What the Toxic Teachings We Measured Have in Common

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Theology of Marriage and Sex | 41 comments

toxic Teachings evangelicalism have in common
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There’s a thread that runs through the toxic teachings we’ve measured: Intimacy is a pipe dream.

Now that we’ve done surveys with over 29,000 women, we can take a step back and look at the toxic teachings we’ve measured as a whole–the ones given to adult women about marriage that we examined in The Great Sex Rescue and the ones given to teen girls that we looked at in our upcoming book She Deserves Better.

Before I do that, though, let’s take another step back and ask a question: What is it that we all ultimately want from sex? What is the life-giving vision of sex that we have?

Sex is supposed to be intimate.

Here’s how we put it early on in The Great Sex Rescue:

Great Sex Rescue

From The Great Sex Rescue

For sex to feel intimate, it needs to be about saying, “I want you,” not just “I want sex.” It needs to be about saying, “I see you. I choose you. I want to experience something with you, and only you. I want to know you better.”

You is the key word. You are the focus. Sex is not just about me; it’s about me knowing you and building us.

If sex is going to be intimate, it means that both of us have to matter.

We’re coming to the bedroom with everything we are, and we should be naked on many levels–physically, yes, but also metaphorically.

This is the person who knows all of me, who sees me with my masks off, and who still loves me and wants to know me even more. This person wants to do life with me. This person cherishes me. I’m able to share everything that I am, and it makes us closer, not farther apart. I don’t have to pretend.

That’s what sex is supposed to be. 

This is what God designed for us, when He calls sex a deep “knowing” in Genesis 4:1 (and elsewhere). It’s truly intimate. We both matter.

All of us were born with a longing for intimacy.

We see it in the creation narrative where God says that it’s not good for Adam to be alone. Even though Adam lived in perfect communion with God, that still wasn’t enough. We were created for community and for intimacy. Marriage is where that intimacy is supposed to best be expressed between two people, although we all need intimacy, and all of us should be able to have people with whom we can share deep feelings and longings and dreams.

We were not created to live in isolation.

Now let’s see the underlying assumptions of the toxic teachings we measured.

I’m going to focus on the modesty messages that were in She Deserves Better because we measured so many toxic teachings, and these ones were among the most toxic and show the trend really well.

Great Sex Rescue
  • A woman is obligated to have sex with her husband when he wants it.
  • A woman should have frequent sex with her husband to keep him from watching porn.
  • All men struggle with lust; it’s every man’s battle.
  • Boys will push your sexual boundaries, so you need to be the gatekeeper.
Great Sex Rescue
  • Boys can’t help but lust if a girl is dressed like she’s trying to incite it.
  • Boys are visual in a way that girls can never understand.
  • A girl who is dressed immodestly is worse than a girl who is dressed modestly.
  • A girl has a responsibility to dress in a way that doesn’t cause a boy to stumble.

Do you notice any themes in those toxic teachings?

Let’s look at a few:

You can’t expect males to actually want intimacy.

Think about it–if what we’re looking for is someone who says, “I want you,” not just “I want sex,” then what are these teachings telling us?

That’s a pipe dream, ladies.

It isn’t possible.

Men are just sex crazed fiends, and all they’re really interested in is thinking with their genitals. They don’t want real intimacy because they are mostly motivated by their libidos.

You will never be safe.

All men struggle with lust; boys are visual and you can never understand it; you should have sex so he won’t watch porn; a boy can’t help but lust….

All of these tell us that no matter what, we can never rest easy in any man’s love. We can never be safe when men are around. We will have to live our lives in hyper-vigilance, never really trusting men, because God made them to want only one thing.

Even when you’re married, you can never rest easy, because if you don’t have frequent sex with him, he will sin against you and cause you pain. You will never be enough for him.

God thinks this is hunky dorey!

The worst one, to me, is that so many authors give all these toxic teachings God’s seal of approval.

Shaunti Feldhahn tells us that this is how men are made!



Even decent guys who are happily “going with” a girl are intinctively pulled to want to visually take in ,linger on, and fantasize about all the details of an attractive girl’s body.

Shaunti Feldhahn

For Young Women Only

Gary Thomas quotes Louanne Brizendine, because he thinks it’s absolutely imperative that women realize this about men:

Sexual thoughts flicker in the background of a man’s visual cortex all day and night, making him always at the ready for seizing sexual opportunity.

