Can you be a sexual being–even if you’re single? What does being sexual mean, anyway?

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and so I thought I’d explore what it means to be sexual in the podcast today, and how being sexual involves our bodies, yes, but also so much more!

But first, listen in:


Main Segment: What does it mean to be a sexual being?

A woman wrote in with this question:

I firstly want to say that I love your work and frequently get sucked into the rabbit Warren of your blog following one article to another and nodding along or having my mind blown. I have just started reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and am really looking forward to seeing what happens in my marriage as a result but only a few pages in, I have a question. You say, “You were created for sex… It’s deeply wired into you, into the very centre of who you are. You are a sexual being.”

I have been thinking about this line of thought a lot over the past year as I lead youth group. I feel like this line of thought is identical to that of society. “You are a sexual being and therefore need to be true to who you are in order to be fulfilled as a person.” It sounds so similar. I know we are approaching it from a God crested you and sec stand point but if something is at the “centre of who we are” how can we be happy without it and what kind of God would expect us to be? Why would God create people with sex at the very centre of who they are and then expect some people to never have sex?

I’m not saying sex isn’t created by God and a great gift, I just wonder if telling people they are created for sex and that it’s at the centre of who they are is helpful or even really true. I would say what we are created for is to be in relationship with God and to love and honour him and that is at the centre of who we are.

Great question. What does it mean to be sexual? A lot of it is a longing for connection, but also an embrace of our physical selves.  I launch into my explanation here, as paltry as it may be. These are hard things to fully explain!

You may also enjoy these posts:

Reader Question: Why Do Men Like Oral Sex So Much?

This may seem like an odd question for today’s podcast, but my answer gets at the heart of what sexuality is supposed to look like. A woman asks:

Why do men particularly love receiving oral sex? What is it about that particular act that makes it something they desire more than other forms of sex? (I know I’m generalizing, by the way, for the sake of brevity.) It seems like in every single story I read these days about sex abuse scandals, it’s almost always ORAL sex that was demanded or coerced. It’s to the point that it’s hard for me NOT to associate it with situations of abuse, intimidation, or the demeaning of women, and so it’s really hard for me to imagine performing it on my husband (regardless of what an amazing, loving person he is!). Can you help me understand “what the deal is,” and offer some suggestions to help disassociate oral sex from such awful, negative connotations?

I’m glad to have the opportunity to unpack this, and honestly, this segment is IMPORTANT. Please listen in! I talk about the difference between “kingdom of God” principles and values that Jesus came to usher in, and the world’s values. (And non-Christians can operate from kingdom of God principles, and those who call themselves Christian may not. It’s not straightforward.).

Basically, we need to remember Jesus’ words:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:25-28

Kingdom of God principles means that sex should not be domineering. It should be mutually life giving and satisfying. But we’ve replaced that with an attempt to dominate and coerce, so that power is what is seen as sexy. We see that in the 50 Shades of Grey series, and in porn, and, yes, in sexual abuse (which is really about power, not just sex). We need to make sure that this is not the way it is in our marriages. 

Please listen, because this matters!

Reader Question: Can spanking as a child cause sexual dysfunction later?

A woman writes with another question about how our sexuality may be messed up. She says:

Can you look into PTSD from being spanked as a child and how that leads to sexual disfunction later on in marriage? 

For example, as a child my father would beat me with a belt while he held me down on my stomach on my bed. The church accepted and  promoted this abuse. This is so so very wrong and evil. How can experiencing physical (and emotional) abuse that creates blood flow and pain to the same parts of your body that are responsible for sexual arousal NOT affect your sex life as an adult? I have flashbacks from the abuse every time my husband wants to do certain sexual positions. And I have broken veins on my leg left from contusions/bruises from the abuse. I have met with three separate Christian counselors and have given up seeking help because all three counselors sided with the church’s view on spanking.

First, this is horrible. I am so sorry that she suffered this.

And this is not spanking. This is abuse. We need to start calling it out. 

And if you’re at a church that supports this, please find another church that is safe for you and your family. And if you go to counselors who don’t listen–believe me, there are other counselors out there who are safe. They just may not be affiliated with your church.

Rebecca joined me on the podcast to talk about spanking and its effects that she found when she wrote her book Why I Didn’t Rebel. And I’d suggest this post, too–10 ways to discipline without spanking.

What does it mean to be a sexual being?

So, please, listen in, because this was more of a foundational podcast where we talked about some big issues. But then let’s talk–how do we stop seeing sex as a power thing? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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