The Puzzle of Sex, By Peter Vardy

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The Independent Culture

This revised edition of Peter Vardy's 1997 religious and ethical look at sexual matters may seem hipper with a section on internet sex, but its conservative nature is as visible as ever, especially in its consideration of contraception which, he argues, "enables casual sex and actually gives woman and their children 'neither/nor' – leading to social meltdown".

This simplistic approach means that generalities abound as Vardy condemns modern sexual practices that do not have some spiritual basis (and by "spiritual", he means proper Anglican or Catholic spirits, not any of these "New Age" shakra spirits).

To help us discover the importance of love within sex (even homosexual sex), he applies the teachings of Aristotle and Plato, Old Testament gems such as St Paul, and almost any other Dead White Male he can lay his hands on (though Freud gets short shrift), to all manner of modern sexual problems. Religion, he admits, has always been considered to have had a "problem" with sex – and his book does little to change that perception.