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In personal on September 24, 2010 at 10:58 am

Erika and I went to college together where we both experienced and watched many other young Christian women experience a lack of open, honest conversation about sex and sexuality. We encountered a huge gap between the rhetoric of chapel speakers and relationship seminars and the lived reality of our own often complex and confusing experiences. Yet no one seemed to want to bridge the gap. As Donna Freitas so aptly describes it in her book, Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses,

Evangelical students may be be leaps and bounds ahead of students at spiritual colleges (Catholic and mainline Protestant) when it comes to talking about and actively practicing their faith. But because sex is such a high-stakes religious issue for their communities, it is often a painful, frustrating closeted topic for many evangelical students–the one area where integration and openness just don’t seem realistic.

So we’re stepping into that void and encouraging open, honest conversation about sex and sexuality in the Christian experience. This topic is important for several reasons. Sexuality, the deep longing for connection, both in a spiritual and physical sense, is important because it is a major component of our identities. We cannot know ourselves if we do not accept and explore our sexuality. Sex, the act of physical intimacy in all its variations, is important, because ideally it is the ultimate affirmation and celebration of another human being. It is unconditional love at its finest. We don’t often think of unconditional love as connected to our bodies, and we miss out when we neglect that aspect of it. Sex combines both the physical and spiritual to say, “I love and value you just the way you are.”

In the evangelical subculture, women have traditionally been responsible for keeping themselves and their relationships “pure”. We are taught either subtly or directly, that we must save ourselves for our future husband and that our virginity is a gift that ironically, he has a right to expect. This idea comes largely from an understanding that men are sexual and women are emotional, so he deserves our sexuality and presumably in return we’ll get emotional fulfillment. Because of this responsibility to save ourselves, women have been and are expected to help keep men on the straight and narrow, whether simply by dressing modestly or by making sure that boundaries are adhered to in a relationship. This means that young women are often placed between a rock and a hard place, continuously seen as possible “temptations” on one hand and as “sluts” on the other if we “allow” appropriate boundaries to be transgressed. In both these cases women’s sexuality is being defined by men. We want to challenge women to define our own sexuality (because, contrary to Victorian ideals, women ARE sexual) and to be active in thinking out and discovering our own sexual expectations, desires, morals and norms.

So while we’re here to talk about sex, this site is also about who we are as humans and what it means to live healthy, holistic lives physically and spiritually. We’re not looking to provide answers or ten steps to figuring out where your boundaries are or five ways to improve your sex life. There are enough books and other sites for that out there. We want to start asking questions and hopefully get you to start asking questions. Questions lead to conversation and we believe conversation is one of the saving graces of humanity. Conversation allows for give and take, questions and doubts, exploration and play and listening deeply to someone else. With conversation you can cover a lot of ground, discover a lot about yourself, about other people, about God and about life. Conversation is the cornerstone of any relationship, including our relationship with God.

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