Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality

Category Archives: The Passion Principles

Balancing Mismatched Sex Drives- Part 1

Remembering that each person’s sexuality is as unique as their fingerprint, let’s consider for a moment the wide variety of complexities involved in a person’s sexuality.  First, there’s the family we grew up in and what our parents taught us (or failed to teach us) about sex.  Then there’s what our siblings and peers taught us, as well as whatever our pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders, or other spiritual or moral influences may have taught us.  Of course, we can’t leave out what kind of sexual messages we were exposed to through a wide variety of media outlets. 

 
Next, we must take into consideration the gender-specific messages we received from the culture we grew up in.  Now toss in the fact that you’re at a certain age, and in a certain season of marriage.  Some of us are “dinks” (double income, no kids), others are in the thick of parenting, and still others are empty nesters.  Obviously, there are a lot of factors playing into just how “sexual” we may feel during certain times of our lives.  And the thing is — it’s always changing!  How we feel sexually in our twenties isn’t the same as how we feel in our thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond for many folks, God bless them!
 
With that being said, hopefully, you understand why I think sexual stereotypes are incredibly unfair!  As mentioned previously, what sexual stereotype is most common?   All men want sex.  All women do not.  Husbands are sexually frustrated.  Wives could care less.  Isn’t that the message presented on most TV sitcoms and in movie theaters?  In my coaching practice, however, I’d say there’s about a 50/50 split.  Granted, some couples complain that he wants sex far more often than she does.  But at least half of my coaching clients say that she’s the one wanting sex more often, and the husband is the one with the lower libido.
 
Therefore, notice I didn’t phrase this section, “What if one of us wants sex more than the other?”  That can be the case from one day to the next!  Sometimes he’s feeling frisky and she’s feeling frigid that night, and the next day it can easily be vice versa.  These differences can be ironed out as we practice mutual submission in a sexual sense.  It’s a lot healthier for a spouse to simply muster the energy to cooperate for the benefit of their spouse’s sexual release than for “not tonight” to become so standard of a response that sexual tension builds to the point of resentment in the relationship. 
 
Instead, I chose to phrase the question: “How can we balance mismatched sex drives?”  This terminology indicates that it’s not just an occasional “one wants it, the other doesn’t” kind of issue.  It’s more like a “we simply aren’t on the same page sexually during this season of our lives, and it’s become a burr underneath our marital saddle!”  So let’s examine what could be going on, and what can be done to improve the situation.
To be continued
Excerpted from  The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

Getting Past The Past- Part 2

continued…

I recently spoke to a group of young college women, some married, some single.  During a breakout session, we conducted an anonymous question-and-answer time where students submitted index cards with whatever question they’d like to ask.  After almost twenty years of speaking on the topic of healthy sexuality, nothing really surprises me much anymore, but this question both surprised and blessed me:

 
How are you so perky and cheery about life?  I mean, you were sexually abused before you were even a teenager, and experienced so many broken sexual relationships before you even finished high school!  How can you possibly experience freedom? I feel as if it doesn’t exist.
 
Here’s why I’m so perky and cheery about life, in spite of the sexual trauma I’ve experienced and the mistakes I’ve made:  I know who I am in Christ! 
           
My biggest question to you, brothers and sisters, is: Do YOU know who you are in Christ?
 
When Jesus died on the cross, He did not say, “Forgive them for their sins — except for the sexual ones!  Those are too big, so I’m not dying for those!”  It sounds ridiculous to even consider Jesus saying such a thing, doesn’t it?  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the blood that Jesus shed is more than sufficient to cleanse me of every sin I’ve ever committed, and even every sin I’ll ever commit in the future.  In fact, that blood is sufficient enough to cover all sin, throughout all of history, so why would I think my sin is so special that it was surely excluded from His sacrificial act on the cross that day?  Absurd.  I’m covered.  I’m good.  I’m free.  And that’s why I’m perky and cheery!  Who has the time to be all down about life when we’ve been given such a miraculous mulligan?  We get to “start over” on any given day because God’s mercies are new every morning (see Lamentations 3:22-23)!
Are you ready to be covered?  Good?  Free?  Perhaps even perky and cheery about life, marriage, and relationships?  Then all you need to do is have faith that the blood Jesus shed on the cross is more than sufficient to cover all of your sin as well. And I can promise you — it is!  If you’re unsure, well, that says a lot more about you than it does about God, doesn’t it?  It really is a matter of simply receiving a gift that’s already been given, ripping the scarlet letter off of our sweaters, and doing a big, fat victory dance because we are free!  Woohoo!
 
PRAYER:  Lord, help me be excited about the life of freedom I am living because of the price you paid for my past!
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