ATTENTION: We will be on break for two weeks in October in order to make room from Mid-term examinations and Homecoming festivities! The workshops will resume on October 30, 2012!
Update: October 2, 2012
We had a guest speaker, the Reverend Lucas Johnson. He is a representative from the Fellowship of Reconciliation. He led the group in a rousing discussion about building healthy relationships, and offered several strategies for how to reconcile relationships that have been broken.
Update: September 24, 2012
Continuing with the theme “Sex is for Pleasure,” students once again read portions of the Song of Solomon. We discussed the sensuality of the text and asked questions about why these text are so rarely used in Church settings. The students expressed great surprise in finding such erotic language in the Bible.
We then turned to a discussion about Master and Johnson’s sex cycle. After learning new terminology (Excitement phase, plateau, orgasm, and resolution), we had a very candid discussion about invoking one’s agency to interrupt the cycle. The students explored the importance of communicating clearly with their partners both before and during sexual intimacy. There was a lot of emphasis placed on mutual respect for limits and boundaries.
Update: September 18, 2012
Last week’s discussion left the students feeling a bit unsettled. Where does sex start? What “counts?” If I’m committed to not having sex until I’m married, does that mean that I also can’t ___[fill in the blank]___ ? Why didn’t my parents, school, or church teach me about all of these other sexual actions? How do I navigate this? The discussion involving these questions was lively, moving, and incredibly important.
Invited to reflect on the phrase: “Sex is for pleasure,” students shared with each other when they first heard of/ learned about this concept. Thinking carefully, they were able to name the ways that Church and the Scriptures help support this notion. This led us to learning about the Anglican “three-legged stool” model for ethical decision making: Scripture, Reason, and Tradition. Before dismissing we took the time to read portions of the Song of Solomon.
Update: September 11, 2012
Upon reflecting on week two, we talked further about the fact that the words we use relating to the human body and sexual acts can often be very violent. Students reflected on how troubled they were by this realization. After our debrief, we participated in another activity involving words. This time students wrote out different sex acts on individual note cards. After making sure that everyone knew what each sex act meant, we attempted to put them in order from the least sexual act to most sexual act. This proved to be difficult to do because each person had an option that differed from the other. We then put them “in order” from “least intimate” to most intimate.” Again, debate broke out. Is kissing “more intimate” than sexting? Is oral sex “more intimate” than intercourse? There were more questions than answers. Before leaving, students reflected on just how important it is to talk with their potential intimate partners about personal boundaries and expectations.
Update: September 4, 2012 (10:49 PM)
Week two’s discussion was a lively one. As a part of reflecting on a poem by Jane Kenyon called, “Cages” we shared a bit about the difficulties of “the long struggle to be at home in this body.” Then we shifted to a game in which teams competed against each other to write down as many slang words about parts of the human reproductive system as possible. We did something similar with the word “masturbation.” As a part of the discussion, we explored questions like: who makes up these slang names for the female genitalia? Are any of these words associated with violence? Who benefits from us using violent terms to describe sexual acts? Who doesn’t? We labeled diagrams with the proper clinical terminology for both the male and female reproductive systems. Then we concluded by reflecting on 1 Cor. 3:16 – “Your body is the temple of God.”
Update: August 28, 2012 (3:37PM)
Lots of folks have been asking for more details about each workshop. So, here is a very brief overview of what’s to come in the next three weeks:
Week one (today): Introductions, Expectations, and Value Statements: Through a series of interactive modules, students will discuss and explore the values that under-gird their thoughts about God, sex, sexuality, and relationships. The time together will end with an opportunity to explore what the Bible has to say about humanity.
Week two: Mind, Body, and Spirit: This session will be a fusion of sexual health education (we’ll use clinical terms like “sexual intercourse” and “genitalia)” and spiritual reflection. Students will be given an opportunity to dig further into questions about the soul’s relationship to the body, while also (re)-learning the correct terminology for describing parts of the human body.
Week three: What is Sex? It may seem like anyone who is old enough to read this blog should already knows the answer. Perhaps. Through a creative, interactive game, students will dig deep into this question. They will discuss the concept of intimacy and sensuality.
August 7, 2012
Whether we speak about it aloud or not, the reality is that most students will think about or are thinking about sex during their time in college. In fact, many are doing more than just thinking about it! This semester the Reverend Kim Jackson is launching a series of workshops to help students integrate their thoughts and feelings about sex/sexuality with their identities as people of faith. Open to all regardless of gender identity, orientation, or religious beliefs, these workshops will provide a safe place to explore these questions: What is sex? What does God think about sex? What does love have to do with it? Should I have sex with my peer/friend/significant other? What does the Bible say about sex? How do I talk about sex and sexuality with others? When is it okay to have sex?
Because Sex isn’t Dirty, join us at 4:30 on Tuesday’s for these workshops. We’ll get started on August 28, 2012.