It’s that time again, or perhaps still, to have a meta conversation about the conversation. Today I am having the conversation about god, religion and sex on the Swedish podcast Dirtytalkpodden. And so the questions come, the question that always comes up: Why do you always talk about sex?
Barbara Carellas once wrote:
“I give myself permission to talk about sex as though it’s really important—as important as politics and elections and human rights and stopping global warming and ending poverty and curing cancer. Sex is that important.”
I truly believe that it is that important. We are human and a very important part of being human is that we are at a fudamental level sexual beings (and yes I include my ARO and ACE friends in that statement). How we express ourselves as sexual beings govern so many aspects of our lives and influence how we communicate, how we interact, how we touch, how we play, how we work, how we cooperate, how we share, how we think.
How, I hear you ask, does our sexuality influence all of these areas of being? The answer to that is at the same time so simple and so incredibly complex. The answer is Eros! Eros is the divine aspect of love that is our desire. Eros lies at the foundation of creation as the force that attracts and drives the universe towards connection as opposed to separation. Eros, simply put, is the desire, the lust for life. It is the energy that get’s us up in the morning. Eros is the divine call that fills our being with longing for something more, something greater. Eros or Desire is the divine voice call us home, calling us upwards and onwards towards the ultimate union with the divine source itself. It is invitation into perichoresis, to dance intimately in the holy of holies where we become one with the source.
When we talk about sex, we talk about life, we talk about what it is to be human and we talk about god. Marcella Althaus Reid asserts that all theology (talk about god) has sexual roots, Rob Bell writes: “Sex. God. They’re connected. And they can’t be separated. Where the one is, you will always find the other.”
So you see, we cannot escape, we need to talk about sex. We also need to recognize that sex, as Mark Gafni states, “always points beyond itself.” Sex cannot and will not be contained in the bedroom. Eros is the love of the divine that calls to us, in us and through us. It is this call that makes the trees, the mountains and the waters groan and call out. It is the longing for union, longing for life itself and ultimately longing for the source.
So when we talk about sex, the conversation may begin in the bedroom but will soon move to the holy of holies that is our hearts, altars of the divine. It may start with naked sweaty bodies, but will transcend to the sacred longings of the soul that is shared with all of creation. And this is precicely why this conversation is important, whether you are a social activist, a hedonist, a justice warrior, an atheist, conservative or liberal; Whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual or asexual. Wether you are monogamous, polyamourous, aromantic or celibate. Our sexuality is our expression of eros and eros/desire is life. We do not have to be promiscuous or even “sexually active” to be erotic, to be alive. Thomas Merton said in an interview “I had decided to marry the silence of the forest. The sweet dark warmth of the whole world will have to be my wife. Out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in silence, but it is the root of all the secrets that are whispered by all the lovers in their beds all over the world.”
Sex, Eros is the secret brought to light, the mystery revealed. It is the deepest desire and longing of the soul expressed. It is incarnation. It is divine source manifest in the flesh, It is Christ calling out to god in the darkest night of the soul. It is the power and glory of god seeded inside of you. It is to paraphrase Paul: the secret, divine Eros in you, the hope of glory. It is a sacrament, a manifest outward expression of divine grace.
So, let’s talk about it!