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Sep 20

6/44 Sexual Politics in the Bedroom

We have been looking at the reasons for conflict, such as the huge area of male and female differences andrejection_1 the importance of learning healthy emotional expression.

Sex can be an indicator of the health of the marriage

Sex is not always the fireworks and skyrockets of Hollywood’s fantasy world. Sex is only one element of a marriage relationship. How satisfying sex is in a marriage, is often determined by other aspects of the relationship. We could say that sex is a ‘barometer’ or ‘thermometer’ of how well the relationship is working.

Of course, sex itself can also be an issue in its own right, often because of the unrealistic expectations that our hypersexual Western world promotes.

  1. male and female – physical and emotional differences.  One of the  issues we need to address: The “Playboy Philosophy” versus the “Missionary Position”

At one end of the sexual behaviour continuum, we have the Playboy or Cleo philosophy of sex that is immoral and exaggerated. In this view, frantic activity or extreme arousal is desirable. Like the anorexic bodies of models, sex is portrayed in an unhealthy and extreme way by the media. The World raises our expectations of sexual activity to that of an extreme sports person vying for a gold medal. God’s expectations are quite different.

At the other end of the scale we have the prudish view of sex, that it is only proper for procreation and not for enjoyment. This extreme (usually religious) position can discourage marriage partners from seeing each other in the nude, thus keeping the lights off and their clothes on while making love. This legalistic philosophy restricts sexual positions to just one: the ‘Missionary Position’ where the man is on top of the woman. With this attitude, sex is impure and dirty, but necessary for the survival of the human race.

God has a much more balanced point of view. We can see this in Genesis 3, where the humans were ashamed of nudity only after the Fall, or in the Song of Songs (or “The Song of Solomon”). There you can read for yourself, the beauty and excitement that God has infused into the spiritual activity of sex.

Male / Female Differences

There is a saying that goes like this, about sexuality: “Men are like gas cookers – instant on and instant off. Women are like electric ovens – slow to warm up and slow to cool down.” How true!

Men’s physiology is such that they are easily aroused when stimulated. This is not right or wrong, God made them that way and it is reality. Satan, of course uses this fact to corrupt Godly male sexuality, which is primarily visual. (More on pornography later.) Men are also prone to erection problems through over or under stimulation.

Women generally are stimulated through a variety of ways: touch, foreplay, romance or relationship satisfaction. Over the long term, their sexual arousal is tied to their emotional bond to their partner. Women’s dysfunctions are often due to prudish upbringing, sexual abuse or emotional wounding.

Expectations versus Reality

One dimension of couple conflict is the unrealistic expectation of sexual behaviour that each gender has. Sex is a couple6mutual activity and if there is lack of unity, this is going to cause problems. There are many misunderstandings about each other’s sexuality, because either they weren’t talked about in their FOO or because of the misinformation propagated by the media. Some ways to overcome this problem are self-education on the other genders sexual tendencies and talking about them with your partner.

Many men have a high need for sex and so believe their female partners ought to want sex as frequently as they do. If they approach their partner insensitively, the woman may feel pressured or even ‘dirty’ participating in sex.

Women as a group (some individuals are different from this stereotype) are not as stimulated by visual images. Therefore, many women find it hard to understand why their male partners want them to ‘dress up’ or how some men get hooked on pornography. Setting men free to be different from women is one way forward. This is not to say that men are entitled to pornography, only to point out that it is understandable why it traps men.

Men on the other hand find it hard to understand why women may not want sex as much as they do, or why some women find ‘dress up’ demeaning. They need to set their partners free to be different and discuss what both mutually can enjoy together. Women do need romance and foreplay. There are many ways of making sex interesting, such as timing and positions, which we are not going to talk about tonight! Go read some books on this (“Intended for Pleasure”, Ed Wheat, being one).

The issue of pornography

Affair of the MindFrom God’s perspective, many people have a warped sexuality. This comes from their family background, the media and the devices of Satan, such as a Curse or Spirit of Lust. Others are sex addicts, who find comfort or excitement in perverse sexual behaviour.

These problems are hard to overcome,  The most pervasive being Internet pornography. Because of time, we can’t discuss these issues now. Suffice it to say that most men will need another man’s help and accountability, if they are beset by pornographic sin. Sex addicts (male or female) may need the help of organisations such as ‘Sexaholics Anonymous’ (SA)So what stops couples from have good, Godly, fun sex?

This is a complicated question, with many reasons. The most common reasons would be:

  1. Unrealistic expectations,
  2. People being too tired in the busy world we live in,
  3. The corrupting influence of pornography,
  4. Pre-marital sex (testimony).

Others are emotional wounding, physical changes (such as menopause), psychological inhibitions, or simply failure of the marriage relationship. More rarely, there could be physical dysfunction (common in older people), injury or flashbacks to rape or sexual abuse.

  1. Resolving sexual conflict
  2. Love and Respect

The first principle in making sure couples can talk about their sex life is that men must learn to love their wives and women learn to respect their husbands.

Men, through their rational focus, tend to be self-absorbed. This needs to be overcome when in relationship with a female.   Because God first loved us, He expects males to learn and practice how to love (Eph. 5:33). Let’s define love as “acting in the other person’s best interest”. Men, demanding various sexual activities from your partner, is not loving. Enjoyable sex must be a mutual activity, happily agreed to by both parties.

Women can feel betrayed by this self-centredness. Their challenge is to not judge their husband and to not judge his male sexuality. Women are not to deny their husband’s God given need for sexual release (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). Of course there will be times when it is appropriate to say ‘no’. The wife then needs to suggest a time and place when it is appropriate. Sex is perhaps the only aspect of relationship that must be fulfilled in the marriage covenant.

3. Not judging each other

We have already commented that judging each other’s sexual needs is a real marriage buster. Don’t do it.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

How is anything ever resolved if we don’t talk about it? Make sure you discuss your sexual needs (and wants) with your partner. It is tragic when couples don’t do this.

5. Get rid of any ungodly sexual attitudes or demonic oppressions.

Obviously, any partner that hasn’t dealt with their ungodly sexual past (or present) is going to corrupt their marriage bed and cause problems for their sex life. Renew your mind with what the Bible says about sexual activity and get deliverance if you have a spirit of lust.

6. Encourage ‘sensualness’ and romance

Sexual activity is enhanced by sensuality, where the five senses are involved through touch, hearing each other in relationship, smell, taste (yoghurt anyone?) and visual cues. Romance is the emotion and memory of these things.

Light a candle, put some music on. Take a shower first, wear perfume or after-shave. Whatever works for BOTH of you.

CONCLUSION

God has made us sexual creatures. Lets celebrate this with our partners in mutual pleasuring. Sex in marriage is the one area where we can indulge in personal pleasure without feeling guilty. Of course, our partners need to be willing participants and there should be pleasure in it for them as well.

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author

www.thebookaboutyou.mentorsnotebook.com

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