Natural Relations and Fear

Sush has posted a really thoughtful thread on what meanings one might find behind the phrase Unnatural Relations (emphasis mine):

In that way I’ve always thought of human sexuality as transcending “natural relations”, because we have made sex about more than fulfilling a lust or procreating. Sex, to me, is about two people learning to be one. It is about give and take, sacrifice and dominance, learning to be in control and out of it, giving of yourself and taking of another. That is far more than simply nature, it is a metaphor for all things real and spiritual. It is the dance of creation itself- not because it makes life but because it IS life.

So what is unnatural? Is it unnatural to have sex in a way that doesn’t lead to procreation? Is it a sin to use birth control? Is it a sin when a married and committed couple engage in mutual masturbation or anal sex? Where exactly is the line between natural and unnatural? Is the only holy sex that which is done in the dark with socks still on and both feeling a little embarrassed afterwards?

Shush has a really beautiful way of putting how we approach sex as a society.  In many ways we are socialized to feel shame about our bodies, and sex involves expressing our bodies a most intimate and messy way.  Breaking through that socially induced fear and experiencing sex as the “dance of creation” is, I think, a vital part of experiencing a full and healthy life.  It is also central to the worldview that validates rather than punishes the sexual act, and accepts different expressions of it between two consenting adults.

The spiritual path is one that teaches one to overcome and eventually eliminate fear.  It should never, ever instill new fears and anxieties.  As a society we might take a good hard look at what the politics of sexual fear and shame that crops up in organized religion does for us, and what it takes away.  Upon inspection we won’t find an equal trade.

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