Friday, May 01, 2009

Marriage Series:
Answers to questions you're asking...



The following are all questions posted by readers in the comments section this past week, or sent me by private e-mail. I invited you to post and send things you would like to have addressed here, and you did! As promised I will answer them to the best of my ability, as forthrightly as possible, with a biblical foundation. I am printing the questions here as they were written on the blog comments earlier this week and have only corrected/changed spelling mistakes:

Question: Some issues I would like to see addressed (having been asked these questions at different times) are, Oral Sex, and Bondage. I'd love to see your opinion on these. Also, do men have an actual physical need for sex? Oh, now that I think of it, what about romance novels with sex scenes? And while we are on the topic, is it ok to fantasize about sex, and different sex scenes in your mind as long as it is about your husband? What about writing these scenes out for your own private pleasure? Oh and Masturbating... Let's not forget Anal sex... is it ok?

I'm going to break this question down in segments since there is a lot to address:

First let me give this as a general statement before the individual questions:

The Bible says that the following are sin:

Fornication/unmarried sex (Galatians 5:19, 1 Corinthians 7:2 & 36)
Adultery (Exodus 20:14, Matthew 5:27)
Homosexuality (Levitcus 18:22 , Romans 1:26-27)
Bestiality (Leviticus 18:23 & 20:15-16)
Prostitution (Leviticus 19:29, Deuteronomy 23:17, Proverbs 23:27, 1 Corinthians 6:15-16)
Incest (Leviticus 18:6)

We are to have sex only in marriage; one man with one woman. (Matthew 19:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:2 & 12)

There are more scriptures than these concerning sexuality, I have simply listed a few.
 
What about oral sex?:

The Bible says nothing to prohibit oral sex between marriage partners. Some Bible scholars believe oral sex is what is referred to in Song of Solomon 2:3 and Song of Solomon 4:16 . Even aside from that scripture possibly affirming oral sex, it would definitely be permissible under the biblical foundation of Hebrews 13:4 and I Corinthians 7 that the marriage bed is undefiled, and anything that both marriage partners agree upon that does not harm either person, or include other biblically prohibited things such as pornography or other persons outside the marriage bed, would be acceptable. Some refer to oral sex as sodomy and a homosexual practice, however when the Bible speaks of sodomy it is clearly referring to sex between those of the same gender. Just as it would not be appropriate to turn holy matrimony over to  homosexuals nor should give up any expression of our sexuality within marriage, including oral sex. Between heterosexual marriage partners, as long as both people agree and neither is pressured or harmed, it is blessed by God.

What about bondage?:

Nothing should ever take place that would harm either partner spiritually, physically, or emotionally.

Do men have an actual physical need for sex?:

Yes. God created them this way. There are two small organs in a man's body called "seminal vesicles". Their purpose is to produce seminal fluid, which is produced continually. Since they never cease their production, the seminal vesicles keep filling up after each ejaculation, and as they fill they swell. The seminal vesicles cannot release any of the seminal fluid other than by ejaculation. Statistics show that a healthy man up to approximately 50 years of age is ready to ejaculate approximately every 24 hours. This slows down after middle age but only to about every 48 or so hours. If the need to ejaculate is not met by intercourse or other sexual stimulation, a man would have nocturnal emissions (wet dreams) to take care of the need to release the semen. However, if a man is married, he should always be having sex frequently enough where he would not have a wet dream.

What about romance novels with sex scenes?

These fall under the category of pornography. Pornography includes nude photos or written stories describing sex that are not exclusively about our marriage partner. All of scripture is clear that sexual fantasy and acts are to be reserved for the marriage bed. There is nothing wrong with fantasizing about your partner, however this type of reading and fantasy about others is biblically unacceptable. I would urge you to write your own romance novel. It needs to be about you and your spouse exclusively, and keep it password protected! (http://www.livejournal.com/ with your account set to private is a suggestion.) Many women spend countless hours reading other people's fantasies and imagining their "wonderful lives" (which are fake!) instead of building their own REAL romance and sex life. Don't settle for fake.

