Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body, New Paths to Power and Love

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Explores the past, present, and potential future of sex. It looks at both sex and the sacred in the larger context of our cultural and biological evolution. It demystifies much in our sexual history that has been confusing, indeed incomprehensible, shedding new light on matters still generally shoved under the rug of the religious dogma or scientific jargon.

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Sacred Pleasure explores the past, present, and potential future of sex. It looks at both sex and the sacred in the larger context of our cultural and biological evolution. It demystifies much in our sexual history that has been confusing, indeed incomprehensible, shedding new light on matters still generally shoved under the rug of the religious dogma or scientific jargon. It shows that the struggle for our future is not just political in the conventional sense of the word, but revolves around fundamental issues of pain and pleasure. Above all, it helps us better understand—and thus break free of—the agonies we chronically suffer in our search for healthier and more satisfying ways of living and loving.

Our most powerful human yearning is for connection—for sex, for love, for all that gives pleasure and meaning to our lives. Yet sexual violence is commonplace and the “war of the sexes” continues to perpetuate misunderstanding and pain. Why does this struggle persist? What can we do to reclaim our innate power to give and receive pleasure and to find meaning in our lives?

With the bravado and insight of The Chalice and The Blade the international bestseller that has transformed the lives of thousands of women and men— Sacred Pleasure ignites a brand-new sexual revolution. In a provocative tour de force on the sexual politics that fashion our time, this groundbreaking book cuts through much of the confusion and turmoil around us, tackling sexual myths that have corrupted male/ female relationships over the millennia.

In a sweeping canvas, it takes us from the first origins of sex on this planet to our own postmodern age, shedding new light not only on sexuality, but on spirituality, love, power, and the two most basic levers for human motivation: pleasure and pain. Boldly asserting that the war between the sexes in not inevitable, Eisler offers a passionate vision of a future when sex and spirituality are once again entwined and men and women face each other as equal partners.
Eisler’s absorbing epic exposes the truths about sex that have been swept under the rug of religious dogma and scientific jargon. Showing what has gone wrong between the sexes, it reveals a whole new history of intimate relations—and how these affect and are in turn affected by all our relations, whether in the public or private sphere. It charts our course from prehistory, when sex was a celebrated mystery linked to all that is sacred, through the invasion of Europe by monadic warriors, when sex became a means of domination, to the earliest Western civilizations, the reign of the church, and into our time of “culture wars”—when women and men all over the world are searching for new ways of living and loving. Along the way, it looks at the economics and politics of sexual and other intimate relations, the modern revolution in consciousness, the epidemic of AIDS, the failure of traditional morality, and the emerging new ethics for sex and spirituality.
In order to accelerate what she calls the “pain to pleasure shift,” Eisler outlines a blueprint for the future of partnership sexuality, spirituality, and a society where pleasure, not pain is the central theme of our sacred and secular imagery—and our lives.

Additional information

Pub. Date

May 1996

ISBN

0062502832

Reviews & Accolades

“This is Eisler’s most stunning, far-reaching, and practical gift — both to readers and a world that must change or perish.”
~ Gloria Steinem

“Eisler is one of the great seers of our time. This extraordinarily powerful and beautiful book will stand as one of the epic works of our generation.”
~ John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America

“Sacred Pleasure is Riane Eisler’s masterpiece. Each page presents the reader with pulse-quickening insights and the shock that comes from truths no longer hidden. Enjoy the author’s burning mind and seductive advocations. You will never be the same.”
~ Jean Houston, author of A Mythic Life