Is There Sex in Heaven?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by “Heart broken and worried”:

Hi Lee

I recently lost my fiancé a month ago we just got engaged on Christmas Eve. We were together for 6yrs and both have been divorced. This all still is taking a toll on me. He was only 39yrs old. The only thing that has brought me any comfort is since I came across your site. I want to thank you for that before I get to my question and I have so many. He and I had the most unbelievable bond and a connection mentally and physically and in every way imaginable not like in either of our previous marriages. We always said we were soulmates and God put us in each other’s lives for a reason. I am completely devastated and feel like more than half of me is gone and my biggest fear I guess really revolves around my question. If we will be able to be together in heaven in the after world and have the intimate relationship like we had here on earth and be able to be intimate in heaven. It was more than physical it felt like a spiritual connection and True Love. I’m doing as much reading as I can do and building my relationship with God and Jesus and just hope that not only will I be able to spend eternity with the Lord but with him the same as it was here but better. I hope you can bring me some comfort at this time.

The Angel of the Divine Presence clothing Adam and Eve with skins, by William Blake

The Angel of the Divine Presence clothing Adam and Eve with skins, by William Blake

First, I am so sorry to hear about the death of your fiancé. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve him and miss his presence with you. I’m glad the articles here have given you some help and comfort in assuring you that the two of you will be together again when it comes your time to move on to the spiritual world.

I can also assure you that when you rejoin him in heaven, you will be able to resume your relationship just as it was before, including sexual intimacy, and it will indeed be even better than it was here. That’s because the two of you will be living in the spiritual world, and will have spiritual bodies that can express your oneness of mind and heart in lovemaking even more fully than is possible in our physical bodies here on earth.

Now for a little more background and detail.

God created us as sexual beings

Quick quiz:

What was the very first commandment God gave to human beings?

No, it wasn’t the commandment not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That doesn’t come until Genesis 2.

Here it is, from the sixth day of creation in Genesis 1:

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:27–28, italics added)

Yes, the very first commandment God gave to the male and female human beings that God had just created was, “Be fruitful and multiply.”

And how do we do that?

By having sex!

Contrary to the common but mistaken notion that the Fall of Humankind had something to do with sex, and that sex is inherently tainted with evil, God commanded us to have sex before things went seriously wrong in Genesis 3.

And even before God created woman out of man in Genesis 2, the Bible had already said that God created humankind male and female in the image of God. (On Genesis 1–3 and what they mean for our marriage relationships, please see: “What are the Roles of Men and Women toward Each Other and in Society?” and its follow-up article, “Man, Woman, and the Two Creation Stories of Genesis”)

In other words, sex is not only an integral and good part of God’s original plan, but by being male and female and expressing it physically in the act of sexual intercourse, we are expressing the very nature of God. For more on this, see: “How does Marriage Fit In with a Spiritual Life? Is There Marriage in Heaven?

We remain sexual beings after death

Now, the things God does are not temporary, but eternal. If God created us male and female from the very beginning, and commanded us to be fruitful and multiply (by having sex), then that is not something temporary; it is permanent.

Jesus himself referred to God’s original plan in this regard when he said:

Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no person separate. (Matthew 19:4–6. See also Mark 10:6–9)

Why, then, do some people say that married couples are separated at death? God created us to live forever in heaven. And God created us male and female to be united in marriage. This means that God created us to be married, not just temporarily here on earth, but eternally in heaven.

Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did not say that there is no marriage in heaven. What he said was that people don’t get married in heaven. For a lot more on what this really means, please see these two articles:

  1. Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?
  2. Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning

Short version: legal marriage as we think of it here on earth does not exist in heaven. There is no need for it, because there is no need for property, inheritance, and other legal rights in heaven. But spiritual marriage continues after death, assuming we have built the type of character here on earth that makes it possible for us to be in a loving marriage.

To put it plainly, from the very beginning God created us male and female, and commanded us (in polite terms) to have sex. That wasn’t a mistake on God’s part. Rather, God creates us as sexual beings, male and female, because that is an essential part of who we are as human beings. And if God created us so that our sexual identity is a core part of our human identity, then we will continue to be male and female, and to be both spiritually and physically attracted to and united with one another, even after death.

