Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Do Atheists make Better Lovers?

Do atheists make better lovers? When looking for a talented partner, do you go for the atheist?

It's an interesting question. Logic would dictate atheists DO make better lovers. After all, religions seem to like regulating sexual behavior. Here in the United States, religious conservatives routinely tout their views on sexuality... and those views tend to be more restrictive than open. 

Based on that alone, I'd hypothesize that the freedom from religious dogma enjoyed by atheists would make them more open to a wider variety of sexual experiences, thus giving them more "arrows in their quiver" when it comes to pleasing their partners. 

What does the research say, though?

This study seems to confirm the hypothesis:

The researchers found sexual satisfaction increased significantly after people left their established religion.  Why? There was a significant reduction in guilt.

Reduce guilt and sexual satisfaction increases. Since atheists have no religious-based guilt, their sexual satisfaction increases. As sexual satisfaction increases, the sexual satisfaction of partners tends to increase. So yes, according to this research, atheists do make better lovers.

Also worth noting- sexual satisfaction increased as a function of time since they left their religion. So... we can infer that sexual satisfaction (thus skills) increase with time since leaving the guilt of a religion.

But wait!

This research does have serious methodological flaws that limit our ability to generalize it to any group other than formerly religious people that show an interest in completing online surveys about sex and atheism.

Let's take a look at another study (warning- it opens as a pdf file):

This study investigated sexual behaviors as a function of religious sub-types (fundamentalist, spiritual, and paranormal). The important results- fundamentalist women were the most conservative sexually, and there wasn't as dramatic of a difference among males. Nothing kills the mood like a giant picture of Jesus hanging over your bed.

While it's possible to infer a lot from this particular study, the important point is that not all religious folks are conservative sexually, and females show the greatest variability. If we assume an openness to a variety of sexual experiences is a reliable predictor of sexual skill, we can begin to answer the question- who makes the best lovers?

Based on these two studies, here's a rundown:

Looking for a male partner with skillz and/or into kinky shit? Here's the likely order from best to worst:
  • Atheists
  • Atheists that used to be non-fundamentalists (the longer they left the religion the better they get)
  • Non-fundamentalist males
  • Fundamentalist males
What about female partners that are down for anything?
  • Atheists
  • Atheists that used to be non-fundamentalists (the longer they left the religion the better they get)
  • Paranormal religious females
  • Spirituallyreligious females
  • Fundamentalist females
 Sarah Palin, much to the dismay of her male fans, probably isn't fulfilling all of Todd's dirty desires.

Of course, religion alone is not a reliable predictor of sexual prowess. I'm going to assume some of these ladies have some serious talent:

What are your thoughts? DO atheists make better lovers? Better yet, what are your experiences with this phenomenon?



  1. As a believing Christian teenager I can attest to guilt or shame felt from masturbating.

    As a married atheist I can attest to only finding pleasure in happiness with my wife.

  2. I don't know if it has as much to do with faith-based lifestyles as it has to do with how connected (and accepting) one is to oneself instinctively. People who are caught up in appearance, image, and being what they think they are supposed to be/look like/act like/smell like are usually less free and open in the sack. There are several facets to this- there's nothing more annoying to me than a lover who resists his own primal urges and waits for me to reciprocate "signals" perfectly and appropriately. If I am not writhing with pleasure yet I have clearly made myself a willing participant, don't ruin the mood by trying too hard. Conversely, don't resist a afternoon romp just because you aren't freshly showered and you are afraid that you stink.

    I am sure studies back this theory and that as far as faith-based lifestyles (note I am not even saying Christian- many many people believe in the existence of a god and can't remember the last time they have read any religious doctrine or stepped foot in a house of worship) and guilt about sexual desire/fantasy. Perhaps it is because the atheists are more apt to walk outside the "lines" of common societal trends that they are more open and willing to connect with themselves.

    I was a church-goer when my children were little. Even since my kids were barely out of diapers, I have hoped that they would have amazing sex lives as adults. They are teens now, I still hope (dare I say pray) that they do. I think the freedom to express yourself and be accepted as you are- the freedom to evolve, grow, and learn in your relationship(s) is more essential to true contentment than career success or financial security. This absolutely must include your sex life.