Going All The Way: The Sexual Journey

Posted | 5 comments

spirituality & sexuality b-w.
The Climax of The Sexual Journey…
Doesn’t Happen During Intercourse

The sexual journey culminates in our deep and primal desire to connect being fulfilled. Erotic hunger serves that deeper desire. Biology, and loneliness, and chemical madness — all serve our deeper desire to connect.

Uninformed of the journey’s destination, it is easy to get lost along the way. Many do. In this podcast, we are looking at how our deepest human desires are fulfilled — and how rethinking our approach to sex education can help get us there.

Have a listen,





  1. This idea of society (media, consumerism, etc.) focusing on only 1 or 2 of the 5 stages of love is a great framing of the problem. And the idea that we ought to help young people better understand the depth and value of going through the journey to get to deeper stages of love (e.g., agape) is excellent. Love it. But after listening to this latest episode, it seems like you’re implicitly presenting a binary framing – either you’re someone who is totally oblivious to the deeper stages of love and, hence, exclusively dialed in to mania/eros OR you’re someone who has a fuller view of the journey and, as a result, you’re (mostly) focused on reaching the pinnacle of love, agape.

    Maybe this binary framing is ok in the context of educating young people – most of them probably are, in fact, oblivious to anything but mania and eros and there’s a fundamental need to expose them to the full journey. But as an adult, I wonder whether there’s more nuance needed. In the context of the 5 stages of love, it seems like many adults want to have their cake and eat it too. In other words, I can imagine that marital infidelity could involve someone who wants to experience the deeper stages of love by maintaining a marriage and yet also choose to pursue intense mania/eros (e.g., via an affair).

    Having your cake and eating it too strikes me as a flawed strategy, but I guess my point is that I think it would be helpful to speak to this issue a little more explicitly. I think you’ve sort of touched on the idea that as you get into the deeper stages of love, the earlier stages continue to ebb and flow throughout a relationship – i.e., they don’t just completely disappear as you progress into deeper stages of love.

    Or to use an analogy, it’s like mania/eros are the dessert and filos, pragma, and agape are the main course. I think what you’ve been saying is that to be fully healthy in life, you need the sustenance and balance that the main course provides. But it doesn’t mean that as you mature and grow in a relationship that you have to leave dessert completely behind. We all still want/need dessert throughout our lives. At least that’s my sense. Not a perfect analogy by any means, but you get the point.

    • thanks jared. loved the comment.
      i’ve got an appt right now, but will get a chance to reply in a bit.

    • jared. i’m back to the computer. again, great comment.

      any time we create a world of “this or that” or “on or off” or “good or bad” we ought to be suspicious. so, your comment about a binary view of “the whole or the part” is a good insight.

      and i think your analogy of a meal with all the courses included — that’s really helpful.

      what i want our young people to understand, is that romantic and erotic feelings do ebb and flow. but that’s not the end of sexuality.

      i think of it like the dormant season in a tree’s life. while the tree is dormant, it’s not dead. in fact, it’s doing something really important — it’s consolidating the growth it underwent in the spring and summer. it’s hardening and strengthening the structures that will sustain the growth during the next season.

      when our young people only understand the “flowing” parts of the sexual journey, they miss the important things that happen during the “ebbing” parts. that’s why we want to give them a bigger picture of the whole journey.

      hormones and sexual chemicals being what they are, they won’t be able to deeply connect with the other parts of the journey, but at least they’ll have a road map.

      what jarod said is important. this isn’t a binary thing. it’s not a either/or thing. it’s a “teach our young people as much as they can catch, and in the meantime, deepen our own understanding of the whole journey” kind of thing.

      thanks again, jarod.

  2. The elephant in the room for me in this series and a question I always asked since I was a teen; Did Jesus have sex?
    He hung out with the ‘sinners’ (i.e. loose women) of his time, he drank wine, and if he was fully human wouldn’t he have participated in the sexuality (fully, all forms in this series) of being human?
    Mary Magdalene, was that his wife? Would it have been very odd for Jesus to be his age with no wife? The two questions about Mary and his age and norms of his time are ones I heard from others at a young age that led me to ponder the first.

  3. Doug –

    My mom had a pretty rough time raising me when I was growing up. Not that she was a bad mother, but things didn’t really go her way. I saw some pretty terrible things happen to her. Through it all, she never gave up and my health and safety was always first priority. I had always told myself that I wasn’t going to do those things or have those things happen because I saw the other side of them. Perhaps, just maybe, it was the unconditional agape love that my mom had shown me that made me want to be better. Maybe it wasn’t the bad that produced the good, but rather the good in my mom that produced the good in me.