Ancient “Temple Prostitutes”, called “Qadishti” in some Mediterranean cultures, are believed to have engaged in sex with the populace as an act of Worship of the Goddess, whose greatest gifts to Her people was pleasure and the power of reproduction. Today, many women and some men are called to follow this ancient “tradition” who intuitively offer their bodies up for the use of the Divine, to pass on the Goddess’ blessing and healing through Her gifts of pleasure and sexuality.
This is a tricky calling, in many ways. We live in a society today that is sexually-repressed and incredibly sex-negative. Many forms of sexuality are not only socially unacceptable, they may even be illegal. Further, there is a deeper understanding today of how deeply one’s psyche can be affected by one’s experiences, with more intense experiences affecting one more deeply. Sex is an incredibly intense experience and can have deep and long-lasting effects.
Since most Qadishti are NOT trained in counseling, it is smart for many who feel drawn to this path to be extremely careful about how they engage with others. Due to the legal issues and the psychological issues, there are some fine lines to walk. In the days of the original Qadishti, the culture fully accepted and embraced the concept that sex was sacred and inseparable from their worship. The absence of sexual repression most likely meant that most people did not have crippling psychological issues around their own sexuality. That’s not the case today. We live in a completely different environment, with different mores and norms, and almost no one escapes unscathed by the sex negativity that permeates our society.
Those who choose to work as Qadishti must understand that the people that come to them for help may often need more help than that Qadishti can offer. Simply having sex with people is not always all that’s needed. Sometimes it’s the exact opposite of what’s needed, and even has the potential to make things worse. It IS important to seek some sort of training or mentorship, to learn the ropes, to figure out how to set boundaries, to detect deeper psychological issues, to protect oneself, to recognize when a physical issue needs to be treated, etc.
I would love for this path to be as simple as “Have compassion and have sex” – but it’s not. Compassion is a bedrock requirement, sex is not. And there’s so much more to be aware of, in order to avoid making things worse.
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