Oral Sex in History, Including Paradise Lost 1

We haven’t posted about oral sex in a while, and it’s one of our readers’ favorite topics! This post is motivated by another sexual verse in Paradise Lost (more posts) that clearly refers to Eve’s enjoyment of Adam’s oral proficiency. In Book VIII we read about Adam’s discourse with the angel Raphael about astronomy, and Eve decides to leave the conversation in order to tend her garden. It’s not that she’s uninterested in astronomy, but she prefers to talk about it later with Adam rather than with the angel. We read:

So spake our sire [Adam], and by his countenance seemed
Entering on studious thoughts abstruse; which Eve
Perceiving, where she sat retired in sight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,
And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers,
To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom,
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,
And, touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high: such pleasure she reserved,
Adam relating, she sole auditress;
Her husband the relater she preferred
Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses: from his lip
Not words alone pleased her.
O! when meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour joined?

Why did Eve prefer to talk alone with Adam? Because he, she knew, would intermix their conversation with conjugal caresses! From his lip not words alone pleased her! Eve wanted Adam to use his mouth to please her with more than mere words.

I found this passage exciting not least because it’s a 17th century Western reference to a male performing oral sex on a female, which appears to be rather rare. If you’re interested in reading about oral sex across space and time you should check out these links (not safe for work; includes ancient artistic representations of oral sex).

Was oral sex an invention of modern western Europe? For instance, did Native American/First Nations people practice oral sex that we know of? And what about East Asians, and other non Europeans? [NSFW] with multiple in-depth, sourced responses pertaining to multiple cultures and time periods.
Latin response by /u/sunagainstgold
South American response by /u/CommodoreCoCo
China by /u/lordtiandao
More China by /u/bigbluepanda

/u/machiavalium

History is full of humans just like us, so we shouldn’t be surprised that they enjoyed sex and did everything we do. John Milton intentionally portrays Adam and Eve’s pre-Fall sexual relationship in a positive, blessed light, and modern Christians should take the same view: God’s will is for you to have an awesome sex life with your spouse!

Ideal Male Bodies from History 2

Most everyone agrees that the female body is more aesthetically pleasing than the male, and women are much more commonly portrayed as reifications of beauty than are men. (Perhaps the most famous exception is Michelangelo’s David, above.) Men aren’t generally depicted for their beauty, but perhaps we can learn a bit about the historical “ideal male body” by examining some artwork of men who were at the top of the social hierarchy for another reason: martial prowess.

Redditor PartyMoses writes about depictions of men in 15th century fencing manuals.

I’m going to take some time to talk about a man named Paulus Kal. Kal was a fencing master who wrote a treatise on the knightly arts, and had a long career as a knight in various capacities, served some civic functions for Nuremberg, and was sworn in service to a couple of dukes. In the 1480s (probably), he wrote his treatise, which contained a fair amount of art.

We think Kal depicted himself in the middle here, wearing the red/pink suit. He’s helping a knight (right) prepare for a duel. Take a look at Kal and a look at the anonymous knight for a moment. Kal doesn’t look the way we think of as “fit” today. He has a noticable belly, no definition of arm muscles, stout legs. He looks very similar in other images, even from (possibly) different artists. Now take a look at the arming knight: again, no muscle definition, the man in fact looks quite thin. It’s the same in most of the images throughout the treatise.

Ideal Male Bodies from History 3

Aside from these fencers, PartyMoses also points to “Kal’s Birdman”:

I have eyes like a hawk, so you do not deceive me.
I have a heart like a lion, so I strive forward.
I have feet like a hind, so I can spring to and fro.

Ideal Male Bodies from History 4

Obviously the ideal man is not an exquisite corpse or a nightmarish fusing of animal with human, but we are supposed to understand the animal-like features of the ideal fencer. Eyes that can’t be deceived, courage that won’t falter, quick feet. But look at the body of this ideal man. No muscle tone, nearly anywhere. An exaggerated waist even with a bit of a gut, thin arms, tapering legs.

(Follow the link above for commentary and many more pictures.)

Did 15th-century women swoon over these emaciated birdmen? Unfortunately I couldn’t find any depictions of men created by women of that era… maybe someone more proficient with art history would know the answer.

Women: are you familiar with any artwork that portrays an attractive male figure? Leave a comment and let us know.

Libertine Poetry -- History Is Full of Humans Just Like Us 5

We commonly get questions — usually from a wife — about “weird” things her husband wants to in bed. Where did my husband get this crazy idea?

