Recently we were talking with friends who are trying to help a couple struggling because of his sexual fetish. (Yes, this is a normal lunch time topic for us.) Fetishes are set early in life, usually long before the individual is sexual in the ways we generally think. Sometimes the person can identify an event that created the fetish, other times they can’t either because the incident was so mundane or happened when they were very young. And yet, they grow up with a problematic sexual connection to some object or body part.
I bring this up here because it shows how easily our sexuality can be distorted by seemingly minor events early in our lives. Our early lives shape our sexuality in ways less obvious than needing a woman to wear high heel shoes to get aroused. Much of what we desire is affected by our early years. Likewise, much of what we find unarousing is set as well. When these desires and turn-offs aren’t extreme we assume they are normal and natural; how God made us rather than the result of some injury.
With this in mind, may I suggest you examine your sexual roots? What happened as you were growing up that may be affecting your sexuality decades later?
- Growing up with parents who openly showed love for each other.
- Seeing your sex organs as good from an early age.
- Always having seen your sexuality as good.
- Contact with couples who truly loved each other and had a good sex life. (This doesn’t mean they talked about their sex life – but we can generally tell).
- Good sexual self-control growing up.
- Age appropriate, positive sex education, starting well before adolescence.
- Avoiding the sexual experimenting so common in high school and college.
- Premarital counselling and advice with a “Sex in marriage is awesome” attitude.
- Ongoing relationships with women and couples who enjoy married sex.
- Growing up with a parent(s) who thought sex was dirty.
- Your church teaching sex is bad.
- Hearing men are monsters, are only after one thing, are sexually selfish, etc..
- Hearing sex is just for men, and women do it because they must, or to get things.
- Lack of sex education growing up.
- Negative feelings about your sex organs or sexuality growing up.
- Being molested, in any way, to any degree.
- Early or late puberty or shame over the development of your body or the start of your period.
- Being pushed for sex as a teen or older – even if you successfully resisted.
- Exposure to porn and other media with distorted ideas of sexuality. This would include soap operas, many romance novels, some other fiction books, some graphic novels, and some R-rated movies.
- Sexual contact with multiple partners over any length of time.
- Sex with your spouse before the wedding.
- Premarital warnings about sex: it’s painful, overrated, something to be endured, and so on.
- Close friends with any of these roots.
If you have as many or more items in the bad roots list than the good roots list what does that say about you, your sexuality and your sexual self-image? Have you dealt with the bad roots? If not, they’re still impacting your thinking. What about your husband – can you go through the list above and mark his roots? If you can’t, you don’t know enough about him.
~ Paul – I’m XY and I got roots, too.
This week’s survey is about Who Controls Sex in Your Marriage? Which of you has more say over how often sex happens and what goes on in bed?