Sex as Religious Experience
With heavenly music coursing thru her ears “Marcella’s” introduction to sexuality made her sure of God’s approval.
But soon her Bible Belt community taught her that sex could send her to Hell — excepting one circumstance. (Marcella is a fictional character based on Marilyn Coffey’s childhood experience.)
Not all religions at all times have seen it that way. In fact, there’s a centuries-old association between religious ecstasy and orgasm.
Some American Indian tribes saw sexuality as a gift of the great spirit (at least before contact with Europeans).
Among the ancient Hawaiians genitals were considered holy and treated with respect and worship.
The depth and breath of sexual energy is also explored through the tantra, practiced by many Hindu, Buddhist and New Age adherents. It is said to bring one closer to higher power.
Or “open” the sacral chakra by meditating on it and welcome abundance, well-being, pleasure, and sexuality.
Sex as a religious experience may not be everyone’s experience, but among my students nearly one-third of the women and a quarter of the men call “transcendence” one of the best things about sex.
A Jewish woman told University of Texas/Austin, researchers, Cindy Meston and David Buss this:
In Jewish law it is a good deed to have sex with a partner on Shabbat, and in Jewish mysticism, there is a form of sexual ecstasy that mimics the union of God and man, and recreation of the world. I can’t really describe this experience… but pure joy and connection with another person I feel is becoming closer to the cycles of life and the underlying palpable energy of the world… in essence, God.
On a less religious and more spiritual note, another woman felt this way:
It was a dream come true, being with this incredible man. I was able to lose myself and seek God, for the edges of the dream in the real world met.
There’s a reason why sex can feel like connection with God, say Meston and Buss. Apparently, the brains of those seeking deep spiritual connection through prayer or meditation can undergo a change that makes it difficult to distinguish between self and non-self.
Perhaps that deep spiritual connection mirrors what happens when we feel deeply connected to our partners.
So yes, sex can be a religious experience.