Tag: Pulling Back the Shades
Can spiritual women also be sexually satisfied? It's a sad question to have to ask, but the incomplete manner in which the Church has answered sexual questions does mandate that we discuss it. If you're one of my more modest followers, please don't be disappointed but this article isn't for you. However, if you're a spiritual woman trying desperately to make sense of sexual desires and often finding answers outside of the Church, read on! I don't want you to find yourself falling for counterfeits in the quest. A lot of women have. (And you could win a free book that will help if you keep reading.) The sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series has sold over 100,000,000 and the series has had a seat on the New York Times Best-seller list for 100 weeks straight. Now it will be a blockbuster in the movie theaters with Fandago presales setting records already. Let me be honest: the book has revived the sexual appetites of many women. But is that good? I'd like to suggest that it's not so great and that the best way to a vibrant sex life might just to become an "official church lady!"
"The truth is that God designed sex to be enjoyed within the context of a marriage bed. It’s as simple and as terribly frustrating as that. While it would be nice if there were a caveat for those who never get married, that would deny the sanctity of the act of sex altogether wouldn’t it? The marriage bed should be honored by “all,” not just those who have one. (Hebrews 13:4) This is difficult but true." (From "How Can I Satisfy My Sexual Desire As A Single Woman?") And yet, I promised you when I started this blog series that I'd dig hard and try to find answers to your questions. Specifically, I promised that I'd look for ways that you can meet the five legitimate longings that Dr. Juli Slattery and I wrote about in Pulling Back the Shades. And one of them is this: God created women to long to be sexually alive. A rich theology of sexuality demands a robust desire for sex, and God did not create the boundaries of sexual expression to frustrate us. So, what plan exists to relieve the sexual tension? I think there are four ways that God enables a single woman to have her sexual desires released in a healthy manner.
If you're conflicted by the fact that you find Johnny Depps' Captain Jack Sparrow sexy, you've come to the right place. The treacherous, badly groomed pirate swoons the hearts of women despite that fact that he's most likely incapable of sustaining a long-term relationship. (Never mind the fact that he's fictional.) Recent studies suggest that women are scientifically attracted to bad boys. Some think this tendency is heightened during ovulation when a woman may subconsciously be more likely to consider how protective a potential mate could be of offspring. (I'm sorry that I just called your future children "offspring.") (Again, never mind the fact that the bad boy tendancy might make them undependable.) I think we are, in fact, attracted to the bad boy. But I think the reason is much simpler than science will ever uncover. I'd like to reveal it to you today so you can figure out what to do with your bad boy appetite before you end up with one that might hurt you.
Are you tired of guys wanting to just "hang out?" Do you wish someone would tell them to "man up" and ask you on a real, live date with food and a car and...gosh...maybe you even secretly hope he might open a car door for you? You're not alone. From The New York Times to Huff Post, the word is out: dating is dead. "Hanging out" is in. And single women are underwhelmed. In a culture that constantly celebrates women's independence and the ability to be on an equal playing field on the dating scene, isn't it strange that the most talked about movie of 2015 is a one that celebrates bondage? With Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson recently wrapping Fifty Shades of Grey, all of a sudden, words like "submission," "master", and "obedience" are not only acceptable but sexy. Even, Barbara Walters, one of the most liberal women in the media is talking about the thrill of a strong man.
Recently, I spoke at Grove City College chapel and had the delight of doing an additional follow-up workshop that evening for women on beauty (which was not recorded). Only problem? The guys showed up along with the girls. Were they here for an easy extra chapel credit or could it be that they really wanted to understand the complex interweaving highway that is the female brain? I hoped for the later, decided to play it cool, and threw my notes away. Inviting the guys into the conversation turned out to be something of a medicine for the soul to the girls, as I watched the men impart to their Christian sisters something I could not. It went something like this.
On a few occasions I have survived the world's most boring church services. As I sit there with the bad music, long and poorly presented sermon, and the dead interactions of people I can not help but think how opposite this must be from the thrill and adventure of the early church founders who were risking their lives and hiding in homes to tell tales of miracles and resurrections. How their pulses must have raced with passion as their bodies were laced with adrenaline at the task of growing the Church. If we are not careful, we create a very counterfeit understanding of Church by thinking that Sunday morning services are church. They aren't. And the thinking that they are contributes to the deadening of souls who long for something more than the mundane and veils rather than reveals the glory of God. There has to be more to life than empty traditions, routines, working 9-5, and hollow church services. Does this call out to your spirit like a spring of water to a thirsty traveler? Is boredom sucking the life out of you? I have hope for you.
This may be the hardest blog post I’ve ever written. Single women have been writing to me with one question: “How can I satisfy my sexual desire if I’m destined to remain single my whole life?” In part, this question is coming from women who've recently read Pulling Back The Shades, a candid look at erotica, intimacy, and the longings of a woman's heart, which I co-authored with Dr Juli Slattery. But the truth is the question has been coming my way for a long time and I've managed to dodge it. My motivation to answer is impaled on the horns of a dilemma: do I, a married woman, pass you on to some one else with more "experience" for the answer OR do I tell you the truth which is undoubtedly not what you really want to hear in which case you may happily use my married status to disqualify the advice? Today I'm mustering up the courage to go for the latter. Here goes.
For so long it’s been unacceptable in the Christian community for a spiritual woman to talk openly about issues of sexual pleasure and need. There are all these unwritten "Christian" rules that govern how openly we talk about sex. Then along came Fifty Shades of Grey—a book offering a bounty of explicit, erotic sex scenes all wrapped up in a love story. The book and its follow-ups provided a place for women to explore their longings and fantasies and promised to revive sexual passion in marriage or channel sexual desire for singles. When the book was first released I naively thought not that many Christian women would read it. I was wrong. Over 100 million women have read it according to new counts just this week, making it the fastest selling book of all time other than the Bible. (Only God has outsold E.L. James!) And there is no difference between the percentage of Christians who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and the percentage of all Americans who have read the book that introduced us to the term "mommy porn." If you are one of the Christian women who devoured the book, Dr. Juli Slattery and I want you to know you’re not alone. And, along with a growing number of increasingly transparent Christian leaders, we intend to approach this topic quite differently. Why? Because Jesus did.