Sex is not icing on the cake, it’s the eggs in the cake

Jay Dee

Sex is not icing on the cake, it’s the eggs in the cake

Apr 26, 2017

There’s been a saying in Christian circles that’s been driving me crazy for a while now. You’ve probably heard it. I know I did many times before I got married. “Sex is not that important. It’s just icing on the cake.”  Or some variant of

Sex is not icing on the cakeThere’s been a saying in Christian circles that’s been driving me crazy for a while now. You’ve probably heard it. I know I did many times before I got married. “Sex is not that important. It’s just icing on the cake.”  Or some variant of that saying.

I don’t know who made this horrible saying up, but the people perpetuating it need to stop.  Sex is not the icing on the cake, it’s the eggs in the cake.

For those of you who are bakers, you know what eggs do in a recipe.  Eggs are the glue.  They’re the bonding ingredient.  They hold the cake together.  You know what happens when you make a cake without eggs?  It falls to pieces.  You know what happens to marriages that don’t have healthy sex lives?  Yeah, they fall to pieces too.  See, pretty good analogy.

After all, you can have a cake without icing.  It’s still a cake.  No one will argue that it’s not a cake.  It may not be a fancy cake, but it’s still clearly a cake.  But a cake without eggs, well it falls apart.

Sidenote: For all the people who are going to argue with me about making cakes without eggs, yes, I know, you can make a cake without eggs.  I try to eat vegan, so my wife has made some amazing egg-free cakes.  The point is, you need a binding ingredient.  Eggs, chia seeds, silken tofu, yogurt, applesauce, bananas, flax seeds, agar agar, whatever.  Let’s not get off track here.  The principle remains, you need something to hold the cake together.  It’s not considered “extra”, it’s a core ingredient.

Icing implies “extra” and non-essential

When someone says “sex is the icing on the cake” they’re implying that sex is not necessary.  That it’s not required for a marriage.  That without sex, the marriage can still be whole, healthy and thriving.  It’s a license for gatekeeping spouses to continue in their gatekeeping ways.  It’s a license to sin.

It also flies directly in the face of the Bible:

Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:5

If you think I quote this verse too often, it’s because it’s a really good verse.  I don’t mean what it says, but how it says it.  It’s so concise and perfect.  Yes, the implications are complex and far-reaching, but the directive is clear.  You may not unilaterally decide you don’t want to have sex.  Why?  Because sex is not icing!  It’s not trivial! It’s not “extra”!

In fact, biblically, the core reason we get married is to have sex:

But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. – 1 Corinthians 7:2

Because we are so drawn towards sex as a species that we better have a spouse in order to exercise this desire out on, or it’s going to get us into trouble.  The temptation to exercise our sexuality without a spouse is too great.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

In Genesis, we’re even told explicitly that the reason a man will leave his parents and join with a wife is so they can “become one flesh”, a clear euphemism for sex.  This is so strong a statement that both Jesus and Paul quote it in the New Testament.  It’s fundamental to the very concept of marriage.

Marriage = sex.  Sex is not icing.  It’s not optional, and it’s certainly not decoration.

Sex is the glue that holds the marriage together

If you think sex is the icing on the cakeSex binds a marriage together in so many ways.

From a pure biochemical stance, sex releases neurotransmitters that help in our relationship.  Oxytocin makes us feel bonded and loved.  Vasopressin makes us want to protect our spouse.  Dopamine makes us feel excited to be with them.  These all create a strong bond in our mind, they chemically link us to our spouse in a way no other activity can.

From a psychological perspective, sex is a baring of our very selves.  It is when we are naked, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  When we get aroused, our defences drop.  The “real” us comes closer to the surface without as many fears.  We are more willing to be open and vulnerable.  We let our spouse see, experience and be intimate with the core of who we are.

It gives us a chance to release stress, to be at rest.  It allows us time with our spouse to be an oasis from the world.  A temporary reprieve from the constant stress of simply existing.

Sex is not frivolous.  It is the glue that holds our relationships together.  It’s what nurtures our intimacy.  When marriages have unhealthy, or stressed, or unengaged sex lives, you see their marriages start to unravel.  It starts coming out in how they communicate.  How they look at each other.  How they talk about each other.  Without sex, the marriage starts to crumble because relationships naturally drift apart.  People never drift closer together.  Without that glue, it’s hard to tolerate another sinful human being so close to you in your everyday life.

But with that bonding ingredient in marriage, what a difference.  It’s not hard to tolerate them.  It’s a joy.  Sex not only holds the relationship together, but it makes it a marriage.


