Religion and Sex

Politics and religion are taboo subjects for a lot of people, but thankfully the blogsphere is changing that. I seriously did not think that so many people would read and react (even though not directly on the comment box) to my Bad Sex post. I actually have about five different topics to be developed just from that post alone. That made me really start thinking about writing more on the subject. I am not a sex expert, but I have had sex. I have had bad sexual experiences as well as good ones. I have had problems in a relationship due to sex and also enjoy a happy sex life now. I also feel no shame when I talk about sex, but that does not mean that I am not familiar with what that feeling can do to sex.

One of my biggest problems with religion is that it separates a lot more than it unifies. First we have the people that believe in something bigger than just them and those that don’t. Then in the group of people that believe, we have more division and a lot more incentives to stay that way. Sex plays a big role on religion even if some people like to simplify it with the for procreation only banter. Sex made to be a dirty act negates our needs as humans.

Like the need to eat to survive, sex is something that is wired into our instincts. People that do not acknowledge that are as blind as those that think that living in a compound and giving up your 14 year old to a 40 year old to marry is all good because a leader said so. Sex is something that takes a lot of effort to suppress, but like an anorexic will tell you, it is suppressible none the less. So why does religion want to put a chastity belt on something that feels so good?

I believe it has something to do with the line that religion draws in the sand and likes to call perversion. While sex between two consenting adults should not be a matter of public scrutiny, religion likes to make it their business to tell them how they should have it. Some people might think it is crazy to let religion tell them what to eat, but they forget that some people do not drink caffeine, pork or beef because their religion tells them to.

I do not need religion to tell me the different between right and wrong because my own morals tell me that. I also do not need to them to tell me what music I should listen to and what food I should eat. I do not want them in my bedroom at all… however they have been there several times until I decided to drive them out.

There are many ramifications to this subject, but for today I would like to point out a common one. Sex before marriage.

While I respect people that stay pure until marriage I think it is a big mistake. It is a huge mistake when only one has experience and a bigger one if both are inexperienced. If you come from a very conservative household it is very likely that you have never discussed sex with anyone. If you are also surrounded by people that are also very conservative your sources for information become very limited and sometimes not the best.

Pornography for example is one of the worse places to look for sexual direction. It is not only unrealistic but also geared towards very specific audiences. If someone has never had sex before and they see a run of the mill porn movie they are going to buy immediately into the sex is dirty and anything but missionary position is a sin. It is like giving a ten course meal to someone that is starving, it will overwhelm them.

If you have never had sex with the lights on while trying different positions and speed you are missing out. It is like always having French Fries while they are cold, without salt and saggy. While you might not like spicy curly fries after you try them, you might love them hot and dipped in ketchup or maybe even mayo. The key is to give it a try.

So if you have never given yourself the chance and you are too ashamed to even admit it or scared to look in the net. There is this book called the Kamasutra which I believe is a good place to start. Pick up a copy of one that is not necessarily pornographic from your local book store and share it together. If you end up getting your partner to at least try one of the positions there you are taking what I think is a step in the right direction.

19 comments on “Religion and Sex

  1. While I understand where you’re coming from, for Christians there’s a big roadblock in the highway of premarital sex: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.

    It’s pretty cut and dried, that a person should not have sexual (or marital, whatever) relations with a person not their spouse. While some of the commandments can be interpreted more loosely than others (Honor Father and Mother doesn’t mean you follow their instructions to the letter your entire life), that one is fairly cut and dried along the lines of Do Not Steal and Do Not Murder.

    It’s not a bug – it’s a feature of the Christian software, that one shares of themselves only with the one they’ve chosen before God and committed their lives to. Sex is not something to be tossed around loosely because it feels good – it’s an intimate, spiritual act that is to be respected. That definitely doesn’t mean that pretty much anything goes inside of marriage as long as it doesn’t involve farm animals and lawn implements. But outside of marriage, for practicing Christians, it’s not only a commandment it’s a logical one that makes sense.

  2. Thank you Barry!

    Logtar, it seems from this topic that you think that the purpose of religion is to simply prevent you from doing something you want to do. You site examples of religion regulating what you eat or how you conduct your sex life. If we use Barry’s example of the 10 commandments, which I think most people would agree with, I see these as rules, boundaries and limitations (apologies to Ceasar Milan). God created us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He put these in place to help us, not hinder. I think we get into trouble when we start thinking we know more than God.

