I’m trying to process something I was thinking about on my commute home today. It has to do with this verse:
The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:4
Now, I believe in the inerrancy of scripture. I believe this is true. However, I think combining this with some bad teachings in Christianity has created a huge issue. I’m still processing this, so bear with me as it’s not quite a completed thought.
1. Men and women are taught different contexts
I know men and women grow up differently in our society with regard to what they are taught about themselves as sexual beings. Men generally grow up knowing we’re sexual. Depending on your church or family, you might grow up thinking that’s okay or not, but we generally grow up knowing we’re sexual beings. But, I think women might get a different message.
While men are taught that we are sexual and we need to guard against our urges, it seems to me that women are often taught that they are a sexual object and need to defend against the men’s urges. They’re not taught that they are sexual beings, but rather that they are sexual commodities. They have what men want. They have to guard it for their husband who will someday own it.
2. Does this place women in captivity?
As a result, I wonder if women grow up sort of with this feeling of being in captivity. Or maybe of being a restricted substance. Something of a mix between a slave and a drug. One that has an owner that will some day show up to claim what is theirs. So, they get married, and then this verse gets put into practice:
The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:4
And for the men, who feel they are sexual beings, this seems equitable. This is a sharing, this is me giving you who I am and you give me who you are. But, if you grow up with a context of feeling that you are a sexual object rather than a sexual being, then it feels different. This feels like a contract. You got married, and now you have to give up the goods. Your owner has come and expects his plaything or his drug of choice.
And I can’t help but think this causes a lot of damage to women. I mean, how can you freely give yourself to your husband when you never felt you actually had possession of your sexuality to begin with? I don’t mean you have to have exercised your sexuality. I’m saying women need to understand they are their own sexual being. They aren’t a toy, a drug, a slave or any other sort of object. Their sexuality is a part of who they are. And when they treat it like a thing, then that part of who they are gets locked away. It becomes so guarded, that I think they don’t get fully experience life. A part of them is missing. A part that God intended to be there, integrated and whole, whether it’s exercised or not.
3. A question for the wives
So, I want to ask wives:
Do you feel like a sexual being or a sexual object?
Do you feel like you’ve given yourself to your husband or did you just surrender it out of compulsion because you got married and you had to?
If you answered the latter to either of those, I don’t think it’s your fault. And I want to try and find a way to help. To help you claim that part of yourself so that you can give it freely. I’m trying hard to find the answer to how to do that. In truth, I think a part of it is in my course, and for many of the women who go through it, it helps. But it’s not complete. There’s still something missing. There’s still damage to be repaired. But, I think this is the beginning of that answer or at least a step on the way.
So, women, I’d love to have your input. What do you think? Is this something you feel? Does this resonate with you? Let me know. Comment below (you can do it anonymous if you like), or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Christina (email@example.com). I’d love to know your thoughts.
Men, let’s just be quiet and let the women share, if they’re willing. You can email me, but please don’t comment.
14 thoughts on “Do you feel like a sexual being, or a sexual object?”
I have always felt like a sexual being. Even at a young age. My mother was the totally opposite. She would constantly say she didn’t need sex or want it. That men enjoyed it and it was almost like it was the painful act for women. When I really started to seek and serve Jesus for myself as an adult I often times felt I should repress my sexual urges. I mean something this good had to be wrong or kept a tight lid on. However, after years of figniting it I just surrendered and enjoyed my time with my husband. I did struggle with that scripture in regards to oral sex though. I would read it and think just maybe I could let me and my husband enjoy ourselves and not feel guilty and think God would burn me Hell for enjoying oral sex. So maybe it’s not that we think we’re not sexual beings just that it was taught be there for him when needs it and grin and bear it. But I guess that is exactly what it is an object.
I was very fortunate to be raised by parents who very much loved each other and were not afraid to show it. They loved to make out in the kitchen! It was partly to gross us kids out, but it definitely taught me that sexuality was not a bad thing to be hidden away. I think this helped me when I got married. I am definitely a sexual being. And I haven’t ever felt like an object, thankfully!
