Is Sex a Spiritual Battle Ground?

I wrote the following in the comments on Fantasy and the Christian Husband, the post I did two weeks ago. 

I think the majority of men feel they have been subjected to bait and switch over sex. Like [women], they think the game is rigged, and most have abandoned any hope of every having the sex life they thought they had been promised.
As I see it, society lies to both men and women, and in ways that set them up for a horrible wreck when they get married. While the individuals certainly has some guilt in all this, I see it as a much bigger issue. At best society is doing this. Personally I’d say the Enemy is behind it.
The question then is this – do we form camps based on gender lines and throw rocks at each other across the desert between us? Or do we see this for the spiritual battle it is and work to solve it because we want to walk in what God intended. The world and Satan are pushing us to do the first. I’m advocating the latter.

I realise there are a wide variety of beliefs about spiritual battle; I hope we can sidestep augments about that. Regardless of how we frame it or understand it, I think it is clear men and women tend to fall into different camps about sex. We have how men think it is or should be, and how women think it is, or should be. Between the two camps is a vast no man’s (and no woman’s) land. Any attempt to move towards the other camp is entering into the unknown, and away from the comfort of those who agree with us. What’s more, the others in our camp will try to restrain us, and if they cannot they may abandon us, or even attack us. It is us against them, and any attempt to bridge the gap is seen as treason.

Battle of the sexes © Baz777 |

I have seen this from inside the men’s camp. When I suggest men need to work at building a relationship that will support a good sex life, I am told I am pandering to women and ignoring the Word of God. When I say pushing a woman to do something she does not enjoy is a bad plan, I am accused of undermining male sexuality. 

I also have many first hand reports of the same from women who try to move past the established limits of the woman’s camp. They accused of not caring about women, they are called sell outs, they are encouraging rape and ignoring abuse.

Each camp is sure they are right. Each camp is sure everything would be great if the other camp would just see the light and join them. There is no truth on the other side, and those who suggest compromise or looking for a third alternative are ignored or attacked.

When I look at marriages, where both husband and wife feel good about their sex life, I find neither the husband nor the wife is abiding by the doctrines of “their camp”. Some couples are closer to one camp, some to the other. Some are not between the two camps, having rejected compromise as the only solution. Those who are willing to question the propaganda of their camp have a chance for a happy sex life. Those who are not will probably never be happy. 

When I share here about male sexuality, I am not trying to get women to come over to the men’s camp. I have been in that camp, and I know it misses the truth in some ways. Leaving one lie for a different lie is not a trip I suggest. However, leaving a lie to find the truth is a journey worth doing. Are you tired enough of sex being a battleground in your marriage to try something radical? 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m having a blast living outside the camp!


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6 Comments on “Is Sex a Spiritual Battle Ground?

  1. It sure seems like sex is a constant battleground — some days it always feels like a losing battleground. I have days where I feel like Rachel had the right idea:

    “Rubin, Rubin, I’ve been thinking
    What a grand world this would be
    If the men were all transported
    Far beyond the Northern Sea.”

    Somedays, the battle of the sexes feels so unwinnable, that I wonder if we would be better of segregated. With modern artifical insemination, we can easily perpetuate the species without needing to interact. Then, men and women would not need to constantly butt heads over their differences.

    Other days I wonder if this is part of the problem with describing things along strict gender lines. You and Lori have kind of built your websites around the apparent gender lines, but I have seen many (mostly secular) commentators who argue that, sexually (and in other ways as well), men and women have more in common than the stereotypes like to allow. As a basic example, I like Annabel’s spice and love blog, where she, as the “higher drive spouse”, speaks many of the same things that I feel as a higher drive spouse, even though we are on opposite sides of the gender divide.

    On bad days, I wonder if we would be better off segregated. On good days, I often wonder if we would be better off talking about “human sexuality” rather than male vs. female or Mars vs. Venus or however you want to describe the gender divide.

    • I agree gender divisions can be a problem. On the other hand there are many thing, especially with sex, where differences fall mostly along gender lines. Ignoring such a major (God created) truth seems unwise.
      Even when we are alike, men and women often get to the same place by different routes, and the way we get there affects us.
      Lori and I embrace both our similarities and our different. Together we are more than the sum of our parts, and it is a beautiful thing.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: “It’s How They Are, Just Accept it”My Profile

  2. It is a battle. Every day is a battle. My husband is the restrictive, vanilla-sex, no oral, no foreplay, don’t take too long one. He is also emotionally abusive, I don’t believe on purpose, but he just doesn’t know any other way. He grew up in an environment and culture of emotionally abusive men (so have I) so seeing and experiencing different is very foreign to both of us. He also isn’t too careful about what he watches, though he isn’t addicted to porn (hollywood offers enough sex/nudity in that blurred line of “well, it’s not porn”) and some of it is adventurous and yet he won’t do those things with me! I take good care of myself, although the stress of the EA and sex life battles are starting to take their toll. I noticed the other day the lines on my face (I’m only in my early 30’s!) and I have an ulcer even though I eat very healthfully. I’ve sought help, but have gotten very little. It’s just not tangible enough. It’s not like he hits me (though he teases or threatens to) and it’s very difficult to discuss sexual issues. When I have, it gets swept under the rug and I’m encouraged to just pray more. Very frustrating. I have confronted him, it got better for a while and back to the old ways, though just a smidge better overall. He nods and cries and behaves in church and with others he respects, but is different behind closed doors. It’s not bad enough to leave, but not good enough to want to stay, either.

    I’m glad Paul encourages men to take care of their relationship with their wives. I wish more men did. I’m the sex positive, adventurous, higher drive spouse, but lately, I’d rather not. Sex is too emotionally, and now physically painful and I literally get more out of masturbating than having sex with hubby. I don’t want it to be that way and I fight that temptation every day, but he leaves me with little choice, otherwise.

  3. I think many of us are “either/or” people and we view our lives and the world around us in those terms. The media send that message. Politicians send that message. Even pastors send that message.

    Yet so much of life is “both/and.” The feminist movement taught us we must lose our femininity to gain respect and self assurance. Not so. Yes we should have equal pay for equal work, etc., AND we should enjoy our husbands and let them love us as they are created to do.

    I expect many women feel that if they enjoy sex with their husbands they are losing a battle and are not respected.

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