Love Me, Love My Sexuality

Today and Saturday I am going to do a couple of posts inspired by comments on recent sex posts.  Tomorrow “Being loving when sex is lacking”. Today “Love me, Love my Sexuality”.

First let me say that it’s not just men who want their spouse to know that “I love you, I don’t care about your sexuality” makes no logical sense. A growing number of women are feeling sexually deprived. If your bride wants more, PLEASE read this and take it to heart.

I don’t see how anyone could 1) understand the importance of sex to their spouse, 2) regularly fail to provide sex, and 3) honestly claim they love their spouse. Yes, that it hard, but I think it’s absolutely true. How could a loving spouse routinely neglect a need (see below) that only they can meet? How can someone who is that uncaring be said to love?

The “escape clause” in that is #1 – understanding the importance. If a man or woman does not understand the importance, then their failure is not necessarily a sign of deep selfishness or a lack of love. That said, I think a lot of refusing men and women go out of their way to not understand the validity of their spouses sexual needs. This allows them to feel they are sufficiently loving and giving, while continuing to deeply hurt their spouse by refusing sex. At best this makes them loving on a technicality, and it does nothing to sooth the deep emotional pain they are causing their spouse.

Need: Every time someone calls sex a need, someone else says it’s not a need – “all we need is air, food, water…” Thing is, those same folks don’t say the same thing when other things “not essential to survival” are called needs. I’ve made seven posts to my “Her Needs” category since it was set up in late April, and there has not been a single protest that these things are “not needs”. The reality is we all call necessary many things that are not. The world is full of folks who eat little more than beans and rice, who don’t have clean water, who have never bathed in hot water, who will never see a bed we would find barely acceptable, who own one pair of shoes (maybe), and a couple of changes (or less) of clothes. And you know what? Most of those folks want and have sex, and many of them would say they need sex.

What do we need to feel emotionally healthy? For the majority, sex is part of that. It’s also being found in more and more ways that sex results in greater physical health – kind of makes it a need in my mind. Beyond that, what do we need to feel connected and loved in marriage? Most people, male and female would say sex is necessary to feel connected and loved.

Sex is not an extra, a favour we do for our spouse when we are feeling magnanimous. Sex is called “the act of marriage” for a reason, and the vast majority of folks see marriage as a promise of regular sex. Both men and women who are regularly told “no” will tell you that it hurts, it makes them feel unimportant and unloved, and that it slowly killing their love for their spouse. Those who want and enjoy sex almost universally see sexual refusal as unloving. If you love me, you will love my sexuality – or at least work in the direction of caring about and for it. If you don’t care about my sexual needs, you don’t care about or love me.

The abuse clause: Sadly many women, and no small number of men, have sexual abuse in their past. This makes it difficult to be sexually healthy, and possibly impossible to function sexually. However, that does not excuse ignoring your spouse’s sexual needs. Not being able is one thing, not working to be able is another. No matter how much he or she understands why you can’t or won’t, his or her needs are still there, and the neglect still hurts. At first the understanding of the situation can greatly offset the pain, but over time that stops being the case. Don’t mistake early grace as an indication that sex is unimportant, or that a lack of sex will continue to be accepted.

Should I show this to my refusing spouse?: It’s your call. Odds are it won’t change anything for the good, but for a few it will help. Those who care about truth, and who love their spouses, have a chance of being moved. Those who are just selfish won’t care, and may retaliate. Those who are treading water may just give up and sink.

8 Comments on “Love Me, Love My Sexuality

  1. Really excellent post. Well thought out and written and right on target.
    Thank you!

  2. I appreciate the fact that you understand that sex is a need; and you gave a great example. I have always said that yes , air water a nd food are needs, but so is sex.We will live longer with it; that has been proven many times. That is exactly how it is with air, water and food; we will live without any of them for a short time but we are almost sure to live longer if we have them.

  3. I have come to believe that if sex is not a necessary part of marriage then then it can’t be sacred. In other words, it doesn’t matter who you have sex with. It really bothers me that, if you follow this logic, the Church has contributed tremendously to promiscuity in our culture.

    Why is it that Christians only want to focus on the negative ( aka, don’t have sex until marriage) and completely ignore the positive (aka, you can actually fulfil your sexual needs in marriage fully). May God have mercy on us.

