Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Ministers preach about sex.

If they're conservative, they preach about when, why and who ... should not be having sex. Abstinence, gays, and youth, oh my.

If they're liberal, they preach about orientation diversity.

But who is preaching about making love?

As usual, I have more questions than answers. Let me state unequivocally that I don't advocate a service of interpretive dance based on the Kama Sutra for your March intergenerational service.

First of all, is there a need to speak about healthy lovemaking?

I contend, yes. Heck, even Newsweek is running cover articles about the dearth of sex in married life. And from talking to friends, this epidemic doesn't seem to be limited to heterosexual couples.

Sex is a gift. It's our way to connect, to show love, to seek comfort, to affirm your coupleness. To "know" each other in a way that others don't. It is life-affirming and life-giving. It is simultaneously our most animal and our most transcendental act.

"But there's kids in our services!"

Yup. And I think it's fine -- nay, good -- for kids to get little hints about healthy lovin'.

Our children are over-sexualized at an early age by tv/movies/videos/ads/etc. But this has nothing to do with healthy, adult, committed, physical love.

Seeing Dad pat Mom on the butt every now and then or catching sight of Mom planting a big old kiss on Dad is setting up the framework for "this is what love is."

So, what's the preaching equivalent of a pop on the butt?

Treating sex as something that is not Voldemort is a start. "The thing which must not be named." "Making love." We can say it. Drop it in, in appropriate places. "We're so busy today ... time with family, time meditating, time making love, all of these take a backseat to ..."

We are sexual beings. Sexuality is a huge part of romantic relationships. I don't think we should hold off speaking about until it's in the confines of couples counseling.


ABT said...

Try to find a copy of Rebecca Parker's "Making Love as a Means of Grace". It's the best I've read on the subject.

Anna Banana said...

My 12-year old is in the UU OWL class right now. 3 months of classes every Sunday on sex, love, sex, acceptance of self and others, sex, and respect. The parents take the same class in a different room. We took it when our older soon was in OWL. I hope the kids get the message that being ready for sex means being ready to talk about what having sex will mean to them and their relationship. It's a big topic.

Anonymous said...

My parents celebrated 53 years of marriage last July. I'm hopeful my dad will live to see their 54th, but I write because of your comment about the pat on the butt. This is an enduring and endearing image from my childhood: watching my parents hug, kiss, and pat each other on the bottom.

Sigh. Wish it could say something about the state of MY marriage, but you've given me something to consider.

Chalicechick said...

((( I don't advocate a service of interpretive dance based on the Kama Sutra for your March intergenerational service.))

Now THAT I would attend!


Stephanie said...

I can't even read the phrase "making love" without squealing in pain and terror as I feel it abuses the English language. Clearly some folks are comfortable with it. I am hung-up on that language issue.

But, yes, sex of all sorts does seem imminently preachable in some sort of language. And I'd double my pledge to see that interpretive dance.

Comrade Kevin said...

My parents made a lot of mistakes, but I give them credit for providing me at a very young age (since I was a precocious kid and they recognized that) to provide me adequate information about sex and refute the large amount of misinformation on the playground, in the media, and in society at large. That was in the late 1980s. I can't imagine the challenges parents face now!

Now, I wish I didn't know the story about my conception that my mother decided to tell me some years back. It's actually rather sweet. Apparently the US beat the USSR in Olympic Hockey at the Miracle at Lake Placid, and Mom and Dad decided to celebrate. Still, I wish I didn't know that.

Lizard Eater said...

Oooh, Rev. Sean, I'll definitely search for that.

And CC and Ms. Theo ... youse guys are why I once did a canvass sermon called "Sex and the Sanctuary" -- cuz really, which would you rather hear about, sex or canvass?

(Note: the sermon was AND THE Sanctuary. Not IN THE. Crucial difference.)

Earthbound Spirit said...

Yes. This is what the school's woefully inadequate sex ed curriculum doesn't get - sex IS more than mechanics. OWL reminds our young people lucky enough to take the course of this, for which I'm grateful.

OTOH - Like uuMomma, I have an enduring image of my parents, who were married for over 50 years when my Dad died. I can call up this image easily, because it happened frequently at breakfast time. My mom is rinsing dishes and my dad reaches over from the kitchen table and pulls her onto his lap for a quick squeeze & smooch. Mom would blush and smile & he'd grin. I knew my parents had something special. (Of course, I found out when I grew up what those smiles were probably about...)