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. Izabela

    @Bryan in case you didn't notice this isn't a news story. This is an opinion piece, a blog article. Get it straight.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  2. rcandrews

    What an absurd asumption and stigma to put on anyone. Sex offenders spoil sex. CNN spoils good solid journalism.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  3. adam

    I'm an atheist and I'm gay. Most Christians I know are more sexually perverted than average people.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  4. John Heath

    This is what I believe, God didn't screw up sex in Christians, the Christians messed it up themselves by believing false BS. My life partner was brainwashed in a world that sex was evil, wrong and maybe even a sin. She was so bottled up with “living to do the right thing” “being the perfect example”, it confused her mind to be free with who she was or could be. If a person tries to be someone else, namely Jesus Christ, it’s a means to an end. The end is realizing it’s completely impossible to achieve it and it can screw up other people along the way, (namely me). It wasn’t until after about 10 years into our marriage when I cheated on her several times trying to find someone to be real with, someone who would kiss me without thinking, someone who could have sex freely without feeling GUILT. I know people, I messed up, I admit it and regret it. Then, what goes around comes around………She in return cheated on me several times and finally learned how to open up and be real, unfortunately it was with other guy(s) and not me. That sucks! LOL. Now I’m 50, wondering what to do, will I find what I’m looking for or am I blowing smoke? Who knows? Non-Christians have a better understanding how to have good sex than Christians do, now that’s funny, ha-ha. My fears now? I’m About to be single at 50….

    September 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  5. N0tImpressed

    I'm a born-again Christian and I certainly haven't been taught this stuff. Sex in marriage is great. What version of Christianity is the author referencing? Ah, yes, that 1% version. Then generalize it to everybody. Great reporting [sarcasm implied].

    September 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  6. My Own Beliefs

    Just my opinion...I was raised baptist, and realized i believe in My Beliefs...Living in a state that has a church literally on every street, 99% of the "christians" are fake and phony who use their "christianity " to hide behid!! All you "christians" prove this article to be true, the half of you cant even spell out the word SEX, like its bad to even write.... Without SEX, we would not have our BEAUTIFUL, PRECIOUS off spring....CHRISTIANS are FAKE, and use their christianity as cover ups....PROVE TO ME GOD wrote this bible, NO PROOF, only what we were raised to believe... How many "christians" you know, leave church and go smoke a butt, drink, or even go to strip clubs...Hmmmmmmm I KNOW PLENTY!!!! Enougb said!!

    September 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  7. Jesus of Nazareth

    Remember, sex is only dirty.... if you're doing it right.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  8. johncc

    I certainly do not see this article as a dig against Christians. I cannot imagine my missionary grandparents ever having toe curling sex. I wish they had.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  9. Darryl Schmitz

    Thia, I think you meant to say – as I do – "amen" to Bryan. Granted, I gave in to the lure of the article premise and brought it up... but was not very impressed with the lack of substance to this posting by CNN writer John Blake. Must be that the interns are running the show over the holiday weekend.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  10. adam

    If the Christian lie is that sex must be black-and-white and two-dimensional, the pop culture lie is that sex must be a mountain-moving performance - like if you're not pushing the envelope, making it as wild as possible, then you're wasting your time or just not good at it.

    Here's an idea: how about two people who love each other and are committed to each other forget what anyone outside the relationship thinks and make sex an expression of love to each other doing whatever makes them mutually happy, remembering that it's no one else's business what their love-making looks like.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  11. N49

    Jesus would approve, he's getting bored of watching the same old conservative acts. Im sure he floats over to an atheist couples house once in a while for some hardcore viewing.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  12. Maybeyourbibleisdifferent

