Recovering From Religion, the support organization for people who have recently left religion or are in the process of questioning it, is offering a six-week online workshop on recovering sexuality, for people who’s sexuality been damaged by religion. Here, I’ll let them tell you about it.
Many of us who grew up in conservative religious traditions reach adulthood with a lot of guilt, confusion, and just plain missing information about sexuality. We feel disconnected from our bodies, uncertain about what’s normal and healthy, and afraid to explore who we are and what we want sexually. Recovering From Religion is very excited to announce an online class for adults looking to develop a healthy relationship with their own sexuality. After years of being told that sex was wrong, dangerous, sinful, or only to be enjoyed in narrow circumstances, our goal is to empower you to move past those roadblocks to discover what truly works best for you! We will discuss issues like guilt, pleasure, and ethics; learn about sexual anatomy, arousal, and sexual response cycles; and provide concrete exercises and actions to begin the road of healing the damage that repression and guilt can do.
This six week course is open to anybody whose relationship to their sexuality has been negatively affected by religious teachings in their past, regardless of what that religion was and what their current religious position is. Some participants in the course will have no or very little sexual experience; some will have years of sexual experiences that were plagued by guilt and shame. This class is uniquely designed to be a welcoming and supportive environment for everybody, regardless of their current relationship with religion and sexuality.
The online six-week workshop begins MONDAY JULY 14TH 2014 and will cover the following content:
Week 1: Body awareness, mindfulness, circles of sexuality
Week 2: Pleasure, guilt, sexual anatomy and physiology
Week 3: The sexual response cycle, varieties of sexual response, desire and drive
Week 4: Orgasm, masturbation, overcoming barriers to sexual enjoyment
Week 5: Fantasy, imagination, ethics, consent
Week 6: Celebrating yourself, connecting with other people sexually
This course will be taught through a combination of video lecture, interactive chat, and individual exercises and reading to be done on your own time. Each Tuesday I will share a video covering the main ideas we’ll be talking about, and a document suggesting exercises, reading, and things to think about. The following Monday evening we will have a group chat to talk about what your thoughts and experiences were. There will also be opportunities to check in throughout the week on our group board.
What if I can’t do the exercises/make the Monday night chat?
It’s ok! We’re all adults with busy lives, and no one is grading you here. Do as much as you have time for. The group chat is an important part of the course, as it gives us an opportunity to interact and discuss in real time, but if you have to miss a week it’s not a big deal. (If Monday nights in general aren’t good for you, don’t worry! We’ll be offering more sections of this class on different days and times soon.) That said, most of the exercises I’ll be suggesting will take 10 minutes or less each day, so it shouldn’t be a huge drain on your time.
Sex and God, by Dr. Darrel Ray, is the book that goes with this workshop. You’re encouraged to read it at your own pace; with each lesson, I’ll highlight chapters that are particularly relevant. You can skip around and read them when we get to them, or use your reading of the book to circle back to ideas we’ve discussed earlier in the workshop. Even if you don’t finish reading the book by the time the workshop is over, having a resource to keep coming back to is very useful.
About the Instructor
Virginia Brown holds an M.Ed in human sexuality. She grew up in a conservative Christian home, and became an atheist at the age of 25. Even after abandoning her conservative beliefs, it took her years to re-connect with her own sense of sexuality, and she is passionate about helping others who are walking the same road. She has taught courses about all aspects of sexuality to students from middle school to adulthood.
Registration info is at the link.