Well, as you know, humans have been having sex for a long time, and no matter how strict the rules are we’ve always been kinky. I recently listened to an episode of the Ask Historians podcast about libertine literature, and it mentioned a poem that I wanted to share titled “The Imperfect Enjoyment” from 17th century libertine writer John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. (You can see a portrait of him above — he’s hot for his time!) Rochester is frustrated by his own premature ejaculation, and has written this poem to curse at his penis for failing. An excerpt:

When, with a thousand kisses wandering o’er
My panting bosom, “Is there then no more?”
She cries. “All this to love and rapture’s due;
Must we not pay a debt to pleasure too?”
But I, the most forlorn, lost man alive,
To show my wished obedience vainly strive:
I sigh, alas! and kiss, but cannot swive.
Eager desires confound my first intent,
Succeeding shame does more success prevent,
And rage at last confirms me impotent.
Ev’n her fair hand, which might bid heat return
To frozen age, and make cold hermits burn,
Applied to my dear cinder, warms no more
Than fire to ashes could past flames restore.
Trembling, confused, despairing, limber, dry,
A wishing, weak, unmoving lump I lie.

The poem is funny and poignantly humanizing. It’s easy to forget that our ancestors were as human as we are. The libertines are certainly not to be emulated in their philosophy, but why should they get to have better sex lives than married Christians? No way!

Do you have any sexy poetry to share? Leave a link in the comments.

What Does the Bible Say About Masturbation? 6

We get this question pretty often but haven’t written much about it. The short answer is: nothing. The Bible doesn’t mention masturbation.

Developing a longer, more satisfying answer requires some discernment, wisdom, and judgement. The factors to consider are almost the same for married people as for single people, so we hope this post will be useful for both groups of readers who ask us about the topic.

It’s important to point out immediately that it’s not our place to give anyone permission for anything, or to condemn anyone for anything. We will attempt to lay out a Biblical perspective on masturbation, but we recognize that wise and well-meaning Christians disagree on this matter. We also recognize that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the ultimate resource for every believer, and we pray that you will rely on His guidance when making decisions for your life and marriage. Prayerfully consider 1 Corinthians 8 and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s begin with this question from an unmarried man, “SE”.

I am a single 21 man and wanted to ask about masturbation. I know this site is for married couples, but I can’t find ANYTHING from a Christian perspective that is helpful to me personally. I strive to follow Christ and want to be pure and live as God intended. And apart from getting a flat “NO, is it damnable SIN”, or “….uh, I don’t know. Ask your mother”, I feel screwed!

I have had a history with porn before, but now putting that chain off of me by the fear of God and submission to Him, I am currently in the process of resetting my frame of mind. And with that, I am resetting myself physically as well. I used to masturbate with porn when I could sneak it into the bathroom, but now it’s just me. I do well with staying away from pornographic or other disgraceful forms of sexual thoughts. Pretty much, it’s just me and the mirror.

My obvious question to you, as a married Christian man who knows how guys think: is this permissible in the sight of God? And is the guilt that I am feeling coming from my history or is it from the actuality of present sin? Is it a sexual addiction regardless of how scarce it may be done? (I was able to hold it up to 13 days, but ended up inflating my testicles and hurting myself. And felt all the more ashamed.) Is this desire, now breaking the old bad habit, still yet a reflection of it, or is this now natural from God’s word?

To be honest, of course I enjoy doing it. But because God’s word is so seemingly silent on masturbation, I am unsure of where to go from here.

From one man to another, was hoping you could shed some light on this. Whether it’s calming my fears, or if it’s a hard slap in the face! Can I truly glorify my Master in Heaven in this manner? And if not, can you please help me out of it or refer me to a good Godly counselor?

(And, no, I am not asking my pastor about this if that is what you will answer).

Out of all the emails we’ve received on this topic, we decided to quote this email from SE because we think he very eloquently describes the physical, emotional, and spiritual conflict that many godly men and women confront with masturbation. (And yes, women masturbate almost as much as men.)

In this post we will identify three questions for your consideration. If you’re married, then these questions affect your spouse and your marriage, so you need to discuss them together.

First, as already noted, SE is correct in saying that the Bible gives no specific commands about masturbation (including the story of Onan in Genesis 38, which is too long to discuss in detail now). Is the Bible silent on masturbation because people didn’t masturbate in the past? No. People from the past were as horny as we are now. Is the Bible silent on masturbation because the topic is too disturbing or unmentionable? No. The bible is full of murder, adultery, blasphemy, and every other kind of sin imaginable. In fact, the Bible discusses God’s expectations for sex very clearly in many places: sex is only acceptable for married couplies within the bounds of marriage.

