HomeHot TopicsFAQs
Share |

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

If I'm not sexually active, should I be?

I would hope that you are in touch with your body, its wonders and yes, its sexual power and potential. However, if you live in your head then chances are you are not taking good care of your body in other ways either. But does that mean you have to be sexually active? Not at all. For most people there is an ebb and a flow of sexual interest and desire based on what else is happening in our lives at the time. But if your priority is to fit in to what everybody else is doing (or says they are doing) then I suppose you should be sexually active too. However, Christians don’t conform to the world’s standards but to God’s. And, God may be calling you to put all your energy into preparing yourself for your career, or opening your inner soul for reflection. This can take precedence to engaging in a sexual relationship. Just make sure you don’t have a mind/body split. Listen to the Wisdom inside yourself and trust that when you are ready, you will know it.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

So the Bible is not against masturbation?

No, there are no prohibitions against it. There is one man who is condemned for coitus interruptus (that means not planting the seeds to make those needed babies.) So, if you think sex is only for procreation and not for pleasure and that every sperm is sacred, then yes, I suppose you could conclude it is a sin. Most of us do not have those ideas however. (For more on procreative sex read “Does the Hebrew scriptures say homosexuality is a sin?”)

Ask a question of your own!

To top

How do I make sure my first time is meaningful and appropriate?

First and foremost know that you are in charge of your own sexuality, not a new partner (who is just as nervous as you are!) That means knowing your body and your responses well. Just as you would probably read a travel book before you went to a new country, read and study sexuality books that are comprehensive and accurate. Inform yourself about sex. I recommend a comprehensive text called “Guide to Getting it On” by Paul Joannides or read or listen to Dr. Ruth Westheimer. There are therapists and authors who study the human sexual response who can give you accurate information. Then, find a Unitarian or United Church of Christ which is using the sexuality curriculum, “Our Whole Lives” and sign up. And finally, have some serious and thoughtful conversations about sexual ethics. Think about what you would need in a first encounter and what will not work. You need to be relaxed and know it is right. And most of all, go into it aware and comfortable (and a little nervous!). But do not allow yourself to be persuaded if you are not ready, if the partner isn’t the right one, or if either of you is high or drunk.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

Sometimes I feel my sexual urges are out of control … and I am afraid I’ll be overwhelmed. Should I be afraid of what I might do?

As long as you can still hear and respond appropriately to “no” or “stop” you are ok. Giving in to the primal is scary because we rarely give ourselves permission in this society to lay aside our rationality. But to do so can lead us to a deeper and more intimate experience with our partner, perhaps even a sacred one. Contrary to what some believe, passion is not to be feared. It is controllable when or if the need arises. Passion is very different from obsession. It can be channeled in the direction of moral behavior if desired, and I hope you will do so. Obsession, however, cannot easily be controlled and may require professional attention.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

Are certain sex acts worse than others?

Absolutely. Any sexual act that creates preventable or unwanted pain or any act that is exploitive or demeaning to you or your partner can hardly be justified by a person of faith who is seeking to live a compassionate and just life. Any sex act that is coercive or done in spite of a partner’s objections OR in spite of their hesitations is equally sinful. Just think of it this way. How would Jesus make love? Wouldn’t the sexual acts create joy and happiness? Be marked by caring and compassion? Move the partners higher toward ecstasy? (That means giving up the ego to join another in a transcendent reality of selflessness) Increase the intimacy and deepen the relationship? A non-legalistic God who loves abundantly would not be concerned with body parts and placement but rather the quality of the relationship and whether there is an enhancement of our humanity or if there is any dehumanization.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

You say it is wrong to objectify or sexually exploit others. But … what if they want to be exploited or say they want to be used?

What would Jesus do? Can you imagine him discarding them after he has used them---even if they expect this treatment? Or are used to it? Or even if that is the only way they can have fun? Come on!!

Ask a question of your own!

