Sadly, here in America, there are still many religious-based obstacles to erotic spirituality.
Sadly, here in the America, there have been many obstacles to erotic spirituality that have been molded by two thousand years of sex-negative, Judeo-Christian influences and values. Make no mistake about it, the spiritual implications of sexual love and orgasmic pleasure have been profoundly threatening to our patriarchal religions. Their response has been to put up many formidable roadblocks to our right to freedom of sexual expression. Though birth control and a woman’s right to abortion are controversial and divisive political issues, and though they are still totally unacceptable to the Catholic Church, as a society, at least we have been able to engage in open discussion about them. However, the dynamic connection between sex and spirit has been overlooked, and this has certainly been by design.
The so-called “pious” men of the church have felt threatened by the erotic nature of the body, sexual pleasure, the transformational power of orgasm and the spiritual dimension of sex for a long time. And rightly so, since throughout the ages, sexual intercourse when correctly understood has always been a powerful vehicle for Divine understanding by providing a direct, ecstatic experience of the unseen, yet powerful spiritual forces that penetrate and surround us.
However, in the eyes of the early church leaders, mankind’s use of sex to commune directly with God posed a serious threat to the church’s power- base, and even their very existence. It left the church out of the loop by seriously undermining its self-proclaimed status as the only conduit to God.
After all, if individuals can access God directly through the creative power of ecstatic sex, why would there be any need for the priesthood, or organized religion? Who needs a priest acting as an intermediary to contact God for us, when we can use the vehicle of transcendental lovemaking to have a direct experience of God, and at the same time we can cut out the middleman?
So, in order to maintain their relevance, the early church leaders felt compelled to manipulate their devoted followers away from sex and orgasmic pleasure. To further their agenda of controlling the masses through manipulation, propaganda and fear, it was decided that it was in the best interest of the church to propagate the lie that God does not approve of sexual pleasure and that sex is dirty. And so, the church leaders worked hard to demonize sexual pleasure and to recast it as a disgusting and sinful act. They decried it as shameful and taught us to fear our sexual desire as the hand of Satan. Those who adopted the church teachings were brainwashed in such a way as to be suspicious and wary of sexual pleasure as if it were a dangerous influence waiting to lure them away from their true path.
Around AD 300, Christian theologians discovered the ultimate technique to control human beings. That technique was to link guilt with sex.
Saint Augustine, one of the early prominent Catholic Church leaders told us,
“Sex and orgasm transmit original sin and original sin leads to death and damnation.”
Roughly nine hundred years later, another Catholic Saint Thomas Aquinas, reinforced those views when he declared,
“Sex and orgasm are curses of the devil, and wherever there is orgasm there is sin.”
Though sexual ecstasy is as close as many of us will ever get to religious awe, for those of us who embraced such values, the promotion of spiritual sex was likely to be viewed by the church as “ the devil’s work,” and most definitely un-Christian. Unfortunately, other major religions felt the same and we’ve been suffering from this blasphemy ever since. Though the right to complete sexual freedom is still not entirely in place, one thing is quite clear: there is money to be made and great power to wield if you can convince people that you have an exclusive connection to God. And so, the church has become very rich and powerful indeed!