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Keeping Sex Complicated Part 2 On Sexual Compatibility

By Mandy Dobbelmann

This post is reprinted with permission from Mandy's blog Forte E Bello.

Two months ago I posted an article called Keeping Sex Complicated which I got a huge response from and a ton of really great feedback. But of course I got my share of flack for it as well. There was one primary argument regarding sexual compatibility presented that stuck out to me that I felt was worthy of its own post. I will address it here. 

As I pointed out in my original post, I am a 29 year old virgin. When that small fact somehow surfaces in conversation, reactions very anywhere from complete and utter confusion, to sympathy, to shock. I appreciate the concern. And it doesn’t surprise me. According to a study done by Guttmacher Institute in New York city, 95% percent of adults reported they had premarital sex; 93% said they did so by age 30. According to Kinsey Institute (CSU), the average males loses his virginity at age 16 and the average female at age 17. So I acknowledge that my choice is a rarity.

The Gamble of Making a Purchase Without A Test Drive

The majority of people I talk to or who respond to my articles about sex, chastity and monogomy who don’t agree with my viewpoint suggest that I am taking a gamble and setting myself up for disaster. They argue that it’s imperative that before I commit to marrying someone I find out whether we click sexually . The common mentality is that I need to, “take the car for a test drive before I purchase it”. Essentially their argument is based in the assumption that the primary purpose of marriage is sex and the primary purpose of sex is personal pleasure. If that was the case then of course it would seem crazy, even to me,  to marry someone without having sex first to ensure that we have sexual compatibility.

A Different Type of Sex

But, the sex I am waiting for isn’t that type of sex. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t want pleasure in sex. I’m merely saying I’m looking for something much deeper. My view is not motivated solely by some moral code or some legalistic religious belief system. It is based instead in the underlying virtue of love. My faith is rooted in loving as Christ first loved which is lived out by dying to self and loving selflessly. Those who truly live by Christ’s example see others as intrinsically valuable, see love as a choice in a culture that calls it feeling and see sex not as a consumer sport but as an opportunity to give selflessly to a person with whom they have a life commitment.

The type of chastity that Christ calls us/me to is not the type that focus’ on the staunch end result of me still having my hymen intact on my wedding night. Instead it is the type of chastity that focuses on love as the ultimate goal.

It is others focused. It shifts the focus from what a future spouse can do for me and how he can please me and puts the focus on who I can be for him and who we can be together as a unit.

It doesn’t focus on just pleasure as the primary goal of sex, though that is a hugely important part of it. It takes into account the purposes of unity and procreation.

“The aim is not finding someone with whom sex is pleasurable but to create a pleasurable sexual union with the person to whom I choose to be united.” (Arleen Spenceley)

Finding Love vs. Finding Good Sex

I acknowledge some people are more sexually compatible than others and ultimately require less practice to get a great result. But what if love was less about personal sexual pleasure and more about deep heart and life commitment?

What if we realized we grew as individuals through choosing a spouse based on who they are as a person and not on how good they are in bed? From what I hear, sex takes a a lot of practice, patience, discomfort, communication and vulnerability and few couples are professionals right away. What if we realized it strengthened relationships as a whole to walk through those things together? To not look for easy, gratifying, porn status sex but to look for deep, complicated, vulnerable, real life sex. To have to work through the discomfort, the communication, the vulnerability and the fear together. What if God designed sex that way to encourage long term, monogamous commitment?

The Science Behind Sexual Bonding

It seems our culture assumes there is no harm done in sleeping around in search of that perfect sexual partner but what if I could prove that there is in fact very real, deep and permanent damage done through having multiple sexual partners? I recently found a study on sexual bonding done by a group of neuroscientists in a book called Hooked. These are not Christians or Theologians so they have no religious agenda. They reveal some shocking studies about the bonding mechanisms in the human brain.

They discuss the female bonding chemical called, Oxytocin. They found that “with sexual intercourse and orgasm, the woman’s brain is flooded with Oxytocin, causing her to desire this same kind of contact again and again with this man she has bonded to, producing even stronger bonding.” Furthermore they suggest thatmen have a similar bonding chemical called, Vasopressin. They found that “when a male engages in sex, Vasopressin is released, bonding him to his partner and also stimulating the desire for more sex.” They suggest that “there is evidence that when this sex/bonding/breakup cycle is repeated a few or many times – even when the bonding was short-lived – damage is done to the important, built in ability to develop significant and meaningful connection to other human beings”

I simply share this to suggest, if our natural design was to have sex freely in search of that perfect sexual partner then why are those bonding mechanisms a part of our chemical make-up? They seem to point intrinsically to the natural design of having a committed monogamous relationship.

In all of this I am not saying I have all of the answers. I am simply asking if we can think outside of the little box culture has built for us and convinced us all to live inside. I acknowledge many of you could accuse me of speaking naively since I have never experienced sex… But I’m okay with that because I have experienced truth, faith, freedom, consistency and deep love through my Savior and He has never failed me yet. I’m willing to let that faith guide me because to me the aim isn’t having the most euphoric wedding night with someone I’m perfectly sexually compatible. The aim is having a healthy, God-honoring marriage after the wedding night with the person to whom I’ve just committed my life.

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