Life outside Eden (or: On sexuality and gender)

Sex should be something we’re able to celebrate! Yet the combined efforts of modesty culture and purity culture and patriarchy in general seem to make that far more difficult than it should be.

So, in my 95 statements on hope, sexuality and consent I had these ten to say about sex specifically (and there are other statements about consent, the Bible and God):

31. Sex is play.
32. Sex is much, much broader than penis-in-vagina intercourse.
33. Any sexual ethic based on inexperience and/or passive preservation, is purity culture.
34. The couple in “Song of Songs” probably weren’t married.
35. Genital response without arousal is a thing. It’s called non-concordance. (Emily Nagoski)
36. Only becoming aroused when approached for sex is a thing. It’s called responsive-only desire. (Emily Nagoski)
37. In general terms, covering genitals stops people from making non-consensual statements of ownership over others.
38. The act of sex speaks, regardless of context.
39. At its best, sex speaks of mutual belonging and unity.
40. Sex is prophecy.

(FYI, most of my complaints about bad relationships and non-consent are to be found in ‘On consent and boundaries‘)

About sexual relationships

Consent and good relationships

Sex and consent: everything I didn’t know when I married (Feb 2017) – this provides link to this 5,500 word essay I guest blogged for Ashley Easter. (Seriously, all the red text is something I didn’t know.)

Essay on consent; red text is what I didn't know when I married

An open letter to the evangelical Christian couple considering sex therapy

On the receiving end of sex – why it’s not just about giving

Hands touching

The meaning of sex etc.

The key to lifelong sex? Get the right advice

Masturbation: Can you separate lust from pleasure?


The Orlando nightclub shooting: a challenge to non-LGBT Christians one year on (June 2017)

LGBT Rainbow

My choice in the wake of Orlando and Brexit

About gender (mostly from a Christian perspective)

Modesty 101: modesty is not about clothes, rather glory and context (May 2017)

Gary Thomas’ claim that Christians should have more children is unbiblical (May 2017)

Pair of ducklings

Books of 2017: ‘The Twilight of Cutting’ taught me about more than FGM (Jan 2018)
Books of 2017: Titles of interest to egalitarian Christians (Jan 2018)
Books of 2017: Titles of interest to theology lovers and Bible students (Jan 2018)
Books of 2017: Titles for those who are looking outside the box (Jan 2018)

Do also check out the posts about a new perspective on purity in the On faith, hope and God page. The themes of those posts are along the following lines (again these are part of my 95 statements on hope, sexuality and consent):

81. Purity is the debating ground for what constitutes belonging within, or exclusion from, community. One way or another, the debate usually involves people’s genitals.
82. “Purity culture” and “modesty culture” are both forms of gender based violence.
83. “Purity pledges” can only bring a curse; they bind a person but, unlike wedding vows, do not mark transition into belonging.
84. “Purity” and “holiness”, properly understood, are about covenantal belonging to/with God.
85. Purity-as-separation subverts God’s plan for reconciliation and is contrary to the church’s covenant calling.
86. Modesty is about veiling glory as a means of inclusion, particularly in a context where a person has the right to display it.
87. Purity (membership) is a state to be entered; once entered, it is not easily lost.
88. Purity (intimacy) doesn’t plateau; it deepens as people respond to God’s calling and commissioning.
89. Purity (belonging) is a privilege to be exercised in the midst of sin, in service to others.
90. Purity (covenantal inclusion) works reconciliation while it waits for the fulness of redemption.