    Forgive me for not reading any of the other posts, as there are too many and I just wanted to comment. So, if someone already made my point, I apologize. Let me just speak for God when I mention the book in the Bible "Song of Songs" (or Song of Solomon in some cases, either way it's the same). I urge you all, Christian or not, to read it, and it is actually quite graphic for "back in the day", and for an incredibly Holy Book. It is about King Solomon's love for his bride, and hers in return and the words are quite passionate. In fact, I've read some cheap romance novels and they don't hold a candle. It is in a more poetic form, however, and not marked with too many "pornographic words." It speaks of passion and love-making, the kind that should occur between a husband and wife, proving that God intended sex to be enjoyable, full of fantasy, and awesome, even toe-curling. How else can two people enjoy being married to one another. Society has made it easy to get sex from other places, such as T.V., computer, and adult novelty stores (which mostly cater to the porn-minded). Throughout the Bible, God warns against adultery,such as in Luke 17:1 "Jesus said, 'Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come." In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus rebukes adultery saying, just to look lustfully at another (whom you are not married) CAUSES YOU TO SIN. There is nothing in the Bible telling married couples they can't have a little bit of fun, with each other. Because in the next verse of Matthew it talks how God hates divorce.
    Before you judge me on being some crazy Christian, I urge, to read the verses I posted for yourself and make your own conclusion. You don't even have to own a Bible, you can Google it.
    It has nothing to do with brainwashing. In fact, most people who accuse others of brainwashing, may very well be that themselves. God doesn't brainwash, the devil does. In case you dont understand it that way, think of all the movies, particularly superhero movies, that you have watched. Hasn't the villian, not the good guy, been the one who tries to brainwash the entire city into doing bad like them? T.V. is a vice that teaches, both good and bad.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  13. Lindsay Naylor

    For those of you scolding CNN, you do realize that 1. CNN didn't write this and 2. It's from a religion blog, right? The article itself is not against Christianity. It was obviously written by a Christian for Christians.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  14. Phil

    Sex was given to Adam and Eve as a gift while still in the garden, one of the only things they got to keep. Satan has been working for 10,000 years or so to mess it up for us. There are so many WRONG ways to do it that a lot of Christians can go their entire adult lives without finding the RIGHT way. Kind of like making a maze with so many options that you can't find the right one.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  15. Randy

    It never ceases to amaze me how Christianity is misrepresented in the media. I grew up attending what most would call a very conservative church (Missouri Synod Lutheran) and parochial school (K-8). At no time was I taught that "sex" is bad. Granted, sex outside of marriage is not condoned, but I recall a sermon on this very topic in which it was preached that sex is a gift from God and should be thoroughly enjoyed as such (as long as it wasn't done in the sanctuary during service!). Were does the idea come from that Christians are prudes?

    With regard to marriage and sex, I was also taught some other things that would surprise most in the media:
    1. Martin Luther basically said that marriage is a “human institution” and not a sacrament of God.
    2. There is no differentiation between heterosexual sex and homosexual sex. Both are considered fornication if engaged in outside of marriage (I have heard that this idea of not distinguishing between heterosexual and homosexual was a common perspective prior to the 20th century. Consequently, any form of sex was considered just sex. Of course marriage in pre 20th century Christian societies was between a man and a woman, so homosexual sex was never condoned.)

    September 4, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  16. Greg

    sex is a gift from god?!?!? so next time somebody says 'thank god for porn!', we can interpret it literally. 98% of animal species reproduce sexually – did god not like the other 2%, or is sex just 1 of many ways that reproduction evolved?

    September 4, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  17. Jayne

    One of the greatest thing about sex was told to my by my youth pastor..."God wants you to enjoy sex...leather...lace...whatever....just enjoy it with your husband or wife...

    September 4, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  18. bobincal

    If you think Christians ruind sx, consider in Saudia Arabia a female newscaster was given 100 lashes for mentioing the subject on air.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  19. CdnJim

    Christianity has had problems with sex since its Jewish origins. Jesus had to be born from a virgin since sex was dirty. Catholics push this to include Mary had to be concieved through a miraculous means because how could the Mother of God been concieved through something as vile as intercourse! A male dominated religion that was afraid of their own lust after women reacted the same way Muslims do with their strict controls over women. Insdtead of Burquas and Hijabs, we had nuns, witches and prostitutes. Women felt guilty about their sexuality, and learned over time to acquiese, do their duty, not enjoy sex. If they did they felt guilty.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  20. ryan

    I don't know what kind of conservative backround this writer is coming from but my Christian upbringing taught that sex outside of marriage was no cool, Sex in Marriage is awesome. In fact, we had a whole series in church that talked about sex within the marriage and how to explore it. People who were under 18 were actually taken to a different part of the church to have there own topic on how not to abuse sex. It was amazing to have the church tackle some hard issues that we ALL face when it comes to sex. I am a married man and our sex life is hot and amazing. You can be a person of great faith and still enjoy the gift of sex.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:33 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.