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What are “Sexual Practices”?

We refer in Jonathan’s Circle to “sexual practices” and not to “sexuality”  or “sexual preference.”  "Sexual practices” refers to what we as men actually do, whereas “sexuality” generally refers to how we classify or describe ourselves (gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, queer, curious, for example).  “Sexual preference” is a term fraught with difficulties because it suggests that our preferences are static, whereas they indeed may be, and often are, fluid.  It is a term that has frequently been used to refer to one’s sexual orientation, and problematically implies that one’s attractions to the same or other sex are matters of preference and will rather than biological or psychological determination.

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Sexual practices include such things as sexual intercourse with others; intimate contact that does not involve penetration, including kissing, frottage, erotic massage, mutual masturbation, oral-genital and oral-corporal experiences; solosexuality, or masturbation in many forms and on many levels; and various relational experiences, such as bondage and discipline and pleasure/pain generally associated with fetishistic sub-cultures.

In Jonathan’s Circle, men endeavor to create an environment where trust is valued to the point where anyone can find it safe to talk about whatever sexual experiences that have been a part of his life, without fear of shame or ostracism.  That is not to say that any and all sexual practices are endorsed by Jonathan’s Circle.  We do not endorse or condone sexual practices that are in direct violation of civil law, such as adults having sex with minors.  And we take a positive stand in denouncing predatory sex and all sexual activity that is accompanied by violence, cruelty, or the abuse of power, whether physical or psychological.  

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Each man is responsible for his own choices and behavior, including the decision to share information about his own experiences.  Men encourage each other not only to share candidly their own experience, but to offer honest questions and comments to others, acknowledging that the process of connecting spiritual life and sexual practice is a matter of testing the strength and value of those connections.  

In all things, we do our best to avoid being a part of a culture of fear, judgment, and shame. And at all times we take seriously our moral obligation not to condone or encourage behavior that is dangerous, harmful, or unlawful.



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  © Frank Dunn 2014