Remember the documentary March of the Penguins? It’s about the emperor penguins’ annual journey across Antarctica. The movie is a beautiful story, full of tender moments. As we watch a courtship between penguins unfold, the father selflessly protects their egg and the chick struggles to survive infancy. It’s been over ten years since I first saw the movie, but there was one part that always stood out for me. When the penguins began their courtship, I heard Morgan Freeman explain… Read more

Earlier this past week I asked my friends on Facebook what they would change if they could somehow change one thing about the dating process. A number of men intimated they wish it were a more common expectation for women to make the first move, like the way that it works on Bumble. So the next day I posed a thought experiment: What if tomorrow morning you woke up in a world in which women had to make the first… Read more

I was not my own. I was bought at a price. I was my beloved’s and he was mine. My husband and I were each raised in conservative evangelical Christian homes and churches, and we were both given the same basic messages: our bodies belonged first to God and second to our future spouses. It never felt like much of a burden. I was confident in God’s sovereignty and love, that he both knew and wanted what was best for… Read more

This is the story of how a prudey Jesus freak turned polyamorous, pansexual slut, as best I know how to tell it. The Origin Story: My Passport2Purity Water balloons. Needles. Toothpaste. Construction paper. Food dye. Quick, what do all these things have in common? If you know, chances are you’re a card-carrying purity culture survivor like me. Sup? If you don’t, it’s okay, I’ll let you in on the secret: They’re common props Evangelicals like to use in purity talks, a.k.a…. Read more

Marriage counseling was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences of my life. Until then, my husband and I had maintained a safe equilibrium of being honest with each other except for the handful of topics we’d learned to bury deep within and never bring to the surface as a means of marital survival. One of those suppressed topics was our sex life, which was active enough after a decade…but not very exciting. It was fine for me; a few times… Read more

Growing up in church, you hear an awful lot of things about sex that just aren’t true. Of course, the same can be said about growing up anywhere. Surely there are no purveyors of misinformation more prolific than a gaggle of middle school boys. But the church has a vested interest in controlling the narratives you hear surrounding sex, and beyond that it has the resources to keep controlling the narrative long after the acne has cleared up and you… Read more

I recently wrote a post about how having “The Talk” about sex with your children is not a one-time, sit-down event. Ideally, it should happen gradually, regularly, and naturally, as questions come up. This process eliminates the over-dramatization of such conversations, decreases the discomfort, normalizes sexuality, and encourages curiosity, inquisitiveness, and seeking answers from reliable sources. My 10-year-old is used to a frank manner of discourse. He asks ALL the questions. So last week my family was watching the Emmys… Read more

The shame. My constant companion, from the earliest age. Until I lost my faith, my whole life has been one story of ignominies, stacked upon each other, birthing repentance and anguish and fear. Today, freed of it as much as I can be, I am amazed at the thousands of pages on which I wrote of my disgust with myself. Still, the stories are written on my mind like ink tattooed on skin. The shame, Part One: Age six, first… Read more

Several days ago, my son and I were lying in my bed, each of us enjoying our own books. Out of the blue, he asks me, “How long will it be before I have to start carrying a condom?” I stare at him, surprised. He’s ten years old. Jesus. “A condom??” “Yeah.” I think for a moment. “Well, whenever you think there is a chance you’re going to have sex, I suppose.” “Yeah. I don’t want to get someone pregnant… Read more

I saw the symbol for vagina on the back of a car the other day. I also saw one on a business card, a necklace, a church bulletin, and even a Bible. Vaginas are everywhere! People in America must really love female sexuality. Of course I’m talking about the fish symbol. The vulva-shaped ichthys or “Jesus fish” was once a prominent pagan symbol representing almost every pre-Christian fertility goddess: from Atargatis, Aphrodite, and Artemis, to many others who do not follow… Read more

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