So, the next time you hear “sex is the icing on the cake”, speak up and correct them, please.  Let them know “No, sex is the egg in the cake.  Without it, the cake falls apart.”  Who knows, they might actually ask you how to pull their marriage back together.

Looking for help?

54 thoughts on “Sex is not icing on the cake, it’s the eggs in the cake”

  1. monthlychanges says:

    I disagree a bit. Because of my husband’s ED (Even with treatment, problematic. And expensive!) and my inability to maintain arousal, sex is just plain work for us. Add in that we both have stressful jobs that leave us drained at the end of the day, and we can only “muster” sex once a week at most. But that doesn’t mean our marriage is falling apart. We will be celebrating our 35th anniversary in August. Second to my salvation, marrying Dan was the best decision I ever, ever made. We are still deeply in love. Rarely do you hear us complain about the other. We enjoy each other’s company and seek out ways to be together. We are a fabulous team, supporting one another. Really, except for the sex, we have a marriage that people are rightly envious of.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      … seems to me you proved my point. You’re having regular sex, regardless of the difficulties.

      1. David says:

        “In fact, biblically, the core reason we get married is to have sex” … many, many, many Christians would disagree … especially women. Once again you have twisted the Bible to support want you want. I grew up with people like that and in my old age I no longer have any patience for that activity – I have found that when one applies ‘never add to the Bible nor subtract from it ‘ kills alot of twisting activity & non-sense.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          They can disagree all they want, but they disagree with the Bible, not me.

          1 Corinthians 7:2
          1 Corinthians 7:9
          Genesis 2:24
          Genesis 1:28
          Proverbs 5:18-19
          Proverbs 5:15-17
          Exodus 20:14

          It’s pretty straightforward – sex was made for marriage and marriage for sex. Separating them (be it adultery, fornication, swinging, open marriages, threesomes, masturbation, porn, whatever) goes against God’s design.

          So, what verses do you have?

          1. David says:

            of course those verses do not say that ” marriage for sex” … sorry

            1. Jay Dee says:

              Wow, really? I mean, I know some of them are more subtle than others, but the first one:

              “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. ” – 1 Cor 7:2

              It is quite literally, “because of the temptation of sex – you should get married”. I mean, I don’t know how more clear you can get. You’re not even making an argument here, you’re just saying “no it’s not” as a child would. Yeah, we’re done.

              1. David says:

                Maybe in your denomination but neither the Baptist, Alliance or Brethren interpret that way, in fact, I have heard many many sermons and teachers who are very emphatic that should NOT get married for sex … and that sex is not all that important … in fact I just heard that recently – Baptist. So others have a different interp. than you. That is why I often repeat “do not add to nor subject from the Bible” … all interp. are to be kept to oneself as every Christian has an opinion and every Christian, like yourself, believes that they are correct.

                1. Jay Dee says:

                  I have no idea what my denomination teaches about this. I just read the Bible and teach what I see.
                  If they think otherwise, I invite them to go read elsewhere because they’re not going to agree with me at all. Personally, I don’t understand how one can think that and still claim to read their Bible.

                  And yeah, I think my opinions are correct. If you think your opinions are not correct, you should change them.

                  It’s my blog – I will share my opinions so long as I get tons of feedback telling me how much it’s helped people’s marriages and very few who are offended simply because their beliefs are being challenged or because they made bad choices that ended them up in difficult positions and are upset at the consequences.

                  Let’s face it – I have a happy, productive 21-year marriage with no end in sight because we don’t believe in divorce, but rather in fixing issues and growing, and we 100% believe sex is important. And not to put too fine a point on it, but why would I listen to someone who is divorced, angry, and furiously (and badly) defending his addiction to masturbation tell me what marriage should be like and how sex should fit into it? It’s a ludicrous proposition.

