Sex Ed for Christians: The Theology of the Clitoris

by | May 8, 2019 | Uncategorized | 46 comments

Merchandise is Here!

I remember feeling absolutely embarrassed and in shock at a youth group retreat where the pastor referred to the clitoris.

His point was: “God created a part of a woman’s body where the only purpose is for her sexual pleasure.

At the time I wanted the floor to open and swallow me up. I didn’t know what to do with that information.

In retrospect, I’m glad he said that, because two things stuck with me:

  • Sex was not just about a guy feeling good
  • And having sex be pleasurable was actually part of God’s intention

That’s what that pastor wanted us all to know, and he was so right. We don’t need to feel embarrassed for enjoying sex, or embarrassed for wanting sex, because God made sex to be pleasurable.

That’s cool!

This month we’re doing some sex ed for adults. Last week I was talking about 10 things you may not know about arousal in women. And today I thought we’d look more at what the clitoris can tell us about what God means for sex, how God feels about women, and even what we can learn about God in general.

That may be a tall order for such a small body part, but it’s an important body part! And I know it may make you all feel awkward, but if God created it, we shouldn’t feel ashamed of talking about it. Next week we’ll be tackling the theology of the penis, and I’ll even give my podcast about what we can learn about God (and sex!) from how He made our bodies. But let’s start with the clitoris.

So here goes! I’ve mentioned a lot of these posts in other posts lately, but I think it’s important to have them all in one place for easy reference, so forgive me if you find some of this repetitive. It’s important, and I encourage  you (I dare you!) to share this so that other women can hear it, too.

What the Clitoris Tells Us About Sex

God created a body part that is ONLY for pleasure. There’s no other reason for that body part. In men, the penis has several purposes, but in women, it’s only one. That means that sex is supposed to be pleasurable in general, but also pleasurable specifically for women. God intended for sex to be about women’s sexual pleasure, too.

The existence of the clitoris tells us that God intended for sex to be pleasurable–and pleasurable specifically for women!

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But what’s really interesting, I think, is the location of the clitoris–between the folds of skin just in front of the opening of the vagina. The position tells us something, too. The most natural way for the clitoris to get some attention is when the couple is face-to-face. Either he’s manually touching her, or they’re having intercourse in some way face to face (which is the best way for the clitoris to get stimulation from intercourse; he thrusts, and his pelvis puts pressure on the clitoris which provides pleasure).

That’s not to say that you can’t use other positions; but the fact that this is the go-to position means that God intended for sex to be personal. Pretty much all other animals have sex from a rear entry position as the only position that’s possible. But God shows that humankind is different. He intended sex to be about both of you feeling close. In fact, one of the most intimate things you can do is to look into each other’s eyes at the height of orgasm, when the oxytocin (the bonding hormone) is at its peak. It does bond you!

So the existence of the clitoris, and its position, shows that God intended sex to be physically pleasurable for women, and personally intimate for both of you!

The existence of the clitoris, AND its position, shows that God intended sex to be physically pleasurable for women, and personally intimate for both of you!

What the Clitoris Tells Us about Gender Dynamics

God could have made women’s bodies so that we get maximum pleasure from intercourse. But He didn’t. That doesn’t mean that women CAN’T feel pleasure from intercourse–I’ve written about how to find and identify the G-spot, and how to tilt so that it feels better! But in general, most women report that they reach orgasm easier from clitoral stimulation, or that they at least need a lot of stimulation (and a lot of foreplay) before intercourse if they’re going to reach orgasm through intercourse. In my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I definitely found that many women had trouble reaching orgasm, and a lot of that was due to lack of foreplay.

So what did God intend from the clitoris? It almost seems like God must like men better, since it’s so much easier for them! But here’s my theory: while men tend to be able to reach climax quite quickly through intercourse alone, women don’t. That means that, for a woman to feel pleasure, men have to slow down and think about their wives. Sex can’t just be “animal”, where you simply have intercourse with no foreplay, because that won’t feel good for her. That means that men have to learn to be unselfish if sex is going to work well for both of you.

God designed sex to help men slow down and think of their wives! They have to pay attention to what their wives want and what makes their wives feel good. They have to study their wives. So often in marriage it can seem like women are serving men, but God deliberately made our bodies so that, if we’re going to feel good, men would have to serve women.

