A survey I read the other day said that 30-50% women are upset by how infrequently they have orgasms.
I started to think about this--a lot. A ton of questions came to mind.
- Is there some sort of expectation that women aren't supposed to get the same pleasure from sex that men get? (If 30-50% of men didn't climax on a regular basis I'm pretty sure there would be revolutions).
- What does this reveal about the relationship between a woman and her husband?
- Is it socially not okay for women not to have orgasms "every time?"
- What affect, if any, does pornography have in all this?
Remember the quote from Outside Providence: "Sex is like a Chinese dinner. It ain't over until you both get your cookies."? What happened to THAT mindset?
Freud ruined it.
Freud broke the female orgasm down into two phases: clitoral (pre-pubescent) and vaginal (more mature). In essence, women who were past puberty and couldn't reach orgasm through penetration considered themselves inadequate. Thanks for the huge disservice, Mr. Freud because if you aren't self-conscious enough about your body, your boob size, cellulite and your leg hair NOW you can feel bad that you don't have an orgasm the "right" way. That ought help the mental state in the bedroom.
Fast-forward to the new millennium and pornography is rampant. Beyond the 50's pin-ups, men now have access to naked women on TV, Ipods, computers ... Sex sells beer and cars and running shorts and dental insurance. Somehow these air-brushed, fake boob women deceive men into thinking that regular women everywhere are committed to ensuring male pleasure alone. And I think this can destroy marriages.
In most cultures sex is generally viewed as enjoyment for men. But I'm gonna be honest here. I believe that sex was designed by God to be a loving, intimate, and pleasurable experience between a husband and a wife. I don't think pleasure was intended to be a one-way street. But that's not how it plays out, is it? Now sex seems to be about reaching the Big O for yourself--not connecting with your lover.
I think sex has been twisted into a selfish act, not a self-less act.
Consider 1 Corinthians 7:2-5:
... each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
This is a deep passage and it is used in a wrong-hearted manner all the time. Actually, I can visualize some man throwing this verse in a woman's face and demanding sex. Man, if that is you and you are reading this mom-blog hoping to find a tool to coerce your wife into pleasing you, let me make it clear that this verse does not mean your wife has to submit to your every sexual whim. If you want to read a verse out of context, I suggest you start with the one about husbands loving their wives like Christ loves the Church.
To me, this passage is a celebration of sex. God is saying--"Hey, I made you husband and wife to submit to one another. To love one another. To please one another. Come together and enjoy. Drink deeply, O Lovers!"
Husbands and wives are designed to come together sexually to please one another. Wives please their husbands; husbands please their wives.
So what happens when this doesn't happen?
If the survey is right and 30-50% of women feel like they are duped in the orgasm area, I envision marriages of deep-seated anger and bitterness. Can't you just see the thoughts that would run through the head of a woman who doesn't feel like her marriage sex life is mutually beneficial:
- "great, more sex for your enjoyment,"
- "sex just isn't a big deal,"
- "I bet *insert name of actor or guy you work with* is a much better lover than my husband. I bet he could really meet my needs ..."
And when this mindset sets in, sex becomes a weapon. It's used to manipulate, to control, and to hurt. What was designed to fulfill, d e s t r o y s.
Is this you? Have you been there?
If you want to know the truth, this was me. I've been there.
woman with self-image issues + history of bad relationships + rampant pornography + miscommunication + worldly concept of sex = unfulfilled marriage bed
If you've been there--if you ARE there, take heart because a lack-luster sex life can be transformed with a little help from God. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? YES!
The change in sexual enjoyment is a process. It starts with open communication (yes, this means you have to find a loving way to tell your spouse that you'd like to please one another in the sack more!). It includes making intentional time together (thus, dating one another on purpose). It includes talking in bed--what works, what doesn't ...
For me what it really took was God reminding me that I am IT for Matt. It is my high and holy calling to be the sole female who brings him pleasure (and vice versa). (Is that how you feel? Does meeting your husband's sexual needs feel like a divine right or a duty?) God designed me to be Matt's perfect provision and when I grabbed hold of that truth and burned it on my heart, I was freed of the "I'm not good enoughs" that enslaved me.
An amazing thing happened, the more Matt and I talked about sex and what we enjoyed, the more we explored one another, the more on fire our sex life became. I thought he didn't want to please me. He thought I didn't trust him to please me. What we've figured out is we both desire to please and be pleased by one another.
If you are broken over your sex life, there is hope. If you are being held back by past mistakes or pornography or cellulite, there is help. If you want it and your husband doesn't it, you're not alone.
There are resources and people who will help!
Our favorite resource:
A Celebration of Sex
Some other sources you might like:
Every Man's Battle
Every Heart Restored
The Sex-Starved Wife (there are also sex-starved husband and marriage books)
Passionate Marriage (not Christian)
So what do I think about orgasms? They are created for husbands AND wives to regularly enjoy because they are pleasurable, fulfilling, increase intimacy in marriage, and they knit a man together with his wife.
Here's to celebrating the gift of sex and orgasms with our husbands.