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The sexuality of man and woman created in God's image reflects this; or rather, the way the Church talks about God using sexual metaphor reflects God's relationship with human kind seen most clearly in how human beings were created to Ontologically speaking, we are virgins who offer our virginity to God our Groom who has purchased us with His Life and cares for us forever. That you only mention pleasure in reference to Orthodox Christian teaching about sexuality and the saints in your letter identifies you and I both as products of a post birth control, post antibiotic generation, a very, very new phenomenon in history.All of these are or can be part of the "pain" that accompanies the pleasure of a relationship that is sexually intimate.If you were celibate, you only had to care for yourself, and in an intentional community that ate very little and worked very hard (a monastery), it was possible to devote lots of time to prayer and study.Since the only people for most of history who could read and write anyway were monks, it makes sense that most of what is written about saints in the past is about celibate men and women--or married men and women who became celibate.

Anyone who was not very wealthy and yet wanted to develop a prayer life or an intellectual life had only one option: celibacy.

If you had sex, you had kids that you had to feed, protect and shelter.

So, not too long ago historically speaking, the only way to avoid the responsibility of children was to avoid sexual intercourse.

If you wanted the leisure to learn to read and to pray with any regularity and discipline, the only two practical options were monasticism or great wealth.

It is handmade by orthodox nun.chotki is a prayer tool used by Orthodox Christian dating back to the 5th and 6th century.

Originally used to keep count on the prayer rule for monks issued by their spiritual father.

Saints with children are Saints who are having sex, and if they have a lot of children into their old age, then they are probably enjoying lots of sex for a long time, but obviously that is not what you want to focus on if you are a monk writing for other monks. It has not been at all uncommon in the Church that married people have stopped having sex--not because the pleasure is bad, but because the freedom from responsibility for children is more desirable than the desire for sexual pleasure.

If a married man and woman wanted to devote their life to prayer and study, however, then for most of history they had to live together as brother and sister. And that is why a lot of the Church's writing about sex focuses on controlling desire. However, that does not make the desire for pleasure go away.