Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flipping the Switch

An anonymous reader was sharing about their growing up years in reply to one of my blog articles. In his comment he said:

“We were exhorted to be passionate for God, but to harness and resist the passions of the flesh. However, it seems that passion was often linked with bad, sinful, unhealthy concepts. Then, later in life, when one gets married all the sudden you are supposed to be able to flip a switch and go from avoiding all things sensual/sexual to now diving in and enjoying marriage. …hardly ever do we hear leaders in church or ministry speak of healthy sexual relationships with their spouses.“

As I was re-reading his comment a thought occurred to me. Drawing from personal experiences which GR and I have had, and of course there are exceptions but, the following has been our general POV of how sex is viewed among many Christians. If you say “sex”, they think “sin”. Talking about sex is so associated with guilt and so embarrassing that it is not uncommon even for a husband or wife to avoid discussing it with their spouse. Consequently, they develop a habit early in the marriage of avoiding most if not all sexual discussions and activities and they keep their own sexuality or lack thereof hidden from others. This keeps them more holy and pleasing to God, so they think.

Often I hear folks say, “------- is wrong because it is not in the bible. We only believe in the bible.” But is everything right and good that we do, specifically mentioned in the bible? And if something pleasurable is not specifically written about in the bible, does that mean that it is wrong and sinful? Do we view our pastors in this same way? If our pastor does not mention and encourage healthy marital sex does that mean that it must be sinful? Could we be placing too much blame and/or responsibility on our pastors? What about personal responsibility for our own thoughts and opinions?

Here is a related example- It is probably not a good idea for a wife to walk around in public looking like a whore but is there no middle ground? Does that mean that a wife has to look like a prude or be unattractive in public? How easy do you think it is for a wife to dress like a prude in public and then be her husband’s every fantasy in the bedroom? Is it confusing and sometimes impossible for a wife to be able to “flip the switch” at a moment’s notice? Is it fair to expect that of a wife?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sex & Romance- How do you and your spouse weigh in?

While GR and I keep our bedroom as a sexual sanctuary (ie, no clutter in the room) we do not worry much about setting a preliminary, romantic atmosphere with extra props such as candles, music, lighting, clothing, stripping, etc. When it comes to these things he and I tend to lean towards minimalism. This may have something to do with our lack of reliance on romance in general. Perhaps part of it is our history of not having sex for so many years. Maybe our age has something to do with it (ie, in our 60’s and 50's)... I do not know.

It is just that most of the time when we get together we are quickly and easily into each other. If we had to stop and say, "Wait, start the music," or "Wait, get the candles and light them," or “Wait, I’m not wearing the right thing,” it would only slow us down. And this has nothing to do with how fast GR and I sexually wind up or wind back down because we do spend much time on our sexual encounters… probably more than what many couples do.

Often I hear spouses talking about how they usually depend on these props to help them get in a sexual mood. I view couples or individual spouses as falling into 1 of 3 categories with this-

1. those who prefer equal time on both sex and romance
2. those who need/want most of their time spent on romance
3. those who need/want most of their time spent on sex

Are you a 1, a 2 or a 3? Does your spouse fall into the same category as you or a different one? Does it work for your marriage or not and why? If it does not work, if it creates havoc, what ideas would maybe bridge the gap between how you and your spouse view sex and romance?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Proving Ourselves to be ‘Consistently Dedicated’

Many low and high sex drive spouses do not have a good working knowledge of what it means to be “consistently dedicated” to the marriage bed. Let me explain.

So often I read online where a high drive spouse does a ‘happy dance’ because their low drive spouse offers them a night of sexual bliss. While I understand how that could build hope for better things to come, do low drives tend to interpret this response as a sign that they themselves are 100% dedicated to the marriage bed? (ie, Well there, that ought to keep him/her satisfied for a week... or more.)

Do high drives enable that thinking in their low drive spouse by lavishing too much praise and encouragement without seeing evidence of consistent dedication? Encouragement is good, no doubt, but can it become overkill where it causes more harm than good thereby enabling inconsistent dedication? Whatever happened to ‘proving ourselves’?

The following is a comment I recently made after reading yet one more account of a high drive doing a happy dance because he was offered a night of sexual bliss. When I read these one-time accounts I want to say, “Oh please, contain your excitement until your spouse proves himself so you will not end up disappointed once again.”

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It is crucial to have good communication with our spouse regarding our MB... so that one-time sexual events do not end up only as sexual blurps on the radar.... so we will see action the very next time we want/need action, be it every day or every 2 or 3 days or whatever our frequency level may be. It is not the blurps that keep our MB healthy. It is the consistent action which takes us from day to day, week to week, month to month...

We can compare this to two people who are dedicated to their jobs. One of them puts forth 100% every day. The other is satisfied putting forth 100% once or twice a month. Which of these two people would the employer appreciate the most? Which of them would likely remain the longest in a good employer/employee relationship?

Your thoughts?