That certain magazine in the checkout line at your local grocery store makes enticing promises every month. You know the one--it’s tucked neatly in the back, mostly out of view, but you can just barely read the teasers: “9 bedroom moves that will rock his world” or “Try THIS move on her tonight, and you’ll never look back!” The advice seems so self-certain--buy their suggestions and the reader is guaranteed bedroom bliss. I couldn’t help but wonder why the magazine needs to publish new issues each month, unless the advice given ultimately can’t live up to its own lofty expectations.
So I wondered-–what other ideas might be floating around that might promise the world, only to let us down? Well, wonder no more. Here are the four myths that you might believe and apply in your marriage if you want to guarantee frustration, disappointment, in your sex life together.
The first myth is that it’s absolutely necessary to view your sex life only in terms of mastering technique. After all, when the bible describes Adam and Eve in their sinless relationship, as “naked, and unashamed,” it can only mean physical nakedness and earth-shattering sex, right? This lie says that it is best if you treat your spouse like a machine, and if you can just learn how to perfect your moves, the sex will be mind-blowing. With this lie, you won’t have to worry about the truly challenging (though admittedly more rewarding) work of becoming personally vulnerable with your spouse. This lie, that technique is everything, lets you avoid encouraging your spouse through painful times, getting to know them, revealing yourself to them, and learning how to love them well. Believing this lie will save yourself from all of that messy emotional intimacy, and just let you focus on mastering the mechanics of sexual intercourse.
This second myth says men and women want different things when it comes to sex--so keep it simple to avoid emotional entanglement.
In Genesis 1:27, we are reminded that God created us male and female--and we all know what that means when it comes to sex, right? This lie says it’s crucial to remember that, for men, sex is all about physical pleasure, and for a woman, it’s about emotional connection. Period. Don’t mix those two up, because if you do, you’ll begin to see that for a husband, sex opens the door to emotional connection, and for a woman, the emotional connection opens the door to the joy of physical connection. This second lie suggests that emotional entanglement is just too confusing; better to keep things simple. So, when your husband expresses his desire for sex, you can push him away. After all, his desire to connect with you is really just a selfish cover-up for his desire to find sexual release. Besides, this will spare both of you some hard (although again, admittedly rewarding) work: he doesn’t have to be distracted by learning how to be emotionally vulnerable, because sex for him is about physical pleasure. Meanwhile, since sex for her is just about emotion, she doesn’t have to worry about the joy of seeking sexual pleasure. In the biblical book, Song of Songs, the woman is the primary pursuer of sexual gratification, but nowadays, that seems outdated; why go through all that trouble? The bonus of this lie is that a husband won’t have to be sacrificial, working hard to put his wife's pleasure before his own. A wife won't need to be generous in caring for the needs of her spouse. Sounds like a win-win, right?
This third myth says sex should be a no-brainer. You’ve seen sex portrayed on the movies or read about it in books. Maybe your friends have bragged about their own sex lives with you--so the sooner you take this lie to heart, the sooner you’ll take a load off your mind: sex is easy, never awkward, never funny. Every time you go to make love, the passion will be hot, the mechanics will come easy, and you’ll both be overwhelmed with how incredibly satisfying sex can be. Every time you try something new, it will work in mind-blowing ways. Learn this lie up front, because you can avoid a lot of communication this way. Just think of all of those awkward conversations you can skip, where you express what you did and didn’t like. This lie suggests that good sex just happens so you can carry all of your unspoken assumptions and desires with you into the bedroom, and trust that your spouse will read your mind, and that it will unfold just the way that you imagined. If something doesn’t go well, you can hold the failure against your spouse--after all, they should have known what you wanted, and they didn’t do it. That just doesn’t seem fair.
This fourth myth is that sexual mistakes are forever. Many of us are aware of 1 Corinthians 6:18, where Paul urges believers to “flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside of his body, but he who sins sexually, sins against his own body.” Whether you have had sex before marriage, you struggle with pornography, you’ve had sex with multiple partners, or you’re guilty of some other form of sexual regrets, you already know this, but hear it again: God takes sexual failures seriously. Sure, the bible tells us that in Christ, God removes our sin from us, as far as the east is from the west. Sure, God tells us that at the cross, he takes the very worst of our sins off of us, and puts them on Jesus, and puts the perfection of Jesus on us--but that just seems too easy. If you receive the forgiveness of Jesus, you might not learn from your mistakes. Let that guilt of your past cast a long shadow over your present. Let it keep you from being vulnerable. Make sure that the shame of your past prevents you from enjoying sexual intimacy in the present. If you’ve messed up, God wouldn’t want you to enjoy sex again, would he?
Oh, and if your spouse has failed in this area, make sure to hold it against them as well. This lie can actually be great leverage for destroying a marriage. Punish them by withholding sex, or by reminding them of their failures. This can do wonders for a relationship by setting up barriers that will ensure that you never get hurt again, even if that means that you don’t open yourself up to loving or being loved (isn't that small price to pay for guarding your heart?).
There you have it: four simple lies, each one guaranteed to open the door to ruin a fulfilling and satisfying sex life. And unlike like the magazine teasers that seem too good to be true, these must be different, right?