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Then God said, “Let there be sex,” and God saw it was good

November 25, 2008

I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who talked very openly and candidly with me about sex and sexuality. And somehow my mama managed to bring God into our discussions without bringing in guilt. 

I was taught that sex and sexual desires were natural, not dirty, and that they were gifts from God. But I was also taught that my body was sacred and should be treated as such. And you know what, it worked.

Sure, I’ve got plenty of body and sexuality issues — I’ll save those for future posts – but I’ve never had any trouble with letting my sexuality and spirituality coexist.

I didn’t grow up thinking my worth was determined by the wholeness of my hymen. But I did see my body as a creation of God. As a teen this belief helped me shut down boys who tried to pressure me into sex. In college it kept me from trying to use sex to make a man fall in love with me and today it reminds me that I have a divine right to enjoy a happy and healthy sexual life.

With all the shame tied up in so many faith-based initiatives regarding sex, it’s tempting to want to completely take God out of discussions about sex and sexuality. But for women who do believe in a higher power I think there is a way for faith to actually help us love our bodies and have the good sex we deserve.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2008 1:05 am

    When I was much younger, for several years, I had a kinky, poly relationship with a very religious woman. She never saw any inconsistency between her faith and her sexuality, and after we split up, she went to divinity school. I think we’re used to a very narrow, Pauline view of sexuality coming out most of Christianity, at least. I’m not religious, so in a way I don’t have a horse in the race, but it seems to me that there are theologies out there that are more sex-positive, and they’ve been squeezed out of public view by the conservative noise machine.

  2. January 17, 2010 7:11 pm

    “I was taught that sex and sexual desires were natural, not dirty, and that they were gifts from God. But I was also taught that my body was sacred and should be treated as such.”

    Actually, in contradiction to Thomas’ characterisation of Pauline doctrine, I’ve been reading through the letters of St Paul and his view on sexuality is really very similar to this concept. He does, however, make it clear it must be within marriage (which is somewhat sex-negative). His other caveat is the same as his advice for all matters of life: self-control, not giving in to whatever passions overtake one in the moment, and that sort of thing. (Paul’s views on homosexuality are a different kettle of fish entirely!)

    In the Hebrew texts/Septuagint (X-ian Old Testament) the Song of Solomon is also very clearly a celebration of erotic love.

    There definitely is room within Scripture for a much more sex-positive spirituality.

  3. Kyra permalink
    July 5, 2010 8:52 pm

    I notice that there are two readings of the concept of one’s body being sacred. Too often the religious abstinence-hawkers harp on the idea that the body’s sacredness translates only into an obligation to keep it away from the dirty, filthy sex. I really love hearing this translation of it, whenever I hear it.

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