Religious Sex

The connections between religious & sexual practices

Religious Sex: Kink & Christianity

1 Corinthians 13:4 …Love suffers long…

In a world where religion and sexuality are seen as opposing forces, a refreshing voice sings a unique and open truth from the City of Philadelphia. Reverend Beverly Dale, also known as Rev Bev, is the creator of an online video series called Sex is Good whose monthly installment focuses on kinky sexual expression this November (see below)

This Thursday, November 15th, 7pm, Rev Bev will be at Sexploratorium presenting Sexuality and Christianity: Keeping the sexy without losing the faith Advance tickets are on sale now!

This class will be presented just prior to the kickoff of Diabolique Ball weekend, which just happens to be Religion-themed. This year’s ticket proceeds will benefit Philadelphia Search and Rescue as well as One Step Away newspaper.

Rev Bev stopped by Sexploratorium and PASSIONAL Boutique a few weeks ago to borrow items for her newest video.
Check it out below:



(more…)

Sex and the Mormon Faith

In honor of the upcoming religion-themed Diabolique Charity Fetish Ball, Sexploratorium is launching a brand new column that we hope to publish monthly called Religious Sex where we explore the releationship between sexuality and religious/spiritual practice. If you or somebody you know would like to be interviewed or who would like to contribute any (positive) essay on a topic relating sex and spirituality, email us.

This month, we interviewd Dr. Melissa Jones.

Sexologist Melissa Jones was born and raised in Provo, Utah and now lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and three children. She is a clinical sexologist and sexuality educator with a special affinity for working on issues pertaining to faith and sexuality. We met Melissa at the Momentum Conference on sexuality and feminism, where we arranged an interview for the Sexploratorium Blog. 

How did religion and religious teachings influence your childhood? I was raised, and still am, Mormon, (also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  My upbringing was based on a socially conservative understanding of the Bible and the basic tenets of this Christian religion.  Apart from the general Christian doctrines of my religion, I was impacted by the social framework of my culture, which, like many conservative Christian societies, rarely discusses sex and its expression, and then only in negative terms.

 What was the first religious message you received about sex? How did that impact your life at the time? I first recall being taught that sex was a sin, that once engaged in, we are a wilted flower that no one will want.  My understanding was that the damage was a result of sex in general, not a specific expression—that any sexual expression was wrong and that all expressions were equally wrong.  Packaging all sex as evil sets the stage for a necessary future unraveling of that conundrum.

 What is your current system of religious/spiritual beliefs? How does that influence or how is that influenced by your sexual outlook/attitudes? My current religious beliefs are still those of my religion, but they are based more firmly on the core doctrines rather than a cultural interpretation.  At its center, my religion holds that God is our creator, that His son Jesus Christ set the example and atoned for us that we might find joy in this life and in the life hereafter, and that inspired prophets continue to teach us this message.  As we move out from these central doctrines, the application and outgrowth of these teachings varies according to situation and understanding.  I have come to understand and believe that sex within a marriage is a central component to God’s design for our happiness and that a lack of its full expression is contrary to his plan.  I believe that “sex is natural – sex is good, not everybody does it, but everybody should (at the right time and in the right place).”

 How have you reconciled your faith with your sexual expression? With your career as a sexologist? I have come to understand that my faith does not stand in opposition to sexual expression and that much of the gulf that divides the two is actually a mirage.  There is no real conflict between sexuality and my religious faith.  The appearance of conflict within the church is primarily culturally rather than doctrinally derived.

Do you have general advice for others struggling to find spiritual balance with their sexual identity/ practices? Most of the struggle is in your own heart and mind, not with God.  Reconcile things with yourself first.

Is there anything else you would like to add? As a clinical sexologist, I work with individuals and couples to help them address sexuality issues and work toward overcoming them.  My goal is to do all I can to strengthen and reinforce the marriage bond. Much of what Latter-day Saints learn about appropriate sexuality originates both from church teachings and tradition.  Church teachings come from official publications and from the experience and impressions of local leaders.

