I just had an interesting interaction with a non-Pagan man who was under the impression that most Wiccans are polyamorous (have or are open to multiple lovers). He was apparently interested in my affections. While that is flattering, it made me think about how to explain Pagan culture to him in a way that would a) help him talk to Pagan women (he needed help), and b) help him understand the way many of us think about ethics, morals, etc.
As I do a lot of conversing and e-mailing with new seekers on the Wiccan path, I thought I'd share some stuff about the culture of Wiccans in particular and Pagans in general. Readers may or may not be familiar with these things and please note that I'm not suggesting that *all* Wiccans nor *all* Pagans will agree with me on these points. Pagans are rabid individualists. That's about the only thing all of us will agree on 100% of the time.
1. When interacting with Wiccans and other Pagans, don't assume things regarding someone's love style. Neo-Pagans in general are supportive of all sex and love styles involving consenting, informed adults, but that doesn't mean that we are all the same. Some of us are straight, some of us are bi, some of us are gay. Some of us are monogamists, some are poly, some are in closed poly relationships, some are in open marriages/relationships, some of us are in traditional heterosexual marriages, some are in various configurations of love relationships that defy neat definitions. Wicca is not about "sharing partners" or about "free love." However, various love styles are respected within our communities. I myself am in a traditional heterosexual monogamist marriage. One of my students is a gorgeous young woman who is voluntarily celibate as tribute to a virgin Matron Goddess. We are nothing if not diverse.
2. Yes, Wicca is a fertility based religion and therefore sex-positive. Sex-positive means being unashamed of human sexuality. That's all. Most Wiccans do not have sex in ritual.
3. For non-Pagan men who want to approach Pagan women: Women and men are seen as equals by most Neo-Pagans. This means that you don't ask a woman/girl "Do you have a boyfriend/husband?" First of all, she might have a wife/girlfriend or several of them. Asking whether there is a man in her life is irrelevant. You're not going to win points with her by asking a question that implies that if she is partnered by a man, she's that man's property. She is your equal. Treat her like it or be prepared to be immasculated most painfully (or at least ignored).
4. There are some forms of Paganism that are considered to be "on the fringes" of Pagan society when it comes to attitudes about sex. For instance, the Frosts (search Gavin and Yvonne Frost) have attitudes about sexuality, age of consent, and how sex and Wicca are interrelated that are not shared by most Wiccans. One Wiccan doesn't speak for another. 99% of us do not condone sex with people under 18, for instance. Please don't assume that when you come across books or stuff on the net about these extremist, fringe groups that all Wiccans or all Pagans have those beliefs and practices.
5. Wiccans and other Pagans do not associate nudity with sex. We can be nude or partially nude around one another and it isn't sexual in the least. Not all of us are naturists but plenty of us are. If you go to a Pagan festival (such as Free Spirit, Pagan Spirit Gathering, etc.), be prepared to see some nakedness. I myself don't take my clothes off at Pagan fests, and plenty of us don't. But bodies are not shameful to us and our men don't leer at our young women who may be in various stages of undress. They see them as vessels of the Goddess' energy and they respect them as such. Again, just because we *can* walk around naked doesn't mean we all do.
6. Some Pagans practice ritual nudity and some don't. Some of us who do worship skyclad do so only in certain situations, such as for initiations. If you are a guest at a circle, you will usually be told if people will be skyclad so you can decide for yourself in advance whether you want to go to such an event. Most groups I know practice robed. It is appropriate to ask your host whether the event will be robed, "street" (as in street clothing), or what.