Sex, sexlessness and marriage

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ex-l

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Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post09 Jun 2009

We have often noted, and any honest BK or ex-BK will tell you, how the Brahma Kumaris of the BKWSU consider themselves empowered to split apart couples and 'take over' families. We have asked if the total celibacy they demand is truly about "spirituality" or whether it is just about control. Their total control of their followers.

In my own experience, I could testify to tell how individuals are surreptitiously given advice to "wean" off their non-BK married partners, which for those married might even involve the BK going to a Senior Sister and being told to continue to do sex a little "whilst remembering Baba" whilst "serving" the other partner (i.e. trying to get them into the religion), how young couples coming into the BKWSU together have "Baba" driven between them and are separated by the Sisters and how others (women mostly) are given hints on how to keep their non-BKs off them, e.g. fully dressing to go to bed so there is no skin contact, sleeping with children or in separate beds ... the gradual move to the spare room etc.

The Brahma Kumaris despite having their religious beliefs shown up for what they are, e.g. numerous failed predictions of the end of the world covered up and philosophy revised, still drive the route of absolute celibacy to the point of excluding physical affection towards other human beings.

Below is a related article to provoke discussion. The ad hoc comment answers are just as "enlightening". Of course, many to all sexual relationship wax and wane in time. Personally, I am not taking sides in this debate. But I am still wondering what the changes that go on at a mental or psychic level within BKs are ... and what mental residue in their attitudes to sex and affection is left even after the BK exits the Brahma-Kumari movement.

Psychologists, even most mainstream religions, consider sex to be a sign of a healthy spirituality and marriage. Many individuals think it is overrated. My other question is ...

    What are the ethics of the Brahma Kumaris entering onto other people's families and relationships and applying such leverage on the basis of their imagined spiritual superiority and unique relationship with a spirit entity they think is the "God" of all religions?
When Sex Leaves the Marriage by Tara Parker-Pop

Why do some couples sizzle while others fizzle? Social scientists are studying no-sex marriages for clues about what can go wrong in relationships.

Married men and women, on average, have sex with their spouse 58 times a year, a little more than once a week, according to data collected from the General Social Survey, which has tracked the social behaviors of Americans since 1972. But there are wide variations in that number. Married people under 30 have sex about 111 times a year. And it’s estimated that about 15 percent of married couples have not had sex with their spouse in the last six months to one year, according to Denise A. Donnelly, associate professor of sociology at Georgia State University, who has studied sexless marriage.

I recently spoke with Professor Donnelly about how much researchers really understand about no-sex marriages. Here’s our conversation.

Is there any indication that the sexless marriage is becoming more common? Or are we just hearing about it more?

I suspect that we just hear more about it. Back in the days before reliable birth control, having a sexless marriage was one way of limiting family size. Those were also the days when women were not supposed to enjoy sex and often used it as a bargaining tool in their marriages (because they were socialized to do so). Plus, unhappy couples (who are less likely to have sex) were more likely to stay together because of social expectations, or because they had children they were raising.

Why does a marriage become sexless? Does it start that way? Or does sex fade?

The answer to that one is both. Some of the people in our sample never had much sex from the beginning, while others identified a particular time or event (childbirth, affair) after which sex slowed or stopped. Some people become accustomed to their spouse, bored even, and sex slows. For others, it is the demands of raising a family, establishing a career, and mid-adulthood. And there are people who have very low sex drives, and may even be asexual. They may have some sex with their partners to begin with, but it becomes unimportant to them (and usually not so unimportant to their spouses). These folks may also be dealing with guilt, issues with the human body, or feel that sex is “dirty” or only for procreation. A small number of couples showed a mixed pattern, where they would have periods of “feast” and of “famine.”

Are couples in sexless marriages less happy than couples having sex?

Generally, yes. There is a feedback relationship in most couples between happiness and having sex. Happy couples have more sex, and the more sex a couple has, the happier they report being. But keep in mind that sex is only one form of intimacy, and that some couples are fairly happy (and intimate) even without sex. In my 1993 study, I did find that people in sexless marriages were more likely to have considered divorce than those in sexually active marriages. There is no ideal level of sexual activity — the ideal level is what both partners are happy with — and when one (or both) are unhappy, then you can have marital problems.

