Sex is definitely NOT dirty!
So save it for someone you love.
This is a sensitive subject. It will get lots of clicks, but few shares. Be BRAVE and share this! We NEED to deal with this to get healthy! Sex is definitely NOT dirty!
Americans have a love-hate relationship with sex. We have the most sexualized culture but are still profoundly influenced by our puritan past. We created Playboy magazine, but we also made I Love Lucy, where Ricky and Lucy, who were married, appear to sleep in twin beds. Our malls all have a lingerie store that echoes this dualistic society – Victoria’s secret. Queen Victoria was known to be a very proper queen, but maybe had a bit of naughtiness going on in her bedroom.
The Victorian age has created some interesting things, but how we view sex and relationships is the most interesting to me. The sexual revolution happened in our culture with the church kicking and screaming against it. I am not going to spend any more time discussing how we got here, but instead, try to get a more sane, and I think more healthy and Biblical approach to modern relationships and sex. I beg you not to throw stones, but to start a conversation. We are figuring out this huge shift in our culture together and enough stones have already been hurled. I am not trying to judge or pontificate. I am simply stating my take as a communication and relationship expert who is also an ordained pastor and college professor. I have seen a lot! So, take what you want, leave what you don’t, and share if you like the discussion and intent.
Esther Perel, in her best-selling book, Mating in Captivity, has a chapter on this where the sub-title is “Where Puritanism and Hedonism Collide.” I agree with a lot of Esther’s analysis on most things, but want to develop an approach for Christians specifically who are not content with being just the segment called “Serial Monogamists.” Society is naturally good at creating dogma where none should exist. I do not want to get sidetracked by any of the political issues that connect to this subject. They are for others to debate and wrestle with. I am either not smart enough to wrestle with them or I am tired of the argument that seems to get twisted into absolutism and tinged with judgment.
I have a simple problem I’m trying to help:
Healthy marriage includes great sex.
That’s what I’m worried about. We have too many couples who are not living a joy filled sex life. That will keep me busy for the rest of my life, and certainly this post.
So, let me explain in this post, then next week I will give you some tips on improving your sex. Deal?
6 Wrong Stereotypes about Healthy Sex
1 – “Sex is dirty, save it for someone you love.”
Truth: Sex is GREAT when part of a Healthy Marriage.
The Victorian age is gone. We will never get it back in the bottle. The Victorian age is defined by a period of high “morality” in the way we live out our lives. Most of the world had bought into this idea for the past 400 years, including the “puritans” and other religious groups that settled America. Complain about the end of the era if you want but we are not going back. Instead, realize it created phrases like: “Sex is dirty, save it for someone you love.” That isn’t true, but it has messed up a lot of marriages.
2 – “Love conquers all.”
Truth: Emotion-based relationships don’t last.
I can talk for 2 hours on this, but here is the short version. We have been given the luxury of choosing our mates based on “emotion”. This is the first time in the history of the world an entire culture made relationship and sex decisions this way. It is a great luxury we have been given. We are not handling it well. We are not choosing partners that we can build trust with. Instead we “fall” in love, get chemically, sexually, emotionally connected to them and THEN we realize we are not compatible. Somehow we need to learn relationship development that builds trust BEFORE we are so emotionally invested.
3 -“Sex is something you DO, not something you TALK about.”
Truth:We think about it a lot, so we need to figure out ways to talk about it.
This one is KILLING healthy sex and relationships. Pop Music is talking about it. The music you listened to 30 years ago was talking about it.
We don’t and won’t talk about sex, except in crude ways. That is too bad. We should be talking about it all the time. We are thinking about it all the time!
It can be awkward, but the reward is being heard and understood. You will find out you are not as weird as you think you are. You can find areas you degree with your spouse. You will be relieved to find out they have some of the same questions.
Hollywood has made us believe that great sex should be instantaneous and natural. Ha! Great sex takes practice and information. It takes patience and learning over a lifetime how to touch and seduce your partner.
4 – “Single people have the best sex.”
Truth: Married couples have the most sex and it’s creative!
HA! That’s one of the biggest lies I hear all the time. It’s not only not right, it’s not close! According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior at Indiana University, married people have way more sex and more varied positions and types. That study was funded by a condom company, so you would think there might even be some “married” bias. Nope. Married couples are the happiest with their sex lives and most fulfilled. Don’t listen to Hollywood.
6-“Christians are against fun, and especially against sex.”
Truth:The Bible has an ENTIRE book that is erotic and sexual.
Most pastors don’t know what to do with Song of Solomon. It’s too hot to handle! Because of some of our puritanical hang-ups, most churches have either stayed away from sexuality altogether or have taken a negative approach and appear to be scolding and controlling. Abstinence-based sex education, while I appreciate and know people who do a great job with, has been polarizing and sometimes overreaching and demeaning.
I want to quote a few verses here:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine. – Song of Solomon 1:2
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. – Song of Solomon 2:3
Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. – Song of Solomon 4:5
See, the BIBLE says you don’t need large breasts! Go read the whole book, with new eyes! It is the BEST sex manual ever written because it deals with the heart. The “other” old manual (called the Kama Sutra), only deals with the body.
So, what should the church do now?
I want to take a different approach. I will dive deeper into this subject in a later post, but I want to propose we take a strategy from money counterfeiters. Bank tellers are taught to identify fake money not by learning all about fake money, but by learning the details of the real thing. What if the CHURCH was THE place for young people to learn about healthy sex and relationships? What if your church offered a marriage sex class to help married couples finally have the great sex life they want and God designed? What if we had such great personal relationships that people came to see what it was that made us love each other so well?
We can! I want to help you have the BEST relationship and marriage you can possibly have. It will take a shift from what a lot of churches are doing, but it can lead your church to a healthy place and improve your sex life! That’s a win-win!
Seriously, I want to start this conversation with a lot of people. I want to hear what you think. I want to dream big dreams about how we can claim sex as an important part of a healthy marriage.
So get out there and-
Make YOUR Relationships GREAT!
Would you like me to help you personally improve your feedback? Schedule a LIVE relationship coaching session HERE!
What do YOU think we can do to make sex an important part of a healthy marriage? I’d LOVE to have a discussion about it below! Please take a minute and leave a comment, question or thought!