I didn’t even realize how many Christian women suffer with these types of feelings and teachings until I started reading similar blogs a few years ago.
I do find it said that many struggle with this.
This is my 2nd marriage. My 1st husband passed away. I never felt like a sexual object with him however I do feel like that with my 2nd husband – why ? …here are some reasons and they have nothing to do with my upbringing.
#1 He has sex with me while I’m sleeping & totally out of it due to medication. The only reason I know is because I wake up early in the morning Stark naked from waist down covered in a “mess”.
#2 another time I woke up to him forcefully raping me while I said NO NO PLEASE STOP THAT HURTS , he kept constantly pushing me back down saying no it doesn’t hurt, just relax lay back and enjoy it, you like it &you know you do. Then I felt this unbearable excruciating pain and screamed no stop get away get off of me ….. well he was ramming me w/a sex toy !!
Later that day he told me he really didn’t think I meant NO !!
#3 he has said to me “As his wife I have a responsibility obligation a duty to service him whenever he wants it, that’s my job & he has a contract to prove it.
#4 I had just gotten out of the hospital with full spinal reconstruction surgery, he wanted sex I told him no I’m hurting w/ extreme pain, don’t feel good, very tired & not up to it. So as he’s reaching for his Viagra he says ” well you don’t need to do anything, just lay there and spread your legs. I’ll only be a couple minutes” !!!
now who else out there would feel like nothing more than a sexual object ? I don’t see any intimate physical mutuality or anything loving just a whole lotta selfishness. He has a greater need/interest, care in himself with getting his rocks off rather than a sincere interest as to how his wife is feeling medically.
Plus – from him “sex is my god-given right”
I could go on and on with other incidences but won’t
So in this is why I’m nothing more than a sexual object
Wow I am so sorry to here this. If I may ask did your second husband even hint at this kind of behavior before you married him? Did you guys talk about sex before marriage? Did you know his thoughts on it? Or did he do the “bait and switch on you.” I am sorry about the loss of your first husband.
I need to respond to you first Cindy because your story hits home. I was raped by my husband. Same situation passed out wake up naked. Medicine would sometimes prevent sleep and then eventually I’d crash. Out cold. Then I woke up to him Having anal sex with me and he knew I didn’t like anal and it hurt. All I could do was lay there helpless and not move and pray it would be over soon. He tore me many occasions. And going to the bathroom would re open the tear and there would be so much blood. He even seen it and how it would bleed for a few days. But it didn’t stop. Force me to use toys in front of him so he could watch and I don’t like toys nor do I care to masturbate. if I didn’t I got guilt tripped to doing it or he would get angry and throw a fit. He would make comments like at least I want my wife to do it and watch you then watch a stranger online do it. We have other issues in the marriage and I was so mentally and emotionally drained I went back to church and tried to fix our marriage by bringing him to God. Unfortunately that made things worse. But in my findings and studies God has shown me that abuse of any kind is not how the marriage should be. God does not want us to be door mats. And we are not objects. Nor should we accept it. Society has destroyed marriages by twisting scriptures. Did Jesus ever be forceful with any women he meet? Did Jesus treat those women like we are here for his male pleasure. NO!!!!! He actually brought light to the women who suffered from the hands of abuse from man. He showed us that he is love and gentle and an actual man who cared about our feelings. Again there is so much more to my situation but I can’t stand here and accept that I must submit when that’s all I ever did but it wasn’t good enough. There is also something called respect. Must respect each other’s feelings. It’s not oh well you have to I own you. No God owns me and he doesn’t want this abuse to continue. There are lil girls and boys watching us and they know when something isn’t right. It’s also wrong to continue to allow this insanity and yet tell the young generations to not allow bullying or abuse. That is not walking in the light of God it is allowing someone who is listening to the wrong voice to control us and cause us to sin by worry, fear, and continue to stay quiet as the issue at hand gets worse. That’s sinning as well.
