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Can a wife be both a lady and an exciting sexual partner?

Jay Dee

Can a wife be both a lady and an exciting sexual partner?

Apr 08, 2016

I received this question from our anonymous Have A Question page last month.  I have more recent ones, but to be honest, I don’t follow a “first come first serve” policy.  I sort of pick whichever one I’m inspired to answer on any given day.

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Anonymous QuestionI received this question from our anonymous Have A Question page last month.  I have more recent ones, but to be honest, I don’t follow a “first come first serve” policy.  I sort of pick whichever one I’m inspired to answer on any given day.  And sometimes I need more time to do research, or a question that’s more pressing comes up, or any number of other things.  But, I’m getting to this one today.

My question is, my husband & I have been married for 24 years. Recently he made the comment that I, his wife, is “for love, and other women are for sex”. And I often see him ogling young beautiful women, both in our daily life, as well as in videos he watches at work (he is aware that this isn’t acceptable to me).
He was raised in a very strict Catholic home, and once – when I mentioned that it’s ok for us to have fun in our sexual relationship, he scoffed and said “not in the eyes of the church”. Is it possible that he feels that his “exciting & enjoyable” sexual experiences can only be fulfilled by other women, and that married sex is supposed to be boring? And if so – how do I convince him that God wants us to enjoy it, or he wouldn’t have made it so enjoyable! Or is he just a typical man, doing what every man does?

Thank You

Where does this mindset come from?

Sadly, this is the message many have gotten from Catholicism.  Unfortunately, the Catholic church made quite the mess of the Biblical view of sexuality, and as a result, we get mindsets like this.  They’re completely contradictory to God’s message in the Bible, but they used to be very prevalent.  It’s not so strong any more…but then Catholicism isn’t as strong as it used to be.  Still, there are hold outs.

When I read this question, I immediately thought of the movie Analyze This. Here’s a transcribe of one of the conversations between the therapist and the mobster:

Dr. Ben Sobel: What happened with your wife last night?
Boss Paul Vitti: I wasn’t with my wife, I was with my girlfriend.
Dr. Ben Sobel: Are you having marriage problems?
Boss Paul Vitti: No.
Dr. Ben Sobel: Then why do you have a girlfriend?
Boss Paul Vitti: What, are you gonna start moralizing on me?
Dr. Ben Sobel: No, I’m not, I’m just trying to understand, why do you have a girlfriend?
Boss Paul Vitti: I do things with her I can’t do with my wife.
Dr. Ben Sobel: Why can’t you do them with your wife?
Boss Paul Vitti: Hey, that’s the mouth she kisses my kids goodnight with! What are you, crazy?

Of course, “Boss Paul Vitti” was a staunch Catholic, as all stereotypical Italian mobsters are in movies.

But, the point is, it conveys this message that there are things you do with other women that you can’t do with your wife.  Or to put it another way: That your wife should be a lady, and “good girls don’t do those things”.

The Madonna – Whore Complex

Men with this mindset are said to have a “Madonna – Whore complex”.  That is, that they are sexually attracted to women who have been degraded and made into a sexual object, but they can’t love them.  And so, it becomes impossible to have a wife whom you both love and are sexually attracted to.

Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love. – Sigmund Freud

Unfortunately, this is a mindset that is still prevalent, particularly in those with a Catholic background.

Of course, this is completely not in keeping with the Bible, which tells us that husbands and wives can be both loving, compassionate, be filled with Christ-like love, while also being sexually adventurous.  This mindset is what gives birth to phrases like

A good woman is a lady on the street, a princess in the kitchen and a prostitute in bed.

Now, I know some people will get upset about the phrasing, and I didn’t author the quote, but the underlying principle is that it’s possible to be both the “Madonna” and the “Whore” depending on the context.

Christian wives are free to express themselves sexually and in adventurous ways, with their spouse, and then can still go out and be “ladies” in public, doing ministry and all those very “Christian” things, as well as the mundane ones.

How do you change this mindset?

That’s the difficult one.  Unfortunately that “not in the eyes of the church” might be true for a lot of Churches, despite what the Bible teaches.  Ideally, you could simply have your husband read something like Song of Solomon, perhaps go through a study like Intimacy Ignited that explains what the book means.  However, it may take a sex-positive pastor/priest to undo some of these teachings.

But, of course, you can’t force him to change.  All you can do is present the evidence, and perhaps get help from an authority that your husband respects.  In the end, he needs to make the decision to believe God, or believe the church he grew up in.

I know I have some Catholic readers.  Anyone willing to share their viewpoint in the comments below?  Of course, everyone else is welcome to as well.

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19 thoughts on “Can a wife be both a lady and an exciting sexual partner?”

  1. Rednran80 says:

    Good content! That’s so sad that there are woman living in that kind of bondage. What me and my husband do in our bedroom is sacred, by God’s design. Living in freedom and enjoying every moment! Praise God I can be a Christian lady and a dirty girl at the same time!!

  2. crystal says:

    I grew up Catholic and found myself to be very lost in my adult life when it came to my faith. My husband is Christian and has shown me the intimate relationship we are supposed to have with God and how to go about it. To be honest I find the Catholic Church to be very judgemental and not very helpful. At the end of the day I’ve come to the conclusion it is my husband and I in our marriage bed. Not the Catholic Church. God want for us to GROW and that means closer to him as well as each other. In marriage we become one which means stepping outside ourselves and giving ourselves to one another no matter how uncomfortable it can be but in the end it feels good to be vulnerable with our spouse that is something the Catholic Church does not teach God steps in on that. I hope this helps.

  3. John says:

    Seems like Proverbs 5:19 would be a good place to start.

