Q&A: Erotica Vs. Real Touch

I think I have started confusing erotica online with real touch. I find myself loving the idea of sex but not the act itself. Me and my husband used to have a okay sex life, but now that I am feeling this it has gone way down. I just want to know if there is anyway I could just forget everything I have learned about sex, and start over? And if it’s more complicated than that, what steps can I take to get back in touch with him?

I loved this question. I thought it was so honest and I could relate to the struggle of sometimes choosing the “easy” way to arousal by using external stimuli. I think for many women we find that our minds are very connected to our arousal. For some of us it’s not enough to just be physically stimulated and we need to actively engage our minds in the process, too.

I think this woman asks an important question. After getting used to outside influences causing arousal, is it possible to retrain our brains and, if so, how do we do it? I’d love to hear your own insights in the comment section after I share mine here. I do think it’s possible to retrain our brains and I believe that much of the success of the process depends on how helpful our husbands are and how honest we are willing to be with them and ourselves. It takes a lot of self reflection to learn why we do what we do. What the motivators are that cause us to make the choices we make in our sexuality will be the start to getting free from habits and mindsets that limit our sexual pleasure in marriage. So honest prayer and introspection is key. Here are some of the important questions to ask ourselves in this process, and you could apply these sorts of questions to any sexual temptation you are encoutering:

  • What kinds of erotica am I drawn to online?
  • What is it about those things that makes me feel sexually excited?
  • Does part of me feel aroused because it feels like naughty sex?
  • Does my husband know that I get hot by the idea of this in bed?
  • How could I bring that arousal into the reality of our sex life?
  • Does married sex have any negative associations for me?
  • Has our culture’s voice saying “Sex goes down hill after you’re married” taken root in my heart in any way?
  • Other questions?

In many cases you will find that one of these questions stimulates another question. That’s great. It may help you to journal or map out your thoughts as you consider and pray about how these kinds of questions have influenced your sexuality. And if you can be honest with your husband the two of you can work together to build true erotica in your sex life. If this isn’t something the two of you have discussed before, the context with which you establish the initial conversation can significantly influence his response. Compared these two statements,

“I don’t like this about our sex life and I am bored in bed. What do you want to do about it?”

“Hey babe. I am so excited to see us become even better lovers to one another. I really want to see our sex life on fire. Can we talk about how the two of us could make that happen?”

Which one would you respond better to? Such a different tone in the two statements! How easy is it to bring the positive, proactive, same-team mentality into the conversation rather than the negative one? It just takes a change in your heart and then the good that is in your heart will flow out.

In the Bible in Romans 12:2 it says to not conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. It goes on to say that in doing this you will be able to know what God’s will is. His good, pleasing and perfect will. How do you think this portion of scripture might relate to the issue we are discussing? Please feel free to continue this discussion in the comment section. I am certain you have further insights on the issue.

8 Comments

  1. Loved the question and your response. I get a whole lot of satisfaction out of phone sex with my husband who works away from home (two weeks on/one week offf). It has added a sexy aspect to our relationship that is a real turn on for both of us. And it is easier than the real thing. Much easier. So should I be concerned? I sometimes wonder. So one of my indicators for concern will be if I start having phone sex when hubby is home! “Go into the spare room babe … wait for my call!!!” For now – I am going to love the fact that I can be confident enough to be sexual with my husband and together we can nourish and protect this stage of our lives.

  2. Great words, CinnaSticks. As women, our arousal is as complex as our minds and hearts, and it can be as deceptive. A few years ago, I went through a serious spell of finding no arousal in marriage. It caused me to resent my husband for having a sex drive, even though he is always courteous, sexy, and sweet. I realized I was ruining our marriage. I got a video series by Joe Beam (he is on your blogroll) and we went away for three days to work through it.

    Very quickly I realized that it was not exactly a sex problem…it was a sin problem. In my heart I was grieving about all of the “things that might have been.” I was comparing my ordinary life as a virgin church girl who married young to ALL of the million other hypothetical possibilities, and I wound up not even caring that I have the best life and hottest husband of anyone I know. In other words, my heart had wandered off and I was tangled in TEMPTATION, even with no porn or erotica. I was rejecting the beautiful reality of my life with a wonderful man who truly loves me (and actually he is very sexy…all my friends want him!) I had to face up in my heart that I was just being unfaithful — even if I was not explicitly thinking about adultery, that’s where my heart was.

    It was very humbling. It was also very liberating. In my mind I had this complex drama about my pitiful life and my lame marriage…but it was all a bunch of baloney my heart cooked up because I was secretly wishing for a “do over” in my life. It was even more humbling to confess all this to my husband. When I told him everything, I was so surprised. He just smiled and said “My God girl, I am 46 years old—I have experienced what you’re going through ten times. Believe me, when you face it, it goes away. God fixes this thing easily. I’m not mad at you, I truly understand. You gave up everything for me, and it’s a really big deal. I gave up everything too. Maybe we should hook up some time!”

