God, Sex, and the Orgasm

You know you like it. Sometimes all you can think of is having sex. Come on. You know this is true. Sometimes it dominates your thinking. You cannot wait to have it. You fantasize about it. You must have it. It is probably the best natural high we experience.

So why is an orgasm such a powerful motivator? It's not like we need it. We just want it. The power of the orgasm is so strong it motivates some married people into infidelity; some men to rape women; some Catholic priests to direct these urges toward molesting children; and it drives the prostitution and the pornography industries, including child pornography.

The orgasm just does not look like something that a divine being would create. It is way too powerful of a motivator. The three masters of suspicion, Nietzsche, Marx and Freud all argued respectively that the three motivators in life are Power, Money, and Sex.

So why did God make our sex drive so strong? Why didn't he make the orgasm less pleasurable? The pleasure of the orgasm is just too strong as it is. We all know this. With an evolutionary hypothesis this is what we'd expect to find, for our sex drive is good for the survival of our species. But under a theistic hypothesis it makes no sense.

If the pleasure of the orgasm was reduced there would be fewer sex crimes, and less infidelity. Or, the orgasm could've been created so as not to be pleasurable at all. God could've made the sex drive to be something of an instinct where we only want to do it when we want children, and then also created our desire to have children periodically. If this is what God had done instead, then with divine commands to populate the world, heterosexual people would only have sex for the purpose of bearing children in fulfillment of his commands, and that's it.

Moreover, the urge for sex seems to be too strong for most of us to overcome it. So why would God create us with this powerful urge and then prohibit it except under one set of conditions, a monogamous lifelong heterosexual married life? To masturbate certainly involves lust, does it not? But Jesus is found to prohibit lusting. What about sex before marriage? What's wrong with that? Most people in today's society, even Christians, have sex before marriage. What about people who will never be married? What about people who will spend the rest of their lives in prison? [I taught college classes for a women's correctional facility and many of them said that lesbian sex was the best sex they ever had! What's the aternative for them?] What about the few years between marriages for people who are divorced? And what best explains the fact that there are many homosexuals in our world? Why would God create this strong urge for them and also condemn such an activity? This too makes no sense on a theistic hypothesis.

Hell, I'll even bet all this talk about sex will cause some readers to do a search right now for a sex site, even Christians. Say it isn't so. Christian, you search for sex sites. Yet you feel guilty about it. The problem is that any prohibitions that make you feel guilty about this do not come from God.

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A YouTube video was made of this post and can be seen right here

28 comments:

Eric J.S. said...

It is an interesting post John.
Except for some grammatical errors, it conveys the message of unnecessary suffering well.
Many Christians find sex a sore spot. Sex is something almost all people will take a part in so will make a great vehicle for spreading a guilt-religion cycle. The largest religions point out that sex drives represent a so-called weakness in our person which their religion can fix.

It is good that John pointed out something all sane people will recognize (their sex drives). I personally would not accuse the viewers of this blog to be going to an adult content website after this post. I am curious if John is (not to be rude). Of course enough people have. And not all people are the same in regards to sex drives. Studies show that 1% of people have no sex drives (asexuals). They have advantages when it comes to being clergy.

But John's post is not about clergy, who often get in the news with sex scandals, but people in general. I really do not know what John's viewers are going to do. It generally matters how they know how to handle themselves. Sexual education can help. Since sex ed is usually done in regards to cultural background, religion plays a big part.

Buffy said...

God created the orgasm so he could have another thing to tell us not to enjoy, and to punish us if we did. (No, you won't get any of that usual apologist twaddle--claiming god created the orgasm for married couples to enjoy and it's our duty to restrain ourselves for his glory blah blah--out of of me.)

Of course the reality is that "god" didn't create the orgasm. Evolution did.

c-me-b said...

Wow - I have actually been pondering this topic in my mind over the past few weeks. I have recently deconverted from Christianity. I was a Christian for 17 years. My husband and I waited until our wedding night to have sex, although we did do the "other things" during our 5 years of dating. I always felt horribly guilty for those "things" especially as I attended a Christian University and was lectured at about this frequently. Since leaving the fold my mind is like new. I feel I actually appreciate the world more and as I see everything from a new perspective its intriguing to think about why and how to live. So in my mind I have concluded it is better to wait to have intercourse until you are in a committed relationship (committed means you live together and can/will have kids). My reasoning for this is on this principle, "You shouldn't do anything that has the potential to cause harm." Basically if you have sex with someone outside of marriage you potentially could make a baby. The harm that potentially could happen: baby gets aborted, baby gets put into adoption, single parent is left to raise child.

And just a side note - as soon as I did make the final commitment in my mind that I was no longer a Christian my love life with my husband has been much much much better.

stinginthetail said...

Rape is not about sex or orgasm, it's about power - about forcing someone.

Paedophiles don't molest kids cos of lack of sex with adults, that's just so ignorant i don't know where to start, but let's point out that most paedophiles aren't interested in sex with adults, they like children because they're controllable.

