Sex–volumes and volumes have been written about this subject, and, undoubtedly, many, many more will be written. Some of those writings have included scientific considerations and understandings—many have been written as a propaganda tool by and for various individuals or groups.
Throughout recorded history, sex has been portrayed as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There was a goddess of love and a goddess of fertility—sex was considered to be very good and desirable. The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian (Asian) text on sexuality, eroticism, and the fulfillment of good emotional life, all of which are derived from sex. It was the Hindu recognition of the beauty in sexual pleasure as integrated into their everyday lives.
On the other hand, the Israelites put ‘chains of bondage’ on sex—a woman became a man’s property, and if she had sex with another man, she would be stoned to death. Parenthetically, Jesus attempted to change that attitude—he got killed for that.
Thereafter, those who developed philosophy and religion in the name of Jesus ignored his attitude toward sex. Initially, they were seemingly tolerant of ‘free sex’. Marriage was not yet considered a ‘sacrament’ and most so-called marriages were not expected to last more than a few years. That attitude seemed to persist until the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. Prior to the fall, the the hierarchy had the absolute ‘backing’ of the Empire—their sole concern seemed to be keeping the flock together by stamping out any heresy which popped up.
With the fall of the Empire, the church had no ‘weapon of control’—guess what—they pulled one ‘right out of the hat’ just like the ‘rabbit trick’. It took a few hundred years, but eventually ‘the lights came on’—sex would be their weapon. Immediately sex became almost ‘criminal’. Furthermore, women became synonymous with evil—after all, if there were no women, men wouldn’t be tempted to sin. Weddings were grudgingly allowed but not inside church buildings—the sex smells associated with women would attract too many ‘demons’ and, consequently, the church would become irretrievably ‘contaminated’.
Ascetics were rapidly gaining control of the church—one such ‘theological expert’ proclaimed that ‘it would be better for the human race to go extinct rather than be propagated by sexual union’. Irrationality regarding sex had reached its peak. Jerome was one such ascetic. According to professor Bart Ehrman, in translating the bible from Geek to Latin, Jerome removed or altered almost every reference to ‘anything good’ about women—such was his warped disdain of sex. Wouldn’t a psychoanalysis of Jerome’s personality be interesting to review—it would be to me.
From the beginning the Church was immersed in the mythology of astrology and Genesis,and it had to have a weapon to eradicate the ‘wayward’ sheep. What better weapon could be had than the second strongest natural urge in nature, sex—and the Inquisition was born. Witches were burned at the stake routinely, as was anyone accused of displaying any pleasure during sex. In addition, sex anywhere except on the ground was cause for execution by fire—the vibrations caused by sexual activity in an elevated structure would cause the earth to fall off its five crocked legs into the ‘netherworld’ below.
The psychological consequences of such irrational restrictions on a perfectly normal drive were devastating, and still are. Taylor in his astute book, Sex In History, describes Medieval Europe as “one giant cesspool of psychosis”—such was the dramatic effect of those restrictions. The Protestants in this country’s early history got into the act with the famous ‘Salem Witch Trials’—I believe nineteen people were convicted and hanged as witches before the government intervened and stopped the practice.
I used the term ‘and still are’ above referring to the Church’s austerity concerning anything to do with sex. For the first fifty years of my life, the Church’s attitude was extremely demeaning and controlling of sex. Their mandates created extreme psychological havoc in Catholics. Gradually, as people dropped away from the Church, the pulpits became mostly silent about sexual matters—haven’t heard a sermon demeaning ‘birth control’ in at least thirty five to forty years. Also, it is quite obvious, that few, if any, Catholics pay any attention at all to the Church laws regarding sexual matters—their ‘common sense’ dictates their behavior.
Pope Francis said it pretty succinctly when he announced, ‘No rules have changed. We just got to stop talking about them’ (paraphrased). Also, totally contrary to Church law, he said that couples should live together for two to three years before getting married in order to check their compatibility and, thereby, reduce the divorce rate. I’m convinced that he is correct in that assessment.
Furthermore, and more importantly, children should be instructed in both the science and psychology of sex. They need guidance in a proper and acceptable method of dealing with the insatiable drive of sex. The Church (sin police) are still attempting to control sexuality, but I can assure you that from my observation point, they are failing and failing miserably. Furthermore, their feeble but persistent attempts are alienating more and more—the pews are getting emptier by the day.
My contention is simply this; instead of attempting to control people with ancient mythology, the Church would be much better off and have much more meaning if it got on the science railroad. Science gives specific and explicit meaning to concepts of God and our universe. It beautifies and glorifies God’ beautiful creation. It shows that God’s presence is in everything in existence—otherwise it couldn’t be. More importantly, it helps to ‘mystify’ the beauty of sexual union—what a wonderful method of insuring species survival—instill in every individual, whether mouse or man, an irresistible urge to mate.
Several months ago, in recognition of God’s presence in everything, which brings everything into ‘communion’ with God, I called for the recognition and acceptance of The World-wide Communion of Spirituality as the only means to perpetual and universal peace. I have routinely reiterated that call. That concept involves an understanding that the Spirit (will) of God is imprinted onto every tiny particle of energy (quantum), of which everything in existence is made. Therefore the same Spirit pervades everything thereby imparting a ‘commonality’ to all in God.
My two little books, Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality say it all.