What is a good erotic exclamation, anyway?


I imagine this might be a problem in mixed marriages, if one partner is one of those wicked militant fundie atheists I hear so much about.

By the way, that link probably isn’t safe for work or the easily offended, although the part I found most offensive was the totally fictitious building in the last panel.


  1. jim says

    Very funny. It turns out that some proclaimed atheists do cry “Oh God” at such times. (maybe they aren’t true atheists; no matter as long as they are hot and willing.)

  2. steve s says

    No, no the DI Research Labs really exist; that’s where they study the maximum theoretical speed of fax machines, work on invisibility cloaks for bibles, and try to build a time travel machine so they can prevent Bill Buckingham from ever being born.

  3. Great White Wonder says

    That cartoon is just a retread of an old Bill Hicks joke, which is probably a retread itself. In Hicks’ routine, the atheist shouts “Chemical chance! Chemical chance!” during his orgasm.

  4. No One of Consequence says

    I know I read on one of the Science Blogs that the thought process is impaired during these activities, so that might explain the “Oh God” reference.

  5. Great White Wonder says


    the part I found most offensive was the totally fictitious building in the last panel.

    LOL! Indeed, there would be no need to telephone the lawyers from the Discovery Institute Research Labs. The only people who do any work there are lawyers (mediocre and blatantly dishonest lawyers, but lawyers nonetheless).

  6. GM says

    No, no, you don’t understand. Atheists who say “Oh, God” don’t mean it literally, any more than you really mean to take a dump when you say, “Oh, shit.” It’s semantically null.

  7. redstripe says

    For most good strong atheists I know, myself included, “Jesus Christ” is the epithet of choice. I have no comment on any alleged bedroom talk that I may or may not have been privy to.

  8. Carlie says

    I would think that atheists would be the only ones who could use that phrase. For anyone else, it would be sacreligious to use the name of the almighty in such a context.

  9. jimvj says

    Does this mean there are no atheists in any kind of holes?

    BTW, the building is symbolic. Note how it is drawn atilt; implying a sinking ship.

  10. Greg Peterson says

    You know who I think this issue would have been really awkward for? Mary and Joseph. A.D., of course. But Joe’d be like, “Oh, yeah, Mary, blessed is the fruit of your womb, you holy vixen” and whatnot, and Mary’d then be like, “Oh God, Oh God,” and then Joe’s like, “Oh, Christ, HIM again.” How’s a guy going to compete with “Thy rod and Thy staff”?

  11. TheBrummell says

    I prefer non-specific groaning, personally. Hearing a non-linguistic (or proto-linguistic) exclamation, I normally interpret it as “good enough to stimulate basal brain regions, in addition to conscious neo-cortex regions”.

    Proper words are too easy to fake, compared to a good limbic-system hit. Pillow talk post-coitus, on the other hand, should consist (ideally) of proper words in complete sentences.

  12. says

    How’s a guy going to compete with “Thy rod and Thy staff”?

    I don’t know, just keep them away from Balaam’s ass.

  13. wamba says

    (maybe they aren’t true atheists; no matter as long as they are hot and willing.)

    “True atheists”? How would you tell? They are not likely to be wearing their kilts at such a time.

    (for the noncognoscenti, that’s a reference to the No True Scotsman fallacy)

  14. Alexander Vargas says

    Why does she scream R T Bakker? Hes all for NOMA, I think he’s even a pastor…
    He’s gone through like 10 wives, too…Maybe she met him sometime….

    Anyway, Bakker’s the coolest dinosaurologist ever. Period.

  15. Matt T. says

    You know, if a CPA* gave me static about hollering blasphemes during the making the sign of the three-finned catfish, if you know what I mean and I think you do, I do believe I’d get up and leave. There is a time and a place for everything, and frankly, I don’t think I could concentrate on both things at once. It’s difficult enough to keep my mind wandering in any event.

    *Current Pelvic Affiliation

  16. subterranean kryptonite says

    Why didn’t they ever change position?

