Religion and sex-positivity might seem mutually exclusive, but they don’t have to to be.
Allen — a sex-positive educator who is a Christan affiliated with the Catholic church — explains that sex is an “amazing gift from God.” She says God is the “author of our sexuality and our sexual pleasure,” so we should feel free to explore it. “Our God is an awesome God if you ask me. Just by virtue of the fact that we have the clitoris” — a part of the body meant exclusively for pleasure.
Allen calls attention to various moments in the bible that indicate sex is meant to be a spiritual experience with a longterm partner. That’s not to say you shouldn’t also enjoy sex for sex’s sake, but we can also appreciate religion’s role in recognizing the sacredness of sex.
Allen says we can combat religious beliefs that cause shame around sex by recognizing them as misinterpretations. After all, the bible hardly mentions sex at all. She points out, for example, that less than one percent of biblical texts are even loosely related to homosexuality, yet the church pushes a narrative that gay is evil. Masturbation is seen as sinful by the church, yet this idea was “transplanted over from paganism by a crazy cardinal.” Allen discusses the origin of other harmful religious messages about sex, proving they are not from the bible, but from people interpreting the text.
While organized religion has muddled some ideas about sex, the bible, at its core, does not say much about sex at all. In fact, there are many interpretations that show sex should be seen as a spiritual experience. It’s important to take the messages that serve us and do away with the ones that cause us shame. Sex can be beautiful and so can your faith.