One of, if not the biggest, reason why the word “sex” grabs our attention (as Americans) is because we are dissatisfied with our sex lives. As much sex as it seems we’re getting, you’d think we’d be more than satisfied with it. But we’re not. For a variety of reasons, we feel less than confident in our sex lives.
Everywhere we turn, we see sex. We see it in the checkout lines at the grocery store. We see it all over the internet. And it shows up in seemingly every movie and TV show. Sex is thrown at us like candy.
Unfortunately, because it’s culturally taboo to talk about sex, we’ve received the majority of our sex education from the following three places: magazines, the internet, and movies. In this article, I want to share three myths Amy and I have learned about sex which we believe are causing a lot of sexual dissatisfaction in marriages.
Before I get started, I want you to know that you don’t have to listen to all the voices screaming at you, telling you the way sex is supposed to happen. There isn’t such a thing as “normal” when it comes to sex. Sex is an experience which is intended to be shared between a husband and wife as they grow together in learning more and more about one another.
Myth 1: Sex Works Like in the Movies
You know how it works in the movies: a guy and a girl meet, don’t intend on falling in love, but then one day realize they’re in love, lose all emotional control, and find themselves in bed together having had the best sex of their lives. Because this is the only exposure many of us had to sex before we experienced it ourselves, we thought this was how sex was going to work for us too.
Let’s do a reality check: Real life sex doesn’t work like it does in the movies. Two people who barely know each other don’t just look at each other a certain way, start making out, and then hop into bed together (or a steamy shower for a more dramatic effect). They don’t just magically know what to do to turn each other on. Their clothes don’t just magically fall off. The lube and condoms don’t magically find their way onto and into certain body parts without killing the romantic atmosphere. And unfortunately for OCD’s and germophobes, sex is extremely messy.
If you think sex is going to be as amazing as you fantasize it being in the movies, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. I’m not saying sex can’t be great, because it can be, but it’s a different type of great than the great we fantasize about from watching Nicholas Sparks chick-flicks.
Great sex takes time…a lot of time. Your first sexual experience is going to be far from perfect. But that’s part of what makes it so exciting. It’s all uphill from there! As you and your spouse work together to learn each other sexually, you’ll continue to build a deeper and deeper relational connection with one another.
Myth 2: There Are No Consequences to Sex
It’s easy to just get in and get out, right? You can go out on Saturday night, pick up a random girl, make love back at your place, and then say your farewells the following morning. You can then continue on with your life unscathed by the experience. Think again.
Sex is as much emotional (and spiritual) as it is physical. Certainly you can have pleasurable physical, and even emotional, experiences by having sex with random strangers, but you can’t walk away from a one-night stand, or even a long term relationship, without experiencing both emotional and physical consequences.
I’ll be captain obvious here: sex makes babies. Whether you’re using birth control or not, there’s always a chance of pregnancy. That’s all I’m going to say about that consequence because I want to focus most of my time in this myth on the emotional consequences of sex.
Whether we want it to happen or not, there’s an emotional bond (intimacy) which forms between two people who engage in sexual activities. This consequence can either be helpful or hurtful depending upon the type of relationship you’re in. If you’re in a committed life-long relationship with another person (marriage), the bond which you form with one another during sex will continue to strengthen your marriage in profound ways. On the other hand, if you’re in a non-committed relationship such as an exclusive dating relationship, causal dating relationship, or one-night stand, having sex with another person will bond you to that person in a way that can leave deep emotional wounds.
It’s impossible to avoid the risk of consequences when you choose to have sex.
Myth 3: Experimenting with Other People Makes Sex Better
When you regularly have sex with the same person, you may feel as though it loses some of the luster and mystery it may have had at first. After awhile, your partner may exhaust all the tools in his or her sex tool belt, making sex feel a bit bland, like it’s nothing more than another ritual the two of you perform. To reinvigorate your sex life, you may decide to experiment around with other people (even some married people make the mutual decision to do this).
Switching partners may introduce some variety to our sex lives…at least for a while. But the newness of it will wear off and we’ll be right back in the same predicament. And emotionally, we’ll find ourselves a complete wreck.
Although we can certainly learn a technique or two from other people, the best sex is found when the physical and emotional aspects of it collide. You can learn all the right physical techniques, but they, in and of themselves, can only take the experience so far.
As I mentioned briefly earlier, sex is intended to be discovered and experienced by a husband and wife working together. Taking this adventure together is a bonding experience which will draw them closer together. Sharing these experiences with other people will cause you to miss out on the opportunity to share them with your spouse.