On Chesil Beach (Movie Review and Sex Talk)

On Chesil Beach (Movie Review and Sex Talk)

On Chesil Beach (Movie Review and Sex Talk)

This is a movie about a six hour marriage that was not consummated. Please don’t bother seeing it. Don’t be fooled by advertisements saying this is “lyrical and rapturous” for it is neither– although maybe there is not much risk of that since we were the only ones in our theater on a Friday night. We thought we were going to see a romantic movie, but instead we left frustrated and feeling cheated, like we wanted our money back. I give this movie only two stars.

I usually don’t blog about movies I don’t recommend, but have decided not to pass up utilizing this one as a segue to discuss an elephant in the room. Much of my professional time as a spiritual healer is devoted in one way or another to dealing with sex. Many people are either hurt by it or confused about it.

You would not be surprised, I suppose, by the cases I get that involve adultery, promiscuity, harassment, rape, incest, and abortion, because we acknowledge those can be problems. But you might not realize how many people struggle with sex as base, immoral, too sensual or revolting, or are just downright petrified about it.

Yes, I do know those who did not have sex on their wedding night due to fear, not only of the deed, but even of discussing it. I do know more people than you might imagine who are having celibate marriages either by prior agreement or by default.

In a world where college kids proudly discuss their “body count” (how many people they have had sex with) like it is a competitive score in a public sporting event, others are confused in a different way, also fanning their flames of insecurity and lack of self-worth, but by turning inward, shutting out intimacy, and saying nothing,

Some clients are pious folk that eschew sex as not spiritual, and therefore think it is something to be overcome. They have picked up the notion that in every context, sensuality is equivalent to sin. Therefore they can’t or don’t want to enjoy it, and if they do, they feel conflicted, apologetic, or disappointed in themselves or their partner.

Finding the right balance where love is naturally and morally expressed is very important to human happiness, and therefore is your divine right. I encourage you to communicate openly (to the right people or person), and/or to seek professional help if you are confused, afraid, or hurt. In this movie, one wonders if the bride-to-be could have articulated her fears when the minister gave her the opportunity, what he could have said that would have changed the trajectory of her story.

So even though sexuality lambasts us from every direction, don’t imagine for a minute that we’ve got a handle on it. Usually, in my opinion, there is either too much of it or too little of it going on. It is happening all too often where it is not appropriate, and not enough where it is designed to be a beautiful, nurturing thing.

It is not something to be taken lightly and trivialized; it is not designed to be frivolous entertainment. It is meant to be mutually supportive, and deeply bonding– holy like a sacrament.

At least this movie highlights the other end of the spectrum from over-sexed Hollywood, but being set back in the sixties, it inadvertently suggests this quaint problem of fear of sex and frigidity as not still going on. I’m here to tell you that it is just as common today to be afraid of sex as it is to be violated by it. And both are unfortunate and unnecessary.

I pray that as a human race we stop trying to over compensate in either direction on the subject of sex, and that we find a sense of peace on the subject. I hope for everyone true expressions of  human love, together with a settled, safe sense of home, full of the mutual respect, care, and genuine understanding that are hallmarks of  healthy, happy, long term relationships.


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

1 Comment

  1. Marge Thornton 6 years ago

    So happy to hear from a Christian scientist who gives reasoned enlightened comments on the issues of sex

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