Is monogamy natural? Well, yes and no. But, more importantly, is that really the right question we should be asking? I’m starting here because it seems to be where a lot of people go with this discussion. But before we can even answer this question, we first have to ask what we mean by “natural” anyway. And for that matter we need to settle on what we mean by “monogamy” as well. Most would agree monogamy means having sex with… Read more

For those of you familiar with fundamentalist movements, particularly the IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist), you’ll know these movements tend to be rife with sexual abuse and cover-ups. Because the IFB maintains ideologies of separatism and elitism, they tend to deal with their issues “in house.” The trend is: keep it in the church, don’t tell anyone (authorities included), blame the victim, and re-locate the offender to another church in another town (and don’t forget his severance package). Well, in a… Read more

This past Sunday at church, my daughters heard a sermon (they still attend with their mother) by Owen Strachan, a visiting preacher who until recently headed up the Biblical Council on Manhood and Womanhood, a conservative evangelical think tank created to preserve and defend the traditional American family structure. The CBMW would argue their rigid family model is pulled straight from the Bible itself and not from American culture. But I have yet to see them touting anything like the household… Read more

[Author Note: I wrote this piece when reflecting on my experience of early sexual abuse and then later, being trafficked. I could not articulate a lot of these words before now, because they felt lodged so deeply inside me in a place that I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, reach. CONTENT WARNING: It will almost certainly be triggering to survivors of sexual abuse. I actually WANT it to be triggering – but not to survivors. I want it to trigger… Read more

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

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

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