Does being sexy feel dirty to you?
Growing up we can sometimes receive the message that sexual desire is lust and only promiscuous girls want sex. This belief that sex is slutty/dirty and that you are bad for having sexual feelings, especially as a single person, leads us to feel bad about the sexual part of ourselves. Pleasing God and being horny are seen to be incompatible.
This is especially true for those who grew up in a very religious home. Sometimes the message that “sex is holy” is interpreted to mean that sexy feelings or the desire to engage sexually any way other than “missionary style” is a sinful corruption of God’s design for sex.
What follows is feeling bad about yourself any time you experience sexual feelings. So you learn to shut down your sexual feelings. This tends to get in the way of desire for sex.
God Made You Horny
Who designed your body? Who’s idea was it to wire your neurology and hormones to give you sexual feelings, desires, thoughts?
Truth: God made you horny. From a physiological standpoint, it is an undeniable fact that God wants women to enjoy sex even more than men. Take for example, that a woman’s clitoris has more nerve endings than any other part of human anatomy male or female. Further, it serves zero functional purposes other than a woman’s sexual pleasure. In contrast, a man’s penis is a multi-functional tool. It aids him in urination and reproduction in addition to being an instrument of pleasure.
It doesn’t stop there. Women possess at least three separate neuropathways associated with sexual pleasure, to a man’s one. Women are capable of enjoying a variety of orgasmic experiences whereas men really only have one. Male orgasm may vary in intensity, but it is basically the same feeling and geographic location. Even more, women have the physiological capacity for an unlimited number of consecutive orgasms. There is probably a world record out there somewhere, but I wouldn’t recommend googling it. Men, on the other hand, get just one followed by a waiting period ranging from minutes to hours.
Conclusion: God wants women to enjoy sexual pleasure!
Distortions of Sex Displease God
Distortions of sex displease God. This includes the distortion that comes from well-meaning church people who make sex and sexual feelings out to be something evil or bad. It’s the ditch on the other side of the road from the secular hedonism that says there are no boundaries for sex, do whatever you please, with whomever you please, whenever you please.
In a world full of secular distortions of sexuality, where perverts and sexual predators lurk, it’s no wonder we the church are afraid of sex.
We are afraid of…
. . . the controversy.
. . . being thought of as a sexual predator.
. . . being misunderstood or misportrayed.
. . . offending people.
. . . being controlled by our sexual passions.
. . . being like the perverted culture.
. . . exposing our own shame around our sexual experiences, past, struggles, failures.
The power and potential for destruction inherent in sex terrify us.
We are bombarded with unspoken messages that say “sex is dangerous to your soul and body.”
“If you think about sex or feel sexual desire – You are Sinning!”
“Sexual sin is the worst kind of sin. Be ashamed of your sexual struggles. Hide your weaknesses.”
“If you love Jesus enough, you will NEVER be horny, especially if you’re single.”
“Any expression of gender affirmation or insinuation that “I think your attractive” is flirting. Flirting is sinning. YOU MUST PRETEND YOU FIND NO ONE ATTRACTIVE.”
“Asexual = Godly”
All of these messages, and many more, either spoken or implied through silence, result in beliefs about sex that do not come from God or the Bible. They don’t represent God’s revealed thoughts, as expressed in the Bible, about sex.
The Bible Celebrates Sex
Would it surprise you to know there’s an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the romantic sexual pursuit of a man after a woman and her desire for him (Song of Solomon). The flirtatious, romantic desires that draw a woman and man towards each other with longings for each other, leading to marriage, is God’s design.
The physical realities of our sexual desire are a metaphor for the longing that God has for His people. God desires to be one with us, indwelling us by His Spirit as we share an intimate love affair together. He describes Himself as a husband and we His special creation, as a bride, Whom He is passionate about and longs to be intimate with.
Consider, that according to Christianity, unlike any other religion, when we approach God giving our self to Him, the Bible says the Spirit of God literally indwells our body. The vulnerable, intimate act of intercourse between a husband and wife is a physical revelation of that spiritual truth. Further, God’s drive to be with us is constant and unrelenting…kind of like some husbands.
God’s loving pursuit of us and our enthusiastic response to Him shows us what a healthy sexual relationship in marriage is supposed to look like. Likewise, God appreciates and enjoys when we too initiate times of intimate connection with Him.
How To Embrace Positive Feelings About Sex
Before you can embrace positive feelings about sex, you first have to identify your negative ones. Often we’ve been so submerged in negative messages about sexuality that we aren’t even consciously aware of the misbeliefs that we hold about it.
Trace It Back
Take a sheet of paper and create a timeline of all the things you learned about sex and whom those thoughts came from.
How was nudity handled around your house?
How were your genitals talked about?
What reactions did your parents/adults have when you touched yourself as a child?
Did your parents discuss sex openly?
How did you learn about the “birds & the bees”?
What did you learn from siblings, family members, friends, the locker room at school?
What were the messages you got from the church/youth group?
When do you first remember having sexual feelings or thoughts? What was your response to them? How did you feel about them?
Did these experiences help you have positive feelings about sexuality or negative?
Write a Sexual Fantasy
Take a sheet of paper and create a sexual story about you and your husband. Make it as romantic and arousing as you can imagine.
What feelings are provoked just by reading the above two sentences? Positive or negative? Do you find yourself not wanting to do the exercise?
By this point, you probably accept, in your head at least, that God views sexual passion between you and your husband as positive. So what is getting in the way of you letting yourself imagine, think about, and look forward to sexual experiences together?
At first, you probably won’t be able to identify it. Keep trying to do the exercise and keep thinking about the feelings it stirs and bring them into conscious awareness by writing them down.
Challenge Distortions with Truth
For each of the negative feelings, thoughts, or beliefs that you identify in these exercises create a counter statement that affirms the positive nature of God’s thoughts about sex. Write down the truth statements.
Distortion: I feel dirty.
Truth: Sex and sexual feelings are a beautiful gift from God.
Distortion: I feel ashamed or guilty?
Truth: God designed me to have sexual feelings and desires, He wants me to enjoy them and pursue them with my husband.
Distortion: I shouldn’t want these things?
Truth: Any mutually respectful and pleasurable sexual act between husband and wife, that doesn’t bring in a third party, is permissible to experiment and play with. God loves variety and creativity.
Experiment with intentionally being flirtatious and sexually forward with your husband. Make a point to be receptive / respond positively to your husband’s advances. Notice the feelings you have as you think about and try doing so. Use the truth statements you have formulated to combat negative and anxiety producing thoughts/feelings. Talk about them out loud with your husband. Pray together, thanking the Lord for the sexual part of yourself and relationship. Ask for God’s help in experiencing as GOOD what He has created to be good for you.
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