I caused a bit of a stir yesterday with my post Romance is the death of sexual attraction. This is sort of a part two, but not the part two I think a lot of people were expecting. In short, if you don’t want to read the post, the point I was trying to get across is that needing someone to bolster your sense of self, needing romantic gestures in order to feel complete, will kill your spouse’s sexual attraction for you.
It’s not the point many took from it, but that’s what I was writing about. Today, I’m writing about the other side of the coin: that being confident is sexy.
Confidence is something I find I constantly have to work on. Growing up as I did, I constantly second guess a lot of my actions. I’m very confident in my thoughts, in who I am, even in my work, but social interactions are something else. Interacting with people is always a struggle. That’s really where confidence is shown, when you are interacting with others, and so, appearing confident is a struggle for me.
Even with my wife it is hard to appear confident while initiating sex in particular. Probably part of this is owing to our history as I have some lingering fears of rejection, despite it not being a valid fear any more. I’m getting better at it, but occasionally I slip into old mannerisms. I think a lot of people have this trouble in their marriage. Initiating sex is scary. It’s putting yourself out there. Emotionally naked and vulnerable, if not physically. Unfortunately, often we’re our own worst enemy in these situations. Our lack of confidence lessens our chance of our spouse wanting to have sex with us.
Because, while the Bible says we’re not to deprive our spouse, we don’t just want a willing partner, we want a desirous lover. We want our spouse to want us. We also don’t want them to come to us as a supplicant, begging for sex. If you look at TV shows and movies, we often see this juxtaposition between married sexual initiation and unmarried. Married men (in particular) tend to come to their wives begging for scraps regarding sex. They’ll take anything, anywhere, do anything just to “get lucky”. Frankly, it’s pathetic. No wonder their wives are portrayed as being uninterested in sleeping with them.
Contrast that with those who are unmarried, or having affairs. Typically there is this hunger, this desire, but without the neediness. There’s usually an air of confidence involved as well. This bearing of “I’m worth the risk”. And if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay. They’ll just move on to conquer something else.
People love to watch these interactions. They want to vicariously be that confidence, or be approached with that confidence. Not that we want to commit adultery, but we want to have that affair with our spouse. We want to be pursued because we’re desired. We want to be attacked with lust and pushed up against a wall. I don’t think it matters if you’re a man or a woman, the idea of someone singling you out and saying “I want that one” is very arousing.
But most of us don’t do that. We don’t pursue our spouse with that desire. We ask timidly about sex. We hint around about the possibility of some “fun”. We wait until we’re both in bed so their’s the least resistance to sex. I know, because I do it too! Some days it’s so bad, we’ll be in bed, naked together and my wife will say “… so, are we doing something, or what?” That’s a pretty strong kick to say “Hey, step up and be more assertive.”
Each gender has problems doing this. Men have been taught for the last few generations to wait and let the woman lead. Much to our detriment, because most of them want nothing more than to be led. Women, on the other hand, have been taught for centuries that “good girls don’t like sex”, and while the mindset is slowly shifting, it’s still strongly embedded in the subconscious of most Christian upbringings. The result is that no one is initiating confidently, and this adds to the already complicated set of reasons why couples don’t have much sex.
But, it’s not just when initiating sex that we should learn to be more confident. It’s in daily life. A person who feels complete (see yesterday’s post), a person who is powerful instead of powerless (see Danny Silk’s book) will not only tackle their marriage and sex with confidence, but will tackle life with assertiveness.
Now, there are some who are a bit too assertive, and they need to tone is down, but the root cause is still the same. They feel powerless, they feel incomplete. They use their false bravado as a mask to hide their insecurities. When they become powerful, they’ll actually become more meek. But, it will still have the same result. They’ll find their spouse becomes more attracted to them.
