Opening to Sacred Sexuality

I’m a prude. Well, not entirely, though I do have quite a few hangups when it comes to sex and sexuality.

Working with Aphrodite for almost a year definitely helped bring healing to some of my issues, mostly around body acceptance, self-love, and appreciating my own beauty. For those things, I am immensely grateful!

Sex-positive-and-negativeI’m currently taking a class on Sacred Sexuality at the Wiccan Seminary. And I’m learning so much about myself, and working more on becoming more comfortable with the idea of being a sexual creature.

I was raised with the idea that sex is sinful, bad, and dirty, as many Westerners, especially Christians, are. Eve was the source of original sin, and so women bear the curse of Eve, being cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Sex education in school was partly gender education – what happens to your body as you go through puberty – and partly sex discouragement – if you have sex, you will get a sexually transmitted disease or pregnant or both. Masturbation is also bad, or at the very least, not encouraged.

Sex before marriage was taboo. Teenage pregnancy was shameful. If you had sex in high school, you were a stud if you were male, but you were a slut if you were female. And heaven forbid you actually enjoy it as a woman! Sex is only for the purpose of producing children.

Wicca is a fertility religion. It, and really most branches of Paganism that I have encountered, are sex positive, meaning sex is something that is joyful, and pleasurable, and natural, and even healthy, between consenting adults. “The Goddess [God] is beautiful in ALL Her [His] forms,” celebrates body positivity and acceptance.

That doesn’t mean that there are tons of wild orgies, or that we have sex at all our rituals, or that Pagans are promiscuous. (As always, that may be true of some individuals, though not a generality of the whole group.) If that were the case, I probably would have run screaming and never come back. It would have been too big a step for me to take.

This idea that sex is beautiful and natural, joyful and pleasurable, though, while I yearn for this, I still have a hard time with it sometimes. I find myself feeling guilt or shame around wanting sex, or not wanting sex. I’m curious to learn more ways to share and make love with my husband, and yet, I have a hard time even talking about sex with him. Sex magic intrigues me and scares me at the same time.

I’m still a baby on my journey towards sex positivity. I’m lucky to have some pretty great role models in the Pagan community, people who are comfortable in their bodies, who take joy in their lovemaking and aren’t afraid to talk about it, and even joke about it.

I’m probably going to get a ton of spam with all this talk about sex. I’m ready for that. We need to make it more open and less shameful. And the more positive information there is, the better.

What is your experience with sex and sexuality? Is it something you are comfortable with, or still have hangups about? I look forward to hearing your stories. Let’s get more positive conversations going!

Blessings,

Mary

6 Responses

  1. I grew up with the same teachings; sex is bad, it should not be enjoyed, it is only to make/have children… I was raised in a fairly christian household and was told all kinds of crazy things about it… Much to my mother’s dismay I listened to none of it, it was something I enjoyed as I entered adulthood..I was confused about sexuality as well, I thought I had to be either gay or straight, there is no other options, as I started dating, I learned my sexuality is much more fluid, I will date people with a strong connection to me, yet I still usually prefer dating men. I find that sec is completely natural and should be enjoyed… Body positivity is one thing I constantly struggle with, even now, mostly the discontent with my gender and body not matching up.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your experience/perspective on sex.
    I totally feel ya on the shame/fear that is taught in Christianty around sex. I too am working on self love and becoming comfortable around sex. It helps too talk about it and make sex normal !!
    Blessings and light!

  3. Gender and sexuality are so much more complex than we were taught! It’s definitely not binary – either/or. Congratulations on finding your own way with sex positivity, and keep working on the body positivity. We all have good days and not so good days. <3

  4. Thanks, Jess!

  5. Something it took me a long time to realize in my journey with sex positivity is that being sex positive doesn’t mean I am required to have lots of sex, or talk about sex all the time, or to dress in a way that has been deemed slutty by the overculture: sex positivity needs to have room for people who prefer modesty or other things that get you labeled a “prude”.

    I used to be the biggest prude — ie, I didn’t want to talk about sex, didn’t even want to hear conversations about it. This was likely related to trauma for me, but after I got broken of that prudishness and became the person — for years — who would always make everything an innuendo, I’ve come back around to being what some would call prudish.

    I’m okay with talking about sex, generally in the abstract, and I think we should talk about it as natural and healthy and joyful. But I also think we need to talk about not wanting sex as being natural and healthy and joyful too. It’s human to want sex, and it’s human to not want sex — whether for a short period of time for for most of your life.

    A lot of sex positivity conversation excludes asexuals and actually shames them, because it focuses so much on sex being natural and healthy that it goes to the other side and says “And *not wanting* sex is unnatural.”

    I’m not asexual, I’m actually probably the opposite, but I have friends who are and they deserve a spot in sex positivity.

    Basically, what it took me forever to learn is that “sex positivity” means being positive about a lack of sex, too, or being as positive about modesty as you are about nudity.

    (It also took me forever to learn that I’m not actually comfortable with the high volume of sex jokes that occur in supposedly sex positive groups, even when I was making them — I was just making them because I thought that was expected and necessary and that was how you did sex positivity, like if I didn’t make them I’d be a prude again. And the thing is, admitting that I’m not comfortable with the high volume of sex jokes (some is okay, but in some groups it’s *constant*) does get me labeled a prude. I think there needs to be room in sex positivity for people who just wanna keep sex private for the most part.)

    Ok, I’m rambling at this point. I’m not even sure if anything I said made sense, but.

    I’m glad you’re exploring sacred sexuality and working on unlearning some of the more harmful paradigms about sex that we get from the overculture. (I got all the same messages; Madonna/Whore complex, the whole shebang. And I wasn’t even raised Christian; it’s just *that pervasive* in our overculture, and still filtered in even though my mom tried her very best to combat it.) <3
    Morag recently posted..Mother Tree Prayer

  6. Are you kidding? My hangups have hangups!