Here is how Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) put it:

Love for the other sex, especially, continues after death, and so does marriage love for people who come into heaven. These are the ones who become spiritual on earth. Love for the other sex remains with people after death because then men are still male and women are female, and masculinity in a male is masculine in all of him and in every part of him. The same goes for femininity in a female. And every particular—in fact, every little detail—of them offers union. This disposition to unite has been implanted from creation, so it is always there, and this means that the one yearns and longs to unite with the other.

After all, people were created male and female in this way so that the two of them could be like one person, or one flesh. And when they do become one, taken together they are a complete person. Without this union they are two, and each is like a divided or half person. Now, because this attraction hides deep within each particle of a male and each particle of a female, and because the ability and the drive to join together into one is in each particle, a mutual and reciprocal love for the other sex remains with people after death. (Marriage Love #37)

Yes, there is sex in heaven

If you’re with me so far, you can see that even though the Bible is not a manual on sex and marriage, if we take God’s words and actions about man, woman, marriage, and sex in the Bible seriously, we can see that sex and marriage are not temporary, but eternal parts of who and what we are as human beings.

And that is precisely what Swedenborg reports based on his extensive experience in the spiritual world. (About that experience, see: “Do the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg take Precedence over the Bible?”)

Swedenborg reports that because of the mistaken notions of traditional Christianity about sex and marriage, it is common for people who realize they have died and are now in the afterlife to think that they are no longer really male and female, that there will be no more sex, and that they will no longer have sexual organs.

In a story told in Marriage Love #44 two angels assure some young men who had recently arrived in the spiritual world that they are just as much men as they were before:

Two of the newcomers asked whether the human form in heaven is exactly like that in the natural world. The reply was that they are exactly alike, with nothing taken away from the man or from the woman. In short, a man is a man, and a woman is a woman, with all the perfection of form with which they were endowed by creation. “Please step aside and check yourselves over, to make sure you are just as much a man as before.”

But they still weren’t quite sure, so a little later in the conversation:

The three newcomers asked whether married couples in the heavens have the same kind of love as they do on earth. The two angelic spirits replied that it is exactly the same. Then seeing they wanted to know whether the ultimate delights were the same there, they said they were exactly the same, but far more blessed, “because,” they said, “angels’ perception and feeling is much more exquisite than that of human beings.”

Despite the somewhat delicate language of a book on marriage published in the 18th century, the meaning is clear: When we are angels in heaven we continue to make love just as we do here on earth. And because our spiritual body has a heightened sense of touch compared to our physical body, and our mind can fully perceive the sensation and meaning of what our body is experiencing, we can feel and enjoy sex even more intensely than we do here on earth.

And just to be crystal clear, this is not some wispy “spiritualized” substitute for the sexual intercourse that couples share with one another in bed. It is the real thing, exactly as we engage in it with our male and female bodies here on earth, only even better.

Sex is a physical expression of spiritual oneness

For people who have been brought up with traditional notions that sex is somehow unspiritual and dirty, all of this may be just a little hard to accept.

Sex in heaven? Really???

But consider what sex is.

Yes, of course, biologically sexual intercourse is a means of reproducing and continuing the species.

But physically, sexual intercourse is the closest two human beings can get to one another. In the act of having sex, two bodies become as one as it is possible for them to be.

And isn’t this the perfect expression of the oneness that people who are truly married in spirit feel with one another? As the relationship grows, the partners more and more think, live, and love in connection with each other. Their feelings become one. Their thoughts become one. Their lives become one.

This inner and interpersonal oneness is expressed in the physical oneness of sex.

For those who have experienced this full connection, like “Heart broken and worried” whose question sparked this article, sex is not just some incidental add-on to marriage that we can easily leave behind when we die. Rather, it is the ultimate expression of spiritual marriage and true love. Without it, the oneness of marriage would not be complete on all levels.

That’s why it is especially important for those who have experienced true marriage to know that yes, after death God continues to bless soulmates not only with marriage, but with lovemaking that goes beyond anything we have experienced here on earth. When angel partners make love, it fully and joyfully expresses the oneness they feel with each other in their hearts, minds, and lives.

