Operation Occupy Bedroom

i’m coming back with a bang.  literally.  a couple of weeks ago i wrote a guest post for Tamara Lunardo called “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!”  some of you read it.  for those that haven’t, click that link like you’re desperate to change the channel before accidentally watching “Dune”.

in that guest post i talk about sex between married people.  i used phrases such as “marital relationing each other to death” and explained what a sex candle is.

yeah, i bet you’re clicking that link now, Too Proud Single Guy.

the comments went crazy.  i think i struck many nerves.

one comment was from a single girl.  and thanks to my mad cut and paste skills, i can show it to you.

Indeed a good read for potentially soon-to-be-marrieds (?). But challenging, too, on account of not being married yet (and not being even engaged yet) and wanting to figure out the other’s turn-ons and stuff already. Any advice for those of us who want to get over our conservative Christian hangups about this topic, when we can’t yet engage in marital relations because we’re not?

why yes, yes i can.

like i said in the original post, i think the church has done a poor job of teaching about sex.  it’s all about sin, sin, shame, sin.  you singles are told about all the perils of getting it on and sex becomes this shameful thing you should never think about or talk about.

two words.  say them with me.  bull.  crap.  (i’m considering cleaning up my language here at the blog, haven’t fully decided yet.)

is sex before marriage sin?  yes.  but if you look at a lot of the things the Bible calls sin, there’s usually a reason behind it.  and that reason is almost always protection from unnecessary harm.  it’s just smarter to keep sex within the confines of marriage.  STD’s, pregnancy, blah, blah, blah.  you don’t need me to list all the reasons it makes sense to wait.

but just because it’s called sin before marriage, that doesn’t mean sex is a bad thing.

sex is a very good thing.

sex is a very healthy thing.

sex is fun.

God says (within the confines of marriage) you should have lots and lots of it.  He created our bodies to work that most satisfying of ways.  how can something He created for us be shameful and dirty?  answer:  it’s not.

as for the other part of her question about finding the turn ons before your married…don’t worry about that too much.  once you’re married, you have an entire life time to figure it out.  practice makes perfect.  so practice.  a lot.  figuring out each others turn ons is a heck of a lot of fun.  there’s no need to have it on lock before the rings and vows.

once you are married, just be fearless.  if he accidentally does something that makes you nearly come out of your skin (in a good way), tell him to do it again.  if she moves in a way that made you sees stars, tell her.  be bold, be adventurous. 

God made sex awesome.  like, super really extra special awesome.  we are not suppose to be ashamed of it, we are suppose to dive head long into the pleasure pool.

sometimes we make mistakes.  i just read a study that 95% of the 38,000 questioned were not virgins when they got married.  it happens.  apparently a lot.  i know i wasn’t.  but that doesn’t mean sex is always going to be something you regret.  it’s going to be joyful and hot and sticky and amazing.  you just have to let go of the shame.

if you’ve had a sexually abusive experience, there’s still hope for you, too.  talk to someone, get some help.  what man intended for evil, God can turn for good.

shame is a terrible thing and it has no place in an act that God created as something beautiful for us to share with someone we love and who loves us in return.

singles, your day is coming.  literally.

yes, i just did that.

people, i say we start a revolution.  shake off the shame and grab hold of a heaping helping of anticipation.

what were you taught about sex growing up?

how has it colored your view of what a sexual relationship should be?

Advertisements

18 comments on “Operation Occupy Bedroom

  1. Jenn says:

    The word was not to be even uttered in our home. As a child I had the impression that I would be able to swear a blue streak with less likelihood of a wooden spoon smack down than if I talked about sex. Not that I did either mind you. Even into my young adult years I would find myself whispering it. Well as I just wrote on another blog this morning that’s not a good thing – that kind of family set up led to a decade of abuse at the hands of a family member because sex didn’t exist – anywhere, at anytime, in anyplace. Turns out long story short – our family was like that because my mom had also suffered abuse as a child…

    BUT – I do believe it can be a good thing. I know it can be a good thing – and it is something that my girlfriends and I initially put with force into our discussion and now it is a regular part of the dialogue – primarily because we all have or are sexually involved – half married, and half in relationships – I knew that regardless of what people chose there had to be a safe and completely open place to discuss it.

