The first global Sexuality & Spirituality Conference took place at Oxford in July 2016, and we were there! The conference aimed to create a space for inter-disciplinary explorations of the commonalities of sexuality and spirituality.
Coffee, Cake & Kink waved the kink flag, presenting on "Communities, Controversy, Conversations... A rope-bound Bible, porn stars and priests, brownies and beans - stories from the UK's only kinky social enterprise."
The Kama Sutra; Tantric Yogic; Spiritual BDSM; Christian Erotic Exercises: although religious practice is commonly thought to inhibit sexual expression, many classic religious traditions link eroticism and spirituality in the quest for the divine. For instance, traditional Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and Jewish texts all render spiritual awakening in terms of self-abandonment or transcendence that is frequently equated with sexual ecstasy, such as in references to the human bride ravished by the Divine Bridegroom. Contemporary Christian poets, such as Scott Cairns, insist that genuine spirituality is attained only through the “recovery” of the body and its divine secrets. Indeed, mystical experience itself is often expressed in terms of sexual union.
Yet, the ‘sinful’ pleasures of the flesh and the purity of divine love do not always make for easy bed-fellows. All too often, body and spirit are considered in opposition, if not in open conflict with each other, leading to the images of either complete abstinence on the one hand or total indulgence on the other.
This project - rather like Coffee, Cake & Kink - aimed to create a space for explorations of the common spaces where sexuality and spirituality embrace, entwine and overlap.... To help create a more connected, holistic world where we can all explore our sexuality, whatever it may be, without stigma and shame.