Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What is Christian Sex?

1. Describe your faith community
2. What is Christian Sex?

1. I grew up Presbyterian, but am now Episcopalian.
2. "Christian Sex" conjures the idea of either no sex, reluctant sex in marriage, or one part sex and three parts guilt if outside of marriage. Basically I don't think there is such a thing as Christian Sex -- yet. Christians can't handle sex, speaking very broadly, from a theological perspective.

1. Baptist/Non-demoninational/congregational
2. The missionary position of course; and also hushed orgasms...

1. NONE
2. SEX WITHIN MARRIAGE, BETWEEN A HUSBAND AND WIFE

1. American Baptist.
2. Sexual acts between a heterosexual married couple. I'll add that I'm currently in the process of re-examining issues regarding homosexuality and the church, but at this point, that still doesn't fall into my view of "Christian sex."

1. Presbyterian (K-12) Methodist (College) Mennonite (post-college)
2. I ascribe to sex being a privilege only acceptable under covenant [between the couple and God.] In other words...there must be commitment sealed by the Higher Authority.

1. I'm E-Free
2. Christian Sex is just like any other sex. Right? I don't think there's a difference...sex is sex, for fun or procreation

1. My faith background stems from the Baptist tradition, but my undergraduate and post-graduate community has strictly been Presbyterian USA
2. "Christian Sex" - in the past I would say that this terms can almost be synonomous with "abstinence." Sex is dirty, evil, and wicked ... How can a Christian, therefore, have sex without sinning? However, recently (just in the past two years), I have begun to see that "Christian Sex" is good and can be quite honoring to God. Sex can be one of the fullest physical and emotional expressions for our love for another person but also our greatfullness for God.

1. Christian
2. I'd define it as:
Occurring in the context of a committed, monogamous relationship
Borne of mutual respect (“power” or “control” aren’t part of it)
Celebrated as one of God’s most intimate gifts to us

1. christian
2. yuck - "christian sex" just doesn't sound fun

1. Moderate modern Islam
2. I have NO idea! I would imagine it would be "married" sex? I don't know. It really doesn't conjure anything at all. I wonder if I'm really missing something obvious here!

1. Reformed/Presbyterian Protestantism:
2. Well, it conjures up several things: the first is--what an odd combination of words. I mean, seriously: is there "Jewish Sex", "Muslim Sex" and "Buddhist Sex"? One tends not to think of "Sex" being modified by a specific religious belief.

Second, it makes me think of the category of sexual ethics that is/should be present in most Christians' lives, esp. those who are married to one another. For example, in the "ethic" of "Christian Sex" or "Sexuality", premarital sex AND cheating on your spouse, sexually or in terms of emotional intimacy, would both be prohibited or grounds for moral reproach. It would also define what conditions and manners of sexual congress would be acceptable between sexually active people and unto what end those acts of sexual congress would work (e.g. expression of love, procreation, maintaining a covenant relationship of offspring (e.g. what Onan failed to do...)).

Thirdly, and possibly the most crass: "Christian Sex" would be the ironical term used to describe the state of many Christian male-female relationships today and possibly, throughout the ages. It would be used ironically in light of the fact that many Christians are engaged in sexual congress/acts with people other than their spouses or with significant others who are not yet their spouses. This would be a commentary on the failure of Christians to uphold the Christian sexual ethic as stated in above definition #2.

Keep them coming!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Congregational/UCC; nothing (the "decade of darkness"); Episcopalian; Presbyterian (PCUSA); Episcopalian.

2. Christian sex (i.e., within the sacrament we call holy matrimony, so I'd call it sacramental sex) goes well beyond the physical and encompases all aspects - physical, mental, spiritual - of the realtionship, which was made before God by exchanging vows. It's between two people for whom God is an integral part of their relationship. Do all married Christians experience sacramental sex? I doubt it.

Back in that "decade of darkness" I did quite a few unsacramental things. I can now say with certainty, however, that "good" sex has less to do with technique and more to do with the overall nature of the relationship. It has just as much (if not more) to do with my heart and my head as it does with my genitals.

Chris said...

1. Grew up Catholic; teen/young adult years, nominally Presbyterian and now(midlife) Lutheran and married to a Methodist.

2. Christian sex--God's creation is good. Sex is good. Sex is a creative force, not only procreativly but relationally & spiritually creative--sex generates energy, sometimes negative to be sure, but within a covenant relationship (gay or straight) sexuality has astounding power to heal. I have never understood how sex within marriage/covenant could ever be seen as sinful or wrong. Perhaps this view arose out of our (usually forgotten) Greek/gnostic denial of the body vs. the elevation and preference for the disembodied soul. Christians do not claim a soul separate from the body--Paul and the tradition speaks of the resurrection of the body and Revelation 21 speaks of a new creation--a physical creation--again creation is a good thing!

Anonymous said...

Grew up Baptist, now am on the outskirts of institutional Christianity.

Christian Sex? I really don't know either. I know that what I was taught was not healthy or helpful. I don't accept that the only good (good as in right) sex is only within marriage. But I also see a lot of kids participating in sex that is not healthy for them, either emotionally or physically.

Ironically, i think that Christianity so elevates marriage and marital sex that when people get married they expect some amazing experience, both in the bedroom and out. Instead they find the mundane in both and are deeply disappointed. I think it is very hard to talk about sex and spirituality and expect that people can make those two compatible immediately.

