Friday, September 12, 2008

Stressed by Politics? Here's an Idea for Married Couples: 365 Days of Sex!

Sure, this is the OTHER meaning of "blue" Christian coming to the foreplay, er, fore. Oh, stop. But seriously, Christian marrieds might take a cue from a rather extreme but overall beneficial experiment chronicled by two married couples: sex every day for one year.

"If you decided to have sex every day, would your relationship benefit? Two long-married couples decided to find out. When lovemaking fell off their respective "to-do" lists, they ditched the sweats, bought sex toys and books, stepped up exercise, lit candles, and took trips. Then they chronicled their "sexperiment" in two recently released books, Just Do It: How One Couple Turned Off the TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives for 101 Days (No Excuses!) by Doug Brown and 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy by Charla Muller with Betsy Thorpe.

But will daily sex really help a relationship that's hit a rough patch? Some experts say yes; others aren't so sure. As for the two couples who tried it, the Browns and the Mullers, both say the experiment strengthened their marriages in -- and out -- of the bedroom. "

For more on this unique idea, which certainly sounds like a great way to reconnect in ways both sexual and surprisingly non-sexual (as in kindness levels, being relationally sensitive, learning to be "other centered"), I suggest the books mentioned and at least a peruse of the CBS article. Beats watching Sarah Palin own the media.


Sensuous Wife said...

Having just come through a hurricane, I can't find enough good things to say about married sex.

Anonymous said...

Only if it is consensual.
The preaching of this idea in churches or counseling concerns me that abusive husbands will demand submission to this idea causing further damage. My pastor does not believe in such a thing as marital rape. He believes that men need sex and sometimes sex is painful for women and they just need to submit.
I hope you understand why I'm posting anon. since I was told if I even considered a short separation I would have to go before all the elders and would have to submit to their decision and possible church discipline. I've decided its safer to just drop it but when I heard there were churches pushing the sex everyday idea I became very fearful that my situation would become far worse if this is pushed in my church.

Jon Trott said...


If your pastor is actually teaching/preaching that spousal rape cannot occur, he is doing the devil's work and encouraging crime. Simple as that. Only by twisting Scripture (probably Paul's discussion in 1 Cor 7:

3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
5 Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 This I say by way of concession, not of command.

The key words in the above are "have authority over." Obviously, if one naively proof texts this verse with no effort at looking at what Paul, Jesus, and others say about love, it is possible one could come up with the screwy idea that forcing sex on one's spouse is sanctioned here by Paul. Wrong.

This verse must be placed in the context of what marital love -- mutually self-sacrificial, mutually outdoing one another in acts of love -- is biblically. Paul's idea of mutuality love is that each partner gives to the other in a mutual submission of their own wills/desires to the other. It is a very mature idea for mature people... an ideal we all strive to meet but too often fall short of. Obviously, sexually it would mean (in my opinion, anyway) that each partner gifts his/her own body to the other, but does so in a relationally affirming manner. When one partner consistently, persistently acts from selfishness (by wanting sex with no regard to his/her partner's welfare, desires, and even physical health) he sins against the very foundations of what Paul defines as loving behavior in bed or out. Likewise, if the wife or husband withholds sex on a persistent basis, this also violates mutuality love.

More to the point, however: if you are being forced to have sex in your marriage, you are being raped. And you should not remain in physical proximity with the man claiming to be your husband one minute longer. Marital rape is illegal and punishable with prison. You are honoring Jesus by taking this action, and also showing more love to your husband by far than if you allow him to continue sinning so horrendously against both you and against God.

Please do not allow yourself to be guilted into allowing such abuse to go on. I say this with as much fervency as my words can carry. Re the Pastor and the Church you're part of... perhaps it is past time you find a new Church, with or without your husband's consent.


Sensuous Wife said...

Anonymous, beloved daughter of God,
(mmmnh!) That's my wordless sound of indignation and feminine anger. I had to say that first before any other words would come to mind. Now. Deep breath. Now my nose starts to tingle with unshed tears and before you know it, my eyes are filling up with tears. Oh you dear woman. I am so sorry. So sorry you had to go through that.

Next thing that comes to mind is "love does not demand it's own way". That's Paul, writing in 1st Corinthians 13.

What rises up in my heart next is, "I know some of what you speak". For years, after the birth of my son, intercourse was painful for me. Having never had a baby before, and having no girlfreinds with whom I could be frank, I thought this was normal. My doctor told me it was normal and to just do more kegels. I realized later that in order for my doctor to admit my problem was real, she would have to admit that she didn't do such a great job in sewing me up after the birth. It was in her best interest to deny my problem existed. And for many years I believed her. I got some other wellmeaning but faulty advice from some Christian women mentors in my life. When I said I didn't like sex because it didn't feel good, I was exhorted to "be a good Baptist wife" and put out whenever he wanted. So I did. Faking orgasms all the way. Cause I was wanted to be a good wife. Who doesn't?

One day out of the blue, I felt Jesus speaking to my heart that he wanted to give me more in my marriage and was that okay with me? I said 'yes Lord'. In less than a week, one of my dearest girlfriends gave me a copy of the book The Sacred Romance. I began to see that God loved me intensely and personally. Something in my heart opened up and began to bloom. One day, I felt the gentle conviction of the Spirit that I needed to quit lying to my husband in our marriage bed. I was appalled to realize that every time I faked an orgasm I was lying! When I tearfully confessed to my husband that I had some troubles with my girly parts and I wanted to see a new doctor to see if they could be fixed, he was surprized. "But you have an orgasm every time we make love". (BLUSH) When my husband found out I had been feeling pain nearly every time we made love he was literally sick at heart and nauseated. Then he was angry that I had lied to him and by my sin of omission I had allowed him to hurt me just when he was trying to love me the most. Big time repentance for me that day. My husband forgave me and together we began interviewing doctors and seeking help.

I can tell you from experience that is impossible to experience bonding and oneness in wedlock when you're mentally sorting the laundry in your head or making grocery lists in your mind to distract you from the pain of sex.

Okay enough about me.

My husband is a good man. When he found out that the sex we shared was painful, he was sickened and determined to help me find help and healing. If your husband knows that intercourse with him is causing you pain and he does not care, then get yourself to a licensed therapist or counselor asap and come up with a plan to restore your heart and protect yourself from abuse. Do it now. And if your pastor knows that sex with your husband is painful and he does not care, then get yourself a new pastor. I am not kidding. Start with the counselor first and pray that God will show you step by step.

This is all my opinion and my story and my point of view. Of course, you are a sovereign adult and will make the choices you feel are good and right as you are led by the Spirit. I respect your ability to make good choices and I send you my love and concern. I prayed for you today from my deep heart and I will continue to do so every time Jesus brings you to mind.

With all sincerity,