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How Atheism May Improve Your Sex Life

Relationship with passionate affection

When it comes to improving your sex life, there’s no one way to go about it that works for everyone. Human sexuality is complex, diverse, and exceedingly kinky. What works for one person won’t work for another and may even be detrimental in some cases.

Conversely, there are also variety of ways to undermine or ruin your sex life. That same sexual diversity that helps the human race find novel ways to get intimate with one another can also backfire horribly. Some are minor, in terms of effect, but other forces can have a much greater impact.

That brings me to religion, a topic that tends to inspire the best and worst in people. Like sex, it’s a complex phenomenon that impacts everybody differently. It can inspire great charity and compassion in some. It can just as easily incur greed, exploitation, and outright atrocity.

For those reasons, and plenty more that are too numerous to list, any effort that involves mixing sex with religion is akin to mixing napalm with TNT. I’ve made an effort to discuss both topics in a fair, balanced manner in the past. I feel as though I can only go so far before I totally inflame certain audiences.

I’m still going to try to push the conversation a bit farther. That means taking a few risks and since religion is still such a prominent force in the world, it’s effect on our collective sex lives is unavoidable.

For this particular discussion, want to focus on what happens when religion is removed from the equation. If religion is really that powerful an influence on our lives, and both history and current politics indicate that influence is not entirely trivial, then it stands to reason that the impact of its absence can reveal something about the extent of that influence.

That’s not to say that this is going to be a glowing endorsement of atheism. I prefer to let the data, the logic, and the implications speak for themselves. Since religion is on decline in many parts of the western world, I think exploring the potential impact is critical and even a little urgent.

Information on the sex lives of atheists compared to those who consider themselves religious is somewhat difficult to come by. The act of assessing and measuring someone’s sex lives, as well as the extent of their religiosity, is extremely difficult without the aid of lie detectors or mind-readers. The information we do have, though, does offer some intriguing insights.

Back in 2011, a survey entitled “Sex and Secularism” surveyed approximately 14,500 people revealed that those who identified as religious had less satisfying sex lives than their non-religious counterparts. On top of that, those same religious participants reported a high level of guilt that came along with their sex lives. Given how some religions build their theology around guilt, that shouldn’t be too surprising.

Conversely, those identifying as non-religious didn’t just report better sex lives. They had better sexual education and were more open to discussing sex in general. Everything from personal fantasies to simple tastes was fair game and less affected by guilt. That openness, along with considerably less stigma, was conducive to a more fulfilling sex life.

That effect was more pronounced by those who had once been religious, but had since become atheist. Between the absence of religiously-motivated guilt and the sexual taboos that are often theologically driven, the cumulative effect is pretty striking. This notable quote from the researchers summed it up nicely.

“People who had lost their belief and became atheists reported a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction,” the paper went on to say. Apparently the guilty feelings that religion creates around sex dissipate after a while.

Now, I can already hear the outrage sincerely devout religious crowd on the conclusions of this study. More than a few people who consider themselves religious will claim that their sex lives are superior and they may even have a case to make. Many religions offer a simple, one-size-fits-all approach to sex that is uncomplicated, straightforward, and safer. The fact that it’s also ordained by a divine power is also a factor.

I don’t deny that there are plenty of religious couples out there who have satisfying sex lives. There are probably plenty of atheists out there who have terrible sex lives, as well. However, in order to draw larger conclusions about the impact of religion on sex, we can’t just go by a few anecdotal experiences. We have to step back and see the forest from the trees.

From a psychological and physiological perspective, it makes sense that guilt, religiously-motivated or not, would undermine anyone’s sex life. Guilt has measurable effects on people. It makes it harder to focus. It keeps us from enjoying things. It’s a powerful distraction that makes us feel stress and anxiety. All of these forces can do plenty to undermine your sex life.

In my musings on taboos, I often cite religion as a driving force behind them. Organized religion has made no secret of its intent to regulate, control, or outright exploit human sexuality. There’s plenty of theology, especially among the Abrahamic religions, that imparts divinely-mandated guilt on sex.

