Helping Christians “Embrace the Erotic”

bevdale11711.jpegIt’s the title of the show that will raise eye-brows.

Most people experience a big disconnect between God and pleasure, body and spirit, says Beverly Dale, a Disciples of Christ minister who promotes positive sexuality in her unique ministry with the Christian Association, a campus ministry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dale was recently appointed to the newly-created position of general minister and president of the association, to allow her to devote more time to her ministry, which includes a one-woman performance and experiential workshops to help people understand sexuality in a more holistic way.

During her work at UPenn over the past 18 years, Dale has developed PassionWorks, which helps Christians reconnect with their bodies, heal their sexual wounds, and embrace the erotic.

“Sex-negative Christianity gets all the headlines, and that leads to bowing down to the unholy trinity which, according to [tantric spirituality pioneer] Margo Anand, is fear, shame and guilt,” Dale said in an interview with DisciplesWorld.

She is unaware of anyone else with a similar ministry, but believes that the need is there and often, unmet.

“There’s a lot of people out there in unhappy marriages,” Dale commented. “When I look at those kinds of statistics, it really does show the vast need for a sex-positive theology that will not only help people address the pain and the void but give them permission to discover and celebrate their sexual selves as part of their spiritual journeys.”

Instead of celebrating sexuality, many people repress sexual expression, split the body from the spirit, and denigrate the body. As a result, the impulse to life, which Dale calls the erotic impulse, seeks expression someplace else for some kind of healing.

People who feel disconnected from their own body selves become more likely to escape into addictions or unhealthy behaviors.

“It will come out,” said Dale. “It’s whether it comes out in ethical ways, or perversions and violence.”

Dale’s one-woman show, “An Irreverent Journey from Egg Beaters to Vibrators,” includes poetry, music and storytelling as a way to disarm and to educate.

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One Response to Helping Christians “Embrace the Erotic”

  1. Heather says:

    During our pre-marital counceling our pastor recommended two books – “Intended for Pleasure” and “Sheet Music” – the second to be read only AFTER getting married. I’d recommend them!

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