Christianity & The Great Sexpectations

This post is not for kids. Please proceed with caution.

I am not an authority on sex. I thought that would be a great disclaimer given the subject matter as I wouldn’t want the article to mislead anyone into thinking that I was. I’m simply a woman who has dared to think about married life and the responsibilities it will involve and sex is an important facet of marriage. Marriage is consummated by sexual intercourse between couple so downplaying its role would be foolish. Understandably it is a topic that is brushed under the carpet in Christian circles. Commentators argue that there is no point in arousing a desire that is confined to the marriage bed (or car, or hotel, wherever you might fancy ) however, I’m going to attempt to lift the carpet, sweep underneath it and maybe even remove it entirely.

I want to deal with the expectations we place on sex and then the negative connotations we associate with it. The subject of sex as it relates to Christians has been on my mind for some time but I held back because I didn’t want to receive any backlash and then I wrote “brothers in Christ with no game” and realised that backlash comes with the territory. I manned up.

This article is definitely for the believers who have ever thought beyond their single status ( by single, I mean unmarried) and considered what their prospective sex lives will entail, realising that maybe it won’t be all Hollywood and orchestrated. It’s for the believers who understand the act of sex as the yielding of bodies to each other, which involves sacrifice and typically initial awkwardness. It’s for the believers that have caught on to the fact that a great sex life isn’t a reward for purity and that it will take work and communication by both parties.  This one is for the believers who want to discuss their concerns but think they can’t or have never been given a platform to do. The desire for great sex isn’t a sin but because we aren’t necessarily having these conversations, we are going in blind and not fully appreciating the practicalities of sex. I wrote this article in response to what I believe is an absence of sexual discourse in the church.

For most Christians, marriage is at the top of the agenda; we aspire to be married and to have great and frequent sex. Christians are generally in one of these two camps. The first is the camp that has never had sex before and so the default name would be “virgin camp”. The second is the camp that has been sexually active in the past but has since left that life behind.  What both camps have in common is abstinence and ideally once the wedding day is over, the wedding night can begin. The idea is that the couple will have the type of sex that will make their waiting worth it. I would imagine a lot of us are praying for that earth quaking sex but I think somewhere we have neglected all the other factors that are even more important in the grand scheme of the sacred institution that is marriage.

Waiting is imperative but the bag of gold at the end of the rainbow is not great sex; the bag of gold at the end of the rainbow is sex with the man/woman of your dreams.

For a long time I believed that God would bless me with fiery sex because I remained obedient to abstinence but I couldn’t be further from the truth.  Last week I found myself agreeing with a male friend, who argued that marriage has become so much of an idol that we are blindsided to the practicalities of sex but today I’m more inclined to say we idolise great sex without thinking of the practicalities of it.  There is the assumption that everything will just lock into place and for many that is the story but for others, sex on the wedding night and the period thereafter will be a matter of trial and error but we don’t want to hear that because we don’t want to talk about sex.

We don’t want to talk but we expect it to be magical.  There are countless stories of virgins (you can find them for yourselves on Google) who wait until after marriage and carry their high expectations to bed with them only to find that the deed didn’t fulfil those expectations and they seek divorce from their spouse. I wonder if the outcome in those cases would have been different had they managed their expectations from the outset.

The idea of   managed expectations sounds defeatist especially when you have been waiting for a long time but the practicality of sex is that it is something you work at by way of communication like every other issue in a marriage. Let’s be clear, managed expectations does not mean zero expectations, it just means that where you do have expectations you are still giving room for outcomes not necessarily aligned with the ones you envisioned.  Yet we don’t have managed expectations, we have high expectations but on what grounds? When did you take the time out to talk to your fiancé about how you would like to be loved, or how many times you would ideally want to be loved? When did you share your fears, your concerns, and your drawbacks? I’ve heard it said that our perhaps our expectations are perverse as they have been inherited from the world but my qualm isn’t even that the expectations are perverse or even borderline unrealistic as my friend alluded to ( he argued the expectation of sex every day is too high and I responded, “I hope not”) my qualm is that we are not even having healthy discussions about sex to begin with.

There are people ( I’m more inclined to say women but then again sexual anxiety can’t be exclusive to women alone)  who will find the sexual transition difficult and understandably. They have gone from having zero sexual experiences to having sexual expectations placed on them and some can’t do it. Some cannot fathom the idea of intercourse because churches in trying to dissuade brethrens from having sex outside of marriage have turned sex into something despicable. Without proper counselling some will still view marital sex as sinful and shy away from it completely. Without proper counselling some will never experience nor understand the physical intimacy. Situations where one spouse expects a certain level of intimacy and the other party doesn’t give in to these desires are common but I guess the question is why we wait until after marriage to find these things out.

