After several years of indulging in solitary sex, I was shocked to discover that many Christians think that sexual pleasure should be reserved for marital lovemaking. They believe it is wrong to take a gift divinely intended to strengthen a marriage and twist it into something that has nothing to do with marriage. I was perverting something that should make me run to the man God has given me, turning it into something that made me want to shrink into my own private world of self-indulgence.
Making the decision to stop was easy. I didnít want to do anything that might displease my Lord. Nevertheless, actually stopping was a very different matter. I found myself utterly addicted to this habit. I knew I needed divine help. I desperately prayed. I also visited Christian websites that dared tackle this issue and I mustered the courage to write to them asking for their prayer support as well. One of them wisely advised me to avoid everything that caused temptation. Disturbingly, sexual fantasies and thoughts of men would pop into my mind and it was very difficult to keep resisting these thoughts.
Another Christian with a website suggested that every time I thought of masturbating, I should think of it as being disgusting. That helped me a lot. I also read the Bible much more. When I had started masturbating I hardly opened the Bible at all. I was down and far from God, making me easy prey for satanic attack. The Evil One began whispering, Ďyou have the right to have sex with yourself and get your orgasms however you like, since your husband canít satisfy you and seems not even to care.í I was now trying to undo all the harm that thinking had brought into my life.
To my distress, I fell back into solo sex many times. Each slip devastated me. I felt a miserable failure, but even though it didnít feel like it, I now know God was still with me, willing me on. After the occasional time of languishing in feelings of hopelessness I would again look to him and find the strength to try yet again.
Grantley kept urging me to involve my husband. It was difficult because Iím so shy. I had been just a sex object for 18 years and now I wanted a huge change. I tried to impress upon my husband that it was his duty to meet my needs. It was such an awkward, embarrassing subject to talk about. I tried to tell him what he should do but I think I was too vague and he didnít understand. I knew I had to teach him what to do, but it was hard for both of us. Sometimes he did it well but the next time not at all. If I told him he was caressing me the right way, after a moment he would change and it no longer felt nice. Sometimes he reverted to his old ways without caring how I felt. At times I got angry and upset with him and thought he could never learn. But next time we would try again.
Now things are going much better. There are still challenges, however. He is getting much better at caressing me but he tires of it earlier than I would prefer and wants to focus more on his own pleasure by entering me. Itís then that things get very awkward. We have yet to discover any way that he can continue with the caresses I need for orgasm while he is inside me. My husbandís weight and physical disability restrict our options during this time, and afterwards he loses interest and it seems like too much effort to resume the caressing.
If we considered only my pleasure, it would be relatively simple. He would wait until he has satisfied me. But he is reluctant to wait, and I could hardly call it love-making if I ignored my husbandís desires. For me not to care about his feelings would be to condemn myself to self-centered shallowness.
Sometimes, when he stopped caressing me and entered me, I took over the caressing of myself. That way we both climaxed. Iíd prefer never to touch myself during our lovemaking but we are still working out how to bring me to orgasm without me doing some of it.
In theory, I could deny myself orgasm but that has its own problems. I want my longing for my husband to grow. Surely this is a reason why God entrusted us with this precious gift. Regularly being aroused but never climaxing might end up frustrating me so much as to make me dread intimacy, thus undermining, rather than building, our relationship.
My goal is for none of my pleasure to come from anything I do to myself, and lately we have had the occasional success, with him bringing me to a climax before entering me. My expectation is that a dependence upon my husband doing it all for me will bond me even more to him, and such bonding must surely be a major reason why God entrusted us with sex. We are still learning, but we have come such a long way from the time when my sexual pleasure meant isolation. My sexual longings are becoming something that makes me yearn for the warmth of the man God gave me, rather than something that makes me want to withdraw into the icy world of self-centered aloneness.
Another wonderful miracle is that my husband now wants sex as often as I do. I prayed that I would calm down and that his desires would increase. I find Iím more satisfied and need it less often than when I used to do it alone and his desires seem to have increased so that now our desires match. Perhaps discovering that he has the ability to do it much better has spurred my husband on. I think he now enjoys it more physically and emotionally, and I no longer feel that Iím just an object for his gratification.
For years, our sex life was disintegrating, and solo sex was hastening the destruction. We were drifting apart. Now we have turned around and are traveling on the exciting, if bumpy, road to ever-increasing closeness.
If only, early in our marriage, I had pushed through my shyness and carefully, persistently explained my needs and feelings to my husband. Then he would never have fallen into the habit of ignoring my feelings and focusing solely on his own pleasure. For both of us, lovemaking would have meant so much more. And later I would not have twisted my view of sex into a lonely, self-centered act, and developed habits and memories and longings which, though fading, still haunt me at times. Neither of us would have developed what have become ingrained tendencies that even now hinder our journey to the heights of intimacy and fulfillment. Moreover, we would have had years of practice so that we would now be experts at thrilling each other, rather than still stumbling around as rank amateurs.
Nevertheless, we are at last on the road to recovering all that we had lost, and this means so much to me that I want to share my experience with you in the hope that it might encourage you to keep communicating to your partner your most intimate needs and feelings. Please donít fall into self-centeredness, but keep giving feedback and teaching each other and persisting in improving your love life. Be patient with yourself, and with your partner. Above all, involve God in your lovemaking. Without him I would still be a lonely addict to solitary sex, with marital fulfillment being nothing but a pipedream. The Creator of sex truly cares and has our best interests at heart.
Not to be sold. © Copyright, Grantley Morris, 2003.
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