- “We are not ascetics in any sense of the word. On the contrary, Bahá'u'lláh says God has created all the good things in the world for us to enjoy and partake...."
Let's talk about sex...
- But we must not become attached to them and put them before the spiritual things.
- Chastity in the strict sense means not to have sexual intercourse, or sexual intimacies, before marriage.
- In the general sense it means not to be licentious (Promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters).
- This does not mean we Bahá'ís believe sexual relations to be impure or wrong. On the contrary they are natural and should be considered one of God's many blessings. ...
- Sex is a very individual matter, some people are more passionate by nature than others, and might consequently suffer more if forced to be continent.
- But when the world becomes more spiritual there will not be such an exaggerated emphasis on sex, as there is today, and consequently it will be easier for young people to be chaste and control their passions. A man of noble character and strong willpower, could certainly remain faithful to his wife during a long absence!” (Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v II, 69).
Ok, so we know that we are naturally interested in sex - biologically and onward. And we know where the proper use is:
- The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Bahá'ís do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control. (From a letter dated 5 September 1938 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, A Chaste and Holy Life, no. 30)
But how do we learn about it? How do we talk about it? How do we understand ourselves and bodies?
I like this article because it comes from a young woman, age 23, who was clearly nervous to have the public conversation on her blog, but she felt it was time to talk openly and respectively and 'sustainably' about sex. Without the weirdness. I think she succeeded. And the comments from others shed additional light on knowing yourself, your body, and how our actions impact society and nature. She doesn't mention having sex within marriage at this time, but she does openly, respectfully talk about sex in relation to her commitment to living a respectfully environmentally sustainable life
I especially like a comments about fertility awareness among young people, even before entering into marriage and of course using while married. I feel like this effort allows women and men to know their bodies, their biochemical makeups and cycles, their biological urges and energies better in order to "regulate and control" the sex instinct as well as understand themselves so much better and use that understanding for better relationships with God, themselves, family and friends. I learned that one can purchase a ladycomp or other fertility monitor or use an app or just use a thermometer and notebook - and monitor your cycles, becoming attuned to when you are ovulating, when you are fertile, and not. When your hormones create certain unpleasant feelings (physical, mental, etc.) or pleasant ones. You can use this information to talk with your MD/DO/ND etc. to figure out diet/exercise/meditation/prayer/vitamins, etc to help balance things, also to let others around you now what is happening. Apparently "you have to monitor your cycles for several months/a year to have a solid basis on which to calculate your safe days, but it really has many benefits. You get to know your body better, you might understand some mood swings better if you have any in relation to your cycle." There are many books that can help us learn our own biochemistry regarding this. More on the Billings Ovulation Method here. And Fertility Charts can be found here.