Before I start, let me point out this post is not going to be X-rated.
Relationship is at the heart of Druidry. Now, aside from relationship with land, ancestors, spirit and all the other esoteric options out there, this also means we have every encouragement to think about relationships with each other. Generally speaking, paganism is a sex-positive spiritual approach. Even where you get folk dedicating themselves to chastity (I recall one article by a priestess of Vesta), it’s not about denigrating sex — it’s just a personal choice. This attitude tends to give all pagans a head start when it comes to things sexual. We don’t start out weighed down by guilt, defaulting to feelings of shame, or any of that misery. Some pagans work naked in ritual, many are at easy with nudity, and we’re body positive too, on the whole.
People who imagine sex is something you do TO someone else are mostly missing the point. When you start from a perspective of relationship, it’s all about the doing with. Sharing. Building relationship. Exploring together.
Respect is also a core feature of Druidry. Respect for others precludes using anyone in a sexual context, and respect for ourselves doesn’t encourage us to feel comfortable about being used, either. No means no, in a respectful scenario.
We value honour, so we won’t try and manipulate someone else into having sex with us. We won’t, if we are serious about our Druidry, lie to get someone else into bed. We won’t threaten, coerce, or try and make someone else believe we know what’s best for them, where they themselves disagree.
Druidry is inherently celebratory in nature. Sex should be the same. It should be joyful and affirming. It has the capacity to be soulful and magical, and for any pagan it makes sense to be actively seeking that. But you won’t get there alone: you need to make that journey with the person you’re sharing a bed (or a field!) with. If you want to remain locked within yourself, experiencing only private rapture and not engaging with anyone else or needing to think about what anyone else wants or feels, the answer is not to go around having stupendously selfish sex with unwitting victims. The answer is a solitary hand job.
If you aren’t having sex out of love, best not to be doing it. That love can be as momentary as you like, a sudden flash of exquisite connection never meant to last. Eternal love is not the only form that counts. You can love intensely in the moment without needing to make a long term involvement of it. And equally, you can get into bed each night with a person you do not treat with care or respect, and that’ no sort of win. Real love takes many forms.
There is nowhere we should feel the need to leave our spiritual lives at the door. Sacred sex and celebratory sex can be very much part of a pagan life (though they don’t have to be). But the principles of love, respect, relationship, and celebration should always be with us when we get into intimate scenarios.
Nimue Brown is an author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. She has her own blog as well as patreon. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. She has published many renowned books on Druidry including Druidry and the Ancestors: Finding our place in our own history and Druidry and Meditation.