We were not created to be bullies any more than we were created to be doormats. Christians should be confident and assertive, without being overbearing and demanding on one side, or passive and cowardly. It’s that balance, which is so difficult to strike, that is really attractive. In fact, it’s so attractive, that people will try to balance them in their life. There is a stereotype in media of women going after the “bad boy”. Why? Do women find bad boys most attractive? I don’t think so. Rather, most often, they are surrounded by, or married to, men who are passive and cowardly. They want the assertiveness and confidence so much, they overshoot and are drawn to the opposite side of the spectrum. Then, some men over-correct by becoming overbearing and demanding, and for a time, their wife is happy. But, it’s only for a time. Eventually, they will become unhappy again, and be drawn to those men who are passive, and cowardly, willing to do anything to get their attention.
Swap the genders around, and the same struggle exists. How many men fall to porn because the women in it are unashamedly sexual. Not only confident, but blatant. Again, these women are too far on the other side of the spectrum, but when your wife is timid in bed and not open to any adventure, then a woman who is open to everything, even if she lacks morals, looks appealing. But, what if they actually got that woman. Eventually they would find that their willingness to have sex with anyone, to show off for any man would be unbearable, and they’d be drawn to women who are more demure and timid again.
The problem is that there aren’t many who are successfully finding that balance. Christians in particular tend to pop up on the side of the spectrum that is more afraid, cowardly, passive and ashamed, and so most of us need to come more balance, which will feel a bit like becoming the “bad boy” or “bad girl”, and that’s hard, because we’ve been taught from a young age not to drift that way. More than that, we’re afraid of how our spouse will react, when in reality, most of our spouses would be extremely happy to have a husband or wife who is more assertive, expressive and self-assured.
Because confidence is sexy.
20 thoughts on “Confidence is sexy”
Like yesterday-this all seems like hearsay, pride and overgeneralization. You have something YOU want-and maybe some other people too-but now you suggest that what you want becomes the norm-that maybe what you WANT is actually the only moral way! It sounds like Hitler trying to purge everyone different-sorry for the strong comparison but it does. EVERYONE IS NOT THE SAME. EVERYONE IS NOT MEANT TO BE THE SAME. The word confidence in marriage is found where in the Bible exactly? Let’s just be clear that this post like the last one-is your opinion only and not confuse our Biblical fact with opinion. I personally agree that confidence is sexy, but then I’ve got a hubby that loves me to “beg for it.” Is he wrong? Should I reject him for this desire? Lots of people are in lots of places. I like a world with lots of different people. I’d love it if they were all to come to know Christ personally, but I still think some of them would be shy and introverted, confident and boisterous and all types in between. You have a bit too narrow-minded a focus at the moment. You should be promoting individual freedom within the bounds of a Christ glorifying monogamous marriage, making SUGGESTIONS of things couples might feel were fun to try, not judgments and sweeping generalities designed to make them feel shamed if they DON’T!!! Jeepers creepers man, you’re one of the few tackling this out there-have some sense of the effect you might be having! More and more I feel this blog is less aimed at Christian (of all races and genders) couples and more and more aimed at sex deprived white guys-i.e. “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I know you’re a man, and white-but sheesh! You’ve got women coming on here too. Maybe I should start my own blog for high sex Christian women. Do you know anyone outside your own denomination, gender, race? The sexless sad white man card is starting to get a little old. I don’t know how long one can sustain a blog on that platform.
I think that’s a great idea. There’s a huge need for it.
Yes to all three, and I even talk about sex to people in all those categories.
But you’re pinning the tale on the wrong donkey here. I’m neither sexless, nor sad. However years ago, my wife and I were both in the “sexless and sad” category. We’ve since resolved it. This post is one of the things I’ve learned from that, and from talking to these people in other “denomination, gender, race” categories.
Well, that’s not my platform, so I wouldn’t know. However, the blog seems to be working pretty well. Coming up on five years, and our readership continues to increase. I wish you as much success in your future blog.
I have to agree with Jane. Yesterday’s post and this one seem more opinion than anything. And yesterday’s post, in my opinion, I believe did more harm than good. I do believe that what you were trying to say was good and imimportant, but it was not understood by most. I really think it needed to be better thought out; the angle you were coming from was…a stretch and unclear. On the one hand, this is your blog. You can do and/or say whatever you want whether it helps or harms others or not. On the other hand, your blog largely, if not solely, exists so that you can help people in the name of Christ. You mentioned at the beginning of yesterday’s post that you were writing on another subject when the thought, “Romance kills sexuality.” (I may have misquoted that.) came to mind and thus wrote the latter instead. I think what should have happened is that you should’ve made a note of that thought on romance, put it to the side, and written at a later time when you could have thought it out better in order to reach and help more people. Because, as I said, it really seems that it harmed more than helped.
No, not that romance kills sexuality, but that romance kills sexual attraction. This post is the one I was writing when the other thought interrupted me. I thought it best to address the other side first. It wasn’t really a new thought, just a step I wanted to take first. Unfortunately, not everything will be understand at first by everyone. Many won’t want to hear it. Many like being where they are more than they like change. Glad you thought what I was trying to say was good and important.
But, no, I don’t think it harmed more than helped, it’s just that those who don’t want to accept it tend to be more vocal, while those for whom it triggers something tend to be more quiet in their contemplation, and it might take time for them to agree and change. I’m content with how things played out.
How about , “Insecurity and lack of confidence kills sexual attraction.”? Not romance, per say. The need and dependency for romance is just one symptom of someone who lacks security in God. But romance itself is not the telltale sign of insecurity and lack of confidence. Someone can want romantic gestures yet still be confident and secure. I don’t think many people disagreed with you or didn’t want to hear it. I just think the angle you took was a bit confusing and unclear.
“Insecurity and lack of confidence kills sexual attraction” was sort of the point of this post. The other was a different message, that you shouldn’t be using romance to bolster your spouse’s sense of worth, importance or happiness. I will endeavor to be less confusing and more clear moving forward. Picking titles is hard some times. You only have so much space to work with while trying to express the point, be engaging and make people curious. Well, yesterday’s made people curious and certainly engaged.
Perhaps you should start a sexually-themed blog for Christian women. There used to be a pretty good one that has since shut down. I say, quit ragging on someone for blogging their opinion, and go publish a great one of your own. Seriously. I think lots of Christian women could benefit from that, and their relationships could follow. You simply cannot beat a horse for being a horse.
I agree that being needy is unattractive, but you sound like you are coming at this with the assumption that finding a higher level of personal fulfillment through a loving marriage equates to being needy and lacking confidence, and that romance is some way of addressing personal insecurities. I think it takes confidence to achieve a marriage that takes you to a higher level and it takes confidence to make romantic gestures.
A person can be confident in themselves and yet still find that when they have a close loving relationship with their spouse elevates them. Likewise the other spouse can also be a confident individual who finds that their relationship makes them as a couple greater than the sum of the parts. The relationship then is not a ‘fix’ for some lack they see in themselves, it is a treasure and a joy.
Romantic gestures can and should be motivated by a desire to express love and keep a valued relationship healthy. Not because you have to make such gestures, but because you want to, and the reason you want to is because you care about your marriage and your spouse and take joy in their happiness. Devotion, loyalty, commitment, kindness, appreciation, desire, those are sexy too.
Sounds like you got the point. Romance, if dictated by a sense of needing fulfillment, is detrimental. It should be expressed out of joy, not our of a need to make someone else happy. Looks like we agree.
hey, I appreciate that everyone has an opinion but let’s give Jay a bit of grace. He spends alot of time and energy writing this blog and has published many, many good things. I challenge anyone else on here to do a better job. Keep up the stellar work Jay, I appreciate your efforts.
Thanks Scott. Though it sounds like you’re saying “this was not one of those good things”. I still stand by the post 🙂
I think Jay makes some excellent points in these past two posts. Does he reference scriptures in them? No, but I don’t know anywhere in the Bible that it necessarily goes into detail about dating or choosing a mate. Closest one could maybe come is through the Proverbs.