    • @Take Two – Absolutely brilliant point! If it’s not great in marraige, something is wrong, and what we preach looks like a lie.

      I have often said that when the teens in our church look at the married couples, what it tells them is they better have some good sex now, cause after marraige it’s not happening. Imagine a church where it was very clear that the majority of couples were having sex, having it regularly, and enjoying it a lot. (You don’t have to tell folks for them to know that, it’s pretty obvious.) Would the kids in that church be willing to risk the great sex they know they can have in marraige for a bit of premarital play? I doubt it. (There is also the evangelism potential of such a church, but that’s another issue.)

      The church certainly has dropped the ball by being only about what should be abstained from. Not only did we show a loop-sided and ungodly version of sex, we abdicated our right to talk about how great sex could be. The world was all to willing to fill that void, with it’s skewed version of sexuality. Thing it, it’s skewed version sounds better than our skewed version, so it’s easily accepted. With no one sharing the truth about what sex should be, the better sounding lie was the clear winner.

  4. I think this is a great post. I would like to see a version of this appear in the wive’s tips. Many of our wives subscribe and would accept this information from Lori more easily than from us.

    For me, too often my frustration has led to me being less than loving in bringing up the subject. This makes it harder to forward or discuss this.

    At this point I would rather do without than come across as unloving to my wife. I am praying that she will understand this deep and important “need” in me, but for now that information can’t come from me.

    • @Brian – When Lori proof read this post we joked that she could cut her readership in half by running what I wrote as is. That is an exaggeration, but the sad truth is a lot of her readers would feel betrayed if she said what I did. She is praying about what she can say, and how to say it.

      I HIGHLY recommend Intimacy in Marriage for this issue. Julie Sibert does an excellent job on this issue.

  5. Wow, my husband reads your site and this topic is exactly why I looked it up.
    I obviously can’t go into all the details of our marriage, but this past year my husband got some medical help and became a pleasant person to be around. Suddenly, I wasn’t tense all the time and could actually relax around him. He started being loving and attentive. Praying and seeking the Lord, reading this site. We were connecting. To our joy we started having the best sex we have ever had. Even more intense than when we were younger and first met. I never wanted it to stop. It was so intimate and passionate. All I could think about was pleasing him and making him feel special and loved. At first when he would make comments I thought it was sexy, like “I thought about your a** today while I was driving to work.” Then it’s a daily thing, I thought about your breasts when I was doing this. He starts grabbing me in inappropriate ways in front of our kids like they weren’t in the room, making sexual innuendoes in front of them and in public. All he talks about is sex. I started feeling like a piece of meat being pounded. I am not a body part or a sexual plaything, I am a person, his wife. Now when we have sex I just feel used. He wants it to be like it was before. His medicine is no longer working, he is once again difficult to be around and I can’t talk to him about it.
    What I have learned is, when my husband and I are in God’s word, praying and being led by God, our marriage is wonderful. When it starts being about us and our individual needs things get distorted. The more Christ shines through him, the more attractive he is to me. The thing is 99% of the time I want sex and am more than ready, but when he gets home and says something that makes the muscles in my body start to tense up I don’t want to be in the same room with him. I will have sex with him because I know he needs sex but I can’t make my body respond in the way that it would if he were to have come home and paid genuine loving attention to me. That is a totally different thing and you can’t fake it. I wish I could just turn it on. Actually, what turns me on is when he is paying loving attention to our kids.
    I don’t know what I thought this email would accomplish. I am angry, I feel like something has been stolen from me. Like I said, I never wanted it to stop. It went from being something that was loving and honoring to something counterfeit and ugly.
    By the way, I really appreciate this website. Christian couples should be having the best sex lives. We have to do it now, we wont be doing it in heaven. I pray that all the men that are seeking God and to have the kind of sex lives with their wives that he intended will be given the desires of their hearts and their wives as well.

    • Bernadette, I think what you “accomplished” with this e-mail was being heard. I am not going to pretend to know how to fix the issues in your marriage, and I am deeply saddened for you. I know what I CAN do, though; I can pray for you. I have already lifted your name in prayer, and will continue to do so.

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