In these religious cultures, sex isn’t just some basic biological act that people do for intimacy, procreation, and recreation. It’s subject to all sorts of holy and unholy connotations. The deities involved in these religions aren’t just interested in the kind of sex you’re having. They’ll actually punish you if you do it the wrong way.

That does more than just impart extra guilt for doing anything that strays from what priests, mullahs, monks, and rabbis deem appropriate. It also instills a very rigid family structure, one centered around a specific manifestation of sex that has very little room for fun, kink, and exploration.

That manifestation involves strict gender roles where men do the hard labor and women do the child rearing. The only sex that is sanctioned is the one that involves producing babies who subsequently grow up to be adherents/soldiers/patrons of a particular religion. The fact that type of sexual expression indirectly benefits religious institutions is probably just a coincidence.

The act of enjoying sex for non-procreative purposes would constitute a distraction. A distraction is dangerous in any religion because if people become too distracted, then they pay less attention to the religious institutions and the duties they espouse. As such, it’s in the interest of any successful religion to maintain a strict control over someone’s sex life.

That kind of control is naturally prone to stress. Given how the biological wiring of human sexuality is not conducive to that kind of narrow expression, there’s bound to be temptation. The best way to combat temptation is through stigma and taboo. By hijacking powerful feelings like guilt, it’s possible heavily influence peoples’ sex lives, even if it’s impossible to control them.

It’s akin to putting lead weights on somebody’s limbs and convincing them that the weight is normal. Even if they come to accept that, the weight still skews perceptions and that can only do so much in terms of circumventing basic biology. It also means that when those weights come off, the effect is pretty striking.

Suddenly, the stigma that once kept someone from seeking the sex they desired are gone. The burdens associated with thoughts and feelings that religious institutions deem unholy are lifted. Like any form of stress relief, it can be pretty liberating.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the 2011 survey is conclusive. It has been criticized for being unscientific in some aspects. Some of those criticisms are valid and the researchers concede that, but to the extent the data is consistent with what we understand about how religion can affect our sexuality, it passes some critical filters.

Our sex lives are complicated. Religion, in its many forms, is complicated as well. Regardless of how you feel about one or the other, mixing them is almost certain to compound both. Atheism, like not playing a sport or not having a hobby, simply removes one of those complications.

It’s not a universal fix. It doesn’t subvert other potential issues that may undermine someone’s sex life. There’s plenty more research to be done and religion is still evolving with each passing year, but when it comes to removing divinely-imposed, theologically-driven guilt, atheism stimulates the necessary aspects that make for a satisfying sex life.

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Filed under gender issues, human nature, Marriage and Relationships, philosophy, psychology, religion, romance, sex in society, sexuality

Better Sex Through Technology (And Toys)

Have you ever wished you had your own personal sex coach? Surely, that has to be a profession in this crazy, sexy world. It’s actually possible to get paid to test new condoms. There has to be someone willing to pay another person to help them have better sex with their lover. When there’s that kind of need, it gets filled. That’s just basic economics.

Let’s face it. Great sex is one of those things that we’re kind of expected to figure out on our own. Sure, magazines offer all these tips and tricks. Porn offers any number of sexy fantasies. Hell, entire industries are built around setting the mood for horny couples. Just ask the candle industry. I like to think I add to that effort with my sexy novels.

However, despite all these tools couples have to improve their sex lives, has there ever been something that can actually train you to pleasure your lover, rather than basically having to wing it? We live in a world where there are real wizard schools for crying out loud. How can we not have a way to train our sexual prowess to that of a well-honed athlete?

While I’m sure there are some one-on-one services that may or may not have questionable legal practices, I doubt most people have access to those service. However, as I said earlier, when there’s a need, it usually gets filled. That’s where Lovely comes in.

A while back, I did an article about the growth of smart sex toys. This is already an established industry, creating dildos, vibrators, and various accessories that have some measure of intelligence to improve their function. Better function means more orgasms and that’s always a good thing.

