Earlier this morning, I was reading a Q&A on Salon.com entitled, “I Want to Explore” and it caught my attention because I thought it was relevant to a lot of the questions, comments and concerns that come up on the site. The cliff note version of it is that a husband is happy in every other area of his marriage other than when it comes to he and his wife’s sex life.
OK, let’s stop here for a moment. I once heard a counselor say that the marriage bed reflects the stability in the other rooms of the house: “Good sex in a marriage is 10% of it while bad sex in a marriage is 90%. If you’re not communicating well in the bedroom, it’s a reflection of other issues.”
And then I thought about something that the columnist picked up on that I did as well: He never really said what he wanted.
So, here’s the next point: How can anyone else give you what you need when you either don’t know what you want or you don’t *clearly articulate it*? (That’s a life lesson to be applied across the board, by the way!)
And then I thought about this point that he made towards the end of his “letter question”: “I want to break this cycle and we are currently doing an immense amount of work to try to bridge the gap. But until that happens, I’m still left with the need to reset my libido and I have few, if any, options available. I do not want to go outside of the marriage but if that is my only option I will.”
Two points on this one: First, he wants to break the cycle, but if going outside of his marriage is his only option, he will. You know, I get into some really challenging discussions with people about wanting vs. *wanting to want*. If he doesn’t get what he wants in his marriage, he won’t just “stumble upon” an affair. It will be a conscious choice. *He will want to do it*. That said, from what he said, it seems more like he *wants to want* to not go outside of his union. The second point is fact that sometimes we’ll get comments about how “the world” operates vs. how we (as believers) do and so referencing “the world” is counterproductive. I personally don’t agree. Would we even exist as a ministry if Christians were sexually healthy based on the Word of God? There are people *just like this man* who sit in church (and on pulpits) every single week. And here’s the thing: PORN *IS* GOING OUTSIDE OF THE MARRIAGE. “One-ing” yourself to your covenant partner (Genesis 2:24-25) isn’t just about sharing your body with them. *Dogs do that*. Sex is to be a mind/body/spirit-ual experience. And I would love for someone to challenge the fact that porn does not affect someone’s mind and spirit. After all, if it didn’t affect us, *why would we watch it?*
But it was something else that the columnist said that serves as the true inspiration of this posting:
I went to sex therapist Ian Kerner with the question of how one can tell the difference between a relationship that is hopelessly sexually mismatched and one that can become sexually compatible and satisfying with work. He said that there are two types of people: “thrill-seekers and comfort creatures.” This is a broad generalization, sure, but it can be useful to spark discussion around a tricky topic, he says. “Thrill seekers often crave a high degree of novelty and tend to get bored rather quickly, while comfort creatures believe that less is more and enjoy the familiarity of a sexual routine,” Kerner explains. “Part of the problem is that in the early stage of a relationship, the infatuation of falling in love provides a level of excitement that often masks real differences in our sexual types.”
OK, being that the Word tells married people, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (I Corinthians 7:3-4-NKJV), I personally don’t believe that a married couple can be *hopelessly mismatched*. There’s a Scripture in the Bible that says, “Hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5) and since God doesn’t lie (Titus 1:2), I’ll hold him to that. Affection and sharing are two things that can help *any sexually-challenged marriage*.
But I do dig the “thrill seeker vs. comfort creature” scenario and personally, I feel that it applies to singles and married people.
I think most of us can agree that porn is a problem (again, for single and married people), but I wonder how much of it is because the *root* of the issue is that people are thrill-seeking and they don’t know how to properly channel out that energy. And for those who are uber put off by porn, I wonder if it’s because they are more naturally wired to be “comfort creatures”.
After all, what’s something that a lot of us who watched/watch porn will say? That it’s an odd ebb-and-flow kind of experience, right? While watching it, there is this extreme high that transpires and then after the peak, an *immediate low*. And isn’t that what happens with thrilling experiences in general? I wonder if a lot of people who gravitate to porn are naturally mischievious, curious, *thrill seekers*, while those who *are tempted in other ways* (because we all are tempted by and fall privy to *something*-I John 1:10) are more simplistic, easily contented as they tend to take life as it comes.
COULD PEOPLE WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO PORN BE LOOKING FOR THE THRILL THAT IT PROVIDES MORE THAN THE PORN ITSELF?
I’m working my way through an answer to that, but I’m sure you all will have *plenty to say* on the matter and I welcome it.
To both the “thrill seekers” and “comfort creatures”…