Spirituality and Sexuality. by Lynchenberg

I was having a discussion with one of my closest real-life friends about human sexuality. We were talking about another close real-life friend of mine. (Let us call him "Rob" and call her "Jane.") Now, both "Rob" and I are Christians, (“Rob” is Protestant and I am Catholic, not that it really matters.) Meanwhile, "Jane" identifies as atheist although she comes across more agnostic. She is open to the idea of a God existing, as well as ghosts, and all kinds of other supernatural phenomena, but isn't completely sure. To her, that's atheism. Meanwhile, for "Jane" agnosticism would entail that you believe in God and spiritual phenomena, you just do not know which religion is correct.

In any case, we were discussing how I sent "Rob" a story to listen to; a Stephen King audio recording entitled "The Raft." It seems "Rob" found himself disturbed by the sexual content in the story, which to me was not that out there. In one scene, a character observes a woman's form as she sleeps, and feels aroused, before a creature attacks her. It is a clever horror device, common in Giallo, where the audience is first enticed with the promise of eroticism, and then abruptly is faced with the horrific. "Rob" reacted as if the passage was pornographic and weird in a fetishist sense, while to “Jane” and I, it was simply a male feeling attraction towards a female. “Jane” suggested to me that this is probably because “Rob” is a Christian, and they tend to be very non-sexual and disturbed by any mention of sexual matters. “What about me?” I asked. She replied that I am very much the same way, even though I mix sexual imagery into my artwork, and I've shown her it. Despite this, she still seems to think of me as very non-sexual. At first, I thought she was making a stereotype about Christians, but regardless, it set me to thinking. The more I thought about my time online, the more I noticed that porn/fetish artists are predominantly atheists/materialists. Perhaps the stereotype is true. Are religious or spiritual people are less sexual? Perhaps this is because we are more concerned with matters of the spirit than matters of the flesh? Perhaps it is because we don't engaged in sexuality except under certain conditions such as marriage so it doesn't have as much of a chance to develop?

With that in mind, I am curious; how many people out there who are comfortable with sexuality and mix it into their art have religious or spiritual beliefs? I am not talking strictly about mainstream Christianity here. Are you Muslim, Jewish, New Age, Hindu, Mormon, etc? Do you even simply maintain a belief in the soul or God/A Higher Power? Just thought it was an interesting food for thought, as I do not think having a religious/spiritual aspect to your life and a sexual one are mutually exclusive. In fact, this was a very interesting video about how sexuality might work in Heaven, according to one Biblical interpretation. According to this interpretation, Heaven might actually be a hippy-esque "free love" society, which stands in stark contrast to many Christians' anti-sexual attitude. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGLM2TFa6mA *

To conclude, is anyone is interested in talking about spirituality, and how it relates to sex? If so, what are your thoughts on this video? Is there sex after death? How does it work? Is this person right, or is he wrong? In addition, do you have any difficulties reconciling your spiritual identity with your sexual identity? How do you resolve the two things? Or is there no contradiction for you? For you, is sex a form of spiritual expression? Or is it very separate from that? Perhaps this could be the beginnings of an interesting dialogue; it is not something I have ever seen discussed before in this community.

Spirituality and Sexuality.

Lynchenberg

21 February 2014 at 08:27:59 MST

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    I am obviously a smut artist but I don't personally engage in casual sex in real life situations. I don't identify with any religion but I believe that the act of having sex with someone aligns your chakras in a way that is very peronally and spiritually intimate, so I am very careful about who I choose to be intimate with. In art (outside of commissions) I usually add sexual elements sarcastically and/or out of habit, which also kinda implements that too much of a good thing... IDK, wears out the good in the good thing.

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    It's cool to know you're a fellow Catholic. My perspective is one of a convert, and one who spent time in protestant schooling, so I have a fair bit of experience to draw on when it comes to Christian perspectives on sex. My feeling is that the Catholic perspective, which doesn't treat sexuality as taboo but recognizes the spiritual emptiness of casual sex and fetishism, is much healthier and helps direct our sexual energies towards constructive pursuits. In this case, "constructive" means those things that bring God closer to people, whether through acts of charity, prayer, or revelation. The real, indivisible aim of sex is the creation of the family, for the sake of the family. No matter how often our culture tells us that the satisfaction of one's desires is the supreme goal of the individual, this is only distracting us from the deep, painful abyss that widens every time we turn inward, and use the pleasure of sex as the ultimate reason for engaging in it.

    When it comes to art, I don't think we need to stay away from depicting nudity or sex if it helps reveal the humanity of a character, or a situation. The sinful state of the human condition can be powerfully explored through art, and I would consider it a real detriment to culture if we started purging any mention of sex from films, books, or illustrations.