Sex is better without religion

Jodi - posted on 05/20/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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People's sex lives improve dramatically after leaving religion, researchers in the US have found.

"Atheists have far better sex lives than religious people who are plagued with guilt during intercourse and for weeks afterwards," the Daily Mail reported.

"A study discovered that non-believers are more willing to discuss sexual fantasies and are more satisfied with their experiences.

"Both groups of people admitted that they carried out the same activities such as masturbation, watching pornography, having oral sex and pursuing affairs.

"But followers of religion did not enjoy the experiences as much due to the stigma created by their belief systems, the study found. It left them with intense feelings of regret after they had climaxed."

The Sex and Secularism study of more than 14,500 people looked at the links between religion and sex.

Questions included "How do religious parents educate their children compared to non-religious parents? When do people start sex and is there a difference based on religious training? How does religious guilt play into the whole equation?"

The survey was led by Recovering from Religion founder and psychologist Darrel Ray and Amanda Brown from Kansas University.

"All of the people who were questioned were found to have sex around the same number of times a week. They also became sexually active at similar ages," The Mail said.

"Strict religions such as Mormons ranked highest on the scale of sexual guilt. Their average score was 8.19 out of 10. They were followed closely behind by Jehovah's Witness, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, and Baptist.

"Catholics rated their levels of sexual guilt at 6.34 while Lutherans came slightly lower at 5.88.

"In contrast, atheists and agnostics ranked at 4.71 and 4.81 respectively."

The findings dispelled beliefs that feelings of guilt could continue to plague people after leaving their religion.

"We did think that religion would have residual effects in people after they left but our data did not show this," Mr Ray told alternet.org.

"That was a very pleasant surprise. The vast majority seem to shake it off and get on with their sexual lives pretty well.

"Our data shows that people feel very guilty about their sexual behaviour when they are religious, but that does not stop them, it just makes them feel bad.

"Of course, they have to return to their religion to get forgiveness. It's like the church gives you the disease, then offers you a fake cure."

Mr Ray was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, but left religion in his 30s.

He founded Recovering from Religion in 2009 to help people who needed a support system to help them deal with the aftermath of leaving religion.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/lifesty...

Okay, I DO understand that this is a biased study by an atheist group, but I am curious about opinions on the basic theory. What do you think?

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Katherine - posted on 05/20/2011

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Strict religions such as Mormons ranked highest on the scale of sexual guilt. Their average score was 8.19 out of 10. They were followed closely behind by Jehovah’s Witness, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, and Baptist. Catholics rated their levels of sexual guilt at 6.34 while Lutherans came slightly lower at 5.88. In contrast, atheists and agnostics ranked at 4.71 and 4.81 respectively.
http://freethinker.co.uk/2011/05/20/us-s...

Fascinating.

Lacye - posted on 05/20/2011

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LOL That is a crock of shit. I have a wonderful sex life with my husband. I don't feel guilty about anything that we do. Did these people actually interview any religious people or did they just make up what they wanted to hear?

Desiree - posted on 05/20/2011

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What absolute rubbish. I am Catholic and have no problem either in bed or discussing it with my kids or with friends. Sex can be absolutly wonderful or totally horrible it all depends on the person and the couple. But maybe I am a liberal Catholic and therefore see it as something more than just procreating. For me it is the closest I can get to the person I feel is the other half of who I am.

JuLeah - posted on 05/20/2011

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Not all religions lay out a guilt trip about sex. Jews, for example, are taught it is to be enjoyed, talked about, practiced. Anything you enjoy that you have been taught makes you a bad person is gonna mess you up emotionally.

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[deleted account]

LOL, I know I was pretty much a freak both before and after my deconversion. I think this study is silliness in the extreme.

Vegemite - posted on 05/22/2011

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Um I don't understand this maybe if a religious person was having sex outside of marriage there might be guilt but within marriage guilt just doesn't make sense. The bible explains that sex is the ultimate gift between a husband and wife so what's to be guilty about.
Hmm on a weekend away in Melbourne with the husband what am I doing on COM there must be something better to do ;)

Stuck-in-the-moment - posted on 05/21/2011

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No only people who dont understand religions relationship with sex would really have an issue with it..it just like feeling guilty for doing anything..if your religion states that you shouldnt do something and you do..of course you feel guilty..as for me..no I dont feel guilty..besides..I'm far happier with my religion than I could ever be with the BEST SEX and no religion :)

Jenn - posted on 05/20/2011

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I'm a Christian and I have no qualms when it comes to the bedroom. I've been there and done that whatever you can imagine - I've done it! LOL!! Although I could see this holding true with the zealots.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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Huh, I missed that Lisa. Very interesting. I am in Massachusetts, so I guess I will avoid Baptist churches in the future.

