I don't  think you can make that generalization.  Mystics used it
that way.  It doesn't mean sex was not sex in any context.  Think
of Chaucer.

On 3 Apr 2003, at 16:07, [log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

In a message dated 4/2/03 3:20:46 PM Pacific Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

     Even if Dante used sex only as a literary device to describe
     the immediate nature of the devine (which I don't agree with,
     for what that's worth), surely the Symbolists saw it not only
     as a symbol, but as a vital part of life

Dante was of a Medieval mind.  To most great Medieval thinkers,
sex _was_ a metaphor for unity with God.  That's why there are so
many lovely auld sermons on the Song of Songs.