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  • Dr. Sprankle

Missionary Position

Although you’ve long abandoned the fables of a fruit-tempting snake and Jesus’s overly-dramatic suicide, you’re not necessarily immune to the harmful effects of the sex negativity that permeate our culture. Regardless of where you live in the United States, sex positivity is stigmatized, and the plethora of sex-phobic messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis, both directly and indirectly, are easily internalized. And while you can intellectually dismiss the biblical prohibitions on touching menstruating women, docking penises with your fraternity brothers, and not ejaculating inside your dead brother’s wife, that doesn’t guarantee you won’t experience debilitating shame, guilt, and embarrassment when your spouse finds your browser history of Viking porn.


This blog aims to radically critique Christian sexual values, its inherent oppressive nature, and, most importantly, to reclaim sexuality within an ethical secular framework that permits sexual expression. Although I critique Christianity throughout this blog as being an oppressive obstacle to sexual liberation and well-being, I am not interested in, nor am I trying to, proselytize atheism or *gasp* Satanism to Christians. I’m not interested in converting the faithful; I’m interested in validating and supporting the unfaithful.


Therefore, this blog is being written with a very specific audience in mind; an audience I try to reach on social media. When I post something on Twitter or Instagram, I can anticipate generally two types of responses. The largest response is from the choir to whom I preach. The sex positive, confidently Christ-rejecting folks who reply with some variation of “This!” followed by hand-clapping emojis.


The other type is comprised of the reactionaries who lose their shit when I merely suggest gender is more complex than what they learned from their biology textbook in 1995. They fill my mentions with 4Chan’s greatest hits including anti-Semitic slurs, “cuck,” “soyboy,” and my personal favorite, “soft cunt.” Both types of responses are equally reinforcing to me since they both fill the hole in my adolescent heart that needs attention through provocation.


But another group I try to reach is the segment who has abandoned the god assigned to them at birth and has shed their parents’ religious sexual values. However, despite this divorcing and shedding, feelings of sexual guilt, shame, and embarrassment persist. This blog is for the folks who carry religious leftovers – the traumatic shame resulting from 20 to 30 years of being told short skirts were sewn by Satan to tempt boys into sexual sin.


Those who have disaffiliated or are unaffiliated with religion now make up over 20% of the US population. Despite not actually believing in sexual sin, it’s easy for us “nones” to still fall prey to our sex-shaming culture. Intellectualizing the ridiculousness of Catholic prohibitions against sex doesn’t automatically purge the body from the long-instilled guilt dictated by the costumed boys’ club in Rome.


Fortunately, you can shed this crucifixion of your sexuality.


By offering a different perspective on sexuality and sexual health, one that aligns with the diversity of sexual identities and experiences, I aim to speak to those who need to hear their sexuality is valid, and would even benefit from hearing permission to express it.


This blog is for you.


So whether you are a former altar boy with the stench of incense from midnight mass permanently stuck in your nostrils, an exvangelical overcoming the trauma of attending purity balls with your dad, or simply someone who is tired of Christianity determining the rules, this blog will guide you in uncrucifying your sexuality. It will offer an alternative conceptualization of sexuality that is guided by secular sexual values of knowledge, bodily autonomy, and consent. At the very least, it will provide you with numerous talking points for family gatherings that will make your religious aunt slowly shake her head in disapproval.


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© 2016-2020. All articles posted in Uncrucifying Sex and Scarlet Letters are the property of Eric Sprankle, PsyD, and may only be republished with written permission from the author.