As an LDS sexologist, experience has shown that the understanding and teaching about sexuality among Latter-day Saints varies widely.  Such a disparity may result from a lack of communication and from a variance of traditions and interpretations among members. I am happy to meet with couples or their bishop to answer any questions about my practice.

Dr. Melissa Jones can be contacted through her website, http://www.mjsexologist.com

Exotic Dance is an Art, Not a Crime

Angered by media mis-portrayal of their chosen art form, local burlesque performers and exotic dancers are planning a May 1 visit to the property of the Philadelphia Daily News to introduce their reporters to dancers who are not on the “downward spiral” reported by the newspaper’s “experts.”

We covered this story  in our “Sexpose” Column last month, but now there is a time and place for the event.

 

Strippers are artists, not criminals

Join local burlesque artists and exotic entertainers at the Daily News Building - 3pm Tuesday May 1 to dispel the stereotypes of exotic dancers. Click the picture for more information.

Who: Melissa Bang Bang and local burlesque artists, dancers and their allies.

What: Testimony about who exotic dancers are and the many reasons they do what they do

Where: The action will take place at 400 North Broad Street

When: Supporters will gather at 3PM outside the Inquirer/Daily News Building

Why: Because the  Daily News (and other media outlets) refuse to acknowledge the existence of and respect the livelihood of persons (mainly women) in the adult entertainment industry who do not fit into their pre-defined stereotypical storylines.

For more information rsvp on Facebook.

Erotic Body Piercing and the legendary Elayne Angel

This week, Philadelphia get’s to meet the author of the bible. The Piercing Bible, that is.

Master piercer Elayne Angel will be kicking off a guest piercing stint here in town with a special Passion 101 class about her craft – A Guided Tour of Erotic Body Piercing tomorrow night at 1318 Walnut Street (3rd floor).

Buy advance tickets for this class, and don’t miss a unique opportunity to explore your own physical landscape(s) and consider the vast possibilities for adornment and pleasure.

According to Wikipedia, “Angel became interested in body piercing after a casual encounter with a woman bearing a nipple piercing at a Renaissance Faire in 1981. Through her encounter, she became involved with and employed by Gauntlet, the first, and at the time only professional body piercing studio in the United States. While employed by Gauntlet, she worked at the Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco branches. She was the first recipient of a Master Piercer certificate, from Gauntlet founder Jim Ward. Her technical contributions to the field of body piercing include the invention, naming and popularizing of several placements, including the fourchette and the lorum piercings. She is also widely credited with popularizing and promoting the tongue piercing.[2]

The focus of Elayne’s guided tour of Erotic Body Piercing tomorrow will be the relationship between (non-temporary) body piercings and sex. Armed with a video presentation featuring larger than life photos of pierced body parts, Elayne will explain the sexual possibilities of body piercings. She should know since, as noted on her Wikipedia page, she “distributed the research study for doctors at the University of South Alabama on the relationship between female sexual satisfaction and vertical clitoral hood piercing. Positive results were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.”

Elayne is an international go-to person for advanced piercings, so bring your questions to this workshop: No question is too graphic or kinky!

Elayne will be accepting appointments as a guest piercer at Infinite Body Piercing in Philadelphia from Thursday through Sunday.

Elayne’shusband, adult star Buck Angel is also in town and will present two Passion 101 workshops later this week and will shoot footage for an upcoming movie compilation.

Sign up in advance (online)  for Elayne’s class: A guided tour of  Erotic Body Piercing

Happy Sweet 16! LAST CHANCE to redeem your Sexploratorium rewards!

TODAY: February 6, 2012 is the observance of our mother store’s 16th anniversary in business!

 The evolutionary journey that resulted in the birth of Sexploratorium 4 and a half years ago, began in Philadelphia 16 years back (Actually it was last fall, but since Fetishes Boutique opened at the current PASSIONAL storefront on Feb. 6, we celebrate on Feb. 6!) Sexploratorium is joining the celebration of PASSIONAL’s birthday today (and we will celebrate our own birthday in September).

