It disturbs me to meet so many people for whom sex and spirituality are completely unrelated — or exist as opposites. For those who were brought up in a world where religious influence was nonexistent or plain ineffective, it may be a novel idea to consider that sex can be spiritual. Others, like me, grew up in a war between spirituality and sensuality. In my loving Catholic family, the word “sex” could stop conversations and make everyone freeze in embarrassment. I spent my teen years as a monk and seminarian. I didn’t have sex until I was in my late twenties.Yet, despite all of this neurotic baggage, I came to enjoy sex as much as I am captivated by spirituality.
I came away from my studies in religion with the knowledge that it is possible to be intensely spiritual and intensely sexual at the same time. There is no contradiction. More than that, I came to believe that if a person’s sexuality is not fully accepted, his spirituality will suffer. And vice versa: if his spirituality is not strong, his sexuality will be weak.
From all these sources, I developed what I will call the ten erotic commandments. Notice that they are not about physical love as an isolated phenomenon. I think of a human being as always, in every instance, made up of body, soul, and spirit. There is no such thing as purely physical love, because we are more than physical. So, be prepared for a broader notion of what sex is all about.