We were not created to be someone’s toy for personal selfish wants. And just by what you said that is also neglect. Emotional abuse also. And will create mental issues along with other health issues. You can’t allow it to continue. Intervention is needed or had him over to God and report it. The courts see this situation all the time and rape is rape no means no. It’s also 100% illegal. “But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
1 John 4:6
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:8 NLT
“Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign LORD.”
Ezekiel 22:10-12 NLT
Cindy you show you love him and you forgive him but continuing to stay will drag you down.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.”
Psalms 1:1 NLT
“”Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”
Matthew 7:6 NLT
Just know you are not alone and look to Jesus. You are loved.
When I was younger, before I married, I always thought of myself as a sexual being. My sexuality was something I controlled and something I looked forward to sharing with my husband as he would share his with me. We would mutually enjoy each other.
I didn’t find a husband until I was 47. I was not, however, the 47 year old Virgin, having chosen in college to share my sexuality with someone I thought would become my husband but didn’t. I then shared it with three others I was in serious relationships with. All of these very loving and serious relationships were made up of mutually shared sexuality.
My husband, while being a sensitive, loving and caring man, isn’t as interested in sex as I am and therefore we only have sex when he’s in the mood. I feel more like a sexual object because my body has to wait for his schedule, typically once a week, on Saturday morning. He’s an early riser and I know if I wake up on Saturday and he’s not in bed, we’re not having sex that weekend. I’ll usually find him in his “man cave” spare bedroom playing video games. Sunday morning is out because we’re going to church & there isn’t time. I don’t get to initiate, it never happens at night because he’s always too tired. He is 48, works a physically demanding job that starts at 6:00am.
I guess I was delusional when I thought that married sex was going to happen more often and more spontaneously. We don’t have kids living at home any more, I’m not working for medical reasons. My medical issues only slightly affect our sexual activity which is pretty vanilla.
My previous experiences were more adventurous, more spontaneous, more frequent, and less vanilla.
I love my husband and I know he loves me. When we do have sex, it’s always very satisfying for both of us. I just want more – more often, more experimenting, more sharing our God given ability to connect with each other in the most intimate way.
So yes, now I feel like an object where he has control of my body while I don’t get any control over his body, as the scripture says it should be. Makes me sad and leaves me aroused without an outlet.
I believed I felt like an object but I think it’s because my Mom was very negative growing up about sex. She would always say that’s all that men want. So In my head that is what I thought. I believe the only way to keep a boyfriend is to sleep with them and I so much wanted to be loved so that’s what I did and added shame to it. The church didn’t help they just taught don’t have sex before marriage and did not give the tools to not have sex.
Being married I didn’t have to have sex to keep him cause I already had him so it was a very minimal sex life.
With the pill and pms it was a very little sex going on.
I felt like an object cause I felt like he wanted it all the time and then realized later in our marriage of course he wanted it and why wouldn’t he. He got married so he could have sex. I was never my right to hold it.
Now I feel wanted and loved with his advancements. He respects me and is very patient when I’m tired and not feeling well but I need to make sure that we have a reschedule so he knows it’s not a rejection to him it’s just a postponement.
With Love and respect I love being the object of his advances and He mine.
He got married to have sex??? What??
I think I fit your article to a T. Being the youngest of five daughters I got a big dose of the message “keep away”. And I did feel like a commodity. And I think I may be guilty of acting like one too. A lot of work has been done on my part to right my tilted mindset. Even so, it has been, and continues to be, a struggle for both me and my husband to find mutual ground in our intimacy.
