Q:Do your religious beliefs exalt or stigmatize sex (or both)? Is religion a useful tool for helping young people navigate the treacherous world of sex, love and relationships? Does religion present an alternative view of sex and sexual relationships to the culture at large? Should it?
Pagans have a multiplicity of opinions on almost any subject, but if there’s one thing we probably all agree upon, it’s sex. Sex, in Pagan “thealogy”, is a Good Thing, a gift of the Goddess, a way we connect deeply and intimately with one another and with the great creative forces of life. Sexuality is sacred. “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” says the Charge of the Goddess, one of our most beloved liturgies.
Our religious view of sexuality is an alternative to both sexual suppression and sexual exploitation. The prevailing culture sees sex either as an evil to be controlled or as a selling agent and profitable commodity. Neither view makes for healthy relationships or sacred connection.
We teach our young people to practice sexual responsibility–to be kind and respectful to one’s partners, to protect themselves and their partners from disease and from unwanted pregnancies, to listen if someone says ‘no’ and to respect each person’s boundaries and choices.
We affirm pleasure and sexuality, but we also recognize that that sexuality can be an area of deep wounds and great pain. Unfortunately, many people in our society have suffered from sexual abuse and trauma. We encourage Pagans to be strong allies for one another in seeking healing, in asking for and receiving support around issues of sexuality, and in confronting and stopping any hurtful or disrespectful behavior.
Our Reclaiming tradition of Wicca recognizes that sexual attraction and gender identity are among the Great Mysteries–those most common of human experiences like birth and death that nonetheless defy rational analysis and demolish attempts to create strict categories. We welcome gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, and transgender folks and all the shades and variations in between, for that diversity enriches our community, challenges us to come to deeper and more complex understandings of our Gods and our images of the sacred, and makes life much more interesting!