                  1. David says:

                    Hi Jay Dee. Please understand I was brought up being lied to by Christians (my church) where their interpretations were rammed down my throat so when I come across someone who strikes me doing similar … causes me to get my back up, thus my mantra of never adding to the Bible or taking away from. If the Bible doesn’t spell it out in black & water then one should keep to themselves. You believe that because anal sex was never specifically prohibited in the Bible makes it OK but altho masturbation is also never mentioned … it is wrong. Not only is it weird it smacked of an opinion being forced on me. As mentioned, masturbation is like driving a Civic but sex with my wife (prior to being bored) is like driving my Porsche … both get you from A to B but doesn’t make driving a Civic sinful. I also explained that in my 20s I bought, built and sold companies but I would enter a troubling fog and the best/fastest way to address was to relieve myself so I could go back to work and not sin with the act of fornication. Lets just agree to disagree … I consider anal to be extremely sinful and you feel that the minor act of quickly relieving oneself to be wrong. I was taught that sex was only for procreation and it was very very dirty. My ex-wife always wanted me to orally satisfy her but she never ever in 21 years ever rtned the favour and that coupled with doing the wet fish caused me to lose interest in her … she was quite attractive so maybe she thought that was enough and me being taught that what I was doing was very wrong I never said anything but just moved into another room (we had 5 BRs so was an option). Just because the Brethren and Baptist interp. differ from you does not make me angry. I am angry at my childhood church and my father for teaching me unBiblical nonsense. I will never forgive them and one day they will be punished. I happen to agree with you that sex between a married couple is extremely important (but too late for me) which opinion is strongly pushed back by the Baptists. So I am not really upset with you but your very harsh stance (esp against the elderly widow) triggered me … as here we go again. I need to learn to relax. I have written off the Brethren and Baptists and have made it very very clear to my father that he is wrong and that I consider him a liar … so I am working towards ignoring crap and just relaxing with the Bible being the last word and not let someone’s opinion set me off.

                    1. Jay Dee says:

                      I’m sorry you felt they were being rammed down your throat. I am very much of the opinion that people should live according to their own convictions, not mine.
                      That said, I have my convictions and will defend them when asked/challenged about them. If I find cause, I’ll change my convictions. I grew up believing as you do about masturbation, so I understand the viewpoint and was convicted/convinced that it was incorrect. But you shouldn’t stop because I said so – you should stop if you feel convicted to stop.

                      And I think I might have been unclear on the anal sex argument – I was trying to show that I did not understand your argument, because it appeared inconsistent. IF you believe that things need to be spelled out explicitly in order to make something a sin (why you believe masturbation is okay), then how do you stand and say that anal sex is not since there is no verse against it?

                      As for my belief, I don’t take the same approach – I look for the principles behind the laws and try to apply them. That’s why I believe masturbation to be wrong – not because there is an explicit verse, but because I believe the principle is that the primary reason for sex is to create connection, to build a relationship. It can’t be for procreation, because it’s not possible to get pregnant every time you have sex. But, every time you have sex, it will impact your relationship – either positively or negatively. We can’t decide to stop releasing hormones just because we’re having a one-night-stand, and we can’t just because we’re masturbating and/or watching porn. It’s still going to release those chemicals, it’s still going to bond us, it’s still going to rewire our brain in small amounts.

                      Your A to B argument only works if you see the primary purpose of having sex to be sexual gratification. And this is the problem – we interpret everything through the lens of our presuppositions. It’s not possible to be silent about opinions, because our opinions alter how we read scripture. In order to be silent about our opinions, we’d have to not preach the word.

                      It’s sad that you were taught sex was dirty. I see God as having created sex, and then looking at everything He created and saying “it is very good (functional and aesthetically pleasing according to the Hebrew)”. He thought sex was “very good”. I happen to agree.

                      I think it’s sad that your wife was one-sided in her views of oral sex. That’s unfortunate. I’m sorry you felt it wasn’t something you could discuss with her. I think that removes the possibility of improving the situation, but I can understand how your upbringing would make it very difficult to have a productive conversation about it.

                      I think it’s good to learn not to let people set you off. I’ve actually quite enjoyed our back and forths. Less so the … accusations and glib responses. I much prefer the thought provoking responses. I like being challenged. I like defending my beliefs. I like seeing where the holes are and if they stand up. If I didn’t, I’d simply delete every comment I disagree with as some do. I don’t need to try and convince you – I’m testing my convictions to see if they hold water. It’s still productive to me, even if you disagree, and I think it gives others the opportunity to see the arguments on both sides so they can make their own decisions.

    2. adc says:

      It’s really nice that you and your husband are in love but I must ask. You say that you only can muster sex once a week? How often do you think other couples have sex? I’m just curious because I would be happy if my wife would “muster” sex once a week. I have only been married for almost 3 years and I can’t remember theist period of time where we had sex once a week. And now that my wife is pregnant again. I am not seeing myself having regular sex until 2019. So I think that you by “mustering” sex once a week show how important it is. God bless your marriage!

      1. A says:

        This makes me sad, abc.
        Have you talked to your wife, what did she say?

        Sex is sometimes painful during pregnancy but there are lots of other things a couple can do (handjobs, oral sex, mutual masterbation, etc.)

