Tag Archives: myths about sex

#1 Myth Christian Men Learned About Sex

My last post covered what I believe to be the top myth women learn about sex in Christian circles: Sex is for him. (If you haven’t, go read the whole post here.) Today I wanted to follow up with what I’ve concluded is the top myth Christian men learn.

Again, this is not a scientific conclusion, since I don’t have data to back me up. But I listened to men — in person, online, in articles, in research, etc. — and asked husbands in my closed Facebook group to give their answers. And nearly all responses related to this one myth:

Your sexuality is a problem.

While we see messages in the opposite direction — that something’s wrong with a guy who isn’t wanting it all the time — most Christian men seem to hear at one point or another that their sexuality is a problem for them and/or their wife. Why? Because it’s too shallow, too intense, too aggressive … just too much.

You have my sympathy, men. And my acceptance — because I wholeheartedly believe God created male sexuality to be a wonderful benefit to marriage.

God created male sexuality to be a wonderful benefit to marriage. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Let’s look at the some of the specific messages husbands reported learning about sex that lead to this overall myth that his sexuality is a big, big problem.

You have to earn sex.

We speak both seriously and jokingly about all the things a husband must do to create the right atmosphere for her to say yes. And while there’s some real truth to that, it can also feel to a man like sex is a reward he has to earn. His sexuality only gets attention when he follows all the “rules” or completes the necessary requirements.

As an intimacy author and speaker, I can attest to the difficulty in threading this needle just so — because yes, we should put forth effort to make sex feasible and meaningful, but it shouldn’t be used as a bargaining tool. (See The Bad Plan of Bartering for Sex.)

Your desire for sexual intimacy with your wife should matter more than you taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn. Those are good things too, but you shouldn’t be made to feel like sex is a treat you earn.

Emotional intimacy is better.

Through the years, several husbands have reported going to Christian marriage counseling, bringing up the lack of sex in their marriage, and being told by the counselor that sex wasn’t that important — that the wife’s desire for emotional closeness through communication and affection were far more worthwhile.

Um, excuse me, would someone like to tell God that?

We have biblical commands to make love in marriage, but — racking my brain — I cannot think of a scripture that specifically says we must converse in marriage. Now don’t go away thinking that you’re off the hook! Because all those verses about loving each other strongly imply that you listen, engage, and respect your spouse. But my point is simply that sex is clearly important in marriage, because it’s specifically addressed in God’s Word.

More importantly, sex is emotional. Or should be. Emotional intimacy matters! But sexual intimacy should not be pushed to the side as if it is lesser than. Especially when that’s a significant way many husbands connect emotionally to their wives.

She’ll never enjoy it as much as you do.

Some men are prepped from the get-go to believe that their sexuality is and will be a problem, because she won’t like it the way he does. Thus, it becomes this conundrum of how he can satisfy his sexual longings while not being too much of a bother to his wife.

Husbands choose different strategies, such as playing “will she or won’t she?” with tentative advances or attempts to read her mood day by day. Perhaps they try to get sex over with quickly, and some wives encourage this (because they heard their own myths), or they downplay her orgasm. They might masturbate instead of pursuing her.  Or simply build up resentment against their sex drive.

Meanwhile, husbands with higher-drive wives are caught off-guard to discover that she enjoys it as much or more than he does. And squaring the myth with the reality proves challenging, and can even make him feel like less of a man. (You’re not, but I get it. See A Letter to the Low-Drive Husband.)

Look, few couples have equally matched sex drives. About 70-80% of the time, the husband has the greater desire. But that’s still a lot of marriages where it’s the wife. Regardless, if the mismatch causes a problem — it’s a we problem that you just have to work out together.

She’ll enjoy it as much as you do.

Hold up, hold up, you’re saying. This is the exact opposite of the previous point, so how they can both count as spreading the overall myth? Great question! But what I noticed in husbands’ responses is some guys learned that if you wait until marriage, both husband and wife will be all over each other, all the time, and it will be fantastic — like Skittles candy rainbows all day, every day.

And then, they get married, and it doesn’t happen quite like that. So they conclude on their own or get told that their sexuality is the problem. Perhaps it seems like they want sex too much. Or what actually happens is that she enjoys it more than he does — and what on earth are you supposed to do with that?! 