Gary Thomas

Married Sex

Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, in their books Every Man’s Battle and Every Heart Restored, tell us:

  • “Even apart from our stopping short of God’s standards, we find another reason for teh prevalence of sexual sin among men. We got there naturally–simply by being male.” (Every Man’s Battle)
  • “because of male hardwiring, men don’t naturally have that Christian view of sex.” (Every Heart Restored)

Our Toxic Teachings Tell Us:

Men naturally lust. Men don’t have a drive for intimacy. You can’t expect actual faithfulness. He will always be checking out other women. The most you can hope for is to find one who will marry you and who you can keep satisfied enough that he won’t stray. 

And if you feel badly about this and feel that it’s unfair–then take it up with God, not guys. Because this is the way God made them.

Wow, that’s depressing. 

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Let’s focus in on the modesty messages for a moment because we see something interesting here.

Remember, there are four different ones:

Great Sex Rescue
  • Boys can’t help but lust if a girl is dressed like she’s trying to incite it.
  • Boys are visual in a way that girls can never understand.
  • A girl who is dressed immodestly is worse than a girl who is dressed modestly.
  • A girl has a responsibility to dress in a way that doesn’t cause a boy to stumble.

All of them are terrible. All of these messages result in higher rates of vaginsimus; higher chances of marrying an abuser; worse marital & sexual satisfaction long-term; worse self-esteem.

They are uniformly bad.

But they are not equally bad.

Some messages are worse than others on some measures, but if we focus just on vaginismus, or a sexual pain disorder that affects evangelical women at more than twice the rate of the general population, we’ll find that the two that focus on boys’ natures are almost twice as bad as the other two.

Again–they’re all bad. But telling girls “boys can’t help but lust” and “boys are visual and you’ll never understand it” are worse when it comes to vaginismus outcomes (though not all of the others).

Why? Well, vaginismus can in part be seen as a trauma response, where our body is trying to keep us safe from something that is dangerous. That’s why we found the obligation sex message so harmful in The Great Sex Rescue: Because it strips agency from women, and tells women that men have a right to use your body no matter what you are feeling. Sex isn’t intimate, and you have no choice.

Well, the modesty messages that focus on boys tell us, “you can never be truly safe.” The boys and men around you will never be able to control themselves. So you can’t let your guard down and you can’t truly trust.

When Joanna ran the numbers in The Great Sex Rescue, she found an interesting phenomenon with the teaching, “all men struggle with lust; it’s every man’s battle.”

Being taught that lust is “every man’s battle” hurts her, even if she never believes it.

Most teachings only hurt you if you believe them; but not this one. Merely being taught it is bad.

Why? Well, we had a hypothesis which our findings from She Deserves Better seem to bear out. If you’re in an environment that teaches this, even if you don’t believe it, you’re growing up with guys who do believe it. These guys will likely objectify you and make you feel unsafe. Your church experience will be highly sexualized and likely unsafe. And it just taints everything.

That’s what we found when we drilled down more on girls’ experiences as teens. The girls who are taught the modesty messages are more likely to be in churches where they will be sexually harrassed/abused. The environment becomes toxic because everyone agrees–you can’t actually expect boys to treat girls and women with respect. 

God designed us for safe, intimate relationships.

This is not a pipe dream. This is not women expecting too much. This is not women expecting the impossible.

This is what God expects for us.

When we are taught that we can only achieve a pale imitation of intimacy, via having a man commit and stay faithful to us only if we provide enough sex to overcome his major inclination to look elsewhere, then we are being taught something not of God.

We are being taught something unbiblical. We are being taught a lie.

And we are hurting girls and women. And we are hurting men too. As we told you in The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex, we found in our surveys of men that these teachings make men’s marriages worse, and make porn problems worse, and make everything worse for guys too.

Everyone is better off when we teach that men are capable of treating women with respect, and that men need intimacy too. 

Why don’t we teach the healthy messages?

