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Old 02-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #26
Pilgrim Soul
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
I am still convinced that the Ainur were largely asexual unless confined to a single incarnation, and that their marriages were based on a "purer" form of "gender-attraction" rather than the sexual attraction that Incarnates had to put up with. Again, it seems to me that Professor Tolkien considered sexuality to be in many cases a wearisome obstacle in the relations between men and women in this world ("The dislocation of sex-instinct is one of the chief symptoms of the Fall." (Letters p.48)) and that an emotionally intimate relationship between the two without sexuality would be an admirable thing. Hence in the secondary world Ainur couples would be "better" than Incarnate couples because they wouldn't have sexuality mediating the affection and compatibility of partners.

Likewise I am almost entirely sure that Professor Tolkien made a remark somewhere to the effect that marriages among the Ainur were non-sexual in nature (more explicitly than in the quote I've already provided in my previous post, that is) but I still cannot find it...
I think the crucial word in the first quotation is dislocation, literally meaning out of place. I have a feeling Tolkien said in one of his letters that "it was a pity it was ever a sin". In the HoME essay "The laws and customs of the Eldar" he makes it very clear that Elves enjoy sex but it is pretty much a phase in their lives and once they have got it out of their system and had all the children they wanted they devote their creative instincts to other things. Also seems from the same essay that conception is an act of will. Since the sexual act is an essential part of contracting an Elvish marriage and there is often a lengthy spell between marriage and the birth of children it would also seem that Elves had sex for pleasure / pair bonding reasons rather than merely to reproduce. However their relationships were faithful and exclusive so this may indeed represent an ideal of being able to have close relationships with others without affecting the integrity of the marital relationship. Something which is indeed hard for mortals to do.

Of course immortals don't have the biological imperative that affects mortals who live on in their children so they will be less driven by their hormones. Elvish spirits are much more in control of their bodies and as they age the spirit takes precedence IIRC.

And what is true for elves is likely to be true to a even greater degree for the Valar so I agree that the Ainur are not likely to be affected by desires of the flesh and that the lust of Sauron is more likely to be about the desire to overpower, possess and exert control rather than about sex per se.
“But Finrod walks with Finarfin his father beneath the trees in Eldamar.”

Christopher Tolkien, Requiescat in pace
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