So the first question to consider is, given this lack of specific direction and based on what God reveals about himself in the Bible, how can I best glorify God through my decision about masturbation?

Second, it’s wrong to covet another person. In Matthew 5:28 Jesus says:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The word translated “lustful intent” is epithymeō, which is a covetous longing, a desire to take something for yourself that isn’t yours. The word is frequently used in the New Testament in a non-sexual context, and it’s important to note here that the emphasis isn’t on seeing or being attracted to beauty or sexuality, it’s on the covetous intent. Jesus is saying that if a man looks on a woman with the intent to possess her, that’s a serious matter of sin even if the two people do not have sex together.

So the second question to consider is, can I masturbate without covetous intent?

Third, we have the freedom and responsibility to honor the institution of marriage and our sex life with our spouse. In Hebrews 13:4 we read:

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

In “Can we *BLANK*?” we wrote that the answer to that question within marriage is almost always yes — you can blank all you want. We also wrote about mutual masturbation in some detail already, so for this post let’s focus on the question of solo masturbation. Whatever you decide for solo masturbation, it must be bring honor to the institution of marriage and must not defile your sex life with your spouse. These expectations are applicable to married and unmarried people alike: the Bible isn’t only concerned for your own marriage, but also for the honor of the institution of marriage.

So the third question to consider is, can I masturbate without dishonoring the institution of marriage or defiling my marriage bed?

We believe that only you can answer these questions for yourself, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sensitivity to your conscience, and honest dialogue with your spouse.

  • How can I best glorify God through my decision about masturbation?
  • Can I masturbate without covetous intent?
  • Can I masturbate without dishonoring the institution of marriage or defiling my marriage bed?

What do you think? Have you talked with your spouse about masturbation? What have you decided for your marriage?

Sexual Metaphors in the Bible and Poetry 7

Our ancestors thought about sex as much as we do (or we wouldn’t be here), and their sexual euphemisms are pretty fantastic. Here are some fun sexual metaphors, presented without much commentary.

From the Bible:

  • Adam knew Eve … and she conceived (Genesis 4:1)
  • “uncover her nakedness” (Leviticus 18:7) and open his robe to spread it over her
  • keliy, “instrument, tool, vessel”, And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” (2 Samuel 21:5-6)
  • qoten, “small one” 1 Kings 12:10 (2 Chr 10:10): “My qotonniy is thicker than the loin of my father.”
  • yarek, “thigh” Judges 8:30: “And Gideon had seventy sons who came out of his yarek.”
  • The beams of our house are cedars, our rafters are firs (Song of Solomon 1:17)
  • His fruit is sweet to my taste (Song of Solomon 2:3)
  • He has taken me to the banquet hall (Song of Solomon 2:4)
  • I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense (Song of Solomon 4:6)
  • …my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock (Song of Solomon 5:5)
  • Let my lover into his garden and taste its choice fruits (Song of Solomon 4:16)
  • I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride (Song of Solomon 5:1)
  • I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit (Song of Solomon 7:8)
  • The word that is translated “hinge” (1 Kings 7:50), is the same word that is translated a woman’s secret parts” (Isaiah 3:17)
  • “the place of the breaking forth of children” (Hosea 13:13)
  • “If my heart have been deceived by a woman.. then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her” (Job 31:9,10)

From assorted poetry:

  • Afternoon delight
  • Assault with a friendly weapon
  • Attacking the pink fortress
  • Basket-making
  • Bedroom spelunking
  • Burying the white soft petals fallen from the apple tree
  • Burying treasure
  • Buttering the biscuit
  • Churning butter
  • Cleaning the cobwebs with the womb broom
  • Counting down to thunder
  • Dipping the wick
  • Doing the Devil’s dance
  • Drinking from the chalice
  • Easing the spring
  • Eating the sunbeam
  • Emptying your basket of figs
  • Extreme flirting
  • Feeding the kitty
  • Filling her out like an application
  • Fingering the smooth and polished kernel
  • Gathering rosebuds
  • Hot beef injection
  • Humming around her chamber
  • Kindly serving
  • Laying pipe
  • Lifting the veil
  • Looting flowers
  • Making the beast with two backs
  • My body writes into your flesh
  • Nut in the gut
  • Pants-off dance-off
  • Playing doctor
  • Playing dungeons and dragons
  • Playing with the box the kid came in
  • Puddle-snuggling
  • Praying with the knees upwards
  • Putting in the seed
  • Putting the bread in the oven
  • Putting the wand in the chamber of secrets
  • Riding the Bony Express
  • Rolling in the hay
  • Shampooing the wookie
  • Sheathing the meat dagger
  • Sinking the pink
  • Skinning the cat
  • Slap and tickle
  • Spilling your wine
  • Sporting
  • Spray-painting the cervix
  • Squat-jumping in the cucumber patch
  • Struggle snuggling
  • Stuffing the taco
  • Testing the humidity
  • Tickling her tummy from the inside
  • Two-person push-ups
  • Walking the plank
  • Warming her pearls
  • Wetting the willy

