Blog Sex Positive Series by Lily Hannan We are so excited for the materials in our newest Life Support shipment to reach your parish, and we are especially excited for our latest series, Sex Positive. Personally, I loved being able to work to create this series because as a teen I had a powerful experience of what it truly meant to be “sex positive.” As a teen, I knew I was not supposed to have sex until I was married. I also remember the conversations between my friends and me about their decision to have sex and how they talked to their doctors about the pill. Deep down I just knew that sex was a bigger deal than they were making it out to be and that I wasn’t ready for it. But maybe I would be later, like in college? Thankfully, it was in college that I became an even bigger believer in reserving sex for marriage. Furthermore, my decision to say “no” to sex became an even more significant decision to say “yes” to love. I learned about eros, philia, and agape love. I learnt that agape love wills the good of the beloved and is free, total, faithful, and fruitful. I realized Jesus loved me in this radical way, and this truth penetrated and transformed my heart. The “what” we believe as Catholics was finally supported by the rich and beautiful “why.” Unfortunately, not all teens can recognize a “deep down” feeling that tells them sex is more than what their friends and the world is telling them. This is why we must teach the “why” that supports the “what.” The “why” helps us navigate through the lies of the world with the truth of the faith. The “why” helps us fight temptation with reason when our passions want to lead us astray. Most importantly, the “why” reveals the great love God has for us. This final “why” still touches my heart today. I desire God. God, who is Love, the Infinite One. My heart yearns for more than this world has to offer since I am destined for another world, Heaven. Instead of settling for an inferior love, instead of trying to suck the infinite out of the finite, I choose to enter into this desire, receive a taste of His great love, and journey towards eternity with Love Himself. Teens are hungry for love. They are desperately searching for it. This desire is made known through unhealthy behaviors ranging from serial dating, porn, and sexting to healthy behaviors such as enjoying love songs, enjoying chic flicks, and following the latest celebrity couple. As youth ministers and Core Members, we are a few step ahead of the teens on the journey towards Love. We can help lead them to Love because we have experienced Love and this series is designed to help you do just that. SEX POSITIVE SERIES “Sex Positive” is a current buzzword and philosophy within popular culture. It is an attitude toward sexuality that regards all consensual and safe sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and good. Furthermore, it advocates that societal repression or control of the individual’s sex drive is bad and unhealthy. Many accuse the Catholic Church of being an institution that represses sexuality because of our teachings on subjects like sex before marriage, masturbation, and contraception. Unfortunately, many people only hear “no, you can’t do this or that,” but have never heard the greater “yes” they would be saying to their sexuality and ultimately to Love. The great tragedy is that the philosophy of “sex positive” writes off the one institution that has a truly positive and healthy view of sex – the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does not repress sexuality but offers a framework in which we can fully express it. Life Teen’s Series Sex Positive confronts modern views on sexuality and fights for the great love God has planned for all of us. TIPS FOR IMPLEMENTING SEX POSITIVE Before beginning, take the time to read through the entire series to get a feel for the flow and distinctions of the Life Nights. Consider creating a tangible experience of truth, beauty, and goodness with your Core Team. Instructions for this are found in the Introductory Material. This will bear fruit during small groups and during times of relational ministry. Pay attention to the Environment for each Life Night. If done well, the Environment for the third Life Night, Distorted, can not only support the Proclaim but also speak Truth directly to the heart. Constantly pray and connect the Proclaim to the great love Jesus has for us. Keep the parents informed. Use the Parent Letters that coincide which each Life Night. Also, there is a Parent Letter that precedes the third Life Night, Distorted, which prepares parents for the sensitive material covered. Remember, it is because we love the teens that we are willing to have difficult, unpopular conversations with them. It is because we love the teens that we call them to more. All of us at Life Teen are so excited that this series is in your hands. We are praying for you and your teens as you embark on the journey to proclaim love.