**Warning! I’m taking a very brief deviation from my crunchy-clean eating-parenting notes to record my thoughts as a Christian mama. I am writing about SEX. I’m also going to have some biological references, Biblical references, and lots of my own particularly strong opinions, so if you’re easily offended, completely sheltered from Christian women talking about sex, or you’re related to me and find reading my thoughts here totally uncomfortable (it’s okay, Mom and grandparents), now would be a good time to tune out, and wait for my next post, which will be right back on track with the usual food/parenting humor you love.**
Whew, that disclaimer was annoying. I’ll start this off by saying that I typically don’t like commenting on whatever is “trending” on the internet- largely because I don’t have cable, I don’t go out, and I generally don’t have a clue what people are talking about when it comes to pop culture. Having said that, I actually do know a thing or two about having sex as a married Christian woman, and I do have some thoughts and opinions on that topic, as it relates to Christians currently being called out in the whole Ashley Madison thing. Every time I read about sex scandals or adultery involving Christians in the news, I feel a little sad, a little smug, and a little less than surprised. The stereotypical Christian-as-a-hypocrite is so incredibly overplayed in the media, but it’s largely because we are hypocrites, right? I have no doubt that in looking around my church pews, most couples, including us, have likely been affected by pornography, sexual temptation, and potentially some level of infidelity. It happens. It’s sad, but it happens.
What I wanted to write about was not my personal disappointment in the fact that Christians are equally guilty of porn-consumption or online infidelity as the rest of the world, but that after what seems like an infinite circle of revelations in sexual immorality, I still haven’t heard a serious stance from the church or elsewhere talking about the REAL problem. Why do men in Christian relationships look to have affairs? Why do women? What’s the draw toward pornography? And what do we do in the face of such temptation if not quit our marriages and give up on the institution altogether?
Wanna know what I think? Married sex is a disappointment to us. Whether you wait till marriage or not, after a certain period of time, usually after kids and careers and the mundane routines of life set in, sex becomes one more thing to check off a never-ending list of to-do’s. It’s not about satisfying urges or needs, it’s about completing one’s “spousal duty” or facilitating a relationship norm. Wanna know what else I think? The church sucks at helping to empower couples to overcome this tendency. When I googled “sex in Christian marriage,” the vast majority of the scriptural references I found had to do with the evils of lust and the dangers of sexual immorality, but the truth is that the Bible is rife with references to positive sexual experiences. In typical hypocritical fashion though, the vast majority of Christian outlets choose to focus on what’s not allowed as opposed to the joy of exercising our sexual free-will within the confines of marriage. The beauty of Christian marriage is that we have this physical, earthly representation of the powerful connection between Christ as the groom and the Church as the bride, right? And in all my scriptural readings, I’ve never felt like Jesus was a timid or selfish guy. In my mind, I see an ideal church that should be on fire in its passion and worship for Jesus, and I see Jesus basking in that worship and reciprocating that passion with love and grace.
Somehow in the church we lose that. We create this idea that sex is taboo. That church is where we go to talk about how to raise children not to use swear words and to give to the poor. Of course I’m oversimplifying here- obviously I see so much more from the church, or I wouldn’t be a member in routine attendance- but you get my point. This is a topic that affects EVERY marriage. And the heart of the issue doesn’t lie with one partner more than the other. Guess what fellas? We wouldn’t turn you down for sex all the time if the sex was amazing. But ladies, is your man a mind-reader when it comes to completing things around the house? Then why would he morph into one in the bedroom? The fact is, we’ve been taught forever that talking about sex is embarrassing, or worse: shameful. So the inevitable happens- speaking in generalizations here- we take our sexual frustration underground. Now, instead of identifying ways to gratify ourselves and our significant others through growth, conversation, and experimentation together, we read books like Fifty Shades of Grey, or sneak off to watch videos of women with fake breasts and no pubic hair feigning excitement over things that are assuredly not that exciting.
From a biological standpoint, the fact is that female sexual satisfaction is genuinely considerably more difficult than male satisfaction. Check out the info below (wishing you’d thought twice about that disclaimer now, aren’t you???), from Toni Weschler’s Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
Her point is so well made- in regular intercourse, the male sexual stimulus is directly affected throughout the entire process. The woman’s is not. After getting past how grossly unfair this is, it stands to reason that most of us would genuinely need to discuss said difference in order to both have a really enjoyable sexual experience. But because we’re taught not to be comfortable having this discussion (or we just aren’t comfortable talking about it in general), we wind up having these mediocre experiences that ultimately detract from the whole principle of Christian marital sex.
It breaks my heart for the women in these very public situations- thinking of one in particular- who “stand by their man” and take some blame personally for the husband’s infidelity or sexual “immorality.” But here’s the deal- the sexual revolution is not just for the secular. As a Christian woman, wife, and mother, I’ve watched the affects of sexual inequality contribute to divorce, and I’ve watched sexual empowerment deepen and strengthen another marriage. We shouldn’t have to settle just because we’re Christians. We don’t have to stand on the sidelines and let our partners get all the satisfaction while we fulfill some archaic version of marital duty. I fully recognize that some spouses will just be pigs and sign up for ridiculous websites offering guaranteed affairs, but before I go casting stones, I’ll admit that it’s not cool for me to be in a marriage without being okay taking constructive criticism or working cooperatively in regards to improving a core component of that marriage. If we’d talk about our budget, our food plans, our child-rearing strategy, and our dreams for the future, we sure as hell better be able to talk about how we feel about sex today. And then turn those talks into action- we both have to be accountable. And if the passion starts to fade, we owe it to one another to take the necessary steps in improving it- whether that’s talking to one another, or getting professional help, because if you want something to work, that’s what you do.
Here’s to getting and giving satisfaction worthy of our incredible Creator’s efforts and praise, without shame or interference from the world.