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Thoughts on what married couples can and can't do, sexually...

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by OrangeTree, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. OrangeTree

    OrangeTree New Member

    United Kingdom
    The below contains mild and factual descriptions of sexual acts between a husband and wife that go beyond 'vanilla' sex. Feel free to not read on if you think this may not be for you.

    Like all good marriages, the relationship is a sexual one.

    We've been married 20 years, two kids etc, both upright, 'going for it' Christians. Our marriage is lovely and healthy, but there's something we can't quite figure out.

    In the bedroom, one of us likes it kinky. Always has. Even before meeting, even before puberty. Just has a taste for it. Desires range from silver chains jewellery through being tied up / handcuffed all the way to the mild humiliation of being slimed like on tv shows (it's a 'thing' - google it if you dare). It's all that one of us has ever dreamed of. The other just wants to enjoy having normal naked sex.

    The kinky one is of the view that what arouses them arouses them and wants their spouse to engage with them sexually - they want to be handcuffed/slimed etc, not handcuff/slime the non-kinky one against their will.

    The non kinky one is of the view that the kinkiness obscures the man-to-woman sexual relationship and it isn't in line with God's plan for a sexual relationship - chaining up goes against the grain of love and sliming, as a non-sexual act, is sexuality gone wrong.

    We'd discussed it before marriage, but non-kinky one didn't realise it was going to be permanently there as something that the kinky one always wants to do.

    Not quite sure how to square this particular circle. The kinky one can only be satisfied when there's a bit of kinkiness involved, the non kinky one thinks its wrong and won't go there. It's hard to find a collaboration where it's win:win - is it impossible?

    We're praying lots about how to resolve this, interested to hear any perspectives anyone can share. It's not the sort of thing you can discuss with your Christian friends, so here we are.

    Thank you
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I'd error on the side of normal.
  3. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    United States
    As long as both parties consent, I don't see anything obviously wrong with a sexual kink. People who don't resonate with that particular kink will say that it's not "normal", but I'm not sure what they're basing this on. The Bible itself does not go into details concerning the specific acts that God approves of, so I'm not sure what "norm" they are using.

    Whether or not it's wrong is not the issue. The issue is coming to a mutual understanding and compromise between spouses. And communication is an issue. It's a wonderful thing that you are able to communicate with one another regarding your sexual desires and preferences. Hopefully you're able to do this without judgment or shame. But every couple will have to deal with the fact that one partner has different sexual desires and preferences than the other. And every couple will have to negotiate and navigate that.

    There are some preferences that I have that my wife does not resonate with. She is not aroused by some of the things that arouse me. But we have communicated for years and navigated this issue. And, as an act of love, she is willing to perform certain acts that she does not enjoy. She does not actively dis-enjoy these acts, she just gets nothing out of them other than making me happy.

    And then there are other things that I want to do that she absolutely does not enjoy. So there are some sexual desires that I have that will not be fulfilled because I don't want to force my spouse to engage in something she does not enjoy. That's okay. You may have some sexual desires that go unfulfilled. Not the end of the world.
  4. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    United States
    Everyone should respect their partner's comfort level, wherever that boundary is drawn. It may mean that one can't enjoy something s/he would like because it crosses a partner's boundary.
  5. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

    United States
    Hi Mr or Mrs OrangeTree,

    It's very important to only engage in sexual acts that you are BOTH enthusiastic about. If the connection together becomes too burdened down with request for other things (that the other person has to keep saying "no" to), it is possible that the other person will eventually develop an aversion to sex. Having to say no in the middle of the connection is a buzzkill, especially when it's a repeated "no".

    So, to the kinkier one, I can't tell you strongly enough to stop asking for things the other person has already declined or else you might eventually suffer from your partner's partial or full withdrawal from sexual connections. Sound farfetched? Just read many of the posts in these forums (and others) about sexless marriages.

    Is the kinkier one engaging in porn viewing? If so, as you can see, the edge provided there is hurting your marriage. Porn is quite destructive to marital relations for many reasons: the easy climax (which makes a real one more of a struggle), the mind videos of other people who do this for a living so your spouse can not likely compete with the visual appearances, and the mind videos of the erotic acts being done which leaves a person feeling a little flat in a more standard bedroom.

    If there is porn involved, it's critical that it be stopped immediately so the kinkier one can acclimate to desiring sex with their spouse for the marital connections without the influence of a porn edge.

    Edited to add: Just to be clear, there is no sin or shame in having a desire for spicier activities in the bedroom with your spouse, within some parameters of course. Not involving another person, not hurting (emotionally or physically) your spouse, etc. It's just really important that you are both enthusiastic for whatever you do together. It's not a moral issue in and of itself, obviously within some parameters.
  6. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member

    Tree of Life has a lot of wisdom in Post #3.