    This is what I learned: The erotica is probably not a cause…it is a silly “Plan B” that draws you away from the blessings God has given you. Maybe it will help for you to do the same thing I did…look it in the eye, confess that you are tempted to stray, renew your vows, and give thanks to God that he has blessed you with a very good life and a husband who threw everything else away to be with you. I am free now, and the heat is back in the bedroom— BIG TIME!

  3. As soon as I started reading this post I thought about Romans 12 so I was pleased to see you referenced it. I believe the renewal of the mind is key. Jesus made it clear that lusting after someone else is as much a sin as adultery. So we have to keep our thoughts pure. We don’t have to dwell on the unhelpful ideas that come unbidden into our heads – we have a choice about what we think. Phil 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” We can guard our hearts and minds by thinking on noble, pure and lovely things. If we don’t, if we perpetually indulge wrong thinking, we can expect the consequences that Paul lays down in Romans 1 – that God gives people over to their sinful desires.
    I don’t want to be condemnatory, far from it! I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, as they say. I’ve found that the answer is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin to you, repent of it, and then start applying Phil 4:8 with everything you’ve got. It can be really hard to start with but it gets easier.
    Finally, you really do need to find a way to talk about this with your husband. He is your sexual partner and he is the one who can legitimately meet your needs. It may be appropriate for you to fast from sex for a short while and, instead, pray together about your sex life (1 Cor 7:5). There’s nothing like a bit of abstinence to get the fires burning again!
    And don’t forget that marriage and sex are both God’s idea. He wants you both to enjoy each other so He will fix it if you work with Him.
    By the way, it was in a weaker moment, searching the web for erotica, that I stumbled upon Christian Nymphos. Which reminds me of Rom 8:28 – all things, even our struggles and sins, work together for good to those who love God

  4. My understanding of erotica is that when we accept doing any sexual practice involving someone else in or outside marriage (be it real or just in thoughts). We are defiling something that should be godly and experienced within the sacred bonds of matrimony. It becomes not special anymore.
    We maintain sexual practices (regardless of what they are) sacred when a husband and wife only practice and discuss them between each other and no one else.

  5. Can the cause for this be similar in any way to the habit of men with pornography? I’ve been doing a little bit of research, and found that men often turn to pornography because of something stressful in their lives, that “it’s not about the sex” but about finding an outlet to deal with pain. Is this the same thing for women, do they seek online erotica/ porn for the same reasons as men?

    I have also read that when men watch pornography, it dulls their sensitivity in bed, makes it harder to be pleased by his wife, as was mentioned above, so that sounds like there is a connection there.

  6. I have struggled with this same thing on a lot of occasions. When I was 14, I stumbled upon my dad’s porn addiction through the history on our computer, and it was like cocaine to me from day one. To this day, even as a married woman with an incredibly generous and sexy husband, I struggle with the temptation to turn to erotic novels when I’m having a hard time becoming aroused.

    Something that’s helped me…I turned the tables. I absolutely love to write, so I’ve started writing down all of my fantasies in the form of erotic stories (all taking place between DH and I of course), and it’s been pretty incredible to see how it’s transformed the way I look at our sex life, even during the “down times” that every woman has. When I look at my own life as the fantasy, it changes my attitude toward my sex life, my husband, and my marriage. I also learned quickly that my husband absolutely loves reading these stories, and is more than willing to recreate the moments for me. :)

    Tomorrow is our two-year anniversary, and my gift to him is a “story” that I’m planning to unfold over the course of five days. It has been a blast to plan, and I’m sure it’ll be even more fun to carry out!

  7. SweetSoft, yes, I believe what your suggest is quite possible. My husbands past porn use was a way for him to “escape” expectations he put on himself, he also felt by fantisizing he was able to manipulate the act and females in his fantasies in order to have something he could control without anyones input.
    He was first introduced to porn by his older brothers when he was 6 yrs old, this was his way of life until he was 36 (we married when we were 29 I found out about his addiction about 9 months into our marriage when I walked in on him viewing the stuff on our computer).

    When the Lord exposed his porn addiction I spirilled into my own way of escape through erotica in the hope I could match up to his “expectations” it was a very vicious cycle. I would also fantasize my own way of escape in reading and thinking about being with someone who would not hurt me the way my precious DH was.

    Now we are both working together to bring our thoughts/fantasies under control. When things get really good for us Satan goes on a rampage and throws many images in our minds in and out of the bedroom but since i’ve been reading here on CN and sharing with my husband, the repulsive past images our minds have been accustomed to are slowly being replaced with very beautiful images of oneanother. We have a long way to go but our journey is beautiful.

  8. I can really relate to this also, especially when you said, “In my mind I had this complex drama about my pitiful life and my lame marriage, but it was all a bunch of baloney my heart cooked up because I was secretly wishing for a ‘do over’ in my life’. Wow, I could’ve written that! I spent years being unhappy about ‘what could’ve been’ and resenting my husband’s sex drive. Becoming thankful for what I have changes everything:)


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