Starhawk say, "All acts of love are sacred to the Goddess."
This was so in tune with my own sense of the potential in intimacy, in those moments when we become interlinked with another at a profound level. I loved the non-judgementality of it - all acts of love! Any intimacy between willing partners of whatever age, ethnicity, gender. Not just that, but I see it also in other acts of love - when a mother nurses her baby, when a father and his child unite in joyful play, when friends support one another wholeheartedly. All these can be sacred moments, too.
And yes, as suggested by the image shown here, there is something dirty about sex and sensuality. After all, if you don't get messy, you're not doing it right! But not only do I disagree with the saying that cleanliness is next to godliness, it has been proven to be positively harmful. Children brought up in too sterile an environment not only have all the joy drained from them emotionally, but they also have a weakened immune system. We are not made to be tidy, distant from the world. We are made to be a part of the world, in all its glorious chaos and confusion.
True connection to spirit emerges from our interactions with the world, not from some tidy distancing of ourselves from reality. It is at least as easy to merge with spirit in the throes of sex as it is through meditation. Both have their place in a grounded spirituality.
Another aspect of this dichotomy, and how we live it, goes back to a previous post on weight conflict. This splitting between body and spirit is so widespread in our culture that we often take it in, even if we don't consciously agree with it. And then it's possible for spirituality and purity to become equated with slimness. Think of anorexics, who avoid the messiness of womanhood and menstruation through their extreme thinness, or the buddha in his starvation phase. At the other end, sexuality and "dirtiness" can become equated with curvaceousness. This can be another aspect that holds us tied to a higher weight than our stated "ideal" - we want to be able to take pleasure in the sensuality of food and sex and everything else that is enjoyed through the body.
If we can unite these polarities of spirituality and sensuality as paganism teaches, then we may not only be one step closer to dealing with part of a weight conflict, but also to finding a grounded spirituality available in our day to day lives, highlighting joy and connectedness instead of suffering and sin.
Image from the Oracle of Shadows and Light.