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Tantric Orgasms and Sacred Sex: New Age Spirituality in the Sex Community

Kali_UnionI have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog — and it’s another one that both my atheist readers and my sex readers are going to want to check out. It’s about the prevalence of New Age spirituality in the sex- positive community… and why, exactly, I think that’s so common. It’s titled Tantric Orgasms and Sacred Sex: New Age Spirituality in the Sex Community, and here’s the teaser:

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on this blog about my skeptical, materialist, atheist, entire non- spiritual view of sexual transcendence, and why you don’t need to see sex as metaphysical to see it as magnificent and meaningful.

I deliberately didn’t make the piece critical of spirituality and religion. Partly, that simply wasn’t the point of the piece: the point wasn’t to tear down the spiritual view of sex, but to offer an alternative to it. And partly, I’ll admit, it was because many of my friends and allies in the sex community have spiritual beliefs about sex, in some cases deeply held spiritual beliefs, and I was gun-shy about alienating them.

But I recently gave an interview to Greg Fish of the Weird Things blog, who read the piece and wanted to talk with me about it. And what Greg mostly wanted to know was the very question I’d been deliberately avoiding. He wanted to know why, in my opinion, so many people in the sex- positive community are so heavily invested in associating sex with spirituality and religion.

This is an attempt to answer that question.

That’s just one of the ideas I’ve come up with about this. To find out more about why I think the sex-positive community is so invested in spirituality — and why I care — read the rest of the piece. (And as always, if you feel inspired to comment on this blog, please consider cross- posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog. They like comments there, too.) Enjoy!


  1. says

    I will look forward to checking it out when my brain isn’t so mushy. And while it is mostly mushy because I am simply exhausted, it is also mushy from the close watching of a Deborah Sundahl G-spot video I am writing a review of (thanks for the suggesting Nina Hartley btw – looks like a very viable option for more than just a G-spot video). It is actually a great instructional video, but the woo just hurts my head and will probably bother some of my readers…
    …If reading a review of a G-spot video by a guy and later reading a post for the partners of those who have G-spots, on manipulating said G-spot in a way that is unlikely to have said partner get really cranky, doesn’t bother some of them…

  2. says

    In the same vein, I’ve seen people take a “spiritual” attitude to psychedelic drugs. I suspect a similar set of factors are at work, but I still find it perplexing, perhaps more so than the case of “spiritual” sexuality. Dude, don’t you realize that pill you’re taking came from a laboratory? That’s not the semen of angels you’re swallowing, dear: it’s 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenethylamine.

  3. says

    Blake -
    There are a lot of folks who really don’t care if the hallucinogen came from a lab – it doesn’t make it any less a spiritual thing for them – I know, I used to be one of them. The notion that the substance was made by people doesn’t make it any less a “magical” experience – but then a lot of them do in for technomagic and those sorts of ideas.
    And of course there are also those who are all about plants that are hallucinogens – usually through their neurotoxicity. I was big on quite a few, including some particularly potent and particularly toxic plants…
    A definite case where natural is certainly not better – though it can be more intense.

  4. says

    DuWyane, I look forward to your review of my G-spot video. Rest assured, there is NO woo in it at all. Just anatomy, physiology and a brief overview of technical skills needed to get it to go.
    Greta, I second your thougts in the #3 reason you mentioned in your post. Even though I grew up in the Temple of Woo (Berkeley in the 1960′s and ’70s), with seeker parents who discoverd Zen in 1969 (they’re still at it), I remained skeptical of all religions, especially ones with a god notion. It just made no sense at all, even when I was very young.
    So, when I had the most intense emotional experience ever during sex, after leaving a 20 year relationship, I was blown away. Even as I was having the experience, I recognized that, had I been indoctrinated with the notion of “god,” I would have called the experience “being saved,” or “Jesus/God came and healed me, ” or “I felt folded into the bosom of God,” etc. So I understood that the ecstasy believers feel when they fall to the floor filled with the spirit was a real sensation and not fabricated. I see why/how one would try to create that feeling state as often as possible, and why they prosletize as they do.
    But I don’t have a god narrative to fall back upon, so I understood that intense emotional/spiritual experiences are merely exicitations of the mid-brain, and how we interpret them is a function of our childhood indoctrination about religion/spirituality/woo. They can be triggered by intense prayer/meditation, sleep deprivation, drugs, intense physical stress such as marathon running/self-flagilation, and sexual pleasure.
    In my experience, conscioous sexual pleasure or drugs are the most reliable ways to jumpstart that feeling state, and sex is much easier on the body!

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