Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 5, July 16, 2002


A Taste of Erotic Rites,
Building Erotic Communities

Loraine Hutchins, Ph.D.

Previously published by Loving More magazine

from Erotic Rites: A Cultural Analysis of Contemporary U.S. Sacred Sexuality Traditions and Trends
February 2001 Doctoral Dissertation by Loraine Hutchins, Ph.D., The Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio.

This article is based on Loraine Hutchins’ research on contemporary U.S. sacred sexuality traditions and trends. Her research examines what people want in terms of sex-positive spirituality and mind/body integrated sexuality versus what we have. Her research was rooted in participant-observation among groups experimenting with sacred sexuality philosophies and techniques, groups in the U.S. today that gather together one or more times a year to create erotic community and are supportive of building relationships and families according to the values and models of polyamory. She looked at the origins of the many forms of sacred sex practice being explored in the U.S. today, whether Eastern-influenced such as Tantra and Taoism, or Western traditions from the earth-based and oral to the most esoteric & recorded.  These various sacred sexualities have flourished upon the basis of the last half century of U.S. socio-political changes, changes that have catalyzed public interest in the embodied erotic like never before.  Her dissertation, Erotic Rites, names four defining trends that have made the concept of sacred sex more accessible in our time -- public availability of information on sexuality, the development of holistic healing approaches, the politicization of sexual liberation, and the emergence of new sex-positive spiritual paths.
Loving More

Go to Part 1 A Taste of Erotic Rites

Go to Part 2  Building Erotic Community

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