We are quick to dismiss sex and as a result sex lives which haven’t even begun are being ruined. We don’t want to talk about the possibility that a lot of us might be carrying too high expectations to bed with us, which in actuality can ruin the performance of both parties (or so I have heard) , neither do we want to talk about the sexual anxiety that can follow a virgin into his/her marriage when there is an expectation of sex being placed on them that they have clearly never experienced. Healthy discourse on sex is imperative in the body of Christ.  If you want to have sex, be prepared to talk about it ideally anytime before the wedding night. Sex is to be enjoyed and like every other thing in marriage it is an expression of love.

Love Cris x

P.s I will leave you with this, you wouldn’t order a steak without letting the waiter know how well done you want it. The same applies to sex.

P.S.S for all my brethren who are waiting, soon we will be able to enjoy coitus the way it was designed.



4 responses to “Christianity & The Great Sexpectations”

  1. I noticed you don’t have an ask section here so I decided to just post it here if that’s ok. I was reading a christian article on masturbation and this was one of the comments. What’s your thoughts on it?

    ”The fear and loathing Christians have towards masturbation is extremely harmful towards women. The argument that a woman’s sexuality should only be explored in a relationship is a defeatest argument – masturbation is the healthy, normal, God-given way that men and women learn their own sexual response well enough that they are able to respond in a healthy and enjoyable way to their spouse when they are married. Thousands of Christians couples have all sorts of sexual difficulty, and a great deal of that is because women are afraid of their own sexuality and don’t know how to respond sexually, and a lot of that is because of inappropriate guilt they were taught to have about masturbation.

    In my late thirties I needed to have a pelvic ultrasound and as a virgin, you would have thought my world was crashing in on me – in my christian “save your vagina for marriage” ethic, I felt I was losing something precious by having the ultrasound inserted and when it came time to have it done, I discovered something else: I suffered from vaginismus, and unconscious inability to relax my vaginal muscles to have something (as small as an ultrasound device) be inserted in me. And many, many virgins face this on their wedding night, which is the cause for all the myths about bleeding hymens and pain and so forth upon first intercourse. The bad news also is that for those suffering from vaginismus, the pain doesn’t stop after the first night, but couples can be unable to have enjoyable sex for years and need intensive therapy – therapy that guess what? Basically it involves masturbation with different size “vaginal dilators.”

    We need to be able to talk about this stuff in the church. A woman who has never had sex, or no longer has sex, by the time she is in her late thirties or forties, is also prone to developing a condition called “vaginal atrophy” where the vagina actually shrinks from non-use. That is also a great gift to give one’s future husband – a complete inability or difficulty in having sex.

    I had to get real with my own self and body enough to start learning some meaningful masturbation so that I could have medical tests and be able to have sex when and if I find a husband. I’m not ashamed to talk about this – although I was once so timid on these subjects because the church teaches us shame on these things. Masturbation is important, and healthy. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” has a little bit to say on this – you can’t have meaningful sex with another person if you can’t enjoy sex alone – it’s your masturbation that teaches you how to be a sexual being so that when married, you can share that gift with another.”

    • Masturbation isn’t something I have explored thoroughly enough but I have come across some articles that deal with it in brief and the general consensus is that it defeats the purpose of sex. It taints what sex is supposed to be. If sex is the act of giving ourselves over to one another then masturbation defeats that purpose because you are giving yourself only to yourself. It’s a very sticky subject because it opens up the discussion on so many other things such as can yo masturbate without lusting? or whether it is deemed sexual immorality etc but for me I think it defeats the giving ourselves to each other. One thing is for sure that scripture was DEFINITELY used out of context. Thank you for your comment and for inspiring me.

      • I struggle with it at times but I do get convicted so I know God is not pleased with me, but I have heard women that have had this condition called ‘vaginismus’ and also I know a young lady who has a condition called PCOS and her doctor advised her to masturbate to relieve the symptoms so I do think we should treat certain cases with compassion and not judgement. And this whole ‘save you vagina for marriage’ thing is real and even made me anxious at times.

        • I’m not an authority on masturbation but it is definitely a discussion to be had. Do you want to email me instead?