        I don’t understand this although I know it’s common it’s like, how did the baby get there in the first place (sex) but then the instant the woman gets pregnant it’s supposed to be like an off switch goes off for the guy and he no longer wants sex? Ugh. And I say being that it is my second pregnancy – with my first we even had sex during labor before my water broke (semen helps the cervix dialate and speeds up labor – true story)

        1. ANW says:

          A, you must have normal, healthy pregnancies. I spent most of my second pregnancy on bed rest which meant no sex. Orgasm was off the table as it causes pelvic contractions. We went months without sex. I also had a pelvic condition with my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies that made sex nearly impossible and extremely painful!
          After delivery wasn’t much better for me. Physical touch is the bottom of the barrel for my love languages so nursing and taking care of babies wears me out both physically and emotionally. I could only muster the energy for sex every 10 days or so.

          adc you say your wife is pregnant again in the 3 years you’ve been married? That’s a lot of stress on her body. Don’t get me wrong, I think sex is important (and we shoot for 2-3 times per week now) but sex can be hard when you feel like your body is not your own. It sounds like your marriage would benefit from some open and honest conversations between you two.

          1. A says:

            Yes – normal healthy pregnancies – I am very blessed. Of course being on pelvic rest is the one situation where I feel like no sex is entirely valid but I feel that most pregnancies proceed normally in which case sex is still safe.

            Sex every 10 days isn’t bad – physical touch is my love language but husband touch and baby touch are very different to me; also, I work full time which I think helps me to not get ‘touched out’ because I spend many hours with no one touching me at work.

            I did nurse for 10.5 months with my first and it didn’t bother me TOO much (it was obnoxious sometimes though because she nursed an hour at a time in the very beginning). It’s interesting though – with the nursing and the baby touching me and labor and delivery women often lose a desire for sex. For me, I felt like if I stopped being sexual I would lose part of my identity like I would just become a milk/baby machine. Consequently, I wanted to preserve part of my pre-pregnancy identity by continuing to be sexual. In the same way, I stayed working instead of staying home full-time with baby.

          2. adc says:

            ANW – i will start of by saying that this is going to be a long reply
            I get that it is stressful for her. I guess i have been feeling very frustrated because i didnt want kids so soon in the first place and thats why i have been having a hard time to get that. I wanted to wait 3 years so we could know each other, personally, spiritually and sexually and i told her that before we got married and she told me she wanted kids as soon as possible because she didnt want to loose time. We were 27 when we got married. When we got married i wanted to use protection but seeing her sad when we talked about using protection made it hard to go through with it, so we were married 4 months and she got pregnant. After that our sex life almost disappeared. Dont get me wrong i love my daughter , she is wonderful but i have many times felt that my marriage ended when i my wife got pregnant. Everything i wanted in a marriage ended there. Its actually not until now that i dont feel that way as much as i used to but believe me, more than once i still think about all the things i would have loved to do and the sex life we would have if she wouldnt have gotten pregnant. And actually it was the same thing with tthe child that is on the way. She started telling me she wanted to have a second child. I didnt want to. First because after almost two years we had started to connect sexually and second because i wanted a more stable economy. I am still studying. But once again i fell for the “happy wife, happy life” thing so she got pregnant as soon as she stopped using contraceptives. So here we are again. It feel a little better now but i still have to hold my tongue sometimes when she complains because i am doing all the chores, i take care of our daughter and dont do anything but work around here in the house so when she complains i sometimes just want to say “well it was YOUR choice to have a baby” but it wont end well for me so i just shut up. I am hoping not to feel so frustrated this second time. I am struggling with a porn addiction. I have confessed to her once about it and have confessed it to my father and a leader in church. I am praying to be free. I have been far from God after a spiritual burnout and porn became my comfort. And sadly because my wife wasnt interested in sex i didnt realize what it was doing to my desires. Some months ago , in the beginning fo her pregnancy she suddenly wanted to have more sex. And not like before where she just wanted to do one position but she wanted to have passionate sex and it was then that i realized that i had a hard time to orgasm. I can get an erection but have a hard time orgasming. And i started to realize that i didnt desire my wife so much. It had never been that way before. i mean when she wanted to have sex i loved it but i guess that because she didnt want so much(there could be almost a month between every time) i didnt realize i wasnt desiring the same way as before. It wasnt until she wanted to have more passionate sex (not once a week but at least not 1 month between ever time) that i realized what porn had done to me. It has become my wake up call and i am trying to really fight this because i really want to desire her. I dont want to ruin this sex life. At the same time it scares me because just when she wants more sex she gets pregnant and if its like the last pregnancy i cant expect much sex in the years to come and to not have sex in sucha long time while i struggle with getting free from porn is very hard. Now that i have started to fight this i have started to feel that my desire for her is growing but with that the frustrations are also growing. I cant be with her but cant stop thinking about how much i want to be with her. I am praying that God will give me grace to not fall for the thoughts that say that i have to get a release. its hard and it feels impossible but i can only pray that the One who can do the impossible will do it in me so that i can wait for her. Even if it hurts.

