Two outcomes in life steal our peace more than anything else – money and sex. In this blog, I look at how our sex life affects nearly every aspect of our inner being.
My therapist once said to me, “Sex is 90% in your head.” I think he understated it. The noise in your head is running your sex life. There are two main kinds of sexual noise – relentless fantasies or relentless nothingness. One leads to insatiable craving. The other leads to complete disinterest. Neither is good (unless celibacy is your objective but that’s a whole other subject).
Sexual desire is normal and from a Christian perspective, it is meant to be practiced inside a committed married love relationship. However, this message is relevant no matter what your personal situation.
I can safely say that my sexual fantasies contributed greatly to the destruction of my first marriage. In my head, I was a wild, creative sexual stud. In reality, I was conservative and uptight. I felt afraid to talk about sex. I used code words to reference the sexual act and our body parts. I felt fearful to express what I wanted or to ask what she wanted. Sex became a routine, weekly ritual. My fantasy life left me vulnerable to temptation.
The bible is very clear about having sex regularly. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:5, ” Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourself to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” We need to get our sex life balanced and mutually satisfying.
Our sex life is vital to inner peace because it is existential. We view our sexuality as an extension of our being. When someone loves us sexually, we feel accepted and our inner being soars. When someone rejects us sexually, we feel rejected as a person – worthless and unlovable. Of course, we are experts at rationalizing away these hurt feelings. But if we are honest with ourselves, we feel hurt in a deep place.
I have met numerous couples who by age 45 have not had sex in years. Surprisingly, it is often the man who does not want sex. Why would a healthy and otherwise normal person no longer want to have sex?
Here’s why. The sexual act is the most intense, present moment experience we can have. We must lose all self-consciousness and surrender ourselves to our lover and our own body’s desires. This is intensely vulnerable. In the present moment, truth emerges. Indeed, our inner being cannot be quieted. Thus, how we really feel emerges. Our facade begins to tear away. If we are hiding angry, resentful feelings, we might suddenly say them. To not do so is to have a repressed sexual experience. This causes performance problems and much anxiety.
In a healthy relationship, making love awakens the love in our soul – the part of us that fell in love in the first place. Petty annoyances melt away. Couples who make love regularly, make up regularly too. Couples who do not, are avoiding conflict and bothersome issues. They have built up walls and are terrified of what might happen if those walls came down. Truth might be spoken and in that truth, the walls of their marital house might come tumbling down. That is what happened to me in my first marriage. When my truth came out, my marriage was finished and I was the one who pulled the trigger.
A broken love relationship is not the happily ever after story-book ending that we signed up for when we said, “I do.” Therefore, the key to having a great sex life is to be authentic with your partner about all matters, especially about sex and money. This builds trust. Trust builds intimacy. Intimacy feels safe and when we feel safe, our capacity to be sexually vulnerable soars. Of course, if you have been hiding your truth for years, you need to open this door wisely and probably with some professional support.
The most concrete manifestation of being real in my marriage is our mutual freedom to “talk dirty.” When we make love, we are sex objects and we want to be sex objects! Unlike the workplace or in social settings, this is the place where being a sex object is a turn-on. The playful child within us comes out and wants to have fun, please the other and give without expectation.
Take a moment now and think about whether your sex life is robbing you of inner peace. If you feel uncomfortable, uptight or resentful, you’ve got a peace-robbing issue. If you are having too much sex or too little sex for your present appetite, consider whether the frequency is the problem or whether your appetite is the problem.
For many men, our appetite can seem insatiable. Often this is caused by unfulfilled fantasies. When your sex life is right with your woman, your fantasies will diminish. Your focus will be on her, not on porn or porn-like scenarios. The path to this sexual paradise is frank honesty. If you struggle with being honest, you might read my book The Non-Judgmental Christian to read stories of how judgments paralyze us sexually and what to do about it.
Inner peace happens in the present moment. There is no peace tomorrow or yesterday. Those are dreams or memories. Nothing gives you a present moment experience more fully and intensely than a satisfying sexual experience with the one you love.