Sexual practices in marriage

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Sexual practices in marriage

Post by steve » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:03 pm

Fair warning: This post is edgy. It deals with anal sex in marriage. I wrote a response to a young husband who inquired about this, and, since it is a question many couples have, I felt that it should be shared. If the subject is offensive to anyone, then I suggest you not read it.

I have always heard that there are no limitations in what a married couple may choose to do in the sex lives, but I am not sure. My wife and I are curious about anal sex. My wife says that she is okay with it, but we do not want to sin. Can you tell me what the Bible might say about this?


Hi A—,

Like yourself, I have always heard that there are no limits upon sex between a married couple—and the Bible mentions none. I cannot say that any particular practice between married partners is a sin. What I will say should be taken as my opinion—not on the level of scripture, but nonetheless coming from an older man who has meditated long on the ramifications of most Christian behaviors.

I would have concerns about some sexual choices that couples might make. For example, I believe that certain kinds of role-playing, bondage, sado-masochism, and such, would be inappropriate for Christians, married or not.

My reason for saying so is that the sexual union between man and wife is supposed to have at least two purposes, in addition to the enjoyment of both parties.

The first obvious purpose of sex is the reproduction of the race. That this is an important purpose in God's mind is not only stated in scripture (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15), but is also evident by the great pains to which people must go in order to enjoy sex naturally while guaranteeing that they will not become pregnant.

The second, and highest, purpose of sex is to represent the union of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). This is where the practices mentioned above would be out of place. They deprive sex of its sanctity, and turn it into a pursuit of increasingly perverted novelties in the quest for maximum pleasure.

We live in a highly over-sexualized society, which leads to a law of diminishing returns in terms of pleasure and stimulation derived from the sexual act. If sex is performed regularly only for pleasure, rather than as an act of mutual intimacy, it cheapens the sacred purpose of it, and turns one's partner into an object for self-gratification. In a sense, it is like each party is practicing masturbation, using the other person's body in the process.

As with taking drugs, the stimulation of sex (pursued only for pleasure) becomes more "boring" over time, without introducing unnatural innovations. Natural pleasures have a way of degenerating from fantastic to ho-hum. I once moved to an area where the natural beauty took my breath away—for a few months. Then it was just ordinary. The same is true of every pleasure. Modern people have short attention spans, and seem to need to move on to new pleasures as the older ones cease to feel novel. Your favorite dessert becomes bland, it you have the same thing every night. When sex is approached primarily as a means of pleasure, the excitement diminishes over time.

We should enjoy sex, but, as in all other activities, pleasure should not be the primary pursuit, but a by-product of doing a good thing for right reasons. Anal sex has drawbacks—e.g., it can do harm to the woman, and is extremely unsanitary; it divorces sex from the face-to-face intimacy that God intended between the couple; and it obviously is not potentially procreative. On this last point, I do not say that a couple should not have sex at times when pregnancy is impossible—like immediately after a period, or after the wife's menopause—but to transform sex into something that is not related to its purpose at all has an impact on one's attitude toward it, and toward their partner.

Also, while many women agree to anal sex with their husbands, most women, I believe, do not prefer it. I suspect this to be true even if a woman won't verbally own up to it. The very act has a "dominance" feature (as seen in the case of prison rapes, for example), which makes many women feel demeaned. If they feel such an element of dominance in their physical relationships with their husbands, some women may come to dislike sex altogether. Women, more than men I think, have a hard enough time welcoming sex with their spouses as they grow older. Everything should be done to retain the sense of respect for the wife throughout the marriage, so that she may thrive sexually into her senior years. Introducing negative feelings about sex in the younger years may have a deleterious effect upon the sex life in a later season of life.

I am concerned that the couple who become bored with natural sexual intercourse may be too concerned about the sensations associated with the act. Natural sex is probably the greatest pleasure of any God-given activity. It should never grow stale, if the primary motivation is to cultivate intimacy and to reflect the oneness of Christ and the church. Assuming natural sexual intercourse is possible (some medical conditions may preclude it) one orgasm should be as good as another—and will be, unless we are seeking to maintain the same excitement in sex that we had the first time we did it. If we have to create new, imaginary scenarios or novel positions, using unhealthy portals, etc., then the pursuit for ever-increasing excitement may have become somewhat idolatrous.

There is hardly a movie today that does not include sexual themes—and graphic sexual encounters that would have been regarded as pornography a generation ago. Also, porn is easily available to everybody on the internet, which makes living in the modern world a spiritual minefield for men seeking to maintain sexual integrity. Also, men in their prime have a hard enough time keeping their thoughts pure without such visual stimulations. I think it is this nation's sexual obsessions that have destroyed our society. One who is as old as I am, and can remember a former less-perverted culture, can see this more clearly than can a younger person born into it.

I am not legalistic about such things. However, I would counsel any spiritual man to guard his heart against the creeping attitudes of the world about sex and sexual partners. The man who tires of natural sex with his wife, tends to seek other positions and situations that may "keep the flame alive." Unfortunately, that journey is a slippery slope, and usually leads not only to the seeking of new practices, but also of new partners. A man may be on that road and remain monogamous, but when he has reached the place where he is looking for yet another level of experience, he has probably already ruined his own ability to simply appreciate his wife and to find her satisfying, especially as she ages. I would urge any man to avoid getting on that road.



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Re: Sexual practices in marriage

Post by darinhouston » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:00 pm

Very well said!

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