What the Clitoris Tells Us About what God wants for Women

Here’s something interesting, though. While sex works best when the man doesn’t think about what he’s feeling but concentrates on what she’s feeling (so as to prolong intercourse and to make her feel good), it also works best when the woman DOES think about what she’s feeling. She has to stop multitasking, stop thinking about anything else, and just let herself feel. That’s hard for women to do, because we’re so used to thinking about what everybody else needs. But for sex to work well, we have to be a little selfish. We have to pay attention to what’s going on in our bodies.

So God made sex as a gift for women, where we’d have to slow down and just feel.

God made sex to be AWESOME!

It’s supposed to be great physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Feel like something’s missing?

What the Clitoris (and orgasm) Tells Us about God

The fact that we have a clitoris means that God intends for women to reach orgasm. And what does that teach us about God? It shows that God does not intend for us to feel in control at all times. We can’t orgasm if we’re trying to control everything. We have to let go and let it happen. And orgasm itself is the antithesis of thought. You can’t think straight when you’re having an orgasm. It’s almost like something else is carrying you along.

That’s what God wants us to know about passion. We don’t have to always be in control. God created sex as a mirror for what our lives with Him are supposed to be like. And He doesn’t need us to feel always in control. He wants us, sometimes, to just be carried along by Him. To just trust, and experience, and feel joy. That’s how sex can be hot and holy at the same time!

That’s pretty cool for one little body part. Think about it:

  • God wants women to experience pleasure
  • God wants that pleasure to be both intimate and personal
  • God wants husbands to take time to please their wives and pay attention to their wives
  • God wants women to not feel like they have to always be the ones giving, but to learn how to receive
  • God wants us to learn not to multi-task sometimes and not to always feel in control, but to let ourselves be carried along

That’s what God wants for you.

Do you understand that?

That tells me that God loves women.

That God really cares about us, and designed sex to be something wonderful for us. That means that God cares about what we feel, and He wants us to feel like the centre of attention every now and then.

I don’t know where you are today. Maybe you’re someone for whom sex has never felt that great. Maybe you feel beaten down by God, like he likes your husband better. Maybe you feel like sex is great for everyone but you.

But I just want you to look at that list again, and remind yourself that this is honestly God’s heart for you. It’s a gift He designed for you. You are not an afterthought, where you get the crumbs that your husband leaves behind. You’re supposed to be important. That’s how God sees you. And I think that’s amazing!

The Theology of the Clitoris: What it tells us about God | How God sees Sex

What do you think? Does this jibe with what you were taught about sex? Let’s talk in the comments! And while we’re at it–any thoughts about what the penis tells us about God (as I’m getting ready for next week’s post!)?

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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46 Comments

  1. Chris

    Sheila, have you ever read John Paul II “Theology of the Body”?

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Not in depth, no, but I have looked at it. So many recommend it!

      Reply
      • Monique

        I’m a Theology of the Body speaker and so see the connection between what you’re saying and what JPII says. I’d like to connect with you Sheila to explore more your approach and mine, especially as it pertains to the feminine soul.

        Reply
    • Kathryn

      I absolute love this post!!!

      Reply
  2. Phil

    Hey so I really liked the defining of passion in that thought of loosing control. With your idea request for thoughts about what the penis tells about God: Man needs to STAY in control. Not of the woman but himself! Ill post more as I give that some more thought.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, that’s great, Phil! I like that. I’m going to use that!

      Reply
  3. Wandering Mind

    Sheila, one time in a different article you stated women need to get their head in the game. I personally find that contrary to just feeling and losing control. I’m in my 50’s and sex has always been extremely difficult for me. I was raised with a negative view of sex. My mind wanders during lovemaking. To keep my head in the game I have fantasized – I know that’s a huge No-No! My husband is dedicated to my pleasure but I have so many issues. I also battle depression and am on an anti-depressant that has killed my libido. But I’m determined to change things for the better. Please advise how a woman can have her head in the game and also “just feel” and lose control. I’m really trying, but it’s forever a challenge. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Great question! Getting your head in the game is more something we do first, deciding that “I’m going to feel good” “I want to do this” “I love my husband.” It’s giving yourself that pep talk like I talked about. Then during sex it’s about concentrating on what your body is feeling, and what feels good. Ironically, as you think about your body, it’s easier to get carried away by your body. If you let your mind wander, or if you try too hard, it rarely works. But if you keep your brain concentrating on feeling, rather than thinking, things tend to work better. Does that make sense?

