Refrain from Sex so You Can Have All the Sex

It never made sense.

Islam is such a sex-negative religion, yet the afterlife is all about giving men an assortment of virgins to sleep with…

(via Jesus & Mo)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Nicole

    Of course it doesn’t make any sense. None of it does. The other thing that doesn’t make any sense is that some of the most outspoken religious ones that will denounce those things if a westerner does them are the same ones who do it themselves when they think no one is looking. It’s all hypocrisy, and really not surprising at all.

  • Jayelle

    It makes a sort of sense, though. People who love their lives don’t want to risk them (or do kamikaze missions) for extremists. So, convince them that if they abstain from everything fun on Earth, they can have all the fun for all eternity without any punishment or penalty. (It helps to have a *lot* of punishment and penalties.) And if there’s no eternal party or eternal anything else afterwards…well, what are they gonna do, come back and complain?

  • kenneth

    The other thing that always puzzles me is why they pledge 33 virgins to martyrs (or whatever the current bid seems to be)? Why would I want to be surrounded by dozens of people who are incompetent at anything?

  • Steven Sword

    Reminds me of this classic Connolly bit.

  • Steven Sword

    Reminds me of this classic Connolly bit.

  • Puzzled

    Yes, then religious people have the nerve to lecture us on how the irreligious are so debaucherous and perverted. Also, they tell us we have no absolute morality, when their morality is nothing but arbitrary commands.

  • Anna

    I’ve never understood why they think pointing to a book as the source of their morality makes it more legitimate than any other source.

  • Theseus

    Yeah at least the Christians are consistent with their “sex, drunkeness, and all pleasures of the flesh are icky for all eternity” bullshit.

    Never understood Islam’s view that certain behaviors to Allah are abhorrent and abstaining from these vices make one a better more pure person. Then bam ! You kack, and all of a sudden those very same behaviors are OK and encouraged.

    I don’t get the virgins thing either. If my goal is pure sexual pleasure I’m not picking someone inexperienced!

  • Cricket

    I thought this was interesting: The “virgins” might actually be white grapes. Some scholars (Christoph Luxemberg) believe that some words in the Koran are Syro-Aramaic rather than Arabic. When translated that way, the “houri” or virgins are actually not women at all but are “white grapes”. Nicholas Kristof (who wrote the book Half the Sky–pg 157) asserts grapes as being a more plausible translation because the Koran also refers to the houris as being like “crystal or pearls”. Kristof also says that ” accounts of heaven from the time of the Koran often included bounteous fruit, especially grapes to refresh the weary.” So the good guys will get a bunch of grapes when they arrive in heaven.

  • Theseus

    BTW concerning my first sentence above: This belief has nothing to do with the fact that so many of then are prudes and hypocrites and engage in this behavior anyway (at least until they get caught).

  • jose

    At least Islam gives you something to do. But Christianity? They always say you get to meet your loved ones. That sounds fine at first, but think about it: an everlasting family reunion. Look, I like my family, but after 17 hours of stories like that time my third cousin ate shit as a toddler, I sort of need to get out of there for a minute.

  • Theseus

    Exactly. A humanist/ atheist can give you a list of reasons a mile long why murder,rape, theft, etc. are immoral and they never involve rational like “because it says so in the Bible/Koran”.

    That’s why homosexuality is such a problem for them. They can only refer to some silly story or “arbitrary” command in their Holy book without telling you exactly why it’s so immoral. With us (atheists/humanists) it’s completely consistent with tolerance and the golden rule.

    Sorry, but “because God commanded it” doesn’t cut it.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    This is one more reason why the Flying Spaghetti Monster has a better religious philosophy: Pastafarian avoids hypocrisy.

    In heaven, you get beer and strippers, but nothing about the religion precludes you from also enjoying those here in this life.

  • Aj

    In my studies I have found that, within marriage, Islam is actually more sexually positive than Christianity. Sex is more than just procreation, it is about love and joy that partners achieve together.

  • Brian Scott

    The reason is a dude named Plotinus, and may the FSM bitch-slap him with His Noodly Appendage.

    Specifically, Neoplatonism indulges in the belief of the metaphysical existence of abstract concepts, such as happiness and goodness and that all things described by either are “instantiations” of them. That is, “good things” are “good” because they partake of the universal “goodness” that exists independent of the physical world. Christianity, Judaism and Islam sucked that up and ended up identifying this metaphysical “goodness” with “God”, giving it a will and human like features.

    In other words, it’s the result of a collosal failure to seperate the map from the territory and heaping, embaressing amounts of reification.

  • viaten

    I wonder if Muslims get to eat bacon in heaven?

  • viaten

    And don’t forget, they’re perpetual virgins, whatever that means. In what ways are they “virgin” in this case?

  • Theseus


  • AdzyBoy


  • jose

    Taco is the only possibility.

