The one where she writes about sex and marriage…

I know that I have written here about the themes and seasons of life. While it seems like some are uglier seasons than others, they’re there- we’ve all seen it. 
In my life, lately, there has been a lot of focus on sex. While this all sounds very private and such, I’m not simply referring to our relationship. I mentioned the other day, having read the Fifty Shades books. So there’s that… 
And then, for the past few weeks our life group (through church) has been reading a section of our book also partly about sex.(though I don’t recommend the book, it’s called Love and Respect) In the midst of all of that, Genny’s youth group has been talking a lot about sex, so MANY questions have been coming at us. Our pastor and his wife apparently did an amazing sermon on sex, (sadly we missed it- but I can’t wait to podcast it, and would be willing to share it with anyone interested.) and then randomly all at once I’ve had a small handful of friends approach me about sex and feelings they have. 
Here’s the funny thing that struck me the other day though- what if we took out the word sex and inserted it with something else? Anything else… Cooking. Adventure. Exercise. Art. Books. Movies. Hobbies. 
Doesn’t really trigger the same responses, does it? 
There is something secret and, typically dirty about it… 
I know that not everyone who reads my blog subscribes to a belief in Jesus, and honestly I am ok with that. I respect my readers more than words can say. At the same time, maybe not everyone who reads my blog can relate with where I personally come from, in regards to sex. 
I’ve talked here about my step-father sexually abusing me between the ages of 3 and 12. I have also mentioned that there is history of sexual abuse in the lives of my children, prior to them coming into our lives. 
Damn, sexual abuse is an ugly thing. Of course it is. Vile. Disgusting… 
But not any worse than any other form of abuse, really. It scars a soul (and sometimes a body). It scars the sponges of our memory. To degrees it greatly alters us or ruins us. 
But for many, sexual abuse feels even worse because of what sex should be, and mean, and the place that it should hold in our relationship. 
And let’s not lie- in our self perception too… 
So, stacked on top of that craptacular beginning, I was also raised in a somewhat fundamentally religious upbringing. Sex was bad. Sex was for marriage only. Sex was wicked, unless you were married. Sex wasn’t talked about. Sex wasn’t educated. Sex may as well have been a four letter word, leading up to (ideally) a wedding night where the bride and groom suddenly know what to do and magically everything is normal between their sheets. 
This is pretty ridiculous, and yet hoards of people (Christian and non-christian) still act on this silly notion. 
Don’t talk about sex, because our kids will want to have it... 
Really? Speaking as a parent for one quick second, look around people. We live in an over sexed society. It’s in our advertising, in our books, on our tv screens and in our lyrics. Let’s be honest- this isn’t because it’s bad. It’s because sex sells, and it sells because we have the need for it. 
Ask any man you trust, ladies, if they would be less tempted to lust, cheat, look at porn, etc- if they were regularly having sex. Talk to your husbands and ask them, and then take care of your man. 
Think about kids, how they react to everything… Curiosity of the forbidden drives them a majority of the time. Sex is no exception… 
So, during this season of my life- coming from my abused and oppressed upbringing- I’ve realized a few things that have literally blown my mind- 
– in a handful of instances throughout my adult life, I have had fairly in-depth conversations about sex. With my sister, with two of my dearest friends, with an ex boyfriend… Notice who was missing? My husband
– there is a vulnerability that lies deep inside of me, and yet whenever sex or spirituality come to the surface- it rises up like a security system. Maybe you relate, maybe you don’t… For myself personally- i think they go hand in hand and are very much related. 
– the sexual shame has been so deeply ingrained in myself that I have suffered in various (and oddly, many non-sexual) ways. 
– Sex needs to be a dialogue. In marriages. In families. If the sanctity of a marriage and home/family don’t feel like safe places to be relevant and honest about these things- then people will look for their needs and answers to be met somewhere else. It WILL happen. Look at how much money the porn industry brings in. Look at how many teen girls end up pregnant. Look at how many marriages end in adultery. 
– The woman who deprives her husband of sex because he does not meet her emotional needs is married to a man who deprives his wife of emotional love and support because she doesn’t meet his sexual needs. It really is that simple. And pretty easily fixed…
– If you don’t like sex, or things about sex (due to a traumatic past or not), TALK about it. Talk about what works for you, talk about what doesn’t… Create an idea of something mutually beautiful for you. Maybe one day the things you didn’t like won’t be so bad, and maybe it won’t ever change. We evolve and change as people, it’s natural for our sex to as well… 
The shame in sex (whether birthed from abuse or oppression) is simply in hiding it. Calling it a “bedroom” topic. Go talk to your husband about sex. and then have some. Go talk to your kids about sex, and even better- let them talk to you about it too. Engage in discussions… (yes, more than one, whenever they want to, which may very well be often if they are anywhere near their teens.)
{*disclaimer* because someone will inevitably email me regarding this: I am not saying that the sick and perverted, the pedophiles, the rapists, etc- will simply vanish if their “sexual needs” are met in the confines of a marital bed. There are sick people. My step dad had a marital bed, AND a mistress, and probably many other people too. And me. He’s a sick SOB, and he isn’t the only one.}
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10 thoughts on “The one where she writes about sex and marriage…

  1. "- The woman who deprives her husband of sex because he does not meet her emotional needs is married to a man who deprives his wife of emotional love and support because she doesn't meet his sexual needs. It really is that simple. And pretty easily fixed…"This, my friend, is quite simply one of the most brilliant things I have ever read. And you could easily say that both sentences are true for both spouses. And I wish I had realized it earlier in my own marriage than I did.

  2. Interesting (and brave) post on a tricky subject. I once did a humorous post on talking sex ed w/ your 5 year old, but never had the guts to publish it. Maybe someday.You points are all very concise and well made!

  3. Oh how much I love you! And because I just can't put my thoughts into words worthy of this post, that's all I'm going to say. <3

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