A two topic post today. The first topic is this post over at Deep Strength’s blog. In his post Biblical prescriptions with no bible, DS examines an ostensibly Christian article which discusses sex and marriage. As DS points out, actual scripture doesn’t show up very often in the article, and the most important parts (at least of the New Testament) are missing. The key part I want to talk about is his response here:
One would think that those who burn with passion and get married would have “great sex,” especially with lots of practice. If they’re burning with passion, they’re going to have lots of sex. Of course, it’s not guaranteed there will be “great sex,” but if the each spouse is focusing on the needs of the other, then it will definitely improve significantly over the course of time.
Then you have garbage like “sexual incompatibility” which is just a “lack of practice” and “lack of focusing on the other’s needs” and/or “lack of attraction.” In other words, selfishness.
Given how it is used, “sexual incompatibility” is a concept which means both everything and nothing at the same time. It is a catchall term that means whatever the user intends it to mean at any specific point in time, without necessary reference to how it is used elsewhere, or even before by the same person. Thus, it is basically worthless.
The way I see it, most sexual problems in marriage are rooted in one of these problems:
- One or both spouses is not sexually attracted to the other spouse
- One or both of the spouses has some sort of mental hangup with sex
- One or both of the spouses has some sort of medical condition which is tied to sex (perhaps something that causes pain during the conjugal act)
Now to talk about each.
Sexual Attraction is one of those elephants in the room that most Christians will just ignore. And I suspect most “compatibility” issues are tied to this. I’ve written on the subject numerous times before, but it never hurts to repeat myself here. Unless the situation is truly extraordinary, a couple should NEVER marry unless they share at least some sexual attraction towards each other. It is never certain that this will change in a positive direction after marriage, and even then, it won’t make for a fun wedding night. Solutions to a problem here are for another post, but this is definitely a problem.
Mental hangups can come from a number of sources. Perhaps one of the spouses was the victim of sexual abuse in the past, and this has colored his/her view of sex. Maybe one or both of the spouses engaged in sexual sin in the past, and this has interfered with their ability to be one flesh with their spouse (say, because of a lack of bonding or an inability to be aroused normally). Or maybe one or both spouses was raised and taught an improper view of human sexuality which has had a lasting impact on them. For example, maybe they were taught sexuality was inherently “dirty” or evil, and thus they tried to repress their sexuality (rather than discipline and control) it in the past. Finally, there are issues of heart and attitude- normally based in how one spouse views the other. This is mostly a female problem, as it is tied to attraction, which is based in part on how a woman views a man.
Medical conditions are another possibility. Some might not have solutions, but many do. As so many commercials say, see your personal physician about the matter.
The second topic has to do with failure, and relies on this post over at Alpha Game. Vox uses the example of a “Gamma” to explain this important point:
What [the “Gamma”] has to do is adopt the philosophy “fail faster”. The more you try and fail, and the faster you can speed up that process, the more likely it is that one or more of your future endeavors will meet with success.
This is a tough thing for some men to accept. We can grow up with a sense that failure is to be avoided at all costs. That was me growing up (I definitely had Gamma tendencies). But failure is a necessary part of life. Without failure there can be no growth. Everyone fails at some point. Everyone. If you aren’t failing, it means you aren’t really trying. And if you aren’t really trying, you won’t ever get anything of important done in your life.
This is especially true, and especially difficult, when women are concerned. Rejection and failing with women isn’t easy for a man. At least at first. But it is part of the process of becoming good at interacting with them. A man just has to learn to deal with the frustration and feeling of failure. Like death and taxes, it is just part of life.
And yes, I know it is easier said then done. I flopped recently, and it was damned frustrating for a while. But I got over it. And I am still going forward. Self-pity of self-loathing might appear to feel good at the time, but you always regret them in the end. Remembering that helped me overcome any sense of failure, and instead try to look at it as a learning experience. It is always good to remember what Vox has to say in his closing lines:
Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be seen to try. Even the most successful people fail, badly, most of the time.