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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. JD

    when a religion places such importance on controlling one's sex life it's obvious it's going to have some adverse effects. Only religion (and christianity in particular) pollutes a natural pleasure with guilt and self-despisal.

    September 5, 2010 at 3:14 am |
  2. Rochelle

    There really is no debate. No one here knows what God said first hand, or that his intentions meet our percieved interpretations. The day will come when we all die, and he tells us what he meant, and until then, its all suposition and blasphemy.

    September 5, 2010 at 3:14 am |
  3. wanna2know

    My understanding is that Christians excel at the missionary position, but do poorly at other arrangements. Doesn't it say in the good book that making lovey dovey in any way other may than missionary would forfeit a couple's option of going to heaven? I think they're trying though. Lots of web videos of christians loving in all directions.

    September 5, 2010 at 3:11 am |
    • mac

      This thing about the 'missionary position' cannot have any reality in fact. I have been to all sorts of churches and none has had a lecture on how to do it! I think it is a story invented by some drunk.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:40 am |
      • peace2all

        @mac

        Just curious..... Not quite sure i am getting the salient point/s of your post..... And do you know the 'story' as you called it being invented by a drunk ???

        Just curiosin'

        Peace......

        September 6, 2010 at 2:19 am |
      • Kate

        @mac

        You never find missionaries in a church. They like to go out to the dark out of the way parts of the world to bring light (which is daft because apparently they're supposed to turn them off) and spread the word – and the word was ...

        I can't believe it's not bu77er

        I think. I may be a little hazy on the details, but I'm pretty sure that's what it was. That or miracle whip ... or was that for the more adventurous?

        Anyways, you get the idea

        Just spreadin'

        September 6, 2010 at 2:29 am |
        • Kate

          @peace2all

          I keep telling you, you get over it eventually 🙂

          Just headin' to bed finally

          September 6, 2010 at 2:49 am |
        • peace2all

          @Kate

          Me too..... Good night...

          Peace....

          September 6, 2010 at 2:57 am |
      • TM

        mac ~ I think it is the parents place to adequately educate their offspring of how the s-word is such a wonderful part of life (if enjoyed at the right time of life with the right individual).

        September 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  4. carrie

    @peace2all: Believe whatever you want to believe. What are you going to do when Islam gives you no choice? In the Bible it warns of what will happen in the end times. Islam's goal is to fulfill it. If at some point you see what is happening, don't be decieved. I just hope then that you chose God and not let satan rob you of God's promise.

    September 5, 2010 at 2:57 am |
  5. Donna

    I really don't understand why the ones of us who proclaim to be Christians allow ourselves to become upset over articles like this or any of the things that are going on in the world today against Christianity. After all, the Bible says this is exactly what WILL happen in the last days. All we as Christians can do is quietly stand up for our beliefs. There is no need to have violent attacks on others for their disbelief. Since the beginning of time there have been doubters and questioners of the existence of God and then God in human form, Jesus Christ. I personally am of the Christian belief. However, I do not go to church every time the doors open. I tithe by doing good and helping others when they need help, whether it be a bag or 2 of groceries or some clothes to wear to a job interview. I like the way it makes me feel. I pray daily and I meditate. I like the way THAT makes me feel. I don't believe that Christians have anything to do with sex being boring. I've never heard of that in my life. Just think back if you are over 40 years old at how this world has changed morally. Some will say it's always been that way, that we just live in the age of technology and we hear and see things more. Not true. This is as corrupt as the world has EVER been, likened to Sodom and Gomorrah. Young girls, even under the teen years dress like wh**es, nobody feels secure unless they have a cell phone they can fondle. People walking around like a bunch of drones, tied to this communication thing we have going on like it's an umbilical cord. Then you have the other belief systems (i.e. Muslims) coming into this country and trying to make it look like it's okay for them to do certain things but it's NOT okay for us to do them according to OUR beliefs in OUR country. Christians have a tendency, as Americans do in general, to be very lazy though. If Christians were half as eager to promote what their belief system is as the Muslims are to promote theirs, we might not be having all these concerns now. The path of least resistance. And I'm just as bad. I don't go out trying to win souls. Actually I hope St. Peter puts a good mark by my name for writing this diatribe, as I sit here in my jammies and yellow fuzzy Tweety bird slipper sipping a Diet Pepsi. I say believe what you wish, just leave me out of it and don't even think about criticizing what I believe. That's my own personal thing with my God. You pray to yours and I'll pray to mine and we'll see whose get answered. And as the famous quote goes, "I'd rather go through life believing there is a God, die and find out there isn't than to not believe there is, die and find out there is". Touche!

