These seem to be ideals of bodily uncleannes derived from an Aristotelian dichotomy between body and soul, manifested in rules generally developed in a monastic context by those living a monastic life.
i) It would seem it's precisely because one believes the body and the soul are intimately interwoven (hence why death is a violent intrusion upon God's purposes for mankind), that would justify the customs being discussed here. It would be a platonic "spirit-good-important/body-unworthy-unimportant" type rationale which would actually allow the idea that disturbances in either the body or the soul do not in meaningfully cross over from one to the other.
ii) The biggest difference between monastic life and "secular" life, is one of degree not kind - all Christians have the same essential calling, and all being human beings of a common nature, have the same basic set of dynamics at worth within them.
The bodily function cannot properly be regarded as unclean and if it occurs independent of unclean thoughts the source can not be regarded as unclean either.
I don't think anyone here is speaking about "uncleaness" in this sort of superficial way. While it is obvious that people generally don't directly "will" a nocturnal emission (and if they do, they've got bigger problems than simply "wet dreams"), neither does Orthodoxy accept the essentially Roman Catholic definition of "sin". While there is no place in Catholicism for the asking of forgiveness of sins "voluntary or involuntary", this is certainly the case in Orthodoxy, given that it fundamentally understands sin in the Biblical sense of "falling short", and fallen man as one who is ill
. That one has sexual dreams may not in itself be a direct act of the will, but it is very often a sign of where we are to be found wanting.
Concerning marital relations before communion, I tend to oppose any such restrictions because I believe it contributes to an already Aristotelian understanding of the Body and Natural Functions as unclean by the laity, but if one wants to include such activity in the pre-communion fast along with food, fine, but the amount of time that one should abstain from sexual intercourse (with their spouse, of course) should be no longer than the amount of time they abstain from food prior to communion (6 hrs according to most bishops I've heard speak on the issue). And this, of course, following St. Paul's admonition should only be by mutual consent.
Fasting has always been the normal preparation for receiving Holy Communion, and in Orthodoxy at least, fasting includes sexual abstinance. This is not out of a spirit of revulsion for natural goods (esp. the ones we're describing, as lived by Christians - for our food is received with prayer and blessing, and the mystery of marriage is blessed by God), but out of a desire to put such things aside (if only temporarily) in favour of focusing upon the goods of the World to Come, which are eternal and imperishing (where as marriage and it's use ends for us individually in this life, and will come to an end for all at the Last Judgement.)
This is, of course, assuming these emissions are not a natural but, along with reproduction I would presume, a result of the fall. But I would argue that the body and bodily functions are not part of the fall, but rather part of man in his Created and Natural state; thus making the exersizing of these bodily functions not inherently wrong, but only wrong if accompanied by an actual sin (adultery or fornication or unclean thoughts and desires).
I think it's important to make correct distinctions here. On one hand, you're right in so far as the way some unlearned people think of the fall, one would have to conclude that the fall of the first man (and his wife) involved some change to their nature. I agree that this would be incorrect. St.Athanasios states in his On the Incarnation
that the "law of death" is in a sense
natural - that sense being, that it is what will consequentially happen to beings seperated from God.However
this is not what God had in store for mankind in the beginning. Adam and Eve were offered two paths, as it were - one which leads to blessedness and life, the other to misery and death. But the two are not equivelent, nor are they to be portrayed as both being God-pleasing - for wherever God puts this kind of choice before us He always says "choose life". The theme of the "two paths" is a very common one in early Christian literature (ex. the Didache, and if memory serves correctly, the Epistle of Barnabas). While Adam had not yet inherited "Life" in Paradise, neither was he created in corruption either. Sadly, he chose badly.
At the same time however, God has never left us completely unprepaired - even when we choose evil. Thus, mankind did not simply "poof" out of existance with that original sin, but has continued. Indeed, his ability to still continue (however painfully) is itself given by God - just as God gave our first parents the "garments of flesh" as they were exiled from Paradise. This is why the Fathers who address this topic, seem pretty clear in saying that had they the chance, the manner of procreation which Adam and Eve would have enjoyed in Paradise would have been very different (as was pretty much everything else about their life in Eden) than what we experience. Just as they would never have tasted death, neither would they have experienced the lustful feelings we do, which are intimately linked to our mortality.
Matrimony, most especially Christian marriage, is a redemption of this carnality. It fuses it's expression to love and duty; the procreation of Godly offspring, and the fostering of intimate friendship between the spouses (and it also puts a definite limit upon the expression of sexual feelings; hence why marriage can rightly be called a form of chastity).
However, when the fallen state of our bodies (which will not be fully redeemed until the Ressurection) acts out in the way we're speaking of (and it even happens to those who are quite pious, sincere, and careful about guarding their eyes and thoughts), we have a very personal and bitter reminder that we are sinners. So while such things in a way "natural" (to a bad state
of affairs), this doesn't mean they are of no negative consequence, or that they do not war against everlasting Life. Broadly speaking, a contrary understanding makes the ascetic struggle (which is an essential part of genuine Christianity) incomprehensible.