Three Approaches to Sexuality

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One of the very useful set of categories that I learned from the reconstructionists back in the day was the distinction to be made between the three different kinds of religion. There is power religion, there is escape religion, and there is dominion religion.

To expand slightly, there is the way of taking a particular view of the world and trying to force others to fit into it. Second, there is the way of disliking the way the world is, and trying to get away from it somehow. And third, there is the recognition that God is the ruler of all, that He sets the terms and conditions, and as a consequence seeking to live in a way that is blessed by Him. Power religion, escape religion, and dominion religion.

Every approach to ultimate things that you ever may encounter will fit (fairly neatly) into one of those three categories. We are either trying to usurp the authority of God, or trying to get away from the authority of God, or we are bowing to the authority of God.

So much for religion. But this categorization can be applied to the constituent building blocks of human life as well. Another way of putting this is that human religions have important building blocks, and this categorization applies there as well.

One place where such an application is most instructive is if we apply it to human sexual behavior. There is power sexuality, there is escape sexuality, and there is dominion sexuality. Every sexual encounter, of whatever description, is either trying to wrest control of sex from God, or is trying to hide from God, or is seeking to be blessed by God. And as we shall see in a moment, one of the things that power religionists do is use bribes in order to manipulate and herd the escape religionists.

Power Sexuality

The most obvious example of this kind of thing would be rape, or molestation. The initiative is taken by one party, and that initiative is coercive. The coercion can be hard, as when a serial rapist simply seizes what he wants, or it might be soft, as when a powerful executive leans on people to get what he wants. In the latter case, such an executive has a squad of enablers, making sure that the victims don’t ever complain about anything to anybody. Such power relationships can exist in corporations, in churches, in movie studios, and in political parties. The bull elk collects his harem by different means, and under different guises, but what is happening is the exercise of power in order to simply obtain.

Another manifestation of power sexuality is the culture-wide coercion that is being applied to normal people on issues concerning deviant sexualities like homosexuality and transgenderism. You must applaud, you must approve, you may not complain. If you say anything critical about some drag queen reading to the little kids at the public library, what is your new status, besides that of being a pariah? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, you are a hater. Hate is not a family value.

Escape Sexuality

This is the anodyne of choice that is currently being offered, in massive quantities, to boys and to men today. The point is to bribe, to drug them, to enervate them, and to do so with free pornography, augmented reality sex, virtual reality sex, sex-bot sex, and so on down the worm hole.

This is a fantasy world—and by fantasy world, I mean the kind of world that does not actually exist. It is a daydream world. Life is not like that, women are not like that, consequences are not like that, satisfaction is not like that, and in order to make the whole thing plausible, the technology is going to have to get a lot better, which they are working on, and everybody needs to start smoking a lot of pot, which they are also working on.

All of this needs to be developed further, but feminism has been catechizing women in power sexuality (empowering them), while at the same time the pornographers have been catechizing men in escape sexuality (here, put on these goggles). Men are in the process of being enslaved. The end of this process will be a bunch of the men locked up in six-by-eight prison cells, with a set of Falcon Flight Goggles strapped on their heads that give almost all the sensations of exhilarating flight. Look at that poor guy in there, arms outstretched, swaying back and forth.

Dominion Sexuality

Now it is the easiest thing in the world for advocates of power sexuality to mischaracterize and slander this approach as being the oppressive patriarchy that must be smashed. And while it is patriarchal, it is by no means oppressive. The blessings of God can be heavy, the way baskets of fruit are heavy, but they are never oppressive.

There are surface similarities between power and dominion, but they are only on the surface. In the former cases, the thing desired is seized. In the latter cases, it is freely given—first by God, and then by other participants. Grace and freedom are the keynotes.

The two principal characteristics of dominion sexuality are these: under the blessing of God, with all parties understanding the terms and conditions, a man and a woman come together freely in order to perform their respective offices. I am putting it this way, not to make it sound like some impersonal business deal, but rather to emphasize the second principle characteristic of dominion sexuality, which is that it is fruitful. The office of the man is to beget children, and the office of the woman is to conceive them. His office is to give seed to the woman, and her office is to glorify that seed and give it back to him as an heir.

Just as the biological purpose of eating is to repair and nourish the body, so the biological purpose of sex is to bring children into the world. The fact that eating has such a function does not mean that good cooking is superfluous, or that eating should be reduced to the chore of simply refueling. Not at all—let us say amen to all the spices, and to all the sauces. And let the tri-tip come out of the Weber flavorful and smoking hot. But the point of eating still has nutrition at the center. We do not forget or minimize the fellowship that happens in every dominion dining room, and all of us together enjoy together the taste of the food.

In a similar way, a man and a woman learn how to cook together, and God has designed it all to be pleasant beyond description. But what they are doing is being fruitful together. They are exercising dominion.

The apostles of fruitlessness throw spurious arguments at this glorious truth because they really do hate it. What about infertile couples? What about couples past child-bearing age? Do they have to stop having sex because there is no ordinary possibility of conceiving a child? Not a bit of it. Fruitfulness is not the solitary point of sex, simply one of the central points. As one of the central points of human sexuality, it must not be repudiated by us, and God remains the one who opens and closes the womb. And couples who are not having children should remain sexually active which means they remain liturgically fruitful,while still enjoying the other reasons for sex.

There will be more on this, I have little doubt.