Society for Sacred Sexuality

Collected Sacred Sex Texts

The following collection of sacred sex quotes & verses from scriptures around the world give a taste of how different cultures have appreciated and revered sexuality throughout time. In some cases, the texts simply honor the sex act itself, with no special practice, while others teach specific methods to achieve spiritual experience. In either case, these texts show sex to be part of a holistic spiritual life.

Note that some of the quotes below are not from sacred sex texts themselves, but rather are excerpts from general spiritual/religious scriptures that include sexual teaching in places. These are included to show that sex is venerated in many traditions even where it is not taught as a path in itself. In some cases, they show that traditions we commonly view as sex-neutral or sex-negative actually may have more sex-positive values than we think. We include them to encourage new perspectives on such religions, and greater acceptance of sacred sex among their followers. Sex is a natural part of life, and can be venerated as a sacred act in the same way many traditions sanctify those of eating & bathing.

To learn more about the sacred sex cultures that inspired the various works in this collection, visit the Sacred Sex Tradition Forum in our Learning Center.

If you know of an excerpt or verse with sacred sex references that you would like to see in our archive, please  .

Click on a link below to read the excerpt, or simply scroll down to view all.



Collected Sacred Sex Texts


Skanda Purana
(Vedic/Hindu)

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
(Vedic/Hindu)

Chandogya Upanishad
(Vedic/Hindu)

Katha Upanishad
(Vedic/Hindu)

Bhagavad Gita
(Vedic/Hindu)

Shiva Samhita
(Vedic/Hindu)

Saundaryalahari
(Vedic/Hindu)

(Read more Indian texts in the Tantra section.)

Dalai Lama
(Buddhism)

(Read more Buddhist texts in the Tantra section.)

Adi Granth
(Sikhism)

White Tigress Manual
(China)

Song of Solomon
(Old Testament/Judaism)

Book of Proverbs
(Old Testament/Judaism)

Old Testament
(Judaism)

Zohar
(Kabbalah/Jewish Mysticism)

Martin Luther
(Christianity)

Saint Teresa
(Christianity)

Gospel of Philip
(Gnostic Gospels/Christianity)

Thunder, Perfect Mind
(Gnosticism)

Plato
(Greek Philosophy)

Mikagura-uta
(Tenrikyo/Japan)

Tachikawa Proverb
(Shingon branch/Japan)




Skanda Purana
(Vedic/Hindu)

"By my inner firmness I have caused my seed to remain stationary in the middle of the Lingam. Thus it is always fruitful, ever ready. This is the power of self-transcendence."

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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
(Vedic/Hindu)

[The Creator] said to Himself: "Well, let Me make a firm basis for it (semen)." So He created woman. Having created her, He placed her below and worshipped her. Therefore one should worship a woman, placing her below. He extended His organ that projects and with it impregnated her.

Her lap is the sacrificial altar, her hair the sacrificial grass, her skin within the organ the lighted fire; the two labia of the vulva are the two stones of the soma-press. He who, knowing this, practices sexual intercourse wins as great a world as is won through the Vijapeya sacrifice; he acquires for himself the fruit of the good deeds of the woman. But he who, without knowing this, practices sexual intercourse turns over to the woman his own good deeds.

Having known this, [certain sages] said: "Many mortals, brahmins only in name, perform the sexual act without knowledge of what has been said and depart from this world impotent and without merit."
[ Read more from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad here. ]

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Chandogya Upanishad
(Vedic/Hindu)

Woman, O Gautama, is the fire,
her sexual organ is the fuel,
what invites is the smoke,
the vulva is the flame,
what is done inside is the embers,
the pleasures are the sparks.

In this fire the gods offer semen as libation.
Out of that offering the fetus is formed.

....

A man's beckoning to a woman is the syllable 'Him';
his gratifying her is the Prastava;
his lying with her is the Pratihara;
his spending time with her is the Nidhana;
and the finishing of the sexual act is also the Nidhana.
This is the Vamadevya Saman as interwoven in sexual intercourse.

He who thus knows the Vamadevya Saman as interwoven in sexual intercourse does not suffer from the pang of separation and procreates from every intercourse; he reaches the full length of life, lives brightly, becomes great in children and cattle, great in fame. For him the injunction is: "Do not reject a woman who comes to you seeking intercourse".

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Katha Upanishad
(Vedic/Hindu)

"Pay respect to womankind, as they are born of the family of the Divine Mother. Abuse or punish them not, in however a mild manner, whatever the reason. Give attention to their worth and excellences, not their shortcomings."

