What has shame told you?- excerpt from my 2019 Folsom Sunday sermon

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Shame has told me many things to keep me from my desires and love….

Shame told me I was too fat, and I listened…

Shame told me I was too nelly, and I listened…

Shame told me I wasn’t smart enough, and I listened…

What has shame told you?

Too butch or not butch enough…

Too old or too young…

Not pretty enough, not handsome enough…

Or just not sexy enough to be desired or loved.

We have heard many of these messages of shame from our families…

From our peers, our colleagues, bullies, the media, and society…

And especially from religion…

This programming of shame as social control helps to spread the continuation of patriarchy and gender conformity.

Culture affects how we view sex and the ‘normalization’ of heterosexuality promotes a socially preferred performance of sexuality.

‘Heteronormativity’ is the cultural bias in favor of opposite-sex relationships as the sexual norm, and against same-sex relationships.

A commonly held belief by many is that each person they meet i is heterosexual – until proven otherwise.

The sexual phobias of the few affect the sexual freedom of the many.

This enforcement of heteronormative values upon sexual minorities has caused extensive damage to the emotional and spiritual health of the LGBTQ community.

Those who present something other than “normal” can become the recipients of ridicule and bullying for not being “normal.”

But what is normal?

In Justin Lehmiller’s book “Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Improve Your Sex Life”,

He outlines the results of his anonymous survey about the sexual fantasies of adults living in the United States… (published 2018)

4175 adults to be exact – ages eighteen and up –

I believe the oldest were in their 80s…

72% identified as heterosexual…The gender split was about fifty-fifty…

This was the largest survey on sexual desires & fantasies ever done in the United States.

From this survey, Lehmiller was able to extract seven broader themes to account for the vast majority of the fantasies & desires submitted…

And they are, listed in rank…

1. multipartner sex

2. power, control, and rough sex – AKA BDSM

3. novelty, adventure, and variety

4. taboo and forbidden sex

5. partner sharing and non-monogamous relationships

6. passion and romance

7. erotic flexibility – specifically, homoeroticism and gender-bending

Dr. Lehmiller defines all of these as “normal” desires and fantasies…

He defines ‘normal’ this way:

“As a scientist, saying that something is normal is basically the same as saying something is statistically common.”

In other words, a normal desire is one that a lot of other people have.

He’s calling fantasies and desires “normal” in a sense because they are “common”…

So, what really is normal?

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– Folsom Sunday Sermon at MCCSF, Sept. 28, 2019

About Rev. Daniel Borysewicz

Rev. Daniel Borysewicz is a progressive chaplain and spiritual leader seeking radical inclusion for all people; regardless of race, nationality, sexual or gender identity, or socio-economic class. Daniel works to provide solutions for problems that individuals have difficulty dealing with; shame and internalized homophobia and transphobia are some examples, and assists in connecting people with others for mutual benefit. Social justice is also an important part of his work. Daniel graduated from Pacific School of Religion, May 2013 with a MDiv and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion and is currently working as a Hospice Chaplain in Walnut Creek and an Assistant Night Minister in San Francisco.

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