Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sexual Play: God's Gift To The Poor, Part 2

I will never forget several decades ago the first time I heard the famous British theologian, Norman Pittenger, make the statement: "Granting that we are dealing with consenting adults, there is no such thing as bad sex; there is only good, better and best sex!" A wave of laughter went through the room. You could feel the spirit of joyful liberation those words brought from decades of shame, guilt and self-hatred. And every time since when I repeated that statement I witnessed the same result.

We know from Revelation that God created us sexual beings and delights in our sexual play. Every human being has a God-given right to sexual fulfillment. In this article I speak primarily as a psychotherapist as I ask the question what makes sex good, better or best? Best sex is obviously two humans enjoying mutual sexual pleasure within a committed loving relationship. Where this kind of sexual relation can be achieved, it brings with it not only superb sexual pleasure but, as Genesis 2 said, on an even deeper level it brings with it escape from loneliness and isolation into the deepest experience humans can have of intimacy, and frequently opens the door to a mystical experience of intimacy with God.

I am aware as a psychotherpist with several decades of experience that many, if not most, human beings grow up with badly damaged psychys and a wounded self image that render them incapable , except with extreme difficulty, to enter into a committed relation based on mutual love. However, these psychically wounded humans still have a right to sexual fulfillment to the best of their ability. If all one is capable of is a solitary act of masturbation, then that masturbatory act, undertaken with gratitude to God for the gift of sexual pleasure, is good sex.

Even better sex occurs when two wounded humans reach out to each other to share mutual sexual pleasure in a 'one night stand'. I always liked the joke I heard many years ago about an aging queen in the Bowery who went into a bar with a parakeet on his shoulder. Standing at the end of the bar he announced in a loud voice, "I will go to bed with anyone who guesses the weight of my parakeet!" One drunk looked up and guessed two hundred pounds. "Close enough!" responded the queen. What is happening here. Two psychically badly damaged human beings will share a moment of mutual sexual pleasure . That is all they are capable of and that is good, even better, sex. Even better still is the relation of two "fuck buddies" that meet regularly for sexual fulfillment in the context of mutual friendship.

These reflections make it patently clear that no human being has the right to make moral judgments on the sexual activities of others. Only God knows if the person involved in a sexual act is living up to her or his potential. Humans are under an obligation to achieve the highest level of intimacy they are capable of. If you are blessed with a healthy psyche that opens the possibility of best sex for you, be grateful to God and refrain from any judgmentalism about the sex life of your neighor.



  1. Wow! This is really interesting. I just got told on another site that I was a scary person. This is in reaction to my statement that Rev. Fred Phelps was scary. I can't imagine what some of those right wing people would do if they read this.

    Peace - Mark

  2. God bless you, John. I first met you when you received the Tom Dooley Award from the Notre Dame Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association around the time of your eightieth birthday. Your life and work are such blessings to the rest of us.