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Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality Paperback – January 10, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Read this book. Whether you are a believer, doubter, or atheist, religion influences your sexuality. Darrel Ray removes our blinders. Never again will you view religion as benign in its effects. With patience, verve, and overwhelming evidence he makes the case that religion is an STD, a sexually tarnishing disease. Religion undermines our capacities for romance, love, sex, intimacy, and parenting. Sex and God, not the Gideon Bible, needs to be in every hotel room."

--J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D., University of Virginia, psychiatrist, author, Why We Believe In God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith




"The gods seem to have a perverse obsession with the sex lives of mere mortals. In this comprehensive, sharply written survey, Darrel Ray takes us on a tour of the millennia-long religious crusades against guilt-free human sexual expression. I enjoyed this book. It's a  fascinating, informative read."

--Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality



"When it comes to hurtful hypocrisy, it appears that religion and sex may well take the cake. How appropriate therefore - and how courageous - that Darrel Ray has written Sex and God, a powerful debunking of one of the deepest yet rarely examined mythic connections of all time. Give Sex and God a try ... and then drop one of them (I'll leave it up to you to decide which!)."

--David P. Barash, professor of psychology, University of Washington, and author, most recently, of Homo Mysterious: evolutionary mysteries of human nature



"Dr. Ray poignantly applies both the facts and common sense to two of society's greatest untouchables: sex and religion.  Approach this book with an open mind and you will find Sex and God puts sexual power back where it belongs: with you!"

--Laci Green, host of Sex+, youtube.com/lacigreen

About the Author

Dr. Darrel Ray is a psychologist and student of religion and sexuality. His third book, The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture was a best seller and changed the way many people look at religion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: IPC Press (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970950543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970950543
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I finally had an opportunity to meet and spend some time with Dr. Darrel Ray last weekend, as we were both speakers at the FFRF/AFA 23rd Annual Fourth of July event. I absolutely love this guy, and his presentation on how religion distorts sexuality was a learning experience. I obtained a copy of his book, "Sex & God" (signed of course), and began reading it when I got home. I did not put it down. It would literally take a chapter-length blog post to cover all the wonderful things that are within the pages of this book, so I will touch on a couple of them and leave the rest for you to find out when you buy it.

Who Will Benefit..?

On page seventeen, Dr. Ray reveals who will benefit from reading his book. Thus, I will start here. He points out four demographics, and I quote...

*If you are young and not yet experienced in marriage or relationships, this will show you the world of dating in a religious culture. You will learn about the unconscious games used by religious people to trap ou into religion through marriage and relationships.
*If you are in a new relationship or newly married, you will learn about many hidden religious assumptions that directly impact your sex life. Examining these assumptions will give you the power to make informed decisions, free of dogma and indoctrination.
*I you have been married for 10 or 20 years or more, and want to know if your feelings and concerns are normal, this may give you some benchmarks to consider and ideas to further develop your relationship.
*Finally, if you are religious, you will be able to compare your particular religion with many others. You may want to explore such questions as, "Why do all major religions use shame and guilt, regardless of their theology or doctrine?
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Format: Paperback
After reading Darrel Ray's new book, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality, I've been considering the following thought experiment for Believers:

Imagine for a moment that God either doesn't exist or does not care about your sex life. How would this revelation impact your sexuality?

For some, it would mean more sex, for others, less sex - but given all the considerations of research, data, history, testimonials, etc which Ray brings together on this important topic of sex and religion, for most people, the elimination of God from the equation would not result in significant changes to their sex lives. What it would definitely change is this: We would most likely cease to feel guilty about whatever it is we are doing or not doing in our bedrooms.

The religionists' great fear is that apart from the constraints of "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not" - the human race would quickly descend into an abyss of sexual debauchery. But think about it ... without the promise of eternal reward or the threat of damnation, how many of us would actually become rapists or child molesters?

Research shows that Believers engage in the same sexual behaviors, at about the same frequency, as the less religious - the only difference is they feel guilty when they do it. And it is through the guilt that religious leaders and institutions gain their power and control over ordinary people like you and me.

I highly recommend "Sex and God" - it is especially important information for women who are the particular targets of religion's need to channel powerful sexual energy into the service of the Church.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Back in January of 2011, my wife and I had the pleasure of participating in Dr. Ray's Sex and Secularism Survey, which sought to explore how people's sex lives changed after coming out of religion. Some of the research from that survey went into the book, but you can also download the results of the survey in a PDF report at IPC Press.

The book is broken up into 5 different sections (Religion in Perspective, Follow the Biology, Follow the Culture, The Psychology of Religion and Sex, and Program Yourself for a Change) with a total of 26 chapters spit up among the sections. Despite it taking me a while to get through the book, most should find this to be a quick read. I'll state at the beginning that the only real negative thing I have to say about the book is that it was repetitious at times, but that was a minor issue, and does not detract from the book or the subject matter at hand. Others have criticized the Sex and Secularism Survey because of the self-selected sample, but there's really no getting around that when you're dealing with the topic of sex. If you disagree, head down to the local shopping mall and approach random people with a clipboard, and tell them you're going to talk to them about their sex lives. Be sure to report back to me afterward to let me know how that went for you.

Religious people are really hung up on the idea of sex. Whether it's heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, bisexual sex, oral sex, anal sex, self-sex (masturbation), and everything here, there, and everywhere pertaining to human sexuality - you can bet your sweet bippy that religion is going to have it's fingers in the pie. The reason for this, as Dr.
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