Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms

Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms

Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms

Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms


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"All readers, especially LGBTQ Christians, will come away feeling energized and equipped for healthier sexuality without the weight of shame." —Publishers Weekly

We all carry sexual shame. Whether we grew up in the repressive purity culture of American Evangelical Christianity or not, we've all been taught in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that sex (outside of very specific contexts) is immoral and taboo. Psychotherapist Matthias Roberts helps readers overcome their shame around sex by overcoming three unhealthy coping mechanisms we use to manage that shame.

Beyond Shame encourages each of us to determine our own definition of healthy sex, while avoiding the ditches of boundaryless sex positivity on the one hand and strict moralistic boundaries on the other. Define your sexual values on your own terms, overcome your shame, and start having great, healthy sex.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506455662
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 694,026
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Matthias Roberts (he/him) is a psychotherapist specializing in religious and spiritual trauma and the author of Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms. He hosts Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being and holds two master's degrees from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, one in theology and culture, and one in counseling psychology. His work has been featured by O: The Oprah Magazine, Bustle, Woman's Day, Sojourners, The Seattle Times, and many others. He lives in Seattle.

Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD is an educator, sex therapist, medical family therapist, speaker, author, consultant, and thought leader. She serves as an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Director of Medical Family Therapy in the School of Psychology, Family & Community at Seattle Pacific University. Her popular blog is filled with inspiring ideas on marriage, parenting, spirituality, sexuality, and culture. Tina's community built website,, is internationally acclaimed. Inspired by the Project, TGFS brings video stories of people who are healing from religious sexual shame.

Table of Contents

Foreword Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD ix

Introduction: Don't Look! Sex, Shame, and Faith 1

Part I How We Cope With Sex and Shame

1 Shamefulness 17

2 Shamelessness 29

3 Autopilot 41

Part II Lies We Tell About Sex and Shame

4 "The Bible Is Clear" 53

5 "God Invented Patriarchy" 69

6 "Queerness Is Sinful" 81

Part III Moving Beyond Shame: The Paradoxes of Sex

7 Paradox 1: Sex Is Healthy and Risky 99

8 Paradox 2: Sex Makes Us Vulnerable and Helps Us Avoid Vulnerability 119

9 Paradox 3: Sex Requires Safety and Safety Is Not Guaranteed 131

10 Paradox 4: We Will Get Things Wrong and Right at the Same Time 151

Conclusion: The Final Paradox: Embracing Shame 165

Resources and Further Reading 177

Acknowledgments 183

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