Do You Think About Sex Too Much?

Some believe that Christian marital intimacy speakers and writers overemphasize sexuality in marriage. It can seem at times that we are obsessed with sex.

When you write about this area of marriage, you do think about sex a lot. You hear people’s stories, contemplate topics, and research the subject in secular sources and the Bible.

Yet while I often consider the broad topic and specific issues about sexuality, my own married sex life doesn’t get nearly as much contemplation. Sure, I anticipate it, flirt with my husband about it, remember special times we made love, and engage in beautiful intimacy with my man. But I’m not obsessed.

Why? Well, in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis made the analogy of food to sex—to convey how those obsessed with food or sex are either terribly hungry or overly indulged. He said, “Starving men may think much about food, but so do gluttons; the gorged, as well as the famished, like titillations.”

Let’s break down Dr. Lewis’s descriptions more.

Starved

Have you ever had to go without food for a period of time? Maybe you were stuck in meetings all day or had to fast for bloodwork or didn’t have anything more than an apple and expired milk in your fridge. (Live on the edge, drink the milk!) Go without food for a while, and you will not be able to ignore the fact that you are desperately hungry!

Even worse is when you’re in the presence of delicious food and can’t have any. This is why hangry dieters absolutely hate watching their super-thin friend eating chocolate éclairs. When you’re really hungry, the presence of food in your midst is like dangling a million bucks in front of a poor person.

I believe the same happens in marriages where one spouse is around the person they love and yet are unable to sate their intimate desire for that person. The lack of what you need and want is on your mind because you cannot scratch that itch often enough, or in some sad cases ever, so your mind turns its attention to that aspect. The spouse who desires physical intimacy and doesn’t get it anywhere near enough can become obsessed with sex, even pleading or begging their mate to engage.

Because they are sex-starved! It’s no wonder that sex is seemingly always on their mind.

Normally, the online seminar is $35, but with my unique link, you pay only $20!
DISCOUNT TAKEN AT CHECKOUT! (3rd screen)

Saturated

On the other hand, how many of you could work at Godiva Chocolatier and not want to taste-test every single truffle? Or stay thin while working in a bakery? When you place yourself in a saturated environment, you’ll think long and often about your surroundings.

It’s easy to obsess about sex when you metaphorically line the walls with it—which includes looking at porn, reading erotica, shopping at certain sex stores, etc. You may be having sex with your spouse (yummy truffle), but it may not feel like enough.

The secular world makes this particularly difficult to manage. Music, movies and TV, magazines and newspapers, and even our conversations are inundated with sexuality. With so many ways to partake, it’s easy to fall victim to indulgence.

One can become so obsessed with having more sex, better sex, and even riskier sex, that the person with whom they are engaging is little more than cheesecake on a plate to satisfy a sweet tooth. The sex-saturated don’t feel that they’ve had enough, or maybe that they are enough, because their attention is rapt by sex itself and not by intimacy with their mate.

Satisfied

When the physical intimacy in marriage is healthy, you don’t need to obsess about sex. It’s there when you need and want it, and if it isn’t available at the moment, it won’t be long before you have a taste of it again. Moreover, the sexuality between a couple isn’t the focus of their relationship, although it is still an important aspect.

(For a quick self-check, see Are You Having Enough Sex? – Kevin A. Thompson.)

Just as the body needs food, sleep, exercise, etc. to remain healthy, so a marriage needs emotional, spiritual, and relational intimacy in addition to physical intimacy. All aspects are important in keeping a marriage healthy.

Avoid starvation or saturation and find true satisfaction in marital sexuality.

Sure, I’m on this topic a lot, but I don’t think I’m personally obsessed. I’m like the person advocating for feeding the starving in a third-world country or your personal trainer batting away that Hershey bar and telling you to get on the treadmill already. I’d like to see more of us here in category number three: sex-satisfied.

Are you starved, saturated, or satisfied? What can you personally do to adjust your attitude and marital intimacy to be in the satisfied category?

[This article was originally published on The Marriage Bed in 2013, but has been revised and updated.)

10 thoughts on “Do You Think About Sex Too Much?”

  1. I feel starved… we don’t have a sexless marriage. We have sex, but a lot of times it feels like obligatory sex. My husband gives in out of obligation to try and satisfy my high drive… however my high drive isn’t necessarily for just sex… it’s for the emotional connection I feel during… I’ve tried explaining but he doesn’t seem to understand and so it usually is a point of frustration in our message… I just want to feel desired and special… I too often feel like a nagging chore on his to-do list… 😢 heeeelp! What can I do to change this dynamic?

