Judaism and Islam, on the other hand, reject celibacy and regard marriage as the natural state. Thus the Qur’an teaches:
Among His signs is that He created spouses for you among yourselves that you may console yourselves with them. He has planted affection and mercy between you (S ).
The Protestant Reformation led Christians to re-appropriate the goodness of married sex. Today’s Protestants have been joined by post-Vatican II progressive Catholics in promoting the belief that sex is a gift of God, to express love between husband and wife and increase the health and satisfaction of marriage:
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2.24).
Let your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth… May her breasts satisfy you always (Proverbs 5:18–19).
According to the Jewish mystical teachings of the Kabbala, the time of sexual intercourse is a moment of great holiness, when the Shekhinah (the Holy Spirit) descends to the couple and showers them with blessings. In line with the holiness of the conjugal union, Hasidic couples customarily reserve the evening of the Sabbath as the time for sexual intercourse.
Sex outside of marriage is a different matter. The major religions condemn extramarital sex as sinful. Even sexual attraction to anyone who is not one’s spouse is condemnable:
Neither fornicate, for whosoever does that shall meet the price of sin-doubled shall be the chastisement for him on the Resurrection Day (Qur’an, S –69).
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).
Religions embody the centuries-old traditional wisdom that adultery has been the downfall of good men and women throughout history. Sexual misconduct is somehow connected to the Original Sin, when Adam and Eve yielded to temptation in the Garden of Eden and afterwards covered their lower parts (Genesis 3:7). To overcome this problem, religions call for self-control, and especially the mastery of sexual desire, as the foundation for personal maturity, ethical relations with others, and a right relationship with God.
The sexual revolution that burst on the American scene in the 1960s has promoted an alternative sexual ethic, asserting that recreational sex is a healthy activity. It condemned Victorian mores that limited sex to the marriage bed as restrictive of personal freedom, and asserted that sex between consenting partners is a positive value for promoting intimacy and affection.
Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine became the chief popularizer of this new ethic, and http://www.besthookupwebsites.org/oasis-active-review/ its “Playboy philosophy” has shaped the sexual attitudes of several generations. Playboy trumpeted the life of bachelor pleasures where women are sex objects to be enjoyed, as opposed to responsible and unselfish partnerships with women, thus rationalizing the worldview of adolescent boys.
First was the technology of birth control. The birth control pill was perfected, for the first time giving women the freedom to engage in sexual relations without fear of pregnancy. Women traditionally acted to restrain men’s sexual proclivities, since they had borne the consequences of sex in pregnancy and motherhood. Now that constraint was lifted.
Feminism also changed female attitudes towards sex. Feminists beginning with Simone de Beauvoir decried women’s subservience to men. They exposed the Victorian double standard that permitted men to indulge their appetites with multiple lovers but expected women to be monogamous. They attacked the long-standing misogynist tradition that regarded women as property-hence any bride who was not a virgin was stigmatized as “damaged goods”-and which denied that women should even expect to achieve sexual satisfaction. To counter this injustice, feminists declared that women should be able to have sex on equal terms with men, to claim their right to sexual pleasure, and even beat men in their own game of sexual domination. From this point of view, a woman’s efforts in the sexual sphere could be an expression of a liberated consciousness.