Can people in a marriage that has become sexless rekindle their sex lives?

Some do. But once a marriage has been sexless for a long time, it’s very hard. One or both may be extremely afraid of hurt or rejection, or just entirely apathetic to their partner. They may not have been communicating about sex for a very long time (if ever) and have trouble talking about it. Couples who talk over their sex lives (as well as other aspects of their marriages) tend to have healthier marriages, but it’s hard to get a couple talking once they’ve established a pattern of non-communication.

There are mixed opinions about what to do to rekindle marital sex. For some couples, it may be as simple as a weekend away from the kids, taking a vacation or cruise, or just having some time off, alone. Others may need help in re-establishing communication and may seek professional assistance. The sad fact is that there are few counseling professionals that deal with this issue. Often, marriage counselors focus on other aspects, rather than sex. While these other aspects may play a big role in sexual inactivity, talking explicitly about sex is essential.

Are people in sexless marriages more likely to get divorced?

In my studies, as well as others, people in sexless marriages report that they are more likely to have considered divorce, and that they are less happy in their marriages.

Some of our former respondents have kept in touch with me, and the happiest ones are actually those that have moved on to other partners. It may be that lack of sex is a signal that all intimacy in a marriage is over, and that both would be happier in other situations. I know that this may not be a popular idea with the religious and political right, but it may be a better solution than staying in a marriage that is hurtful and unfulfilling.

In sum, these situations are just so complicated. Each couple has to examine their specific histories, their motivations and goals, and whether it is worth it to them to work on putting sex back in the marriage. It can be a difficult task and require that people take emotional and physical steps that aren’t comfortable for them.

What else are you trying to learn about sexless marriages?

I’m hoping to begin some longitudinal work which follows couples over time, to try and understand better the processes they experience, how they make decisions, and how these decisions affect their future happiness. Ultimately, I’d like to know how those who were able to repair their sexual relationships did so.
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Terry

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post11 Jun 2009

My experience of individual BKs' attitudes to sex is that it is very much based on that person's experience (or inexperience) of it, and conditioning of their attitudes towards it.

Even those who are committed to celibacy have very different attitudes, based on:

    - whether they were sexually active (and happy about it at the time) in which case celibacy is a choice, and sex is not viewed as "bad'' in itself
    - same for those for whom there was no sexual experience but who had a romantic views of sex and relationships, they would not necessarily view it as "bad" but as a "choice for the Confluence Age", a sacrifice for this incarnation
    - whether they were abused or forced into marriages (and sex) which was obviously not pleasant, in which case sex has definitely been a "bad" experience (you can include Dadi Janki in that group)
    - those who personally are in dilemma, because they themselves have no particular negative judgement or experience, but they have been raised within a culture (inculcated a "superego") that openly considers celibacy as a superior state (even if sex is "acceptable" for the ordinary person). Within these cultures there are inevitably sub-cultures that actively demonise the body & sexuality.
I have known BKs of all these types (and there are probably more types). There are some very open minded individuals amongst the BKs.

Where the BKWSU as an organisation is at fault, is that it chooses to promote the worst of these attitudes. And then compounds that fault by initially pretending otherwise, waiting until a person is fully 'initiated", i.e. sold on the other aspects, and then told that to be truly spiritual, this negative attitude is the one to carry on with.
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ex-l

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post11 Jun 2009

terry wrote:I have known BKs of all these types (and there are probably more types).

What about BKs with bad body images, e.g. "I am fat/too skinny/ugly and am unlovable and so therefore celibacy allows me to avoid the issue".

I would agree with the above but what happens on the emotional or psychic level that "switches off" love and affection?

The funny is, whereas many BKs' attitudes towards ARE sensible and even enlightened, the God of the BKs' and the leadership's attitudes are anything but enlightened. It would seem stuck in the 19th Century.

On top of this, you also have the systematization of shame, e.g. the having to "confess" any sexual transgression, being banned from Madhuban, the belief in superpowered senior Sisters or the 'God spirit' being able to see sin and impurity within the soul, and the offer of the good 'business deal' of removing half the karma is one does confess.