We’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last four years, and we have a few hypotheses:

  1. The people who write our books are interested in these topics because they’ve had lust problems themselves, and that taints the message.
  2. The church is built on male entitlement to power, and this continues into the sex realm
  3. Teaching about real intimacy necessitates teaching about emotional wholeness and emotional health, and many of our teachers are not emotionally healthy themselves
  4. Requiring intimacy in the bedroom is a largely egalitarian notion–the idea that both people matter. If you cling to the idea of male hierarchy, then egalitarianism in the bedroom can be a threat because it ultimately undermines hierarchy (we saw this with Denny Burk’s recent critique of me.)
  5. Many teachers are selfish and are benefiting from sex being seen as something primarily for them.
  6. Many teachers have porn issues they don’t want to deal with.

Whatever the reason, we all deserve better.

God created us for intimacy, and wicked teachings have tried, and often succeeded, at stealing that from us.

It’s time for it to stop, and it can if we all start pushing back when we hear these terrible things! Boys are not sex-crazed fiends who can’t help themselves. Men want intimacy too. True intimacy is possible, and is God’s design.

Let’s preach it from the rooftops, so that people will start recognizing the toxicity, and rejecting it.

Join me for an Instagram Live on this today at 1:30 pm EST!

I’ll talk more about this on Instagram today at 1:30, so if you don’t follow me, come on over now! And if you miss it Live, I’ll post the replay!

She Deserves Better!

Because we all deserve a big faith.

Your daughter deserves better than what you likely grew up with in church.

What would it look like to prepare the next generation without toxic teachings about modesty, sex, or consent, and instead set her up for a big faith?

What do toxic sex teachings in evangelicalism have in common

What do you think? Do you see other similarities in the toxic teachings? Can you think of other reasons why people continue to teach this stuff? How can we push back better? Let’s talk in the comments!

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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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  1. Nathan

    I would add one item in common: Men matter, women don’t. All of these teachings are based on satisfying men, while women only exist to provide that satisfaction. Their own desires area meaningless, and in fact, they shouldn’t even HAVE desires in the first place, other than to please their husband.

    > > Sexual thoughts flicker in the background of a man’s visual cortex all day and night,

    This is the closest thing to a true statement by this philosophy, but it’s still not entirely accurate. Sexual thoughts do “flicker” in the background, but not all the time. There may be people who never have sexual thoughts, but they’re likely very rare.

    • Nessie

      I grew up being taught that a man has a sexual thought run through his mind every 7 seconds. Internalizing that, it felt like any exchange I had with a guy had to be less than 6 seconds or else just interacting with a female was going to cause him to “stumble.” Bull rides are supposed to last longer than that, lol!

      • Andrea

        I’ve heard that too and it just sounds like another random number James Dobson made up, like how many words women v. men speak and how often men have to ejaculate. He did get a PhD in Psychology from a credible program, but then he went on to make things up without doing any research or citing anybody else’s research (I mean, he must have known how to do that, having written a dissertation) and evangelical Christians believed him because he had a PhD in Psychology and they feared secular Psychology.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s pretty much what happened! Imagine if someone with power had actually stood up to him at the beginning? How different might evangelicalism be now?

    • Suzanne

      Sexual thoughts flicker in the background of women’s thoughts too, which is what I assume you mean when you said people and not just men. Men and Women are sexual, most of us think about sex at times and that is perfectly normal. Obsessing over it and not being able to do anything without having sexual thoughts is where the problem is and I just don’t think that it is in the nature of a man to think sex all day and night unless they have something very wrong going on.

      • B

        Haha I’m a married mother of 3, with number 4 due in a week. I also homeschool and have other responsibilities outside of the home – but I still think about sex regularly – even now when I’m too pregnant for it to be that enjoyable 😂
        Husband has more self-control than me, he knows that it will make me even tireder than I already am right now, so he doesn’t even try to start anything. 🙃

    • Laura

      I’m a woman and I have sexual thoughts flickering in the background from time to time. Of course these male authors don’t want to acknowledge that women are sexual beings too. Instead they see women as sexual outlets.

    • R

      My husband definitely doesn’t have sexual thoughts “flickering isn’t he background of his visual cortex all day and night”. The idea is laughable. You know what he does have flickering in the background – client projects his is working on, music, plans for our new block of land that is settling next week, the list goes on. He’s not always “up for it” either. Sometimes he’s too tired or has too much on his mind. At the moment I am 39 weeks pregnant, so it’s mostly in the “too hard” basket for both of us.

