As a pastor, I am often asked about sex. Ignoring the fact, I find that very strange - very rarely do people ask me to be on a panel about capitalism - it’s a reality of the job that I’ve come to accept. (Actually, I don’t know that I’ve ever even heard of a panel about capitalism.)
So, admittedly, when the sex topic comes up, I have to check myself from becoming critical or arrogant. It is a thing and I do understand that. It is a powerful thing and I do understand that. I happen to agree with Jessica Valenti that the thing has been made into way too much of a thing by the church, but again, it’s a thing so it is worth talking about.
Rob Bell, James Cordan and Russel Brand will be the featured speakers in my sex talk summary.
Rob Bell wrote that “Sex is not the search for something that’s missing. It’s the expression of something that’s been found.”
James Cordan wrote in Glamour Magazine that “Everything is always about sex but sex is always about something else.”
Russel Brand wrote “We have been told that freedom is the ability to pursue our petty, trivial desires when true freedom is freedom from these petty, trivial desires.”
It’s never about sex, or pornography, or affairs. Sex is oil on the surface of the water when there is something else happening on the bottom of the ocean a thousand feet away. We see the oil so we try to spend time cleaning it up but there are bigger problems.
There are no rules as to when to have sex and when not to. That’s just cleaning up surface oil.
Married people have destructive sex.
Unmarried people have redemptive sex.
It’s always the something else.
Brené Brown even makes the point that pornography is more often about shame than anything else. There is no fear of vulnerability and rejection when looking at pornography - and so it’s appealing.
Now that’s root of the problem stuff. The something else. The freedom.
Of course all of this takes time and self-analysis and puts the responsibly on us, so sometimes it’s easier to put together a nice and tidy rule we can or can not follow… and those can be helpful if you don't want to spend the time thinking. But search for the “something else” and you’ll know what to do with the sexuality - and how to be truly free.