Amazing Sex, It Takes Work.

Posted in Marriage Monday, Sex talk with 37 comments

It was just about the time when I thought “Hmm… I haven’t done a sex post recently” (I attribute that to the post partum 6 week break…) that I received an e-mail from a friend with a link to this article: Christians Are Not Called to Have Amazing SexIf you haven’t read it yet, please take a minute and skim through to get an idea….

To be honest, I saw this e-mail at around 4 a.m. while feeding my son and sent it to my Mystery32 e-mail as a reminder to read it again the next day and share it on the Facebook page to see what others thought of the concept. In my usual mom-brain fashion, I completely forgot about it until I saw the Christian internet community go crazy. Bloggers I greatly respect such as Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor and Vacuum and Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband were coming out to say their opinions and the more I read and the more I thought, the more I realized I really had a problem with it too. It didn’t quite sit well with me at 4 a.m. when I was half awake, but fully alert, I don’t like it at all.

But before I get into why I do not like it, let me point out the few things I DO like. I do like that she emphasizes the point that sex should not be the end-all-be-all of marriage, nor should it be the reason for marriage. I do like that she suggests going about virginity and waiting for marriage in a different way. Instead of making it all about that great wedding night, we should probably emphasize more so that remaining pure is something God asks for us to do and why. That we benefit in numerous ways by waiting, and none of which necessarily have to do with the the pleasure that sex brings.

Ok, now for what I DO NOT like. I come at this from more of a personal perspective. As I read through the Relevant article again, I realized that if I read it during our first year of marriage, I would have felt hopeless. I have hinted at this at one time or another throughout my writing before, but sex was not an easy thing for us starting out. To be very honest, we were dealing with my anxiety of the pain of sex, which contributed to physical issues of my hymen refusing to break. We went almost a year like this getting frustrated and wondering if it would ever get better. It took medical intervention of a hymenotomy and probably another year of “practice” until it was finally better, and even now it is not perfect or the easiest thing. Had I read Christians Are Not Called to Have Amazing Sex during that time, I think I would have had less hope of what it could really be like and more frustrations thinking of our future together. I may have thought we were sexually incompatible and that waiting until marriage was a mistake.

But that is not true. The truth is that sex was hard in the beginning, and 6 years in it is still not perfect. But it is getting better. And right now? We love it. If it were perfect I might worry that we would get bored of the same ol’ thing all the time. But here we are, 6 years in and many more years to go with that much excitement for how much better sex will get. I do not believe that two people who waited for marriage to have sex can be incompatible in the bedroom. If you do not know what sex is like before you are married, then your partner is all that you know of it. If sex with just the two of you is all that you know, how is it possible to think that you can never work together “the right way”? And who in the world decided what compatibility means when it comes to sex, anyway? Once both of you enjoy the act of sex in at least some small way, I think it means you are compatible. Even if it takes awhile to get there. And anyone can get there if they try.

Like almost everything, sex takes practice. In this article, Pietka (the author) makes it seem as though it is ok to be incompatible and expect that. I’d wonder what that would look like if we compared it to driving? When starting out driving, some get it pretty easily, while others take awhile longer. All in all, you know that a new driver needs time to become confident in working with the car. The new driver needs to learn how all the parts work, how to make the car go, and to find what makes him/her feel comfortable while driving (radio, air, heat, etc.). In the same way, sex takes time and practice. You learn to be confident the more that you do it. You discover how it all works, what makes you and your spouse feel good, and what you feel comfortable doing. In the end, everyone can learn to drive. They may not be perfect drivers and have some wrecks from time to time, but I’ve not met a person who can’t learn to drive a car. No one is incompatible with a car, they just have to learn how it works. (Yes, I realize there are horrible drivers out there, don’t take the analogy TOO far. ;) )

My overall point is this: We should encourage those that are not married to stay pure for the wedding night, but that doesn’t mean we pretend it will automatically be amazing right away. We should encourage virginity because of the blessing that it is and what it means for a future marriage. For those that are married, let’s encourage them to press on through the hard times, including the hard times with sex. If you are in a marriage where the sex is not what you expected it to be, hold on. You have the rest of your lives to practice and you can learn to love each other in a way that is amazing for both of you.

From experience I tell you that it is not always easy. But from experience I urge you to keep pressing on. It’s worth it in all aspects of your marriage, especially in the bedroom.


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37 Comments

  1. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)

    I don’t know who coined the term “sexual incompatibility.” From my perspective, if one of you has a vagina, the other has a penis, and you’re both willing to work on it, you are compatible. Dr. Kevin Leman has compared it to playing a violin: You won’t be mastering the instrument on Day 1, but you can play something and get better and better over time. (Excuse me while I jot down a note to call my husband “maestro” next time we make love.)

    I agree that regardless of whether sex is amazing or not, we are called to live a godly life, to serve our spouse and do what we can to represent Christ on earth. But there is nothing, zero, zilch in the Bible that says marriages only work when we pick someone who matches us perfectly. The Bible shows people getting mates in different ways, and then tells them to each behave like Christ and you’ll have a good marriage. And all the things that make a fabulous marriage–see Galatians 5 Fruit of the Spirit and 1 Corinthians 13 Love does passages–happen to make for amazing sex too. If you enter the bedroom with love, kindness, patience, hope, etc., you can develop amazing sex.

    Beautiful post, Erin! So glad you shared how this article would have affected you, and what you found in your marriage instead.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Amen, J. This “sexually incompatibility” stuff just frustrates me to no end. I appreciate you also taking a stand for good sex in a marriage through your writing!

      Reply
    • Maria

      Couldn’t have said it better J! I got married this year and really expected to have amazing sex right off the bat. I didn’t turn out like in the movies but I would have never said it was “bad sex”. I don’t think that anyone should ever say that – if you are having sex with your husband than that is great! That is what you are supposed to be doing! This article gives me hope that its only going to get better. And yes it is worth the wait. It makes your marriage that more exciting.

      Reply
  2. Jay Dee - SexWithinMarriage.com

    I agree, it took us a long time to get sex sorted out (as well as the rest of the marriage). Thank God we didn’t just roll over and go “well, I guess that’s it”, because sex now is absolutely amazing!

    Great response.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Thanks, Jay! I think most couples need to work on it in the beginning and I agree, thank the Lord for those of us that keep at it!

      Reply
  3. Jaimie

    Thank you for writing this! My husband and I had almost the exact same problem when we were first married. We were virgins on our wedding night, and we had difficulty trying to have intercourse the first time. After that, sex was constantly painful to me to the point where I didn’t want to do it at all. I finally went to the doctor who discovered that we had partially torn my hymen on our wedding night, but that it had then healed and the scar tissue made my hymen even more impenetrable (literally). I had a hymenotomy, too (I didn’t even know there was a word for that surgery now!), and that took care of the physical problem (I can use tampons now, too; that was basically impossible before). It took a few months and a pep talk from my husband before I got past the mental blockers that had come up, but now our sex life is great and getting better all the time. I’m still “tight” but we can have fantastic intercourse and it’s not excruciating for either one of us. I’m SO thankful!

    I’m also really thankful we stuck with each other and worked through the problem together instead of deciding we were “sexually incompatible” (which I think is a load of crap, see J’s comment below). We had to learn how to show love to each other in other ways, we learned patience and kindness and gentleness, and the rewards now are so worth the difficulty we experienced in the beginning.

    Any married couple can make sex work if they both really want to, IMO.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Wow, Jaimie. I’ve never met anyone who’s had a hymentomoy before! And yes, there is a name for that. The tightness is normal, but I will say having a baby really helps with that! ;) I am also so glad that you two stuck it out and are committed to working on your marriage and your sex life!

      Reply
  4. Jeremy Legg

    Thank you for this article. I thought the author of the “Relevant” article was actually quite bitter about the issue. Not being married myself, I didn’t feel I had a lot to say, but this (your article) is so much more positive about biblical marriage and working things out as a couple.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      So glad you saw this as positive, Jeremy. I believe that sex in marriage should only be seen in a positive light. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Reply
  5. Christina

    I really like the first comment above about what “sexual compatibility” really means.Reminds me of my husband’s incredulous response upon first hearing the phrase: “Does it FIT? Well then you’re sexually compatible!” lol. I appreciated reading your take on this. We had an easy time with sex at first but had a very tough time after baby #1. I needed medication for a hormonal situation which was making sex painful for me. My husband showed such patience during that time period – a good seven months! I remember when he said, “I waited years to have sex with you…what’s a few months?” Waiting for marriage prepared us for the natural periods of necessary abstinence that occasionally arise in marriages. The benefits of waiting really go well beyond the promise of good sex!

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Thanks for commenting, Christina! I think having times of “trouble” in the bedroom as we both have had is more common than we think because it is not something often discussed. But I hope that being open about it can encourage people that are currently struggling with it and encourage them that it does not mean they are “sexually incompatible”!

      Reply
  6. tina arnold

    I totally agree! It took us about five years to really enjoy sex. I was pretty frigid when we got married, and a control freak . Even though I knew in my head sex was a good thing, I don’t think I was comfortable enough with myself to really enjoy it for several years. We have now been married twenty one years and have learned to love having sex. We are facing a new challenge,
    Menopause I know we will weather this storm as well. As a pastor’ s wife my husband and I counsel young couples to stay pure if they are already, because God desires it for ur best. We bond emotionally every time we have sex, especially women. Why add the extra burden to an already challenging relationship?

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      While I do not have personal experience with menopause yet, I have heard that it can bring it’s challenges with sex. I appreciate your positive outlook on it, though! Keep pressing onward! I encourage you to check out another blog called Pearl’s Oysterbed as she discusses issues like this from time to time. She would also be a good resource to write if ever want some help! Here’s the link: http://www.oysterbed7.com/
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply
  7. Paul H. Byerly

    Erin,

    Thanks so much for this post, and for being so open about your struggles. You are perfect example of why the RELEVANT article is dangerous!

    You are also a great example of the Church’s failure to prepare couples for sex, and offer help when there are problems.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Thanks, Paul! That means a lot coming from you. It would be hard NOT to take a stand on this issue. Sexuality in marriage is worth the fight!

      Reply
  8. Jennifer

    This encouraged me so much! I have been married for almost a year (one week away from our 1year mark!) and sex is so much harder than I thought it would be. Thanks for writing this and sharing your heart, it truly blessed me.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      It makes me so happy to know that this encouraged you, Jennifer. I’m sorry that sex hasn’t been easy but hold on! I promise it can get better. Keep trying and seek help wherever you can! It’s with it.

      Reply
      • Jennifer

        Thanks! Sex is definitely better and easier now than it was at first but we are still trying to figure it out! Ha I just figure the more practice the better! :)

        Reply
  9. Joel

    Thank you. The car illustration is perfect! Incompatibility is an excuse to not work hard. Will you have problems? Yes. Will they be hard? Yes. Will there be tears and work? Yes. I guess what annoys me is the fact that she underestimates what God can do when two people are committed to Him, work hard to communicate, and practice what the Word says about roles in marriage. Sex is not about compatibility but about God and His work in two people to become one flesh, literally. Only God at the center can equate to good sex and this seems to be the point the author misses. Can we make a good sex life? No, but if we commit to serving the other spouse and giving 100% to each other in the bedroom and out, God will bless that couple with a good love life even if it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. No, I don’t have a chapter verse that says, “If you marry, you will have good sex.” But I have plenty of verses affirming God’s goodness, design, and love for His children to enjoy His gift of sex within marriage.
    Thanks for being a voice of reason in this matter.

    Reply
  10. Pearl

    Great hope-filled post, Erin! I, too, agreed with Pietka that abstinence is for our benefit. You are absolutely right that we need to press on no matter what the difficulty. Because, yes, ‘in the end, everyone can learn to drive.’ :) Christ is the focus of my marriage and he redeemed our marital sexual intimacy. He does amazing things and to say that we can’t work toward a wonderful bedroom experience is limiting Christ.

    And, thanks for the mention in your comments. <3

    Reply
  11. Greg

    I have to adopt the pose of “The Thinker” every time I hear that sex gets better in marriage as time goes on; I admittedly struggle to understand the concept, but I do believe it (with so many married couples confirming it). To me, it speaks of God’s reward to those who honor Him before and within marriage. I’m glad that some months ago, Sheila Gregoire was able to testify of this truth to the secular audience in which she faced significant opposition–God’s Word doesn’t return void!

    Reply
  12. happywife

    The thing that bothered me most about the Relevant article was her equating trying to improve one’s sex life to idolatry. No, sex is not the end all in marriage, but wanting to enjoy it being idolatry? That would be like saying if you are working on your culinary skills in order to present more enjoyable meals to your family you are making food or eating your idol. We seek to improve many areas of our lives. We learn, take classes, read books… why not in the area of sex?
    I tried to tell myself that I was reading stuff into the article that wasn’t there.. but every time I reread it, I got more and more bothered.

    Reply
  13. Married Blogger

    I tend to ignore most everything Relevant has to say. I’ve read very few articles on there that weren’t watered down liberalism packaged as “christianity lite”.

    Reply
  14. Bonnie Wallace

    I read that article and was just as appalled as you were. It’s ok if the sex is bad? NO! It is not ok! That is what gives Christians such a bad rap when it comes to sex. We are supposed to have hot sex! That doesn’t mean that you should “try before you buy” or just divorce your husband if it’s not mind-blowing, but you’re absolutely right…good sex takes practice, and you have to learn about each other and not be afraid to experiment in the bedroom. People get caught up thinking there is a specific “way” to have sex. If we would be more open-minded (within reason) and understand healthy things to try with one another, we may discover a whole new side of our sexual nature we didn’t know existed. Sex is great (it was created as a gift from God), and if your not having great sex, you have some work to do!

    Reply
  15. Iyanuoluwa17@gmail.com

    Hi Erin, am a gal of 21 still in d university. though a military uni in Nigeria. still a virgin. Bin trying to keep myself for my husband. But we all knw wit increase in age, it kinda gets harder to wait. Wat am saying in essence is dat am still waiting through God’s grace bt seriously struggling. It was Gud reading ur blog cos it has changed my perception on wat sex as a virgin looks n feels like. wat advice can u give me as an elder

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      Thanks so much for your comment! I love having readers from other countries! I would say the best thing you can do to keep going strong in waiting is to focus on the good in your life now. You are not missing out by not having sex, I’m sure you have a lot going for you… friends, family, hobbies, etc. Enjoy those things. A husband and sex will come when the timing is right, but you are only in the stage you are in now for a short time. Enjoy it and don’t wish for the things you “can’t” have right now or you might miss out on the opportunities and joy around you!

      Reply
  16. Abby

    This encouraged me so much. I have been married for almost 8 months and although sex has improved, its still not where we want it to be. This article has given me new hope and excitement. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Erin Baxter

      So glad it was an encouragement, Abby! You two have an entire lifetime to improve your sex life! If it was the best it could be now, there would be nothing to look forward to. Just keep practicing! :)

      Reply