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September 3rd, 2010
02:18 PM ET

How Christians spoil sex

Christian marriage.

Hot sex.

Let’s try that again:

Christian marriage; hot sex.

It doesn’t quite go together does it?

Passionate, toe-curling sex isn’t normally associated with Christianity or even spirituality in general.

At least that’s what Jonathan Acuff, a Belief Blog contributor and author of "Stuff Christians Like," argues in a recent blog. He says Christians need to do a better job of connecting God with a vibrant sex life.

That’s what we’ve been told. That God and sex don’t go together. And if you say something enough times, people start to believe it’s true…. You can’t have both in the same bottle. They’re oil and water. Cats and dogs. Spencer and Heidi. They just don’t go together.

Acuff, who is married, says Christians shouldn’t just teach abstinence. They should also teach that while sex before marriage is bad, “sex when you’re married is awesome.”

He says Christians damage sex in four ways:

They teach guilt, not abstinence.

They have very few ways to discuss it.

They write 10 books about lust for every one book about the gift of sex.

They've "made the crayon box pretty small" (they're afraid of being creative during sex).

Acuff says it's time Christian couples realize passionate sex is God's idea.

We’ve bought the lie that the world gets to have wild, crazy sex and Christians, holy folks like us, have to have black-and-white, two-dimensional sex. But what if that’s wrong? What if the God who overflows us with love and hope and mercy wants that part of our lives to be as big and as colorful as two married people could possibly imagine?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • United States

soundoff (2,079 Responses)
  1. Watersisland

    "How Christians spoil sex"? Perhaps a good subtitle would be "How the Grinch stole Christmas". Somebody's ALWAYS wanting to spoil the fun. Usually those that can't enjoy the same fun--OR DON'T KNOW HOW!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  2. atheist

    reposting without the s word. S-x is condemned and prohibited by all religions not only christianity. S-x requires other person and enlightenment is of one and only one being. For humanity to understand that need to become enlgithened takes ages and so many birhts according to eastern scriptures. Because s-x is prohibited and condemned its become so much prevelent in human kind that they just see life=s-x. During the innocent time of childhood, children are curious and do touch and inquire about other s-x. If child does not grow properly with s-xual freedom of curiocity, grows in to pervert or homos-xual. Adulthood/marriage is the time to enjoy s-x energy fully. when s-x energy is gone in later life of adulthood, western mind thinks as if life ended. Life should be lived fully and enjoyed all aspect of it. S-x is not the only thing in life, there is lot to enjoy in the world. s-x is so much is in mind of everyone because its a prohibited and condemened part of life and mind always goes toward whats prohibited because its a challange.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  3. mrsthing

    1. "Passionate, toe-curling sex" has been associated with religion and spirituality since long before Christianity existed! The author should read a little bit more about temple prostitutes and the idea that humans could commune with a divine force through six. (To avoid the censor.)

    2. Not all Christians have sexual hangups. I'm a Christian, though not a conservative one. But even when I was a conservative, I was taught that sex was a beautiful gift from God to be shared between husband and wife. So at least they got part of it straight. Personally, I believe that sex is a beautiful gift from God to be shared between committed partners in a monogamous relationship, regardless of gender.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  4. Rudy

    What evidence do they have that Christians don't have good sex?????????

    September 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  5. b0bc@t

    This whole discussion makes me wnat to take a long shower. Any ladies want to join me to conserve water?

    Seriously, I am Roman Catholic, survived twelve years of private parochial school. S*e*x was taboo in the classroom, but running amok on the playground, out of sight of the Principal. Always confused about "Love one another as you love thyself".... but s*e*x and self gratification was a first class trip to H3(( -double hockey sticks- for such HEATHENS. We learned the fun stuff after school, kissing, petting or with the school uniforms wrinkled or balled up beside us, frenzied and urgent. No lightning bolts, no grim reaper coming to collect our mortal souls. With an Irish Catholic family, older brothers and sisters gave you the instruction that the Pastor would frown upon, and religious instruction gave us stories of devotion and passion in a purely abstract fashion that we could incorporate into our carnal education. PDA's public displays of affection were also something not dealt with outwardly, and then in the context of chastity as virtuous, while intimacy was goofy or mushy. We smiled to ourselves, our friends giving each other dismissive nods, while agreeing to the status quo, strictly in theory. It was no small wonder that girls usually got a broader education when they went off to board in a college dorm.

    Today, all bets are off. Kids learn more in a commercial break than any censor would allow during the entire 50's to 70's generations, and a store mannequin is so anatomically correct that I blush in the intimates section, and I have to wonder about what underwear passes for fashion these days. Sex is between partners and often more casual than taboo. Love is now what it was set forth by my upbringing, as something shared, a bond, a committment, not a sweaty athletic romp among creatures with urges. The casual attitude of sex, became the casual pairing of partners, and the all too transient covenant of marriage. We love each other right now, but who can manage that after the heat dies down.... Hopefully that bond endures, or the institution of marriage will continue to devolve. Afairs, homosexuality – you need a program to keep up.

    Marriages today are more like prom dates, the better ones have some lasting residuals, but mostly are just the capture of the moment, and a progression in sharing expenses and living arrangements, more than a lifelong bond. S*E*X will always have a dark shadow, because of our Puritanical past. History moulds us beyond the moment, and peer and public pressures still shape our morays and moral boundaries. Luckily, we can enjoy each other out of bounds in our privacy, keep our hearts true, and let our imaginations out to play in private, with our partners dictating boundaries, not our neighbors.