That said, most of those toys are primarily for solo play, a means of helping those who want to digitally enhance their orgasm, so to speak. Sure, some could be used with couples, but it’s more a tool than a guide. Granted, its’ a very sexy tool, but it’ll only do so much to actually improve your lovemaking skills.

The fine folks at Lovely took note of that. They, like most sexy industries, realized that there’s always a market for people seeking better sex. So they got to work, employing the kind of problem solving that horny women and NASA engineers alike would be proud of. The final product is this simple, yet deceptively sexy device that may very well you a sex god in the eyes of your lover.

The way it works is as simple as it is erotic. After you and your lover have set the mood, ditched the clothes, and established a battle plan for your trip to O-town, the man puts this device on his dick like a standard cock ring. Then, he turns it on and that’s where things get both sexy and smart.

Like a lot of sex toys, even the un-smart kind, Lovely vibrates. It’s also shaped in a way that provides direct clitoral stimulation to the woman once the action gets going. That alone will help get the woman to where she wants to be and her lover will be able to guide her, which is sure to make things a little extra romantic.

However, even after the fun is done and the afterglow sets in, Lovely’s job is just beginning. In fact, you could argue that it does the most important work after the man and women do their part. That’s because during the sexy time, Lovely wasn’t just vibrating. It was gathering data. Trust me. It’s a lot sexier than it sounds.

It’s the kind of data that you can’t easily give to a doctor, a therapist, or an accomplished porn star. I’m not even sure an aspiring erotica/romance writer could put it into words. The use of that data, though, is where Lovely gets real smart because that’s where the app comes in.

Yes, this device has its own app, like the other smart toys I’ve discussed. Unlike those toys, though, this app takes the data gathered from the device and uses it to surmise a better sexual experience, specific to you and your lover’s tastes.

Want sex that’s more intimate and loving? The app will help you with that.

Want sex that’s more raw, primal, and prone to rug burns? The app will help with that too.

Want sex that’s playful, kinky, and fun? The app will help enhance that fun.

It does this because that data is specific to you and your lover. You both get a chance to provide feedback, gauging the efficacy of your sex and providing additional data it can use to further enhance your sexy time. So long as you use it, it never stops gathering data. Lovely never stops processing ways to improve your sex life.

It may sound crude, but think about it. When have we ever had something or someone that can actually guide us and our lovers to better sex? For the most part, we’ve had to rely on advice from friends or relatives. We’ve had to read books and watch porn. We’ve had to have all sorts of intimate and sometimes awkward conversations where we can barely articulate our desires.

That doesn’t sound like a very efficient way to make love, does it? Lovely does something remarkable for both sex toys and our sex lives, in general. It allows lover’s to effectively customize their efforts towards greater sex. They don’t have to rely on tips or tricks that may only work for other people. They can learn, with their lover, how to go about improving their sexual satisfaction.

As we become more connected, both to our lovers and to the world as a whole, this kind of intimate data makes perfect sense. With a tool like Lovely, we go beyond just using these sexy toys to get ourselves off and actually use them to learn the sexual intricacies of our lover.

Armed with that knowledge, we can all be better lovers and have more satisfying sex lives. As an aspiring erotica/romance writer, I honestly can’t think of more beautiful way to make the world a better place.

I’d like to thank the fine folks at Lovely, who reached out to me directly after my article on smart sex toys. I don’t know how long it would’ve taken me to find a device like this, but I’m glad they saved me the trouble. I genuinely believe that this sort of technology will go a long way towards improving our collective sex lives and I thank them for their bold efforts. They are truly doing important work.

As part of the deal for me highlighting their sexy endeavor, they’ve provided me with a promo code for Lovely. If you’re interested in trying out this bold new technology in lovemaking, check out their website and use this promo code for a discount.

Promo Code: JackWrites

Please note that the promo code can only be used on a first-come, first-serve basis. That actually sounded much dirtier when I said it out loud, but you get the idea.

If you do end up using this code and trying this product out, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it works for you and your lover. I’d love to write about it. I’d even be willing to do a live video chat about it. Just contact me or leave a comment, preferably the sexy kind.

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Filed under Marriage and Relationships, Sexy Future