    I agree wholeheartedly a couple should only engage in acts where both spouses are ready and willing. However, I do not agree that both need to be "enthusiastic". As Tree of Life pointed out, fulfilling desires of a spouse is a way of loving and serving them, as long as the desires are not immoral or objectionable/offensive to the spouse. That idea holds true in all areas of marital intimacy - emotional, romantic, financial, recreational. Invariably, couples will have different desires for all those areas, and doing what your spouse desires is a way to love and serve.

    What we cannot do in marriage, and this holds true for both spouses when there are differences in desires, is to view or treat the other one like they are wrong (or something is wrong with them) either for wanting different experiences or not wanting them with our spouse. It is how they were made. Obviously, things that are immoral and prohibited should not be part of the relationship so in no way does the prior sentence justify those.

    While the non-kinky spouse should not do anything objectionable or immoral or offensive, I do think it would be good for them to examine why those issues bother them. I see nothing scriptural that would support
    So, I think that idea came from somewhere else. Perhaps it was a true leading of the Holy Spirit, but it is perhaps more likely it was either teaching from their youth or based on some experience, etc. Rather than just stating what may just be preferences are wrong, I would suggest they truly pray and examine their stance biblically and spiritually and determine if stretching their comfort zone is an area where they can serve their spouse.

    At the same time, the non-kinky spouse can serve as well by realizing the preference of their partner is a basic, romantic style of love making. That gives them opportunities to put aside their preference and willingly, even proactively, serve by setting up those types of encounters. They can be a safe place for their spouse to discuss the reasons why something kinkier is not comfortable to them, and allow them to work through the introspection they will hopefully take. That doesn't mean be passive and not continue to express their preferences - it does mean however that as long as the answer is "no" that they accept that answer in self-respecting ways (no pouting or anger or extra pressure, etc.)

    Finally, I can tell you from over 30 years of marriage to a wife I love dearly, and you already know from 20, that ideas and preferences and beliefs and desires change over time in almost every area of marriage. This is a long game with many twists and turns. Work together in love and service to make it a marriage you both are excited about in all areas, including sexually.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021 at 7:25 AM
  7. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

    United States
    If one spouse is not enthusiastic about certain acts, that spouse can develop an aversion to sex. This aversion to being coerced or guilted into doing things they don't want to do is understandable.

    Here is an excellent article on the topic:
    How to Overcome Sexual Aversion : Marriage Builders, Inc.
  8. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member

    Thank you for that article - it is good. Dr. Harley is very correct that aversions come when we do something we would not choose ourselves and our spouse makes it unpleasant for us. He is correct that outside the "state of intimacy" is a dangerous area if couples are not being honest and transparent with each other and seeking to return to state of intimacy (which is a lifelong work in marriage). The article guided me to read further on the site about his Policy of Joint Agreement.

    I think part of what needs to be added is in that policy.
    I agree with him. The key additional word is "agreement". The root of that agreement can be different things, however. In sex, it might be that both spouses are enthusiastic about an act itself; that would be ideal. Or it might be that one spouse is enthusiastic about serving the other spouse with an act that they themselves would not pick to do (but do not find offensive or immoral, etc.) That is not an uncommon situation and decision in healthy marriages.

    For a non-sexual example, my wife and I enjoy watching movies, and she likes romantic comedies. That is not a genre I would ever select to watch, but I enthusiastically agree (not begrudgingly) to watch them with her because it brings her enjoyment and there is nothing truly bothersome to me about the genre. I enjoy serving her in that way, though certainly not every time we pick a movie. If she in some way made it unpleasant for me to watch movies with her, for example criticizing me if I wanted to watch an action flick, I would not be so enthusiastic in agreeing to watching rom-coms, or any movie, with her.

    So I will amend one of my statements above so that we do not run afoul of definitions. I will change "However, I do not agree that both need to be "enthusiastic". to "However, I do not agree that both need to be "enthusiastic" about the specific act as we all have different desires, however, both do need to be in enthusiastic agreement about participating in the act." I think that is in alignment with Dr. Harley's philosophy as well.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021 at 9:47 AM
  9. NothingIsImpossible

    NothingIsImpossible Well-Known Member

    There is nothing really off-limits except for what the bible talks about... "butt" stuff. I know there are all sorts of crazy, even wrongful things people like out there. But if the couple both agree to it, I see nothing wrong with it. I just prefer good old fashioned way of how God made it work.