Go ahead and debunk Christianity, but don't be an idiot about sex.

John W. Loftus said...

stinginthetail, the orgasm isn't just physical and some forms of sexual expression are indeed about just having power over others, yes.

Roy Chang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John W. Loftus said...

Let me comment further on the relationship of power and sex. With men sex is about power as well as the orgasm. Men will say "I nailed her," or "I fucked her." They might describe sex with a woman as "a notch on my belt." It's the thrill of the hunt for men as well as the pleasure of the orgasm. Kid Rock has a song called "Cadillac Pussy" where he brags about talking one woman after another out of their shorts and sings "no liar, I'm here to report, she has a Cadillac pussy."

Women will be proud of their catch too. And they know they can use sex to bag a man. It is said women use sex to bag a man while men will say and do whatever it takes to have sex with a woman.

Sex and power go hand in hand. That's why some people's fantasies draw them into bondage, fetish, and other role playing games. Since I am smart enough to realize that with each new sexual fantasy that a person realizes there will be still others that will be thought of and unfulfilled, it isn't wise to fulfill our fantasies. Keep them as fantasies and you will be healthier emotionally. That's what I think.

But this sex...power continuum is probably at work in molesters and rapists too, only that having power over these helpless victims is what brings them sexual satisfaction.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

John wrote, "So why did God make our sex drive so strong? Why didn't he make the the orgasm less pleasurable? The pleasure of the orgasm is just too strong as it is."

Good grief -- it sounds as though you're promoting asceticism now.
As far as sex or anything else in this world that makes life pleasurable ---How about just being grateful for these good things and viewing them as a gift for sharing between ppl who can be entrusted to not abuse or corrupt???

Stephen said...

John, and most other commentators. You sound like you'd hump woman's legs if it weren't for the law. Personally I pride myself on having self control, and not having to screw or attempt to screw every woman I meet.
Buffy, I'd love for you to show me the place in the bible where it says you can't have orgasms. I haven't touched a bible in a long time, but I am pretty sure it's not in there. Oh, you will find that in the Qu'ran though.
My blog

Raul said...

To Eric J.S. :
"I personally would not accuse the viewers of this blog to be going to an adult content website after this post."
Why even call that an accusation? For example,do you "accuse" someone of playing golf?
To c-m-b :
"Basically if you have sex with someone outside of marriage you potentially could make a baby. The harm that potentially could happen: baby gets aborted, baby gets put into adoption, single parent is left to raise child."
Woah,hold on a second. Correct use of condoms offers 98% protection. In case of a condom break morning after pill offers ~90% efficiency. Therefore we have 0,2 (2*1/10) % ,that this might happen. If we add the "pull out method" to the equation we can drop the number to 0,1 %.
I'd rather act on the 99,9 % here.

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 3/29/2010, at The Unreligious Right

Dorian King said...

Hey John, I just made a video that I posted on YouTube, I screenshotted and briefly discussed your post in it. Hope you don't mind
Check out the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6x5dtHlV5s


RhetoricalBullshit.

AIGBusted said...

Make the orgasm less pleasurable? John, are you nuts? (No dirty pun intended).

Dorian King said...

Sorry, YouTube is acting up and hasn't finished processing the video, but it can still be seen on my channel.

c-me-b said...

To Raul:

Let my clarify that I don't necessarily think you have to be married, but be in a committed relationship where both partners agree to raise a child if they happen to make one. Yes there are plenty of preventative measures that can be taken, and although the calculations you gave me seem to be so convincing, if you look at the US you will see they aren't as effective as they mathematically should be. It's not the condoms or after pills that are the problem though - its the people and their lacking self-control and accountability.

Rob R said...

Moreover, the urge for sex seems to be too strong for most of us to overcome it.

Having seen the video first, I responded to this topic there.

But I'll mention that God doesn't want all of us to overcome sex, he wants us to choose to channel it properly.

If you cannot do that, that is a reflection of your rebellion against God which needs to be addressed with repentance and obedience even if that means getting help from others, and getting this out in the open does greatly enable one to overcome the temptation to sexually sin.

Brad said...

Hi Eric,

"The largest religions point out that [the abuse of] sex drives represent a so-called weakness in our person which their religion can fix."

I fixed your quote... ;o)

Brad said...

"If you cannot do that, that is a reflection of your rebellion against God which needs to be addressed with repentance and obedience even if that means getting help from others, and getting this out in the open does greatly enable one to overcome the temptation to sexually sin."

Well put, Rob.

Mark Zedler said...

Making people feel guilty and ashamed of their sexuality is the hallmark of Christianity. It is one of the most effective tools Christianity uses to keep their believers in line. Christianity has got its sexual guilt system worked out brilliantly. Since most every person has strong sexual urges, Christianity has figured out how utilize these urges to keep their followers in an endless cycle of guilt and shame:

1. Commit forbidden sexual act.
2. Feel extremely guilty, ashamed and depressed of said forbidden sexual act.
3. Confess your said forbidden sin to God.
4. Feel relieved and resist temptation for a while.
5. Ability to resist temptation diminishes as unfulfilled sexual urges drive one crazy.
6. Go back to 1 and repeat cycle.