    “I do not need religion to tell me the different between right and wrong because my own morals tell me that.” — What is religion to you really? I’m only guessing, but it seems like you feel that it is something made up by people to tell you what you can’t do. Just as a parent tells their kid not to stick their finger in a light socket, God tells us what we can and can’t do as well. Do kids like being told what to do by their parents? NO! Are parents often right and are making rules because they love their kids and don’t want them hurt? YES! I think as we mature spiritually we “grow up”. It takes a lifetime. I’ve read through the New Testament a few times recently and I gain something new each time. Spiritual maturity takes time and I am not there yet!

    “It is a huge mistake when only one has experience and a bigger one if both are inexperienced” — I guess I see this as just the opposite. I think if both are unexperienced then it brings a whole new level of intimacy to the relationship when the husband and wife learn about themselves and each other at the same time. There is no other baggage in the way.

    Now for the parts that I agree with you! =)

    Your take on Pornography is right on. And when you talk about how religion can make sex “dirty” I also agree that is wrong. Let me make something clear, it is often people who make things dirty or bad or whatever, not God. God made sex and he made it enjoyable….not dirty. He did set up rules for all of his good creations, including sex. Man has also perverted everything that God made good. (read some other old testament sex restrictions and figure God had to put these regulations in place because people were doing them!! example: no sex with animals, and no sex with your mother, sister, etc).

    Sorry if I am all over the place with this, but it is a lot of ground to cover.

  3. I am glad you brought this point up Barry. I have worshiped with many “practicing” Christians throughout my life and the only common denominator besides calling Jesus their lord was that they all chose things to interpret different than the doctrine they chose.

    Premarital sex might not be up for discussion with Christians, but there are a lot of them out there doing it and some even being hypocritical about it. I personally know of people that consider themselves virgin because of technicalities but had performed more sexual acts than people that had been married for years. That to me is a lot more dangerous than maybe having a couple of experiences before you say “I do.”

    While the commandment is logical, I do not think it makes complete sex when you send people into something as significant as marriage with no training whatsoever. Sex education is a joke, and when one partner does not know what someone might feel like, more often than not they start wondering.

    Chemistry is a wonderful and real thing, and I now know the difference between being with someone that I have it with, vs someone that I don’t. And no it is not all about it just feeling good, but believe me… if it did not feel good people would not want to have it after more than just for procreation purposes.

  4. No one brought up the point, that if sex is done right. There is alot of gods name being called out.

  5. Yes, even Christians have premarital sex. There are Christians out there who lie, cheat, steal and even murder. Some cheat on their spouses, their taxes, and at Monopoly. Christians gossip, ignore their parents in their elderly years, love money too much, don’t hold doors open for their wives and work too late at the office while missing their kids’ recitals.

    A lot of people take this as an indictment on being a Christian, as if it’s a hypocritical endeavor. i.e. So many “Christians” out there in the world are deliberately acting in non-Christian manners, so there must not really be anything to this religion”… but they miss the point. The point is that we all sin, and we all make mistakes. When you’re a Christian – a real, practicing Christian and not one in name only – you acknowledge your weaknesses, ask forgiveness for them, and work on improving them.

    That said to say this: Making mistakes by having sex outside of marriage is one thing. Thinking of it as “training” for marriage is another. You can educate yourself, and be open for education, without actually having to experience it. You can even actively try to learn more about it from others’ experience after marriage to enhance the marriage. What it takes is honest, open discussion by both partners before and during the marriage to determine the kind of sex life they will and do have.

  6. –Mark M Said–
    –“I do not need religion to tell me the different between right and wrong because my own morals tell me that.” — What is religion to you really? I’m only guessing, but it seems like you feel that it is something made up by people to tell you what you can’t do.–

    Wow man, I had never expected such an statement from you about me, but I am glad you made it. I think there is something here that you need to understand about religion and the way I see it and understand it.

    I see the bible as the ultimate guide to life. I also believe it is the word of God and I am open to hear people’s interpretation of it but I ultimately rely on my interpretation of the word. It has yet to fail me.

    I believe that Jesus was a God that became man, but his divinity was intact. I also believe in his resurrection and that he is coming again.

    That said, anything else said by a man interpreting the bible or the doctrine of any denomination I take with a grain of salt. I personally think of life as being a series of choices that should be made with a good clean heart.

