Jump directly to the content
Good Sex Comes to Those Who Wait? _theo_ / Flickr

Good Sex Comes to Those Who Wait?


Jul 10 2014
Hook-up sex v. married sex: A warning about incentivizing abstinence with personal pleasure.

I don't remember when I first heard the idea that the best sex in marriage comes from saving yourself until your wedding night, probably because it's been repeated again and again in church circles over the years. True love waiting rewards the strife of abstinence with a world of pleasure upon saying, "I do."

This mentality gets perpetuated by a well-meaning evangelical culture that I believe genuinely wants what's best for its young people. We hope they will hold out for the better portion, so we tell our single brothers and sisters how unmarried sex doesn't live up to the gratification of sex saved for the marriage bed.

In an article last year in The New York Times, "In Hook-Ups, Inequality Still Reigns," Natalie Kitroeff found that the majority of sexually active females were not experiencing orgasms during casual sexual encounters. While the article showed how much the hook-up culture has shaped their understanding of their own sexual expectations, it also highlighted how they can feel disappointed with sex outside of committed relationships. "We've been sold this bill of goods that we're in an era where people can be sexually free and participate equally in the hook-up culture. The fact is that not everyone's having a good time," one doctor noted in the article.

To counter hook-up culture, Christians remind young people if they follow God's good design, it will actually be better for them. The hook-up culture promises freedom, excitement, and the occasional orgasm, Christians promise something more. Within the confines of a loving, committed, marital relationship sex is actually the most satisfying and enjoyable.

In some ways, they're right. God intended us for pleasure. He created sex, and he made sex good. We are all familiar with Song of Solomon's frequent, and sometimes uncomfortable, praise for the sexual relationship. God does all things well.

The problem with this mentality is it fails to consider reality where married sex can also have its shortcomings. In some ways the promise of universally satisfying sex in marriage sets up a generation of hopeful, abstinent Christians for some degree of confusion and heartache.

We do this a lot in Christianity, don't we? We see our obedience as a sort of cosmic exchange, as if God were in the business of rewarding us with perks. We make a commitment to purity and then hold on to the promise that our self-denial is not in vain: Good sex comes to those who wait.

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
I’m Kimmy Schmidt, Minus the ‘Unbreakable’

I’m Kimmy Schmidt, Minus the ‘Unbreakable’

A cult survivor explains what a new sitcom gets right—and wrong—about life on the outside.
To the Ends of the Earth: Loving Vanuatu After Cyclone Pam

To the Ends of the Earth: Loving Vanuatu After Cyclone Pam

How God uses international ties to grow our compassion.
Remembering Kara Tippetts and Her ‘Mundane Faithfulness’

Remembering Kara Tippetts and Her ‘Mundane Faithfulness’

Christian mom and blogger saw God in her suffering.
Ashley Judd and Sexism on the Sidelines

Ashley Judd and Sexism on the Sidelines

The frustrations of female sports fans.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

If I See Blue, and You See White, Why Does It Matter?

The significance of our viral debate over #TheDress.

What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Good Sex Comes to Those Who Wait?