Neither. I would say I would be a very sexual being, if my husband liked having sex with me. His sex drive is far lower than mine, and so I spend most of my time repressing my sexuality. Day after day after day, wondering what is so very wrong with me. If I ask him he just lies and says “nothing’s wrong with you, I love you, you’re beautiful.” But that cannot be because sex every 7 or 10 days is not normal. I desire him far more that he desires me. I’m not sure if I have a medical issue or if I’m just not attractive enough for him, but no, he has never made me feel like a sexual object. That being said, I feel like I’m not allowed to be a sexual being because I’m not good enough for the man I’m with.
However, after reading some of the other comments here, I realize I am blessed. My husband always treats me kindly. My heart breaks for these women, and I will pray for them.
I feel this way but I didn’t realize I did! When I was young and dating I had a very strong struggle with sexual sin. I made the choice to have sex when I was 16, it was like I could not stop it, and I wanted to do it. It created a very deep routed cycle in my life that repeated with everyone I dated. The church so poorly equipped young people in the fight against sexual sin. We were only told sex was bad and not to do it but didn’t actually understand WHY it was so bad. It painted sex as this BAD thing to avoid with lots of guilt and shame shrouding sex. This is so damaging, we can’t just be told 99% of the time that sex is bad and don’t do it. I wish I had been told why waiting is a good thing and the real tangible benefits, and what real life consequences can actually happen if you don’t wait. I looked at consequences as being pregnancy and STDs and I was like ok, I’m on the pill, and the man I am having sex with is a virgin so I’m solid. I didn’t realize the spiritual and other mental damage that can come from premarital sex. How sex is exciting before marriage because it is “wrong” and sin works to seduce you and it is so glamorous. Then after you are married it is no longer exciting because it is “safe” and “ok” fand as a Christian suddenly sex is all of a sudden allowed and you are supposed to switch gears in an instant and those feelings of guilt and shame over your pre-marital sexual experiences are just supposed to what, just vanish into thin air?
Before marriage I saw myself as a sexual being, a woman who’s sexuality was used to bait and control men, and I thrived on being a sexual person in the way the world paints sexuality with that seductive brush. When I got engaged we decided to stop having sex because it was my last opportunity to do this God’s way. So for 10 months before the wedding we waiting hoping for a blessing. Well, on my wedding night I found out that during our celibacy I developed vaginismus and we could not have sex on our wedding night and pretty much not since then. I have struggled with this for over a year and a half now. I’ve now had this other feeling like I am not sexual and that part of me has now died. The road to recovery for me has been extremely long and tedius. I have to work through all the negative associations I have with sex. Many things have contributed to my negative associations, like the temptation/sin/guilt/shame cycle of premarital sex, the church’s overwhelmingly negative message about sex, and how other men made me feel like I was a hot commodity like a beautiful car to use. I realize I now see sex as something that a man does to TAKE something from me, and I don’t trust in the goodness of sex only this negative association. I never stopped to think about what I need and what I want in order to feel like I am actually “giving” of myself to someone who deserves this deep special part of me. This precious well that runs deep within me. It can’t be rushed, It is not something that even my husband can feel like he is just owed and can demand… I have just begun to realize what I need in order to set the stage for physical intimacy and that foundation is emotional intimacy and feeling heard, and seen, and cherished and romanced. I am excited to try some things and see how it goes. As far as healing – God is doing a work in me and there is much to be set free from but I trust I will receive emotional and spiritual healing and when that comes, I know I will be healed physically. I hope and pray that I will be able to have sex again and that the vaginismus will go away with my home program and seeking God’s redemption. And I hope that sex will become exciting again in my marriage and our relationship will thrive!
I always saw myself as a sexual being …. until I got married. While I was single I totally enjoyed sex – had a very high sex drive, enjoyed seducing my partners and felt gloriously alive. Once I got married and my husband began putting demands on me to have sex even when I didn’t feel like it and made me feel like I would get cheated on if I didn’t meet his needs often enough, I became a sexual object and lost all interest in sex. Now I just feel angry when my husband initiates sex. He’s stolen a part of me away that I’ll never get back and now his touch inside or outside of the bedroom just makes my blood boil. I feel like he thinks I’m just here to service his needs.