    September 5, 2010 at 2:40 am |
  6. CNNisridiculousthesedays

    More Anti-Christian propaganda from CNN. I'm not a liberal. I'm not a conservative either by contemporary standards. I vote democrat and not republican because the dems, as idiotic as they, are less effective at damaging America than the repubs. That being said, I understand why people ally themselves with the American right wing because when you strip away the left's pc niceties you get a sense of what they are really about: anti-Christian, anti-male, anti-Western culture, anti-White. It makes people with real sense of values very sad. It makes you really really sad when you look at the reaction in the form of the tea-baggers, American christian fundamentalists and stone-cold racists who continually brainlessly attack Obama (for all the wrong reasons). God save us from liberals and conservatives.

    September 5, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  7. mac

    This article and the discussion are very confused. There are easily a hundred 'Christianities.' Catholicism is a menace to any form of normal sex, but I do not recall Christ denouncing the Song of Solomon.

    September 5, 2010 at 2:23 am |
  8. jojo

    what I find interesting is out of all the articles and topics on cnn, someone brings up christianity and the comments come out the woodwork. It tells me people are searching, seeking for answers to something in thier lives. this article is total rubbish yet people cant stop commenting.

    September 5, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  9. amit narain sinha

    Hi
    I am not a follower of any of the religions that believe in the old or new testament and am trying to understand them. In our way gods and goddesses (siva and parvati) and others came together for cosmic creation and they had a good time. No guilt as can be seen on the temple art at Khajuraho. Meaning no disrespect, I want to understand a few things. As hindus we find incest abhorrent. Please can someone tellwho did the children of adam and eve marry to procreate? And is this the basis of the guiilt about sex in the christian and other religions that follow the testament.

    September 5, 2010 at 2:01 am |
  10. GNJ

    God invented sex. God invented pleasure. God invented marriage just as he invented man and woman. There may be misconceptions by some, but saving sex until marriage pleases God. God can help you find your marriage partner. And God can give you higher highs than you can experience apart from him. Its not likely God will curse your sexuality if its something against what he wills because God loves even his errant children. So its not like God is going to turn off your pleasure if you stray. But if you stay in God's will, you may experience highs impossible outside of God's will! Coming to God just so you can get a sexual thrill is a weak reason to come unto God's mercy though. So be sure to seek God in earnest before you go praying for great sex! If you're not in God's will, praying for great sex probably won't get you anywhere. You need to repent of your sin so you are good and loving to all even when they're not good and loving to you.

    You won't hear this one often, but it is true. And don't forget, if you're unable to have sex, Heaven's low moments will be higher than Earthly highs! Heaven is guaranteed to those who love Jesus and love others! Whether sex is in Heaven or not, we'll have more pleasure than anyone experienced on Earth. Don't go and cheat to get to Heaven though, spend your life to help the poor, learn about Jesus, and teach others about Jesus.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:58 am |
  11. Horny Christian

    Speak for yourselves. What was God's first command to man? "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth..." Genesis 1:28. I enjoy filling the earth!

    September 5, 2010 at 1:57 am |
  12. Paul

    This article is an opinion piece but the author doesn't even make any valid points- he just plays off of stereotypes.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:53 am |
  13. wrack

    christian's ruin everything. look at what they did to christianity.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:46 am |
  14. Craig Lejeune

    I've read several articles and opinion pieces that stated the same thing as this piece and I'm not sure where they're coming from. Similarly, I know one study claimed that married couples on average have sex twice a week. From what my friends and family have stated, that seems about average or even a little generous for my non-religious and non-practicing family and friends. My actively-practicing Catholic friends/family (at least the ones who've said anything) claim 3-4 times a week. My wife & tend to average about 6 times a week, although we've only been averaging 4-5 times a week recently since we just had a new baby and are a bit worn out. I've read feedback in a lot of Catholic and Christian forums and the 3-4 times a week seems to be a lot closer to average among those groups than anything else.

    I get the notion that a lot of these pieces are based on stereotypes and prejudices and not actual research. Were I to similarly base my conceptions just on what I've seen from my circle of friends, I'd have to say that young "progressives" are spiteful people who marry only as a status symbol, almost never have sex with their spouses and keep separate bedrooms.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:23 am |
  15. Anon

    saying you shouldnt use birth control because its up to god is like saying you shouldnt wear a seat belt because your death is up to god

