I exercise with a homogeneous group of women, or so I thought, until the mention of 50 Shades of Grey. Most kept their mouths shut, a few were negative. I suspected some were “Shades-positive.” I just did not expect the elegant, retired school-teacher-type to pipe up her eagerness to meet Mr. Grey this weekend at the theatre. It’s apparent all kinds of women are being aroused sexually by erotica and BDSM.
You’ve probably already seen the 2015 quotes. 40% of those fluttering for Mr. Grey are Christian women, don’t assume all of them are young mommy’s.
I’ve been completely silent on this topic. And really, I hate the band-wagon mentality, but I’m here to chime in.
What if some of you, my low-libido friends, are considering Mr. Grey as a quicky spurt of sexual desire? You only want to be intimate with your husband, but wouldn’t it be nice to have youthful lust resurge for just a moment? Could this movie do it for you? (If you’ve been living on a small deserted island in the Caribbean, I’m jealous! And, you may not know about the erotic novel, 50 Shades of Grey. You can read a synopsis at hotholyhumorous.)
I’ll be honest. Yes. I’m sure this movie absolutely could get your brain pumping some dopamine and oxytocin. Your genitals will fire up. It’s the same lust mechanism husbands experience when they view porn. It’s all the same.
In trying to rebuild our marriage bed after the maelstrom, I was desperate to fix my near-aversion to sex. It was at this point, my husband gave me permission to read steamy novels. I took him up on it. Try as I might to erase mental impressions from the books during our trysts, my husband and I weren’t alone. Thoughts lingered, just as porn images linger in men’s.
Sexual satisfaction achieved from erotica tastes like flat coke. Yes, it was good to be participating in the marriage bed with my husband, but it left me a little empty emotionally. Where was the fizz of first marriage?
The steamy novel experiment didn’t last long because it didn’t feel right. Now, I see that it was the Holy Spirit convicting me.
God called me to be more.
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. 2 And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3 But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints,” Ephesians 5:1-3.
In trying to be more, I took this passage seriously.
I found the answer to the cravings women are looking for. It wasn’t through artificial means of arousal.
The answer was in building a better relationship with God. It was spending time in the scriptures understanding that it’s OK to pray about my sexuality and desire. It was understanding that HE alone is the one who truly satisfies my longings. He also sanctions a rockin’ sex life with my husband.
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water……
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips,” Psalm 63:1,4-5.
The answer was also in building a better relationship with my husband. It was learning to help him be the strong man of God he was created to be.
Wives yearn for a kind of sexual rapture that isn’t found solely in orgasm. Wives crave sexual fulfillment saturated with spiritual honey and emotional nectar.
We were made to crave intimacy with our husbands. Genesis 3:16 tells us so.
You can turn to things like 50 Shades for a quick fix. Just so you know, it’s not going to last long. It’s an illusion of intimacy. It’s Satan’s ultimate scheme. He takes sex and simplifies it. He removes the spiritual and emotional essence and leaves the physical. Sure you can take a hit of lust at the theatre this weekend, or you can take a longer journey of intention that will quench and satisfy your true craving.
Erotica is a shortcut. “The more often you “shortcut,” the less skilled you become in following your authentic pathway to sexual intimacy,” Dr. Juli Slattery.
Erotica is like a turquoise Tiffany’s gift box tied with a beautiful white bow. However, inside the box there’s nothing. It’s not just empty, it’s a vacuum that pulls the God-honoring and healthy spiritual and emotional intimacy from you.
God offers so much more for us. Yes, it’s hard work building relational and spiritual intimacy with our husbands. Yes, it’s hard work to gently and honestly voice our needs to our husbands. But, the hard stuff has the greatest rewards. Doesn’t it take a lot of hard work to earn the money to buy a Tiffany’s bracelet? Doesn’t a Tiffany’s bracelet retain both it’s beauty and value over time where cheap knockoff turns tarnished and grey. 50 Shades is a cheap imitation of God’s gift of Tiffany’s silver.
Much of this post is based upon thoughts found in, Pulling Back the Shades; Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart, by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery. It will help you revive more than your sex life.
Invest in your marriage. Invest in learning what makes your husband feel like a hero and help him learn how to love you. I would highly recommend the book, Love & Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs to help you influence your man to become a strong leader. (That’s what I’m hearing women are drawn to in this Christian Grey dude.)
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