Not surprisingly, the "Seven Days of Sex" sermon that Pastor Ed Young gave his Texas congregation earlier this month has really caught on.
Young challenged his parishioners to have sex with their spouse every day for a week to see how it benefited their relationship. And although he bases his 'sexperiment,' as he calls it, on Christian ideology--that God created sex for husband and wife--it would seem that the fundamental message is resonating outside church walls: more sex is a always a good thing, even if you have to schedule it.
Yesterday's New York Times' 'seven days of sex' story shot straight to #1 on the Most-Emailed List.
In the article, Young's congregants report that on the seventh day they were feeling pretty good.
One parishioner, Rob Hulsey, 25, said his Baptist relatives raised their eyebrows about it, but he summed up the reaction of many husbands at Fellowship Church when he first heard about the sex challenge -- "Yay!"
A week later, he and his wife, who are expecting a baby and have two older children, could not stop holding hands during the sermon. His wife, Madeline Hulsey, 32, said she was just as thrilled to spend a week focusing on her husband. Usually, "we start to kiss, and it's knock knock knock, Mom!" she said.
Others found that, like smiling when you are not particularly happy, having sex when they did not feel like it improved their mood. Just eight months into their marriage, Amy and Cody Waddell had not been very amorous since Cody admitted he had had an affair.
"Intimacy has been a struggle for us, working through all that," Ms. Waddell said. "This week really brought us back together, physically and emotionally."
So Pastor Young told his parishioners to keep going.
Today Tucker Carlson endorsed the idea on The Daily Beast, calling it "one of the best public policy proposals of the decade."
Once you factor out venereal diseases, there's almost nothing better for you than regular sex. Judging from the many studies on the subject, a daily romp is healthier than yoga, a five-mile run and a handful of multivitamins combined. Sex has been shown to ameliorate memory, posture, depression, anxiety, insomnia, menstrual cramps, digestion, bladder control, dental health and the sense of smell.
It's a natural analgesic that also reduces the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease. It lessens the incidence of colds and flu. It burns calories. Overall, according to a 1997 study in the British Medical Journal, men with the most active sex lives have a death rate half that of those with the least active. Sex prolongs life.
You'd think that someone other than Ed Young would have noticed this. Maybe one of the tens of thousands of federal bureaucrats paid to worry about America's health might have caught on and launched an ad campaign on billboards and city buses. ("Sex: It's the Right Thing to Do," or "Take a Minute for Couchball.") But no. It took an evangelical.
CNN's Rick Sanchez and Kyra Phillips were all over the story, playing Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and swaying in their seats. At the end of the report, Kyra joked "I gotta go to church" and ran off the set.
The marathon sex mandate is not so new: this year two books, 365 Days of Sex: A Memoir Of Intimacy and Just Do It: How One Couple Turned Off the TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives for 101 Days (No Excuses!), made headlines and raised eyebrows, as well as the question of which comes first: a happy couple or a good sex life? Read more about those couples' stories here.