I have often wondered if the married women in the Om Mandli, such as Dadi Janki told, and self-confirmed, "horror stories" of unsatisfactory sexual congress to the young virgin Brahma-kumaris? And I suspect the attitude of Lekhraj Kirpalani - which is the dominate attitude in the Murlis - was partly confirmed by his experience with his daughters. It also strikes me that sex in the context of an arrangement marriage could often be tantamount to a rape.

Are Indian men such bad lovers? Do they "make love" at all?
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aham brahmashmi

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post07 Mar 2015

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Bkgaurav

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post16 Jul 2018

Is it true that BKs in Madhuban were/are having physical affair?how Can you say or how come you know about this, any experience you you share here?
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Pink Panther

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post16 Jul 2018

bkgaurav,

This is not a gossip site. You have come on here without introducing yourself or your position in regards to the BKWSU, jumped into an old discussion and basically asked for gossip.

People who write their experiences here do so voluntarily.

If you have something pertinent, relevant to topic, to say about others it should be with first hand knowledge, or at least second hand. Use your own hand.

If you have anew question, start a new topic.

Otherwise, welcome.
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Bkgaurav

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post17 Jul 2018

OK so how can I leave the forum. I find it subjective.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post17 Jul 2018

That’s right, Gaurav.

A forum is where people talk from their own viewpoint and experience, that is subjective.

However if someone makes claims about ’things’ or events as fact, they need objective verification, referencing or to state where they got that information from.

If you are writing opinion, you say so or at least imply it through your language e.g.
    ”The centre in charge was unpleasant to me” is an experience directly had, very subjective.
    ”I heard someone say... ” - lets readers know its hearsay and not first hand.
    ”BK So-and-So stole money” is alleging something is or maybe is fact. You back it up or tell the source.
If someone has written something you think is in error, you can query it. But here we allow free expression about relevant subjects. So just because you don't like an opinion or even find a story disagreeable with what you want to believe, question it but don't insult the person, or our intelligence.

e.g in the other thread you wrote a single word post - ”Reference?”

How are we supposed to know what the hell you are asking a reference for?

We are not here to fill time for you on your smart phone. If typing proper sentences is not convenient, wait until it is. Respect breeds respect.

Whatever you do, stay well.
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Maui

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post17 Jul 2018

I have found much of all of this subjective. I have needed almost every viewpoint, every experience, every fact as can be verified, to help me discern what I need to do in helping myself be released from the bonds they all have over me and, sometimes, continue to have over me. It has been PROFOUND to have subjective experiences and I thank all who have had the courage of sharing them.

As long as one desires to remain teachable, there is always hope. I welcome and am grateful to all who have shared "subjective" material.
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GuptaRati 6666

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post24 Jul 2018

To appreciate or have a frame work for insights on child sexual abuse one excellent read is: Epidemic America's Trade In Child Rape by Dr. Lori Handrahan.

Handrahan documents cases of foxes guarding the hen house. The foxes include pediatric oncologists, child psychiatrists, high ranking military officers, and jurists. Lori Handrahan's classic documentation is objective to the max.
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ex-l

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Re: Sex, sexlessness and marriage

Post24 Jul 2018

I look at the core psychology within BKism as like a family where abuse has taken place, by the primogenitor Lekhraj Kirpalani, and the family has responded with typical denial and cover up, and swung to the opposite extreme ... their extreme form of abstinency from all attachment, physical contacts etc.

The vast majority of BKs have absolutely no idea about the truth of the early days, and how the cult was formed around them, and it is a big shock for their minds when they discover their Dada was not at all perfect.

However, it amazes me that such a vast number of women and intelligent, liberal Westerners, can read about Lekhraj Kirpalani's infatuation and intimacies with Om Radhe ... and not just completely glaze over how his wife must have felt, but accept and sanction it.

I mean, Lekhraj Kirpalani was only in his late 40s when he started his cult and adopted the teenage Radha as his "eternal wife" and goddess. There's a reference in the court proceedings to him - which she does not deny - sitting her in his lap, feeding her morsels of food 'mouth-to-mouth' ... as only lovers do, "pulling their breasts" etc (massaging).

For me, it's stuff of such enormity that it appears to "blow the fuses" in BKs' minds so that they cannot even thinking about it.

Which is why, of course, they keep it all covered up and re-write it.

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