Let’s Talk about Sex: Incredible Sex in Marriage


The following post is from the incredible Jane Anne from Gravity of Motion. I know you’ll love her as much as I do. Please check out her blog – the real deal. Thanks for visiting us today, and please do join the conversation in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out !deaCamp! This week there is much needed transparency dealing with sexual abuse in an open way on their blog. I’m certainly not ignoring the topic, but I wanted to share this great post with you as a sort of healthy goal – even for those of us who battle unhealthy pasts or unhealthy thoughts about SEX.

Incredible Sex in Marriage

I love sex. It’s true. I am happily married (celebrating 15 years this month) and I enjoy sex.

Lots of women do not enjoy sex. I have friends that don’t. Don’t get me wrong, sex isn’t something I normally talk about. My friends and I don’t talk about sex –because, well, we just don’t. But, there was that one time, when the subject came up –probably because someone said they had to shave their legs or something- and a friend said, “Oh, that’s right, I forgot, you like it.” I was sitting at dinner with two married women and I was the anomaly.  That was just one of the many times that I was saddened by the reality that it can be more accepted for women to dread sex than enjoy it.

I believe that sex within marriage should be fulfilling, and even, dare I say it, exciting.

I was a newly-wed when a co-worker told me she liked to set the TV to the right channel before bed so she could watch TV during sex. I was stunned. She said, “Just wait.”

Too many women (and men) have negative attitudes and faulty approaches to sex. Sex is God-designed and God-given. God wants us to enjoy sex within marriage. God invented sex. He created men and women and then told them to have sex. In Genesis (2:24), it says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”  It goes on to say that Adam and Eve were naked and felt no shame. Sex is supposed to be pleasurable…to both the husband and wife.

Relationships can always improve. To that end, I think marriage seminars, workshops, and books are wonderful self-help tools to grow depth in marriage. However, many of these tools have one premise that I disagree with: Men have a need for sex and women don’t. Women are essentially taught that they don’t have a strong sexual desire but they should be willing for their husband.  I recently read this chapter title in a Christian book on marriage: “Sexuality – Appreciate his Desire for Sexual Intimacy”.

Does anyone else see have a problem with that? The author assumes my husband has a sexual desire that I don’t have- and implies that’s the way it should be.

Wait.  Um, I like being intimate with my husband.

I desire my husband. And, I feel good about it.

It is right for me to desire my husband. As my love grows, so does my desire for him.

A few weeks ago, my husband shared a Men’s Health post (http://www.menshealth.com/confessions/index.html) with me. Part of the article dealt with sex.  The author of the article, Hugh O’Neill, had good advice for men. He also described the different approaches we have on sex:

“She needs closeness to feel sexual; you need sex to feel close. This is the fundamental impenetrable puzzle of love. I have no idea what to do about this. But great husbands have this reality in mind at all times.”

Great women have it in mind, too. Guess what, gals? This “puzzle of love” not only explains a great disconnect, it may explain why you don’t enjoy sex. Keeping it in mind will help you work to attain closeness as a precursor to sex.

Sex is not supposed to make you feel uncomfortable (read that as uneasy, unconfident, awkward, or anything negative). Sex is for pleasure.  It is pleasure for you.

If you do feel uncomfortable or inadequate, let me suggest, the problem is not with you. The problem is not sex. The problem is mostly likely the simple (yet difficult) disconnect of how you’re achieving closeness to your spouse.

Sometimes, sex isn’t that great. No one wants to say that (and my husband doesn’t want to read it), but it’s the truth. Sometimes, everything doesn’t work out just right. Other times, it’s amazing. It is oh-my-goodness-I-can’t-believe-how-good-that-felt amazing (now there’s a smile on my husband’s face). Sex is intended for the delight of the couple. Just as a case of bad breath doesn’t end future kissing, poor timing (or lack of enough foreplay) shouldn’t result in a diminished desire for sex.  My man may need Listerine for his bad breath – but he’s still a good kisser. You may need to talk about your needs, or what could have been better (which will grow your desire and closeness) -but you can still have good sex.

What I wish is that the Christian community, the church, would encourage men and women to draw close to each other and be open about their desires and inhibitions. It’s time to deemphasize that men need sex and women need romance.  Everyone needs to believe: Good sex is available for married couples. Good sex consists of both physical stimulation and intimacy. Good sex requires good communication.

We need to change the focus. Sexual pressure for women (to be sexually available) does not aide a growing healthy marriage. Incredible sex will happen with openness, honesty, and a positive attitude. Good sex (baring some kind of physically limitation) is available to every married couple. Every wife can look forward to intimacy with her husband.

When God created the world, including Adam and Eve and sex, he looked at his creation and said it was “very good”.  You can love sex. It was created to be “very good” (i.e., incredible).

amberhaines
About me

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29 Comments

Seth
Reply July 29, 2010

I laughed so hard. Well-written, Janey. And thanks for 15great years.

Christy A.
Reply July 29, 2010

Amen and amen! Preach it, sistah!