    I agree that it should be within married – and if you haven’t, just wait – seriously it will probably be awkward in the begining but it will be whether you do it before the wedding or not. I have in my last two relationships opted to have sex and I don’t regret it – will I continue that trend in the future – likely not – for various reasons.

  2. Bethany says:

    My parents never gave us “the talk” (I actually googled that in junior high), but that doesn’t mean we never talked about sex. Any time a friend got pregnant, a TV show parent said “it should be with someone you love,” or a columnist wrote about how teens need condoms, we talked about sex and why it was wrong outside of marriage. Now that I’m 23 years old, we still do.

    Funny thing, though, I’ve never had the impression that married sex was something shameful, and I honestly don’t know how I missed all that trauma. Maybe it’s just that my parents never spoke it terms of shame? It’s wrong because God said it’s wrong, and we want to honor Him–just as we do by being honest, loving others, tithing etc. And yes, there is shame in disobeying God, but God never said it’s wrong to have married sex, so where would the shame come from?

    • Don Sartain says:

      Hey, Bethany, I think the shame she’s talking about is how churches and parents only stress the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage, but only refer to it as sex, without the “outside of marriage” qualifier. Or they only hear “pre-marital sex is bad” and never, or rarely, hear “post-marital sex is awesome!”

      So, even unintentionally, they associate sex in general with sin and shame, and that makes it hard for many people to flip the switch from “sin” to “holy” once they get married.

    • Jeff Sites says:

      I agree with Don. Christians, especially the previous generation could have a tendency to paint sex as “dirty”. I don’t believe it was always intended in a malicious way; I think that was their best idea for how to keep the next generation from falling into the trap of extra-marital sex. And I don’t think it was just sex that they portrayed this way. I think many in our generation are uncomfortable with physical affection in public because they never saw their parents display physical affection toward one another in public.

      My parents were not perfect, but one thing I’m grateful to them for is not being afraid to hug, hold hands, or pat each other on the rear when we kids were around. It let me know that physical affection is a good thing.

    • Jess says:

      Bethany,

      I’m with you. Maybe my family and church were functional enough to communicate this well–I don’t feel like I was ever given the idea that sex within marriage is anything other than awesome.

      We’re crazy dysfunctional in other areas, but I guess we can chalk this one in the #win column?

  3. Tamara says:

    Girl, you know I’m excited about this post. Literally.

  4. Don Sartain says:

    Hey there,

    I saw your post on Tamara’s blog and loved it. I agree with what you’ve said here, there’s one thing that concerns me about this one though.

    “it’s just smarter to keep sex within the confines of marriage. STD’s, pregnancy, blah, blah, blah. you don’t need me to list all the reasons it makes sense to wait.”

    This is good, but it falls short of why sex outside of marriage is a sin. This explanation reveals the stupidity of it (of which, I’m tragically guilty), but not its sinful nature.

    In Eph. 5:31-32 Paul says that sex is a picture of Christ and the Church, and that it is a profound mystery. The Hebrew on the Old Testament uses words that convey the “mingling of souls” during sex. Sex is so much more than a physical act. It unites two people emotionally and spiritually as well as connecting them physically. This is why it’s so sinful outside of marriage, because it takes the image of Christ and the Church and totally trashes it, completely wrecking the image of God in that act.

    Fortunately, there is grace, forgiveness, and redemption in the cross, even for this. Without which, I would have no hope of having a marriage centered on Christ and the grace and freedom we have in the gospel.

    I do agree with you in that the church has done a horrible job addressing this issue. They…we need to address its sinful nature before marriage and the beauty God finds in sex after marriage equally, if not stressing the latter more than the former.

    • Jeff Sites says:

      I guess I should’ve read all the previous replies before putting fingers to keyboard, seeing as how Don said pretty much the same thing, but more concisely.