    September 5, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  16. Jeanne

    Here's my view of it all. I don't expect anyone to agree, disagree, or be offended by it. I'm just stating what I personally have lived through, not something I read and thought "how horrible, it could never be this way'. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and burnt the – – – – thing!
    I was raised bouncing around Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Methodist, and Church of Christ-The four main demoninations here. All gave to same message- sex was ONLY acceptable for men and homosexuality was an unending evil- worse than murder. Women were sameful, horrible, sluts for having sex whether submitting to their husbands or anything else. It was even worse if you ever even dreamed it might possibly be enjoyable – married or not. Childbearing was proof you were a whore. Any method of contraception was outright murder. If you were prescribed birth control for any reason, you were interfering with God's punishment of you, and you were begging to to have sex with any and every one- automatically branded unsuitable trash for the community- there is NO acceptable reason for that medication. Medically necessary surgeries involving female reproductive organs were severely frowned upon- you should choose to die the way God wants you to even if you would be leaving children behind- your husband can always get them a new mother, you are easily replaced. A man could have a vasectomy, but he was just looked on as stupid or unmanly for a while. If you were attacked- you asked for it, crying rape just meant you got caught having sex, you deserved the beating you got whether it was from your attacker or your parents. As a child, if you questioned why Rev. (whoever) or (whoever)'s daddy was touching you or your friend, you were told it didn't happen, you are just making up lies to get attention, quit embarrassing us.
    And to ask a question about the changes happening to you at puberty was tantamount to asking your grandmother to be your pimp. "Why does my stomach hurt so bad, why am i bleeding there, am I dying?" I asked. "I will NOT answer that, wait until you are married, it is your husband's job to explain it" said my mother's mother, "Why?"" I asked. After a slap to the face, I was told it was none of my business, God was punishing me. When I asked my mother these same questions later, she told me she didn't know, to go ask my grandmother. Finally, my dad noticed a wet spot on the seat of the car when I got out to go to school one Monday morning and asked me if I was ok. I was mortified. He made me get back in the car, took me to a store, to the correct area, picked what he thought i needed, paid for them, and told me to read the instructions on the way home to get clean clothes. He offered to answer any questions I had. I couldn't talk, he didn't look too happy either. But it opened the doorway for me to ask him questions later. I learned more from him than any female family member. He did take me to his mother one weekend and asked her to explain hygiene details to me.
    I had been so brainwashed by the time my dad finally realized ( 2 part-time jobs and college keep you a little busy) what was happening to me (and why my mother was such a totally different person when they moved back home after he got out of the military) and told the rest of my mother's family where they could stick their "Good Christian" butts, that it took years for me understand that being female did NOT equal trash and that my mother was not a whore just because she did her 'wifely duties' at least 3 times. My mother's mother hated me- I was proof that her perfect daughter was nothing but a slut ( I came along after my parents had been married for 2 1/2 years). It was all MY fault. I never understood why she wasn't slut (she had 4 daughters) or why two of her married daughters with children weren't either.
    You'd think I was raised pre-60's, but you'd be wrong. I was born in the 70's and still see this going on here now. I see teen girls out there now who just don't care and will tell you that. Instead of striving to be good and moral, productive members of society, they don't see the point in bothering – why try to better yourself when you've been told your whole life you're not worth it.
    By my teenage years, I was clinically depressed, attempted suicide several times, morbidly obese, etc. My therapist said it was a combination of things making me depressed, but looking back I think it really stemmed from those views pounded into me as as child.
    I had thought I had gotten past all of this when I got married at 27. Wrong! It all came back, but my husband was/is very patient helping me get past it again (but only after he had to deal it right in his face). I hate to say this but- I'm very thankful that my mother's mother was dead before I was married and had a child, I wish my dad's mother had been alive. I don't think I could have survived it. To this day, when I hear about all the 'Good Christian" people, I want to tell them what kind of horrible trashy people they are. (I'll get off the soapbox now)
    Good people, regardless of their religion, are out there. They make life worth living. They make the best of friends and family of your choosing. Thank (insert your chosen deity here) for a great spouse and great friends!

    September 5, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  17. John

    Do you guys think it is hypocritical if I quote what is already on CNN's page (the Hot S...) in my post but they don't post my message? Don't you think thats like the whole do as I say, not as I do argument? I mean after all, it is a quote...

    September 5, 2010 at 1:04 am |
  18. DAVE ID

    No one should be told that sex is bad before or after marriage. SEX IS AWESOME, end of story. To say that sex is bad to any child is feeding him or her lies and confusing him or her for the majority of his adult life and is akin to psychological child abuse. Male fetuses masturbate in the womb, not even born yet and already spanking the monkey. You'd think someone as omnipotent as a god would have figured out a workaround to this. But then I don't have an imaginary friend I pray to.

    September 5, 2010 at 1:01 am |
  19. CDMethodist

    Really, I can't believe you guys would post an article like this. I usually watch CNN all the time and consider myself a fan, upon reading this article that may change. I probably will be writing a formal letter as well at a later time. Its kind of offensive . . . .

    September 5, 2010 at 12:56 am |
  20. Mr. Bluetooth

    Animal Husbandry, is probably, next by this writer but mandatory, for christians only.

    God and Democracy.

    September 5, 2010 at 12:54 am |
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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.