Please be a Christian sex therapist

Young couple with problem on reception for family psychologist

Got this letter in. My response is below it.

Dear John,

I am a 20-year-old college female student. I teach sex education to middle and high school students, and am all-around sex positive. I am struggling, though, with being a Christian and an advocate for sexuality. My dream job is to be a sex therapist, but I feel like this focus on sex makes me a bad Christian. A Christian conference that I just attended has left me feeling like I can’t have my passion for sexuality and still be a “good” follower of Christ.

I feel lost and guilt ridden. Any advice you might have for me would be much appreciated.

Thank you and God bless you for all your amazing work with the LGBT community.

“Christian sex therapist” is no more an oxymoron than is “Christian dentist,” “Christian accountant,” or “Christian comedian electrician.”

If you came away from a Christian conference feeling like you can’t be a both a sex therapist and a Christian, then you can be sure of one thing: you went to the wrong Christian conference.

That you came away from it feeling as you did is proof that the conference you attended was organized by Christian leaders with a vested interest in keeping you feeling as guilty and fearful as possible. And why (despite whatever they might say to the contrary) would such leaders want you feeling that way ? Because a guilt and fear-ridden person is a desperate person. And a desperate person will pay good money to be unburdened of their guilt and fear.

Welcome to the engine that has always driven Christianity to places it should never be.

The Christian conference you should have gone to would offer such classes as, Sex: How Does Anyone Ever Do Anything Else? and Sex: Beats Clicking Through Netflix, and Sex: If It’s So Wrong, Then Why’d Your Parents Do It?

See, now, that’s a Christian conference even I would go. And I wouldn’t go to a typical Christian conference if it were being held in my living room. Which it wouldn’t be. Because I’d burn my house down first.

The point is: if there’s one thing the world generally and Christianity in particular needs, it’s a decent sex therapist. Learning to navigate the raging rapids of their sexuality without constantly flying overboard is a life-long challenge for any person—and especially for anyone who was brought up to believe that God is infuriated by their failure to unflaggingly pretend that they do not possess genitals.

So much of what so many Christians are taught is sex-negative. A Christian sex therapist—someone who can combine the best of Christian spirituality with a healthy approach to sexuality—would be a real boon to the world.

Sex therapists heal people.

What could be more Christian than that?

If you like commenting here on Patheos, awesome. If you’d like to comment on this post in a place that you might find less volatile and/or distracting, you’re invited to do so on my recently revised blogsite, JohnShore.com.
 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • amylynn1022

    May I recommend the website of a former seminary classmate of mine, Jack Copley, who is a working sex therapist who started out as a minister? We actually took a Sexuality class together. His website is http://www.copleytherapy.com/.

    For that matter, my seminary has a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, website http://www.lpts.edu. And don’t worry if you are not a Presbyterian, the seminary has students of many different denominations (and non-denominational).

    And yes, there is a shortage of sex therapists, period, and Christian sex therapists more so.

  • TLC

    As someone who has needed and appreciated the services of both, I join John in saying PLEASE become a Christian sex therapist.

    In spite of what many commenters and bloggers have said in Patheos, addiction to porn is a real thing. My ex was addicted to porn and masturbation — his words, his confession. When I sought counseling and went through my divorce, I saw a nationally certified sex therapist who had two master’s degrees. She was brilliant, and was able to give me counseling from the perspective I needed to see that this was NOT my fault (although it took nearly five years to really believe that), and the problems behind the addiction.

    When I left the fundagelical church system seven years ago, I knew I needed counseling again. When I called to find a counselor, I told them I wanted a counselor who was Christian so they would understand where I was coming from, but I did NOT want a “Christian counselor” because I never wanted anyone to throw a Bible verse at me ever again in my life. I went to see a counselor who was in the same practice as the first counselor. She was the first one who defined “spiritual abuse” for me.

    As fortunate as I was to find TWO people to address my specific needs, there’s no way I would have found this in one person. The world is in dire need of people who have your interests. Please move ahead and follow your dream!

  • Jim

    Every state requires that those who hold themselves out as therapists be licensed. Licensed therapists are not permitted to base their therapy on religious cures.

  • Jerry Lynch

    You call yourself a Christian while freely using the “S**” word in public. We who were raised in the RCC of the Fifties and went to parochial school with the Dominicans (of Inquisition fame) know this is naughty, not nice. For the tender ears always listening, may I suggest the alternative “Birds and Bee stuff”; lead us not into temptation. You do know that B&B stuff was the “apple,” right? We don’t need more therapists; we need more self-control.

  • Andy

    Nobody gives a shit what you think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DenverAreaMusic Jaki Treasure Berger

    If sex is that bad, why was God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve, “be fruitful and multiply”?

  • Chris Dagostino

    I think Jerry was being sarcastic.

  • hawgowar

    My wife asked her priest if having sex before Sunday service/confession was sinful. He said; “Not as long as you don’t block the aisles”.

  • jekylldoc

    Okay, after this one plus Yelling at your Employees, I signed up for your e-mail newsletter. I think we are on the same wavelength.

    Thanks especially for the humor. It takes a huge heart and an open mind to be able to laugh about sex and religion, both, without ruining either one.

  • Brandon Roberts

    tbh i see nothing wrong with this if god exists he made sex.

  • Maura Hart

    amen amen amen

  • Stuart Blessman

    amen

  • hawgowar

    The People were told to be fruitful and multiply. I’m betting they didn’t do it through osmosis. There was a lot of begetting going on. The Bible is actually a pretty sexy read.