Ahem. I love that the focus of this post was on raising the expectation of sex for both partners, and empowering women to embrace their God-given sexuality. As a married woman who loves sex - and has proven to have a need for the intimacy that comes from sex that outpaces even my husband - I have often felt alone in my Christian women circles. My husband and I firmly believe that God gave us sex to bring us together in a way unique to our marriage with our spouse. I know God is saddened when we squander His gifts, of take them for granted, and sex is a glorious gift when it's used in the way God intend, and we can glorify not only Him but our marriage by enjoying it to the fullest. Thank you for speaking so beautifully to this issue.

Erin Leigh
Reply July 30, 2010

Love this. love this. love this. as a christian woman i'm tired of hearing "have more sex with your husband" over and over. I agreee that everything is connected and great sex comes with great connection.

Patti Brown
Reply July 30, 2010

Loved this Jane Anne....after 35 years of marriage I can tell you that sex is very special...there is that feeling you get just by a touch...when he holds my hand in church, or tells me how cute I am, my skin gets all tingly and my heart flutters....that special feeling is not something I get tired of....the longer you are married, the more those little touches mean....the deep look into each others eyes....the understanding....the memories and references....whoa....I'm gettin' carried away here....great post....you have such a wonderful way with words...thanks...have a great weekend! patti b.

HisFireFly
Reply July 30, 2010

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who loves sharing sexual pleasure with her husband.

I agree we must stop training women to simply tolerate.

Thank you!

He & Me + 3
Reply July 30, 2010

That was awesome Jane Anne! WEll said for sure.

carrien (she laughs at the days)
Reply July 30, 2010

We're going on 10 years now. I can say for certain that it just gets better as time goes by, especially as I have gotten past the idea that he should always come after me and I should just respond. Sometimes I want to initiate. Often he wants me to. I think this idea that we should be passive but willing receptacles is just silly, and harmful.

In other words, I love this post. :)

RuthintheDesert
Reply July 30, 2010

I agree! And I want to know: Where are the books for Christian couples who have a fabulous marriage and just want to spice things up a bit? There are books for couples with problems, books about biblical marriage...where are the books about amazing sex? Books for women who aren't afraid to admit that they enjoy it?

Lucy Ann Moll
Reply July 30, 2010

Sex with my hubby is amazing after 25 years! But those first few years? Bumbling, fumbling, humbling. . .then came the babies. I was TIRED. Need I say more?

Amber
Reply July 30, 2010

No, Lucy Ann, you said it all. Thank you ladies for speaking up. It's especially encouraging to hear from those of you who are one step ahead in the game than I am.

My babies are small. I'm exhausted.

BUT, I can say that sex is completely different in the good gracious way than when we first got married - not that it wasn't good then. It's just that we know each other so much more now. The ten year old marriage bed is so much better than I even thought it would be.

@bibledude
Reply July 30, 2010

GREAT post! I'm sitting here shouting AMENs! And then I read the first comment that appears to be from Jane Anne's husband... her very supportive husband! I love it!

Thank you Amber and Jane Anne for contributing to the conversation on sex. I know that this whole The Idea Camp blogging series has been pretty amazing so far, and it is perspectives like this that will really help us to understand what things are supposed to be like.

Thank you!

Erin
Reply July 30, 2010

I love this post. I love sex with my husband. GREAT post.

Tamara
Reply July 30, 2010

Love this! Yes, yes, women like/want/need sex, too! Sometimes I feel like there should be some kind of support group for the happily married.... 'Hi, I'm Tamara, I've been married 15 years, and I love sex with my husband'. I wish it didn't feel so many times like I was an anomoly. Not that I ever really ran around discussing my sex life with people, but I consciously don't even make comments about it anymore. My husband and I were at a church marriage retreat, and we were having a lot of fun just being away without the kids; we weren't running off into the bushes, we weren't being bawdy or indulging in awkward public displays of affection... we were maybe a little giggly, we were holding hands a lot, we slipped off to our room a little more than most... but we were well within the range of what should be acceptable at a church marriage retreat. We were told that it was really painful for some people, and that we should not make it so obvious that we had a good sex life. Honestly, too often I have this feeling that to acknowledge that sex is good, or even to say that it's supposed to be good, is like pouring lemon juice on a gaping wound, you know? People don't want to hear about it.

deidra
Reply July 31, 2010

What great words you've written here! What great encouragement. Thank you for speaking truth and speaking it boldly. Sex is a beautiful gift. Sometimes I have to laugh out loud with joy and gratitude when I remember that sex is God's idea.

Jane Anne
Reply July 31, 2010

I tried to put into words my passion and concern for sex in marriage. I am convinced that sex is an amazing gift.

Thank you for all of the kind words. I found support, inspiration, and encouragement in the comments. So, thank you.

I hope that my words encouraged others that may not have had the words to comment. I was prayerful when I wrote the post and I am still praying for the readers that long for a beautiful experience.

V. Higgins
Reply July 31, 2010

I love this! I'm young (just shy of 25) and have been married for 2 years. The first year was really hard because I had always been taught that he would 'want' it more than I would... that was far from the case. He was dealing with adjusting to this new life and working full time and the responsibility of being a husband and it overwhelmed him. I was convinced something was wrong with me.