    • jennw2ns says:

      Preach it! I guess that’s the thing I struggle with, particularly as an almost-engaged, but still single, person. Anticipation is great, and I think I’m mostly beyond the “shame on you for wanting ‘it'” thing, but (particularly when at least one person in the relationship has been sexually active previously) it’s pretty tough to remember that we’re just at “anticipation” and not at “practice.” The Christ-and-the-church thing helps when I’m vigilant, but isn’t always in an immediately accessible part of my brain. 😉

  5. Jeff Sites says:

    Sharideth, I completely agree that the previous generation’s church did much harm to Christian concepts of sex. I’m not quite sure how they managed to completely ignore what Song of Solomon is all about…

    One thing I would add to, though, is your discussion of sex before marriage. Yes, there are practical reasons – such as pregnancy, disease, etc. – why God intended sex to be in the context of a marriage. But I think limiting the discussion to just those “practical” reasons sort of plays into the old “sex is sin” narrative that you’re trying to do away with. It goes hand-in-hand with the “it’s for procreation only” utilitarian view of sex.

    I believe (based upon personal experience) that God’s reason for designing sex in the context of marriage is much more about our emotional health than our physical health. Next to dying for someone, sex is the deepest, most intimate expression of love that one can offer. And that offer should not be made lightly. The church has not done a good job of explaining to young people that sex should be taken seriously, not because it’s bad, but precisely because it’s GOOD, and they will want to cherish the experience with someone who is WORTHY of that intimate level of sharing.

    Having been married and divorced before getting serious about Jesus, I know a bit of that regret that comes from having shared that intimacy with someone who was not worthy of it. But knowing Jesus has completely removed that ugliness from my marriage now, and I know the beauty of sharing the beauty of sex with someone who does deserve it.

  6. I have to disagree with this:

    as for the other part of her question about finding the turn ons before your married…don’t worry about that too much. once you’re married, you have an entire life time to figure it out. practice makes perfect. so practice. a lot. figuring out each others turn ons is a heck of a lot of fun. there’s no need to have it on lock before the rings and vows.

    I have seen too many cases of people who married and then found out that their partner was unable to satisfy their sexual preferences, either because those preferences were a complete turn-off for the partner, or because their partner couldn’t find it in their temperament or their sense of morals to do those things with them. That led to frustration and, eventually, seeking other partners who would do the things they needed. Sometimes, this has been with the agreement of the marriage partner, but too often I see people who feel like they have no choice but to cheat on the person they loved enough to marry. Sometimes, that’s because of shame about their “weird” desires and they feel unable even to talk about it, but sometimes it’s because they have talked after marriage and suddenly found themselves rejected.

    So, while having all the little details worked out and tried out isn’t important, you do need to know you’re on the same page at least, before you make the vows and exchange the rings. You can’t just assume that the things you like, and that enable you to achieve satisfaction (be that “emotional” or “physical”), will be things that your partner will be happy to do for you, or that won’t leave them feeling hurt and used if they agree to do things they don’t like. You can’t assume that you will be okay with doing the things that they need to gain their satisfaction, or that you won’t feel used or hurt if you go along with it to make them happy. I don’t believe a “quid pro quo” approach with these things is a stable or healthy way to go, because it seems to me that just leaves both people feeling used.

    • Don Sartain says:

      I completely disagree. I usually don’t like doing that, but in this case, I feel I must.

      Sex is more about unity than physical satisfaction. Both should desire to sacrificially serve the other, and realize there may be certain acts that leave people feeling used or shamed, and give grace toward that and not resent them or reject them for what they want or don’t feel comfortable doing. And this may take Biblical counseling to help them toward that end.

      And seeking other sexual partners isn’t a sign of needing to sort out these details before marriage, it’s a sign that these two people hold a higher view of sex than they should, because sex should always be in glad submission to the Scriptures’ mandate that it remain inside marriage, no matter what.

      Talking about it before marriage is inviting temptation, and using that as a means to ensure both may be “satisfied” after marriage may well be supporting the idolatry they have toward sex, if they’re more concerned about being satisfied than obeying God.

    • Chris says:

      Wow, I can sympathize here with both SnowdropExplodes and Don Sartain. Because I’ve treated some aspects of sexual desire as an idol, and it didn’t do me a lot of good. But I also understand the difficulty in being honest about those desires too.

