My former youth pastor told us in our church-based abstinence class (which, incidently, I was kicked out of) that only men had sexual desire, recieved sexual pleasure, were able to separate sex and love, and that when women "acted out sexually", it was either a vain attempt to capture a husband or a response to society (I feel so sorry for his wife!).

How could a person, religious or non-religious, think this shit in the 21st century?! And does religion, especially Judeo-Christianity, truly promote said shit?

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Adolf Hitler was into scat--but not singing.
Godwin's Law has reared it's head - (Reductio ad Hitlerium in extremis , in this case!) :

Wiki-"Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%)."[3][2] In other words, Godwin put forth the hyperbolic observation that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.
Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form.[citation needed] The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued[4] that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact."
Was he really? Eww. Where did you find this out?

Having been for several years a part-time sex educator (where else but in San Francisco), I know it's not true that only men want sex. On this thread however, if from posters' names I can correctly infer their genders, men say more words about it than women.

The silence saddens me. We have surely all heard or seen the caution, "Don't talk politics or religion." To those two topics, add sex and we know three ways that rulers (or wanna-be rulers) can divide and conquer those they rule (or want to rule). The less we say, the less well we know each other. The less well we know each other, the less we trust each other. I have on another computer a great quote to support that point; I will post it later.

I've seen a lot of academic research on hetero-sex that says men are motivated solely by a desire to spread their DNA as widely as possible. If anyone has seen any research that says either men or women are motivated by a desire for pleasure, please point me toward it.

Does religion motivate the silence? In my studies of religion when I was breaking from Catholicism, I found that every religion except tantric Buddhism described sex negatively.

Why are Americans so silent? Federal Appellate Court Judge Richard A. Posner, in his 1993 "Sex and Reason" said America is the only nation influenced by both Catholic and Puritan values. He said Catholicism contributed a strict theory and a lax practice, while Puritanism contributed the opposite - a strict practice and a lax theory. (In a later book Posner made peace with homosexuality.)

Enough for now; I will look for that quote on trust.

Well, every woman I've ever been with wanted sex.  And I have gone to great lengths to avoid spreading my DNA.

Pagans are very into sex, it being a materialistic, earth, body and nature worshipping religion. They call sex The Great Rite and it's used in both a ceremonial public way and also a celebratory way, depending on your particular coven/sect/group. Pagans have resisted the institutionalisation of any creeds and dogma, don't want to recruit, preferring people who are 'self-referred' so to speak, and anyone can set up a branch of their own, write your own rituals and ceremonies etc. It's very female centred on the whole as well. Or at least there are equally powerful gods and goddesses, used either literally or as psychological archetypes for use as symbols of empowerment or release. Roughly.

But apart from that Tom, are you asking why (American only?) women are silent. About sex? Or are you commenting on America generally? Or just on this forum? Sorry, I wasn't clear as I read on.

Women talk very freely about sex with each other and I have heard this said to be so about women in Saudi Arabia. Beneath the veil, that's their major subject of conversation. Except the ones trapped in a marriage of sexual sadism. They fall silent.

Can I ask you what might be your theories as to why women may not participate as much in sexual conversation in mixed company? Genuinely. I'm interested. I can think of a few of my own. But, anyone. Any theories?

Or is it that the subject, on some online threads, get colonised a bit faster by men? There are a plethora of studies about men and women in conversation, one of which is HERE, showing how men dominate convertations, especially public ones. Have you noticed whether, even allowing for less 'out' atheist women, for our lower numbers on here, most of the threads have more posts from men?

I personally haven't checked. Just throwing out the question.

But I am on two forums/meetup groups in London for atheists -London Atheists Meetup Group -and the other, run by the same woman, London Feminist Freethinkers.

I have talked a bit to the organiser about the clear differences on the forums. In the atheist group there are about 5 women, including me and the organiser/moderator who post fairly regularly,(many more are members) with the odd drop in post (usually very short, or just a link to something) from another woman now and again. I've often said I feel like I'm in a men's club. I get ever so slightly paranoid if I start a thread and hardly anyone reads or responds to it! I try not to let that stop me. If only to keep the number count up!