Is it ok to fantasize about sex, and different sex scenes in your mind as long as it is about your husband?

Absolutely! It's one of the reasons God gave you a marriage partner. Nothing in scripture prohibits fantasy between marriage partners and in fact we are to take joy in thinking of our husband and our husband alone. Proverbs 5:17-19, I Corinthians 7, Song of Solomon - the entire book is one big fantasy, lived out!

What about writing these scenes out for your own private pleasure?

As long as it is only between you and your husband and the scenes only include the two of you, absolutely. In fact, it's a great project you could work on together with your spouse. This would be sort of along the lines of what Solomon and Shulamith did in the book Song of Solomon in the Bible. It's basically a diary of their love. I highly recommend it, just keep it password protected safely on something such as http://www.livejournal.com/ where only you and your spouse share this and have the password.

What about masturbating?

 The Bible is silent on the issue of masturbation and does not address it at all. For something that isn't even mentioned in the Bible AT ALL Christians down throughout the ages sure have had a lot of rules and regulations about it. The truth is that while touching yourself is not wrong, the issue you must be very cautious about is your thought life. If you are having fantasies of anyone besides your marriage partner during masturbation then yes, it would be wrong because it is never biblically acceptable for us to fantasize about someone other than our spouse. Many people also masturbate with pornography and this is Biblically unacceptable as it is viewing naked bodies and sex acts of others besides your husband or wife. However, if it is utilized solely within marriage as mutual masturbation or with thoughts of a spouse entirely -- there is no biblical prohibition concerning it as long as it is not replacing intercourse in a marriage as that would be a violation of I Corinthians 7. For what I consider the best resource about this topic, go to this page on the Marriage Bed website. (Note: While I cannot give an endorsement for everything the thousands of commenters on their message boards may say, the founders and owners of the site, Paul and Lori Byerly are excellent teachers and authors on this subject and everything I've read by them has a solid Biblical foundation. They do have board moderators who are in charge of the message boards that try their best to ensure that nothing unbiblical is posted by the commenters and they do an excellent job overall. I highly recommend this site.)

What about anal sex? 


 Many believe that the Bible speaks against this, but it does not. Thus, we can not use homosexuality as a way of proving that anal sex is wrong. Although technically biblically permissible for heterosexual married couples, for health reasons (bacteria, infection, and more) it may not be beneficial. While I cannot Biblically give a reason why a married couple should not engage in this, I would advise you to give extreme caution if you are going to engage in this activity, and take all the necessary health precautions and also do some reading on http://www.themarriagebed.com/ to get some further resources about this. Can you do it without any biblical objections? Yes. Is it wise for you to do it? Maybe not.

When is it ok for the husband to say no or withhold sex? It seems like when he wants it I give in because I know that is what I need to do even if I am not in the mood. But when I want it and he doesn't its taboo to even ask. What can I do to get him to see that sometimes I need to be with him too even if he isn't in "the mood"? It makes me feel used at times and I hate that feeling.

It is never Biblically acceptable for either spouse to say no if their partner asks for it. If your husband is a Christian I would gently direct him to I Corinthians 7 and try to open up a discussion about this. Tell him exactly what you said when you posed this quetsion..."Just like you need me sometimes when I am not in the mood, so I need you as well..." If the problem persists you might want to seek professional Christian counseling. In the meantime in addition to gently trying to approach the subject with him, cover the situation with prayer. We don't pray near enough about things like this in our lives and marriages and so much would be solved if we would.

I have a question for you that I pray that you can shed some light on. Since my divorce in 2001, I finally went on my first date last April. He is a really nice guy, but I'm just not attracted to him. Would you agree that character as well as attraction are okay when considering a life mate? Sometimes I feel so guilty because I want to at least be attracted to the mate I choose! Thanks so much!

Yes, I do think you need to be attracted to someone physically as well. While character is most important we do have to be physically attracted. I believe God wants that for us and also, this would make physical intimacy very difficult if you are not attracted to your partner. I would probably not pursue that relationship if I were you unless God changed your heart and you suddenly started feeling attracted to him.

