Let me say a few words about terminology…
The sexuality field is full of amazing people doing great work to keep us informed. The topic of spirituality/religion/faith is so broad that often times it is hard to keep up with personalities, concepts and ideas. And since no one person can ever do enough work to dismantle the deeply rooted impact of Christian sexual shame and sex negativity, my work focuses specifically on 4 things:
- Becoming a sex-positive Christian.
- Developing a sexual ethic
- Defining a sexual theology
- Embracing pleasure + faith
This also means that words we use often in this field and work can mean a lot of different things depending on who you follow. So, to help you know exactly what I am talking about when I do this work, here are my operating definitions of terms used:
When I use the word sexuality I am referring to 3 things:
- Sexual activity – what we do, how we do it, who we do it with
- Sexual identity – who we say we are to ourselves, how we live that out authentically
- Sexual expression – how we relate and show who we are to God, self and others
When I use the words faith/spirituality I am referring to 3 things:
- Christianity – the religion and belief system based on salvation thru Jesus Christ, whose primary referral sources are “the church” and the bible/scripture
- Spirituality – many different ways to connect to that which is greater than yourself; for some this is attained through Christianity, for others it may be something else
- Faith – any belief system that governs how you live your life
When I use the term sex-positive I am referring to a perspective that takes seriously:
- Affirming sexuality as a divine gift to be treasured and shared in ways that are healthy, supportive and pleasurable
- Believing sex and sexuality as inherently good aspects of our humanity
- Understanding that healthy sexuality calls for consent, respect, and responsibility along with a commitment to healing with knowledge, care and compassion
- Being aware of trauma and its effects on us and our relationships
A sexual ethic is defining your spiritual belief system and then living your sexual life – sexual behavior, identity and expression – according to that belief.
A sexual theology is articulating how the bible, tradition reason and experience shapes on’es understanding of God and sexuality.
Now that we’re all on the same page…let’s do the work!
It brings me great joy to talk about the ways we can be spiritually connected and sexually free by talking about sex and faith…so my question to you is, will you be whole?