Whereas on the feminist forum, men can join, and do, but the reason for keeping it separate (even tho' they are both atheist groups) is specifically to give women space to develop the sense of entitlement they/we seem to lack. And to talk more specifically about the impact of religion on women and share experiences. Worryingly tho', when men do join in a debate there is often an outbreak of arguments, a common accusation that said man doesn't understand our interpretation of our experiences or belittles our experiences, or has a funny idea about feminism. The man may well argue like crazy about his hatred of patriarchy but also argue every teeny point with his opponent, to the point of exhaustion. In other words, WE get told AGAIN by some of these men, how to interpret our experience, HOW we're not being considerate about the difficulties of masculinity, and often dominating the thread.

What to do? As about 80-90% of men apparently only ever read male authors, I sometimes come to the depressing conclusion many men may not be interested in what women think, or feel.

(Try not to take my generalisations personally. If that's not YOU, then it's not you.) 

Cheryl, my limited experience with paganism was as you described; I saw it and the people I met as very sex positive. But for my agnosticism, I would have stayed with it longer.

Marie didn't tell her age, but her former youth pastor was echoing Victorian (middle and late 1800s and early 1900s) views.

As to your question, in which I saw nothing to take personally, when I first read this thread it had been largely colonized (I like your usage of the term) by several men, saying many more words than Marie and the other "girl" poster. Thus my remark.

However, I was telling of some of my experience. In the weeks before my wife and I went our separate ways, we did several counseling sessions. In one of them, she said I hadn't responded to her requests for sex. Amazed, I said I'd never heard her ask.

That's how it was for most people born in the 1930s and raised in Xian religions. Myself, I'd been taught the religious view (from Plato) that sex was animalistic and beneath human dignity. Besides that, the only sex ed I had was wet dreams and a few minutes of my mom's telling me about menstruation. I was supposed to know what to do. My wife perhaps knew but she was not allowed to say.

For me and others with whom I worked, doing sex education was making sure that others would be better educated than we had been. I found it a kind of therapy.

There was also a bit of Machiavellianism in those still Victorian years; the less women said and the more they heard from the men in their lives, the better they could fulfill the roles Marie's former youth pastor described. This is part the reason I dislike Xianity so.