      Reply
      • Vannessa Thurman

        This is the first for me don’t know where to begin my husband was my first and he dead before I gasp this concert my second was I really did not enjoy sex now I with a godly man and we don’t have sex all the time but went we do it’s amazing at 65 I’m feel I’m just experiencing what real sex is

        Reply
    • A regular reader

      I completely agree with your statement that in order to experience all that God intends for a woman to feel during sex, she needs to be a little bit selfish. That was such a sticking point for me for so many years across all areas of my life. I believed it was a strength and virtue to not need anything and focused on taking care of everyone else (husband and many children) while routinely ignoring my own legitimate physical and emotional needs. I ended up close to breakdown before taking the problem seriously, changing my perspective, becoming aware of what my needs are, and making sure they’re being addressed along with everyone else’s. Your blog is helping my husband and me take this new approach into our sexual relationship. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        I’m so glad! It is a weird lesson to learn, isn’t it?

        Reply
    • Natalie

      Wandering Mind, I agree with Sheila’s comment above. I also think that not all fantasies are bad. Of course, there are those that are sinful/lustful (i.e. imaging, as you’re having sex with your husband, that he’s actually someone else). But then there are also harmless fantasies that can actually help and heighten our sexual experience (i.e. while you and your husband are making love on a regular, boring weeknight in your regular, boring bed, you fantasize about being in a hotel room with him in a bungalow in Fiji over the water, or maybe you think about that really fun, super hot time your husband and you did xyz and how close you two felt together – even though re-creating a moment like that would not be possible right then and there, etc). My point: not all fantasies are bad so don’t beat yourself up for having them. In fact, having some fantasies can actually be a very good, healthy thing that can get you more in touch with your sexuality, thus making it more likely for you to enjoy sex and get in the moment mentally. The word “fantasy” in the sexual context is very broad and includes a wide range of things ranging from the sexually stimulating (& things that can actually help your marriage) to those that are lustful and sinful and harm your marriage. I heard a talk recently about fantasies by Shannon Ethridge that actually changed my mind a lot about the topic, because before, I felt similar to you & thought that if I had any sexual thought pass through my head during sex that wasn’t directly about what was happening right then and there in that moment, I was sinning. And thinking you’re sinning and suddenly feeling shame for the thoughts running through your head is the perfect recipe for instant libido loss!

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes, I’d definitely agree with that, Natalie!

        Reply
  4. Natalie

    I also think it’s nice that, while post-Eden women experience great pain (childbirth), God knew sin would enter the picture and so before all that He also made the woman’s body to experience great pleasure (clitoris – sole purpose is pleasure, capacity for multiple orgasms, no/very little recovery period necessary , etc). I think that’s a nice contrast and a show of God’s grace too.

    As I’ve been on my own journey this past year discovering my sexuality, I’ve also come across the idea in the church (& something I actually think was subconsciously instilled in me too growing up) that the seeking of female sexual pleasure is sinful because seeking sexual pleasure for yourself that doesn’t come “naturally” (i.e. you have to learn how your body works, you don’t just magically have an orgasm with little/no effort the first time you have PIV sex) and also because seeking sexual pleasure is “of Satan” (the example given here is all the goddess worship/fertility worship and other pagan traditions which are of Satan). I’ve come to the conclusion that that way of thinking is actually of Satan in addition to what the pagans believed, and that really, that train of thought is just Satan perverting God’s true intent for female sexuality (i.e. she should get pleasure too) and the sexual dynamics in marriage in general. I also think centuries of a culture which suppresses female sexuality and focuses the woman’s role as wife tending primarily to her husband’s needs is also a perversion by Satan on God’s original plan and design.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Totally agree, Natalie. The idea that “we shouldn’t have to try above and beyond what is automatic” is not of God. It’s making sex into something animalistic, rather than something that is relational. And it should be about both partners! Absolutely.