    • Lucie

      Nathan, I have to say that when I read that particular statement, my first thought was, “Even when they sleep?” After that, I suspected that the author of that statement is really speaking about himself and his own lust issues.

  2. Laura

    Everything mentioned in this article is why I’ve avoided dating for many years. After experiencing sexual abuse in my first marriage, these “Christian” toxic teachings on marriage and sex normalized my ex’s behavior and caused me to distrust men even more. Men I met in church who wanted to date me were only going to church to pick up women. They got tired of meeting women at bars and nightclubs and still brought their worldly ways to church. As much as I wanted to remarry and have a family someday, I was afraid that if I wanted that I would have to buy into those toxic church teachings and become a good, obedient wife. I would have to lose myself in order to receive a man’s love.

    When I started dating again in my 40s, I realized that not all men act the same as those teachings claim they do. Men want direct communication. Healthy men (and healthy women) can handle constructive criticism because they know there is always room for improvement. So I’m realizing that being in a healthy relationship is not a pipe dream and just because a book has the Christian label doesn’t mean it’s Christ like.

    • Sequoia

      I’m glad you found some healthy people, even if it took a lot of time and discouragement first.
      I find it hard to trust leaders in the church if they have certain books on their shelves, even if they have never said anything that gives me pause.

  3. Sequoia

    Bravo, Shiela and Bare Marriage team! This article is excellent.
    It’s so refreshing to have the pieces puzzled apart and laid out one by one.
    In particular, seeing the message that “God wanted it to be this way” is so hurtful. You wrote in SDB (and likely elsewhere) that you want God to be a safe space for your daughters, and the undercurrent of these toxic teachings robs people of that safe space in God. That was so eye-opening.
    Whether intentionally (which makes me shudder) or unintentionally (which makes me angry and confused), thought-leaders who promote these teachings are actively perpetuating the lies and accusations of Satan rather than the freedom and unity of Christ. He lived, died, rose, and ascended to bring us near to God (Eph 2:13). Anything that drives us away from God is not of God.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire


  4. Nathan

    From above…
    > > which is what I assume you mean when you said people and not just men.

    Yes. I disagree with male patriarchy, and believe that all men and women are people, equal and worthy in the eyes of God.

  5. Mara R

    From above article: “This is the person who knows all of me, who sees me with my masks off, and who still loves me and wants to know me even more. This person wants to do life with me. This person cherishes me. I’m able to share everything that I am, and it makes us closer, not farther apart. I don’t have to pretend.”

    This is impossible with a Narcissist.

    They wear masks in order to create false intimacy. They wear masks that make you believe that they are good. But when they take the mask off and you see who they truly are, they are monsters..
    Being married to a Narcissist, you learn quickly to hide your vulnerabilities. Anything you open up about can and will be held against you. It is not safe. It is dangerous.

    This is, in no way, meant to take away from all the good things this article is saying.
    Rather, it is in keeping with hypotheses 5 and 6. The church is full of Narcissistic leaders. Mostly male. There is money to be made and power to be had. So, of course they are going to teach that intimacy in sex is a pipe dream. Because for them and their poor, beaten down spouses, it is. You can’t have vulnerable and safe intimacy with a Narcissist.

    • Joy

      I’m new to Sheila’s blog etc and it’s hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m 62 and have been complementarian all my life and taught our kids the same. Something told me to read her blog and so glad I did. That whole way of complementarianism with the patriarchy thinking brainwashed me on many levels. So much wrong teaching through books etc you have researched. I saw it had become my identity as a Christian. There are going to be changes in my life. God is gracious and He will help me. Thank you Sheila. I’m so grateful! Thank you for the work you are doing.

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        I’m so glad you’re here, Joy!

  6. Nathan

    Other comments from above
    > > I just don’t think that it is in the nature of a man to think sex all day and night unless they have something very wrong going on.

    Very true. I’ve also heard that “men think about sex every 7 seconds” also. Speaking only for myself, I don’t. While I may sometimes go for hours without any such thoughts, I’m pretty sure that I think about it at least once a day.

    But overall, you’re correct. We’re all sexual beings, and it’s unusual (and almost indicative of other issues) if you CONSTANTLY think about sex or NEVER think about sex.