Yes, years ago I went to a couple of pagan gatherings, one of which was quite euphoria inducing (we did a spiral dance), but charmed as I was, I couldn't square it. Or spiral it. I think I just liked the idea of dancing naked in the woods round a bonfire!
I have so many thoughts about sex and religion I'll have to try and edit myself. Something I find difficult to do in type or text for some reason. I think I worry about the possible misunderstandings.
Which brings me to my comment at the end. I wasn't thinking of you when I put that (about taking things personally). I was directing it at any passing male reader who might. I have had so many exhausting debates/arguments on and off line with men because I'm expressing a grievance about the 'state of play' between the sexes and it's now knee jerk, it seems, to accuse women of sexism if we complain of it.
What Marie and your experience with your ex describe sound like fairly routine religious poisoning about sex. Women, generally, historically, get an extra dose or two. Confirmed by our culture.
Women get punished for being sexual. Watch any slasher films, e.g. Halloween or sci-fi Terminator fare, the first females killed will be at best cute but flighty, or outright 'tarty', about to have sex with a boyfriend. There is often a contrasting female in the film who is 'saved'. Remember the 1950's film 'Peeping Tom'? That's it's running morality. Plain spinster downstairs looking after her blind mother befriends and escapes the psycho upstairs who kills aspiring starlets, filming them as he does it, turning their 'trashy' vanity on themselves.
Then the bloody virgin Mary and all the other holy virgin mothers from religions around the world, (I suppose Mother Theresa actually existed even though her ethics were corrupt and ugly), how do we fight this crap?
Women's sexuality is not a mirror image of men's. An orgasm from intercourse is how so many men think it should be. Evolution has not been helpful in that regard. Many women's clitoris' are further away from the vagina than others. Ideally it would actually be just inside the vagina wouldn't it?
In many women's experience an orgasm is a test that only he can pass but only she can fail. Women often fake it out of desperation, not as a humiliation of men. Why would we do that? I've heard men talk about ways to 'catch a woman out', 'how you can tell' etc.
The reality is this can buy a woman some much needed time to get the pressure taken off her for disappointing HIM, so as to find a way to relax and gain control of events. Contrary to popular belief, orgasms aren't got by 'letting go' ( do men do that? Have they been taught in some cultural way how to release their feelings and go into this ego-less swoon so commonly portrayed by women in porn?). They are got by feeling confident and ego-grounded, and knowing/learning what works for you.
Only when you can stop worrying about how well you are pleasing the other, whether he's about to dump you or if he'll bloody well respect you in the morning (how come those last words are so traditionally part of our phrasing pantheon and not men's?), can you find your routes. Routes that men on the whole find earlier than women, I guess because men have to handle their genitals a few times a day. Young girls can spend years not knowing what the hell is down there. We know something is, but what exactly?
As a young teenager I had exactly the same obsessive thoughts about sex as boys are so cutely described as having. I heard about the boys, but nobody, NOBODY, told me my brain would be so completely hijacked. Those ideas about girls at puberty are outside the cultural norm. I felt guilty because I spent all Christmas thinking about sex, even when conversing with my Gran. I just wasn't listening. My brain was constantly spooling forwards into some fantasy.
My mother taught me not to regard sex as bad or dirty, but I don't recall her telling me I would endure such frustration, that I would often cry. I didn't know women had orgasms. I would fantasise in bed, lying and wriggling around on my stomach and then get this feeling I was going to 'explode' and would stop, terrified as to what the hell was happening. I just didn't know. So, I'm saying we have a more arduous route, sometimes, to knowing what works for us, let alone trying to talk to a partner about it. How will he react?
How do you start a conversation with a partner when you want to discuss in detail, what isn't working for you? And he thinks you snitch and snigger about him with your girlfriends?
Men I've known make jokes about 'us women', how we tell each other everything, don't we? Not necessarily. I don't like to humiliate. Or expose privacy, unless it's in the past. Then you leave out the names. But often a woman just needs someone to talk to who'll understand her problem.
It's been shown in a couple of large studies that the thing men fear most from women is her laughter. The thing women most fear from men is being murdered.
But I've unearthed a double standard a couple of times. When I've been asked not to talk to anyone about our sex life, I promise. Later I've had oddly cheeky and leery conversations inflicted on me by one of his friends with some nudge/wink remarks, or whatever. Big knowing grins. So, it seems I'm sworn to secrecy but he obviously thought he'd fling a few titillating facts around about me.
Our culture is composed of men and women. We can't change things on our own. Obviously. Ask the woman you're with to talk (anybody), and allow her to say anything, even if it hurts.
Bloody website - sorry don't ban me!!- but the above is a version of the reply I wrote yesterday and I re-read it, editing, believe it or not and adding some extra, more salient points. Maybe. Clicked ADD and the old one came up with a few of my improvements, wierdly. So,,,15 mins to EDIT. S'not is it? Racing thru', I edited and added, clicked never...wh'appen? Can someone fix this stuff? Pleeease???
Hey Joseph! Yes you, with the short refractory period - that one! I bet you know don't you?!! But can you talk to me like I'm a really stupid person please? I don't understand phrases like er.. nesting depths ..and, shit, blockquoting buttons...I must thank you for your help on the other thread though, but I only understood the first bit.
You're speaking to a Martian. Extranet.
Heh, great, I've made a label for myself.  I guess I can live with that one, though.  :-D

Well, if you've run through the 15 minutes, I'd just delete it and re-post it.  You've got a little X over in the top-right corner of all of your messages.  That deletes the message.  Just be sure to copy and paste it into a new one, first.


And yeah, it is exactly 15 minutes.  The number doesn't update if you don't refresh the page, though.  If you post something, reload the page and read another comment on that page, then go back to edit your message, the indicator may say 7 minutes left to edit, while you've actually burned up another 3 or 4 minutes reading the other posts.



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