  4. Walter says:

    I grew up in a community where it is also very strictly, speaking of sex is already sin, as is also taught that sex is just to make children and not to enjoy it, which is also the reason why 80% of married Mennonite men do have an other Spanish women only for their-sexual adventurous. I am talking about all the menonite colonies in central and south america. Me and my wife we got a lot of stuff from a book that we got from an friend, and we self did alot of research themselves in the Bible there we found a lot on stuf that we an our marriage can enjoy sex. We are also very grateful that God has guided us as far.

  5. LatterDay Marriage says:

    My parents were very uncomfortable with the topic of sex, and I guess the upside of that was that they didn’t pass on a bunch of false ideas to me. Luckily found good information on my own. There was some bad teaching by some at church, but it was minor and I usually knew it was wrong at the time. God gave me a wife that had parents who were better examples and teachers on this than mine. I think both husbands and wives need to embrace their sexual nature and be comfortable feeling desire and getting passionate with each other before they can individually become what God wants them to be and before they can make their marriage what God intended. I love my wife having this sexy side that only I get to see. I love sitting in church with her smiling about how the morning started. In my book being a great lover is a part of being a lady.

  6. Valarie says:

    David Jeremiah did a wonderful teaching series years ago on love, marriage & sex based on the Song of Solomon and it’s clear that God wants us to enjoy sex!

  7. Keelie Reason says:

    Wow, I’ve never head this before. You always have great answers to your readers.

  8. Eric says:

    Instead of bashing the Catholic Church on what you think it teaches, I suggest you read “Theology of the Body” written by Pope St. John Paul II. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I haven’t read, but I have heard good things. However, there are still two outstanding things:
      1) You cannot disregard the catholic church’s historical sex-negative stance, and the impact it had on the rest of Christianity. In fact, there been popes who openly said that all married sex is sin. It may be trying to change now, but there are still many priests and catholics who believe sex is a sin, and that is what this post touched on.
      2) Actions speak louder than words. Regardless of what is taught now, so long as the practice of requiring priests to be celibate is in place, then one must conclude that the catholic church believes that sex is evil. For, if one must be celibate to serve God in that capacity, then one must believe that sex removes you from God. And nothing good can remove you from God, ergo, sex must not be good. What catholicism now preaches is still at odds with what it does.

      I say these not to “bash” the catholic church, merely to let you know how it is perceived. We must be willing to look at our churches and admit where we have failed and work towards being better. After all, only God is infallible. We should never expect a church made up of humans to be. That would be blasphemous.

  9. J. Parker says:

    I think the message was more subtly conveyed in other churches, but still there. I know I grew up with the impression that “good girls don’t,” and it wasn’t really clear that this changed when the wedding ring was put on your finger. It’s one of the reasons I, and other Christian girls I knew, struggled — because we had sex drives and didn’t know what we were supposed to do with them. I also saw men accept this subtle teaching with the idea that you “sow your wild oats” with women before marriage, then settle down to something lesser with the “ball and chain.” I’m just thinking that many common phrases have made it into our lexicon to convey that ladies are not supposed to be all that gung-ho about sex and that men shouldn’t desire their wives to be.

    It’s wrong-headed and not biblically supported in the least, but that perspective has been around for a while and lingers in some places.

  10. Al says:

    Sadly this women’s husband didn’t actually know the catholic teachings on sexuality ( a common problem amongst my catholic brethren). I think he is mistaking what his family was teaching, for what the church teaches. His views couldn’t be more contrary.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I don’t blame him. I’ve looked up catholic teachings on sexuality, and I find them confusing and at odds with each other. I don’t think you can say that “sex is good” and “you can’t be a priest and have sex” in the same doctrine and not be confusing.

      1. alan says:

        Jay I would recommend John Paul’s love and responsibility, and the catholic catechism to clear up any confusion. Short version is priest a celibate because they don’t marry, not because sex is bad but because they are devoting themselves to the service of God. Its a sacrifice they make.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Alright, so, in order to be ordained, one must give up marriage.
          To be ordained literally means to increase the order of an individual. In other words, to raise them above the rest, to place one life above the others. That is ordination, by definition. Therefore, marriage relegates you to a lower order. But, God wants us to be close to Him. Therefore, marriage must be a sin, since it separates us from God.

          1. Alan says:

            With respect that’s not the definition, nor is it what the Catholic church means when it talks about ordination. The priesthood is considered a life of service to God and to your fellow man. Again I am going to suggest you read the documents i named in my previous comment. There is a lot of misinformation out there about catholic teachings, and those would go a long way in clearing up misunderstanding about the subject. marriage in the church is a sacrament, a sign of divine grace, Of gods love for human kind. Sex within the proper context of a marriage is not considered a sin. If anything its encouraged look at the size of a lot of Catholic families. 🙂

            1. Jay Dee says:

              I’ll add it to my reading list. I thought the size of Catholic families was due to the Pope’s declaration that “All marital intercourse is sin, with the exception of that which serves procreation.”

  11. El Fury says:

    Well, it’s possible… I’m blessed with such a wife 🙂

    As other commenters have said, the modern church doesn’t do a great job of teaching young people how to stay pure before marriage AND let loose after marriage.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think that’s part of the problem: our terminology. Saying “stay pure before marriage” implies that once you get married you’re no longer pure. But you can have purity in marriage and have sex, just as you can be married, but impure. Sex isn’t the issue, the context is. But so often the canned Christian answers imply that sex = impurity. And that contradicts with what we explicitly teach. We’re responsible for both our explicit and implicit teachings.

  12. Chris Tian says:

    lol! I thought of Analyse This as well!
    For me it’s about a “Proverbs 5:18-19 thing

    18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

    19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

    I wanted my husband to always feel “ravished in delighted” so that told me it was okay with God for me to be good at sex and enjoy it. 🙂 xx

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