Minnie - posted on 05/20/2011

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Hmmm. I dunno...there are some pretty big IFB churches in CA and in New England. If you remember the church that was the issue in the recent 20/20 episode on IFB churches, that one is about 15 minutes north of where I live in NH.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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Interesting to know. Does it usually depend on region that you are in??? I was in Missouri at the time (mid-west)

Minnie - posted on 05/20/2011

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You probably were in Southern Baptist. Even some IFB churches are 'normal.' Mine, and many aren't.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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HUH....I don't know the diff between that and reg Baptist, or if it is all the same thing....but I had no idea they were so strict. I have been to a few Baptist Masses, and they seemed very mild to me. Go figure.

Minnie - posted on 05/20/2011

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Fundamental Independent Baptist.



I was going to add: some women can't have an orgasm vaginally. Imagine how fun those five years were for me :P



Lol- Independent Fundamental Baptist.



My blood sugar is low.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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Lisa, I know you have said it before but I cannot remember. What religion was this?

Minnie - posted on 05/20/2011

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I was actually talking about sex within marriage. My husband and I got married in our church. We had constant guilt about using birth control, which was frowned upon. I had to wear bags of skirts to hide my form from other men, which was pretty unattractive to my husband. Their constant preaching about my wicked form and how I had to hide it and act meek gave me serious body image and self-confidence issues.



No masturbation or dirty talk, of course, hilarious now to think things like that were actually preached about from the podium...for how much they want to keep our minds off of sex they sure seem obsessed with it.



Ugh, what an OAF FIB churches make their women. Their only purpose is to get pregnant and pop out babies. I didn't even have much time with my husband without children (not that I regret my beautiful daughters), but they made it clear that my job now as a wife was to be a mother and keep the home...and nothing else.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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WOW Katherine, that is eye opening. I thought for sure Catholics would rank highest....we are known for our Catholic Guilt after all.

[deleted account]

I can see the point if you are referring to sex outside of marriage. If you are talking about sex withIN marriage though..... I don't buy it.

Jocelyn - posted on 05/20/2011

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Of course it's better!
I can yell out "Jesus christ fuck me harder!" without worrying that I'm being blasphemous :P

Johnny - posted on 05/20/2011

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Perhaps there might be a.bigger difference between extra/pre-marital sex for religious people vs. atheists than ther is for sex within marriage. I enjoyed sex before my marriage just as much as I do within it. I've never even thought about feeling guilty about sexual pleasure. That is simply not how I was raised at all. As long as it is safe, consensual and positive, it is a good thing.

Many of my friends who were either raised within a religion or are currently practicing are fine when it is within the marriage. But all the (many, frequent) times they had sex before they were married they were wracked with guilt and shame about it. Not that it ever made them stop. But it did reduce the pleasure, at least for the women. And these are people who either are no longer believers or who say that they do not really think that pre-marital sex is the evil that the church claims it is.

I see a big difference between how I view sex having been raised in a non-religious environment and how people I know feel about it, even those who have left their religion to either become atheists or find their own personal spiritually.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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Ok, I am really kinda confused at what everyones perceptions about certain religions are. As being raised Catholic, no sex before marriage (oops sin number one). When my husband and I were getting married, in order to get married in the church, we needed to attend a kind of marriage counseling by the church. And let me tell you, it was ALOT about how sex is important in the marriage, how raising a family completes you more....and how much more fun sex is when you are married to the one you love. It was sex, sex, sex, work on marriage and have lots of sex. No joking, so maybe it was old school Catholicism that made people feel icky when they had sex...but I think a lot has changed.

Rosie - posted on 05/20/2011

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i think it's SOMEWHAT true. it makes sense that those who believe masturbation is a sin would feel guilty about it afterwards. also many religious people hold the belief about no sex before marriage and would therefore likely expect that to be taught in school to their children. i feel they'd have trouble discussing condoms and stuff-like they'd be promoting having sex.
certainly don't think all religious are like this, but i can definitely see it.