      Reply
    • Natalie

      (Kind of going on my previous comment too…) Based on my own experience, I find that when things that are “of Satan” (which really are things of God perverted by Satan) are avoided in discussions in families or are instantly condemned because they’re wrong because they’re “of Satan” and we are supposed to “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7), it automatically gives that domain over to Satan to rule in our minds. For example, I was taught that while sex within marriage was a beautiful and wonderful thing created by God for husbands and wives, it was also taught to me that being sexual was wrong because it was of Satan. So now, as a married woman, how am I supposed to enjoy this “beautiful and wonderful” thing when my sexuality is bad and sinful? Answer: I’m not cuz that’s totally cognitively dissonance thinking. The only way to make those two ideas jive is if I go with the idea that sex is only about emotional connection for me, because emotional connection doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual as well; it can be separate and on its own. Thus, sex in marriage because about orgasm for the husband and on his terms/when he wants it, and sex for the wife becomes about honoring her husband and showing her love for him by him using her body and hopefully she’ll get some emotional connection too (very “Love & Respect”-ish, if you ask me). Instead, looking back now, what I should have been taught is that sexuality is beautiful too and created by God. We are all created to be sexual beings when we come of age, and we all should embrace that fact and use it when the time is right for us (which, as Christians, is in marriage). The sin and part that is perverted and “of Satan” comes into play when we use it inappropriately and at the incorrect time. It’s not the sexuality itself that’s the sin; it’s how and when we’re using it.
      Just some thoughts I’ve been having, especially now as a parent & thinking about how I’m going to teach my kids about sex someday when they’re ready: similar but definitely not exactly the same as I was taught about sex.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Great thoughts, Natalie! And good that you’re thinking about how you’re going to be teaching your children, too.

        Reply
    • EM

      Very interesting comment! It is so sad how much Satan has twisted it all around. In my family, all of the women (I’m not sure how to say this without sounding weird but here goes) are very comfortable with their sexuality and their bodies in general. As a result I was raised without shame about my body or sexual pleasure, even though we are very much a Christian family. It is possible lol! What’s interesting though, is that the same attitude carries over into giving birth. My grandma, mom, sisters and me all enjoyed giving birth. Not saying it didn’t hurt, because of course it did, but it is not a fearful thing in my family. It’s more of, “WOW, look at this amazing, powerful thing my body can do!” I think it is very much linked to our attitude about sex. In fact, and I don’t tell anyone this because I sound like a weirdo, but I had an orgasm when I was pushing my first baby out. (And yes, my hubby could tell!) Apparently that is a phenomenon when mom is feeling very comfortable, supported and loved when she’s giving birth. I really wish all Christian women could reclaim the incredible capacity for pleasure AND power that He has put within us.

      Reply
      • Andrea

        How do I thank you for being brave (?) enough to “admit” to having an orgasm during childbirth on a Christian sex blog… don’t you know it’s meant to be punishment for Eve?! 😉
        Seriously, though, I have only read about this in radical feminist literature before and while I admire their battle against pornography and insistence on the clitoris, I really wondered if they weren’t exaggerating about orgasm in childbirth. You are absolutely right that it is all connected to a woman’s attitude about her body, from receiving a penis into it to pushing out an infant’s head out of it. I remember reading in a college textbook that women in northern European countries (and probably also more so in Canada than in the U.S. ) are treated by their doctors in the way you described your family’s attitude towards birth-giving, as amazingly capable bodies instead of patients, as if pregnancy is an illness.

        It also helps to have a husband who sees your body that way instead of being grossed out by it. One my litmus tests for this in my dating life was how my boyfriends reacted to me speaking non-embarrassingly about my period (I was also raised in a house where that was more the wonder of God’s creation and not a bad bleeding habit your weak nature just can’t shake), so for all the single ladies reading this blog, do that!

        Finally, since the clitoris is the topic, let’s all be brave enough to drop that word casually into conversation. Seriously, challenge yourself to and whenever you do, reward yourself by donating to an organization that fights FGM (this started as a dare with me a friend of a mine some years ago). “Penis” and “vagina” have become acceptable even in polite Christian company, but dare and try “clitoris.” When you hear an ignorant pastor who thinks he’s being sex-positive boldly utter “penis” and “vagina,” remind him that the female equivalent of the penis is the clitoris and that you hope for his wife’s sake that this is not news to him. OK, I’m just kidding/exaggerating about this last part, but normalizing the word is the first step to improving women’s sex lives.

        Reply
        • EM

          Thanks Andrea! I was nervously awaiting the replies😂. As far as Eve goes, isn’t part of Christ’s redemption setting us free from the curse? I mean, we aren’t all doomed, right? At least that’s how I see it.

          Reply
          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            I know several women who have said the same thing! I think it has to do with bearing down and the pelvic bone pushing in the right place!