            Sorry for the long reply

            1. A says:

              Abc – I hope JD weighs in on this because he is qualified in this area based on his experiences in his own marriage and previous porn addiction.

              It’s an awefully difficult situation that you are in and it is also far too common.

              1. Jay Dee says:

                ADC and I have been in communication over the last few months or more.

                Honestly, biggest things are:
                Focusing on the present, not on the past – Deciding to move forward from today rather than being stuck about whatever happened previously.
                Stand up for what’s right – Don’t fall into the trap of “happy wife, happy life”
                Make sin uncomfortable – Don’t let them continue refusing and thinking it’s okay. Honestly, I’d send her this post and say “I feel like our marriage is crumbling because of this”.
                Quit the porn – Stop trying and get help. This needs an accountability partner if you can’t do it on your own. Also, telling your spouse is a good way to get it out in the open and force you to deal with it. It’s too easy to backslide in secret.

                1. adc says:

                  Yeah there is a lot to deal with. I know I must confess my porn addiction to her but it is so hard. I have told her twice and she found out on her own once. The first two time she got sad but she didn’t talk about it so much after I confessed it. I really hoped i would be free if I confessed it. But I wasn’t ready to let porn go and I was to ashamed of telling her that I could get these strong urges to look at other women. So I kept it to myself and sometimes confessed it to my father and a few times to this leader. One time she found out because I sent a message confessing once again that I had fallen. She got angry and sad and she said she wanted to help me but I didn’t dare to tell her about the urges I felt all the time. I many times wanted to tell her. I thought she would wonder because we didn’t have sex in a long time and I didn’t say anything so I thought she would be suspicious but I don’t know she hasn’t seemed to care so much. Maybe because it hurts her so much. And that’s why I’m afraid to tell her. I know it will hurt her so much. I just don’t know how to tell her that I can have this strong urges to watch other women. That’s why I this time really want to be free for sometime before I tell her. I don’t want to do it the day after I have fallen again just because I feel so bad because if she gets angry and sad and doesn’t want to talk about it and I’m not strong enough it’s easy to fall again and hide it even more. I want to be stronger before I tell her so that it doesn’t go the same way it has the other times. I need help but it is hard to get it. I have a hard time finding a accountability partner who has time and who really helps. As I have told Jay Dee before, sin isn’t something people in my church like to talk about. I wish I had Christian friends I could meet to start like a support group or something but there aren’t any guys in my age around here. I am praying and asking the Lord to help me because I really want out this time.

                2. Hermit says:

                  Jay Dee, the problem with telling the wife, is that some Christian women consider viewing porn as committing adultery, and therefore grounds for divorce.

                  1. Jay Dee says:

                    Yeah, it certainly comes with risks. She could consider viewing porn as committing adultery, and frankly should. It is in my view. Likewise, you could view sexual refusal as abandonment, and should. Both are not fulfilling the marriage vows, and so both are “grounds for divorce”, but now that there’s “no fault divorce”, you no longer need grounds, so it doens’t matter.

                    Besides, having groups for divorce doesn’t mean you should take it.

                    Either way, without some serious destabilizer, nothing is likely to change.

                    1. Hermit says:

                      I would be hesitant to advise anyone to tell their wife something that could bring about their divorce. Certainly, one can argue that viewing porn is adultery, but for many men, its just ink on a page or pixels on a screen – its not a real woman, and the man doesn’t want to have sex with her, and isn’t fantasizing about doing so, he’s just looking for that Oxytocin and Dopamine (Adrenalin ?) rush from viewing something erotic.

                      I would argue that the porn addict should stop the behaviour. If the wife would likely divorce him, then he should probably stop it without telling her. Surely preserving the marriage would be an important goal for Christians.

                      Pornography quickly becomes an addiction, and one thing we know for sure about addictions, quitting is a process, not a one-time event, and it is going to involve a few slip backs along the way. That’s just a fact. So ultimatums are doomed to disappointment.