(Some sources: Ex Minister, Redeeming God, Thought Catalog, Book Riot.)

Best Christian Sex Links of the Week 8

Spring is here, and love is in the air!

Masturbating For Your Husband: How To Start and Touching Yourself — We’ve written about Mutual Masturbation and Finishing on Her Body and you can also incorporate masturbation into Role-Playing: Photographer and Model

Ideas to sexually tease your husband — see also How to Turn Your Husband On in Public

How to Make Your Wife Squirt, and from Women’s Health, How To Make Yourself Squirt During Sex

Sexual Assertiveness Training for husbands — see also How to Get Your Wife to Lust for You. If you want to use role-playing to practice husbandly assertive, check out Role-Playing: Bratty Wife.

Shave My What? — see also Sex Q&A: How Do I Get My Wife to Shave “Down There”?, Should I Shave My Balls? Yes!, and Licking Balls

Tips for Hotter Sex and How to Get Into Difficult Sex Positions

10 Things To Know about Medieval Sex and 10 Weird Things Victorians Believed about Sex — see also Can we *BLANK*? Not in the Middle Ages!, Historical Sexual Slang and Oral Sex in History, Including Paradise Lost

Finally, here are tons of sex games from The Undefiled Marriage Bed. They apparently like water guns a lot.

How to Pray For Our Political Leaders 9

In America you can vote for President once every four years, but you can pray for our President every single day. Whoever wins the election will need your prayers. So how should you pray?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
  1. Pray for peace and quiet. Peace is an exception in human history, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Most humans have lived under the constant threat of violence. Pray that our political leaders will pursue peace.
  2. Pray for a godly and dignified life. Pray that our political leaders will protect and support our freedom to live lives pleasing to God, and that they’ll recognize and respect the imago dei in each individual.
  3. Pray that people will hear God’s Word and be saved. God’s ultimate purpose in this world isn’t political, it’s spiritual. Pray that our political leaders will do nothing to hinder the reach of God’s Word. Pray that Christ’s church will take every opportunity to share the Gospel. Pray that the Holy Spirit will “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”.
  4. Pray with perseverance and thanksgiving. Do not give up on God if he seems slow to answer. Persevere in prayer. We are commanded to cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving in our prayers, so do not allow a “bitter root” to take hold in you.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Colossians 4:2-6

Time is shorter than ever. If you don’t have time to pray every day for our leaders, then you certainly don’t have time to be reading and posting about politics all day on social media.

(Note: Please do not leave partisan comments on this post; they will be deleted.)

Nietzsche and the Bible on Marriage, Possession, and Love 10

Friedrich Nietzsche is perhaps most famous for declaring and lamenting that “God is dead.”

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

But Nietzsche also touched on psychology, and in “Beyond Good and Evil” (in aphorism 194) he wrote some thoughts about desire and possession in marriage. It’s worth noting that despite his amazing mustache Nietzsche never married, often visited brothels, endured numerous physical and mental afflictions, and died at the age of 55.

[I have inserted paragraph breaks below to improve readability.]

The difference among men does not manifest itself only in the difference of their lists of desirable things—in their regarding different good things as worth striving for, and being disagreed as to the greater or less value, the order of rank, of the commonly recognized desirable things:—it manifests itself much more in what they regard as actually HAVING and POSSESSING a desirable thing.

As regards a woman, for instance, the control over her body and her sexual gratification serves as an amply sufficient sign of ownership and possession to the more modest man;

another with a more suspicious and ambitious thirst for possession, sees the “questionableness,” the mere apparentness of such ownership, and wishes to have finer tests in order to know especially whether the woman not only gives herself to him, but also gives up for his sake what she has or would like to have—only THEN does he look upon her as “possessed.”