We are complex beings, with a range of physiology, personality, values, and experiences that all shape your sexual interest. When you get married, an individual marries an individual, and then your sexuality becomes about our sexuality — and you have to work that out together. Welcome to the challenges and joys of relationship!

Once you’re married, temptation will end.

“Once you get married, you won’t be so tempted to lust or watch porn because you’ll be getting sex with your wife.” And you might think this doesn’t work with the whole your sexuality is a problem myth, because on its face, this statement sounds like your sexuality isn’t a problem — as long as it’s directed at your wife.

But when you get married, and you’re still struggling, you can feel like your sexuality is a problem. When what’s actually a problem is sin

We probably use food analogies with sex too often, but they work so well! So here I go: The idea that getting married will quash your porn habit makes about as much sense as saying that a well-prepared meal will keep you from eating junk food between meals. Good food will help, but if you’ve trained yourself to raid the pantry every day for Red Bull and Twinkies, that habit isn’t going to go away just because someone put a healthy salad in your face. And the problem isn’t food, but your misuse of it.

You have to work on the bad habits and the temptation itself. A quality sex life can help, but it will not stop you from sinning. And really, your sin will make it difficult for you to have a quality sex life, because your spouse deserves your full sexual attention.

Is Male Sexuality a Problem?

Some Christian men received a mixed message that could almost be expressed as: Left to its own, the male sexual desire is a savage beast beating at its cage, and if completely released, it can wreak destruction! … So go use it with the woman you love.

Wait, what?! Even if your sex drive is an animal, you can train it. Just like you have to train everything in your life! As a child, you had to figure out how to walk, how to talk, how to use the bathroom (they even call it potty training). But nobody says walking, eating, and using the bathroom are a problem. They are good and healthy parts of being human, knit together by the Master Himself.

One particular husband in my Facebook group summarized so well how some men have been made to feel about their sexuality:

“…it’s not just that we are taught our sexual feelings are ‘big and bad’, which we totally are. It’s that we are not taught that our sexuality is as divinely appointed a part of the whole of who we are as is our spirituality, our intelligence, our physicality, etc. We are taught, or left to conclude, that our sexual self and all of the accompanying feelings, is corrupt, fallen, should be despised, and must be defeated. It’s not just our actual struggles we feel guilty about, it is for having sexuality.”

Ray, married 26 years

If you’ve been taught your sexuality is bad, gentlemen, that’s a lie. Yes, Satan desires to twist anything and everything in our lives to move us away from the vast blessings God can give us. But your sexuality is from God, and He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you.  “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).

Your sexuality is from God, and He knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

If your sexuality has been marred by sin, address that! But embrace your sexuality itself as a God-given benefit to your marriage, one that can spur you on to greater intimacy with your wife. 

The #1 Myth Christian Women Learned about Sex

With a title like that, it’s really not fair for me to withhold the answer, is it? But I should first admit that I have no research to back this up, just years and years of hearing from Christian women about what messages they absorbed in the culture around them—church and secular—about sex. And, sadly, they learned this:

Sex is for him.

This myth that God created sex more for men — and its corollary that He thus cares more about men’s sexuality than ours — has floated around like a dark mist that many wives struggle to wave away.

Did anyone say those words to us exactly? No, but it was the underlying message of a bunch of other advice we received. Did you, sweet wife, happen to hear any of the following Greatest Worst Hits?

The #1 Myth Christian Women Learned about Sex from Hot, Holy, and Humorous

Teen guys have a hard time stopping.

“Teen guys struggle with their sex drive, so you need to be the one to stop things from going too far. ” As if SHE doesn’t struggle too?

When I was sixteen years old, two married women in my church offered to teach a Wednesday evening class for young ladies. From a place of wanting the best for us, they warned us about the intensity of a teen male’s sex drive. It was described almost like a bucking bull just inside the rodeo chute; one crack in the gate, and all heck would break loose. (Don’t get the rodeo analogy? Watch the video below.)

And you know who had their hand on the latch? We young ladies.

Since their libidos were wild animals, we had to be in charge of making sure nothing broke out of the pen. Unfortunately, I recall sitting there in class wondering who was going to help me tame my inner beast. Because sex sounded really interesting to me too.

Even gals who didn’t have as strong a drive were at least curious. But since saying so might mean we were wayward young ladies, many of us either denied our drive, interest, curiosity or decided we were fighting a losing battle and should just unlatch the gate already.

Most boys/young men masturbate.