                      Statistics tell us that more than 50% of men in our churches are using porn to some extent. Should the Christian counsellor’s method of dealing with this bring about the divorce of 50% of the congregation? Our whole society’s direction, the invention of the camera, the advent of the Internet and the proliferation of free porn, the barrage of information about sex and girl’s bodies, all have men and boys in situations men have never had to face before, and it is very hard (no pun intended) for a boy to reach manhood without exposure to, and subsequently use of, porn. Our society’s and church’s views on marriage means people wait for many years after they reach their sexual peak before it is considered appropriate for them to marry. One way or another, all that semen is going to be released somewhere, somehow.

                      I would also say that a lot of boys come from problem families where they were exposed to some wrong, and strange, views of sex, and dysfunctional parental example, and these can cause him to turn to porn too.

        2. David says:

          according to Jay Dee, masterbation is wrong

    3. Charles says:

      Sex once a week would be would be a dream. My wife is going on her 32nd year of withholding sexual intimacy in our nearly 37 years of marriage. 🙁

      1. Mikel says:

        Charles, we went 25 years with no sex. Then Jay Dee helped us communicate a year and half ago. We now have sex almost every day. My wife told me this morning that she has been missing being intimate with me. I think it has been one day we didn’t get together. So, this afternoon we have scheduled an “afternoon nude nap.” ?

      2. Aussie says:

        I don’t know why men would accept such a situation. When you wife marries you, she promises to love you. Love isn’t a feeling, it a way of behaving. Loving you means meeting your needs. The Bible says her body belongs to you, and your body belongs to her. That actually means what it says, and that’s the terms of marriage. I made sure my wife knew that, and we have always practiced it. (For example, I wanted to get a tattoo on my face, but my body is hers, and she said no.) As the man, and the spiritual leader in the home, you should have, from the word “go”, taught her what the Bible teaches on sex and marriage. We are nice to each other, and loving, and I wouldn’t think of having sex with her if there is a good reason not to do so, but we both have the understanding that our bodies belong to each other and we should use them to meet each other’s needs, as is normal in Christian marriage.

        As Jay Dee says, marriage is God’s solution for sexual need. It is therefore ludicrous for married men to be still suffering from unmet sexual needs. That is completely wrong for married Christians.

      3. T says:

        Charles – You might consider having your wife look into the Bible Study, Wife of Noble Character, and JD’s course on Becoming More Sexually Engaged – for Christian Wives.

  2. A says:

    I agree with this so much.

    So me and my husband have had a lot of sexual issues that we have been working through and frequency is up which is great but this article brought back two memories.

    The first one is my husband was absolutely sure that at some age sex becomes unimportant and the couple stops having sex – now we are talking when they are elderly and far past child bearing years. Now, I talked to him about this and told him I have no plans to stop having sex even when I am elderly and that his thinking worried me. We have talked about it quite a bit sense and I think he has changed his opinion. (This line of thinking – planning to stop having sex is like planning to get cancer. You never plan for it but I’d it happens due to truly unfortunate circumstances you still try to make the best of your situation and live life in a way that maximizes it but planning for cancer/celebate marriage is nonsensical.)

    Second memory – when sexual frequency was a major issue I was standing in the kitchen and I had done something sexual like maybe a touch; I don’t remember what it was specifically but he looked at me with this look of utter contempt and disgust the ‘it’s all about sex for you isn’t it’ look and it was absolutely vile. The look, the attitude, the whole thing. And in that moment I did absolutely nothing – nothing at all – but I KNEW that things would only get worse from that moment forward. Of course I was right! I wish I had a different story and that I boldly and courageously confronted him in his sin but I did not. By the time we got around to addressing some of our issues a lot more damage had been done.

    Please understand, it you read this and relate to it – it will not get better that is probably denial mixed with false hope. What sin did Jesus turn a blind eye to expecting his followers to ‘eventually get it’ and someday ‘stop sinning’? Never. He boldly but also living corrected those he caught in sin. If we are called to love our spouses in a christ-like way this is what we are to do.

    1. Mitch says:

      Your husband must have been reading Augustine who believed married couples should work toward a state of sexlessness later in marriage. This is completely unbiblical, of course.

    2. T says:

      As people get older the male gets ED issues and the female gets vaginal dryness issues that preclude any enjoyable sex life. Is that God’s way of telling us that it’s time to quit having sex and just love the relationship for what it is?