    Beyond that in a higher level I feel connected to anyone spiritually that believes in a higher being than themselves and that have the basic principle of doing good onto others, living a happy life while not hurting or stepping over others. When they believe that way I think they are living a life worthy of entering the afterlife of eternal bliss. While salvation is a concept that could be deviated to nauseum, I believe good people will get into heaven regardless of how the worship.

    I think of religions as user manuals. There are things like sex, eating, drinking that I believe I can figure out on my own. I do not read the manual for my cell phones for example, I just like to figure them out. Issues like murder, marriage, fidelity and how to worship I take from my religion. Just like when I buy something that is in pieces and needs to be built, I completely follow the manual then. I do not necessarily pick and choose like in a buffet line, it is more about how I interpret the information. Adultery to me has to do with sex after you have entered the covenant of marriage. You can tell me that premarital sex is adultery and therefore I am going to hell if I do not repent, but I believe that I am good person and that I will not burn in hell because I had sex out of wedlock.

    –Do kids like being told what to do by their parents? NO!–

    I disagree here completely. I know for a fact that kids crave discipline and it helps in their formation. What they might complain about and what they like are at times confusing, but all kids like direction. They are sponges for it.

    –Mark M said–
    — I think as we mature spiritually we “grow up”. It takes a lifetime. I’ve read through the New Testament a few times recently and I gain something new each time. Spiritual maturity takes time and I am not there yet! —

    Sure, spirituality is a walk and it takes time to achieve it. However the more and more I live the more and more I have learnt to pray for piece and also to achieve piece through good relationships and my liberation from guilt, anger and all those other ugly demons of the past. I feel closer to God now that I have great relationships with people some of whom don’t even come close to the Christian faith than when I was going to a super strict church where the relationships were conditional on what some people there believe necessary for salvation. My brothers in Christ have been the ones that turned their back on me at the first sign of difficult and the quickest to make me feel not welcome.

    –Barry Said–
    –The point is that we all sin, and we all make mistakes. When you’re a Christian – a real, practicing Christian and not one in name only – you acknowledge your weaknesses, ask forgiveness for them, and work on improving them.–

    I wish this was true, but my experience with most Christians has been that they are the quickest to turn their back on people that have true trials. Christians are very good at talking the talk, but very, very seldom have I seen people walk the walk. Seeking the forgiveness of God is what I care about, seeking the approval of man and religion to me is a waste of time because I don’t think any religion has it 100% right. The closet people that I have seen to true Christians have been Monks, Priest and Nuns… they are the only people that I have seen being selfless like the bible speaks. Not one protestant clergy person I have met has made me feel like there is not another agenda behind their ministry, or church.

  7. I’m certainly not trying to judge your motives or anything when it comes to your religious beliefs as I said, “I’m only guessing” about how you look at religion. I don’t really understand your views expressed here when you say that you “don’t necessarily pick and choose like in a buffet line” but yet you say that you believe certain things about the Gospel but then you say that other topics like sex, eating and drinking you’ll figure out on your own. Am I missing something? I know what you are talking about when you say that some things are open to interpretation but from your statement it doesn’t seem like you care what the bible actually does say about topics like those. Help me out here.

    It is a shame that “most Christians” have not been a good example to follow but that does not deny the point I think Barry was making. Christians are flawed people, which is why they are Christians to begin with =) If we were perfect, then we wouldn’t need Christ! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to excuse behavior or say that there aren’t “talk the talk” Christians, because there are. But I have been around plenty of Christians that are genuine about their faith and desire to help others who were missionaries or preachers or “regular” people that want to imitate Christ and be the best servants they can be. Just because you haven’t met those people doesn’t mean they don’t exist =)

    Sorry, am I way off topic again? Wasn’t this suppose to be about sex somehow? Heheh =)

  8. 1) You say you are “open to hear people’s interpretation of” the Bible, but then it seems you discount the wisdom and teachings of other men who have read, studied and interpreted the Bible by “taking them as grains of salt” and do yourself a great disservice. While I would never advocate blind faith to a human spiritual leader, I think there a lot of people wiser than I am that know a lot more about Jesus than I do. And while I will definitely read the Bible myself and ultimately form my own opinions, I will seek out and value the counsel of others, whether they are ministers, authors, bloggers or just friends with good advice. To take the whole of Biblical teaching into your own hands is to discount the collected wisdom of all the men and women of God who came before you whose words may not be found between Genesis and the Revelation.