    It was a rather lengthy–umm–cartoon, after all.

    Heisenberg would not be amused.

  17. flame821 says

    If I can get out any words over one syllable, he obviously isn’t holding up his ..uhm…part of the festivities.

    As for using any diety’s name, I think its more of a colloquialism (sp?) than any ingrained beliefs. My normal ‘blasphemy’ to get a rise is “sweet zombie jesus on a pogo stick”

  18. JakeB says

    Personally, I favor, “By the Church of the Screaming Epileptic Jesus” (a reference that appears in a Mojo Nixon song).

  19. Jim in Chicago says

    Screaming “Oh, Flying Spaghetti Monster” just doesn’t seem to have the same sort of ring… :-)

  20. says

    Maybe Im just more of a prude than the cartoon atheist, but I’d be tempted to close the curtains if I was having sex across the street from a church.

  21. Robert says

    Some of athiest friends prefer the term “Jesus Christ on a candy coated crutch”

  22. says

    I just caught this discussion on my stats. Interesting comments. Admittedly, I am not a science expert, just a groupie of sorts trying to catch up on my rather poor scientific education growing up (I was raised a creationist).

    But I didn’t know Robert Bakker was into pentacostalism. That astounds me. I love his writings on dinosaurs. I might have to consider removing his name or adding a footnote to my comic.

  23. says

    Yes, Bakker is a pentacostal minister. I attended a talk for kids he gave in St Cloud last year — it was good, he was enthusiastic, but he emphasizes the compatibility of religion and science by talking about the denominations of the people who discovered the dinosaurs he describes. It was a little…weird.

  24. says

    Whatever happened to “Oh f*ck”?

    Hm. Sounds like my nextdoor neighbors at 3 AM.

    I hate my neighbors.

  25. Alexander Vargas says

    And why in earth you’d do something as stupid as removing Bakkers name? cause he’s not of yoir club?
    I’m an atheist but ‘ll take Bakker any day before another of these “marginalizing” atheistoids

  26. Azkyroth says

    I know I tend to yell “Jesus Fucking Christ” in situations of extreme duress; I believe that’s what I’ve yelled both times I lost control of a vehicle, for instance. x.x

    For sex…bleh. Epithets don’t tend to figure in it, in my experience…

  27. says

    The reason I would consider removing Bakker’s name is that it would be relevant to the ongoing joke in the comic. It’s nothing personal against him. One of the characters is a hard atheist so even a theistic evolutionist might be annoying to him. I don’t know, I said I’d consider it. It’s not just theism we’re referring to here, it’s pentacostalism where as I recall they speak in tongues (made-up languages)–does that sound rational to you?

    I have a lot of respect for Bakker, hell, I’m a fan. But if he’s saying there’s some invisible spirit causing us to speak unknown languages (which sound like babytalk)then I think he’s looney tunes. I guess I’ll have to read up on what strain of pentacostalism it is and what he advocates. It doesn’t have anything to do with being in the “atheist club” because believe you me atheists are a pretty diverse lot. I’m not trying to keep Bakker out of any so-called club. That’s why my site is called Freethunk, a humorous nonsense word for Freethinking comics/humor. I welcome atheists, agnostics, deists and anyone who wants to stop by at Freethunk.net or say hi. I myself am an agnostic-atheist which annoys hard atheists to begin with.

    And myself, I’m pretty loose as far as being a stickler. That’s why I thought the comic idea was humorous. I could care less if you say “God bless you” after I sneeze because I view it as a friendly superstition. If you want to say “Oh God” in bed please do, doesn’t bother me. Maybe Bakker likes to speak in tongues in bed for all I know.

  28. says

    Ignore Vargas. He’s our resident hysteric, and tends to go off on obsessive rants at uppity atheists who aren’t properly respectful of kooky christians.

    The rest of us can recognize that the comic is poking some good-natured fun at the hyper-sensitive atheist.

