Christian Sexual Prowess

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that every guy asks the question am I good in bed?  How we answer that question is critical to our core confidence as a man.  We can wish it wasn’t that way.  We can try to over spiritualize it.  We can blow it off with joking and hiding.  But it’s still going to be there.  We question our sexual prowess as a man and we in the Christian community MUST have an answer.

At first glance it seems that as a “Christian” that there is no way that I could answer that until I’m married because I’m not supposed to have sex.  Often because we are so worried about sex outside of marriage and the costs that come with it, we end up telling men that they should just table the question and then “presto” answer it on their wedding night.  But in my opinion that is not good enough.  That might have worked a couple of generations ago when people got married by 25 but it won’t work now.

It’s a good thing to direct people to wait until marriage to have sex but it is not ok to wait until then to help them answer their question about sexual prowess.  They are going to answer it somehow.

We need to stop answering the sexual prowess question with a sexual ethics answer.  We need a different conversation.  Sexual prowess and sexual experience are not the same thing.  Thinking they are the same leads to men that are either having sex to answer the question or men that are living with lack of intimacy, touch and confidence in their ability to deliver.  Neither of those are acceptable.  The ironic thing is that our Christian theology actually does answer the sexual prowess question.

The first thing we have to do is realize that God has ultimately created us as sexual beings. It only takes one chapter in the bible for God to bring up sex.  We all have the tools, and I don’t just mean that we have the right “equipment”.

If we believe in a God that created us good, then we must start with the premise that God’s answer to do I have what it takes sexually is yes.  Let that sink in for a minute.  God says, “I have given you what you need here.  You can do this.  You have what it takes because I gave it to you.”

This is core.  Yes we are messed up because of sin. Yes we may have been wounded in this area in even horrible ways.  But at the core of who we are as a man, at the very center of it, we are created with sexual prowess.  It’s there, somewhere, no matter what our experience tells us.

The problem is we take sex out of context and turn it into it’s own question.  It becomes about performance which just kills us as men.  We fear failure.  We fear that we won’t be able to come through and when we make the act of sex the scorecard we are in trouble – even if we are “good” at it.

The act of sex was never intended to be that.  God did not create sex in it’s own context.  Sex is a part of a larger question.

Sex is not intended to be about performance.  It’s about loving another person.  It’s about trust, strength, intimacy and passion. It’s about giving and receiving. It’s about being a good lover, not about being a good performer.  This is why married sex (even in secular research) is described as the best sex.

If I try to answer the sexual prowess question without answering the intimacy question then I’m in trouble – even if I’m married.  Sex is not the goal.  In a sense it’s one of the means to the goal within the context of marriage.  As a stand alone thing, sex will not satisfy.  It will never answer the question.

If you are a good lover, you will be “good in bed”, or at least you’ll figure out how to be.  If you love well, the sex part will be there because there will be the context of trust, intimacy and passion to work on it.

The question we need to be asking is, “am I a good lover?”  It’s actually a lot harder question. If we need the woman’s approval we can’t be a good lover.  If we can’t be strong enough to be vulnerable, then we can’t be a good lover.  This is why women at their core are attracted to strength.

It’s a huge issue for us as men.  Becoming a lover is actually a stage of development just like learning to be a warrior.  Hence the wise saying, “Never give a man a sword who can’t dance.”

The good news is that we can work on all of this without having sex.  We can become lovers.  We can work on how to have intimacy and good physical touch (I’ll say more about how to do this soon).

Here’s the bottom line.  As a man growing in Christ, my sexual prowess should be growing because my identity and confidence in Him grows along with my capacity to give and receive love.   If I’m truly confident in Christ then I’ll have the freedom and strength to be a good lover – and as a part of that to be “good in bed.”

Are You Good In Bed?

Earlier this week I shared about three questions that all men wrestle with in some way.  “Are you good looking or not?” “What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?” and “Do you have a small or big penis?” All of us have answered these questions in our head, but almost no one has answered them out loud – at least not in any meaningful way.

And yet how we answer them affects many aspects of our lives, none more so than how we interact with women.  This is because all of these answers affect the core confidence we need that in order to pursue, attract, and eventually love a woman.

These questions have to do with three areas of our life – our self image, our shame, and our sexual prowess.  I’ve written a lot about our self image, and I wrote this week about our shame.  Today I want to talk about the third question.  So buckle up men.

The issue of having confidence sexually is gigantic in how we feel about ourselves as men and therefore how we interact with women.

First, let’s just admit that this is true.  Men are about performance.  This is why everywhere you turn you see sexual enhancement drugs, workouts, and techniques.  A man’s greatest fear is failure.  As Eldrege says, every man is asking, “Do I have what it takes?”  No where is this more true, or more scary and vulnerable, than sex.  Nowhere!

Every guy is asking the question do I have what it takes to be good sexually with a woman. In simple terms – “Am I Good In Bed?”  Every Guy.  Our answers are all jacked up.

Most of us began to have the question answered when we were very young.  There are so many factors.  Do you have a father that even broaches the subject?  What happens in the boys restroom in elementary school?  What are you comparing yourself to?  The guy next to you?  The guy who developed before you?  The guy in the porn video? (Average age a male sees internet porn for the first time is now 11).  It can also be affected by our view of sex, abuse, being emasculated by peers or parents or both.

Sometimes the answer is that we are “small” and that we don’t have what it takes.  Often we get no answer at all.  Almost never do we get a positive answer in the right way.

So we of course go and try to answer it.  We might dominate women or become extremely sexual to prove our prowess.  This is the guy who lives for sex and is always out to, “get some”.  We might seek to control the answer by fantasizing or looking at porn.  But this usually just brings about shame, and can undermine the question once again.

And in the Christian culture, for the most part, we are told to bury it, kill it, or starve it.  In fact, we are told basically, “Don’t look, don’t touch, don’t explore, but don’t worry you’ll magically know what to do when you get married.”  It’s like there is supposed to be a Christian switch when it comes to sexual prowess.  Don’t have any, and then man up and have it.  Really?!

It seems to me that most Christian guys end up in one of two camps.  Be a Christian but have sex anyway which leads to the obvious problems.  Or, we go without touch, without intimacy and therefore end up freaking out when we get to it. Sex becomes this taboo thing. We end up having fear and passivity around women, especially a woman we are really attracted to.  We don’t know what to do, partly because we aren’t sure we could do it – as in literally “do it”.

We live in a culture in which the average guy gets married at  28-29 years old.  What that means is that in the Church we are asking a guy to go about 15 years of his life (during the most crucial time when he is answering all of his life’s questions – including this one – for the first time) to not have sex.  My contention is this:  We can ask him to not have sex, but we CAN NOT ask him to not have an answer to this question.  Because he WILL answer it.

While this affects how we interact with women, its much bigger than that.  This answer affects how I do other things in my life.  It affects how I relate to other men, how I relate to my own body and self image and even how I interact at work and play.  This question matters.  I would submit that even if I’m called to celibacy in the kingdom, I’d still better have an answer to this question. It’s crucial no matter what.

In my next post I’m going to take a stab at what I think the Christian community can do to help guys answer it.  But before we can get help, we need to check what our answer is to the question right now.

Do you have what it takes to be good sexually with a woman?  Where does that answer come from? How have you tried to answer it?