In this series I’ve talked about a lot of different forms of sexuality, including marriage, gay and lesbian relationships, premarital sex and single sex (masturbation).
There’s another type of sexuality that’s not often talked about, however; yet is nonetheless very real. This is what I call spirit sex (sometimes called “ghost sex”) – erotic encounters between human beings and other spirits.
The very idea of sex with a ghost, angel, or other spirit being is strange and frightening to a lot of people.
Part of this is because our culture tends to split sexuality and spirituality into different realms.
Thus some people are very open to spiritual things, but squeamish about sex; and others are very open-minded about sexuality, but write off spirituality as superstition or fairy tales. It’s pretty rare to find someone who is openly spiritual and sexual at the same time.
Furthermore, the idea of an intimate relationship with a spirit is scary to some because of the fear of death. Ghosts are a reminder of our mortality, so many people want nothing to do with them.
Thus many people dismiss the idea of spirit sex as a silly superstition, while others (including many Christians) see it as inherently demonic.
Nevertheless, I have come to believe that spirit sex is very real – and that it’s not always a bad thing. This puts me in a small group, to be sure – but one that includes many mystics from different ages.
For the purposes of this series, I will talk about spirit sex in three specific forms – erotic encounters with the spirit of a deceased spouse or lover, erotic encounters with an unknown spirit, and erotic encounters with God.
Of these three, sex with an unknown spirit is by far the most dangerous. The main reason for this is the power that such spirits can have over mortals.
We know how powerful sex can be between human beings, and how much people who are sexually involved can get attached to each other. When an immortal spirit is involved, this is even more the case.
Indeed, the spiritual attachments formed this way can be so strong as to consume a person’s entire soul; and if we don’t know what sort of spirit we’re dealing with, this is very risky indeed!
In light of such dangers, it’s no wonder that many people say we should avoid spirit sex altogether. And yet there are people who actively seek erotic encounters with ghosts.
Sex with the spirit of a deceased spouse or lover is far more common. This appears to be a cross-cultural phenomenon; in every part of the world, there are people who have reported experiences of this type.
How much of this is an actual encounter with the dead, and how much is simply a hallucination or fantasy resulting from grief, is hard to say. But it happens, and more frequently than most people would think.
Some would say that these encounters are a bad thing because they keep people tied to the past. Others see this as a normal part of the grieving process, something that may need to be experienced for a time in order for healing to take place.
And there are some who believe in eternal soul mates – that is, that true love relationships never really end, and can continue beyond the grave.
Some people in this group believe that a person’s departed spouse or lover could return in the form of another person (reincarnated), to continue the relationship that was formed before they died.
It’s important to note that what I’m talking about here isn’t simply a case of remembering a deceased lover and reliving past experiences; nor is it simply a case of fantasy.
The types of encounters some have had with their spirit lovers are just as real and vivid to them as anything experienced on the physical plane.
One man I know describes his experiences with the spirit of his deceased wife like this:
“We had a great love; for me it was the greatest I had ever known. When she passed, my world was shattered. I couldn’t see any reason for living without her.
A few months after she passed, however, a strange thing happened. I was walking home from work one day when I felt her presence, like she was walking next to me.
I started talking to her, and to my amazement, she seemed to respond – not with audible words, but in a telepathic way – like she was sending messages to my brain that I could not have come up with on my own.
Ever since that day, she has continued to ‘visit’ me on a regular basis. Sometimes she seems affectionate, even erotic with me; I can actually feel her holding me, kissing me, or making love with me – even though I can’t see a physical form.
The first time this happened, it really freaked me out! I was afraid I was losing it, so I talked to a respected psychologist I had known for years.
He assured me I wasn’t going crazy. It’s possible, he said, that I was just grieving the loss of my wife in a very vivid way. He also said it’s possible I was having a mystical experience with God, which was common in every major religion.
Over time, I started to relax and enjoy these experiences whenever they happened. I tested this spirit repeatedly to make sure she was leading me in a good direction, making my life better, and so forth.
The “fruits” seem to be very good so far…these encounters have brought me closer to Jesus than I ever was before. God must really love me, I think, to give me these experiences! Not everyone gets to reconnect with their lost loved ones this way.
To this day, I’m not really sure exactly what’s going on when I feel my wife’s presence around me. Is this really her spirit visiting me? Is it God visiting me in her form? Or is it just in my head? I can never be certain.
What does seem clear is that God is involved in some way, because it’s bringing me closer to Him than I ever thought possible, and giving me the strength, for the first time in my life, to really live for others and not just for myself.”
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily bad or harmful about this sort of relationship – as long as the spirit involved is actually a benevolent one, and not a demonic spirit pretending to be someone we know. Thus, we need to test the spirits before going too far.
Scripture gives us at least two good ways to test the spirits. In the first letter of John, we are told that “every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God” ( 1 John 4:2-3).
If our encounters with a given spirit lead us closer to the God revealed in Jesus, this is a good sign that this spirit can be trusted. A demonic spirit would not exalt the name of Jesus, nor would it lead us closer to God!
Jesus also tells us that “a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit” (Matt 7:18).
If our experiences with a spirit bear good “fruit” (that is, they make us happier, healthier people who are more compassionate toward others), they are probably a good thing.
In the case of my friend, his experiences with his departed wife seem to pass these tests. They have brought him closer to God, given him new strength, and made him a more compassionate and productive person.
The experiences themselves may seem strange to most people, but I fail to see how they can be a bad thing. They seem to be just what he needs at this point in his life.
Still, many questions remain. If it’s possible to have an erotic relationship with a spirit, is it possible to have a romantic or sexual relationship directly with God?
And what about after we die? If sexuality survives beyond the grave, what forms might it take? Strange as it may sound, I believe I have some answers to these questions.
(Coming Next – Jesus and Sex, the Conclusion: What It’s All Pointing to)