Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Sex Is Like (According to Purity Culture)

Image text: "sex is an intimate and sacred act. ur body is a temple and u shouldn't be sharing it with anyone who doesn't sing the na-na part in hey jude." Image source.
In my experience, sex was talked about a lot in church. Specifically, they talked about how sex is the most amazing feeling, the most intimate loving connection people can have, so incredibly powerful, and therefore it's a wonderful gift from God if you're married, and it's incredibly dangerous if you're not.

They always talked about sex in terms of emotions and love and intimacy. They never talked about the physical parts of it. Here are some examples I've gathered:

Fifty Shades of Nay: Sin Is a Needle, Not a Toy
Sex was given to us to tell us something of the love, intimacy, and trust we experience with God through Christ. Our relationship with God is not sexual, but sex — as the deepest, most vulnerable, most sacred experience two people can have in this life — is a stunning picture of the height, length, width, and depth of God’s love for us.
Confessions of a Former Virgin
I’m more in love with my husband than I was when I walked down the aisle toward him. Our bond is stronger. Our friendship deeper. One of the reasons for this is the sexual relationship God designed. Sex works like Super Glue, binding us together for a lifetime.

Science can back me up. Oxytocin is a powerful chemical often called the “cuddle hormone.” It’s a bonding chemical that creates feelings of caring. God created this hormone to work as human Super Glue.

For example, oxytocin is released when a momma breastfeeds her new baby. It creates a bond that says, “We are meant to be together. Do not pull us apart.” The only other time this hormone is released is when there is intimate physical contact. What psychologists and scientists are discovering is that when we have intimate contact with another person, our brains have a chemical reaction that causes a bond to seal.

In the context of marriage, this is a beautiful thing. Outside of marriage, this is a painful thing. The bond still exists. The glue still adheres, but then the couple must be ripped apart. This is why sexual wounds hurt so badly.
God’s Design for Sex is Way Better than Hollywood’s Cheap Imitation
Believe God and take Him at His Word. When done in the right way, with right person and at the right time, sex will be more fulfilling and exciting than Hollywood could ever hope to achieve.
How Far Is Too Far?
God does the same kind of work in marriage and dating. As we walk up to the edge of marriage, we draw close to something so much bigger than ourselves. There’s a power and a mystery in love like this. It’s a vibrant picture of the love God has shown us in sending his Son for us, a love wider and deeper than the Pacific Ocean.

God designed love in marriage, like gallons and gallons of ocean, to show us how unsearchable his love is for us. We could never contain it or know it completely. And because love within a covenant is so large, so intense, so captivating, he established a boundary, a shoreline. He drew a line in the sand for our safety, and to secure our greatest happiness in marriage.
God intended for one man to be joined with one woman in the promises of marriage, and he intended for us to enjoy marital intimacy and pleasure, especially sexual intimacy and pleasure, only in the context of those promises. Sex is reserved for the ocean deeps of marriage, not the safe wading depth of dating.

My Spouse Doesn’t Enjoy Sex
God made sexual relations to be profoundly mutual in marriage; each gives, each receives, each feels the act as the consummation of a wider and deeper spiritual and personal union, for which sex is only one of the capstones — but an important one. Each spouse is saying, “To you, and you only, do I give in this way. From you, and from you only, do I receive in this way.”
The Problem with Sexual Compatibility (lol this article was written by a guy who's single and presumably not having sex, he's here to tell us all why it's wrong to care about sexual compatibility)
God gave sex as a gift to be exclusively enjoyed by a husband and wife as a means of loving, caring, serving, honoring, and enjoying each other in marriage. So sexual compatibility between a married couple comes neither from ecstasy (how good the sex is) nor frequency (how often you have it) but mainly from intimacy, which occurs as love, trust, security, and respect deepen through the longevity of a monogamous, self-giving, covenant relationship.
From the many conversations I've had with those who are happily married with healthy, God-honoring sex lives, I've learned that true sexual compatibility, if we must call it that, happens when two people commit themselves first to God, and then to each other. This covenant commitment affords an opportunity for a husband and wife to unconditionally serve and love the way Jesus loves his bride, the church (Eph. 5:22-33).
A God-Scripted Engagement
Once you enter that sacred covenant, you are no longer two individuals, but “one flesh.” Then, and only then, are you free to enjoy each other’s bodies in an intimate way – entering the “holy of holies” without shame.
To keep sex sacred, we must keep ALL expressions of sexual intimacy sacred. Sexual touch of any kind is an intimate “knowing” of another person – and such intimate acts, in God’s pattern, are only meant as an outflow of a holy marriage covenant.

And here's what I wrote when I announced that I'm asexual:
Purity culture teaches that sex is THE MOST AMAZING FEELING EVER, but also very powerful and dangerous- so dangerous, in fact, that those of us who are unmarried aren't allowed to know any concrete details about it. Leaders in purity culture talk a lot about how great sex is in marriage, but they never actually give any information about what it's actually physically like. Not a word about genitals, about penises, about arousal, about erections, about orgasms, about clits, about semen, nope, nothing. They talked about it in such abstract terms, how it's about two people's hearts coming together in the most intimate way possible, how it's life-changing, how it creates a bond that lasts forever, how it's a beautiful gift from God.

So that's what I thought it would be. I thought sex would be a transcendent emotional experience, where you just get lost in your love for the other person and you forget that you even have a body, and the next day you still daydream about it because it was so amazing and romantic and you're so in love.
Anyway. Yeah. I'm asexual. Back in my purity culture days, I thought I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted sex, but it turns out that sex is about getting together with another person to stimulate each other's genitals, and I have DEFINITELY never wanted that.
I was SO on board for this "deepest intimate bond" stuff that I heard in church. I'm so romantic. I really really really wanted that. So I thought I had a lot of sexual desire. Then Hendrix and I started having sex (before marriage, which was a really really good decision for us), and it wasn't any of that at all. It was actually about stimulating each other's genitals. Seriously. I mean, I had "the talk" when I was a teenager, and I had sex ed class, so I know that in a technical sense, that's what sex was- but I didn't think that's what it would actually feel like. I thought it would feel like joining together in an unfathomable sacred union, with the most beautiful intimate expression of love, and all that crap.

Ha. Nope. It's really just the genital thing. That was literally it. Yes, really. Here we are, touching each other's genitals. ....... why.

I was SO CONFUSED, trying to figure out if I was asexual, looking at online checklists that asked questions like "do you desire sex", and I'm thinking "YES I do want sex!" but then "oh wait, what do they mean by 'sex', do they mean an unfathomable and sacred act where I 'give myself' to my partner in the most intimate way possible, or do they mean doing stuff with our genitals?"

I'll just conclude by saying this: You may be asexual if you're really interested in romantic feelings and expressing love to each other, but can't intuitively understand why that would be related to anybody's genitals. You may be asexual if you don't get why everyone says it's THE BEST FEELING EVER to do things with their partner's genitals, but you assume it will be self-explanatory once you try it. Yeah, turns out it's not self-explanatory. It's even more baffling when you actually do it. It's even weirder than it sounds. Yes. Really.

If you're asexual, then everything you ever heard in church about sex was wrong.

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