Thanks, Zavk and JC, those are great observations.
It makes sense to me that if we think mainly in terms of a "deconditioning" process, then we don't fall into the desire-guilt trap. The dhamma strikes me as representing a potentially healthier point of view in that the Buddha didn't deny that sexuality is a form of worldly joy, whereas Christianity (as I understand it) tends to see it as inherently linked to Satan and the fall, and thus "bad" in some essential sense.
The feeling of guilt is closely linked to the fear of punishment; it basically represents internalization of the punishing God or father-figure. Buddhism has retribution too, though the agent is kamma (and thus ultimately ourselves). Still, I wonder if popular Buddhism, as practiced in some of the traditionally Buddhist cultures, does apply some of the same fear and guilt-inducing strategies...I'm thinking of those frightening depictions of hell realms seen in Chinese tradition. "Hell anxiety" seems to be as much a factor for some Buddhists as "fear of God" is for some Christians.
Also, although arguably it's not so central to the dhamma, Buddhism has its own version of the Eden myth, as seen in the Aganna sutta.
What kinds of attitudes towards sexuality tend to be prevalent among Buddhists born and raised in, say, Thailand? Or China? To what extent are those attitudes driven by culture, and to what extent by religious education? I know this is a broad question... How might an "ordinary" practicing Chinese or Thai Buddhist, born and raised in an environment where dhamma was present, respond to the OP in this thread?