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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God And Sex Don't Mix., 7 May 2012
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This review is from: Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality (Kindle Edition)
If you want to understand how religion distorts and influences our sexuality in order to control us, then look no further than this wonderfully positive, humane, and healthy book. The fact that many common beliefs (including of course our sexuality) are founded in religious indoctrination and can impact on us without our knowledge, is something that even the athiest may not be aware of. In fact we all can be effected by religion to various degrees. Psychologist, Dr Darrel W. Ray, has produced a outright classic which will benefit anyone with an open mind. And I do mean anyone.

Among its mine of helpful information, and what the author stresses above all else, is that religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc) is poisonous to your sex life. God and sex don't mix is the message. Sex is better and richer without the feelings of guilt and dirt often associcted with religion. ''Guilt is a key tool by which religion controls people. Guilt impedes effective communication and undermines sexual confidence and enjoyment'' (Alex Comfort, The Joy of Sex). This serious and important lession is constantly played down and ignored in religion, for obvious reasons.

In chapter 2, You can take Religion out of Sex, But you can't take Sex out of Religion, Dr Ray says, ''Religious sexual morality is fundamentally meaningless. Any instruction is largely negative.'' I couldn't agree more! Holy books such as the Bible or the Koran doesn't instruct us in ''ways to give a woman an orgasm.'' The joys of oral sex and the pleasures of masturbation are not important in such books. As Mark Twain ironically observed: ''Of all the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse. He will go to any lengh for it. Risk fortune, character, reputation, life itself, and what do you think he has done? He has left it out of his heaven! Prayer takes its place'' (Notebook, 1906). Sex is certainly the weak spot of religion.

Ray makes this humorous comment about the Catholic Church: ''What would happen if sexual restrictions were taken out of the equation? Can you imagine the Pope waking up one morning and saying, ''Wow, I had the best wet dream last night. I think we will make masturbation legal in the Catholic Church.'' Now, if only that were true. And he makes the point, in chapter 4, Did Jesus Masturbate? And Other Interesting Thoughts,: ''The idea of god watching you durning sex, knows when you are masturbating and sees you when you look lustfully at another person comes from early Christian writings that are influenced by a strong antisexual mythology.'' Certainly, to have a puritanical god watching you at all times, is not designed for those of us who enjoy sex. On masturbation, the Christian religion teaches that it is wrong or at best questionable. The author makes so many important points, another is when he says, ''Jesus' idea that lust in the heart is the same as adultery feeds right into the guilt around masturbation'' (Matthew 5:27-28). It most certainly does, as any ex-evangelical Christian will tell you. Since masturbation involves the imagination and visualization, this teaching is absolute poison for anyone who enjoys this harmless activity. As a ex-Christian, it was more than enough to make me feel like a rapist.

Those of us who have left religion are given a chapter on their own, chapter 16, What Happens When You Leave Religion. Well, for many, and I'll be succinct, 'sex is better and hotter'! Whenever the sexual guilt (or the idea of puritanical god that's always watching you) that's experienced in religious training starts to go away, or lose its grip, the fun and joy of sex is let loose. This great book has so much more to offer than what I've touched on here. It has 26 chapters, and they are not difficult to read. I really cannot recommend this book enough. Everyone should read it!
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