        • Lauren

          Andrea, this is a litmus test for my boyfriends, too! My last boyfriend (praying we will date again) was so understanding and normal about my period. We could talk about it (& other sexual things) so easily. Very important. He was also excited about supporting his future wife during his pregnancy and making her feel comfortable. It may have been his culture (he’s from India originally). I find American men to be “weirder” about bodily functions, womanhood, and sexuality. Not sure why.

          Reply
      • Natalie

        EM, that’s not weird at all!!! Orgasms do occur during birth for some women! (I’d wager it’d be a lot more women who experience them if we had a different view on childbirth, sex, and female pleasure and sexuality as a society/world than we do currently). It’s just that society has put birth/motherhood and sexuality/orgasms into two separate boxes and it’s seen as taboo if they cross over. One is seen as strictly painful and non-sexual while the other is hypersexual, when really, they’re actually more very similar and meet more towards the middle instead of at opposite extremes.

        In my own life, I think God’s timing has been really interesting concerning all this sex stuff lol. I experienced my first orgasm ever in my life and it was early in my second trimester. I didn’t gain as much weight this pregnancy as I did with my first and have continued all my regular exercises and activities (though modified) even now into my 39th week of pregnancy, and have just generally been a lot more comfortable in my body and with myself than I’ve probably ever been in the past. I thought I was ready and at a good place mentally with my first baby (who ended up being born early at 37w by emergency c-section due to an ECV to flip him head-down going wrong and causing placental abruption). But looking back on it now, I was no where NEAR as in touch with my body 2 years ago as I am today!!! I think God allowed me to have that c-section (which was the exact opposite of the natural, home water birth I was planning lol) because he knew I wasn’t ready and that a bad experience birthing my first would taint my views on childbirth for future births. For me, learning, understanding and accepting my sexuality has really been the missing piece, and a huge eye-opener in who I am as a person. Childbirth really is nothing to be afraid of, especially in this day and age with all our medical advances. Yes there’s pain, but there’s also such strength and power and beauty in it too! I mean, you’re literally birthing another human that’s half you and half your husband into the world!! How incredible and awe-inspiring is that?!?! I’m actually so grateful God gave that to us as women to experience, and I’m actually really looking forward to experiencing it for myself hopefully this or next week. I’m looking forward to it being a really intimate, binding moment between my husband and I (since oxytocin does alleviate pain and helps you continue to dilate and stretch) as we welcome our next child into the world. And ya know what, if I can finally figure out how to orgasm after being anorgasmic for over a decade, and if I can deal with the monthly menstrual pains that would cause me to use a sick day they were so painful, I can most definitely handle childbirth! It’s just another bodily function, though so much more powerful and incredible and beautiful!

        PS: and simply from a physical perspective, childbirth and orgasm are actually quite similar (or at least they can be). All the hormones, uterine contractions, the role our emotions play in the whole process, etc… they’re very interconnected. I’m looking forward to seeing if this new mindset and newfound experiences with orgasms, being comfortable in my body and knowing that God created all of me to be beautiful, and also this newfound intimacy and chemical and connection with my husband will effect how this birth goes.

        Reply
        • EM

          Natalie, I’ll be praying for your upcoming birth! I hope you are able to have the healing birth experience you desire. I had my last 2 babies at home, and my first 2 in the hospital but without any painkillers, and it is absolutely incredible how the hormones take over and put you in a la-la state to dull the pain. And it has been an incredibly bonding experience with my husband. He is so wonderful when I am in labor and I love leaning on his big shoulders. Just thinking about it makes me want another one lol! Anyway, I am really inspired by your story here about the progress you’ve made. Please tell us how it goes!

          Reply
    • TR

      “I also think centuries of a culture which suppresses female sexuality and focuses the woman’s role as wife tending primarily to her husband’s needs is also a perversion by Satan on God’s original plan and design.”
      This was beautiful from Gary Thomas today: http://www.garythomas.com/more-than-mothers/

      Reply
      • TR

        Oops! My above reply was supposed to be in reply to Natalie’s comment at 1:10.

        Reply
        • Natalie

          TR, Wow! That was a beautiful post from Gary and perfect timing for Mother’s Day too! Actually made me think a lot about how I view and celebrate my own husband on Father’s Day: we really do focus on the things they do for us, don’t we?! It’s all about us… how narcissistic! I’m going to contemplate and pray on that. “Just as we need to meditate on the goodness and wonder of God to maintain a worshipful heart, so we need to meditate on the wonder of women in general to cherish our spouse in particular.” LOVE that particularly! And the same is totally applicable (at least it is for me) for how wives think of their husbands! Thank you for bringing this post to my attention, TR! Very thought provoking.

