Let’s talk about sex!

Confession: I wish I could steal this guy’s post and just claim it as my own (though the language doesn’t quite work for an ordained minister, huh?). So take a moment, click the link, read it, and come back. … Back now? OK, let’s talk.

One of the things I am most proud about in my faith community, Unitarian Universalism, is the sexuality education programs we’ve done, called Our Whole Lives, in partnership with the United Church of Christ. And if I can paraphrase what is a complex, wonderful program into a very short summary, it might be something like this: “here’s what you need to know about sex, and it’s better to think about sex as part of a relationship (with you, your partner(s), and the sacred) than as a list of acts and consequences.”

Those who use the program might or might not agree with that summary, but it’s mine. The knowledge part is valuable, but not something I feel especially qualified to speak more deeply on. But that second part, about relationship, that interests me.

Relationship is better.

That’s my bottom line. Consent is a minimum requirement for sex. If both parties aren’t willing, it’s a no go. But I’m talking about a further requirement. If you don’t have a (good) relationship with the person you’re about to have sex with, you probably shouldn’t do it. That is, you should know and like the person, not just the body. You should want to do something with that person, not just have sex with anyone. The person you’re with should matter more than the thing you’re doing — and ideally, both the person and the act will be great. That after sex you might feel differently about the person, but that the relationship you already had means you can talk to them about it.

The funny thing is, part of me feels like this is the most obvious thing in the world, that no one could possibly disagree with this, and yet, well, that’s not the impression I get from pop culture or from some of what I hear. Too often, it’s not what I see depicted in TV or movies, that’s for sure.

And then there’s the part of me feels like a fuddy-duddy saying this. Look at that guy advocating for … what, sex only in marriage or something? No. Do I think you should be married to everyone you have sex with? Do I think you should be in love? No, it doesn’t. But it does mean it’s better if you know them and like them. If you can’t say Mark Manson’s “F*** yes” than you should say no. And if you don’t even really know who or what you’re saying that “yes” too, it should also probably be a no.


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.


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