      I think Sharideth is trying to encourage boldness and courage in the marital bedroom, when she recommends being fearless. And in some relationships, that might be a tall order, if the honesty didn’t come first. But courage and patience have their rewards.

      I would like to agree with one aspect that Don alluded to, though. In society today, we are fed the idea that our desires are in control of us, and that we can’t control them. We get this from TV, culture, friends, government, our own bodies, and sometimes even church. And in some ways, it is true: in the sense that we can’t free ourselves from all these desires. It takes supernatural help in the form of faith to dethrone idols in our hearts.

      And it is true that sex can be an idol.

      And it is also true that desires can be so strong that we don’t see any hope of being in charge. It gets so bad that sometimes people give up and call it normal to be ruled by their desires. And once they’ve given up, then they accuse those that claim otherwise of being judgmental.

      It is not my intent to be judgmental, because I know firsthand what it is like to be in captivity to my own desires, and it doesn’t help to blame the captive for his own captivity. (i.e. Can you get out of physical chains without the key? Then why do you expect similar feats of people in the spiritual realm?) I’m not completely free, yet. But there has been victory along the way, and to claim otherwise would also be a lie. So do not lose faith. Desires are not gods, even though we are often tricked into thinking they are.

      And while Sharideth suggests (correctly, I believe) that we should not worry about nor focus on sexual details and preferences before marriage, unfortunately some (many?) of us come with a load of previously enjoyed baggage and previously cooked-up fantasies that could be a shock to our partner if we sneak them into the marriage silently.

      There was a time when I was young, that I would have been supremely embarrassed to admit to a girlfriend that I masturbated regularly. At the time, I was filled with shame about it. And that shame drove me into secrecy and even greater levels of shame and experimentation, that now that I am older, I consider my younger self so innocent, and now think that masturbation is nothing to be ashamed about. How much better it would have been to be honest, and to have sought out a girl who treasured that honesty.

      The point is not whether masturbation (or whatever other hangup you might have) is right or wrong, but that honesty is better than secrecy. We may indeed be caught in sin, but secrecy does not help.

      I let the desires capture me. Instead of honesty, I chose secrecy. Instead of dealing with those natural desires in marriage, I hid them, hoping I could “fix” them first, and then get married. And in secrecy, they morphed into greater and greater secrets, and some would even call them unnatural. But whether natural or unnatural, I should have been honest along the way, and sought a marriage based on honesty. Because it is in marriage where all these jiggy desires are *meant* to be fulfilled, guilt-free.

      It’s no wonder that Paul implies in 1 Corinthians 7:2 that marriage is the solution to fornication!

      I can understand the worry about inviting temptation by talking about sex before you’re married. If you’re committed to saving sex for marriage, it certainly makes a lot of sense not to stir up the passions before you can satisfy them! But how else can you be honest without talking about things? Even the Bible talks about sex. So there’s got to be a way to be honest about these things, while still respecting your partner by not lighting a fire that you’re not allowed to put out yet.

      In short, based on my own experience, I encourage honesty and faith. If you don’t have enough faith yet to rule over your desires, don’t panic, but wait on God and be honest. God hasn’t forgotten you, and He hasn’t stopped loving you. Keep seeking Him every day. And in the meantime, if you can’t be honest about your desires with the one you plan to marry, then who can you be honest with? Would you even want to marry such a person, if there is no confidence that you can freely and fearlessly share everything with them?

    • @ Don Sartain:

      “Sex is more about unity than physical satisfaction. Both should desire to sacrificially serve the other”

      The fundamental thing is, I don’t see “sacrificially serving” in sex as encouraging unity. I see it as creating division and hurt (and have seen plenty of examples of that being the case). Sex shouldn’t be about sacrifice but about pleasure in one another. If it becomes a sacrifice, then something is wrong. I do not want to marry someone who feels she has to sacrifice her pleasure in bed to satisfy mine, but rather someone who will take as much pleasure as I do in the acts we get up to, so that we feel united “as one flesh” (I don’t actually read that passage as referring specifically to sex, but it’s a great image) instead of two people taking turns tearing chunks out of each other!

