It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you can all link up in the Linky below. Today I want to start with a basic question:
Who has the best sex?
It isn’t the starlets that grace our magazine covers. It’s the married women who have put in over a decade with their men, who had borne children and balanced checkbooks and navigated mother-in-law issues. When I did my surveys for the Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found that it was those married 16-20 years who report the best sex. That’s when we hit our sexual prime–when women peak, so to speak.
Now, society has long known that women often feel “sexier” in their late thirties and early forties than they did in their early twenties.
We’re more confident. We often have more money–and time–to spend on taking care of ourselves. We’re more at peace with our bodies.
But just because society gets the timing right doesn’t mean that it understands women well.
Instead of showing women that have hit their sexual stride in marriage, they turn to the Sex and the City phenomenon, or the “cougar” stereotype: in both cases, older, more mature women on the hunt for anyone to go to bed with. Reaching one’s sexual prime, where one is the most confident and the most “in the mood”, is seen as synonymous with throwing off the shackles of convention and having fun!
Their idea of fun, though, is just about the same as what we are constantly advising our teens not to do. What do we tell our kids?
Sex is better when you’re married, because sex is a real bond between two people. You can’t have sex lightly. Making love and lust are not the same thing.
And yet often women in their thirties and forties forget the reason that all of these things are true for teenagers is the exact same reason that they’re true for us: God made sex to be between two married people. He made it to connect us on three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It isn’t just a physical act.
We don’t tell teens that sex is supposed to be for marriage, and that they shouldn’t “hook up”, because they’re too young to handle that kind of behaviour. We tell teens that because it’s true regardless of age.
And that means it’s true for us, too.
Yet many moms aren’t getting that message. Sure, we may not be sleeping with new guys, but we’re still looking to “throw off those shackles”. Why else would 50 Shades of Grey, a mommy porn book that depicts a bondage relationship as something that is loving and erotic, become such a huge bestseller? Because women equate it with sexual freedom. You don’t have to be bored with your husband! You can read some steamy stuff to get you in the mood! Explore your boundaries! Set yourself free!
I understand the pull.
I really do. So many of us have spent years in sexually unfulfilling marriages. We put up with it, and said little, because we were embarrassed, or we just figured that there was something wrong with us.
And then the kids get older, and we gain some confidence, and we think, “I don’t need to put up with this anymore! I’m missing out on so much, and I am going to have some FUN!”
But that’s the wrong prescription. Getting yourself aroused by reading erotica, and then having sex with your husband, means that you’re treating him like a sex toy. You’re having sex, but you’re fantasizing about a novel. And it’s not real intimacy.
What makes sex so great for those married for two decades is that we know each other well enough that we can be truly vulnerable. We can let our guard down. We can be totally open. That makes for amazing sex. Fantasizing about something else just causes us to lose the intimacy.
Sex can be hot, and most women find that it does get amazing once they’ve put in a decade and a half of marriage.
But the best way to have more fun isn’t to look to “throw off the shackles”; it’s to work on more communication, spicing things up, having more fun, and initiating more with your spouse, within your marriage. That’s the recipe for real sexual fun.
So if you’re hitting your late thirties and early forties, and you’re finally feeling like you’re “coming in to yourself”, and figuring out who you really are, that’s great. Maybe your libido is finally hiking, and you really do want to start having some real fun in the bedroom. You want to feel alive. You want to feel absolute passion. That’s all good stuff, and you were made to feel that way!
But remember not to buy in to our world’s idea of what freedom is, and what passion is.
True freedom is being with one person that you can become vulnerable with and share with and explore with. True freedom is having fun with your spouse to explore. It isn’t buying in to everything our world tells us is sexy; it’s finding that sexual freedom that you were always meant to have with your spouse.
Sex should be hot, and that’s totally possible in your marriage. But if you try to spice things up with erotica, or porn, or weird sex toys, it isn’t going to give you the passion you want, because real passion is paired with true intimacy.
What do you think? Have you seen the pressure to “explore” in weirder and weirder ways? How do you respond?
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