If you work on a website, you’ve probably heard of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) the European Union recently put into effect. It’s a series of measures designed to ensure the privacy and control of one’s personal data when they interact with a website, including a blog like mine.
To be compliant (some of y’all live in the EU), I’m adding some stuff to my site. But I just cannot bear the thought of tossing out all that legalese language at you. Instead, I’m going to explain a bit about how I handle your data while making it informative and empowering for your sex life.
You ask: What on earth does the GDPR have to do with my sex life? Well, keep reading!
1. Have you fully opted in?
One major focus of the GDPR is making sure everyone who’s contacted by a company or organization opted in. In the United States, you have opt out, which is why when you buy something on a website, you receive emails from them until you unsubscribe.
Since it obviously stinks for someone to use your personal information to stalk you until you buy something more from them or enter the Witness Protection Program, opt-in systems are much better. Which is why I have one. You have to ask to subscribe to my blog, and then you should receive a follow-up email confirming you really said you wanted to hear from me. And you have choices to receive my blog posts, my newsletter, or both.
How about your marriage bed? Have you opted out? Or opted in? Are you stalking your spouse into “putting out” or inviting them to subscribe to some great content? Hey, no one wants duty sex, and one of the best things you can do for your sexual intimacy is to opt in — all the way in.
You can read mine right here, and it basically says I won’t sell or share your information; I send you only what you ask for; and any marketing I do is simply telling you about resources I recommend, including affiliate linked products and my own books.
Also, if you ever sext one another or have revealing or suggestive photos, you should take care to keep them confidential. If you’re not on the same page with your spouse on privacy, may I suggest the more private spouse’s view wins out. You can keep talking the issue, if you think you have a good point, but don’t intentionally cross your spouse’s line.
3. How is your data used?
If you comment on my blog, all others see is whatever name (or initial) you use, your website, and your comment. I see that stuff, plus your email and an IP address that means nothing to me. I don’t do anything with that information other than moderate and respond. If you subscribe, your data is stored by MailChimp in a list according to your preferences so I can then send you what you asked for. Your data does get compiled and analyzed in the aggregate, to produce website statistics I can then use to know how it’s going and to target ads on Facebook (I’ve only done this twice in 7+ years) to people who might want to know about my books. But you’re not tracked individually.
Meanwhile, how do you use the “data” you provide one another in your marriage? When your spouse shares how they think or feel about sexuality, do you treat that information with care and respect? Do you use that data to harass them (like some unscrupulous websites have done), or to build a better relationship?
If you want your spouse to open up to you more about their challenges with sexual interest, their likes and dislikes, their desires and fantasies, then you need to demonstrate that you care about the information they give you by treating their beliefs and feelings with openness and respect.
4. Can you correct or erase your data?
Two GDPR rights are covered here with the right of rectification (correcting erroneous information) and the right of erasure (making your data go away). Multiple times I’ve had someone ask me to change their name or some small bit of content within a comment, or to simply to delete a comment altogether. That’s fine by me, so I just make the change and move on. Likewise, you can always unsubscribe from one of my lists, using the handy-dandy button provided at the bottom of each post or newsletter, and voila! your information is gone.
But let’s be honest. Isn’t this one of the hardest commands about love in the Bible? “[Love] keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Our spouse is going to blow it sometimes, and we need to let them correct the mistake and/or erase the record.
That’s true regarding sexuality as well. It could be baggage from before you got married that you’re still holding onto. It could be their poor phrasing of sexual initiation or doing that boob-grab thing most wives hate so much. It could be any number of misstatements, actions, or histories that make it hard for you both to move on. If you’re in the thick of a problem, of course you don’t just hit the delete button — you address the issue. But many times, we really could correct the situation or give more grace.
5. What security measures are in place?
My website is hosted by a tech company that specializes in website security. Indeed, one of its owners has worked as a “white hat hacker,” identifying and fixing potential security breaches for companies. Also, every company that ever accesses my information (MailChimp, social media sites, etc.) has its own security measures. I won’t deal with someone who cannot prove to me that they are committed to keeping my and your information safe.
As for marriage, if you ask me what women really want, my answer these days is always security. It could be physical security (a strong, protective partner), economic security (the breadwinner and provider), emotional security (affection and commitment), spiritual security (spiritual leadership or encouragement), or any number of other aspects of men that attract different women. But I think security is key, because women need to feel safe to become vulnerable.
But this is true for both husbands and wives regarding sex, where we open up ourselves to one another so completely. We need to know our marriage bed is a secure place to be — that it’s exclusive between husband and wife, that it’s free from porn and erotica pulling our minds away, and that we set one another as the standard for beauty and lovemaking. When we feel that deep security, then intimacy has a place to blossom.
Long story short: My data and privacy policies are all about Luke 6:31: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” And if we really lived that out, moment by moment, regarding our marriage beds, we’d probably all feel more secure, more loved, more intimate in our marriages.
Maybe you should discuss your own policies for the sexual relationship with your spouse this weekend. It’s not mandatory (like the GDPR), but it’s a good idea.