In my experience, conservative evangelicalism and Christian fundamentalism (and I'm sure other types of conservative, fundamentalist religions but evangelicalism is what I'm familiar with) tend to give far too much power to the sex act. And the irony is that in doing so, they actually end up cheapening it just as much as the "secular society" they constantly bemoan.In my upbringing, sex was seen as some sort of holy grail. The message sent that if you waited until marriage to have sex, on your wedding night, and every time thereafter, angels would sing their praises for the wonderful thing that was happening between you and your spouse. It would be wonderful and holy and would hopefully produce a "quiverfull" of children who would "rise and call you blessed". Sexuality was limited to the act of intercourse or any sort of physical contact that might lead to intercourse and sex within marriage was the most amazing thing a young christian youth could hope to experience. And it was assumed that you could suppress your sexuality until that moment and then turn it on like a light switch as soon as you were married. Were you to have sex one day before that marriage license was signed, insertion of penis into vagina had the power to destroy your marriage and maybe even send you to hell. I have come to believe anything presented to me as carrying THAT much weight and having THAT much power is suspect. On the "other side of the tracks" were friends who viewed sex as so powerless that they consumed it like water. They had it whenever they wanted, with whomever they wanted with very little awareness of the significance of the act beyond "insertion of penis into vagina". Sexuality was about the act of intercourse (or for the especially enlightened, this might include oral or mutual masturbation). While most of my guy and girl friends were fairly enlightened and mature individuals, they had very little knowledge of how great sex could be if they'd just stop having it for a little bit and grow up. The christians were terrified of sex. It was so powerful that they would create all these walls of protection – modesty, purity, abstinence – in the hopes that it would help sex remain "pure and holy". The others were so terrified of sex in a different way that they threw it up on billboards and in magazines and online as an "in your face" declaration that they had conquered sex and all the emotional ramifications that went with it. Both have cheapened human sexuality, reducing it to the human flesh that causes arousal and whatever act ultimately gives a person an orgasm. Both have created false expectations, arbitrary rules, poor education and ultimately generations and generations of generally screwed up people who then go screw people. True love waits is bullshit, as is free love. And as long as religious progressives continue to just side with one or the other because it's easier, an alternative view of human sexuality will never arise.