  • Bob

    I have seen more sophisticated arguements from Catholics. Something like
    1. Rationality is what seperates us from the animals so it’s the thing we should aim to be the most

    2.The only rational reason to have sex is to have babies, or to pairbond so you can have babies’
    3.Homosexual sex can never lead to babies and so it sucks.
    Not saying it convinces me, it doesn’t at all, but there are other Christian arguements against homosexuality other than just ‘the Bible says no’.
    It’s worth knowing so that you can argue against it better.

  • Juicy

    Man will some of them be disappointed if that’s true.

    This won’t be the first time something was mistranslated as ‘virgin’ in a Holy Book and caused a lot of troubles…

  • Don Gwinn

    I used to do diets like this. Every ten pounds you lost, you got to take a day or two and go crazy with the cake and eat a bag of Oreos.
    It worked about as well as you’d think.

  • expatfreethinker

    I don’t see atheist’s pointing to dictionaries and saying, “See! It says here that wife is a ‘married woman, a man’s partner.’ Aha! See that? It means we are partners, we are equal . . . therefore you can’t make me put the toilet seat down. You can’t orrrddderrr meeeee!”

  • expatfreethinker

    That may be, but a little less sexually repressed is still sexually repressed, no? :) I’ve read the Quran (no hadiths for me), but I do wonder how you know Islam is more sexually positive. Just curious. I’ve never looked into Islamic sexual practice.

  • expatfreethinker

    Beer and strippers? That seems repressive. I mean, strippers to me is all an elaborate tease. Can you touch the strippers or is it a long tease fest with blueballs for eternity?

  • Cat

    There’s a broader problem here. I’ve often had Christians say that if the only purpose of life is to enjoy yourself as much as possible, then life is pointless. And yet the whole reason to be a good Christian is to get into heaven, where you spend eternity…enjoying yourself. It seems like hedonistic atheists are just cutting out the middle man.

  • Ubi Dubium

    What you do with the strippers is completely up to you. His Noodliness isn’t going to be chaperoning you or anything, he’s too busy getting drunk and interfering with experimental results here on earth. And the beer volcano actually dispenses your favorite beverage, which will be a blessing for those of us who don’t like beer.

  • Anna

    I guess you could almost argue that Islam is more sex positive than Christianity in the afterlife, too. At least for men. If you’re an unmarried Christian man who dies a virgin, you never get to have sex. But if you’re an unmarried Muslim man who dies a virgin, you get to have lots of sex.

  • Theseus

    Sure, and I’m aware of them. However these are after the fact manufactured arguments that Christian thinkers had to come up with, to answer all the questions about all the inconsistencies in the Bible and Christianity.

    These arguments evolved over many centuries in the Eastern and Roman Catholic church. I happen to come from an Eastern Orthodox upbringing so I’ve heard these excuse… rationals all my life. At this point Eastern and Roman Catholics have an answer for everything; they’ve had centuries to come up with this shit. And ya know what? Most of it still sounds like complete and utter bullshit.

    A small sampling of some of these questions:

    How could God command genocide, rape, and the murder of children.? Every answer that i’ve heard is a WTF that has all the earmarks of a defense attorney having to get up and say SOMETHING in defense of an obviously guilty client.

    How come slavery is condoned and encouraged in the Bible ?

    Same WTF deal.

    How come we only select some passages in Leviticus to follow and ignore the rest (this could be applied to the Bible as a whole). Isn’t this the word of God? Same WTF answers

    Why would God allow/inflict birth defects and diseases that cause untold suffering on innocent people? Same WT….you get the idea.

    In the early church it all came down to “this is what God commands and that’s all you need to know”. Yknow what ? This is still an answer that is good enough for evangelical dominionists: ” Homosexuality is an abomination to God”.

    Remember that bumper sticker? “God said it. I believe it. That settles it”.

  • TnkAgn

    What’s all this about virgins? Some would rather be with an older, more experienced paramour. Now, that’s a bit of heaven.

  • Puzzled

    But what of the 33 virgins, sentenced to sleep with terrorists for all time?

    Now that I think of it – what of Pastafarianism and the strippers? Why are they sentenced to getting naked for dollar bills for all time – and what do the dollar bills do for them, anyway? What do they do with the money when they sell a champagne room, for that matter? And do they still call it a champagne room if all beverages are available for free anyway?

  • Octoberfurst

    I can picture a Muslim dying and when he arrives at Heaven Allah gives him 72 grapes and he’s like; “Woo-hoo I get 72 grapes! Oh wait–what?” :-)

  • Octoberfurst

    Thanks for the chuckle! I remember once asking my Pastor what you actually do once you get to Heaven and he said you get re-united with all your loved ones. (Provided they were “saved” of course.) “But what do you do AFTER you’ve had the big reunion?” I asked. “You get to worship God for all eternity” he said, acting as if this would be the greatest thing ever. It horrified me to think that Heaven was an eternal church service. Boring! Hell at least the Muslims get to have sex and drink wine in their version of Heaven!