This article is a response to a spiritual conundrum submitted by a reader.

For further reading:

About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife
13 comments on “Is There Sex in Heaven?
  1. Arthie says:

    Hello, I am glad I found you and your wife. This is the first I have ever read information like this. I have read so many of your articles and boy and I learning. Question…what are we saved from? I read an article about hell and if we are not saved from he’ll eternal torment and the lake of fire which doesn’t exists. I got confused because I thought we were saved from eternal torment. Please help my understanding? Can you explain salvation. I want to hear in your words how a person can be saved? So now two questions How can one be saved and we are saved from what?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Arthie,

      Thanks for your comment and question. Glad you’re finding the articles here enlightening!

      These are very good questions. I do plan to write an article in the future about what salvation is, and what we’re saved from. Meanwhile, here’s the short version:

      When the Bible talks about being saved from the Devil, Satan, hell, the power of the world, and so on, it’s talking in an abstract sense about being saved from evil, and in a pragmatic sense about being saved from pain, suffering, and a miserable life. Not so much from physical and material pain and suffering, though that is also a worthy goal, but from spiritual and psychological pain and suffering that results from living for selfish and materialistic goals and pursuits. The torments of hell and the lake of fire are not literal, but psychological and spiritual. They are the fear, pain, and anguish that inevitably result from living an evil, selfish, and materialistic life. For more on what hell and hellfire really are, see:
      Is There Really a Hell? What is it Like?

      For example, people whose primary pursuit is money just for the sake of being rich may or may not achieve wealth. But what they will not achieve is any kind of real, lasting happiness and satisfaction in life. More likely they will wreck their relationships with family and friends as they push aside human connections and considerations in favor of financial ones. And they will never be able to get enough money. No matter how much they have, they will always want another million or another billion. Any satisfaction from getting a certain amount of money will be short-lived, and will be quickly replaced with a desire for more. This is one example of the slavery to sin that Jesus spoke of.

      Only by realizing that people, and ultimately God, are more important than money can they find any real, lasting satisfaction and happiness in life. Wealthy people who come to realize that serving humanity is more important than amassing more and more wealth commonly spend their later years using their wealth to help people in need. And they find a greater joy in that service to humanity than they ever did in piling up all that wealth.

      So in this example, salvation is putting aside money as the primary goal in life, and turning their lives toward serving others as well. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said that the greatest commandments in the law are loving the Lord and loving our neighbor. Putting these at the center of our life is the very definition of salvation.

      How are we saved? By transforming our character and life from a self-serving, materialistic, pleasure-seeking one into a life and character focused on serving God and our fellow human beings. Salvation is being reborn as a new person, focused on loving and serving others rather than focused primarily on loving and serving ourselves. This is the only way we can experience real happiness and joy.

      For a practical guide on how to go about doing this, please see:
      What does Jesus Mean when He Says we Must be Born Again?

      For a big-picture view, please see:
      Heaven, Regeneration, and the Meaning of Life on Earth

      I hope this helps! If you have any more questions as you read, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  2. Arthie says:

    Also it says in the Bible death and hell shall be cast in the lake of fire. This is the second death.

  3. amai says:

    maybe inappropriate to ask (adult question…)

    but is sex in heaven better because it’s better, or is it actually you feel more passion?

    because there i s a girl online who talked about kissing her boyfriend and had an orgasm just from that. but other people can’t orgasm from a direct touch. so in heaven, is the passion/lust enhanced or is the sensation enhanced? b/c in my example, a kiss bringing orgasm requires a lot of passion to make her orgasm, whereas a direct touch not causing orgasm means there is not enough plassion.

    it’s a dumb question, i know, but whatever, ignore if you want :p

    • Lee says:

      Hi amai,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question—which is actually a good one, even if it is R rated. 🙂

      The short answer is in heaven, passion (or really, marriage love) and enhanced sensation flow seamlessly together, so that there isn’t a real difference between them.

      Here’s a longer answer:

      Here on earth, as in the examples you give, passion and enhanced sensation often do go together. People who are highly passionate often physically feel things much more intensely, whereas people who have little passion often don’t experience intimate touch very intensely at all.

