Warning: Contains explicit language. In this sermon, we review the symptoms and effects of sexual repression.

The following is from a psychology article on the subject of the symptoms of sexual repression:

The symptoms

Many experts who have studied the effects of sexual repression on the human psyche over the years have concluded that repressing human sexuality can cause all kinds of neuroses and health problems.

The history books have shown us that repressing human sexuality very often leads to a loss of perspective, dangerous compulsions, and inhuman behavior.

For centuries, the Catholic Church has sought to repress human sexuality and encouraged its brethren to abstain from sex. Millions of priests and members of the clergy have been forced to suppress their natural sexual urges over the years, which has undoubtedly led to untold numbers of cases of sexual abuse against vulnerable children.

The act of sex, whether through masturbation or intercourse, helps to dissipate sexual energy, which is why a person usually feels a great sense of serenity and relaxation in the aftermath of an orgasm. Victims of sexual repression, or anyone who is unable to have an orgasm, will be unable to find relief, and over time their sexual energy builds up and can cause deep-seated feelings of frustration and anger.

The Victorians were well known for their strident beliefs on sexual repression. Masturbation was considered “evil” and young girls and women who displayed signs of healthy sexuality were sometimes subjected to all kinds of inhumane practices.

And yet women who displayed the symptoms of sexual repression, known as “hysterical paroxysm”, were treated by a method referred to as “valvular stimulation”, which in today’s terms is good old-fashioned masturbation. However, the Victorian doctors did not regard this technique as sexual; they merely saw it as hard work and rather time-consuming.

Interestingly, female hysteria is a recognized condition traceable as far back as ancient times. It was mentioned in the Hippocratic corpus, and Galen, a well-known physician from the 2nd century, referred to it as a disease caused by sexual deprivation in particularly passionate women, many of whom were nuns, virgins, or widows.

What Sexual Repression Symptoms Were Described in the History Books?

Victorian doctors recorded all kinds of symptoms in women who were evidently suffering from some kind of sexual repression, including a nervous disposition, insomnia, irritability, faintness, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasms, a tendency to cause trouble, and no appetite for food.

Many physicians believed that “hysteria” led to an increased likelihood of developing nervous disorders and problems with the reproductive tract.

But even today, it is widely recognized that repression of sexuality is unhealthy and quite likely to lead to health problems ranging from anxiety and aggression, and on a more serious note, there is also the likelihood that the person might seek inappropriate outlets for their sexual urges.


Effects of sexual repression

Being effected by sexual repression doesn’t mean you are repressed, rather you believe some things that effect your sex life. The following things are an indication that you or others you know have been effected by the teachings of the early church leaders:

  • Discussing sex is taboo (forbidden)
  • People are ignorant about how to have sex properly because parents and schools avoid the details only discussing the biology of sex
  • People hurt themselves during sex because of ignorance (no lube or foreplay)
  • Can lead to fornication and adultery because either spouse is unfulfilled by the sexually repressed spouse
  • People learn about sex from porn which is a performance which doesn’t show you behind the scene preparation
  • Embarrassed to talk about sexual issues, diseases and injuries go untreated
  • Some believe sex is only for procreation and you must not get pleasure from it
  • Some believe sex while pregnant is a sin
  • Some believe it’s holy to be a virgin or celibate than to get married
  • Some believe sex is nasty
  • Some believe the missionary position is the only acceptable sex position
  • Some believe oral sex, anal sex, fingering, masturbation, and other sexual acts are sins

Misinterpreted scriptures about sex

The following are misinterpreted scriptures Catholics have used to promote their war on sex:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:3-4)

The Catholic leaders took this passage to mean that sex was defiling. So it’s foul to have intercourse with a woman? How then are we supposed to procreate? So God is more concerned with us being single even though he’s given us a strong drive to have sex?

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman [have sexual relations] (1 Corinthians 7:1).

Out of context, this seems like it’s more holy to abstain from sex, but if you read the next verse and later verses you’ll see it about having a gift of celibacy and understanding the extra responsibilities of marriage in relation to service to God. Here’s verse 2:

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2)

As we see, Paul doesn’t forbid marriage, he says, “to avoid fornication, just get married.” Here’s another verse the Catholics take out of context:

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I (1 Corinthians 7:8)

But if you read the preceding and next verses you see something else:

7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn (1 Corinthians 7:7-9)

This proper gift is the gift of celibacy. This means avoiding sex and marriage is for those who have the gift. Not everyone. It’s not holy for people to abstain from sex. Paul continues on:

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. (1 Corinthians 7:32-36)

With the gift of celibacy, you’re not distracted by the cares of marriage and pleasing your spouse, but everyone doesn’t have that gift. Paul was just giving the benefits of the gift and then he says, go ahead and marry.

Verses on marriage and sexuality

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:1-4)

It’s foretold that something like this would happen. We see in the Catholic Church that Nuns and Priests are forbidden to marry which goes directly against their biological nature. Abstaining from marriage and sex should be the choice of the individual based on the gift of celibacy, not some religious law.

Rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverbs 5:18–19 ESV)

Sex should be enjoyed, not just simply for procreation as these Catholics insinuate.

Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4)

The scripture says nothing about what sex acts should take place within marriage, but it does warn against adultery and whoremongering (fornication). Two things that defile a marriage bed. Whoremonger refers to husbands and adultery refers to the wives and husbands.

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency… (1 Corinthians 7:3–5)

These verses encourage married couples to have frequent sex and not deny each other. A godly wife doesn’t withhold sex to control her husband and neither does the husband.

Where do we go from here?

God created sex and wants his people to experience the highest level of pleasure and all the benefits of it within marriage. Unfortunately, the enemy has found a way to diminish, pervert, and destroy the joys of sex.

Have you been sexually repressed? Here’s what to do about it:

  • Pray to God to remove false ideas about sex.
  • Stop thinking sex is nasty evil and unpleasurable.
  • Read some books on sexual technique.
  • Communicate with your spouse.
  • Try new things with your spouse.
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