A third, however, has not even here got to the limit of his distrust and his desire for possession: he asks himself whether the woman, when she gives up everything for him, does not perhaps do so for a phantom of him; he wishes first to be thoroughly, indeed, profoundly well known; in order to be loved at all he ventures to let himself be found out. Only then does he feel the beloved one fully in his possession, when she no longer deceives herself about him, when she loves him just as much for the sake of his devilry and concealed insatiability, as for his goodness, patience, and spirituality.

One man would like to possess a nation, and he finds all the higher arts of Cagliostro and Catalina suitable for his purpose. Another, with a more refined thirst for possession, says to himself: “One may not deceive where one desires to possess”—he is irritated and impatient at the idea that a mask of him should rule in the hearts of the people: “I must, therefore, MAKE myself known, and first of all learn to know myself!”

From Nietzsche’s nihilistic perspective we see three types of men with increasing levels of ambition for possession — not only for possession of a woman, but here using that possession as an example.

  1. The Modest Man is satisfied with controlling the woman’s body and her sexual gratification.
  2. The Ambitious Man additionally requires that the woman give up herself and her desires for his sake.
  3. The Third Man requires all that, but still will not be satisfied unless the woman knows him thoroughly and profoundly, such that she does not deceive herself into thinking that he is better than he is.

When we contrast Nietzsche’s thinking with the Bible we can easily see how his glimpse of the truth was twisted by nihilism. Consider:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-33

Some differences that jump out:

  • Instead of possession, the Bible speaks of love.
  • Instead of control, the Bible speaks of submission.
  • Instead of the wife giving herself up for her husband, the Bible says that the husband gives himself up for his wife.
  • Instead of loving devilry and goodness alike, the Bible teaches that we can be washed clean and made holy.

And yet buried within Nietzsche’s nihilism is a profound truth: we all have the desire to be “thoroughly, indeed, profoundly well known”, and this craving to be known is interwoven with our need to love and be loved. The great chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, decimates Nietzsche’s ambition to merely possess and concludes with a deeply satisfying promise that through love we will ultimately know and be known.

… but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. [snip] For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:10-12

(Side note: Some Christians are dissatisfied with the teachings in Ephesians 5, especially with regard to love and submission, but be sure to notice the stark contrast between the Bible and Nietzsche. Nietzsche was one of the greatest secular minds in history and has had a profound impact on modern culture. It you “kill God” you must yourselves “become gods” to replace him, and don’t be so sure that you’ll do a better job of it. Nietzsche died alone and insane.)

Sex Q&A: Overcoming Sexual Memories From Before Marriage 11

Reader “AE” brings up a topic that we’ve received numerous emails about over the years but haven’t yet addressed.

My husband is an incredible and selfless man. I have zero complaints about him as a husband, and he has always been so willing to do anything to be the best husband he can be. He has a history of promiscuity before we were married as well as pornography. When he gave his life to the Lord before we were married, he surrendered all of that, and we both know he has been forgiven and absolutely redeemed.

However, our sex life is, as you call it, very vanilla. He has always been pretty closed to exploration, and when I have gotten adventurous, it seems to shut him down instead of turn him on (which has been tough on me). Your website has given us an incredible place to start from to dig into what’s holding each of us back in the bedroom. We’ve been using your articles to discuss things we’ve never even known we need to talk about. In one of those conversations, he realized that anything remotely risque triggers memories for him from those years before we were together. He is so determined to keep his focus on me and his mind pure, he’s shutting everything down mentally, including his own interest. I should note, he has never had any issues “rising” to the occasion. If I go all in, he’ll meet me there. But most foreplay is limited if not non existent.

We’ve realized, our bedroom is like a minefield for triggering his memories and it’s keeping us from enjoying the freedom the Lord has intended for us. We both believe there’s better for us and we’re both willing to work on it. Your site is already giving us ways to fight for that. But do you have any strategy for how we can explore together in the Lord’s favor the things he once explored inappropriately without triggering these thoughts and memories that take his mind off of me and the moment we’re in? Is there anything I can do to help him?

Thank you for any help! And thank you and SC for this safe place to find permission and strategy and FUN.

First off Mr. and Mrs. AE, don’t feel alone with this challenge! Many Christians fall short of God’s perfect standard that sex is intended for married couples only. Sexual sin can lead to serious, life-altering consequences — not to mention the harm it can do to your relationship with God. And yet, God is always eager to offer us forgiveness when we repent, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Even when we’re forgiven, however, it isn’t always easy (or possible) to be completely free from the natural consequences of our sin during our lives on earth. The difficulty Mr. and Mrs. AE are experiencing is a natural consequence of sexual sin. Memories can be stubborn.

