If there is anything that can cause consternation in this world, it’s sex. Something that is natural and generally pleasurable, it’s also something that makes people go mad both in wanting it and wanting to control it.
Too much of it? Yeah, there is such a thing. Repressing it? Doesn’t seem to work out for folks. For me, it’s not about a no-holds-barred free lurve approach, or a “DON’T DO IT UNTIL YOU ARE MARRIED AND NOT EVEN THEN!” tactic either. It’s about individuals being able to know their bodies, make informed decisions on their own and with their partners, and them knowing that pleasure and sexuality are good, valid, things that our bodies have for us.
I’m passionate about defending sex, mostly because people want to (and will) do it. They can either do it in risky ways, flailing about, or they can do it as informed and prepared mature ways. I think it’s immoral for people to get inaccurate information about how their bodies work, to be denied access to controlling their own reproductive choices, and to have consenting adults be told that who they love and are attracted to is wrong. Consenting adults should, well, consent. Love winds up in short supply in this world. Why push it away?
I wish I had more to say in more eloquent ways today, but I’m feeling kind of spent after reading the following articles.
In each of them you’ll see how politics and religion and sex wind up in a toxic ball of problems from this Feministing article about a teacher who was fired for becoming pregnant out of wedlock (but her boyfriend, the father was the offered the same job…odd! I guess it’s ok for the man to do it, but not the woman).
This article is about Cardinal O’Brien confessing to his relationships with men. See, I think if the priests were allowed to have partners and relationships, there would be about 99.9 % less scandal in the church and millions of people wouldn’t feel so shamed and guilty about their sexuality.
Speaking of Catholics, this documentary from Catholics for Choice looks at all the ways sex and the church has changed through the years, and makes great mention of ethics in terms of greater or lesser evils. And some interesting history about Augustine and sexuality.
Finally, here’s a post about anti-choicers saying really ridiculous thing about rape. Again. It’s…well, it seems so far afield as to be fiction, but I guess these folks believe what they are saying. I don’t get it. Biology is weird isn’t it?
Religion, man… I get it. They too want adults to make informed and mature decisions. I think. Sometimes it seems like they just want to smash down questioning, smash down curiosity, and keep people scared. I love me some spirituality, and have a pretty awesome relationship with the sacred. I just believe sex is part of that and should be celebrated. Differently, perhaps, but celebrated.
Sometimes, I read things like this and feel disheartened. But I pick myself up and keep doing the work I’m doing with consent, violence prevention, sex ed, and supporting healthy consensual relationships between people of all genders because I know it matters. It matters that we reach adults and help them get their feelings and ethics around sex in order, that we get them communicating, enjoying, and feeling good about their bodies, so that their actions and feelings (no matter if they are multi-partnered or abstinent) are in alignment and integration.
It’s important to help adults because they wind up having kids. And passing on their own values. If adults are as confused and closeted and fearful as I think they are, of course they are gonna pass that on to the younger versions of them, and that’s a legacy I’d like to avoid.
To that end, I’ll be working with BedPost Confessions, with other glorious sex educators and leaders, with spiritual and political leaders who get that love and pleasure aren’t the enemy but the fruit of our souls, and that rights like gay marriage, safety and education for our children, and access to bodily autonomy are paramount.
Sex is a strange thing. But I’m glad it’s here, with us, for us. I’ll defend it so long as I live.