Dr. Ogden explains what sexual spirituality means to women.
The way that I see the connection between sex and spirit is first of all determined by the thousands of women who have spoken to me, written to me, answered my survey. There were 3,810 people who responded to this survey, and they came from all over the United States; they came from 22 different religions. So there was a lot of diversity there, and they were aged 18 to 86.
So that said, I see the connection between sexuality and spirituality not as religiously driven, that is thou shalt do this; thou shalt not do that, but as a sense of being able to reach out and connect with themselves, with a partner, and with a power that’s beyond themselves–whatever we call that–god, goddess, tree, wolf, nature–a sense of feeling moved on beyond their physical bodies and understanding that the body doesn’t stop with the skin.
That when we are talking about the sexuality, we are talking about a very large and wonderful energy that is also ancient, that is connected with myth, that is connected with feeling, and that is connected with power.
When women talk about sexuality, they are talking about it more as an energy than as an act, a single act or action. Intercourse, which is known as the sex act, is definitely sexual, but it’s only a small part of all else that can go on. If you think that we have bodies that are way beyond our clitoris or our vagina, a few cubic inches of mucous membranes, we have fingers and toes, we have noses, lips, foreheads, eyes, armpits, etc. etc. etc., and all of these can be extremely sexually satisfying and interesting.
One woman has said, you know, “I don’t where in my body I am not orgasmic. I think I need to be mapped.” And this is particularly important I think when I am talking with women who may have physical disabilities, who may have no feeling below the chest or below the waist, that there are ways to erogenize and honor all parts of our bodies.
About Dr. Ogden, Ph.D.:
Dr. Gina Ogden, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in sexology from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California, where she is now an associate professor. Her M.A. is in family therapy from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont and her B.A. is in English literature, from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She has received grants for her work on sexuality and spirituality from Harvard Divinity School's Institute for the Study of World Religions and from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.