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. as87

    Reading some of these posts makes me sad to think that there are so many people who are stuck on religion. Your relationship with God is what matters. The bible is our blueprint for life and unless you read it yourself you will not truly understand what God wants for our lives. Sex is not bad or evil or even just for procreation. Sex is awesome! Of course the bible teaches that it is for after marriage but it also states that the wife and husband should enjoy each other in each possible way. A healthy sex life equals a healthy marriage. In addition if you read the book of Psalms there are many versus on this very subject. On the issue of contraception: if you are a married couple and do not want any children contraception is ok. Why would God want you to continue to have children that you can not financially afford? In addition, many "Christians” on here believe that contraception is wrong because it prevents pregnancy which comes in between the will of God. Well, this argument can be also be applied s for taking medications for a sickness or diseases but how many people hesitant to take medications when their sick? Medications are here to help us. Contraceptives whether it is in pill form or condoms help married couples regulate how many children they have in accordance to their financial situations. Come on people read your bibles and realize that getting stuck on religion and the technical stuff that people throw at us is irrelevant. Read your bibles have a relationship with God and let him tell you what is right for your life.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  2. Doug

    I agree with ya Bob...

    September 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  3. Sam

    While you write pages about Muslim ramadan, is this all you got against christian? so pathetic journalism? :{

    September 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  4. John Paul

    Those of you who write that "children = sex" and "you can't have more sex without contraception if you can't afford another child" are either ignorant adolescents or people that have no idea how a woman's body works. Most of the month, conception is impossible. Orthodox and Catholic couples who use scientifically researched systems like the Billings Ovulation method know this. As a result, we can have plenty of fun without pumping our wives full of carcinogenic chemicals.

    Even more appalling than this article - which is nothing but a sensational title without further substance - is the ignorance from all sides in the comments I have read here. Listen here, now, for a real fact: I am in a dedicated Catholic marriage, and our sex life is astoundingly good. Our sex is frequent and fulfilling on all levels. The moral "rules" we follow (more like "common sense") only increase the beautiful intensity of our married life.

    There are indeed people who think that Christianity is not compatible with sex - to them, I suggest reading the Theology of the Body and the sex affirmative materials which have grown from it. There are Christians who think that contraception is moral or modern or acceptable. To these individuals, I give two simple questions: How can a pill that shuts a woman's reproductive system down increase her sexual pleasure? How can the rejection of her fertility by her husband make her loved? No wonder there is so much sexual dysfunction in so many marriages, Christian or otherwise. Once again, to those contracepting Christians: read the Theology of the Body, and learn the simple reasons why Christians cannot accept such things, and why contraception decreases the beauty and intensity of sexual pleasure.

    This article, and the conversation that followed, is nothing but a pit of confusion. And Christians, at least, should know who reigns in confusion.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  5. Josh

    It's amazing to me how most of the comments here are just christians of different denominations bickering with each other. This is exactly why non-christians laugh at you. The church is more divided then anything I have ever seen. This opinion blog is spot on. I grew up in church and remember hearing the "if you have sex before your married, you'll disappoint God, everyone in your family, get someone pregnant, and your penis will fall off". I'm exagerating but you get the idea. It was guilt, not safe sex or even smart sex. There is nothing in the bible about contraceptives. That is a man-made rule that was probably instituted to control the masses in some way as are most of the church traditions. Just man-made ways of control that spawn from bad mis-interpretations of the bible. Sex is good, sex is great as long as you do it the safe and smart way.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  6. Dave

    This artical is a joke. It would be like saying black people don't have good sex or Irish people dont have good sex. how pathetic can CNN get?

    September 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  7. JCP

    Sex is natural. In fact, sex is probably one of the most important and most beautiful part of the nature or creation. However, lust is different. Lust is unethical or illegitimate sexual thought or act. Even excessive (unregulated) sexual indulgence can be interpreted as lust. None of the spiritual practices including Christianity admits lust. I agree with the author that Christianity's approach of guilt or self-deprecation neither helps in spiritual progress nor in worldly quality of life. Vedantic (Hindu) philosophy in India also advises against excessive sexual indulgence. In fact it asks for abstinence during the first phase of life called Brahmacharya (life before marriage during which a person acquires ethical, spiritual, as well as knowledge about the world). Abstinence not only prevents a lot of social and health related problems but also helps channelize one's energy into more creative ways. However, Vedantic philosophy does not instill a sense of guilt if one breached from abstinence. It believes in karma or a cause and effect relationship, meaning, if you do not abstain, then you will suffer from the consequences that are to come from it such as dissipation of mind. It does not believe in sin or a punishing God. Your own actions either reward you or punish you. The unrealized reward or punishment is stored as mental impressions called sanskar for later unfoldment.