  29. says

    Now finally I understand what it means to take the name of God in vain (I mean, why it is in a commandment.)

  30. says

    I am partial to “Fuck the skull of Jesus!” for an exclaimation of surprise/dismay/whatever. As a curse, I like the related: “The pope fucks your sister in the eye!” (inspired by a list of serbian curses I found once).

  31. says

    I don’t get many atheists object to using “God”, “Jesus Christ”, “Holy” or whatever.

    I thought blasphemy restrictions applied to the godly. Us, the hell we want, goddamn it!

  32. Ichthyic says

    from the source blog:

    Honestly, it’s the last thing on my mind. But when we’re done, he wants to engage in some kind of discussion and I just want to go to sleep.

    ? that’s a new one; usually it’s the other way round in my experience.

    or was that said a bit tongue in cheek?

  33. Steve LaBonne says

    Having been raised as an Irish Catholic I tend to say “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” when I stub my toe or get cut off in traffic or the like.

  34. says


    But if I were in bed with some guy who got on my case for exclaiming “Oh my God!” when I was excited or coming, I would dump his nitpicky ass in 2 seconds. That’s just lame. That guy sounds like the atheist version of the comic book store guy from The Simpsons. I thought the humanist lady’s advice was giving him way too much credit.

    That being said, you can always exclaim “oh yeah!” or “oh yes!” But really, that guy is lame.

  35. Alexander Vargas says

    Ooops I juts realized that was the illustrator of nothing less than the very comic featured here. You guys can throw a party, you can now declare my intelligence officially dead…funny how PZ feels this need to make calls to ignore me,I thought fools get automatically ignored…
    I still think you are uppity atheists with bad epistemologies that feed creationism. Sure. And YES, Bob Bakker is a wrinkle, an always quite unexpected bump in your dreams of puritanical atheism. VIVA Bakker!!!!!!

  36. AgnosticOracle says

    I use to date an over the top goddess worshiping pagan woman. I’d get a real kick out of when she would scream “oh god” during sex. Not in the sense that I believed in any god but in the sense that the sex was good enough to reduce her to an unthinking state.

  37. says

    Plain simple, she’s faking it. Imaginary entity for imaginary orgasm ;)

    Now seriously: It’s just something we all say. I’m an Atheist myself and my speech is full of “by god” or “my god”. It’s still a better speech figure than “by the easter bunny”.

    But I confess, sometimes I use ‘Oh mighty Thor’ and “by the Lords of Kobol’, because I believe in equal opportunity.

  38. says

    Or you can go the Discordian way, which doesn’t need any excuses for invoking gods and participating in holidays you don’t believe in. Heck, I don’t even believe in Eris but that doesn’t stop me from being a Discordian. I think Eris would approve.

  39. NelC says

    I’ve been swearing online by “Great Squid!” lately, partly inspired by PZ I think, but I don’t believe I could bring myself to swear by the holy cephalopod during sex.

  40. Torbjörn Larsson says

    Building up to a big bang climax was funny too.

    I’m living in a culture that are deprived of swear words. For some reason mainly references to devils and hells are used. Perhaps it’s another deprivation the church is to blame for, but I’m not sure.

    Anyway, I’m trying to be more inventive and impressive, but it’s hard going since emotions are involved. This is one time when preparation and training is useful. And fun. :-)

  41. Stephen Erickson says

    As an atheist and a human being of good taste, I really despise the euphemism “freethinker”.

    You might as well say that you are “pro-good” and “anti-bad”.

  42. zzz says

    the part I found most offensive was the totally fictitious building in the last panel

    The bit I found most offensive was the freakishly unnatural rendering of the female form. Humanist? Try considering that women are human too, and try showing that in your artwork rather than pandering to the misogynistic p)rn-influenced barbified version.

    Note how the male body shown is not only fairly ordinary and anatomically near-normal, but also has penis and buttocks occluded. A fairly ordinary anatomically near-normal naked female body, along with the male one shown, would have been quite adequate to make the joke.

