View Full Version : Pagans and Sexuality

07-01-2012, 10:56 AM
In a recent thread about Wicca and children there was a question about children ready to worship before they are sexually active (as if sexual activity is a must in wiccan rituals), and having sex or being skyclad in front of children. I think we can all agree that having sexual activity if front of children is wrong. Children brought up in nudist homes may be used to seeing the human body, but in my opinion they should not be viewing strangers. This however, is a parental call.

In recent months, I have been clearing out clutter in my house. I had a box of old "New Age" catalogs and periodicals. When I find an article that I want to keep, I will see if it's available online, or I will either scan it or type it out. I found a goodie in an old issue of "Soaring Spirit" the magazine and catalog of **** Sutphen I came across a book review that **** wrote on a book called "Phoenix From the Flame: Pagan Spirituality in the Western world" by Vivianne Crowley. **** also provided some key excerpts from the book. I have not read the entire book, but this excerpt should answer the question put forth in the original thread. Or at least give some thought as to what guidelines should be in place.

Here then, is the excerpt from the book:

Society and Sexuality

Many religions have complex sexual taboos. This is not true of Paganism, where on a social level, sexual morality is usually very simple. In the Pagan view, the body has urges to fulfill its physical functions - to eat, to sleep, to relieve itself of waste, to mate. These things are not considered either good or evil in themselves. They are natural functions necessary to maintain our bodies, and our species. In earlier, more animalistic generations, all these urges were fulfilled unselfconsciously in the simplest and easiest way. We ate what was available - hence human beings are naturally omnivores - and had sex with the nearest available member of the opposite sex. As our thinking function developed, we became more discriminating. We learned to appreciate that some foods are tastier than others; we learned to cook; we developed the art of feasting. In some cases, we developed moral codes about our food, which included feeding ourselves in ways which cause least harm to others - hence vegetarianism. Eating became an aesthetic experience, a social ritual, and possibly a matter of moral choice. Sexuality also become more complex. It developedinto an an easthetic and emotional experience. We learned to discriminate betwween partners and found that we preferred some to others. We discovered that sex could lead to love and to deep emotional bonding.

Religion and spirituality are often confused with sexual morality. Laws about sexual conduct are not Divinely ordained, but are the creation of society. Early societies which lived close to nature had very little regulation of sexuality. The main necessity was to ensure that as many women as possible became pregnant. This could best be served by women lying with a number of men in order to optimize their chances. Religious rites often encouraged this. In isolated societies in particular, there might be laws which discouraged in-breeding, e.g., not marrying one's own kin or clan. there might also be customs which encouraged out-breeding and maximized the gene pool, e.g., the custom of women sleep with male travellers.

As societies beome more complex, laws are enhanced to regulate sexuality and to limit access to sexual partners. Often these laws are designed to protect property and to ensure that inheritance is passed o to a man's own sons rather than those of someone else. In the West, sexuality has been dominated in recent centures by the Jedaeo-Christian sexual ethos. This endorses monogamy, abstinence from sex wxcept within marriage, and difficult divorce laws whcih, in the past, could only be negotiated by the rich and politically favoured. Christianity also had a very negative attitude toward the human body. With the absorption of the idea that matter was evil and all forms of sexuality other than for procreation purposes were frowned upon. The celibate life was considered the highest good. Admirable though this ethic would have been for conserving the planet by keeping down the human population, unfortunately it was coupled in many sects with strictures against contraception for the sexually active.

To modern Pagans, there are few taboos about sexuality as such. Sexuality is considered something which can be practised between consenting adults, providing it does not cause harm to the self or others. This means that it would be wrong to have sex with someone else while one had contracted - legally or not - to be in a monogamous relationship with someone else. This would be an act of dishonesty, which would be damaging to all concerned. If we are unable to keep our promises, we must say so and break the contract. To Pagans, sexuality is a positive force. It is the force of creation which brings all things into being. For unattached adults, there are no barriers to sexual activity with other unattached adults; but we are expected to have regard to the consequences of our actions and to ensure that we do not cause unwanted pregnancy, spread sexual disease, or mislead others as to our level of committment to the relationship. Sexuality outside of a committed relationship is acceptable providing it follows the the ethic of 'An it harm none.' Sexual relationships which hurt, coerce or damage others are entirely unacceptable to Pagans. Thus, sexuality between adults and children, or forced sex between adults without both parties' consent, is anathema.

07-01-2012, 05:26 PM
I dont recall on the Skyclad thread the OP mentioning sex.
But being naked is not a bad thing and not a sexual thing when I dance around a bonfire slyclad with my sisters we arent thinking of getting it on.
Children I believe are pure I dont think they would connect skyclad to sex.
People shouldnt be ashaimed of there bodies and should not teach children that there naked body is bad or anyone elses for that matter.
For parents who dont like it thats there call but I personally dont see nudity as wrong. Now taken a child to a strip club with a roll of dollarbills is a bad idea because those strippers project sex its different. Skyclad is ritualistic not sexual. thats my personal opinion.

08-01-2012, 06:04 AM
I may have been mistaken if there was not mention of sex in the original thread.

09-01-2012, 01:02 AM
I don't personally view nudity or sexuality as inherently bad or wrong. Harm None, definitely applies for the main guideline, at least for me. And I don't believe that nudity must be inherently sexual... but I also don't believe that it must not be inherently sexual either. IMO, anyway.