Thursday, June 20, 2013

Healthy Sexuality

I'm sitting in on a Human Sexuality class this week...and nothing is really off limits.

We began class by listing the various slang terms for sexual intercourse, our professor informing us that we need to be comfortable with any terminology a client might come to us with. We sat for a few hours, listening intently, engaged in provocative discussions... all while vulgar words stared at us from the blackboard behind our teacher (including the most vulgar of them all...).

It's been enlightening, the say the least.
To be able to talk about sexuality (and anything having to do with sex) from both a biological and Christian viewpoint, to acknowledge the darkness, the depths of addictions, but also to be reminded that there is a healthy sexuality, that God created something good when He created sex... and we can't ignore that.

I'm not going to lie, there have been times when I shift in my seat uncomfortably as our professor casually talks about what happens during arousal or explains the purpose of various sex toys....and where I'm maybe prone to giggle out of awkwardness, a quick glance around reminds me that I'm the most immature person in the room and I better shape up.

I've found that when I post about sex, people want to read about it. In the secret, of course. These are the posts that others don't share on their Facebook wall or retweet... because, while almost all of us are extremely curious and interested in the topic, we don't necessarily want everyone else to think we're obsessed with it. There's a certain shame or guilt that's often associated with sex and sexuality... and it makes us scared to really talk about it.

As much as we live in a day and age where sex is everywhere, it's still something that we have the tendency to hide, be bashful about, avoid. And while sex is definitely a private matter... the secrecy that surrounds it often allows us to more easily go into the dark and dangerous ensnarements of it.

I guess I just want to remind us that healthy conversations about sex and sexuality are good. That they're important. That they can be life-giving as we are able to ask questions about what is true and good, so we can gain more understanding about the fact that we are very sexual beings. It's important for us to not ignore the fact that we have sexual desires and that we're facing sexual temptations constantly.

I think I fear that when we aren't willing to talk about it, especially in the church or other religious settings, that Christians can get the wrong idea about sex. That we can spend our lives growing up believing that sex is bad, wrong, and something we should avoid at all costs... and then when we're finally married it feels impossible for us to flip a switch that suddenly allows for sex to be good and something we are supposed to do. Or else the absence of understanding it/talking about it enables us to take it to the opposite extreme.

Sexuality is broad...
and I want us to be able to talk about everything it entails. I want us to be able to work through the awkwardness, to laugh at the uncomfortable words, but to have healthy conversations about what it means that we are sexual beings and what it means to embrace that in a good and holy way, a way that still allows us to operate in the fullness of who God has created us to be (but also recognize that we aren't created solely for's not our ultimate purpose for existence--not even close).

Per usual, I'll be bringing up some topics in the future about various specifics of sexuality. I'd love any questions/thoughts that you have about it, though. Because if you don't have people in your life that you feel like you can have good conversations with this about (youth pastors, pastors, parents, mentors, friends) that you can trust and really open up to with your thoughts/struggles... then I'd be happy for this to be a place that you can come to safely (at least initially.. and then I'll definitely want you to be talking to people IN your life).

Let's shed light on the darkness.
Let's not be people who condemn ourselves because we don't fully understand how we were created, but let us not be people who abuse or idolize our sexuality either.

There's a balance and we need to find it.
Let's start some conversations. Good conversations.

Not this..

Your entries will remain anonymous


  1. I once heard it put this way- Christians are taught to keep their sexuality in a box, then on their wedding night they get to open it up. Unfortunately, they have no idea what to do with it! All of a sudden, we are allowed to be sexual beings and be "naked and not ashamed". Yeah, easier said than done. Many Christian women feel restrained and unable to enjoy sex because they have been so ingrained with the idea that it is dirty. It takes a lot of prayer and encouragement from loving husbands to finally embrace the gift God gives in marriage. Thanks for writing about this!

  2. Do you read Rachel Held Evans' blog? You'll appreciate this one, saying similar things about our squeemishness over talking about sex and treating it so shamefully.