          And oh my gosh, I’m SO sorry I’ve hijacked your comments section to this extent, Sheila, and gone so off-topic!! I’m really done for the night, I promise! 😀 So sorry!!!

          Reply
      • Phil

        Well holy crap lol. You learn something everyday. I had absolutely no clue a woman could orgasm during child birth. Wow. We had our kids and are done with that so it is what it is. I do plan on asking my wife about this….if she knew she could….or did she? The phenomena of pleasure and pain at the same time seems to come under redemptive suffering…very interesting ladies. Thanks for the brave shares.

        Reply
    • Jenn Riedy

      That passage from Genesis is SO often misinterpreted! Did you know that the same Hebrew word is used to apply to Adam’s work to produce food as Eve’s work to produce children? Yet only Eve’s work is given the modifier “painful” in English translations! Yes, hard work sometimes comes with pain. But we’ve become so wrapped up with the idea that birth is unbearably painful, that I think it’s become a self fulfilling prophecy!

      I’m a childbirth educator and doula (and a mom of 6), and while I fully embrace the usefulness of epidurals, I also see many women work through birth without them, and learn something really important about their strength as women.

      Reply
      • Lisa

        I gave birth five times without an epidural. All my births were attended by midwives, four were at home. I often hear the statement, “get the epidural, there’s no prize for doing it without medication!” I disagree. While I am very grateful that epidurals are available when necessary, there absolutely is a prize at the end when you birth without pain medication. First, you have your choice of any position for giving birth which exponentially reduces your risk of tearing. Lying on your back is the worst possible position for giving birth but is the only option when you cannot support yourself. Many OBs and OB nurses push epidurals because it’s easier for them to have a patient lying on her back, waiting to be told what to do, rather than an actively birthing woman who is following her body’s cues to move and change positions.

        Women recover faster and need less pain medication after birth when they are not medicated during labor.

        You get the full endorphin rush after birth. During labor your body produces more endorphins then at any other time of your life. As soon as your baby is born, it’s truly euphoric because the pain is gone but the endorphin levels are still at maximum level.

        If a women needs or wants an epidural, I fully support her making her own choices.

        However, the education offered to pregnant women is lacking and the emotional and technical support offered to women in most hospitals is nothing less than negligent. If your health allows, shop around for your birth attendants and place of birth. At least visit alternative birthing centers and interview a homebirth midwife. When visiting a hospital or birthing center, ask if they have birthing pools/tubs. Ask if they have squatting bars. Ask if they have 2 person showers. Ask if they have birthing balls or chairs. Ask if their staff will check the baby’s heartbeat in whatever position you are in or if you will be told to lie on the bed for vitals. Ask if you can birth in whatever position you choose. Ask if you will be told how to push or if you will have the freedom to push as your body leads.

        If you are high risk, it’s still good to ask these questions.

        Remember your voice, don’t let your voice be small. Don’t let yourself be bullied. A phrase you may need if you are in a hospital is “I do not consent to this. Stop now or I’m filing charges for medical assault.” But it’s better to set yourself up with birth attendants you trust who will work with you and not try to put you through their preferred protocol.

        Reply
  5. Wandering Mind

    Thank you all for sharing! Natalie, I’m going to focus on something you said: learning, understanding, and accepting your sexuality. You see, my mother gave the message that sex was an obligation/chore and that if you didn’t “give it to him” he would get it somewhere else, which sounds like if he’s unfaithful it’s all your fault. Then my mother had vulgar names for the high school girls that were sexually active and I really believed that those girls, while my friends, were just “used” by the boys. I think my mother’s intention was to keep us from becoming sexually active, but a lasting consequence is I have always struggled with the idea that if you acknowledge your sexuality and enjoy sex you are bad or getting used. Unfortunately when you’re told these things in your home, it’s hard to overcome. Totally wrong things to teach a young teenage girl. I have read all the comments twice, and feel I need to keep reading them, and read Sheila’s article again as they paint a beautiful, and vastly different picture from what is stuck in my mind. Thank you all.