Today is your last chance to redeem your rewards!
Plus if you bring us an anniversary or sweet 16 birthday card, you will save an extra 16% off your Sexploratorium purchase*! Your card will be displayed on our front door through Valentine’s.

* 16% discount cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers besides rewards redemption!

REWARDS REDEMPTION ENDS TODAY.
All the purchases you made have been tallied and you have 5% of last year’s purchases to spend toward a purchase through February 6 at 10PM! If you did not receive a reminder email from us (check/correct the contact info you provided), stop by or call the store at 215-923-1398  to find out how much you have to spend!
You may redeem your rewards online, using the term “apply rewards” in the “comments” section of your checkout form.

Members of our affiliate organizations earn double rewards!
Simply provide your club ID # at checkout (in-store or online)

Happy New Year! Redeem your rewards!

Happy new year from  Sexploratorium! We have lots of great news, the most important being about your reward points, which are redeemable now through February 6, 2012.
All the money y0u spent with us during 2011 have resulted a rewards tally that is good toward any purchase now through February 6th.

Important Rewards information:

  1. If you receive more than one reminder email from us, it means that you joined our rewards program in more than one of our stores, and you can add both of your reward amounts together toward a purchase equal to twice your total rewards amount.
  2. You may use your rewards with a purchase online, in person at PASSIONAL Boutique, in Sexploratorium, or in our booth at an upcoming convention (see sidebar).
  3. You must use your rewards on a single purchase. You may apply your rewards to a layaway or sales order (with the appropriate percentage of cash due as deposit), but that layaway or sales order must be paid in full by February 6, 2012, or you will forfeit your rewards and be liable for full price payment.
  4. Affiliates receive double rewards. Affiliate club memberships must be presented at the time of purchase to redeem this offer.

Passion 101 Sexuality education and resources-
Sexploratorium’s  Passion 101 class program is running stronger than ever, with classes scheduled every week on topics like massage, sexual technique, tantra, bondage, spanking, and more! We have sold-out more classes in 2011 than in any previous year, with class tickets ranging in price from $15-$50 This year we are welcoming returning and new celebrity guests including:

Rope bondage sensei Dov January 13

Body modification artist Elayne Angel April-13

Transman porn celebrity Buck Angel April 14

Internationally acclaimed author and educator Midori April 20-22

As well as planned appearances by Princess Kali, Sissy Stephanie and others.  See www.passion101classes.com for full details.

Aphrodite Gallery
As of 2011, a new arts exhibit is featured in Aphrodite Gallery every two months. For 2012, we are showcasing the works of

  • Jan-Feb Oil Paintings by Adam Holden Rosenberg
    Closing artist’s reception 7-9PM Friday February 24
  • Mar-April Wallpaper and Paintings by Madame Cindy Playful
    Artist’s reception 7-9PM Mar 23
  • May-June Photography by Lisolette Gilcrest
    Artist’s reception May 25

Special Events- Mark your calendars- We sponsor and support two major events each year .
Our dates for 2012 are:

LibertineBall Intergalactic Asylam – Saturday July 14th

DiaboliqueBall–  Theme TBA – Saturday November 17th

Stay in Touch- Social Networking and Blogs- We’re moving on into the modern age, and we hope that you will connect with us on your favorite social networks and participate in the contests and polls we hold on our blogs.  Our main sources of contact continue to be our email lists, where we send newletters to your inbox once or twice monthly. If you wish to reach our stores directly, please send an email as we rarely check messages on other networks due to the overload of messages we receive on each network.

Sexploratorium Email List (includes sexuality classes, events)

Sexploratorium Facebook Page (includes updates, events, specials)

Sexploratorium Twitter (includes daily updates and specials)

Sexploratorium Fetlife Group (especially for the fetish/leather community)

Sexploratorium Calendar (includes events, conventions, sex-positive parties, erotic art/literary events)