Let’s get something straight, right off the top: sex is good – really good.
As I’ve written before, we Christians have a lot of sexual hang-ups, and I believe it’s time for a Christian “sexual reboot.”
The Church has taught us to be more than a bit prudish about our sexuality, so we tend to beat around the bush (pardon the innuendo) when it comes to talking about sex.
But, with regard to a Christian sexual reboot, instead of talking all around the point, let me get directly to an even more significant point: SLOW sex is better – MUCH better.
Hey! What are you thinking? Get your head out of the gutter (again, pardon the innuendo). I mean slow sex as in the Slow Movement. Since beginning this article, I’ve realized that everything I write is going to have unintended sexual innuendos.
For instance, when I typed “slow movement” I couldn’t help but hear Austin Powers say, “Slow movement, yeah baby!” So, we’re just going to have to try to be grown-ups here – try.
Ok, back to the point: sex is good; but Slow Sex is really, really good.
When I say “Slow Sex,” I’m primarily talking about the act of sex being a slow process (but c’mon, having sex slowly? What’s not to like?). But, more than that, what I’m talking about is having an intimate relationship that is built, at least in part, on the fundamental concepts of the Slow Movement.
Yes, sex is a part of a romantic relationship – an important, intimate super-glue made from biological, chemical and emotional ingredients that bonds and builds a relationship like nothing else can; but it’s important to remember it’s just a part of a much bigger journey.
There are several theories from the Slow Movement, which, when applied to a relationship before anyone’s clothes come off, can greatly improve the relationship and, ultimately, greatly improve our sexual relationships themselves (and who’d be fool enough not to want even better sex?)
In a world where people can find a sexual “hookup” in a matter of minutes just by swiping right on Tinder, the ideas found in the Slow Movement couldn’t be more essential for building better intimate and loving relationships.
For Christians, there’s even better news: I’d argue Slow Sex is biblical (“Yeah baby!” – er, sorry about that).
The Slow Movement is a response to the ever-increasing pace of modern life. It advocates a slowing down of life and practicing life’s moments and processes more mindfully – with reflection, engagement and, possibly most importantly, presence.
The international Slow Movement is an outgrowth of the Slow Food movement started by Italian writer, Carlo Petrini in 1986, as a defense against McDonald’s attempts to infiltrate Italy’s famed locally and slowly produced food industry. Food and sex, who would have thought they go together?
But, Petrini’s internationally best-selling book Slow Food led to Carl Honoré’s book, In Praise of Slowness as a universal way of life in which he describes the Slow Movement:
“It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.”
Ok. Slow down. Go back and re-read that quote.
Now, think about the Slow philosophy as it can be applied to a relationship – yes, even the physical aspects of a relationship. As a matter of fact, let’s look at one of the key statements and put it in context of relationship.
“It’s about doing things at the right speed.” Far too frequently we allow our relationships to become defined by achievement and goals. We end up putting a great deal of pressure and, at times, unreasonable expectations on our partners because we begin defining our relationship by a timeline.
It’s easy to understand how we can come to feel this timeline is just normal. Much of our modern day lives are defined by and measured by how much we can do and how quickly we can achieve it.
But, imagine making a choice to throw all that scheduling and goal-oriented success out the door when it comes to the most important relationships in your life. Imagine instead focusing on the relationship itself and allowing it progress at the “right speed.”
Imagine tossing aside the external pressure and expectations of how quickly your relationship advances and achieves certain benchmarks deemed important by society and instead, truly focusing on the other person — focusing on engagement and being present in the moment.
How would that feel? How would it feel to have the person care about the most in the world step outside of the fevered pace of modern life and focus on you.
Not relationship goals – you.
Now, think of that kind of relationship and continue on the journey. Consider what physical intimacy looks like in that framework. Imagine a relationship built on reflection, engagement, presence and doing things at the right speed, moving those same building blocks of the relationship into a physically intimate setting.
Like I said, Slow Sex is good.
No doubt about it, the Slow Movement is counter cultural. It changes the pace at which society continues to push life full speed ahead. It reminds me of the “you’ve heard it said, but I say” teachings of Jesus.
When you put “Slow” in the context of an intimate relationship it becomes even more biblical.
The most important thing we have to offer the world is who we are. It is the one thing that cannot be taken from us – it has to be given.
Slow Sexuality is the ultimate in giving of ourselves to another – and no, we aren’t talking sex here (at least not yet).
Sharing the gifts of reflection, engagement and presence with someone else is the beginning of giving of yourself.
Yes, it feels a bit vulnerable. Yes, it can even feel like you are giving up power and control over the one thing you really have any real control over – yourself. But, that’s a feeling based a great deal on the brokenness of the world and the hurt that can come from it.
Within the context of a Slow Sex relationship, there is a great safety and security, a togetherness which knows the relationship is the priority because it is being developed at the right speed with full engagement and presence.
And that’s biblical.
What Jesus us tried to teach us about other people can be summed up in one word: love.
A Slow Sex relationship provides the foundation for love to be the default position, for love to be the instinct from which you react and interact. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Who doesn’t want that kind of intimate relationship?
I hope you’ll agree with me:
Slow Sex is good.