To top

Isn’t objectification always a part of sex?

Just because the physical is the focus or genitalia is involved that doesn’t make it objectification. Objectification is when you have no appreciation for (or worse yet, ignore!) the whole person, i.e. their mind and spirit as well as their bodies.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

Should I save myself for marriage?

This implies that the act of deflowering virgins is a wonderful gift by your future spouse. That may or may not be the case however. If you want a wonderfully enjoyable first wedding night it should not be a case of “the blind leading the blind.” Your body is where God resides. That means you will live responsibly, with integrity, and that compassion and justice will guide all your decision-making. You can’t decide ahead of time since sexual needs and behaviors must be communicated and usually negotiated with your partner. However, you can and should decide ahead of time about your ethical guidelines. (Read Hot Button “Quality Sex”)

Ask a question of your own!

To top

How can I explore sexually without being sexually active?

Can you spell self-pleasure? There is no prohibition against masturbation in scripture. To the contrary the creation story says the human creation is good and that includes your body. So, use this time to learn to enjoy your body with all its wonders and quirks. Use your single time to discover your body’s responses and your own erotic spots. Become an expert on your own sexual response. This will pay off in increased awareness, sensitivity and self-confidence. It becomes a gift to a future partner.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

What constitutes “real” sex? Where is the fine line?

If you have to ask that question, then you are looking for a legalistic way around it. Sounds like you are trying to get sexual pleasure and satisfaction but not make God mad at you. Now come on! God looks on your heart and frankly, gets a bit perturbed at the picky little ways we try to make it look good on the outside so we don’t lose God’s love! Don’t get caught up in the legalism of, “You can touch this body part but you can’t touch that body part” as if God cares! Don’t play games with your body. Instead, focus your attention on the quality and the state of the relationship between you and your potential partner. Talk about comfort levels and consequences. Practice asking for what you want and practice saying “No, thank you.” Energy invested in the relationship’s honest communication will put you on the road to sexual maturity much faster than finding “fine lines.”

Ask a question of your own!

To top

Isn’t homosexuality a sin?

Sin is too often defined as something that someone else is doing that others say is wrong. This is not a particularly helpful definition since we tend to not critique our behavior but focus on others’ instead, in this case, the sexual minority communities. However, if sin is the unloving or unjust abuse of power in our relationships or any unjust and unloving actions then we have something specific by which to decide if it is sinful. Homosexuality is defined as an attraction to and preference for partners of the same gender. It is widely evident in the entire animal kingdom. Further, science is showing us that this orientation has genetic origins. So, would your God create people with genetic variations and then condemn some of them as an abomination? Come on now! What kind of a God would be so capricious? Perhaps the pantheon of gods in the Greco-Roman world but not the just and loving God we Christians and Jews call Yahweh.

Ask a question of your own!

To top

What about lust?

Lust means an insatiable desire that you will do anything to get fulfilled. For example, King David lusted after Bathsheba and became a rapist and a murderer. Most people do not experience this level of insatiable greed. They do experience hormonal surges that we generally call "being horny."  When Jesus spoke of lust he was not referring to this aspect of being human that is common to us all. Instead, Jesus was talking to people who had a huge investmen in just following the (religious)rules, such as "Do not ever have any thoughts about sex with someone with whom you are not married." His point was to say they wouldn't violate the rule/law (in this case sexual immorality) if they had monitored the personal emotions or mindsets that would lead to the transgression. So, to see someone only as a physical body for one's own sexual gratification, to fixate on that body, or to obsess about what sex would be like with them does objectify them and could lead to inappropriate sexual advances or behavior. That would be Jesus' point. However, to have flashes of horniness is not lust, neither is having fantasies. So yes, though frew of us become sexually obsessed, monitor your mindset. But otherwise, enjoy the fantasies and celebrate the horniness. These are wonderful feelings that God created to keep us going! 

Ask a question of your own!

To top