    Yet somehow, being drawn as a normal human being is a privilege denied if you’re female. Good one guys.

  43. says

    Hold it…look at the definition of the pecs and abs on that guy. I’m supposed to look like that? And he’s fairly ordinary and near-normal?

    Waaa. I’m a freakish man-blob!

  44. says

    As an atheist and a human being of good taste, I really despise the euphemism “freethinker”.

    You might as well say that you are “pro-good” and “anti-bad”.

    HUH? This doesn’t make much sense.
    An atheist is simply one without belief in a God. How do I know you have good taste unless you define yourself further? You could be an atheist, an a-hole and believe in pseudoscience. And you might prefer a Pepsi over a vintage wine which could indicate bad taste.

    A freethinker is one who defines themself as looking for natural, rational solutions versus supernatural ones. I’ll take a deist who is a freethinker over an atheist who believes in magic of some sort. I think the word freethinker works on its own and apart from the word atheist. You just seem to be a bit touchy.

  45. says

    The bit I found most offensive was the freakishly unnatural rendering of the female form. Humanist? Try considering that women are human too, and try showing that in your artwork rather than pandering to the misogynistic p)rn-influenced barbified version.

    I might sound sexist here but I think this is a trained response from some females.

    There’s nothing going on in my comic except my own imagination which does not represent the entire female population. Do you deny that supermodels exist? Does a supermodel who has been blessed by genetics become misogynistic by her own existence? Have you ever wondered why men flock to such women even though they can’t have them? Big tits and a nice ass is not misogynism–it is a male fantasy that often never becomes reality. It’s hardly unnnatural. The desire itself among men is very natural.

    The female form, fantasy or otherwise, serves a purpose. To entice men to have sex with them for the purposes of creating more humans. I believe this falls into the evolutionary framework. Now we men do like a woman’s personality but it doesn’t take precedence over an alluring face and body–and I’m sorry but that is very much human. So human in fact that we have done our best to suppress the obvious seduction of the female form throughout the ages and it seems that tits and ass are offensive if they are too perfect, real or not. The more perfect the tits and ass are, the more misogynistic you would find them. If science could find a way to give every woman the body of a supermodel is that misogynistic? Women would be lining up for miles, just as men would be if there was a simple way to get a six pack. It would be a competitive advantage in the mating game.

    My male fantasy hurts no one, it just isn’t sensitive to feminist wishes that all women can be equally alluring to men based on their personality. If feminists had it their way, the female form would count for nothing in sexuality and a slightly imperfect body would be equal to a perfect form–as studied by scientists who I believe have a certain ratio of Breasts to Hips that defines what men want. That ratio can be on a larger woman and a slender woman. Who are you to define what is normal in a sea of varying body forms? I can find you several examples of seemingly ultra-perfect T&A on the internet that border on the unreal–not the unnatural.

    In other words if you looked similar to a male fantasy and were being adored left and right you would be kicking the shit out of your female competition and I doubt you would be complaining about misogynism. Attractive people have an edge in our society. Which is why I find it an advantage to be a cartoonist :)

    The same goes for me. I can’t compete with that musclebound guy I see everytime on the magazine rack when I go through the checkout line. But I’d still draw him with all of his muscles without thinking it effects me personally. I mean what the hell are Superhero comics but an idealized form of the male body–drawn mostly by MEN! And don’t tell me that women don’t drool over muscles.
    I’m betting that if you saw a superhero comic most likely you would comment that Wonder Woman’s bust size is a sexist depiction instead of saying that Batman has incredibly amazing but unrealistic pecs.

    As an artist, you assume I have drawn every female in this manner. Not so. Check out my cartoon archives at Frenetic Wanderings . I’ve drawn plenty of very plain looking females and plain looking guys. The drawing has to fit the mood of the comic and the intent of the humor.

    So look to Rubens if you want some meat on the bone. I’m happy to embrace all varieties of the female form but after all I am a cartoonist. I’m going for the cheap laugh, not high art. It’s like expecting Shakespeare out of Jay Leno.

