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"For liberals, sex has become the problem that has no name; one simply does not hear liberals articulate a defense of sexual rights. Instead, what we have witnessed is a coalescing of conservative evangelical and mainstream secular perspectives on sex. The conversation on sex in America -- when sex is discussed in a serious and earnest way at all -- tends largely to adopt the parameters set by the Religious Right."--Louis Bayard, Jesus Loves You--and Your Orgasm” on salon.com, July 8, 2008.
Yes, it’s true. The Christian Right has co-opted sex. In Manhattan, where sex has long been about money and power, not sex--the “za-za-zous“, as Carrie Bradshaw described the erotic energy back in the day, has gone missing even from that exchange. Babes, I’ve been to sex parties recently (strictly as a journalistic voyeur) where there isn’t much sex--and what there is seems less real than porn. Couples can't wait to disengage and talk about their money fears to strangers. Sex--another casualty of the Wall Street debacle?
Very attractive men and women, single and coupled, keep telling me that they aren’t having sex. Loss of interest in doing it is particularly common among single career women in their thirties. They cite reasons from disappointment in casual sex to disgust with men and the old stand-by, no time/no energy.
Worse, many of the old sex negative attitudes still live within women; and the sex critical brain is lust's great enemy. Our clothing styles and behavior, may change, but sex negativity is lodged in our brains, put there not by original sin, but by original shame. Every time I think “The Rules” is dead, I read some young woman writer passing judgments on her sisters’ sexual behavior, warning us that we can’t have sex without relationship and advising some form of withholding sex to get the commitment. That illogic keeps coming back like the monster who won’t die in a horror film. Why, I ask you, are they in such a hurry to rush into the sexless marriage?
So where is sex thriving in America? The Bible Belt.
"We think the G-spot should be seen as one more way God gave us to share in the pleasure of sex," said the Reverends Paul and Lori Byerly on their online site The Marriage Bed.
Evangelical pastors are the new sex therapists proselytizing on the joys of (married) oral sex, mutual masturbation, reading “Christian porn”, even anal sex.
“And on the seventh day, there was no rest for married couples, A week after the Rev. Ed Young challenged husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through seven days of sex, his advice was--keep it going,” wrote Gretel C. Kovach in “Pastor’s Advice for Better Marriage,” in The New York Times, November 23, 2008.
As I read this article, I suddenly realized: Protestant pastors have figured out what the women’s service magazines have known for years: Sex, faith (and chocolate cake recipes) sell. Isn't this an argument for married priests? The Catholic church has yet to discover that Jesus loves your orgasm.
For a few years I wrote sex advice articles for Redbook magazine. In the earlier days of that, especially under editor Debra Birnbaum, I had some fun, sexy and creative assignments, including one to invent a new position. The magazine evolved under changing editorial guidance; and the assignments became more formulaic, not so much fun. Every article was based on this premise: You are having great married sex with your guy--and this advice will take you over the top!
Oh, yeah. I could only do that for so long; and then I got snarky. But times are tough now. Paying jobs for freelance writers are harder to find.
Maybe I should contact a pastor and tell him or her: I can ghost the perfect sex advice book for you.
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