Caveat: We’re not trained therapists, and it’s possible that a couple in the position AE describes would benefit from talking together or separately with an expert who can advise them based on their specific circumstances. Every person and every marriage is different. The advice we’re going to give here is connected to the Bible and based on our experience, but it may not be right for you. We offer this caveat because we can imagine a direct approach, like we’ll describe, doing more harm than good for some people.

Ok, try this: don’t think of an elephant.

Could you do it? Probably not. It’s basically impossible to pick a specific thing and not think about it. In the most well-known Bible passage about anxiety Paul writes:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:4-8

The bolded action words in the passage make our point: you can’t simply “do not be anxious” without replacing anxious thoughts with something else. Instead of merely commanding a negative, God teaches that the positive drives out the negative.

Mr. and Mrs. AE are dealing with a form of sexual anxiety and we think the principle from Philippians 4 can be applied. Instead of trying to banish distracting, undesired, harmful, or sinful memories by sheer force of will, we should work to replace them with “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable”.

Application: replace negative sexual memories with new, positive sexual memories created with your spouse. Confront the negative memories head-on and create new memories that overwrite the old ones. This won’t happen all at once, but over months and years you’ll have sex with your spouse hundreds and thousands of times. When something “risque triggers memories” from your past, go straight at that memory and re-do it with your spouse. Your sex life with your spouse is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. Even if that risque memory seems weird don’t shy away from it: face it and rewrite it.

Now, some prudence is in order. Sex that is non-consensual or involves people besides the married couple has no place in a Christian marriage — but just about anything else can be done in faith and can be part of a mutually satisfying sex life. Be patient and courageous with each other; your sex life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t force your spouse to go faster, but don’t drag your feet either. Put some effort into it and you’ll both be rewarded.

After sharing these ideas with AE she wrote back:

Awesome!! This is the strategy we talked about trying. We both had a few concerns that it could backfire, so we reached out to you to hopefully confirm, which you did!

It is not hard to be patient with this man of mine. He is such a good man and husband and daddy. Besides, this problem stems from his desire to honor and respect his commitment to me, even with his thoughts, so how could I not respect that. I’m incredibly excited to find freedom together and get our sex life to the level of the rest of our marriage.

You are absolutely welcome to use our question. It is tough being one of the few women who have a higher sex drive than her husband. I relate more to men in the stereotypical sex conversations, and it’s a challenge to not feel like something is wrong with me. So if my question can make another woman like me feel less alone, that’s great.

Thanks again, you two!

It’s always extremely gratifying to hear that our ministry is edifying to peoples’ marriages! If you have any thoughts or ideas to share, please leave a comment below.

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email server like Mailinator.

Solve Your Marriage Difficulties By Having Sex 12

We get emails from people every day who are having problems of various kinds in their marriage, and the simplest, most direct solution is often just have sex. Obviously this isn’t true in every single case, but you’d be surprised how often sex itself can smooth over differences and disagreements.

How does it make you feel when your partner is cold and distant? Or when they’re critical and prickly? Does it make you want to rip their clothes off, order in a vat of whipped cream and install a chandelier to swing from?

No? Well there’s your problem – according, at least, to Michele Weiner-Davis, the marriage-guidance counsellor whose Ted talk explaining her unconventional advice to warring couples has been viewed almost 3.5 million times online.

Her advice couldn’t be simpler: shag. Do it even if you don’t want to, do it especially if you don’t want to and, most important of all, do it frequently whether you want to or not. To make it even clearer, she’s borrowed one of the most famous advertising slogans of recent times: Just Do It. “Your partner will be grateful, happier and therefore nicer, too,” she explains from her clinic in Colorado. “It’s a win-win situation for both of you!”

Over the years, Weiner-Davis has honed her message. She’s now stripped it back to what she believes is the essence of a successful marriage. Gone is any therapeutic consideration of a couple’s history; of their emotional travails; of cause and consequence. Now she is entirely one-track minded: no matter how appalling the state of a marriage, she believes that kind, generous and frequent sex can bring it back from the teetering edge of collapse.

Let’s expand on the idea a little! Here are a bunch of related posts.

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up “communicating” that we forget the importance of body language. Maybe you should quit talking about your problems for a while and go have sex!