    2) While I would like to believe all good children go to heaven, and I personally do think the rules are a bit less rigid than most Christians believe, you still basically ignore Christ saying, “No one will know the Father but he knows Me” (loosely stated) when you say all good people will make it regardless how they worship. What I find open for interpretation is what it means to know Christ. If you know who he is and follow his principles, is that “knowing Christ”? I don’t know. But you have to, in your heart, know what that being “good” is the same as being “Christlike”.

    3) Unless you have a different dictionary than I do, “Adultery” means sex outside the confines of a marriage. That means before, between and after. To define adultery only as “cheatin’ on yor ol’ lady” is way too narrow a focus. If I have sex before I ever say “I Do” I commit adultery. If I have sex with someone after a divorce but before another wedding, it’s adultery. If I have sex with someone after my mate has died and I haven’t married again, it’s adultery. There’s really no getting around it.

    Now, whether 1st base/2nd base/3rd base also means sex is up for human interpretation, as is the whole “lusting in our heart” and also what constitutes a marriage – civil union? Church wedding? “Married in our heart after being alone in the woods for a week”? Common law? Two men? All questions to be debated, but as for the first it’s pretty cut and dried.

    4. Meanwhile, “burn in hell” is a scary euphemism, but we sin all the time. Whether sex before marriage is a sin or not doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme because all the sins you committed the other 23 hours and 364 days of the rest of the year are going to be there too counting against you. What matters is that you recognize the sins and ask forgiveness for them.

    5. I must be a vast minority because I’ve rarely actually seen people turn their backs on other people, and those that did weren’t overwhelmingly “Christian”. They were just folks, making mistakes. It’s not an indictment on Christianity, it’s just people messing up.

    Here’s a secret – Monks, Priests and Nuns sin all the time, too. Maybe pound for pound not as much as you or I, but they do. They just may work harder at fighting it, and know more about the consequences and what to do about them but they’re no more or less “true” than anybody else who loves Jesus and follows his teachings.

    You need to meet some more protestant clergy. I would just about say the same for Catholic clergy so there’s probably just a bias. Oops, another human fault – prejudice, judgement and pride. I did it again :( Good thing I’m forgiven. :)

  9. Mark M – like everything else, sex is at the heart of most every religious discussion somewhere 😉

  10. Funny that you guys bring up the definition of adultury b/c according to, it is: “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.” This would not include pre-marital sex by two single consenting adults.

    This is another prime example of why I have difficulty with organized religion — there are multiple ways to interpret the same words, so who is right?

  11. One of the things that I love the most about the education that I received from teachers is that it made me a thinking person, not someone that would regurgitate another man’s wisdom as my own. While I don’t think I have ever said I am right and you are wrong, most people take my views as conflicting with theirs instead of them just being my own.

    Barry, I have studied history and religion because they fascinate me… however, organized religion is a very closed minded and exclusive in many of the beliefs that I am sorry to say they sometimes try to brainwash people with.

    Mark, just the thought of only 4400 people going to heaven… you truly believe everything in the bible as your leaders proclaim it? Because last time I checked that one was not open to interpretation either.

    Doctrine is complicated, and I could probably make a blog about religion alone because I grew up around it and I have been to churches of many different denominations. Catholic priests are some of the most intelligent and educated people there are, sure some are bad apples but there are just as many scandals of homosexuality and child abuse in protestantism. I don’t like to have to defend my beliefs, and mostly what I wanted to point out here is that religion can hinder a couple’s enjoyment of sex because of the choke hold they have in the bedroom… go out and buy a kamasutra unless it is prohibited by your church… if it is, I am kind of sad for you 😉

  12. Oh sure, Becky, bring the dictionary into this! 😉

    I’ve heard that definition before, and I personally don’t agree with it as a biblical definition. I think God has something entirely different in mind by prohibiting extramarital sex than just “don’t cheat on your spouse”. It goes much deeper than that and I think people use the dictionary definition to circumvent the “spirit” of the law and what it’s really intended to safeguard. Otherwise, with that logic, then it’s ok for two 15-yr-olds to go at it? Or how about a 25-yr-old and a 15-yr-old? If there’s no moral reason not to have premarital sex, why would the age difference be any more of a moral problem?

