Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage: #2 Silence Outside Voices

It had been an amazing season for his favorite team, so when some of Michael’s old college friends asked him to join them to watch the game Saturday afternoon, it was an easy decision.  He knew some of them had experienced some marriage problems in the past, but this was just an innocent afternoon of watching football.  Surely there was nothing to be concerned about.

Well, the game was everything he hoped it would be.  At halftime the score was 14-13 and he and the guys were talking about the possibility that this would be THE season his team would win the conference, and maybe even make it to a BCS bowl.  Right before the start of the second half a Victoria Secret commercial came on.  At first he didn’t think anything of it, but then his friends began making comments.

Jonathan: “Man!  She reminds me of this girl I banged back in college.  Dang…what was her name again?  Oh yeah yeah…it was Sarah.  I forgot.  I tell you what, I saw her a few weeks ago.  And talk about weight gain — shoosh.  I wouldn’t go anywhere near that if you know what I mean.”

Dominic: “Yeah, I know what you mean.  I’ve seen a few girls we went to college with around.  They’re just…not the same.  You agree Michael?”

Michael: “I agree that I’m ready to watch some football.”

And right on cue, the 2nd half started.  Just three drives later his team had taken a commanding lead.  The sounds of cheering, laughter and greasy high-fives filled the room.  But as the game waned on, Jonathan and Dominic started talking (bragging) about their recent sexual encounters.  By the end of the game they were poking fun at Michael for being a one woman man.

Jonathan: “Seriously, you’re missing out if you think just one woman can fulfill all your desires.”

Dominic: “He’s right, man.  There’s a reason why there’s more than one cheerleader on the sidelines.”

He tolerated it for a while, and then politely excused himself and headed out to his car.  But he soon discovered something that took him by surprise.  A small note was left under his windshield wiper.  It read:

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 1.50.00 PMMichael turned around and there were Jonathan and Dominic looking out the window, nodding their heads and smiling.  Michael looked back, shook his head and jumped in his car and started driving home.

But Michael didn’t throw the note away.  He kept it under his seat.  Every time he and his wife had an argument, or he saw a racy advertisement, or he felt a little lonely, he remembered that note.  Then one afternoon Dominic sent him an email with a picture of a cheerleading squad.  He knew exactly what it meant…and even though he didn’t call Jenni that day, he did take the step to program her number into his phone.

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Voices about what sex should be like come from everywhere.  Advertisements, music, movies…heck, even the video game industry purposefully gives female characters a form, figure, and enlarged breasts to cater to their audience.  What’s most ironic, however, is that these voices use images, lyrics, etc. to define “freedom” as well.

“You owe it to yourself to be yourself.”

     “You work hard, spend some time playing hard, too.”

          “You should have what you want in life.”

               “You’re free to be who you want to be and do what you want to do.”

All this noise creates serious confusion in the area of sexual freedom.  Throw in some comments from friends and colleagues who encourage multiple sexual encounters, or pornography or…whatever, and it’s like throwing gasoline on a small campfire.

The reality, of course, is that these voices cannot provide sexual fulfillment or a true understanding of freedom.  They may provide small doses of gratification, but not undeniable, personal, intoxicating, sincere, fulfillment.

Furthermore, the only place this type of fulfillment may be found is in a strong, healthy marriage where true freedom is unveiled and acted upon on a regular basis.  This brings us to the second point we wish to make in this series:

In order to sustain sexual freedom in your marriage, you must silence outside voices.

Consider the following:

1. What outside voices are currently playing a role in your sex life?

We realize that some of the above examples may be extreme.  Maybe you’ve never been overly enticed by advertisements, movies, video games, pornography or other forms of sexual ‘entertainment’.  But you most likely have friends who occasionally share intimate details of their sex life, causing you to question whether you’re “missing out” on something.  Perhaps you wonder if you ought to introduce something different to enhance your sexual stimulation.

“Do this and make a good thing even better.”

“Use this and your orgasm is certain to last longer.”

“He can get you warmed up, but this will put you over the edge.”

These marketing gimmicks and other pieces of advice are almost always meant for one thing — immediate pleasure, but not fulfillment.

With this said, there is a great challenge here.  You now have to figure out which outside voices are hindering your sex life, and begin to take steps to silence them.  It could be fewer ball games, less time with certain friends, computers with appropriate filters…it could be anything.  You and you alone know what voices need to be silenced, and you and you alone have the opportunity to silence them.

2.  Increase inside voices.

Don’t get us wrong, the first step isn’t going to be an easy one.  It’s going to take serious time to think through and figure out what has really defined your perception of sexual freedom for your marriage.  But now comes the fun part, you and your spouse get to decide how you’re going to define it from this point forward.  You discuss what he does that brings her the most pleasure.  You discuss what she does that brings him the most pleasure.  Discuss your greatest likes/dislikes about foreplay, the act itself, even little things such as comments, notes, and household chores that help you to look forward to your time together.  Before long you’ll hear some outside voices…and you and your spouse will just laugh and laugh.  You’ll know they’re offering something fun.  Something pleasurable.  But they’re not offering true freedom.  You’ll know…because you’ll have already found it.

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This is Part 2 in our series on Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage.  Additional posts in the series can be found at the links below.

Part 1: Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom In Marriage #1 – Believe

Part 2: Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage #2 – Silence Outside Voices

Part 3: Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage #3 – Bring the Awesomeness

Part 4: Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage #4 – Understand the Seasons

Part 5: Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage #5 – Create Opportunities

 

Feel free to answer one/all of the following questions in the comments below, or discuss them with your spouse.

  1. What ‘voices’ do you think have the most impact in our culture today?  Which ones have the least?
  2. What is the difference between sexual pleasure and sexual fulfillment?
  3. Discuss with your spouse: What questions do you have for me about how we can better experience sexual freedom together?