  46. Wantnips says

    For what’s it’s worth, I feel that as a cartoonist you can create a woman with gargantuan size nipples that would seemingly shoot fire and a waist that you could fit a bracelet around because you are the artist and you are not subject to delivering realistic depictions of the human body. Aren’t your creative interpretations of people and interesting situations why people read comics in the first place? I find the reason why people become irriated with the seeminlgy perfect body is because they are in fact not happy with their own. Maybe they should not read comics, but should by the latest Dr. Phil book.

  47. zzz says

    Well, where to start. The responses aren’t unexpected of course. While many women expect a little more humanity from intelligent/progressive/liberal men, many also recognise that the male need to defend his right to the use and degradation of women’s bodies over-rides any female claim to actual human (as opposed to masturbation object) status.

    From JeffSwanson’s comment:

    scientists who I believe have a certain ratio of Breasts to Hips that defines what men want.

    It’s a waist hip ratio of about 0.7, and is represented in this image here:


    Your drawing however shows something entirely different (which was my original point). The waist hip ratio looks to be round about 0.3 or less. For a woman with 38 inch hips this would give a waist of about 11 inches. Grotesque, distorted and nowhere near any actual female form, not even near your but-we-cant-help-ourselves-it’s-defined-by-biology ! (™) “perfect tits and ass”.

    In other words if you looked similar to a male fantasy and were being adored left and right you would be kicking the shit out of your female competition and I doubt you would be complaining about misogynism.

    Ah yes, the problem here is that I must be really really ugly and my real true ambition in life is to have an 11 inch waist, and breasts that defy gravity as they protrude zuchinni-like as far forward as my elbow, all so that I can then be beating drooling men off with a stick.

    That was sarcasm in case you missed it. The serious point is that male fantasy as you describe it is based on a grotesquely distorted view of women, one which doesn’t even line up with your evbio excuses. You can declare that treating women as pneumatic tits and ass is harmless, I don’t agree.

    I could say more, Jeff has got a few standard straw feminists in his response that could be taken apart for instance, but I’ll leave it with the points I’ve made so far.

  48. says

    It’s a waist hip ratio of about 0.7, and is represented in this image here:

    Alright, so waist to hip ratio then. Fair enough. I will remember to figure out this ratio and draw it next time I do anything closely erotic.


    Yeah, that’s a real turn on. Again, we’re dealing with comic fantasy here.

    I hope when I do draw some men with out of proportion muscles that you complain as loud.

    But regardless, it’s nothing personal and I have no intention of calling you ugly. I thought I even used some self-derogatory humor. If men can dish it out I think they should be able to take it. No personal offense was intended. I’m always rethinking my rants so maybe in the future I’ll agree with you, but until then I’ll keep plunging forward.

  49. says

    By the way, in my rant, and yes I’ll call it that. I did not mean to imply that all feminists think alike. I was referring to more extreme feminism. Sorry about that. There’s plenty of things I would reword if I wasn’t in a rush.

    There are varying forms of feminism and most women I know that are independent usually have a sense of humor about men and our obsessions toward the female body.

    So ZZZ is correct when she says I set up some straw feminists to knock. I did indeed.

  50. says

    well, it’s presumptuous that the reference is to a monotheistic god. i know it’s capitalized in the script. if the side notes didn’t say otherwise, she could be a polytheist pagan type. what’s wrong w’that?

    i think it’s simply that the phonetic word “god” or “gawd” has such a hard start, soft center, and satisfying finish.

  51. Zee says

    Speaking of epithets, one of my favorites is “Jesus fucking Christ on a crooked crutch”. One more thing, and then I’ll stop. When a theist asks me if I believe in god, I usually answer with, “I found Jesus in my heart once, he was doing the backstroke through my left ventricle, got caught in a cross current of red corpuscles and fucking drowned. Poor Jesus.”