    Tantra, another philosophical school in India, uses sex (not lust) as a tool to reach Super Consciousness. During sexual ecstasy, one reaches the timelessness state and looses the "I"-ness. Tantra uses this property of sex as a vehicle to Super Consciousness. So sex is like fire. Properly use it, you can potentially reach transcendence. Abuse it, you can potentially get burned by it. God's karmic law will reward or punish you according to your own chosen thoughts and actions. Lust is viewed as an enormous block in the path of spiritual progress because it holds you down at the sensory level when you are trying to get past the senses. Sexual pleasure is said to be a perverted (diluted) form of supreme spiritual Bliss. The idea is not to be lazily content with the sexual pleasure and miss out on the supreme spiritual Bliss which is thousand fold more ecstatic than sexual pleasure. However, no one should ever feel guilty about legitimate ethical sex.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  8. jerace23

    What useless and unnecessary topic in CNN. CNN get a life. Stop discriminating Christians with this stupid choice of yours!!

    September 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  9. wasabiwahabi

    Okay, so can CNN put otu an opinion piece on muslim sex, just to balance things out? Or, does CNN only wish to expose Christian laundry?

    September 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  10. fronco

    Got to hand it to you, its a great column.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  11. jerace23

    What useless and unnecessary topic in CNN. CNN get a life. Stop discriminating Christians with this stupid choice of yours!

    September 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  12. Andy Scott

    WOW you need to not be so prejudice you sound like a bigot. Some Christians use guilt to get their OWN agenda. MOST christians view sex as a gift from God to be ENJOYED the only thing I teach AS A MINISTER is that you should do it after you are married and not sleep around. When people like you write these UNFOUNDED articles people just pigeon hole us more. We have enough problems to deal with within our own ranks with out uneducated people making uneducated comments in a public forum. Sure it is your right but just because you can write something legally doesn't mean you should!

    September 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Eric

    When you going to write an article about how "Muslims Spoil Sex and Kill Homosexuals." You are just pathetic to write something like this just to jazz up your base of liberals.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  14. Vinifera

    How Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Gays, Buddhist, Taoists, Atheists, Zoroastrians spoil sex!

    If such a title makes you mad, you should be outraged for Christians. Why are Christians always demonized by CNN and no one does a damned thing.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  15. Rob S

    sex, sex, sex, sex. I'm so sick of the commercialization of sex. It's a 'hot' topic no matter where you look. Ok, People. Stop talking about sex so much and just go do it and privately enjoy it. Let it put a smile on your face and leave it at that. OK? Unfortunately, I think it is discussed everywhere in the media because not many people are getting laid. Everybody is gossiping about it because they can't live up to the commercialized version of what we thinks it's 'supposed' to be.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  16. rcandrews

    I also wish people would stop confusing denominational interpretations with Christianity. They are not the same thing.

    And why doesn't this tosser or any other self-proclaimed journalist who write these types of article talk about Islam spoiling sex, or Buddhism spoiling sex?

    Shall we talk about these groups’ practices when it comes to these types of topics?

    OH wait the bleeding hearts and apologists in them keep them from actually writing unbiased journals and instead have replaced them with their own religious beliefs about what is and what isn't.

    CNN; when you want to keep up with what’s wrong with journalism today.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  17. Mike

    You know, there are conservative christians and then there are the rest of us christians. I think this article is right on for the conservative christian groups who wants to impose their beliefs in every aspect of life. Kind of ironic in that God gave us free will and they seem to want to take it away and impose only their beliefs. Sad!

    September 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • rcandrews

      I have never met a Christian who tried to impose their beliefs on me and certainly not condemn me for not buying into their twisted version of the belief system or want to kill me for not accepting their interpretation.

      I have however met Baptists, Jehovah Witnesses who have tried as well as Muslims that have tried but never a Christian.

      September 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Sexy Christian

    Can't this be said about every religion? Don't the Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindis, etc., ruin sex too?

    September 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  19. Mae

    funny..... I love how a non Christian knows what happens in a Christians bedroom. I cannot recall a time that a CHRISTIANS sex tape surfaced in the media. then again all CHRISTIANS know that GOD does not like a Braggert

    psalm 37

    September 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  20. TheBelgianGuy

    wow, I was looking at reading an article that would make me angry: another Christian bashing article. Instead, it was the comments of many of my fellow Christians that made me annoyed: chill out. The article, though slim pickens, pulls insight from a very funny, Christian, satirical blog. We DO screw up sex (wink). But for all those hand wringers: just because the rest of Christianity makes it boring, doesn't mean YOU have to. I know my wife and I don't.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:12 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.