More satisfying sex please, we’re atheists

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Atheists have far better sex lives than religious people who are plagued with guilt during intercourse and for weeks afterwards, researchers have found.

A study found that non-believers are more willing to discuss sexual fantasies and more satisfied with their experiences.

Both groups admitted that they carried out the same activities such as masturbation, watching pornography, having oral sex and pursuing affairs.

But followers of religion did not enjoy the experiences as much due to the stigma created by their belief systems, the study found. It left them with intense feelings of regret after they had climaxed.

The findings emerged in the Sex and Secularism survey of more than 14 500 people carried out by psychologist Darrel Ray and Amanda Brown from Kansas University.

All of the people questioned were found to have sex around the same number of times a week. They also became sexually active at similar ages.

But devoutly religious people rated their sex lives far lower than atheists and admitted to strong feelings of guilt.

Strict religions such as Mormons ranked highest on the scale of sexual guilt. Their average score was 8.19 out of 10. They were followed closely behind by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists and Baptists.

Catholics rated their levels of guilt at 6.34 while Lutherans came in at 5.88. Atheists and agnostics ranked 4.71 and 4.81.

Religious people had as much sex as non-believers but they felt bad afterwards and often prayed for forgiveness.

In individuals, the stronger the religious beliefs the more powerful the feelings of regret.

Of people raised in very religious homes, 22.5 percent said they were shamed or ridiculed for masturbating compared with only 5.5 percent of people brought up in the least religious homes.

About 79.9 percent of people raised in very religious homes said they felt guilty about a specific sexual activity or desire while 26.3 percent of those raised in secular homes did.

Children raised in strongly religious homes were more likely to get their sex education from pornography, as they were not confident enough to talk with their parents.

People who had lost their belief and became atheists reported a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction.

People who had left their beliefs behind said their sex lives were “much improved” and rated their new experiences on average as 7.81 out of 10.

The finding dispelled the belief that feelings of guilt can continue to trouble people after the religion has faded.

“We did think that religion would have residual effects in people after they left but our data did not show this. That was a very pleasant surprise. The vast majority seem to shake it off and get on with their sexual lives pretty well,” Ray said.

“Our data shows that people feel very guilty about their sexual behaviour when they are religious, but that does not stop them.

“Of course, they have to return to their religion to get forgiveness. It’s like the church gives you the disease, then offers you a fake cure.” – Daily Mail

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Terri, wrote

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08:07am on 27 May 2011
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@Get Real, how many atheists do you actually know, and how do you know what their personalities are like? It is religious intolerance from so-called christians that cause a lot of problems in our world. Sex is between two parties, and I know so-called christians who will have sex with anything that moves, and others who are so frigid you could chill a beer in their behinds - so stop generalising. I, as an atheist, have done more for my fellow man than you may have done, I'm just not scared of the dark, and don't have to call myself a christian in order to be a good person.

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Richard Ramudzuli, wrote

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07:51pm on 26 May 2011
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Speachless, I just love my sex.

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Anonymous, wrote

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07:41pm on 26 May 2011
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I'm fascinated by the amount of religious comments here. Is there still so much people who belief? Geez people, get out from under that rock!

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Anonymous, wrote

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02:25pm on 26 May 2011
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Interesting - how they don't even mention any of the MANY other religions - like Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, etc.

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Anonymous, wrote

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06:42pm on 25 May 2011
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Wow, an online survey; that sounds very... scientific.

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Get Real, wrote

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06:39pm on 25 May 2011
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Its called a seared conscience. Atheists also don't feel guilty about whom they hurt in the process because it is all about "me, myself, and I" where atheists are concerned. Then of course there are studies to the contrary of the one above which say the exact opposite--religious people have better sex lives. I just know as a Christian that my life isn't in tatters because of the reckless living of no boundaries and a lack of self-control. And my sex life with my wife is great and guilt free.

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Randy Mck, wrote

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05:01pm on 25 May 2011
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I wonder how catholic priests feel about all this? :)

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Musikwudd, wrote

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04:51pm on 25 May 2011
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Withou a rucksack of weights one dances better - easier, more freely ! Here we canexactly learn and see what religious MORALITY does: It hinders and reduces life - quality. At worse it makes one agressive and sick !

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Jules, wrote

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11:54am on 25 May 2011
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The same goes for money with religious people (especially Christians) who feel guily about spending and having money. This guilt often results in financial difficulties as aften the guilt restricts them from taking risks. Churches make them feel guilty about not contributing their wealth. Where does the money come from for Ray McCauley's church and other charismatic churches for that matter?

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:35am on 25 May 2011
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Here's why: Luke 20:34-35: “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry ... But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” Matthew 5:28-30: “...whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee... And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee...” Matthew 19:10-12: “his disciples say unto him... it is not good to marry... For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb... and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.”

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Michael, wrote

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10:32am on 25 May 2011
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We can all continue to whip ourselves into a froth 'for' and 'against' this studyissue - but the fact is quite easily settled. If people can yank their heads out of their own bottoms for long enough to read a few decent books, perhaps a light might pop on in a few of the more intelligent heads; with a result that more life-satisfaction and less delusion will become widespread. I recommend Craig A. James' excellent book "The Religion Virus"; you will be very very surprised at it's calm and analytical analysis of how we all got and stay in this psychotic religious state in the first place. Then again, I am sad to predict that the old adage "my mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts" will prevail. And it is a shame.

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Walton, wrote

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09:41am on 25 May 2011
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Just another example of Satan trying to infect our lives. The survey states that if we leave religion behind, we'll have better sex. nonsense! The best sex I've ever had was with my wife; and unfortunately, i did my rounds to be able to compare. the fulfillment with my wife is incomparable to the empty sex with nigh strangers.

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Carin Nel, wrote

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09:37am on 25 May 2011
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Religion is just what it is-a set of rules. Do's and don't set up by a church. When you have a personal relationship with your Saviour and can call Him Father, it becomes a different story. To know how to live and WHY and the consequences of one's choises is freedom and does not fill one with feelings of guilt when one makes a second best choice in a situation. I'ts all about knowing what is the best choices and what is second best and how to deal with the consequences of ones choices- like eg. AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, emotional stuff, etc. should it happen. God is a loving Father to those who trust Him, but many church leaders make Him a tyrant and scare their followers.

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Pangea, wrote

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09:22am on 25 May 2011
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Religious people have always have issues with sex, especially your monolithic religions. Maybe they too scared to enjoy themselves. You have one life and one body enjoy it!!!

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Makhosini, wrote

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09:18am on 25 May 2011
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AG I agree with you and you are bringing another dimension to the debate. My take on this study is to portray Christians as boring and conservative in terms of sex. By the way, why were other religions ignored such as Judaism, Hinduism and Muslims?

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:17am on 25 May 2011
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@Clive - so you have a study that shows otherwise? Please do publish.....

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:10am on 25 May 2011
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Drivel...entertains those seeking affirmation for their immoral behavior. Notice the closing paragraph - as if morality was invented by the church.

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:07am on 25 May 2011
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Drivel...entertains those seeking affirmation for their immoral behavior. Notice the closing paragraph - as if morality was invented by the church.

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:05am on 25 May 2011
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AG - spot on!

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Michael, wrote

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09:05am on 25 May 2011
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Poor religious bastards; needlessly torturing themselves... but it's their choice I guess... pity about their kids though. In the words of George Carlin - outlaw religion and in a generation or two most of the world's perversity and guilt will disappear.

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