      However, that is not always the case here on earth. Here we have various blockages that often prevent what’s inside of us from being expressed and felt outwardly and physically. Some people have physical or mental illnesses that prevent them from experiencing things normally and naturally. Some people were mistreated and abused in their childhood and youth, causing emotional blockages that can be very difficult to overcome. And some people grew up in churches and religions that taught or strongly implied that sex is dirty and unspiritual—which makes it hard for them to relax and fully engage in sex even within a faithful, monogamous marriage.

      These are only some of the reasons that for many people here on earth, there is a divide between feelings and passions on the one hand, and physical sensations and experiences on the other.

      In heaven, once people have gone all the way through their transition period after death (see “What Happens To Us When We Die?”), there are no more blockages preventing what we think and feel inside from being expressed and felt outwardly. Our life becomes a seamless flow from our inner thoughts and feelings to our outward actions, sensations, and experiences.

      This means that people who are highly passionate and romantic will sense and feel physical intimacy with their partner very intensely, such that the inner passion and the physical sensation will be a seamless whole.

      People who are less passionate and romantic will feel things less intensely, but still much more than they do here, since our spiritual body is inherently more sensitive and expressive than our physical body, and even intellectual types will be able to express their feelings better there.

      Only people who consciously and intentionally reject all romantic love and passion will not feel an enhanced sense of oneness and intimacy, and that’s because they are not willing to engage in it in the first place.

      And people who are just out for their own pleasure in sex, though they may (or may not) still be able to have sex, will feel nothing of the depth and intensity in their sexual relations that angels in heaven do. (Yes, people who are just out for their own pleasure and care not at all for their partners will be in hell, not in heaven.)

      Meanwhile, people who long for closeness and intimacy but cannot engage in it here on earth for various external reasons such as their financial or social situation, physical or mental illness, the lingering effects of mistreatment or abuse, or false religious teachings about sex, love, and marriage will be able to move beyond and heal from all of those blockages, find a partner to love and be loved by in return, and enter into a happy married life in heaven.

      I hope this helps.

      • Isabella Martino says:

        Hello Lee –

        I’m confused about this ANGEL stuff that I keep reading about here…
        My catholic faith teaches that a human is a human and an angel is an angel and never the two shall mix, nor become the other. I will never be an angel, nor will an angel ever be a human – well, unless it’s in disguise. And angels do not procreate as humans do – whatever number there are is all there ever will be. So this thinking sends up flags to me that this is heretical teaching.
        Also, somewhere in all these readings – and I’ve read most of them – is something about stages a person goes through when they die, and that is another concern for me because my faith teaches there is one of two places that you go when you die – heaven or hell – or purgatory for cleaning up before heaven.
        So these stages where people are committing adultery and sleeping around all over the place trying to figure out who they should be with, or if they should be with anyone at all, are where? Sounds like hell to me because it can’t be heaven, and it can’t be the purifying fires of purgatory – that isn’t necessarily literal – so it has to be hell.
        And where do our bodies come into play after death – I might have missed that read – because to be human is to be body, soul and spirit, and our resurrected bodies are how we are made complete. A human is like a trinity within itself. Speaking of the Trinity of God – whole other subject that I can get on about…
        Enough for now—
        Thanks for your speedy replies.

        Isabella

        • Lee says:

          Hi Isabella,

          Thanks for your further comments. This isn’t a Catholic blog, and its articles do disagree with Catholic teachings on many points. You’ll have to make up your own mind whether you want to accept the teachings of the Catholic Church, and if so, you’ll end out rejecting much of what we teach here.

          About angels, the Bible never says that angels are a separate race of beings. Even though Genesis 1 tells about the creation of “the heavens and the earth,” it says nothing about God creating angels. But the Bible does commonly refer to angels as “men.” And the word “angel” in the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible simply means “a messenger.” There is every indication that the people who were visited by angels thought of themselves an being visited by powerful human beings whom God had sent to them to deliver a message or save them from danger. For more on this, please see:
          What is the Biblical Basis for Humans becoming Angels after they Die?

