PS- 99.9% of the world don’t look like these two… But don’t let real life non-model looks dictate your marriage’s sex life!
This post is from Andrew Marin, President and Founder of The Marin Foundation.
The other day on Twitter I noticed someone retweeted an article from Relevant Magazine on the 4 Things We Wish We Knew About Sex Before We Were Married. Seeing I like to study the topic of sex and sexuality, etc, I opened it immediately, as Relevant usually has provoking thoughts on a number of topics. This article was not one of those. I won’t rehash the full article here, you can read it for yourself. But I do have a few thoughts:
Jake and Melissa Kircher, whom I do not know, are unfortuantely the stereotypical church-type-couple doling out advice on marriage. Jake has a goatee and faux-hawk, Melissa is very pretty and has blond hair, and their blog is called The Holymess of Marriage. Yet seemingly by their picture, bios, and other articles on their site that I read (of course, they are also 20 weeks pregnant like all good young Christian couples are!), have the furthest thing from a mess of a marriage. The ironic naming of their blog does not escape me–as those with the outward perfect marriage are always the “best ones to tell everyone else” how to live like their perfect “mess” of a marriage.
Why I’m so frustrated is that their self-protrayal online, and especially in their Relevant article, do nothing but perpetuate the sterile, fear-based understanding of sex that so many raised in the church have been indoctrinated with. But, what do I know?
I’ll give my thoughts anyway.
The Kircher’s 4 points in the article are:
1. Expect to be sexually incompatible at first.
2. Take your time.
3. Your sex life will have ups and downs like anything else.
4. Sex depicted in the movies leave some things out–intimacy.
Nice advice, sure. But it’s not keeping it real. I’m married, and have many friends who are married, and know many people who are married. And the only people who would give that advice are professional-Christian-marriage-advice-givers. In lieu of this, let me give my own 4 points of things I wish I know about sex before I was married:
1. Some people have a huge sex drive (both men and women), and some people don’t.
Why women are always made out to be the timid half of the sexual partnership, even in Christian relationships, I don’t know. There are plenty of women who have a huge sex drive that lasts for years, and decades, without slowing down. Sometimes much more than men. The interesting part of this type of Christian marriage, especially for those who waited to have sex before marriage, is that you won’t actually find any of this out until you’re married! Joke’s on us. So…
Sex isn’t a right, it’s a consenting privilege. So you might hit the jackpot–both partners have huge sex drive. That’s ok. Get your freak on! And some will only have one partner with a huge sex drive; and some with neither partners. In the most incongruent case, that one has a huge sex drive the other doesn’t, let me add a few thoughts:
2a. There are many single people out there who either choose to live celibate or those that want to be married, but can’t find a partner and remain single. They “don’t get” to have sex. So any sex you’re getting should be revered. Enjoy and treasure your partner in these moments of sex; no matter how frequent or infrequent. Don’t be ungrateful.
2b. You married your partner not because you knew they were a freak in bed and thought that would last forever, but because you loved them so much you wanted to express your deep intimacy and love with them by having sex; and lots of it. Sex doesn’t define a relationship, but sometimes it does–for good or bad. And that is ok to admit! If you don’t admit it your partnership will be stuck in the Kircher’s “incompatible” phase. And no one wants that. Even if you have sex infrequently, both of you, at least, want it to be good.
2c. If one partner has a huge sex drive and the other doesn’t, you can either a) force your partner to have awkward sex and you feel like you’re raping them, or b) adjust your expectations. Take b. Adjust your expectations. And that way you’ll understand the special act of sex when it actually does happen and not be ungrateful for “all of the sex you should be having all the time.”
3. Don’t let body insecurities stifle sexual exploration.
If there is one person in the world who you should not be insecure around, in any area or place in/around your naked body, it’s your partner. Treasure your partner’s unconditional love towards you and explore everything together. And that doesn’t mean it always has to be perfect-subtle-worrisome-Christian-sex because…
4. Intensity is ok.
The article that prompted this post, and many other Christian ones I’ve read over the years, automatically link (directly or indirectly) intense sex with moans and sweat and *dirty* talk; and that means you’re a satanic porn star. And as we all know, Christians don’t want to be satanic porn stars–thus, that equation means intense sex + moans + sweat + *dirty* talk all = no-nos. But if that is who you and your partner are, that’s ok. This doesn’t mean you are not a Christian anymore. It doesn’t mean you are a satanic porn star. It means you’re living in your sexual connection in marriage. If it’s not who you are, that’s ok too. I promise, God doesn’t hate or abhor intense sex had between marriage partners even with moans, sweat and lots of intensity. We are high capacity emotional beings. Sex is to live the best into that understanding. And however that connection happens through sex for your marriage, let it happen.
That’s my two, er, four cents on sex for this topic. What were you taught about sex growing up? I’d love to hear about your pre-marriage counseling as well! Ours was horrible, and sounded exactly like the aforementioned article. I wish I got to read this before I got married. Agree? Disagree?