    The Catholic Church and religions in general have to do some work on the whole celibate/pedophile phenonmena – that double standard is truly sinful and utterly repulsive. No greater hypocracy, exists and the whispers have become cries for help and outrage – rightfully so.
    That is where I can rationalize premarital experimentation. I can't blindly follow the teachings of abstinence for the opposite sex, when our clergy can't find an appropriate answer to their own urges and behavior. I enjoy a variety of colors and flavors (to use crayon or ice cream analogies), and have no guilt or remorse, other than my satisfaction and the satisfaction of my consenting partner. I will always have Christian upbringing along with family and friends, as a foundation, and I believe my character is strong. Above all, my conscience is clear about right and wrong. Great S*E*X is never wrong!
    It might not always be true love, but when it is, there is no greater expression between two people

    September 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  6. Kurt

    the author is exactly right!!!! God made sex, mankind did not create sex, which means God also made it feel great by divine design. The Bible teaches sex is for procreation but it is also a gift for married couples to enjoy greatly. Many marriages fail because of a bad sex life which leads to affairs which is frequently due to a corrupted view of sex in general. Ask any reputable marriage counselor and they will tell you they rarely, if ever at all, encounter a married couple who says: "we have an outstanding sex life, however, we want to get divorced."

    September 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  7. Phillip

    When you look at how the Bible looks at sex, and you read the context the Bible presents it's points in, I have only seen it talk about lust or sex with a man or woman not married. Unless someone can correct me, I have never seen a verse which talks bad about sex with your Husband or your Wife. I do not believe God meant for it to be dull or boring. Just the opposite, I believe God intended it to be an amazing experience. If God wanted it to be done a certain way and only that way, He would have told us or it would have been outlined in the Bible. The Bible clearly outlines what is a sin. Very bluntly even, in some verses. God has never suggested sex to be done a specific way. I don't think God really cares how we do it, as long as we only do it under marriage and it does not become a hinderance with our walk with Him.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  8. Bryan Hupperts

    Perhaps you might consider using your member to do something productive other than pi**ing on people of faith.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  9. BRANTICUS

    Uhhh, you have no idea what you're talking about. I'm Christian and I rock my wife's world just about every night in every way imaginable all without the guilt or games. Sex with your Soul Mate in a Covenant Marriage is the best and this is coming from a former bad boy.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  10. Kristen

    The Bible contains more erotic poetry than most modern best sellers and the Catholic Church has an incredible selection of pornography disguised as "Do Not Do this" warnings. Married sex does not sell. It may be incredibly hot and passionate but no one else is ever going to be involved in it. It seems disrespectful to talk with ones friends about schtupping your own spouse. The Church says that sex is for procreation and to create and maintain intimacy in a marriage. Can't really do that without hot steamy you know what.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  11. David Hutchinson

    Hitler just got a little to carried away!!! He was making those folks he killed an attonement for his own shacking up with Eva Braun. In the end to justify himself into heaven he married her at the last minute and killed himself and his child bride.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  12. lolWut

    What a short article for such an inflamitory title. Tabloidish and useless. This is a news site?

    September 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  13. National Geographic Reader

    As a subscriber to both Christianity (I am a Lutheran) and science, I believe that s-word is perfectly fine as long as it means something. I am unmarried, but dated my boyfriend for over a year before doing it. He has also been the only one. When I was young I read a National Geographic article that said, scientifically, you should have premarital s-word, because biologically it is a compatibility test. If he doesn't take care of your needs then you know that he will be unlikely to take care of your emotional needs in marriage.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  14. Mystery

    The smile on the faces in this picture says everything, A woman and a man safe and as happy as can be. Why would God not want that for us? As a woman I feel no guilt taking care of myself with birth control, enjoying my husband or talking about "things" with him. We laugh constantly and we thank God for our relationship. I believe more woman can share the truth before they take the mans advice on all these things. Being a faithful woman is an awsome experience.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  15. Redeye Dog

    Hey Acuff, go blame your problems somewhere else! Sex is as good as sex gets between two people having sex!

    September 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  16. Tracy Fetzer

    Funny – the best sex I've had in 15 years was with a Holy Spirit-infused, tongue-speaking Christian.
    Who failed to tell me he was married.
    Oh, we still had the affair...but my former Catholic leanings ingrained in my morality couldn't deal with it.
    It was wrong. So, I dropped him.
    So, this Christian cheats on his also tongue-speaking Christian wife. She found out and threatened to kill him, gouge his eyes out with her keys, and then went after me. It didn't work out for her, either, because....why would I want a boyfriend who cheats on me? SHe lept him and I moved onto a wonderfully, sexy, even better-in-bed Agnostic who churcehs Easter and Xmas for his mom's sake.

    But – it WAS really, really good sex. Maybe Christians actually do do it better – so long as they don't bring pamphlets to the bedroom, I'm good : )

    September 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  17. Bryan

    What an absolutely ridiculous premise for a "news story." You should be ashamed of yourself. I think all you wanted was to write a headline and impress your colleagues with your willingness to take a swipe at Christianity... You are a lame little man.

    September 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  18. David Hutchinson

    The sex is so good you're calling God and Jesus and the Lord!!!!

    September 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  19. willie

    When a woman yells "oh god!' during sex I expect her to be shouting about me, not some mythical demigod.
    There is no bigger turn off for me than when on a date, the woman proclaims her love of god.
    Goodbye fun, goodbye girl...

    September 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  20. Bob B

    At the start of my life my parents were members of a Southern Baptist church, which was all about sex being evil and bad. Later on, we moved into a 'high' Episcopal church, which wasn't much different (except for the Latin and incense). Finally we moved into a Methodist church, which was the first time I heard of sex between married people being a gift from god.

    So as other's have said, this really isn't about Christianity as a whole. Most religions preach sex outside of marriage as being bad. But the more progressive religions tend to encourage a health sex life. Hat's off to progressive Rabbis especially for this!

    September 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.