

“You can do that for free.”

“Not just by myself, but with others.”

“The others will be purifying their minds for ministry. What will you be doing?”

“I want to unwind everything I know and study the theology of the garden. I want to explore the possibility that God can see us like we were before the skin of the apple of knowledge was broken.”

“You are lost, child.”

Her mother’s countenance — those rolling eyes — silenced Sunny, which had become her language of rebellion. She excused herself and went upstairs.

Her room wasn’t quite as she’d left it. Her parents had dug teddy bears out of the closet and placed them on her bed. She hadn’t snuggled with them for years. They were reclaiming the room for their little girl, no doubt.

Her mother was right about one thing. She was often lost. Her mind constantly drifted towards biblical stories and religious iconography that was erotic in nature.

“Syncretism,” was how her old youth pastor described it. “You’re blending truth with false icons. It’s spiritual adultery.”

Sunny never spoke to him about it again. She would not accede to the idea that the thoughts in her head were some cosmic contradiction. The hole in her soul felt just as real as the gap between her legs, and she wanted them both filled. God gave her a desire for pleasure, and in the moments she fulfilled those desires, she felt the presence of heaven more than any other.

Her mother was wrong to call her a child. She would never escape her girlish face, that pretty face. But underneath the baggy sweatpants and loose shirts — her preferred style in the public eye — she was ripening. In one spot, she was overripe from a stream of thoughts of a mind all grown up.

Sunny took off her sweatpants and underwear, ripped off her shirt, and undid her bra over her blossoming chest. She loved being naked. She was a pleasing sight.

Sunny closed her eyes and started to think of a story that had been ruminating in her mind for days but was starting to take shape: A forbidden woman’s naked body is covered only by the long hair of a Biblical Hercules. She has tricked him into allowing her to shave the hair off his cock with a copper razor. It becomes hard as she rubs his skin soft with pumice stone so she can lick him clean without sin. His strength is spilled out over a stretched-out tongue that hides a wicked smile.

Sunny loved to break the silence of a locked room with the squishing sound of her wet pussy lips. She was a firecracker in bed and loved to roll around with herself. She only stopped to laugh at the thought of her parents sitting in the living room below, wondering quietly why her bed was squeaking so heavily.

Her breathing was starting to pick up. She didn’t want her parents to hear her come — this prayer was hers alone — so she lunged her hand to hit play on the small boombox on her nightstand.

…close and we start to move.

Sunny had learned to live without a wand. She had magic in her fingertips as she worked her clit. But she wanted more for her virgin pussy. She was resourceful. Every object was evaluated for how its shape, texture, and size would feel on her privates.

And we’re spinning with the stars above.

She grabbed one of her bears that had a nose big and hard enough to penetrate her. She put it face up on the bed and started to smother it, watching it disappear in her knotted-up, jet-black bush, while she continued to rub her clit. “Oh yeah, oh yeah,” she moaned.

And you lift me up in a wave of love.

“Oh my God, yes, yes.”

Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth? Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.

Her juices collected around the nose of the bear. The fur clumped up like its nose had been dipped in the rapids looking for fish. “Oh fuck, yes, fuck!” she said, clamping her legs over the bear as her whole body quivered.

Sunny climbed under the covers and held the bear tight, falling asleep with a big smile.

Godly pleasures

It didn’t take long for Sunny to make a name for herself at Bethlehem Bible. Whenever her hand went up in class, a hush fell over the room. Professors had learned not to call on her at all.

Poor Professor Marv was prone to letting students respond to his questions without raising their hands. Delivering a lecture on the Old Testament origins of sacraments, he asked for a definition of a sacrament.

“An outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace,” said the favorite student.

“Thank you, Saint Augustine,” said the professor. “Yeah, great. Like what? Shout it out, don’t be bashful.”

“The Eucharist,” shouted a voice.



“Our denomination doesn’t actually believe in that sacrament,” the professor interjected.

“Masturbation!” yelled Sunny.

There was a quick explosion of nervous laughter and then silence as the class observed Professor Marv’s reaction. “OK,” said the professor. “So what is the inward and invisible grace?”

“Um, an orgasm,” said Sunny, eliciting no laughter this time.


“Sunny, Sunny Li.”

“Miss Li, you aren’t the first person and you won’t be the last to espouse these kinds of views. There’s a long line of thinkers who have made such claims with limited exegesis. We call them heretics.”

“Can’t you acknowledge the possibility that we were corrupted by the fall of man and our duty as Christians is to reclaim everything that’s good about how we were created?”

“Of course, that’s the redemption Jesus brought us. But nowhere does scripture suggest that running around in the garden having orgasms is some heavenly precursor.” Professor Marv cracked a brief smile in his stoic face in response to all the laughter.

“Why not? There was no shame in their nakedness. Why would there be shame in their sexual pleasure? In our sexual pleasure, the highest form of pleasure?”

“I think that’s enough for today,” said the professor. “I think in future we should come here prepared to make arguments based in scripture.”

“Sola scriptura,” a student yelled.

Sunny waited at her desk to let the room thin out. She wanted to avoid being Godsplained by a classmate. She sighed when she spotted two men coming in her direction. “Walking in twos, just like the disciples were sent out,” she thought to herself. “And of course they have to be hot.”

Sunny stood up to greet them, almost wincing for what would come next.

“Hi, I’m James and this is my friend, Timothy,” said James.

“I’m Sunny,” she said.

“Yeah,” he said. “We just wanted to say thanks for your courage. That was fascinating.”

“Really?” she said skeptically.

“Absolutely,” said James.

“We’re starting a study on the Trinity and the implications that in some of the original texts the word for the Spirit is feminine,” said Timothy.

“So, like God as a ménage à trois?” said Sunny.

“Uhhh, well, I hadn’t thought of it that way,” said Timothy, starting to blush. “But we are looking for people to shake up the discussion, bring different viewpoints. We thought you might be interested.”

Sunny cracked a smile. “Sounds like my kind of Bible study.”

To be continued…

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