Do you think the reason many women look at sex as" just fulfilling a duty" is because they have never, or rarely, had an orgasm? ( I am soooooooo blessed to have a husband who wants to be sure I have pleasure as well. Very unselfish. ) I've had friends relate that, as they put its,"wham, bam, thank you maam." Meaning 3 min and everything is over. Do men really know how to pleasure a woman? Are the women communicating their needs and desires? My husband has told me that it is a real ego booster as a good lover to see me satisfied. He once told me, "If I know you are satisfied with me, I know you'll never look elsewhere!" It made me realize that as women, we do not want our men to look elsewhere, and the men feel the same way! I always reassure him, "Why would I ever want to!!!!!" ; )

Absolutely I believe that a big factor is orgasm and women who don't have one or struggle to have one. As someone who teaches often in my church and otherwise on this subject, I have many women who have talked to me about this and it always amazes me how many have never experienced fulfillment sexually. I don't believe they are content...I think they believe it is hopeless, which is tragic. Women have confessed to me that in 17 years, 25 years, even 50 years of marriage they have NEVER had an orgasm.

Upon researching it, I found that one survey reported that 40% of married women never experience an orgasm! Many just give up or do believe it's just about doing their "duty" for their husband. Especially in this day and age, I find that very sad. God has so much more for us, and with some biblical teaching on this in the church, prayer and communication in our marriages it can surely be achieved!

 Do men really know how to pleasure a woman? Many do not but it's because women don't tell them or show them. Just as we can't expect our man to be a mind reader on anything else in our life (unless we want to be very disappointed!) so we need to show them and tell them exactly what we need sexually. Many women are not confident enough to do this. I believe wives need to take the initiative to learn and grow in their sexuality. I highly recommend the book, The Sexually Confident Wife by Shannon Ethridge. It's a Christian book that speaks right to this subject openly and honestly. There's also another very informative book that many have found helpful called, The Intimate Woman, written by a woman named Deanna Shrodes. :) Of course the best sex resource ever written is the Bible and it has much to say, in fact I Corinthians 7 instructs the man to fulfill his wife first, which I think is indicative of the fact that God knew it most often takes women longer to arrive at orgasm. This is perhaps why He put it in His Word first for men to make sure the wife is taken care and put things in that order in scripture. Clearly, sex is not just a man thing, and God is all about women being satisfied.

5 comments:

Melissa said...

I agree with you on the fact that many of the issues all come down to the "O". I am very blessed with a husband who puts me before himself in that matter. I just have to say The Marriage Bed site is well uhm....VERY educational as well as biblical. I had never even heard of the site till you posted it. From what I have read it is definitely a great site to check out. Thank you for taking time this week to dedicate towards marriage and covering all the different topics. You ROCK girl!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Deanna,

Thank you for all the hours you put into this series this week! You have taught me, blessed me, and confirmed that I'm on the right track! Bless you, sistah! Melissa is right...YOU DO ROCK!!!
Ruth, PA

DaNella Auten said...

Awesome stuff! You did a wonderful job fielding all of those questions! Thank you, very informative.
I also like the Marriage Bed. I do have a question, haven't you mentioned before that you have a online jornal similar to livejournal.com? Can you tell me how many years you've used it, and have you ever had any security issues I just want somwhere where I know I can vent, and not worry about it being found.
Thanks!

Deanna Shrodes said...

Thanks ladies. Appreciate the kudos.

Danella, yes I've had one with livejournal for a few years and never had any issues at all. But you do have to make sure each post is set to "private" before you publish.

And of course, if it's yours alone and not your spouse's (I have a prayer journal that is mine alone, not mine and my husband's) then make sure that you never share with anyone the screen name or the password if it's just between you and the Lord.

If it's between you and your husband and something for your marriage, the same thing -- do not share the screen name or password with anyone besides your spouse, and do not keep a record of it written down or on your computer anywhere. This will ensure that it's private.

Pastor Lisa said...

PD, you left no stone unturned! Thanks for setting the record straight.