      1. Jay Dee says:

        1) ED is a health issue, not an ageing issue. There’s absolutely no reason a healthy 90-year-old can’t get an erection.
        2) Same goes for vaginal dryness.
        3) You don’t need an erection to have sex, only to have penetration, and we have lube (or saliva) for the dryness issue.

        I think you’re putting words in God’s mouth here…

        1. T says:

          OK, I’ll take God out of the equation and just say that statistically as people age there are more people with problems with ED and vaginal dryness. Things wear out eventually.

          1. Jay Dee says:

            I think thing wear out if you don’t take care of them. So, yes as you get older, the impact of unhealthy living compounds, but you can treat it at any age.

  3. Mitch says:

    Sex is the meat in the loaf. It’s the cow in the burger. It’s the bird in the chicken sandwich. It’s the crust on the pizza. It’s the tortilla in the enchilada. It’s the starch in the noodles. It’s the corn in the flakes. It’s the monsodium glutamate in those weird crackers I get out of the vending machine at work…

    1. Mitch says:

      I just realized. That first one is actually literally true.

      1. A says:

        Haha Mitch – that’s hilarious

        No not reading Augustine but somehow that lie ended up in there – possibly due to a conservative upbringing.

        Somehow I want to encourage my children to be sex positive while also encouraging them to be pure – when they are teens that will be interesting water to navigate.

        1. ANW says:

          Have you ever read Sheila’s blog?

          Her daughters are both college age now and she’s talked about this exact thing in the past. Her daughters even chime in from time to time.

          1. A says:

            I have a hard time reading Shelia. She is against sex toys and she recently posted an article about how women aren’t actually in abusive relationships but only think they are and whine too much which is dangerous advice to those who are in abusive relationships – anyway – she might have something good for teens. Thanks for the recommendation though

            1. Ricky says:

              Sheila is very inconsistent about a lot of things so I tend to take what she says with a grain of salt since there is a high degree of probability she will contradict herself later on.

              Your comment about her article regarding abusive relationships is actually a perfect example of the fallacy of begging the question. If a person is NOT in an abusive relationship but exaggerates their spouse’s transgression to make it seem like it is, then it is right to call them out for it. By saying this is dangerous advice to those who actually ARE in abusive relationships is to miss the point that her advice is directed specifically at those who ARE NOT in an abusive relationship.

              I can’t think of anyone who would tell a woman with bruises on her face to stop whining. And I certainly will acknowledge the many ways husbands and wives can emotionally abuse one another. But if society errs on the side of protecting abused women (and I am sympathetic to this) it is certainly within the realm of possibility that some women will take advantage of this bias and claim abuse where none occurs. It is just human nature to do this.

              1. A says:

                Abuse comes in many forms (emotional, spiritual, financial to name a few) and many women are in denial about it which why her article is dangerous as it encourages women to be in denial without meaning to do that.

                1. Ricky says:

                  Once you factor out legally defined domestic violence, where husbands clearly have a biologically based advantage, you are left with a variety of forms of “abuse” which are completely gender neutral. I hope you don’t assume wives can’t abuse husbands in all the ways you cite. But your comment suggests that women are more prone to be “in denial” than men are. Not true. Husbands, in fact, are far more likely to blame themselves for abusive wives because society promotes a men bad/women good philosophy. Sheila falls into that occasionally, but like I said. She is all over the place.

  4. Curious says:

    But doesn’t this justify leaving your spouse if they won’t have sex with you?

    1. alchemist says:

      If you read The Curmudgeonly Librarian’s extremely interesting series about marriage and diverse as well as some of his analyses on sexual abandonment, then yes. Prolonged refusal (a year actually) is grounds for divorce. This is provided you’ve confronted her about it and gone through all the conflict resolution steps. He makes a very compelling case.

      Of course, having grounds does not compel you to divorce.

    2. Jay Dee says:

      I tend to take the same approach to marriage as to salvation. It’s relationship based, not works based.

      Our salvation is not based on what we do or do not do. It’s based on our desire to be with God and He with us. All the rules, guidelines, laws, commandments, etc, are there to help us draw closer to him rather than drift away.

      So, while deeds/works are important, they are not the final decision maker. They just affect what is.

      In the same way, I think marriage should be not based on what we do or do not do, but a simple test: Do you love the other? If you don’t, well, then there’s your justification for leaving. But, make no mistake. It’s then your decision and YOU left. Nothing they can do can make it “okay”.

      Just as nothing you can do would cause God to walk away from you. He waits until you walk away, and even then tries to win you back.

