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. In my marital life , I also had a much more bumpy ride in this area than I had expected – even though I married a good man who wanted me to enjoy sex.
In my 95 statements on hope, sexuality and consent I had these to say about sex and consent specifically:
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.
41. Consent for a sexual relationship should not be sought where there is a significant power imbalance.
42. Consent to a relationship does not imply consent to a specific act.
43. Sex is not about saving someone’s life, so get active consent each time, every time, before penetrative intercourse.
44. Doing something new in sex? Get continuous active consent.
45. Doing something fun in sex? Get enthusiastic consent.
46. Informed consent means known exclusions, known inclusions, and being risk aware for unknowns.
47. When it comes to sex, stopwords do not require explanation and should be honoured without qualification.
48. Honouring consent is a form of faithfulness.
49. Giving and receiving consent is a form of wisdom.
50. Wisdom is something that grows with maturity.
The meaning of sex and consent (sunlight content)
For other resources (not on this blog) discussing how I deconstructed many myths I held about sex, consent and my body:
- I wrote for CBE International here: What I Wish the Church Had Told My Husband and Me About Sex and Consent
- I spoke with Meghan Tschanz on her Faith and Feminism podcast, going through all the above in more detail. The recording is on her blog and also downloadable from iTunes.
Sex and consent: everything I didn’t know when I married (Feb 2017) (this is pretty much just a picture showing the whole of the post above on sex and consent in a long-term relationship — where all the red text is stuff I didn’t know when I married)
For those asking questions: