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 Sex. If 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.