April - posted on 05/20/2011

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I think perception of sex is more than just what religion/denomination you are in. i think it has to do with how devout you are in your religion. my first boyfriend absolutely would not have sex with me. he wanted to save himself for a future wife and he did. he didn't marry until he was around 30-3 and was able to remain faithful to his beliefs. it drove me crazy that i could never tempt him. he really thought he would go to hell if he had sex with me without being married. i wasn't going to marry him at 18, lol! ironically, my second boyfriend was also devout, this time a Lutheran. He held onto his belief in no sex before marriage for a long time but eventually ended up getting a girl pregnant before marriage (gasp!) Now I feel kind of offended! How come he was able to stay true to his belief with me, but not with some other girl? Maybe I wasn't sexy/pretty enough for the religious freaks to want to lose their/our virginity! lol...of course i'm not REALLY offended...none of them hold a candle to my husband! hehehehehe :)

Minnie - posted on 05/20/2011

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I tell you, things got 100% better for us after leaving our church.



Perception of sex is probably dependent on the particular religion or denomination you are in.

April - posted on 05/20/2011

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i don't think that this is always the case. i think sometimes it is the opposite. sometimes i think it is BETTER for religious people because they are getting off on doing something they think they shouldn't. Maybe it feels dangerous and exciting for them, i don't know. i am not religious so i don't know what it is like for them.

Jenni - posted on 05/20/2011

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I think it would depend on how fundamentalistic the couple is. I can see there being cases where religion is sexually oppressive. Idealologies in the bedroom are more rigid based on teachings of modesty, restrictions to marriage only, masturbation being frowned upon, certain sexual acts being taboo, sexuality being considered sinful and repressed.



Of course this wouldn't go for *all* religious people but I can see how some of the principals would inhibit some religious couples in the bedroom.

Tania - posted on 05/20/2011

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Does anyone remember the Sez and the City episode where Meranda dates a guy who showers after every time they have sex because its dirty...LOL
Anyway I think it has to do with what your thoughts are about sex to begin with. If your raised or taught to believe sex is dirty or sinful I think thats how you will feel as an adult.
I mean you can believe you aren't to have sex until marriage and so on but at the same time you can be taught that sex is fun and meant to be enjoyed. It is silly and sometimes embarrassing....hello sex toots....but its all good

[deleted account]

I guess its all to do with the individuals.How they view sex.Many religious people enjoy sex and don't feel ashamed or guilty.So yep i think it has to do with how one views sex in the first place.

Jackie - posted on 05/20/2011

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Sex. What's Sex? I don't even freaking know anymore. I've been on complete "pelvic rest" for the last 5 months because of partial previa!

Sherri - posted on 05/20/2011

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Well since I am religious and know no other way, it is impossible to know how I would feel about it, if I wasn't. So I guess that is my feeling on it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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I was raised Roman Catholic, my husband was raised even more Catholic than I was, we both watch porn, masturbate, use toys, enjoy sex...and nope. I don't feel guilty and neither does he. He is still very much a practicing Catholic (so am I but just going through the motions) I have many issues with organized religions. I am one of those that could be considered agnostic or Catholic. I know, confusing, but that is how it is for me.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2011

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This is a WEIRD study! I am not so sure that I agree. I can see where it is coming from, but even the most religious fanatcis that I have may hump like rabbits, and have no guilt. I think it is really based on how you are raised to view sex. If you happen to be religous, and you were brought up to believe your body is a temple, and strictly used to create more life...then yes....you are gonna have issues. But you can be raised religious and still have a healthy sex life without guilt. It all depends on how you are raised.

Tara - posted on 05/20/2011

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I know enough religious people and enough free from religion people to say I have to agree with this study.
My ex sister in law was a strict Catholic for many many years, while her hubby was also catholic it was in name only, He did not believe in any of it, but went along with the notion of being Catholic. He really enjoyed sex, she felt the guilt afterwards. She also didn't like to climax because she felt so dirty afterwards.
I felt so bad for her. She had a breakdown in her faith about 7 years ago. She left her church and has decided to have her own relationship with Jesus instead of with the Catholic church. She confided to me that she never thought sex should be sinful or that enjoying orgasm is wrong, but the guilt she would feel after was not worth the pleasure of the moment. But that after she left the church she had this renewed sense of sexuality. She felt sexy for the first time in her life and she felt like she had been living a lie for so long.
Her hubby was very happy.
But yes I agree the study is a little skewed in that it is done by an atheist group focusing only on people who had left their religion and not people currently religious and having sex.

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