It is a time tested method that has worked brilliantly for hundreds of years. This system is especially cruel to young people since they are at the height of their sexual urges and are made to feel the most guilty. No doubt lots of physiological damage is done, but as long as the followers stay in the fold who cares!

Some of the above comments explored the atheist perspective on sex, morality and sexual power. I think this is a difficult area for Atheists to navigate and they often get intimidated by Christians in matters of sexual morality. After all the Christian will argue that you only wanted to become an atheist so you can sin and have lots of wild sex! Though in many case Christian is just jealous because he thinks you are getting it and they are not! Whether you are getting it or not there is no reason for an Atheist to be guilted or intimidated into following the Christian version of sexual morality.

I came across a great article in Psychology Today that explores sexual morality for an Atheist in more detail. You can check it out here:
Can Atheists Have a Code of Sexual Morality?

I think this article provides some good arguments on how the Atheist can have a great code of sexual morality.

Mark Zedler
The Bacchanalian - Note: NSFW

Rob R said...

Making people feel guilty and ashamed of their sexuality is the hallmark of Christianity.

HAving the potential of guilt and shame over something is the hallmark of something that is of incredible value and sacredness. I explained this in depth in the thread "sex, sex, sex...issues"

Heather said...

A little behind reading this post and commenting on it... however, I just felt a strong need to comment. I used to comment on this Blog, a LONG time ago... glad I dropped back by.

My understanding of God's desire for us is that we enjoy the act of sex utterly and completely. He created us in such a way that not only do we feel physical pleasure with our sex organs, but also via our whole body, through kissing and caressing and emotional connection. Thank you GOD!!! The "rules" that people see are Gods way of protecting us... when we have sex before Love and Commitment, we open ourselves to pain and heartache. God wants to keep us from that, just like as a parent we want to keep our child from pain and heartache (by telling them Not to touch the hot oven.. and yet, most every child touches that oven.) Of course, we have free will... and we do as we choose. And thankfully because of Jesus, we still are loved. God does not love us because of who we are and what we do... (He would never love us then). He loves us because of who HE is.

I thank God for the orgasm, and I enjoy sex immensely!! Just because I am Christian does not mean I am prude. Thank Heavens!!!! :)

Raul said...

So,Heather,do you consider pre-martial sex to be a sin?
I mean,"opening yourself to pain and heartache" doesn't sound like a good thing,but that doesn't fit the definition of sin either,as far as I am concerned.

Heather said...

Pre-martial sex is a sin. It is impossible to live a life without sin...

Raul said...

To Heather:
That's an interesting attitude.
"Yeah,it's a sin,but since we're all sinners anyway,who cares". :)
And that's so true for a christian.
p.s.
"when we have sex before Love and Commitment, we open ourselves to pain and heartache."
Ok,that's really cute. But are there any non-sinful ways of expressing sexuality for someone,who wasn't lucky enough (at least,yet) to find the right person and build a successfull relationship,that led to marriage?

Heather said...

Raul - I am continually amazed at how Christians are judged (and how judgemental most Christians are, but that is another subject). My understanding of being a Christian is being a follower of Christ. A believer that Jesus was born and died and rose again after three days. That the most important commandment is that of Love. When I accepted Jesus as my savior, I did not become super human, I did not become Jesus (who is the only man that lived without sinning). However, it appears that once you proclaim yourself as Christian, that is exactly what you have signed yourself up for... a life that is impossible to live. And when faced with enough of other Christians and other people judging you, you leave the faith... because why bother, you can only fail. Thankfully, I am not a Christian for anyone other than Jesus. I could care less of anyones judgement, of anyones critism. I serve Jesus because of who He is, not because of a church or my family or even who I am. However, I will speak up when the stereotypes drive me nuts, when Christianity is something that is based on this human race and their belief system, not based on Jesus and his teachings... that was quite a bit of rambling... but I am trying to make my view clear. In your PS you posed a question that i am unable to understand. What exactly are you asking or implying? Sorry i cant read between the lines with your question. I hope you will clarify it for me.

And just for clarification...

Romans 9: For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written:
" 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.' "[a] 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God

Raul said...

To Heather:
I'm just saying,that this concept is a bit demeaning. ("obey the laws,that can't be obeyed.Try to live a life,that can't be lived.")
"In your PS you posed a question that i am unable to understand. What exactly are you asking or implying? "
I'm implying that all people have sexual urges,but not all people are lucky to find the right person,who'd want to form a marriage with that person.
And I'm also implying that unlucky ones seem to have no non-sinful options for expressing their sexual urges.

Cole said...

I know I have to have it. I use to think masterbation and sex was evil when I was an evangelical Son of Hell because I'm not married. I now see it as something natural. My psychologist even told me that masterbation can build your self-esteem.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know evolution had such a brilliant mind. If you look at the orgasm on a microbiological tip its almost fairytail. But we all know evolution has the mind of a God. Yes pun intended.