Sex and Intimacy

Married Sex Boredom: What Does One Do?

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With the last “Question of the Week” that was posted, someone asked a really relevant question:

“Although I love my partner and we are married, sex has become very boring for us both. After fifteen years of the same person, this tends to happen. We have tried all sorts of different methods, positions etc. to no avail. What can u suggest if not porn or other people??? Sex is just sex after all. We have no requirement for more children as we already have four. So sex is just for our pleasure now and we would really like it to be spectacular.”

I loved this because while it may not seem like it fits in with this month’s theme of fetishes, S&M, etc., I think it does on *so many levels*. They say that sex with their spouse is boring. They say that they’ve explored other things with one another to no avail. They say they wonder what else can be done if porn or other people are not brought in…to make it more spectacular.

OK, first things first: if you are a virgin reading this, please take this as just one more reason to wait until marriage. Two of my friends, who will have been married nine years next year, often tell me that a part of the reason why they don’t have these kinds of issues is that, as virgins prior to marriage, they are just happy to be having sex! They don’t know if their partner is (technically) good in bed or not because they have nothing to compare the experience to; therefore, to them, it’s always mindblowing! A lot of times, those of us who have experienced moments of boredom, honestly, is because we do have comparatives to make. We’re not bored with *sex* but with *kind of sex* we’re having with the person that we’re having it with. An unfortunate consequence that comes with sex outside of marriage (Galatians 6:7-8). Even once you enter into it (and so sidebar, if you’re like me: a single woman who’s had sex before, you might want to be abstinent awhile to “detox some of your past sexual memories”…*no joke!*).

But that’s just a preventative point.  As for the question at hand, 1) I would love for some married folks to chime in (’cause y’all *are* married-LOL) and 2) I do think that it’s a valid question that deserves a “beyond the surface” response. Different people have different desires, experiences, appetites…and as one of my favorite quotes states, “People often change and forget to tell one another.” Does that not happen, often, even within a marriage? As I once heard someone say, “Good sex is 10% of a marriage. Bad sex is 90% because the bedroom tends to simply be a reflection of what is going on in other rooms of the house.” And so…I called a married friend of mine for their insight. They’ve been married for 16 years, are done procreating and are quite direct when it comes to the issue at hand:

“A lot of times what makes a person bored is that they lose sight of the feelings that they had that attracted them to one another, sexually, in the first place. A big part of a boring sex life is being caught up in a routine, and when you’re a parent, for instance, you have to consider things that you didn’t before when it was just the two of you. Now it may only be at night because you are waiting until the kids are asleep or because there was so much that went on throughout the day, you may find yourself not really *interested* in having sex but *making* yourself do it just because ‘that’s what married people do’. Another thing that a lot of married couples don’t realize is that the verse about not going to bed angry is powerful (Ephesians 4:26). Men and women tend to hold grudges a lot longer than either wants to admit and so another cause of bedroom boredom can be that couples may be going through the *mechanicals* of sex but there is no real intimacy because they feel a disconnect emotionally. Personally, I don’t think that intimacy is something that *ever* gets old. How does *love* get old? But just going through the motions can. Intimacy is often about how you treated one another before entering the bedroom. Making sure *that* is good, consistent and not routine.”

I thought that was some really good *and practical* insight. And you know, as I was doing a bit of my own research on the topic, I thought about the author of the book that I have quoted probably more than any other: “Sacred Sex” by Tim Alan Gardner. How he references that marital intimacy can be quite challenging because it often focuses more on the *benefits* of sex (orgasms, etc.) rather than the *purpose*, which is oneness. A part of me can’t help but wonder if that’s the case for reasons like the title of an article that I read on Good Housekeeping’s website: “Married Sex: Making Lust Last“. Because, indeed, while there were some good pointers in there like don’t assume you don’t know everything about each other sexually (be willing to continually “do your research”) and giving monotomy (not *monogamy* but monotomy-LOL) a rest (go out of town, try a different time of day, etc.), the title is a trip, ain’t it? If you start with lust, you can’t make it *last*…you just find yourself working overtime to up the ante because if you’re working to keep lust in (or get lust back), *you’ll never be satisfied*. It’s a fickle lover.

Yet in attempts to keep lust close, the temptation is oftentimes to bring in more lust pain killers: porn, other people, etc. thinking that it will help. *Bringing along more people to come in between you and your partner* doesn’t make intimacy better; it just makes the relationship more complicated because if it’s about chasing the “physical high”, you will find yourself needing to do more and more to fulfill it. I’ve come down off of many a “good sex” highs before. The low is…*low*.

All of this made me think about another book entitled, “Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon” by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus. I recalled two short-n-sweet lines that I read in it:

Servant Lovers: Overcome inhibitions and use their bodies to delight their mate.

Selfish Lovers: Allow their fears and insecurities to restrain their ability to give extravagant love.

And as I thought about that: servant loving vs. selfish loving…overcoming inhibitions in order to give *extravagant love*, I couldn’t help but wonder (and again, the married people can provide a better final resolve than I can), “Can you really become bored when you are experiencing *extravagant love* with the person who promised to stay with you, no matter what, for the rest of your life? When it’s about pleasing more than being pleased (a servant kind of loving), does that *really* get old? Can something that God created really be boring?” Or is it that we’ve stopped seeking for creative ways of expression? Is it that resorting to porn or swinging seems like the obvious and “easy” solution? Is it that we have not done enough work in preparing and educating people when it comes to the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:5)?

Well, I’ll leave it up to some of y’all to comment and expound, but I will say this to the person who posed the question: Sex, with your spouse, is something that God wants you to enjoy, *every time*, for the rest of your life. I say this with confidence because I don’t think there would be a verse in the Bible like I Corinthians 7:5(NKJV) if sex was to be the equivalent of watching paint (and a boring colored paint at that-LOL) dry: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Personally, I believe that since the question was posed, a *godly answer* (or series of answers) will present themselves. Matter of fact, I plan to leave this up until Friday am for that very reason.

In the meantime, I’ll say this: at almost five years in of no sex (and pray for me for my strength…it ain’t no cakewalk!), one of the things that keeps me holdin’ on are the impending *risks* that come with engaging in the act without a marital partner. Not just spiritually, but physically (STDs, etc.), emotionally (drama, heartbreak) and mentally (even more people I’ll have to get over in my mind).

Yeah. True. Fornication (and adultery) tends to be *anything but* boring.

That doesn’t make it spectacular, though.

Not by a long shot.

This article was originally published here and is used with permission.

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