Thursday, February 26, 2015

“So I say, if you are burning, burn. If you can stand it, the shame will burn away and leave you shining, radiant, and righteously shameless” ― Elizabeth Cunningham



I’ve been enjoying reading the various posts from UU bloggers on #sexUUality over this past month. It’s been fascinating. Some talk about sex in the context of monogamous, heterosexual relationships such as this one by my friend and colleague Jordinn Nelson Long who shares how 30 days of making love was key in getting her marriage back on track,  and  this one  by Lynn Ungar goes beyond hetero marriage to ask the question of all committed relationships, “is sex necessary?”
Others have explored the different ways love shows up in our lives, with all its complications and beauty such as the rich complexities of loving beyond set sexual orientation and relational standards by my dear friend, Gretchen Haley, and this by Liz James that explores coloring outside the lines of socially approved love relationships
 Karen Johnston explores sex, sexuality and aging after serving as an intern chaplain in a nursing home and  this post lifts up the concept of covenant in BDSM relationships and refutes the improper use of contracts in the book/movie 50 Shades of Grey by Desmond Ravenstone,  a UU lay leader and the founder of Leather and Grace—a safe space for UUs  to explore BDSM and kink.


What I have loved about reading all these posts is that it reminds me of how varied and rich and diverse our sexualities are;  I can see how complex and enriching relationships can be if we dare to color outside the lines of societal and cultural norms—or even within them, if that’s our favorite flavor, recognizing that even still each relationship is unique to the people within it. This is, I think, why so many people, across the globe—and particularly women—loved the book/movie 50 Shades of Grey .  It’s a window into a way of being sexual and in relationship that is not lifted up in the light of day; it’s an invitation to consider our own sexual proclivities and secret desires, and to potentially explore them with one or more partners. The actual book does do a disservice to the BDSM communities; it doesn’t give an accurate portrayal of how contracts (or covenants) are actually sacred text in kink relationships and adhered to as reverently as a holy person abides by their particular scripture.  It’s not meant to portray real life, however, it’s simply a sexual fantasy written on paper, rather than just visualized in the brain. Most sexual fantasies would not pass muster in a real life relationship, that’s why they’re fantasies.  To hear more of my thoughts on this, as well as others, you can tune in to last week’s edition of the VUU, a talk show hosted by Church of the Larger Fellowship. I was a guest last week as we tackled the topic of sexuality. 

 As I said, it’s been refreshing to hear other people’s points of view regarding healthy, sacred sexuality and I will be somewhat saddened to see this month end. There is however, an opportunity for Colorado Springs folks to continue the conversation.  All Souls is offering, in conjunction with our sister church, High Plains, an adult OWL (Our Whole Lives) class. While we have very faithfully offered the versions of this whole life sexuality curriculum to our children and youth (it covers the span of time from kindergarten to adulthood) this is the first time we are offering the adult version, for people 35 and over. This 12 week class gives adults the opportunity to explore various issues of sexuality including

·         Sexuality and Values

·         Sexuality and Communication

·         Sexuality and Spirituality

·         Discovering the Sexual Self

·         Experiencing the Sexual Other

·         Sexual Attraction and Early Relationships

·         Sexuality and Developing Relationships

·         Sexuality and Committed Relationships

·         Sexual Diversity

·         Sexuality and Family

·         Sexuality and Aging

·         Sexual Health

The facilitators will be Larry Norfleet and Dianne McRae.  Classes will be held on Thursdays from 7-9pm starting March 12th.  Because of the nature of this class, attendance to all sessions is expected.  The cost will be $125. You  can register by contacting Laurie Frydenall at All Souls or Jessica Laike at High Plains.
If these blog conversations have been fascinating to you, if you want to increase your understanding of your own sexuality and others, I hope you will consider attending. You do not have to be a member of either church in order to participate.
Now, as I finish the post, I still have one more to do; check back tomorrow for that. In the meantime, here is my personal credo regarding sex, relationships, and love, with the caveat that clearly our hetero married bloggers have shown us sex still is alive and well in monogamous relationships! If video link doesn't work, you can access it here.

Unitarian Universalists have a long history of courage in tackling issues around human sexuality—from campaigning for human rights, to pioneering innovative work in the Our Whole Lives sexuality curriculum… join #UUs this month for a discussion of sex–the challenging parts, the beautiful parts, the spiritual parts, and even the downright goofy parts. UU or not, everyone is welcome to join in the conversation this month at #sexUUality

1 comment:

Dianne McRae said...

What an abundance of resources about sexuality and its place as part of our spirituality in addition to the rest of who we are. Thank you, Nori. I wanted to add, too, that the prices have changed - $60.00 friends/members, $85.00 general public - just so folks know. -Dianne