    3. Mitch says:

      I thought Curmudgeonly Librarian’s piece was interesting and makes one of the best cases for sexual abandonment as grounds for divorce. But it still leaves me frustrated because I am so tired of the endless debates about what constitutes grounds for divorce. People are divorcing in large numbers because of sin. Even the ones who have biblical grounds, did a lot of sinning leading up to the divorce. Divorce is, by definition, a profound moral failure on the part of both spouses. There is no getting around this. So are we suggesting that if one divorces with biblical grounds, God will necessarily bless their decision somehow? Will God go out of his way to find a replacement partner for the spouse who was wronged? And if someone divorces without cause, are they necessarily cursed to live alone and miserable for the rest of their life? Obviously we know the answers. People who divorce with cause can still end up miserable and alone. People who divorce without cause can end up happy and blessed.

      So are we talking about who gets the most brownie points in heaven? Joe and Jerry are both Christians. Joe got divorced because his wife cheated on him. So he gets extra heavenly brownie points. Jerry got divorced because he cheated on his wife. He gets rewards deducted. And what if Joe and Jerry are not Christians? Who cares? They both burn in hell for all eternity.

      The end result is the same, moral justification or not. Divorce is messy and nasty and awful and strong marriages with intimacy are the ideal. And all of us are utterly dependent on God’s grace for the success of our marriages.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Agreed … except for the part where Joe and Jerry burn in hell for all eternity. That one is not biblical, though I know it is taught in most churches.

  5. Jaxx says:

    If I may, I do not think the use of 1 Corinthians 7:5 has been fair. I used to believe that this verse was law, however, the following verse teaches otherwise.

    1 Corinthians 7:5-6:

    [5] Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. [6] But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

    While I do think that Paul’s advise is wise in many if not most cases, I do not think it is always so. Five years ago my wife flung verse 5 in my face because I feared of having a child we could not properly care for. We had no means of preventing pregnancy. She trusted in some internet calendar that told her it was not possible for her to get pregnant if we had sex that evening. I knew that trusting such chart was foolery, nevertheless, I would obey God, and not knowing that verse five was not law, I consented. My wife got pregnant from that night’s activity. We were forced around under very disagreeable circumstances during and directly after her pregnancy, due to the instability my job had undertook shortly after we got married. We had to move 3 months before our daughter was born, two days before she was born, two weeks after she was born, and two weeks again after that. And this with me having no job. This all could have been prevented if verse 5 was understood in light of verse 6.

    That one irresponsible night, brought a lot of trouble with it. Don’t get me wrong, I had strong sexual desires for my wife that night, but my mind said that such an act would be irresponsible, at least that night.

    As a whole, I agree with your use of the text, but please, be sure to give it its proper place, lest great evil result.


    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think it makes more sense that verse 6 be applied to the block of verse 2-5. That is, it is not a command that you must marry. This is in line with other verses.

      However, if you do marry, because you have desires, do not deprive each other. That’s also in keeping with other verses.

      There’s nothing really new in Paul’s letter here. He’s just reiterating scripture in order to respond to a question from the church in Corinth.

      1. JJ says:

        Am I understanding correctly then that if there is no desire from either husband or wife, then consequently there is no deprivation and therefore no sin?

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I’m not sure that follows. It says you may only abstain if both wish for a short time for reasons of fasting and prayer only.

          1. JJ says:

            I see. It’s just hard to imagine but also very interesting that scripture would mandate sex if neither spouse actually wants it. I can’t figure out the higher purpose in such a thing.

            1. remnanttreasures says:

              Scripture is sufficient, not exhaustive. I don’t find anything is Scripture mandating that you have sex with your spouse if both persons are uninterested. Sure, one could interpret it that way, but I am not seeing that that is the point of what Paul is saying. I’ve authored several books, around a 100 articles…etc. As a writer, I’ve learned that you have to expect your readers to manifest some level of discretion when trying to understand what you are saying. The words the author uses are almost irrelevant to what he is saying, BECAUSE they are only the vehicle used to relay a point or idea. If you get stuck on the specific choice of words, you can miss the authors point, and at times even go contrary to the whole idea of what the author is saying.

              1. JJ says:

                Thank you! Now that makes intuitive sense.

  6. JJ says:

    My wife and I have been together for 25 years. We are very happy, loving and affectionate but rarely have sex (less than twice a year). I don’t miss it and neither does she. Am I right to interpret the relevant corinthians verse to mean that not having sex is only sinful if in fact the lack of it is actually depriving one of the spouses?

Share your thoughts

Becoming More Sexually Engaged - For Christian Wives Course - Cohort starting this Sunday