      I really cannot agree with your assessment of “idolatry towards sex”, either. While I accept that some people do treat sex that way, I think that more of the time, it is about wanting to feel respected as a person, or at least, completed as a person. It is not a sign of idolatry towards sex, but rather a proof that they have not successfully united with their partner, and the faultline where that disunity occurs or is most obvious is usually where they seek satisfaction.

      @ Chris:

      I agree in the sense that:

      In society today, we are fed the idea that our desires are in control of us, and that we can’t control them. We get this from TV, culture, friends, government, our own bodies, and sometimes even church.

      I’m feminist, and so I know that a lot of this message lies behind blaming the victim when someone rapes her (a third of people believe some form of these messages about rape).

      However, I don’t think I was talking about that sort of thing.

      Nor was I talking about “previously enjoyed baggage and previously cooked-up fantasies”, except inasmuch as such things reflect what is already in a person.

      My own example is that I am very kinky, into things like bondage, S&M and power-exchange relationships. You can try to label those as “previously cooked up fantasies”, but those fantasies came from somewhere. I can trace the germ of these urges right the way back into early childhood, certainly before I had any idea what sex was, until one day in sex ed classes, it clicked – “Oh, so that’s why thinking about those things felt so good!” You couldn’t separate my kinks from my sexuality if you tried. I tried for many years because I honestly thought they meant I was growing up to be a monster like the villains in horror movies, and all it caused me was pain. Were I to marry someone who could not be happy in the reciprocal roles to mine, then sex would not bring unity but emotional suffering, because non-kinky sex doesn’t work for me (and besides, if I can’t get aroused enough, how could it satisfy her, either?)

      I also agree that honesty and faith are the right way to go, and indeed, “Would you even want to marry such a person, if there is no confidence that you can freely and fearlessly share everything with them?” was exactly the thought in my mind as I was finishing my earlier comment.

      For myself, the conclusion, when I finally stopped trying to change what I am, is that God made me to be kinky and now I understand how it can be used to enhance and benefit others and myself rather than harming myself and others.

      • Chris says:

        I can understand that, and while it is totally uplifting to find the partner of your dreams who understands and enjoys everything, I don’t believe that is what makes the marriage.

        You say that your kinks and sexuality couldn’t be separated if we tried. And I get that!! But that is the very theme I was talking about. Our desires can get so strong that we can forget that it is possible to rule over them. Even desires like these.

        What happens if a kinky couple get very happily married, and then one day, for some unexplained reason, the wife decides she can’t do it anymore? There was honesty, there was mutual satisfaction, there was understanding. None of that is to blame. The relationship was beautiful in its own unique way. But for some reason, things have changed. And it’s a nightmare.

        This is where ruling over our desires becomes very useful. Do we throw our partner to the curb at this point? The world says yes. But I think there is a higher calling here, and this is where the sacrificial love becomes a real sacrifice.

        I agree, that we can’t rule over our desires without help from above. But I disagree that it is impossible to gain the victory. Regardless of what the desire is, whether it is right or wrong or amoral, I believe the goal is to rule over the desires, not to have them rule over us. And I’m not trying to place a heavy burden on people by saying that, nor to add any guilt! I’m merely trying to encourage people to not give up on the hope that it is possible to gain victory, through faith and love, as a gift from God, not something we have to cook up on our own.

        This is why Jesus came: to set us free from serving things that are less than God.

        If we don’t believe it is possible, we won’t even look for it, and how will we find it then?

        This is what I seek too, and in small measures have found, thanks to God’s grace. I believe that it would be glorious freedom to have the rule over all my desires, to be able to enjoy them rightly, but also to be able to leave them, without regret or compulsion or internal torment over the loss. The God who allowed me to enjoy certain desires so far in my life is also capable of giving me new ones that are far more enjoyable than I can even imagine.

        I believe that is a God worth serving.

  7. G Fresh says:

    Yeahhhh…that was accidental. I thought better of what I wanted to say and thought I deleted it. Apparently I was wrong. Stupid iPhone. :/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s