September 24, 2005

Sex in the Bible

If you blush easily or get offended by openness about sexuality you might want to skip reading this.

I watched the last part of a documentary called, Sex in the Bible, on the
History channel . Awhile back I watched a 3 part special focusing on sexual behaviors, attitudes, and trends through the last few centuries. I tuned in as the history of sex in cultures is an interest of mine. If you don't know why Victorian wives were considered frigid, you really should study for yourself. I found it was interesting. I think for women of faith there is a lot of hang ups about what is 'right' and 'proper' in the bedroom. I have noticed many sexual restrictions are put upon Christians that aren't even in the Bible. The show covered how the Puritans used to teach that sex for any reasons other then procreation was unnesscary.

Or that any sexual position other then 'the missionary' was wrong. Can you take a guess why it's even called, 'missionary', to begin with? The 'rear entry' postiton was taught by many of the churches to be an absolute abomination. I think mankind struggles with enough 'fleshly sins' without adding on our own. It was very enlightening and sad both at the same time. I'm sure there are other sites and books out there as well that are educating about the struggle many have when trying to reconcile their Christian piety and their sexual desires.

Those of you that know me, know I'm not usually shy about the topic of sex. I've talked about the subject with many friends, and fellow Christian gals. Yet, not everyone is as open as I am and I appreciate that as well. I remember when I was attending a women's Bible study group at our church, and when the subject got around to sex, the Pastor's wife had to miss the meeting for some reason or another. The assistant Pastors wife led the group instead. I couldn't help but wonder if it was because she was painfully uncomfortable talking about sex with a group of women in her church. She's just the type that is very quiet, shy, and reserved. I couldn't even imagine her talking about sex in front of us.

The assistant's Pastor's wifem focused on the following scripture: In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 the apostle Paul writes: "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

She reiterated what the verse said, talked about how sex is a stress relief for hard working men, and we should work hard to accomodate this physical need not only for the closeness it brings husbands and wives, but because it helps them avoid building up of lust from lack of self control. She spoke a bit about trying to take care of ourselves, dressing modestly in church and daily life to help protect the marriages of others. Anotherwords, we don't want to expose too much skin for the wandering eyes of the men at our church. Christians are not invunerable to infidelity, and she hinted to some families within the church that had been dealing with the issue. I was fairly new to the church, so I wasn't aware of whom, nor did I want to know. I wondered though, why she only mentioned how we shouldn't dress outside the bedroom, instead of ways we could dress inside the bedroom to make fun.

Not once, did she ever speak about a woman allowing herself to experience the pleasure of sex. How good sex is a stress relief for a woman as well. Not once did she talked about our needs, and how to tell our husbands what they are. It was more about, fullfilling the needs of the husband, for his physical release.

Many years ago I picked up the book, The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian. In the chapter, His Sexuality, she writes, "we're hitting the top priorties in a man's life right away in this book. I feel if we can contribute to our husband's happiness in these areas most dear to their hearts, we will have greater success making inroads in other areas that are crucial to their well-being."

Now, this is a book for wives to learn how to pray for their husbands, and to learn more about what a man really values. A good man wants to be appreciated, valued, be a good provider, to name a few. She goes on to talk about her 20 year experience praying with different women about their marriages that were failing or struggling. She notes that often times the sexual relationship was a low priority in their minds. As mothers we wear so many different hats. I know during the times that I was nursing a baby, my sex drive was naturally lower then other times. Sometimes, after listening to whining all day, nursing non stop, poopy diapers, and sniffly noses a 'romp in the hay' is about as appealing as last years fruitcake. Unless you like dry, stale, boring sex.

In fairness sometimes it is hard to find the time. There are more moms working outside the home then not. There are long work weeks, commutes, and lots of kid activities taking up time. Sometimes the best form of birth control (assuming you don't object to birth control) is having other kids around. I think there was a comedian that joked as soon as parents hook up there's always a knock at the door. There most be some kind of pharemone that wafts down the stairs prompting a child to run for dear life to intercept, God forbid they should be replaced with another child. Since in our house we have sleep issues, by the time everyone is asleep it can be as late as midnight. It gets pretty frustrating. If this sounds like you, you might need to
nab the thieves that have stolen your intimacy .

I also wanted to mention that women have so many body issues. Many of us, especially after having babies, don't feel all that hot looking. I have really known some Christian women though, who are down right uncomfortble about dressing 'sexy' in bed for their husbands. I shouldn't wear that, because, I'm a mom or it's trampy. Your not your husbands mom though. I'm not an expert, I'm not trying to be a counselor here, so I'm not going to try and guess how to work through those kinds of issues. Men are visual creatures though, and from what I've read, and from what my husband says, they just want to see you, and enjoy you. If you didn't look like Cindy Crawford before you married, and he was still all over you, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think just learning to take some time for yourself first, and finding out what makes you feel sexy is so worth it.

Stormie, also writes along those lines."When your husband communicates to you what he has in mind, as only a husband can do, don't roll your eyes and sigh deeply. Instead, say, "Okay, give me fifteen minutes." (Or ten, or twenty, or whatever you need.) During that time do something to make yourself feel attractive. "

She goes on to list many examples, one of which is wearing lingerie that you will feel comfortable in. Obviously, if you rarely wear anything other then flannel pooh-bear pajamas, then a thong set isn't the best start for you. Now, I'm knocking comfy pajamas, but they aren't exactly sexy or mood setting for when you want to be in the mood. But, if you do want to explore the 'saucier' side of yourself and have fun but you object to sites using live models then I have some resources for you. There is,
The Act of Marriage. There is also an online store called, Intregrity Intimates. If you want to try out some fun things, then Drug Store.com is a good online store that's is not going to have images and pop ups that scare you away. If you're blessed enough to actually get some nice quality alone time, and really want to spice things up a bit, may I suggest Kama Sutra? Who doesn't like a nice massage? I think most shy types will be able to shop at those sites with ease, without worry about too much 'kinkiness'.

Stormie goes on to say that many of these women she has counseled with have let weeks, months, and even a year go by without real sexual relations. I would not be truthful if I said we have never had times where we were lucky if it was once a month. There were, however, very legitimate reasons, that can be, and were resolved. I can't imagine being in a marriage though without good and frequent intimacy. Stormies writes that many of these women though, were just not making it a priority.

It was just more about mothering, working, and to-do lists then experiencing the joy of sex. Ah, but maybe there was no joy in it for them. She then reveals how surprised the women often were when disaster struck their marriage. They thought everything was fine even though their husbands were being neglected in an important part of his being. I want to say though, if a marriage is experincing a lack of sex for months, then there are two people being neglected. For some reason, the woman is also denying herself one of the most pleasurable gifts God has made for mankind. Add to that, the lack of communication that so many of us have regarding sex in our relationships. One thing Stormie says that is so true, "for a wife, sex comes out of affection. She doesn't want to be affectionate with a man who makes her feel angry, hurt, lonely, disappointed, overworked, unsupported, un-cared for, or abandoned."

Did I just hear an, Amen, sistah? It has been said that for women, foreplay starts at breakfast.Then she goes on to say, "but for a husband, sex is pure need. His eyes, ears, brain, and emotions get clouded if he doesn't have that release. He has trouble hearing anything his wife says or seeing what she needs when that area of his being is neglected. Wives sometimes have it backwards. They think, we can have sex after we get these other issues settled. But actually there is a far greater chance of settling the other issues if sex comes first." (Emphasize was Stormies) If you want to have a point of view from a guy,
then here is a great read. You might also want to read, 12 Tips on Sex in Marriage for the Christian Wife, by Michael Camp.