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I appreciate the thoughtfulness of this post more than I can articulate. It's wonderful to read arguments that don't live in the lazy world of polarization.

That said, I think there are a couple of points to add to this:

MORTALITY: I think that part of the drive to merge sex and spirituality could be rooted in our mortal (as in death-bound) consciousness. If that ecstatic, rutting rush can be connected beyond our physical experience, it can validate a wish/hope that it validates/creates a virtual (or factual) immortality.

Granted, I haven't looked into this--it's a thought that occurred as I read your post.

ALL OR NOTHING: Just a thought: spirituality isn't just one thing, or even one small group of things. There is a part of me that reads your words and thinks, "How is this different from painting 'Native American' as one thing?" I don't have a huge investment in proving/disproving the legitimacy or value of spirituality, but I do get a little itchy when simplifying for the convenience of keeping writing pithy risks trivialization or conflation.

For example, what are the boundaries of spiritual v. non-spiritual experience? What if sometimes it's just an adjective used to convey an aggregate set of sensations/perceptions/states of being? What if sometimes it's used to define a set of connections that we haven't been able to explain in other ways?

THE LIMIT OF WHAT WE 'KNOW': Here's another way to approach the nugget in the middle of that word pond: right now, we haven't got a way to explain the difference between a living person and a collection of minerals, fluids, proteins, fats, etc., that are not alive but are arranged in the same shape. We have no science to explain the actual transition between alive and dead, much less a way to explain why things only seem to move in one direction (meaning that "dead" things don't tend to spontaneously revert to being alive).

So, while it may be true that religion can be used to great ill, it may also be true that the impulse to create mythologies around various human experiences is grounded in what we do not yet know how to measure or explain. And, as fraught as they are with our foibled imprint, it may be that ideas of spirituality and religiosity are part of how we'll get there--or not.

I guess my point is that from an epistemological perspective, we can't claim absolutes regarding what does or does not exist in spiritual terms, and that it sits amid a group of things we cannot explain. That being so, I tend to remain open to a wider range of possibilities.

For me, not all sex is sacred and all sex is inherently sacred. I'm comfortable with the paradox. And I've certainly had some peak experiences, during which I could sense with tremendous clarity, a breaking through place that was available, should we wish to go there. Given the gorgeous distraction of the moment, it strikes me as improbable that this is random--though I will not claim that it was more than chemical or more than a metaphor that my brain created faster than I could realize it ... simply because I have no way to know.

Again, thanks for your thoughts and thanks for allowing me to share mine!

chicago dyke

i need to tell you how much i adore you. this post reminded me of that. yes, what you said.

i am so glad i found this blog.


Thank you! I've always thought that sex was inextricably tied with our physicality and I've always resented the spiritualization of the experience. As an existentialist, I'm perfectly happy attaching here-and-now meaning to it. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

I love your blog, btw.


Wonderful disquisition on the subject. I loved reading it.

Stan Brooks

First, just what Chicago Dyke said, every word. Bravo!

Second, I have danced around religion off and on my whole life but it has always been it's views on sex that have caused me to finally and totally reject all forms and varieties of religion, eastern and western, as symptoms of a mental disorder.

Glad to have found your blog and thanks for your, to borrow an expression, enlightened writing.

Lauretta Nicklin

I hump e'er seen people sign to hold existent uncanny on much topics; this is a real and primary line in every one person's sprightliness.


Woooow-ow-how-hoooey! We seem to share quite a lot of thoughts on these topics! Instantly linked your article from my blog.

Personally, I would like to add that "sacred sex" or even just plain VERY VERY GOOD SEX has a lot to do with introspection, and "spiritual" practices are, of course, deeply introspective most of the time. So I guess it makes sense for many people to combine the two in order to achieve even better results, or simply because there is a huge shared area.

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