    Reply
    • Natalie

      WM, your experience with your mother sounds VERY much like my own! I’m back out in CA (instead of Middle-Of-Nowhere, TX where we live now) staying with my parents for the birth, and she and I actually had a REALLY powerful, healing conversation about sex a couple weeks ago… the first time we’ve actually talked about the nitty gritties of sex since she first gave me the one and only “birds and the bees” talk she gave when I was 12! I got to share all that’s been going on in me recently concerning sex and my views on sex in marriage and how our marriage counselor/sex therapist has been helping us, and she got to explain her side of the story and her views on sex more which shed a lot of light on why I was taught what I was taught. (She also brought up some female spiritual influencers from my Christian jr high school days that I’d forgotten where so pivotal in shaping my ideas of sex, maybe even moreso than my own family! They were definitely hardcore, typical 80s/90s purity culture, both the good and bad things that means).
      Anyway, my mother did confirm that her intention (& the intention of all the purity culture proponents at my Christian school, too) was to steer me and my girl friends away from any premarital sexual activity. She wanted me to be the opposite version of her as a teenager (lost virginity at 16) since she wasn’t a believer at that point in her life and I was. But you’re right, their intentions may have worked, but at the cost of us seeing all sexuality as wrong. And it is SO hard to overcome when it’s so instilled in you from such a young age and from so many different sources in your young, formidable years! But God is so good and merciful and puts other resources in our lives when the time is right to help us overcome the negative teachings we were taught. I hope that encourages you to keep on reading and educating yourself about your own GOD-GIVEN, God-designed sexuality. Just by you reading this blog and thinking critically about what you were taught, God is already doing a work in you. Rewriting the sexual script that was taught to you takes time and most certainly doesn’t happen overnight! I’d encourage you to share all these thoughts and feelings with your husband too, since he can (& I’m argue should) be a vital part of this healing process. I pray that you two are able to go on an amazing journey of not only self-discovery but also learning how to have a passionate vibrant sex life together with deeper, more profound intimacy and that deep, true, soul-to-soul “knowing” the Bible talks about. Like Sheila said in this post, “God intended for sex to be personal”. I hope you two are able to take everything in your relationship to the next level! 😀

      Reply
  6. Brievel

    My comment is only peripherally related:

    Talking about women “trying to do it all” and “giving all the time/having to learn how to receive” reminds me of a conversation my mother and I had some time after my first son was born. I said that I couldn’t do (something, I don’t remember what it was) because I was holding the baby and joked “Why didn’t God give mothers three arms?” My mother responded (seriously) “If He did, we’d probably kill ourselves doing everything.”

    On another peripheral note, my husband used to use porn (particularly after my first birth, which is also when his abuse peeked – he went through a fatherhood course recently and found out paternal PPD is a thing, we looked it up and turns out he had a severe case of. So we’ll be on the lookout for that this time around.) He got clean awhile ago, to the point where even when we were separated for two months he didn’t use it. The difference is really noticeable – not only in our sex life, but how he treats me in general. He’s much kinder, more understanding, bounces back quicker when I irritate him. But the impact on our sex life has been noticeable too – the other day he told me, while we were making love, that he loved looking into my eyes. It’s been awhile since I heard that one.
    (On the other hand, histotal divorce from porn has made him wary of anything except the most basic of sex. Once I’m past this pregnancy and can actually enjoy sex again, we’re working on that.)

    Reply
  7. Glenys Hicks

    Thank you so much for this post. I have wanted to write about this but didn’t know how to do it tactfully. You have written about a very sensitive (pun intended) area so well. I would love to quote you on a blog in it. Is that OK if I give you full credit and link back to here? Love your ministry so much. Blessings, Glenys

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Of course you can quote it! Just direct people back here, and all is fine!

      Reply
  8. Bill

    Its way too bad that men are not taught anywhere about love making. Instead its taboo to talk about it and they just have sex and that is pretty much the animals regard it. Making love is way different from just having sex and its about loving the way she is put together and maybe using essential oils on her breasts and loving those breasts but first it is the kissing, deep french kissing and slowly go down until she craves you in her and tells you so. Women are supposed to have an orgasm every time and have female ejaculations every time as well and men love that if they know about in advance.

    Reply
  9. Sylvia

    Wonderful post.

    If you ever decide to expand your blog to German, please let me know. I have so many girlfriends that would benefit from your advice but they don’t speak English well enough to read your posts.

    I often tell them about what I learned from you though.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I often get asked about other languages! If people are interested in translating I may be open to that. I just have to see how it would work, as in where I’d put the posts, etc.