When God showed me that it was a give and take and that one of the best things I could possibly do for him was just love him without expectation... suddenly I didn't mind so much initiating most of the time (I still struggle from time to time). It's far from perfect and I still struggle with insecurity sometimes but by opening that area up and taking away the pressure from both of us, we have so much more fun and I feel so close to him.

On another note, I don't think there's as much pressure on my generation of women to think they don't need/want sex. I grew up knowing I would love and want sex often and never felt that was an issue until my desire outweighed my husband's.

looking
Reply August 1, 2010

I'm wondering if you know of other blogs that talk about sex, porn, masturbation, etc. from a Christian point of view? I'm honestly afraid of what I'll find if I try to search for them, so i don't know where to start!

Answer!
Reply August 2, 2010

Hi Looking,

Wanted to pass on a few link for you:
http://dt1021.wordpress.com/ - this woman gets it. She just gets it, and I am blessed.

I'm not too familiar with this, but have read a few things on here: http://dirtygirlsministries.com/

I've also heard good things about XXX Church: http://xxxchurch.com

Also, if you are trying to work through difficult issues like this, know that shame is not God's will for you. He designed us to receive His grace through faith - not by earning it. No matter what type of action or habit or thought you may be addressing, His grace is there for you - and that grace should be reflected through loving (and honest) community. I have many friends and I myself have even visited Celebrate Recovery, and I have heard WONDERFUL things and seen lives TRANSFORMED.

You may just be wondering about those subjects you asked about, or you may be struggling with them... but I really encourage you to find a safe community that will walk with you through them. If you visit one church community or talk with someone who doesn't love you with abounding grace and forgiveness, please keep looking! God's will for us is that we would live in loving community. You are not alone - I think many in the great cloud of witnesses have struggled with the exact same things, and have overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. I'll be praying for you.

Carrie
Reply August 2, 2010

For the person asking about Christian, Biblical books on sex....Actually, there are two Christian books on the subject that are great.
The first one was used in a Bible study I was in--and very tastefully done. The second one was highly recommended in a marriage Bible study I was in at church by the mentors (they actually said they usually give it as wedding gifts to help the newlyweds).
1. "Intimate Issues: 21 Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex" by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus
2. "Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage" by Kevin Leman

Charissa Steyn
Reply August 3, 2010

LOVE THIS!! I love sex too! Can't get enough of it and can't stop writing about it! Good job God good job!! :)

looking
Reply August 3, 2010

Thanks! I'll check out the links, and thanks for the prayers, too, @Answer! :)

ali
Reply August 4, 2010

What a great post! Very very refreshing! thanks!

cheryl
Reply August 6, 2010

Loved this post! I think this is such an important topic and message. I honestly think that cultivating a healthy, active sexual relationship with your spouse is one of the most spiritual things a person can do. There is a wonderful website called The Marriage Bed, that deals with this topic from a Christian perspective. themarriagebed.com. It has a huge wealth of information and inspiration. I highly recommend it to everyone. :)

Kathy
Reply August 6, 2010

May we please keep talking about this? Yes! I love sex with my husband too. A lot! We've been married 22 years and he pursued more than I did early on, but it was good. And it just keep getting better. Yes there were (are) dips and hollars we had (have) to walk through, but we don't give up. And conversation, even when it feels funny to talk about it. The last couple of years I think I'm outpacing him. I was gone a trip last week and wow, did I miss him. Made it home before he did for lunch and well . . . he had to eat fast. God is good. This blessing of touch and feeling, I'm oh so grateful.

Teddi
Reply August 12, 2010

I really appreciate this post. I am not a wife yet but as a member of the Christian community I am always very surprised by the stigma that exists about women; especially women and sex. There is a shamefulness that comes along with it and there shouldn't be. I wonder if the Christian community can change the dialogue about sex so that it invites both men AND women to know that it is a good and right thing?

Kiki
Reply August 18, 2010

This is a great dialogue to start! I think that christian women don't discuss sex enough in the way that is helpful and encouraging. I noticed that many of the comments talk about how the sex is great (albeit after years, in some cases), but one voice I don't hear: the one where sex is still a painful experience. I think that this is another struggle for women not talked about: some women enjoy, some women just survive or go through the motions, and some women struggle with painful intercourse for long periods of time.

I think this is a real issue also, and when it's not addressed (even just in a brief mention), those women might be reading this post and feeling even more despair. Because they WANT to enjoy sex, but can't. This is a silent struggle that brings with it shame and feelings of inadequacy that probably compound the problem.

This is in no way meant to criticize what I think is a great post, but to bring up a part of the issue women have with sex that often goes unmentioned and carries with it a secret shame. I hope those women can read this post and know that there is hope for them as well!

    Amber
    Reply August 18, 2010

    Kiki, I'm so so glad you commented this. Seriously, I am going to write about this myself this Friday. I hope.

    Thank you.

Tammy
Reply September 7, 2010

Looking,
There is also a brand new blog at http://tamdancingwithhim.wordpress.com/
also a "link" page on this site that has some helpful websites.
Hope you find what you are needing.

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