Mar 5 • 49M

On the Sacredness of Casual Sex with Queer Theology’s Brian and Shay

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Jera Brown
Formerly Left-Handed Journeys. Interviews with radical souls about their spiritual journeys, especially centering the stories of queer folks and sex workers. This podcast is part of the larger Radical Soul brand which centers justice, strives to help others heal from religious trauma, and rejects white and Christian supremacy. Want to be featured? Email
Episode details

Queer Theology is the multi-faceted brand of Brian G. Murphy and Fr. Shay Kearns — two friends who believe in spreading a progressive message about the goodness of queerness, gender fluidity, and sexuality within Christian spaces. However, the community they’ve fostered, known as the Sanctuary Collective, is open to all “seekers, doubters, and used-to-be-Christians” who are looking for a body-positive welcoming space to ask questions and just be.

In this episode of Left-Handed Journeys, we talked about how Queer Theology came to be, grieving the loss of religious communities, the sacredness of casual sex, and more.

Also new from Jera: A Dating Profile Red Flag for Anxious Attachers

Tips from Brian and Fr. Shay On Claiming The Sacredness of Casual Sex

Listen to the full episode for more about Brian and Shay’s story and offerings. What follows are some highlights from the episode regarding the holiness of hooking up and replacing sex-negative scripts.

1. Claim the Hospitality That Happens When You Hook Up

“For people who have been shamed for our bodies, sexualities, or desires and interests, naming and claiming them and saying this thing that I'm doing right here is holy. This one-night-stand I'm having — there’s hospitality happening here,” Brian explained.

“This care and consideration that I'm showing for someone who I only have their first name, and I've only met six times … I have taken better care of and have been taken better care of by people whose last names I don't know than by pastors. And so I think like really naming this as sacred and this as holiness. As good and beautiful.”

2. Hold Space to Just Be Human

It’s really easy in casual sex scenarios to dehumanize the people we’re hooking up with. Brian talked about how to start with a level of respect before meeting up to break this habit. Even when arranging the hookup, he explained, “use positive language when we talk about sex with the people that we're going to be having it with and to not feel like we have to come and then run away.”

Brian encouraged folks to hold space to be human. “Like, yeah, you just spit on me but now we're going to interact like two human peers, and I'm not ashamed of this thing that we just did. And you don't have to be, either.”

3. Practice Self-Forgiveness

Shay brought up how most of us weren’t taught sex-positive, body-positive, queer-positive sexual ethics, so we’re figuring out our own ethics and boundaries as we go.

“And in the midst of that, you might do some things that you realize, in hindsight, or even in the moment, don't feel great. One of the things that Brian talks about all the time that has been really meaningful for me is that you can have a bad experience, and that doesn't mean that you did something bad.”

Shay explained how it’s okay to not have enjoyed something or not enjoy something with a specific person. “We don't have to read more shame or trauma into that, and that can be a data point in figuring out our own stuff.”

A post shared by Brian Murphy & Fr Shay Kearns (@queertheology)

Father Shannon TL Kearns is a graduate of the Union Theological Seminary and the first openly transgender man ordained to the Old Catholic Priesthood. His first book In The Margins. A Transgender Man's Journey With Scripture was just released from Eerdman’s Books.

A post shared by Brian Murphy & Fr Shay Kearns (@queertheology)

Brian G. Murphy is an activist, educator and certified relationship coach who studied film production and religion at the University of Southern California. He spent time in Hollywood working on a number of television projects before turning to activism. Brian is a co-founder of a relationship coaching practice helping LGBTQ+ and polyamorous people build thriving relationships on their own terms.