“I’m Not Attracted to My Husband Anymore” – Christian advice column. I guess Christian married sex isn’t all it’s said to be by Christians
Christians often promise in their sexual purity literature, or sermons or speeches for teen and adult singles, that if singles save their virginity until marriage, that married sex will be great. It will be spectacular. It is implied also that married sex will be regular.
But then, you will occasionally see articles or editorials, like the one I’m posting here, to a page on Christianity Today by Dr. Slattery, where a Christian will belie this Christian propaganda by discussing sexual problems (or other types of problems) that occur in Christian marriages.
(Link): “I’m Not Attracted to My Husband Anymore” by Dr. Juli Slattery
- But women also ask about seemingly less perilous obstacles to intimacy, and this is one of them. How can you be sexually intimate with a man you are no longer attracted to? Is it possible to have a great sex life when there is no chemistry?
— end excerpt —
Now there is something that is never (that I can recall) seeing in all my years of reading Christian literature about sexual purity, or listening to any sermons that mention the topic.
It’s always just assumed that if you stay a virgin until marriage, you will have no problems what-so-ever in the sex department.
But lo and behold if some Christian women do in fact look at their husband and find his balding head, beer gut, or bad hygiene, or whatever, total sexual turn-offs.
Yet another reason I find this admission interesting – that the doctor who wrote this advice column for a Christian publication is admitting that Christian women confide in her that they are no longer sexually and physically attracted to their husbands – is that much of conservative Christian teaching and biases about women, sex, dating, marriage, and all the rest, frequently assume that women (at least married ones) have no interest in sex, and that neither single nor married women care about what men look like.
Christians will drone on and on with the un-biblical and unproven assumption that God supposedly “wired men to be visually stimulated” but will never acknowledge the fact that women are also visually stimulated (that is, hetero women do enjoy looking at tall, muscular, broad-shouldered men who have full heads of hair and flat stomachs).
Here’s another excerpt by Dr. Slattery:
- As you can imagine, I also get this question from men. It’s funny how we react with a double standard on this issue. A woman will have empathy for her friend who no longer finds her balding husband attractive but will respond with disdain if a man were to say, “My wife has put on thirty pounds in the last ten years. I just don’t find her appealing.” Why is such a superficial expression of love accepted in a woman but scorned in a man?
— end excerpt —
It’s not rocket science, Dr. Slattery. The reason why this is so is because more often than not, more pressure is put on women, by both secular and Christian culture, to stay thin and youthful.
Men are starting to get a little more of this pressure in the last few years to stay in shape and be good-looking – from secular society, at least (see (Link): this post for more about that). Christian culture still gives men a pass, however, and Christians never scold or shame men to lose weight and stay in shape.
In Christian circles, especially evangelical, Reformed / Neo Calvinist, fundamentalist and Baptist, women are forever shamed, pressured, and browbeat to stay stick thin, are advised to wear make-up constantly and to meet an impossible beauty ideal every day of our lives.
We women are constantly told in sermons, Christian magazine articles and so on, that we should always stay pretty, because God designed women to be physically beautiful (though the Bible does not say this anywhere), and God supposedly wired men to be visually stimulated (though, again, the Bible does not teach that concept, either).
Women are more often pressured and taught in Christian material that their physical appearance is very important to men. Men never get this message from Christian material, even though women do care about what men look like.
I always see Christian writers and clergy frequently telling women (in everything from blogs and magazine articles to sermons and podcasts) to stay thin, diet, put on lip stick and mascara, and wear their hair long, because men prefer long-haired, skinny women to ugly fatties.
Then, these same Christians send a mixed message by telling their female audience,
- “But remember, what you look like on the outside doesn’t really matter, because God looks at your heart and values you for being His daughter.
- So don’t starve yourself or fret about your figure.
- But remember, you do totally need to starve yourself and fret about your looks, because your husband cares about that stuff, since God wired men to be so visual.”
Women get a lot more pressure by Christians to focus a lot on their outward appearance, while Christian women are often told NOT to judge men based on their looks or bank account – we women are told to stop holding out for “Mr. Wealthy Hottie” and settle for “Mr. Good Enough.”
In most Christian material, we women are told to only care about a man’s “inner, godly qualities.” I seldom hear Christian men get told the same when appraising women – value women for their inner qualities, not their physical appearance.
Even in Slattery’s own article, we read this:
- Sure, your husband might not have washboard abs or a thick head of hair. Maybe he’s more tuned into ESPN than he is to your feelings. Along with his flaws, I know there are things about him that others appreciate (and you used to appreciate!). Does he have beautiful eyes or a kind smile? Is he friendly or hardworking?
— end excerpt —
See there? Women are shamed for, or told they are in error if, they are turned off by baldness or a spare tire around the middle.
The author is not really encouraging such men to lose the lard by taking up jogging, or to go get a toupee or go on Rogaine – solutions that would be tossed at balding or overweight women by Christians – but instead, the Christian women are being told to overlook these things, just accept them as they are, and try to focus on whatever redeeming qualities the guy may have.
Men never, ever get this sort of lecture or type of advice from Christian writers, or, I have as of yet not seen it. On the contrary, a pudgy or obese Christian woman would be told to exercise and diet her brains out and go get a wig if she is balding – she needs to please her man at all costs in these areas because “God designed men to be more visual.”
Women are never given latitude or a break in this area, not by Christians, and usually not by secular society. But women are expected to give poor, poor, beleaguered men a break, and just ignore the balding, the missing front teeth, the flabby belly.
I have to fault Dr. Slattery with the second line, the one about, “maybe your man is more in tune with the sports channel than with your feelings.” She suggests that women just “let that go” and focus on their man’s other fine qualities.
Just no, lady. One reason of a million I dumped my ex fiance, “Fred,” is he fit that bill.
My ex never showed an interest in me, nor my feelings, nor my career or hobbies. (I wrote more about that in (Link): this previous post, scroll down to find the section with the heading “Personal Experience with Male Entitlement,” for more on that topic).
Getting my emotional needs met is a “must have” for me, a requirement in a relationship, and I suspect that is true for a majority of women.
I need to be with a man who gives me emotional support and encouragement – that means he has to place me, and giving me attention, over and above his sports viewing habits, and be willing to turn ESPN off once in awhile to give me his full attention.
(Lucky for whomever I should marry one day, I’m a severe introvert to the 10h degree and don’t need tons and tons of attention all the time, but dammit, when I do want to be heard, whoever I marry damn well better give me his full attention – and not act whiny or resentful about having to tear an hour or two away from sports TV to listen to me.)
Anyway, my overall feeling on Dr. Slattery’s page here is how funny it is – she is admitting on this thing that Christian women sometimes stop finding their husbands sexually appealing and so sex may come to a halt, while on the other hand, other Christians will tell you and swear up and down if only you stay a virgin until marriage, the sex will be wonderful, and there will be no problems.
Christian married sex is not always hot, great, regular, or satisfactory. Even if you stay a virgin until you marry, the sex may be unfulfilling, boring, or only happen once every ten years. Christians never mention this stuff when they are advertising in favor of virginity. If they even bother to anymore; these days, more (Link): Christians have joined Non-Christians in attacking virginity.
(Link): Perverted Christian Married Couple Wants to “Wife Swap” (For Sex) With Other Christian Couple – Why Christians Need to Uphold Chastity / Celibacy For All People Even Married Couples Not Just Teens
(Link): Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages