Terms & Definitions

When I was beginning to think of creating this blog, I had the thought that there may be a lot of words thrown out there that people may not know. I put some posts around my various social medias to ask people what are some words related to religion, sex, and/or sexuality that they wish they knew or that they wish other people knew. That’s where this list came from. It is by no means exhaustive and we will add more words as they are used and people ask questions about things.

The majority of these definitions come from Google (which defaults to the Oxford dictionary) with the exception of religion, anything from another source is noted with the word. Anything with an asterisk* are my own ideas or clarifications on these words and thoughts about future blogs. Let me know what words you think should be on this list, anything you may have learned, and any blog post ideas you would like to see! 

Heteronormative – denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation. *Our world operates in a heteronormative way. This word can also be compared to binary. The world operates with the majority opinion that there are two genders – male and female. That leads to a conditioning of sexuality and subsequent repression of the LGBTQIA+ community. We will talk about how biological sex is actually a spectrum, as well as gender and how we choose to express it. 

Religion – *if being in the Religious Studies field has taught me anything, it’s that this word cannot be defined. What may be religion for you, is sacrilegious, blasphemous, or heresy to someone else. If we can describe football fans as an example of a religious phenomenon (and I can do it), then who can define this? *For the purposes of the blog, religion will function as the practice of a certain set of beliefs people have regarding sex and/or sexuality. 

Sex – (chiefly with reference to people) sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse; either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions; “adults of both sexes”; Verb determine the sex of; present something in a more interesting or lively way. *Notice the heteronormative stance in the definition with emphasis on the action of reproduction. 

Sexuality – capacity for sexual feelings; a person’s sexual orientation or preference; sexual activity. *Sexuality is a very fluid journey for people. Part of the problem with religious groups is the denial of sexualiy or ability to feel things in a sexual manner. Sexuality becomes regulated and suppressed due to religious trauma. 

Consent – permission for something to happen or agreement to do something; give permission for something to happen. *Yes versus no, it’s pretty simple in concept!

Attraction – the action or power of evoking interest, pleasure, or liking for someone or something.

Lust – very strong sexual desire. *A difference that many will talk about will be lust versus love. Lust will be categorized as sinful, while love is not (in proper situations). We may get into this later on. 

Commitment – the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc; an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. *This is often used in regards to sexual acts because of the idea that sex binds two together into a committed something. Many think, especially in religious settings, one must be in a committed relationship to have sex. The ultimate example of commitment is marriage. Therefore, the argument that you must wait until marriage to engage in any sexual act because it will require a commitment and bind you forever to someone. I will be discussing this idea (and the faults of it) in a later blog post. 

Soul ties – (from Urban Dictionary) A spiritual/emotional connection you have to someone after being intimate with them, usually engaging in sexual intercourse. To the point that when you want to be rid of them from your mind and your life, even when you are far away from them and out of their presence you still feel as if they are apart of you and apart of you is with them, Causing you to feel unwhole, as if you’ve given up some of yourself untangible that cannot be easily possessed again.

(from https://proverbs2426.com/soul-ties/ – I may look into this website more and have some things to say…) Soul tie definitions can vary wildly to include both Godly and ungodly soul ties, sexual soul ties, mutual soul ties and more. The most commonly known soul tie definition is that soul ties are a spiritual connection that is formed through a sexual relationship; a soul tie is the spiritual component of any relationship 

Polyamory – the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved. (* key word – consent)

Bisexual vs. Pansexual – Bisexual: sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender; attracted to both men and women. Pansexual: not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.

*So to help: “Bisexual means attracted to multiple genders, and pansexual means attracted to all genders. These are different because “multiple” isn’t the same thing as “all.” (this is from https://www.healthline.com/health/bisexual-vs-pansexual#key-difference – a helpful article on the difference for those who are still confused) 

Sexual vs. Romantic – Sexual: relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals; relating to the two sexes or to gender. (*peep the binary) Romantic: conducive to or characterized by the expression of love; of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality.

*The difference may be clear to some but blurred for others. Some will view sexual acts as romantic acts, acts of love. Some will draw a distinction between the two saying sexual acts are not acts of love, but rather sinful, an act of reproduction, or simply human reactions. Sexual involves the body while romantic involves the mind. 

Mutual Pleasuring – (from Urban Dictionary) Two people, either of the opposite sex or same sex, touching each others penis/vagina for pleasure and/or orgasm. *also known as mutual masturbation 

Orgasmia vs. Anorgasmia – Orgasmia: relating to and/or resulting in orgasm. Anorgasmia: Anorgasmia is the medical term for regular difficulty reaching orgasm after ample sexual stimulation. The lack of orgasms distresses you or interferes with your relationship with your partner.

Erotic Trust – *nothing came up for me by means of a definition. A lot came up about erotic intelligence and keeping “the fire” going in a relationship. But I think we can flesh this out a little bit. Erotic refers to sex, whether directly or indirectly. Trust is a component of relationships that makes one feel comfortable with the other. Combining the two would be a feeling of comfort regarding sexual acts.

Chastity – the state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse. the quality or state of being chaste: such as abstention from unlawful sexual intercourse; abstention from all sexual intercourse; purity in conduct and intention; restraint and simplicity in design or expression; personal integrity. *Note the piece about unlawful sexual intercourse. This term is sometimes used to regulate certain sexual behaviors, as well as certain people (like women) from engaging in all sexual acts.