    1. Oh, Emma! I ache for you. This is one of the more difficult things to get across: It’s not enough for your spouse to show up with their body; rather, being desired and intimate is the bigger issue for higher desire spouses. Are you in my HD wives group? You could also share with him this post (A Letter to the Low Drive Husband and/or let him read this one and ask for his thoughts—3 Things Higher-Drive Spouses Long For.

      You could also negotiate him initiating sometimes in the next X number of days and then wait for him to do that. It could help for him to be the assertive one now and then and for you to see that he can do that. Just a thought! Hope something here helps. Praying.

  2. I am similar to the previous poster (except I am a male). We are not sexless since we average 14.5 times a year (calculated from the previous 5 years of tracking). I feel that I am sexually starved. However, my wife says that sex is my idol and I think about sex way too much. At least now I understand why I obsessed over sex….

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry! It’s not an idol to want sex with your wife regularly. It’s healthy and good! I really wish she’d understand that and let herself enjoy this experience more in your marriage. Praying for you.

  3. Pingback: A Christian's Guide to Sexual Morality | Hot, Holy & Humorous

  4. Raphael Tisserand

    Married people writing about how bad it is to be “starved” and yet expecting single people to endure “starvation” for an indefinite period of time…
    Seems like a double standard to me.

    1. I understand why it could look that way. But to me, it’s a bit like not allowing my children to drink alcohol, because it’s not good for them at that time in life. Or later in life, I didn’t ride roller coasters (much as I love them) while pregnant, because my current condition would make that a dangerous proposition. There are many good reasons why sex should remain inside marriage, and God, in an effort to protect both our bodies and our hearts, tells us to have sex within that covenant relationship. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” (emphasis added). He’s not trying to starve us but rather keep us on the sex diet that will help us remain healthy.

      1. Oh, and for the “indefinite period of time,” we have the biblical example of Jacob waiting seven years (Genesis 29:20), so yeah, we’re expected to wait. But at the same time, the apostle Paul advises that you should marry rather than burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Easier said than done, I know, but the time and effort of thinking about or getting sex while single might be better spent making yourself an attractive partner for someone and then finding them and building a life that includes satisfying sex.

        (I wish I could go back and tell myself that from days past. Seriously.)

        1. Raphael Tisserand

          At least with alcohol there is a definite end point to how long people have to wait to legally drink it. Whether it’s 18, 21, or whatever it may be in your jurisdiction there is at least a concrete date in sight. Similar to your example about pregnancy and rollercoasters. Pregnancy has a definite endpoint. There is also no such thing as alcohol frustration. It is, of course possible to develop alcohol dependency but that is only if you overindulge to begin with.

          Leaving aside the issue of how long the biblical patriarchs really lived and whether Jacob worked for a literal 7 years, I don’t think that story is prescriptive at all. And, of course Jacob could count the days until that 7 years was over. If the deal was to work for an indefinite number of years and at some unspecified time Laban may or may not give him Rachel, then I don’t think he would have taken the deal.

          Paul could recommend marriage as an easy solution because getting married was easy to do in that culture. Marriage was based on economics, survival, the sharing of resources, and the production of children. Romantic love was secondary. If it was involved at all then it developed after the marriage, not before it. Paul knew that most people couldn’t handle celibacy and he wanted to avoid having lots of frustrated, distracted people. Ironically, following his advice today usually results in exactly what he wanted to avoid. If you wait for marriage you’ll probably find yourself at the wrong side of 30, unmarried, childless, and frustrated. There is not dating in the Bible. People did not have to wait until they were 30 to have sex.

          The Sabbath was created for man. Man was not created for the Sabbath. The Jews put so many regulations around the Sabbath that a day of rest becomes, ironically, a hassle to keep.
          The Jewish Revolt in AD 66 began when the Jews rioted after the blood of birds was spilled at the entrance of a synagogue. Eventually, in the course of their revolt, the Jews spilled human blood in the grounds of the temple in Jerusalem. By the end of it, the Temple was destroyed and the Jews were expelled from the land. The Bible is not a suicide pact. If following the rules leads to the very outcomes the rules were designed to avoid, then what use were the rules?

          1. So I could argue with each of your points, but I think what it comes down to is that you and I don’t view Scripture in the same way. Your approach is to take my biblical examples, focus on the context of the culture, and then reach a different conclusion for today’s world. And that’s just not how I view God’s commands. I think the fact that moral commands are hard is part of the story, because then we have to rely on God. (And honestly, your argument here sounds to me like what I used to tell myself in my premarital promiscuous past to rationalize what I wanted and planned to do anyway.)

            One other aspect: I’m actually in favor of people marrying sooner than they do now. I believe we keep young people from launching out into life for too long.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.