Disclaimer: The subject of this post is human sexuality in the context of Christian belief. It is intended for mature audiences. If you are under the age of 18 you should have your parents read it and judge if it is appropriate for you to read. Parents, lighten up about this with your teens because quite frankly I am trying to undo a lot of Christian mistakes in informing and educating people about sex. You have been warned and encouraged, enter at your own risk.
There are several things we are going to have to acknowledge in our world and one o them is that theology and biology have not gotten along very well in recent days but I think both have to be considered if we are going to deal with the real world of sex and marriage. I want to deal with the realities of both so that when we actually talk sexual issues later we will have a foundation to work from.
Biologically I feel that we are driven as a race to reproduce. Everything about a man and a woman from a sexual point of view is to drive a person to that end. If we were to look at it from a purely biological point of view reproduction is the driving force of sex and this is still true even in marriage at all times. The biology of sexual attraction, sexual desire and even sex itself play right into biological hands. The whole process is designed that men will couple with women and produce children. It however is a complicated one.
If we were to leave the sexes in the pure biological realm, men and women would have very different motivations for pursuing and engaging in sex. Men from a pure biological sense would want to spread the genetics around as much as possible in a competitive drive to propagate themselves. This would mean multiple partners and as much sex as possible. Biology put a man attracted to women on a purely visual grounds desiring the pleasure of sex to propagate himself genetically. It explains a man’s capabilities. A man is capable of having sex 3-6 times a day on average. He needs only to be aroused visually to be ready for sex and for the most part men are attracted to the curvy form of women by sight. His desire for sex is always in a stand by mode and can be triggered very easily.
Women by nature are far more conscious of the emotional nature of sex. Biologically there bodies desire sex so they can become pregnant. As much as a woman want to fight this sooner or later she is sexually aroused to this end. While women can be sexually aroused at any time the cycle of her menstrual period also produces sexual desire that is variable and it is higher at the times when she is most fertile. In a sense a woman’s body being ready to be impregnated can influence her desire for sex but it does not stop her from being aroused at other times. A woman is often said to need to be in the mood for sex but as many will tell you their mood can be aroused with kindness and affection.
Pleasure from sex itself is different for the sexes. A man can pretty much guarantee he will experience orgasm but that is not so true for women. Women however have an advantage over men in that it is far easier for them to experience multiple orgasms than men. It can affect desire in many ways. Women I think can experience more pleasure in sex than men but it is not always a guaranteed thing so they are far more selective about when, why and where. It is not that they don’t desire sex but there is definitely a higher desire to enjoy it. They want good sex not just any sex; where a man will take sex anyway it comes.
These are generalizations of course and there could be exceptions. However, a point can be made in biology on marriage or other long-term sexual relationships and that is biology will only carry you so far. In the end things can get boring very quickly for both sexes if we leave it purely to biology. Once a man gets a woman the conquest is over so he looks for a new one. Given the variable nature of a woman’s sexual desire and pleasure, what arouses her in the beginning might not work later. Biology ultimately leads us to a cold a mechanical process of procreation not intimacy. If this is all there is to it sex gets ordinary.
At the same time biology does constantly affect us even in marriage. It is why a man who is happily married can find himself sexually attracted to another woman. It is why a woman, who is bored with her sex life with her husband can feel aroused in the presence of a man who makes her feel desired and special and at times when she is more likely to get pregnant and her husband may not be around. What changes for the Christian is the introduction of a theology of sexuality that puts biology under theology.
For the Christian couple that wants a full and satisfying sex life, there are many challenges that biology provides. Most Christian couple want children and so pregnancy with all its sexual hurdles does come into play. Regardless of the constantly changing biology of his wife, a Christian husband’s drive and sexual desire remain the same. Pregnancy and a host of other reasons may mean that a woman may not desire of be able to have sex. As one commentator put it: “women simply have to acknowledge that there are times that we have to keep our legs together even if we don’t want to.” That same commentator uses this as her justification for her advice to married women to let their husbands cheat and unfortunately this is not an option for Christian couples who want to not only be faithful to each other but to God’s commands concerning sex. The Christian couple both man and woman can find themselves in many awkward situations because of biology.
For the Christian couple, biology needs to be acknowledged as a strong driving force and should be realistically dealt with but also the reality of pleasing God in all things including sex takes precedence. As much as the world may say: ‘You and me ain’t nothing but animals…”, the Christian couple has take a different path To them biology is in the equation of sexuality but it is more than that to them – it has a theology as well. For the Christian the biology is there but there is something higher in the nature of sex that they are striving to understand. God may have hard wired are desire to reproduce and the nature of our desire for sex as men and women biologically, but does not change the fact that He had spiritual expectations as well when it came to sex that should take precedence over that biology.
Next: Theology and the Nature of Sex