    (I know that’s a rhetorical question and the answer is pretty obvious but the reasoning behind it is important)

    Logtar – why does it seem you have so much reticence in trusting the wisdom of others? Why do you see it as “regurgitating views”? Maybe I’m not understanding you…

    Can you enumerate those many beliefs that are “close-minded”, yet not Biblical or Christian you believe organized religion has, and try to brainwash people with? Again, I’ve never come across that kind of thing in my personal experience though I’ve heard a lot of stories 3rd and 4th hand….

    It still sounds like a teenager’s resentment of their parents’ draconian rules requiring them to be back home by 11, when they are quite mature and trustworthy enough to be out till 1 and dating the leader of the biker gang she met in a bar last week….

  13. Barry :) before I get into the serious one, I have to say that Becky just stomped you… LOL because she did bring up exactly what you said… the dictionary.

    About your question… I think you do understand me, but don’t try to see my point of view. I am not angry or full of resentment at the ideas, I am uncomfortable as the way they were sold. I don’t think I have seen the first person turn the other cheek, I mean really turn the other cheek. As to name a few of the misused ideas from the bible that to me are close minded, there are several, from having someone with no money give more more to the church with the promise of the gospel of wealth more and more prevalent in mega churches but that is another post. For now I will give you the one that burns me the most.

    Rapture – The bible says –
    < < Matthew 24:36 >>
    “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
    – Yet many churches TODAY are preaching that they know the year…

  14. I’m not sure what churches you’re looking at, but only the fringiest of fringey evangelical churches are actually preaching the date and time of the rapture. And not many more of those are actually teaching that there will be an actual rapture (a term that’s not mentioned in the Bible, and only hinted at in a couple of verses very vaguely).

    I’ll tell you like I tell a lot of people – I see the things you say you don’t see all the time. But it’s because I’m looking for them, and open to when they occur instead of a lot of people who assume they don’t exist and as such to them they don’t. It’s self-fulfilling perception – you don’t believe people can be good, so you don’t see them good they do. I happen to believe there’s a lot of good and as such see it ALL THE TIME. I don’t wear rose-colored glasses and I’m not naive – I’m over 40 and am quite perceptive. I SEE the kindness people do, I see turning other cheeks and generosity. You can’t take “megachurches” as indicative of American Christianity – at least not yet.

  15. I think you get me all wrong Barry, I am a happy person that sees good all the time, most of the good I see is from my friends and family… that is how I pick friends, people I believe are good.

    However churches that I have attended, and I hate doing this because it is pointing fingers, but Word of Faith churches which are very popular and not quite mega churches but getting there; are into the whole rapture gospel that like you I feel is totally read into wrong (since it is not really there.)

    Good people and good Christians are totally different things in my perception… I believe that to call yourself a true Christian you should make a total commitment to living you life like he said it should be lived and not many people are capable of that kind of commitment… and it should not be for everyone either. I do not think that heaven is just for Christians but for good people, and Christians, true Christians to me are some of the best people.

  16. Hmmm. I haven’t heard of the particular “Word of Faith” church denomination. Maybe I’ve just missed that particular designation.

  17. When it comes to getting into heaven, it’s not by works that we’ll get there, but by our faith and grace. It comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ and surrendering out lives wholly to him. Does it mean we’re blameless or without sin? Far from it. Even after you enter into a relationship with Christ, you’re still going to sin. Temptation will still be there–it will probably be more since by following the path to redemption and salvation through Christ, you make Satan mad and he will attack you harder and through your vulnerabilities.

    I think in a lot of ways, that can be anything. Satan can take anything that is good in the proper context and use it to cause us to sin. It’s when we put something above our relationship with God that it becomes a sin. It can be our pursuit of sex, it can be our enjoyment of food. God created all these things because He loves us. He gave us the gift of sexuality and wired us to be sexual beings to have a closer union between a husband and wife. Of course, in all things that can and has been perverted….we see pornography that is degrading to both partners and gives men a warped view of sexuality. We see how it can destroy men and women.

    The thing you have to remember is the 10 Commandments aren’t supposed to be about a list of don’ts. Instead it’s supposed to be a way to enter into right relationship with God.

  18. All I know about sex and religion is that the uber-repressed religious people are the ones most likely to commit rape & incest.


    Anyway, your sex posts have given me the balls to write one. It should be up today.

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