In Tennessee, a group of developers have found a legal loophole that will allow them to create a swingers club next to a school and call it a church. The Social Club, now also known as the United Fellowship Center, will have to demonstrate that they function like a church—that worship is happening.
I have a few concerns about this as well as a hopeful inclination.
I am not concerned about swingers, they are a pretty caring and self-regulated group. I am also not concerned about a swing club being near a school (breathe and keep reading) because of the aforementioned self-regulation and the fact that the first rule of swinging is about consent.
Ask anyone in the lifestyle and they will tell you: no means no the first time.
One of my concerns is the use of a loophole and how it keeps the conversation about multiple forms of sexuality in the closet. Another is the use of organized religion as a shield or scapegoat. We have enough problems with transparency and power around religion without intentionally adding another.
But my deepest concern is that this may misdirect or maim the truth—making love is a viable form of worship. While all things have a shadow side, like sexual assault and war in the name of God, sex is a great way to connect with and radiate the basic meaning of humanity.
Here are six ways that sex is a valid (and awesome) form of worship:
1. Sex Expresses Reverence
Sex expresses reverence for the individual(s) while we are connecting. We worship bodies, sounds, smells, sights, person-hood during sex and we bathe in the glow of bliss with each other afterward.
2. Sex Is Full Of Rituals—Or Creeds
We implement creeds and rituals in our sex lives. For example, "I am in full physical, emotional and spiritual fidelity with one person forever." Another might be, "I offer my sexual joy generously to all those who receive it."
Some people ritually light candles, other bathe, others massage. You already know what your rituals are.
3. Sex Is All About Respect
Sex allows for extravagant respect, admiration and devotion to another. It brings peace and goodness between people.
4. Sex Is Basically Meditation
Skilled sex demands our attention. Complete absorption in the moment sounds like meditation to me. I frequently Zen out when I am serving (or being served).
5. Sex Makes You Want To Thank God
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, for a moment we are gods and goddesses during the act of sex. We can recognize pieces of deity and eternity during sex, especially right before climax. Many of us even say, "Oh, God!" at that precious moment. Next time you say that, try meaning it!
6. Sex Showcases Humanity
Sex is a valid—and great!—way to continue to develop your humanity. As we expand our sexuality, we rarely want to go back to the way we were before (ask any woman who finally figures out if she's had orgasms or not). As we expand we create more awareness, in ourselves and others. That expands the consciousness of humanity.
There are lots of expressions of worship and it's easy to see this if you attend two different denominations of organized religion—so find yours.
I hope the group in Tennessee demonstrates that they are worshipping through relationships and sex so they can have integrity in their practice.
Just remember: You don't need a loophole to express who you are.