The connections between love and sex

I am currently reading a short book called Sex in the light of Reincarnation and Freedom by Alan Howard (1980). Howard is a lecturer and writer about anthroposophy and Steiner education. I am grappling with his book, which is really the only discussion of sexuality from a Steiner perspective that I have found. Here are several quotes which I find quite evocative:

“Love is not something that happens; love is something we create. A powerful, dynamic attraction can happen to us, but not love. If, therefore, on the basis of such an attraction only, two people hasten into marriage with all the trappings of ’till-death-us-do-part’, then they are likely to discover that all kinds of other things can happen too.”

“Sex is certainly one of the expressions of love, but love itself has nothing to do with sex. Love is devotion to the destiny of the one loved… It imposes no restraints, sexual or otherwise. It makes no demands; it is not possessive. It is faithful only to itself, to love; and many can be loved as easily as one.”

I am still mulling over the implications of these and other points by Howard. And I wonder, what might be different for an adolescent who had this perspective of love, rather than the romantic ideal presented through the books, movies, and music of our time?

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. Karen, these are wonderful quotes. The first eludes to the quality of love described in M. Scott Pecks’ “The Road Less Traveled.” Love is time and attention, not a feeling. Love is the action we take towards those we love, concerned for their well-being rather than our own.

    The second quote eludes to what I believe is the “wrongness” of monogamy and our contemporary understanding of it.

    These quotes harken back to the 60s and 70s, when many were trying to turn the world upside down to escape from the narrow, restrictive 50s projection of the nuclear family “bliss.”

    An adolescent who holds to Howard’s views might understand that love is not a requirement to engage in sexual activity with someone. If there is no need for love and commitment, there might be much more honesty in relationships. Very important, obviously, when you are consciously engaging in sex without love (in a positive way, respecting one’s partner, respecting oneself), protection against pregnancy and STDs is crucial.

    If adolescents knew the difference between love and infatuation – oh, if only most adults knew the difference between love and infatuation – hearts wouldn’t be broken nearly as often, families wouldn’t be split up nearly as often. We would live in a saner world.

  2. Remember: Children are not pizza pies. We can raise them a certain way, but we don’t control how they “turn out.”

    I do cringe at the thought of 15-year-olds having sex because they think they’re in love when they truly haven’t the vaguest notion of what that means, and getting in trouble….

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