the church teaches about sex

Tag, You’re It! (I Want to Hear Your Story)

The last few weeks have felt like swimming through fog. Since the beginning of July I’ve felt like I was just trying to get by, just trying to push through my days as quickly as possible until our trip back the the US on August 12th.  We all need a break from our routine and from our work  now and then, and in my case, I also need a break from living in another culture. I need a few weeks where I can relax the part of my brain that’s always on the alert, trying to figure out what’s going on. A few weeks where everything is just easy.

This last week has been a perfect storm of  emotions, both good and bad – the stress and then relief of finishing up my English camps, the sadness of saying good-bye to friends who are leaving Korea permanently, the incredible joy of welcoming our dear friends’ daughter into the world, the helplessness and distress we’ve felt learning that one of our indoor cats has gotten out and is missing, and of course all of the planning and excitement and stress of preparing for our trip. As someone who feels all the feels, I am reaching the point of complete emotional exhaustion.

We leave Korea tomorrow morning and, after a series of long flights and layovers, will arrive at my parents’ home in Louisiana where we will spend 5 days before heading on to my in-laws in Ohio. We are very much looking forward to seeing our families and enjoying the familiarity of home. We are also interested to see how living abroad for a year has changed our perspective on home – will we remember how to drive? Will we bow to greet people on accident? After Ohio we will fly back to this part of the world where we’ll spend a few days exploring Bali before settling in for a new semester of teaching.

(I know, I know, that sounds incredibly extravagant and exotic, and of course, I feel very blessed to have this opportunity, but before you give me the stink eye, keep in mind that Indonesia is quite close to Korea, and the entire country of Korea is the size of Indiana, so from here it’s more of an ordinary vacation spot, like living in the Midwest and going on vacation to Florida. Also remember that I did not complain (much) when you put up your pictures from all over Europe and the Caribbean while I was teaching school ALL SUMMER LONG).

With all of the upcoming travel I will likely be away from the blog for the next few weeks, but in the meantime I am hoping to hear from some of you. I am working on a new project related to my recent work on purity culture, saving sex for marriage, and the way the church handles pre and post-marital sex. I am collecting stories. Specifically, I want to hear about your experiences in your churches and faith communities – what you were taught about sex and abstinence (as many specific examples as you can remember), and- if it applies to you-how that positively or negatively affected your understanding and expectations of sex and sexuality in marriage. I will ask permission before using any information you share with me and am happy to change your name if you are uncomfortable using your own.

You can leave a comment here, link to a blog post you may have written on this topic, or send an email to lily.e.dunn at I can also provide a questionnaire with specific questions to answer if that would be easier.  Looking forward to hearing from some of you!