There’s a very line between way TMI and just sharing educational information.
And in today’s Start Your Engines Podcast (we like to take the last Thursday of every month and dedicate it to a podcast that men would be interested in as well), we try to show how men and women may approach sex information differently.
And how there’s a serious creepy factor for many women that we all need to understand a little bit better!
Because, seriously, people–like I always say, you shouldn’t say “a woman’s wetness” when you can just say “lubrication!”
Okay, let’s jump in:
(And by the way–the baby’s not here yet! We mentioned she may have arrived, but so far–we’re still waiting!)
Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:
Timeline of the Podcast
1:00 How to be sex positive without being creepy!
3:10 Content warnings
5:00 What is up with the weird stuff in these books?
8:10 How to tell the difference between pornagraphic language and sex positivity
16:30 We need to be careful how we speak about our spouse in books
24:45 Don’t throw out modesty along with shame
26:00 How to be explicit, but not creepy
34:15 Sheila’s personal rule for writing sex books
41:30 Keith dicusses what it means to be a sexually confident man
45:30 Noticing someone is attractive does not make you gross
56:30 Some encouragement!
Main Segment: Here’s How Not to Be Creepy
It’s very important that pastors and authors learn how to talk about sex in an open, sex-positive, non-shaming way–without crossing the line into creepy, erotic, or objectifying.
Rebecca and I looked at several passages from Every Man’s Battle by Steve Arterburn, Married Sex by Gary Thomas and Deb Fileta, and several passages from Sheet Music by Kevin Leman, to see how explicit and clinical can cross over into erotic and creepy pretty easily. Then we read an excerpt from His Needs Her Needs (which I normally don’t like) to show how they actually did this quite clinically and well.
A few things we covered:
Don’t talk about women primarily in terms of their body parts
Even though we’re writing about sex, make sure you don’t talk about women only in terms of sex or their body parts. Every Man’s Battle was especially horrible with this!
Don’t use emotional language when describing sex acts
When you use emotional language, you ask someone to experience something with you. So instead of just explaining or teaching, you’re now entering into the experience with them–and that gets creepy. So don’t talk about how to “Mr. Happy likes to be licked” when describing oral sex, for instance.
We gave quite a few examples to help people understand the difference!
Don’t objectify your spouse
Even though Kevin Leman often crossed creepy lines in Sheet Music, he didn’t talk about his own particular wife. What we found distressing in Married Sex is how much Gary Thomas spoke explicitly about his wife. We only gave two examples here (there were plenty more), but it isn’t appropriate to talk about your spouse’s body parts or what they do when they reach orgasm, because it invites people to picture your spouse in a sexual way. That’s never appropriate–even if your spouse consents.
It also inserts into the Christian culture the idea that it’s okay to talk about your wife sexually to other men (and he even insinuates that if she gives a good enough hand job, a husband will want to brag to his friends–again, not appropriate).
Don’t write erotica
We read a segment from Married Sex (don’t worry, we gave a warning) that is simply erotica. There’s not even any instructional value, because Rebecca and I can’t even agree on what sexual act is being described. It’s just for titillation’s sake. That’s a problem, because readers aren’t expecting it in a Christian book, so it can feel like a violation.
Reader Question: Is it okay to be hurt that my husband finds other women attractive?
In response to Keith’s amazing article this week on the 4 characteristics of a sexually confident man, a woman wanted to know more about the difference between noticing and lusting. If her husband is getting over a porn addiction, isn’t it okay for her to want him to act in a trustworthy manner? And is there a difference between being sexually attractED and sexually attractIVE?
This is really tricky, especially where betrayal trauma is involved. Keith and I tried to dissect this a little more.
The Great Sex Rescue
Changing the conversation about sex & marriage in the evangelical church.
What if you're NOT the problem with your sex life?
What if the things that you've been taught have messed things up--and what if there's a way to escape these messages?
Welcome to the Great Sex Rescue.
Things Mentioned in This Podcast:
- Thanks to our sponsor Femallay! Check out their vaginal melts, and my post on how your vagina changes as you age
- Our Patreon–support us for as little as $5 a month and get access to our unfiltered podcasts and our private Facebook group (which is really active!)
- The Great Sex Rescue–Chapters 5 and 6 cover the lust issue and porn issue, and try to do so in a non-shaming way, focused on actual research
- Our Sexy Dares
- The Intimately Us App
- Our Orgasm Course
- Keith’s post on sexually confident men
- Our podcast with Marc Alan Schelske about emotional maturity
- Andrew Bauman’s post about the pornographic style of relating
Let us know–do you agree with the difference between sex positivity and creepiness? Where would you draw the line? Let’s talk in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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