Debunking 3 Myths About Sex
It was romantic and exciting to finally be intimate with my husband, for sure. But since we both waited until marriage to have sex, we were pretty surprised by the same thing: sex isn’t like the movies.
I naively assumed we would automatically have an amazing sex life as a reward for our hard-earned purity.
Turns out, a good sex life will always take work. Whether you’re experienced or not, navigating sex in your own marriage requires intention, care, and communication.
It seems we come into marriage with a lot of misconceptions about sex. Over the years I’ve noticed a few pervasive themes as I’ve talked to other women about the topic.
I’d like to uncover three prominent myths about sex and bring them into the light.
Myth #1: You and your spouse will have the same sex drive.
It took a while for us to figure this one out. My husband desired sex every day, multiple times a day. I was happy with sex once a week. I felt shame for not wanting it enough, and he felt shame for wanting it too much.
The truth is, there’s not a magic number as to how often to have sex because it wholly depends on you and your spouse. What feels healthy to both of you? This requires communicating honestly about your desires.
Finding a good rhythm requires compromise. In an ideal world, you’d both want sex at the same time, every time. But that’s not how it goes. This means you’ll need to learn to make sacrifices for one another. Even though I might not be in the mood, if my husband requests sex, I try to honor that request because of how it benefits our marriage.
In Ephesians 5:21, Paul says to husbands and wives, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This isn’t an excuse for sexual abuse or manipulation—that’s another situation entirely and should be addressed with a professional counselor or trusted mentor.
When Paul tells us to submit to one another, he means that a healthy marriage is the product of two people willing to serve one another’s needs above their own.
In other words, the person who wants more sex will settle for less sex than they want, and the person who wants less sex will settle for more sex than they want. God often uses our differences to teach us love and humility.
Myth #2: Sex will always be amazing.
It’s easy to get frustrated when your sex life isn’t going well. There are several outside factors that can affect your sex life, including stressful life changes, lack of awareness or education about sex, sexual addictions and porn use, changes after childbirth, hormonal changes, and lack of emotional connection, to name a few.
If your sex life isn’t satisfying you, it likely isn’t satisfying your spouse either—at least not to its fullest potential. When you’re feeling out-of-sync in the bedroom, it’s important to bring it up.
Sometimes we forget to talk about intimacy outside the bedroom because it’s uncomfortable or not on our minds. But outside the bedroom is actually one of the best places to talk because we’re not in the heat of the moment. Talk about what’s working and what’s not (with lots of grace and kindness, of course).
Pray together about your sex life. Remember God designed sex to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. God wants your marriage to thrive, and that includes your sex life. Invite the Holy Spirit into your intimacy together and pay attention to how He brings unity and joy back into your lovemaking.
Myth #3: Sex isn’t essential for a healthy marriage.
Many of us see a similar pattern over the years when it comes to our frequency of lovemaking. It looks like this.
Married couples tend to have the most sex during our newlywed stage. Once life starts getting busier with jobs, a mortgage or rent, and kids, sex becomes less and less frequent. Soon, good sex feels exhausting because of the energy it requires after a long day of work, parenting, and/or the other daily demands of life.
When sex starts to feel like work and the payoff of pleasure is less alluring, it’s tempting to stop prioritizing our sex life. After all, we’ve had kids’ hands pulling on our shirts and tiny tot voices making demands all day. Work was hard. Who has the energy for a husband with sexual needs? How can you even feel sexy after a day like that?
I get it. I’ve felt all the same things. But hear me out.
Sex is not an extracurricular activity. Sex is central to the intimacy level of your marriage.
Do you feel disconnected to your spouse emotionally? Does your communication lack tenderness? It could be that you’re not connecting in the bedroom, so you’re finding it difficult to connect outside as well.
I urge you to prioritize sex. Even when it’s hard and exhausting. My husband and I rely on the “Art of the Quickie” during our very busy seasons of life. Romantic? Not exactly. Effective for connecting with each other? Definitely. Especially when time is at a premium.
The intimacy and satisfaction we experience in the bedroom will serve our marriage well outside the bedroom. Prioritize lovemaking and notice how it changes the way you and your spouse look at and communicate with one another.
Wife Step: Ask yourself if you’ve been believing any of these three myths about sex. If you have, pick one to focus on. Want a free resource to help you talk through expectations surrounding sex in marriage? Grab it here!
Bailey Richardson is the wife of a Paul Bunyan look-a-like, the mama of a growing little family, and a woman on the wild adventure of pursuing Jesus. She lives in a small lake town in Minnesota where her family is highly involved in their local church and Young Life, a global non-profit youth ministry. A self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist,” Bailey loves writing for and connecting with women who want to more deeply experience the grace, freedom, and abundance that comes from following Jesus. You can find her at baileymrichardson.com or on Instagram @baileymrichardson.