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Bhagavad Gita
(Vedic/Hindu)

Lord Krishna is describing Himself to Arjuna:
"I am the strength of the strong, beyond passion and desire.
I am sex life in accord with natural laws, O Arjuna."

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Shiva Samhita
(Vedic/Hindu)

The Divine Yoni
is brilliant as tens of millions of suns
and cool as tens of millions of moons.
Above the Yoni is a small and subtle flame,
whose form is Intelligence.

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Saundaryalahari
(Vedic/Hindu)

"Only when Shiva is united with Shakti does he have power to create."

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Dalai Lama
(Gendun Gyatso, 2nd Dalai Lama; 1475-1542)

In the space before you, visualize the Dakini Nairatmika.
She is blue in color and holds a curved knife and skull cup.
One recites the mantra Om ah svaha, causing blue lights to radiate forth from her body.
They enter one's own body via one's sexual organ,
and then the Egoless One herself enters one's body via the same passage.
She melts into light, and one's body becomes filled with a bluish radiance ...

All becomes pristine emptiness.

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Adi Granth
(Sikh scripture)

"Not those are true husband and wife that with each other [merely] consort: Truly wedded are those that in two frames, are as one light."

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White Tigress Manual
(Taoism/China)

Sexual energy is the reason a human is born,
Lack of sexual energy is the reason a human dies.
Within this sexual energy is the secret not only of health
but of immortality as well.
In men the secret lies in conservation and retention of sexual energy.
In women the secret lies in its development and activity.
Lao Tzu himself states,
"The mysterious female is inexhaustible.
How the Yellow Emperor achieved immortality
and how Western Royal Mother achieved immortality
cannot be compared. Each has its own path,
each seeks the other's essence to become complete."
The male retains, the female absorbs.
Heaven [male] creates, Earth [female] is receptive.
The male is active, and so seeks stillness.
The female is still and so seeks activity —
each must acquire the essence of the other to be complete.
The yin absorbs the yang, the yang absorbs the yin —
this secret is so simple it goes unnoticed and undetected.
Like all of nature, it must fuse and intermingle with its opposite
to achieve growth and potential,
as a tree cannot exist without both sun and water,
humans cannot exist without sexual energy.
Immortality can only be achieved through
the disciplined use of sexually energy.

This quote shows the value of honoring your sexual spirit, and peril of denying it:

"If you cannot directly face your sexuality, you will never discover your true spirituality. Your earthly spirit leads to discovering your heavenly spirit. Look at what created you to discover what will immortalize you."

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Song of Solomon
(Old Testament/Judaism)

Various quotes from the Book of Solomon:

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine."

"Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers...."

"A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts."

"My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land...."

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death...."

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Book of Proverbs
(Old Testament/Judaism)

Proverbs 5:19, on husband/wife relations:

"Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;
let her breasts satisfy thee at all times;
and be thou ravished always with her love."

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Old Testament
(Judaism)

This first verse describes the union of husband & wife:

"Therefore doth a man leave his father and his mother, and hath cleaved unto his wife, and they have become one flesh."
— Genesis 2:24
These verses express the husband/wife relationship between God and the Israelites; in doing so, they show that male & female qualities go beyond physical form to apply to the spiritual realm.

"For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name...."
— Isaiah 54:5; King James Version


"Come back, O children who are turned away, says the Lord; for I am a husband to you...."
— Jer. 3:14; Bible in Basic English

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Zohar
(Kabbalah/Jewish Mysticism)

Therefore, the Holy One, blessed he be, dwells in him who (like Him) is one. When man, in perfect holiness, realizes the One, He is in that one. And when is that man called one? When man and woman are joined together sexually...

....

He who has not made love with a woman
is as if he were only a half.
These next verses describe the relationship between God and His 'Shechinah' (commonly 'Shekhinah'), the Divine Feminine. The last verse is especially insightful in showing how it is only when we can't see past the physical body that we fail to see the Union of God and Shechinah.
A man without a wife is a half body, and the Shechinah does not rest upon him.... THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE IS NOT CALLED 'ONE' IF NOT UNITED WITH THE SHECHINAH.... BEING THE SECRET OF THE UNION OF THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE WITH THE SHECHINAH, AS MENTIONED. And when the Holy One, blessed be He joins with the Shechinah, this verse is fulfilled: "on that day Hashem shall be One, and His Name One".

