Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sacred Sexuality

Sacred Sexuality

As a marriage and family therapist, I find the lack of responsible sexual education a national disgrace. By default, the entertainment industry has become the national creator and distributor of our sexual education. The Church has abandoned the job. School will not touch the topic for fear of parents. Parent’s claim it is their responsibility, yet do very little to teach their children about human sexuality. And thus by default, the Internet, movies and television fill the void. We learn more from entertainers like Britney Spears about human sexuality than we do from all the other experts in the field of human psychology. We have allowed the teaching of human sexuality to be the domain of Hollywood.

The Catholic Church teaches their 1.6 billion followers that sex for any purpose outside of procreation is a venal sin. A venal sin is a minor sin, not bad enough to assign you to hell, but certainly no sin is good. This means deeply religious Catholics cannot use birth control and can only have sexual intimacy if their purpose is procreation. Most Catholics do not follow their churches teachings, so the church has dismissed itself as a serious communicator of human sexuality in the 21st century. The Catholic Church also refuses to sanction the use of condoms by married men with their wives in Africa, who use condoms to prevent the spread of aids. Sexual ideology within the church takes precedence over human needs when it comes to teaching sexuality.

The remaining Christian Churches in America believe sex within marriage is permissible, but teach very little about the sacredness of sexuality. Rather than teach their people about a divine purpose for sexuality, most churches ignore that topic for what they consider to be a more important sexual issue, gay marriage.

So who is to teach human sexuality to our youth? Is sexuality only for procreation or is it also for our well being? Does it have a spiritual purpose beyond procreation? What is sexual intimacy really about? The entertainment industry is happy to fill the void. There is big money to be made in sexual content. Most of money made from sex is hidden from public consciousness. It is ‘dirty’ sexuality. Nasty. Bad. These are the current predominant sexual morals, created in Hollywood by our entertainment industry, and pushed upon the public through the media. Not that ‘nasty’ isn’t a fun sexual game to play, but when that is all you have, it becomes obvious that more substance is needed.

Eastern religions are not as repressed sexually as are Western religions. Western religions emphasis ownership in sexuality, rather than teaching pleasure and purpose. And thus all the rules of sexuality we have been taught by western religion are based on the principles of property rights and ownership. Eastern tantric sexuality is a centuries old discipline that teaches the purpose of sexuality is in exchanging male – female energy. Tantra teaches the male to exchange his maleness with the female, and the female her femininity with the male. This exchange of energy is healing and life sustaining. As a marriage counselor, I know that sexual intimacy is a critical healing tool for couples. Without sexuality, many marriages would not endure the difficult times. These couples find that when everything else is going wrong, at least they can communicate sexually, and let the other know how much they love each other.

Sacred sex, erotic loving, sexual healing, and divinity are all aspects of sexuality that need to be taught. Where are the serious advocates for sacred sexual intimacy? Where are the role models? Where are the examples? Where is the serious education? Hollywood has left us with Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Madonna. Movies teach humans how to make love. The entertainment industry educates us about what men want and what women want sexually. Are we really certain we wish to abandon the responsibility for sexual education to Hollywood? Could not someone from a spiritual prospective step forward? Or is sexual education to be left to humorists, entertainers and the Internet?

Something is amiss within sexual education, and no one wishes to discuss the matter.

1 comment:

Inara de Luna said...

Thank you for this! I am in school to become an MFT and I'm also a Pagan priestess of Sacred Sexuality. I plan to integrate these two approaches in my work, especially as I'm intending to specifically target my practice to the alternative relationship populations, such as polyamory, BDSM, LGBTQ, and Pagans. I also offer sex ed workshops to our pagan teens to teach them about responsible and sacred sexuality. I invite you to review my website and keep in contact. :)