Healthy Sexuality: Experiencing True Sexual Freedom

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Our culture is obsessed with sex.  Spend just one hour listening to music on the radio or watching a television show, and you’ll see/hear a number of sexual references.  Chances are you’ll see well over a dozen, perhaps two dozen in just an hour.

This overload of sex here, sex there, sex everywhere has led many people to have an incorrect and even inappropriate view of sex.  From our observations, it seems the predominant view is that people believe they should be able to have and experience sexual freedom with whoever, whenever and as often as they want.  The primary misstep of this view is an incorrect understanding of “freedom”.  “Freedom”, from a cultural perspective, is all about physical sexual desire and nothing else.  And while this “sexual freedom” mantra continues to be shouted from the mountaintops, people are discovering that this view of freedom has consequences.

Severe consequences.

Those who suffer these consequences begin believing that sexual freedom must not be possible.  Or they attempt to hide their scars by engaging in “free-er” sexual activities.  And the consequences just keep coming.

If you have personally experienced consequences of a sexually “free” lifestyle, we want to take an opportunity to let you know that there is such a thing as true sexual freedom.   And this freedom is found when we understand some basic principles of healthy sexuality.  For those who have never suffered these experiences, we encourage you to keep reading as well.  These principles are vital for all who wish to fully understand sex, and sexual freedom.

1. Sex is…designed by God.

Our culture attacks this principle long and hard, and for many reasons.  One is that God (or any religious beliefs) are under attack more and more today than ever before.  People are having a difficult time on an intellectual level believing in a Supreme Being.  But without getting into too many details, let’s just say for the sake of argument that there is a God.  Now, if there is a God, and He’s completely “good”, and He created sex, then there must be something good about sex!

For the sake of brevity, this is exactly what we believe!  The question now is, “Why would a ‘good’ God dole out severe consequences for people living sexually free lifestyles?”  The answer, as we hinted above, is an incorrect view of freedom.  One of these views is that sex is merely a physical appetite.  We cover this in principle #2:

2. Sex is…not just physical.

Sex does feel good.  REALLY good!  It is a bonding experience that was purposefully designed and created to bring two people together in a way that nothing else can.  Many argue that sex is all about physical urges and appetites that need to be satisfied…but there’s more to it than that.  God tells us that He created sex to be like glue.  The wording he used specifically means a permanent bond between 2 people.  This bond, is not merely physical.  It’s very emotional and very spiritual.  Sex, therefore, is to be treated with care. This is why sex outside of marriage is dangerous.

Whoa, whoa, whoa…the objections begin pouring in.  Dangerous?  You actually believe sex outside of marriage is dangerous?

Yes, and we stand firm on this point.  Sex is for marriage only.  While the idea that 2 consenting adults enjoying the physical nature of the sexual relationship is touted as perfectly fine, it is a counterfeit to God’s best.  Consensual or not, it leads to consequences that haunt people the rest of their lives.  We’ve talked with men and women who have told us through tears how much their sexual past has hindered their personal life and/or their marriage.  Sex outside of a permanent and covenantal marriage causes pain, and as said above, severe consequences.

We wish to be blunt for one moment: those who disagree with us on this point are very likely to be currently experiencing (or have experienced) consequences for their sexual lifestyle.  Our encouragement to you is this: try changing your view of sexual freedom and continue to seek out what God says about sex.  Your way hasn’t worked, it isn’t working now, and will never work…so maybe it’s time you try something different.  This leads to principle #3:

3. Sex is…a picture of God’s Love.

We have to be honest, the Bible is so full of wisdom on marriage and sex it’s actually unbelievable.  One of the things it says about marriage (and sex) is that it’s a picture of Jesus’ love for the church.  If you haven’t read the bible much, this is pretty incredible.  Jesus lived a perfect life.  And then died a severely tortuous death.  And he did it all as a way to love us.  It was the perfect example of what God’s love towards us is like.  He was willing to literally go through hell so that we could understand his love for us.

Now, translate this to marriage and sex.  Marriage and sex are supposed to be just like God’s love.  We’re completely “one” with our spouse and this oneness is physical, emotional and spiritual.  When we operate in this oneness, the idea of sexual freedom begins to take on a whole different picture.  A married couple is completely free to enjoy one another sexually, yet at the same time operates in such a way that they willingly sacrifice their own wants and desires for their spouse.  These sacrifices happen in the marriage relationship as well as in the bedroom.  While this selfless love appears unfulfilling from the outside, couples who live this way are more sexually free and are physically and emotionally satisfied in ways that other couples will never experience.  This leads to principle #4:

4. Sex is…worth understanding.

We realize we already said a lot of things that God communicates about sex.  But we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. For those of you who may not be married, we want to let you know that sex is worth the wait.  As we wrote above, the number of people we’ve communicated with who have sexual regrets from their past continues to climb.  The hurt and pain they experience is very real.  While they can experience sexual freedom again, it takes them a bit longer to understand it and appreciate it.

For all: if you’ve never in life opened your bible and read and studied what it says about marriage and sex, we strongly encourage you do so.  If you want, click the link at the top of the page and go through “The Meaning of Marriage” study.  If you don’t understand sex you’ll never fully appreciate sexual freedom.  And it’s our desire that not only appreciate sexual freedom, but you experience it as well.  Freedom can be found behind closed doors.  And once you discover it and experience it, you’ll also experience a lasting satisfaction that will never be taken from you.

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Have you experienced an incorrect view of “sexual freedom”?  What impact has it had on your life or marriage?

Have you experienced a correct view of “sexual freedom”?  What impact has it had on your life or marriage?