  • The Captain

    “Can you touch the strippers or is it a long tease fest with blueballs for eternity?” I guess it depends if your afterlife you has cocaine to give them or not.

  • midnight rambler

    I’ve never believed in any deity, and my main disappointment in life is that it hasn’t included enough debauchery and perversion. Evidently I missed atheist instruction day.

  • John of Indiana

    Everybody’s gotta start someplace, and I was one once myself, but some guy who’s looking forward to an afterlife of endless virgins has obviously never been with one…

  • chicago dyke

    ok, now i get it. at least for men. i always wondered how Mo and his crew got islam to take off so quickly and powerfully, but you just cleared it up for me.

    pre islamic dood: “islam? what the hell is that and why do i care?”

    Mo: “you’ve heard of those christians, and what they get in heaven? eternal church service. in islam, we get a mess of virgins.”

    pid: “Wow! that sounds great. i’ll convert.”

  • chicago dyke

    it means the person who came up with that idea is a sicko. i suppose there is some “thrill” to breaking a hymen. someone whose idea of heaven includes doing that over and over is pretty close to a pedophile or serial rapist.

  • SeekerLancer

    I know right? What about the family members that you absolutely can’t stand? I mean, maybe you can say you don’t want to see them but if that’s the case it will make for an awkward eternity.

  • Brian Scott

    It is good to know the arguments, but I would argue against it being more sophisticated. Proposition 2 is based on biblical faith, so it still boils down to “the Bible says so”, it just tarts it up to appear rational.

    Proposition 1 has its own set of problems, though not, strictly speaking, related to faith.

  • Thackerie

    In Islamic hell, you get 72 virgins who are all simultaneously experiencing PMS.

  • Thackerie

    My understanding is that the virgins are supernatural beings, like genies, not the souls of real women. The same could apply to the FSM strippers.

  • viaten

    I don’t think it’s anything like that. I think it’s more just the idea of having something new and being the first with it, something no one else has touched, like the first bite of a fruit you’ve just pick from a tree, or driving a new sports car home from the car dealer. I’d like to hear a Muslim’s or ex-Muslim’s view on what so important about virginity.

  • baal

    More or less. The Houri come off as inexperienced male fantasy mixed with the usual religious ‘purity’ noise. I somewhat get the mental image of someone being welcomed into heaven only to hear a short quasi-German/Russian woman shout, “Release the femme bots!”*
    *c.f. Austin Powers.**
    **The whole concept of women are humans seems to be missing from this tenet of Islam.

    Each time we sleep with a Houri we find her virgin. Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal;
    the sensation that you feel each time you make love is utterly
    delicious and out of this world and were you to experience it in this
    world you would faint. Each chosen one [i.e. Muslim] will marry seventy [sic] houris, besides the women he married on earth, and all will have appetizing vaginas.

    Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Qur’an, p. 35 from

  • Anon

    That’s all well and good for the men.

    What about women? Do we get a harem of men or what?

  • Anon

    Also, beer and strippers is far less sexist. Women are totally able to enjoy beer and strippers.

  • Anon

    This sort of thing irritates me. The idea that if a woman is in a bad mood or is otherwise upset by something, it’s caused by PMS. It’s used to devalue the opinions of women (‘you’re only upset/angry/other reaction because you’re PMSing’).
    I don’t get why that’s funny at all.
    Also, all women are different. Not everybody starts crying or gets angry if they have PMS (and not all women have PMS).

  • Theseus

    Well in MY version of paradise you would.

  • Theseus

    All true. However, Thackerie obviously meant it as a joke. A lot of comedy is based on generalizations and stereotypes of culture, race, gender, etc.

    I laugh at stereotyped male based humor all the time from stand up comics. Where it crosses the line for me is when I think the person is serious and actually believes what they are saying.

  • Thackerie

    Thanks, Theseus. I didn’t mean to offend Anon or anyone else. I’m a woman; I’ve had PMS; I still think it’s a funny joke.

  • Stev84

    With a 30-72 to 1 ratio, they have to be supernatural

  • Theseus

    Your welcome. I read some of your comments above; you’re funny.

    BTW most men think that a woman that can stand up for herself, and at the same time doesn’t take herself too seriously, are really flippin’ cool.


  • avalpert

    Um, that isn’t sophisticated – it is two silly assertions used to find a post-hoc rationalization for their already reached conclusion.

  • Robin

    People forget that eternity is a long time.

    So you spend the first hundred million years with your family.

    Then the next hundred million years with your friends.

    Then the next hundred million years with Abraham Lincoln.

    Then the next hundred million years with Confucious (assuming he got a pass).

    Then the next hundred million years with someone else you admire.

    Then the next hundred million years with yet someone else you want to hang out with.

    Then the next hundred million years with Jennifer Aniston.

    Okay, another hundred millions years with Jennifer Aniston.

    And then you spend a hundred million years with each person who ever made it into heaven.

    Then what? Eternity has still barely begun…