Any tired folks out there? Curious ones? After reading the title of this blog, are any of you thinking, "Lord knows, I can't remember the last time I was physically intimate! Maybe last Tuesday?" As we enter a mini-series on intimacy, we'll be talking about emotional vulnerability, physical satisfaction, and the unique and biblical opportunities that we've been given through the gift of commitment. Join us!
The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
1 Cor. 7:3-4
This verse can be, well, inconvenient. Can I get an honest head nod? We get to work on time. We feed our kids, homeschool, chase toddlers, or drop them at classes before the bell rings. We scurry around to clean, produce, feed, and accommodate the needs of others throughout our days. For those of you who still have young children, you're groped, tugged on, whined at, and barely have time to shower! It feels like just one more person needs just one more thing from us before we can lay down our heads at night.
Men and women cite various reasons for sexual inactivity with their partners, including: fatigue, lack of interest, use of pornography, a prioritization of other benefits to monogamy (companionship, financial stability, childbearing, etc.), health issues, and age (hormonal changes).
Those factors acknowledged, there's an overplayed notion about "marrieds," both in social conversations and in Hollywood.
You know the one where monogamous people stop having sex after a while?
The one that says singles are having more and better quality sex?
We're about to blast through some major relationship myths this week! Here's the truth about committed sex and intimacy and why we should make it a priority:
1. Regular physical intimacy increases commitment in already committed couples.
Whoop, whoop for oxytocin! Oh yes indeed, hot and heavy marrieds, God did remember us in His creative fury. This fun little hormone is responsible for feelings of connection and security. Bonding. Women secrete oxytocin when we do things like breastfeed, cuddle, or during a sexual encounter. A man secretes the hormone more specifically related to sexual experience, resulting in connection with his partner. The effect is that a preference for her, over any other woman, is reinforced!
What does this mean for all of us? It means that:
Prioritizing physical intimacy is like building a protective fence around our relationships.
2. Life stage is a thing! And each stage passes like all seasons do...
It may surprise you when I tell you this: marrieds are physically intimate more often than singles. I know, I know - what are you us selling, Hollywood? Also interesting to note is that, though couples who live together have about the same amount of sex as marrieds, "They don't seem to enjoy it as much," according to Linda J. Waite's research at the University of Chicago. We would do well to acknowledge that there are good reasons for treasuring the instructions given in the inspired Word of God.
Emotional safety occurs more readily in socially committed, culturally reinforced marriages - increasing vulnerability, trust, and a willingness to try new things in the bedroom.
Additionally, there are certain groups of married folks who are more physically intimate than others. We have great data on the frequency of sex (and satisfaction) throughout the duration of a marriage. Here's what researchers have found:
We've learned quite a bit together, so I hope that you're encouraged to begin making physical intimacy a priority in your life, if it's not already. It's refreshing to see God's always-relevant principles explained in scientific detail. How amazing that He's given us both the spiritual guidance and the biological know-how to connect to one another!
Cuddle on coupled soldiers!
Photo Cred: Everton Vila
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.