“Most teen boys masturbate because the resulting climax is so satisfying. “This practice might have been accepted, tolerated, or condemned, but it was presumed that he has a longing to experience the physical release of a climax. Ignoring that SHE would also like to know what it feels like to orgasm.

Females masturbate. Not with the frequency that males do, but when your goodies are all tucked away, it’s not so obvious or easy or even tempting to fondle yourself all the way to climax. Some girls do it anyway, and some don’t. 

But most gals are just as curious about what it would feel like to have a sexual orgasm as the guys are. And we are drawn to the physical pleasure and release of climax.

Should we masturbate? That’s a different question. But interest in experiencing the physical sensation of an orgasm? Women have it too.

If you don’t have sex regularly, your husband might cheat.

“You need to have sex regularly in marriage, to help him the avoid temptation to cheat.” Honestly, there’s a thread of truth in this one (see 1 Corinthians 7:5-9), but where is this admonition for husbands? Are we saying that he needs sex a lot, and SHE doesn’t?

And this makes sex sound like merely a preventative measure. Along the lines of “if you don’t need get a flu shot, you might end up horribly sick for a week” or “if you don’t floss your teeth, they’ll fall out.” You and your teeth don’t have equal choice, but in marriage-adultery, both sides are conscious actors. Adultery, therefore, would not be the wife’s fault just because the adulterer didn’t get his groove on as much as he wanted.

Interestingly enough, negative consequences are not a great motivator for positive action (see “What Motivates Employees More: Rewards or Punishments?” – Harvard Business Review). Strong warnings can work well in getting us to not do something — like smoke or cross the street at the wrong time — but not so well if we have to exert effort to prevent the bad thing from happening. So saying do not commit adultery and listing negative consequences makes far more sense than saying do have a lot of sex and listing adultery as a negative consequence. If we want a wife to engage in more sex, we should stress all the benefits to her and the marriage! Because there are plenty.

Men are turned on by looking at women.

“Men love to look at women; it’s just how God made them.” Also not so much a myth—though plenty of women are visual—but growing up, I never heard the other side of how God made women to be aroused. Which made it seem like we didn’t have our own temptations or our arousal didn’t matter as much.

Women are typically more turned on through the senses of hearing and touch. We tend to be auditory and tactile. I wish I’d known that a long time ago. I wish someone had acknowledged how we ladies get aroused, and how that can be both our struggle outside of marriage and our blessing inside of marriage.

I mean, my husband probably should be a little jealous of how in love I am with Dean Martin simply because of his singing voice (though him being dead certainly lessens the competition), but when my husband’s low, rumbling voice whispers in my ear?… 

Sorry, I had to go fan myself for a moment.

Never say no to your husband.

“Never say no to a sexual advance from your husband.” This one has come from so many different circles, I don’t really know where to begin. I understand how well-meaning the advice is, because it’s important for wives to be fully engaged in the sexual intimacy in their marriage. But seriously, never say no to your husband? Does that mean HER needs and desire in the moment don’t matter?

Also, there’s a convention-center sized group of higher-drive wives reading this right now and wanting to scream: Did anyone ever tell the men to never say no to their wife?! *waves to ladies* Yes, I see you there, and you make a great point: This advice tends to be lopsided.

If Corinthians 7:3-5 should teach us anything, it’s that sex in marriage is mutual. It matters for both husband and wife.

It’s a necessary act in marriage.

“It’s just what you have to do in marriage.” Sadly, some wives who never learned to fully embrace or enjoy sex themselves characterize sex as a clause in the marriage contract you cannot get out of — though you wish you could. As if it’s written somewhere: “The female party, referenced throughout as ‘Wife’ agrees to faithfully, industriously, and to the best of her skill, experience and talent, perform all of the duties required of the position, including that thing where he wiggles around on top you while you mentally make your grocery list.”

Every time I think about this attitude, I am caught between wanting to cry for the wives who believed or experienced sex like this and wanting to scream about the madness and misery of this myth!

Thank heaven that we’re dispelling that myth more and more these days. Thus freeing up wives to express their sexuality, pursue answers when they don’t experience pleasure or orgasm in the bedroom (their right, according to Scripture), and just revel in a good ol’ romp with their husbands.

Hopefully, by this point you’ve identified what wrong messages might have led you to believe, even in the smallest way, that sex is ultimately for him. It’s not, dear wife. It’s for you too.

God was well-aware of what He was creating when He made women — including her unique sexuality, her longings and desires, her mutual contribution to sexual intimacy in the marriage bed.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14 

Your body and your sexuality are fearfully and wonderfully made, and they matter. Sex is for your husband, created and delivered by God, but don’t buy the myth that sex was created mostly or exclusively for him. God longs for you to enjoy it too.

Ready to experience more sexual freedom, pleasure & excitement? Learn about God's design for sex in marriage. Click to buy Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God's Design, by J. Parker.

Sex Is for You Too

Scott Means profile picFrom time to time, I invite a husband onto my blog to give his take on Christian sex in marriage. I’m rather particular about who these men are, and today I’m super-excited it’s Scott Means of Heaven Made Marriage.

Scott has been writing some stellar stuff about intimacy in marriage, and he also just released a book I want my readers to know about. Rather than take up any more space bragging about my fellow blogger and friend, I’ll just hand it over to Scott, who is talking to you wives today.

blog post title + two fingers with faces and arms drawn to resemble a couple hugging

God has hardwired us to desire intimacy, that deep feeling of closeness and connection.  I’ve often said that intimacy is the most important goal of marriage, and I’ve found that it is by far the number one longing of most couples.

Why then, do so many couples who desire deeper intimacy in their marriage find it so elusive?

In my new Kindle book, The Path of Intimacy, I explain how every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. There is no middle ground. You are either growing together or you are growing apart.

Every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. - Scott Means Click To Tweet

One reason couples grow apart is that they tend to have some misconceptions about intimacy. In my book I examine these misconceptions, exploring seven common lies that people believe about intimacy in marriage. Buying into these lies can keep couples stuck on the Path of Separation, feeling disconnected and disappointed, when what they desire most is to be together.

“Sex Is for Him”

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. It’s amazing to me how many women believe this lie, which ultimately steals the joy and beauty from God’s marvelous design of the sexual union between husband and wife. It robs her of the deep connection with her husband that she actually desires.

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. Click To Tweet

The majority of women don’t have the same testosterone-laden sex drive as their husbands (though around 20% of wives have a higher drive than their husband). Many of these lower-drive wives think it’s no big deal to go without sex and can just dole it out as a wifely duty.

But it actually is a big deal.

Sex is the only form of intimacy that God strictly reserved to be shared between husbands and wives, which makes sex not only unique but also sacred. Sex is an essential part of the oneness between husband and wife.

In a Sexual Satisfaction Survey that I ran on my blog a few years back, I found that one in five marriages are essentially sexless (defined as having sex less than once a month). My findings are confirmed by a range of scientific studies over the past decade.

These are sad and tragic statistics that point to the damage being done in way too many marriages.

Sex Is for BOTH of You

Believing that sex is primarily for your husband will rob you of the sexual enjoyment and fulfillment that God intends for you. Additionally, a husband whose wife gives him only “duty sex” because she knows “he needs it” will rarely be sexually satisfied. Your husband longs for you to be fully engaged in the bedroom and likely has a strong desire to see you sexually fulfilled as well.

Sexual intimacy is an essential component of marital intimacy, which I define as “being fully known and completely loved.”  Because sex brings about the ultimate vulnerability in marriage, doing it only for your husband will cause you to miss out on the deep connection found in a mutually fulfilling sex life.

Keep in mind that sex is not primarily a physical act. It is deeply spiritual and builds a wide pathway to a strong emotional connection as well. Having regular, deeply satisfying sex strengthens your marriage, gives you a sense of well-being, and it can help you actually desire sex more.

Here’s the corresponding truth that you can use to defeat the lie that sex is only for your husband:  Even though you may have less physical drive than your husband, don’t allow yourself to miss out on the joy, pleasure and oneness that is rightfully yours.

Explore the other six lies that inhibit intimacy in marriage (and much more) in my book, The Path of Intimacy.

Path of Intimacy Book Cover

In The Path of Intimacy, Scott Means gives you a road map for your journey into deeper intimacy and greater passion in your marriage. Along with insight into God’s heart for marriage, he offers both invaluable wisdom and practical steps you can take immediately to get off The Path of Separation and to stay on the Path of Intimacy.

Buy the book: Amazon

Visit Scott’s website: Heaven Made Marriage

 

And for specific tips on how to make sexual intimacy more exciting for you, be sure to also check out my ebooks, currently on sale through Valentine’s Day!

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