“As I grew into my adolescence, I began to associate sex with sin; I imagine this had to do with being surrounded in a conservative religion in my home, church and school. My attitude about sex and sexuality was that it was something that only married or sinful people engaged in. Other than that I did not have much information – and because I was shy – the only place I got information about sex and sexuality was from TV, magazines and books”.
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This is a typical quote from a young woman who grew up in a conservative religious home. When I hear these kinds of statements, I find myself asking, “Why has religion failed to focus its teaching on the positive aspects of sexuality? For example, How can sex be a wonderful part of life?” The mandate, “no sex before marriage” has meant most conservative religions offer negative threats while failing to offer any kind of actual guidance or education. Yet by the age of 20, 80% of all people either are or have been sexually active. This is 6 to 8 years before the vast majority of people get married, if they are going to marry. So, enough is enough. Here is my attempt to offer sex positive guidance and ideas that respect Judeo/Christian religious values. See what you think.
12 Beliefs To Guide a Healthy Sexual Ethic -
1. You are a gift and your life is a gift – your body, mind, soul, and relationships are woven into the gift of the human experience.
2. You are God's Beloved. All creation is a gift (each person and all the earth that holds us) – including each person you experience.
3. You have a responsibility to care for yourself and all creation in a way that honors and supports the fullest potential of every individual.
4. All children and adolescents have the right to learn in age appropriate integrated ways about life, relationships, responsibility and sexuality each year, throughout their education, by parents, teachers, extended family and family support educators.
5. There is a spiritual mystery in sexuality, in love and in the purest human encounters.
6. You are hard wired for intimacy (deep safe attachment) and pleasure.
7. Deep love, erotic experience, satiating sex … will require you ‘show up’ with your heart wide open, eyes and body fully present/in the moment and willing to penetrate and be penetrated by your lover. If the body shows up without the soul, eyes and heart, you may find yourself experiencing a kind of sex that leaves you wanting.
8. Love … the action and the feeling … can at times feel risky and vulnerable. It will require more courage than most encounters, yet be the most satisfying relational and sexual skill you acquire.
9. Real sexual freedom is found inside a loving safe partnership where you can let go and surrender to the power of erotic ecstasy.
10. When loving is fun and easy … it is nourishment.
11. When loving is difficult – it is your teacher, your kiln, your crucible for becoming compassionate, wise, strong, centered and clear. It will grow you up.
12. On your death-bed you will record the ways you loved well as your most satisfying life legacy.