Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

What about marital sex?


There is so much written about fundamentalists and premarital sex, purity and so on. There is also much about purity within marriage in the sense of “don’t read romance novels”, “be available” and so on. And recently I started to wonder… what about actual sex in marriage? What about that??

Now, I’ll admit that I have not been married to know about sex in fundamentalist marriages first hand. I was also not sat down by my parents to have “that talk” about what’s ok in bed once you’re married. I figured I would put together a little series of posts in which I want to look at some debated things in the conservative Christian marriage beds. Not to lecture you, but to ask you to think with me about some things. I hope, if you are not shy about it, you can share some ideas/input/experiences with effects of fundamentalist teachings on married sex/whatever comes to your mind!

My first interest in this issue was raised by “Meet Mr. Smith”. This is a Ludy book that I actually bought after I moved here. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why it stuck out to me.

Now there is this one little note that got my attention. There’s a question and answer section, and one question was whether oral sex before marriage was ok. Of course it is not, but let me quote what they say about oral sex in general:

You will not find oral sex among the beautiful expressions of physical intimacy in God’s perfect pattern, as outlined in the Song of Solomon. So if you are wondering if oral sex even after marriage is appropriate, let that be your guide! We can never improve upon the way God designed a man and woman to express their love – our own methods will only warp and degrade it. (p. 184)

What the Ludys do here is basically formulating an overly lengthy euphemism for “no”. So, let’s get past that awkward moment of pity for both of the Ludys (cough) and into some serious questioning that passage.

First off, I call wrong theology on this one. Actually, I call a lack of proper reading skills. Song of Solomon 2:3: I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. I know there are more hints in it, but I do think this very clear example settles my case. Let’s be honest here: What else could the fruit possibly be? His tongue? Maybe. But considering the overall metaphorical language of the book, I highly doubt a relatively harmless formulation would find its way in.

Now besides oral sex being mentioned in the SoS, there’s another problem: They refer to it as “our own methods” which “warp and degrade” sex. And that is exactly where my train of thoughts comes in.

I figure that kissing is beautiful and God-intended (otherwise, what’s the fuzz about that first kiss?). You kiss people you love. Have you ever had a child? If yes, have you kissed the tiny little feet? The precious little fingers? Their noses when they sleep? Yes? Do you have a wife or a husband? Have you ever kissed him or her on the forehead? On the neck? Kissed his or her fingers, or even her breasts? Yes? I suppose none of that is sinful. So… where in the bible do I find that ominous passage which areas of a loved person’s body I may kiss, and which one are off-limits? Is there such a thing as a nono-area?

You might argue that kisses from love are different from kisses which cause lust (which is essentially what oral sex does). But then would French kisses in marriage which cause lust not be sinful? Kisses on the neck as foreplay? And again, you could possibly argue that oral sex is not just “kissing” but involves more “action”, well, do French kisses still not count?

Either way, the point I’m getting at is that I have a feeling which tells me that there is an imaginary red area on our bodies, and that is our genitals. Everything within that area counts as sinful if it is kissed. And here’s where the “warped” part comes in: Are you seriously, seriously and with a straight face, going to tell me that this pattern of a “red area” is not a warped view of sexuality? Do you want to make me believe that God designed us with non-kissable areas on our bodies?

On a side note: Oral sex is probably cleaner than touching an elevator button. Especially if you just showered. So don’t even try.

Just for the giggles: When I spell checked my post, I realized I had called the book “Meet Mr Sith”. Freudian slip? Maybe. But definitely worthy of a cookie for all the Star Wars fans among you!

10 thoughts on “What about marital sex?

  1. It gets fairly explicit about cunnilingus, too…

    (See, for example.)

    • I can already hear the screams of “you can’t interpret the bible!!11! It’s meant to be taken literally!!111!” Unless, of course, you really want it to mean something else than it does mean in the literal sense. Then you’re free to interpret. 😀

  2. I do not believe this way now that I’ve escaped, but I was told a lot of things by church members (but not my parents-mostly taboo topic) about restrictions on martial “relations”. Sex ppl. It’s called sex….Anyway, here’s a list: no oral, no anal, give it to him any time HE wants regardless of whether or not you want it (& if you don’t, well it’s your fault if he cheats) & if you’re turned on but he doesn’t want to then you’re SOL, no romance novels or movies (sometimes the exception of those old 50’s ones), no non-Christian music, no porn, no “being a stumbling block” to men by being “immodestly dressed” or “tempting” in any way, only men lust & if they “fall”, it’s the woman’s fault, martial rape is nonexistent in their minds,….Rape in general, if perpetrated by a church member, is usually kept quiet & “dealt w/” (meaning keep victims quiet & the perp must repent)…I could keep going w/ this, but it was basically an annoying extremity of men are superior, sexual beings, women are not. We’re stuck in a 50’s movie w/ prairie girl clothes…blah blah blah.

  3. Oh, & let me just say that all their no’s and preaching about all of these restrictions in the young married’s classes seemed be ineffective in creating “pure”, “fireproof” (I hate the movie & the accompanying book) marriages. Once I was considered a “backslider”, a group of young married (church members) men talked about everything right in front of me as if I wasn’t there. One minute they’re talking about obedient wives & how important it is that the women stay modest, etc., and then next they’re talking about their wives being completely oblivious about them going to strip clubs & watching porn. (Did I mention the “no masturbation rule”? Especially for women!) We won’t even go into the premarital craziness that went on as a result of their strictness.

  4. There’s an even bigger Freudian Slip in the title: “martial sex” instead of “marital sex”
    Michelle made the same mistake, though. Or was it purpose? Says a lot about “christian” sex 😉

    • Hahaha I’m seriously facepalming! Well, martial sex could be quite an interesting issue as well! Let me fix that, people might get the impression that this blog has a completely different purpose 😀

  5. I read a fundamentalist Christian book on marriage once that argues that missionary position is the only “biblical” way to have sex.

  6. I have heard all these restrictions too but I’m wondering what the underlying fears are here. Is it all about breeding? No oral, anal, or mutual masturbation because that might ‘waste’ the seed and then there would be fewer children in God’s army? Or do you think it’s just all about controlling people (and, frankly, spoiling the fun)? Is there a fear that, even once you’re married, if you have to much fun or too much education or too much intimacy, it might lead to ‘evil’ things like infidelity? I guess lots of married couples probably feel safer with these rules – there were so many rules about their sexuality before they got married, they’d be completely overwhelmed if there were no rules and restrictions within marriage too.

  7. This is a great web page on sex in marriage. They are pretty balanced! I learned alot 🙂 and I’m not even married 😉 hehe!

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