Eroticists believe that sexual union with other people is the best way to achieve spiritual union with the universe. In merging bodies, we lose our egos and stop seeing ourselves as separate from the world. While some assume that Eroticism is all about pure impulsive pleasure, Eroticists often see the witholding of satisfaction as key to spiritual and sensual growth.
Prior to civilization, Eroticism played a large part in human religious practice. Sacred sexual congress was sometimes practiced as a means to please fertility gods and goddesses and bring fertility to the land. Followers of the Greek god Dionysus participated in ritualistic sex for the same reason. Yet with the advent of the major organizing religions, especially those in the West, Eroticism was largely proscribed, or at least sublimated. Nevertheless, varying degrees of religious Eroticism survived through the middle ages in pagan culture. Eroticism as a spiritual practice saw some resurgence in the late 20th century as a part of Hippie and New Age culture. Perhaps the most popular mode of mixing spirituality and sex today is by participating in Tantric practices, which are derived from Hinduism but tend to be highly modified to suit Western tastes.
Eroticism doesn’t necessarily require actual physical intercourse. It can involve any sort of affectionate interaction or practice. In fact, many Eroticists feel that arousal is the goal, rather than satisfaction of desires. Tantra especially seeks to stave off orgasm with the objective of sublimating sexual energy to enhance consciousness. The goal of Eroticism is not sex per se, but awareness, understanding and enhancement of sexual energies as a means to gain wisdom.
The gods made our bodies as well as our souls, is it not so? They give us voices, so we might worship them with song. They give us hands, so we might build them temples. And they give us desire, so we might mate and worship them in that way.
— George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
Eroticism has its own moral justification because it says that pleasure is enough for me; it is a statement of the individual’s sovereignty.
— Mario Vargas Llosa
Sex is the driving force on the planet. We should embrace it, not see it as the enemy.
— Hugh Hefner