As for the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Shechinah...there is no separation or division, as the Shechinah is His unity, His blessing, and His Holiness. She is called 'body,' only when THE SHECHINAH CLOTHES HERSELF AND manifests Herself in a throne and in the angels of Briyah, she is to them like a soul clothed in a LOWLY humble body. And therefore, when the Shechinah is outside of the chamber of the Temple and outside of Her Thrones - MEANING WHEN SHE IS CLOTHED IN A THRONE, AND IN THE ANGELS OF BRIYAH AND YETZIRAH - She is, so to speak, as if She is not One with Him.
[CAPS in the original.]

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Martin Luther
(Christianity)

Martin Luther was a 16th century monk, theologian, professor, priest, and church reformer whose ideas inspired the Protestant Reformation.
"I find there is nothing but godliness in marriage. To be sure, when I consider marriage, only the flesh seems to be there. Yet my father must have slept with my mother, made love to her, and they were nevertheless godly people. All the patriarchs and prophets did likewise. The longing of a man for a woman is God's creation."

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Saint Teresa of Avila
(Christianity)

St. Teresa was a 16th century nun who was known for her passionate inner relationship with Christ. She left behind detailed writings of her experiences, which serve as a beacon for Christian worshippers everywhere. Following is a small sample of these (paragraph blocks are independent, not necessarily in sequence).
"I loved to gaze on [Christ's] beauty, as an artist had envisaged it, and let my whole heart and body be enraptured by him."

"As my capacity for prayer developed, I found that in prayer my ordinary mental faculties fell asleep, and my senses grew dim. Then a new feeling, a new sensation, began to rise up through my body to my neck. I was powerless to control this experience: I could not hasten it nor prevent it. I was like a man on the point of dying the death he desires: in his final agony there is overwhelming joy. I was dying to the world, and discovering spiritual delights which I could not have imagined. I did not know what to do, whether to laugh or cry, whether to speak or be silent. It was a glorious confusion, a heavenly madness."

"I began to experience true ecstasy, which I believe to be the highest form of prayer.... I was overwhelmed with joy and sweetness. My body was still present, but was cold and lifeless, no longer animated by the soul. Yet the soul itself was totally and completely alive. There was no way I could resist what was happening. I had no choice but to submit myself to God. My soul was truly Christ's bride, and this was the ecstasy of the nuptial bed."

"I wanted to clasp him to my bosom, to embrace him and kiss him with my lips. But I was in such rapture that I could not move. I asked him why he was granting me this wonderful favour. And as I asked the question, I knew the answer. He was pandering to the weakness of my nature."

"Good Jesus...Fondle me with your divine hands, cover me with divine kisses, that I may give to you the fullness of my love.... Clasp me to your bosom, hold me tightly to your body, that I may always be faithful and loyal in my love for you."

"Any real ecstasy is a sign you are moving in the right direction, don't let any prude tell you otherwise."
Of St. Teresa, philosopher William James said:

"Her idea of religion seems to have been that of an endless amatory flirtation... between the devotee and the deity."
Teresa is famously memorialized in art by Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.


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Gospel of Philip
(from the Gnostic Gospels, Nag Hammadi Library)

"And the companion of the [Savior is] Mary Magdalene. [But Christ loved] her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth."

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Thunder, Perfect Mind
(text found with the Gnostic Gospels, Nag Hammadi Library)

For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin....
I am the barren one,
and many are her sons....
I am the silence that is incomprehensible....

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Plato
(Greek Philosophy)

Greek philosophers referred to the source and fundamental order of the cosmos as 'Logos'. Many identified it with the divine animating principle of the universe. Christianity later adopted the term when the Gospel of John described Jesus as the incarnation of Logos.

At the same time for the Greeks, 'Eros' signified the interrelatedness of life and the harmony between all beings. It most commonly refers to the attraction and harmony between man & woman. Thus Eros carries with it a sensual, erotic flavor.

Here, Plato clearly and succinctly states the relation between sacred Logos and sensual Eros:
"Eros guides us to Logos."
[ Read more about Eros here. ]

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Mikagura-uta
(Tenrikyo — Japanese sect)

Representing heaven and earth, I have created husband and wife. This is the beginning of the world.

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Tachikawa Proverb
(branch of Shingon religion — Japan)

Sexual Union is the highest form of human activity.
It is the source of all religion and of all
that is best and most beautiful in human culture.




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