Finding myself in an absolutely miserable point in my marriage where I would have no complaints if it ended tomorrow, Little to no sex for past several years and spouse that doesn’t think they really need to contribute anything towards the relationship. Would love it if they would read Jays posts or other Christian blog sites, but they now feel sites like this are “pornographic” – excuse me, but why did we get married then? They watch TV for hours on end, then wonder why the fantasies they see on TV aren’t happening in real life.
These blog posts are common sense just like Dave Ramsey’s financial advise is common sense (and biblically based) yet I know lots of Christians that disagree with his teaching and like to enslave themselves to banks and other financial institutions then wonder why those institutions are running our (USA) government instead of the people.
Couples have to start making changes somewhere in their relationships, and Jay is outlining one area with these posts (BTW, these posts are probably more easily shared for those participating in his weekly challenges this week unless the comments are starting to ruin them) that could be very helpful for any couples finding themselves in sexless or failing marriages.
I also don’t think Jay is advocating one size fits all, but rather “check yourself at the door” – do you have everything you need? Are you taking time to do some self-reflection on these points that might otherwise be blind spots and potentially hindering things for you?
Not to shoot your defense of me in the foot, but:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
This is THE advice for dating and choosing a mate. Ultimately, any resolution in my marriage that we’ve managed has stemmed from the fact that if we’re confronted with God’s truth, we bow to it. Whether it’s porn, refusal, communication, budgeting. God wins. And by letting Him reign, we win.
If my wife suddenly started watching TV for hours on end and neglecting me, I could go to her and say “Do you think this is what God wants for our marriage?”, and while she might be angry in the short term as “self” rises up, I know she’d take the question seriously, know the right answer and then work towards living it.
So, my question to you is: What do you think your wife would say? Are you willing to find out? It’s risky, and it might get worse…but it might not. What have you got to lose?
My point was missed – outside of that, scriptures don’t provide any further insights than that on what dating or choosing a mate should look like – should it be arranged marriages, lottery, bachelor / bachelorette (reality show style), courtship, 1 week, 3 months, 3 years, etc.? Should you get a sick feeling in your stomach, get super hyper, pee your pants, have a car wreck, have x number of people comment “Gee, you two make such a cute couple”, etc.?
Sorry, thanks for clarifying.
I liked both this and yesterdays blog, not because I necessarily agree with everything you said but because it has got people thinking.
I find the aggressive answer of the first poster disturbing and unnecessary . it is perfectly possible to disagree without resorting to personal insults..
As a man, white, black or pink with blue spots (does colour even come into this argument and why?), unless the blogger asks his wife to put forward her opinion he can only write from his own viewpoint and opinion.
I read the blogs and often widely disagree BUT they do get me thinking.
Are the bloggers posts HIS opinion? is there any basis for the past 2 blogs in the Bible?
I hope he will read these answers and examine if his blogs overreach the mandate of a Christian blog designed to help other Christian couples using Gods word.
I have found him in previous blogs to be a thoughtful humble man, but he is just a man not infallible and not perfect
I’m okay if people disagree with me. It is my opinion … the entire blog is. Now, I also believe my opinion is right, and that seems to make people uncomfortable. But, if I thought my opinion was wrong … well, then I wouldn’t keep it. I’m glad it makes you think though. And yes, I think there is basis for these in the Bible, even if I don’t have any scripture references. It doesn’t help when I do anyways. People who disagree will just argue with the interpretation, or call the proof-texts.
But, I agree, I’m certainly not infallible or perfect 🙂
P.S. My wife read both posts yesterday and she agreed with my thoughts.
“Because confidence is sexy.”
Heh heh, I’m gonna poke at you for watching too many National Car Rental commercials here.
I’ve never seen it. We don’t have national car rental here I don’t think. Plus, I haven’t seen a commercial in years.
Jane, you sound like a typical Marxist with your hatred of white males and traditional Christianity, both of which founded this country. I notice you have little to say regarding the maltreatment of women by other races of men. Why is that? While I may not agree with everything the blog author says, I don’t understand your constant need to bring Marxist viewpoints into every discussion. Marxism has destroyed so many people over the last century by playing on the same resentments, anger and hatred that you hold.