Long winded answer, I know. In sum, I think that christian sex is sex between two adults who care deeply about each other, do not use each other (either sexually or emotionally), and who see something beyond sex in that relationship. I doubt that happens in cheating relationships, or between teenagers, but certainly can happen with adults (both gay and straight), married or unmarried.

Anonymous said...

1. Raised atheist, then Catholic, now Episcopalian.
2. I've changed my mind a million times on Christian sex. I now believe it is sex that takes place in a context where the folks involved are completely committed to supporting each other through all of the possible emotional, physical, and spiritual outcomes of their experience together. I also think it is characterized by honesty and by a desire to share joy and pleasure. It also must include a willingness to laugh even in the midst of the passion...

Anonymous said...

1. Raised protestant, now agnostic.

2. Christian sex means that a man and a woman wait until they are married to have sex. Few people (including most Christians) actually have this kind of sex though. Supposedly, it's superior to other kinds of "sinful" sex. But I haven't figured out how they know for sure that it's better.

Ruthie said...

1. Describe your faith community

Quaker explorer :)

2. What is Christian Sex?

Bleurgh - the traditional answer - sex within marriage, sanctioned by the church and state between a husband who is male and a wife who is female. Altogether unsatisfactory concept, lacking in imagination, creativity and understanding of the diversity of human sexual orientation and expression. Too concerned with rules and regulations, rather than with the presence of tenderness, kindness, faithfulness and love in human relationships.

My answer: Sex that is an expression of loving one's neighbour and caring for oneself is in line with Christ's law of love. There are sex lives that follow the traditional Christian moral code of conduct that fail to live up to this, and there is sexual expression that is far more loving, tender and life-affirming that takes place outside of traditional moral codes.

Anonymous said...

1. background: anglican as a child, mennonite as an adult, sometimes evangelical always liberal

2. Christian Sex: what i will finally be allowed to talk about with the other already married women my age when I finally get married. currently, what cannot really be mentioned or discusses seriously or experientially with those not officially initiated (ie. married).

Anonymous said...

1. Charismatic
2. I'm surprised nobody has come up with the definition which has currency in our community - 'Christain Sex' is where a couple do everything other than have sex because it's 'not a sin' if they aren't actually having penetrative sex. Also known as 'Evangelical Sex', mostly by people who have a chip on their shoulder about Evangelicals.

Bob said...

Don't see a trackback url, so here's the url for my post: http://iamachristiantoo.org/index.php?p=72

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jack Mercer said...

Where do you get your info?

San said...

I find it interesting that so many of the bloggers here associate "Christian" and "sex" with Saturday-night, lights-out, flannel-only, in-the-missionary-position sex. The most definitive study of sexuality ever done, the "Sex in America" study, found that couples in committed monogamous relationships reported the highest levels of sexual satisfaction. Evangelical women topped that list. So it turns out the "prudes" are actually having more fun than the Playboy bunnies. The idea that most Christians think sex is dirty or bad certainly does not bear itself out in the research.

Sandi, co-author, Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

Anonymous said...

1) United Methodist

2) One thing I noticed that has not been commented on-- I have been doing some research on this, and "Christian Sex", as Paul wrote in I Corinthians, is sacrificial in nature--you literally are giving a part of yourself to your spouse, and what better way than to show them how much you love them? I must agree, though, that "Christian Sex" and a Christian having sex are not the same thing. Christian Sex is done within the boundaries of a committed relationship.

Anonymous said...

my wife and i are lost as to what christian sex is we like a lot of what would be wild sex in some areas ... We are ones that would like a list of things that are ok with God and bible re. to back it up can anyone help

e. said...

1. non-denominational
2. It seems that a definition of Christian Sex would stem from what Jesus taught about sex. However, if I recall, he didn't say much on the topic. Something about plucking one's eye out if it causes one to lust.

I find this to be parallel to Jesus' comments on worship. He didn't say much about worship but what he DID say didn't communicate much about particular 'forms' for it.

Likewise, I'd say according to Jesus, sex fits in the 'human' category, not the 'Christian' or 'religious' category. It has certain functional boundaries, but may be broader in form than many of us might care to entertain.

Of course, one could go another route and say that "Christian Sex" is the way Christians - in reality - have sex. In this case, the sky's the limit since we all know that Christians participate in all forms of particularly 'non-Christian' behavior.

Anonymous said...

I am in a relationship with a married man that his wife has multiple sclerosis and has been in a nursing home for over 10 years. I am divorced 1 year. both of us have not had sex due to our partner's situation, and even though I have a divorce decree(piece of paper that says I'm divorced,(I'm Catholic), and I believe that thru the eyes of God, I am still married-a lifelong committment, yet, I can't have any other type relationship with my ex-husband thanfriendship.
My friend and I met, it was instant attraction, very VERY INTENSE, a situation neither of us were looking for, yet it happened. We have entered into a sexual relationship, we were both very alone and lonely, and this relationship has made such a big difference in our lives. We still know of our committment, we talk about our marriage partners, very open. Both feel guilty, yet, we want to be together in some way for the rest of our lives. Why would the Lord put us in this situation, make our lives better, and happier, we still bear our Cross, a sin is a sin, but is this a sin for wanting comfort, compassion, love? My marriage ended due to an abusive relationship, I haven't ever know intimacy in it's true form until now. I don't know what to do, if I lose him, my life goes back to being in "Hell", taking anti-depressives, I don't want to go back there. Anyone want to help me?
Anonymous