          In short, I believe that the Catholic Church is mistaken about angels being a separate race of beings. I believe that all angels were once humans who lived on earth. And as the above-linked article shows, the Bible supports this view much more strongly than the angels as a separate race of beings idea.

          About our stages after death, that is simply the preparation for going either to heaven or to hell. The Catholic Church teaches that many people go to purgatory before going to heaven. So even the Catholic Church doesn’t believe everyone goes directly to heaven or hell immediately after death.

          About “committing adultery and sleeping around all over the place trying to figure out who they should be with,” maybe some of that does happen, since we come from a mixed up world, and people who first go to the spiritual world are still just as mixed up as they were before they died. But mostly, people commonly get together with previous spouses (if they’ve been married once again), talk to them, and get a sense of whether they belong together. You don’t have to have sex to figure that out, and I’ve never thought of people going through that process as sleeping with everyone they’re thinking might be a possible partner. Also, the longer a person has been there, the more it becomes clear to everyone exactly what sort of person they are. So before too long, it’s possible to tell just by looking at someone whether or not they’re compatible with you.

          And about our resurrection body, I believe like Paul, that it is a spiritual body, not a physical body. And yet, a spiritual body is just as solid and real in the spiritual world as a physical body is in the physical world. We do not spend eternity as vague wisps of air, but as solid, substantial human beings living in the spiritual world rather than in the material world as we do during our lifetime on earth.

          These are my views, which are reflected and expressed in the articles here. I realize some of this differs greatly from what the Catholic Church teaches. Once again, you’ll ultimately have to make up your own mind what you will believe, and whether you will accept the Catholic Church’s teachings on all of these subjects.

  4. Taylor says:

    My fiancé passed away on March 24th. He had a rough life and we only had a year and half together while he was here on earth. I know God and Jesus saved him and that he is in Heaven now. My question after reading this and other articles, is he waiting for me up there?

    • Taylor says:

      And does our love continue? We both talked about how we feel we are each other’s soulmate. A pastor told me that my fiancé loves me even more now because he is in Heaven.

      • Taylor says:

        And I’m a bit confused on how you could possibly know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s sex up there. Heaven isn’t a big orgy, is it?

        • Taylor says:

          If we felt in our hearts that we are soulmates, that continues for eternity, doesn’t it? I never meant any rudeness by that last comment. It’s just been such a sad time and some of this puzzles me.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Taylor,

          I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your fiancé. It’s especially hard when you’ve hardly had a chance to develop the relationship before the one you love is taken away from you.

          If the two of you are indeed soulmates, then yes, he will be waiting for you. People whose souls are united into one are not separated even by death. Their love continues even while they are separated by the veil of death, and it is rekindled and becomes even stronger when they reunite in heaven. See: “Will Happily Married Couples be Together in Heaven?” (I know you weren’t married yet, but the same principle applies.)

          Knowing for certain is the hard part. That’s how our faith is tested here on this earth, where there is so much doubt and darkness to contend with. I won’t try to sugar-coat it. You will have many doubts to face and struggle against in the months and years to come. I can only say to hold fast to what you do know and believe, and to your God-given integrity as a person, because that’s what will carry you through.

          Yes, there is sex in heaven, and no, heaven isn’t a big orgy.

          First of all, people in heaven are in faithful, loving, monogamous marriages (unless they’ve absolutely committed themselves to remaining celibate), so there is no sleeping around. In fact, people in heaven have no desire whatsoever to have sex with anyone but their own partner in marriage. The very thought of it fills them with horror. The two of them are united in heart, mind, and body. The last thing they want to do is to break and destroy that union.

          Nor do angels hang around in bed having sex all day. They have work to do, just as we do here. So they go about their day, do their job, which they love to do, and then enjoy some R&R, just as we do here. And when their day of work and play is over, they are free to spend their time together as they like. And just as here, couples who are one in spirit especially love to express that oneness through the physical oneness that is sexual intercourse. That is when their love for one another and their oneness with each other feels most complete.

          Here is one more article about love and marriage that may also help:
          How does Marriage Fit In with a Spiritual Life? Is There Marriage in Heaven?

          I hope these thoughts and the linked articles are helpful to you. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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