      Reply
  10. Grandad

    “Shepherd the Flock of God”:
    the above book is the Watchtowers elders guide.
    It features very intrusive questions About sexual behaviour and is not permitted into the hands of the rank and file JW.

    This site on the clitoris is a quantum light year ahead.. thank you.

    Reply
  11. Vonnie James

    As a male and pastor, I have been writing and researching on sexuality and spirituality since 2009. However, I did not feel that our Caribbean space; particularly Grenada could have accommodated this frank discourse on sexuality and spirituality because we tend to be conservative in our religious outlook. Thus I am extremely happy about your work. Congrats and God be praised.

    Reply
  12. Chrysti

    Thanks so much for this post Sheila! I know I’ve read about the clitoris before in our pre-engagement counselling, but after 9 years of struggling with feeling “selfish” when it comes to pleasure and sexual intimacy, this post finally made it click for me. I’m finally coming to terms with my sexuality after growing up hearing just “don’t do it until you’re married.” I don’t remember my parents ever talking about sexuality at all other than handing me a copy of Dobson’s book about adolescence. Reading through the comments, I see this as a general theme: being sexual is seen as sin, but that is a lie! I so appreciate these honest, biblical posts. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      So glad this is helping you, Chrysti!

      Reply
  13. AJ

    Us men may be able to reach orgasm more quickly, but we definitely got the short end of the stick when it comes to sexual pleasure. Woman can experience much or intense orgasms than men. Also, when it comes to woman there is no limit, they can experience as many orgasms as they want. As a man I must admit more than half of my pleasure derived from sexual intimacy is in helping my wife experience the pure ecstasy of being in the throes of orgasm over and over and over again. Me then experiencing my own climax is just the icing on the already delicious cake!

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    I know this is an old post, but I am just now reading it. I have to admit that, I still feel like God likes men a little more (which in my head, I know is not true) because at the end of the day (every day, typically, lol!) they can and do become easily aroused, easily and always experience pleasure, and the biblical command is (generally, low drive husbands the exception) on their side. At the end of the day, I must have spent much of my time thinking about sex (hard to do while running a household), struggle and try to get in the mood using all the tricks I’ve learned here and elsewhere, fake an enthusiasm I don’t feel in the hopes it pans out and still have maybe a 50/50 chance of enjoying the experience. My husband (and most men) has NEVER had to put even a 10th of that thought and effort into it, except when he’s worried about me. It just feels….unfair. Unloved. Not sure where to go from here! The prospect of several more decades of sex is quite defeating at times. I know it can be amazing (sometimes), but it’s just so hard, and having to participate without the pleasure is very isolating. When my husband notices (he’s very loving, and really tries), he gets pretty defeated too and I feel like I’m ruining what would otherwise be a really great thing for him, so after opening up a few times about how hard this is for me, I mostly just try to suck it up and deal with my feelings on my own now.

    Reply
  15. SoFarAway

    I have a question about the location of the clitoris. For some women it is much closer to the vaginal opening than others. Mine are very far apart from one another and it is frustrating because it makes clitoral stimulation during penile penetration nearly impossible. Is there a technique or position that can be used to help this? Is surgery and option? My inner labia are also a problem. They get in the way when trying to get it in which kills the mood.

    Reply
  16. Shoshana

    First time commenting here, but article hit home. I came of age in the 80s. My public education sex ed class, while gave great info on birth control, gave inadequate and confusing info on the clitoris which was barely mentioned. My mother barely mentioned sex as I think she wasn’t very educated there so no guidance there. Took a lot to figure out and sex was very one sided in my first marriage. Not totally my ex husbands fault as he knew less than me, but he didn’t want to put any effort into learning when I did start to figure myself out. He saw the clitoris as a joke on Seinfeld. A lot of frustration and resentment there. Luckily, I wasn’t raised in purity culture, but the ex hubby got some of that along with the male headship teachings. Our sex life started out as only sex when he wanted it so sex was so unsatisfying I that started to avoid it at all costs. Got tired of putting all the effort after while when he fell asleep afterwards satisfied and I was crying into a towel in the bathroom. Of course he had an affair which was the nail in the coffin. He told the other woman I had a lower sex drive than him. Yeah, right. I was the one who wanted it more in the beginning, but he was satisfied so forget about putting any effort into it for me. That’s why he is now an ex. Both men and women have to learn about the clitoris and men need to learn it is not all about them.

    Reply

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