    > > just because a book has the Christian label doesn’t mean it’s Christ like.

    No doubt. ANYBODY can say ANYTHING, slap a few bible verses around it, and put the words “Christian marriage book” on the cover. That means NOTHING.

  7. Rose

    I have a another theory to offer on why we have these unhealthy/shallow teachings.

    If the authors of these types of Christian books just keep hearing from the men they are counseling that their wives not having sex with them is the problem, or they believe it themselves, it makes sense to find ways to convince the masses to just do this thing.

    It’s like they are using the “sick” to guide everyone. They may not realize it though, because they aren’t talking to the “healthy” about their sex lives, or when they do, they write them off as the “exception.”

    • Sequoia

      Interesting. That sounds like it could hold some water. Although you’d think that after seeing that that advice (just have more sex) didn’t work, the advice would have to shift?

      • Jo R

        Except that in these men’s eyes, is there REALLY such a thing as “having too much sex”? 🙄 🙄 🙄

        • Phil

          See – many men that I encounter who struggle with their sex lives think that fixing their sex life is the answer to their sex problems. This was also my thinking as well. While I dont have numbers like Sheila, I have gut feel from all the men I work with as well as my own past broken thought process. I what I found out is in most cases such as mine and probably many said authors. THATS NOT THE ANSWER. The answer is to get your relationship with HIM right first! Then get your relationship with her right and the rest will fall in place….aka then if you still have sex problems fix them.

    • Lucie

      Rose, you may well have nailed it.

  8. Nessie

    “Men are just sex crazed fiends, and all they’re really interested in is thinking with their genitals.”
    If true- as these authors seem to believe- then how can men be trusted to use their brains for anything? How can I trust that ANY guy can have a thought worth heeding, especially about the Bible? It feels like they study, believe, and preach The Gospel According to (Male-centric) Sex.

    My experience has been largely what these authors say. I would love to have a group of safe men to be around with the sole intention of building trust. I see good guys here in the comments who try to be real but not skeezy, and I have to fight the thought that they are faking. 🙁 These teachings make me initially disbelieve the good men, and that is grossly unfair to them as well as to women!

    I think intimacy could be real, but with my lived experience I don’t feel it ever can be, at least not for me. What hurts worse though is the thought that God has given His seal of approval on that- which is why I keep trying to undo these bad teachings. It feels blasphemous for these authors to paint God that way.

    “Even apart from our stopping short of God’s standards…” -EMB. These authors just minimize their sin, minimize the damage that occurs. They see themselves as stopping only short, not drastically missing their mark, of how they should live.

    Lastly- expecting women to cover up/put out enough to keep men from sinning sure sounds like they are making women out to be their “saviors.” Thin ice.

    • Phil

      Nessie – while I will admit to having my share of personal struggles I can tell you that my presence here is with only GOOD intentions. Yes for myself but also for you. Also for ALL women. In fact, if you want to know the truth, the only time I thought about sex today was when I came to this blog. Dont think about the pink elephant. 😬

      • Nessie

        I appreciate that, Phil. I see those good intentions in many men that comment here. I just wish I didn’t have to work so hard to convince myself of that simply because I have had contradictory experiences in my life (mostly formed by “church” guys.) I’m trying to get my head and my heart to line up.

        And I think it is normal to think about sex throughout the day (for both male AND female)- just not at the rate of every 7 seconds, lol!! My best guess is that Dobson was telling on himself with that number. Honestly, I think it’d be exhausting to think about sex 205 times per day.

      • Anon

        Phil, you’re a good man. I hope more women are blessed enough to find guys like you, myself included!

        • Phil

          Awe thanks that means a lot to me. Best to you.

      • Tim

        Haha, snap on that last point Phil!

  9. Anonymous305

    I’ve heard Bare Marriage say that 50% of married, evangelical men use porn (presumably all age groups), and that 82% of generation Z men use porn (presumably all relationship and religious groups), so I’m going to guestimate that 66.6% of all men in all groups use it, because that is a great sinister number.

    That’s also the kind of number that corroborates the distrust that I learned from marriage and corroborates my experience of men being as needy for sex as the bad teachings say they are. If you call these “false teachings” in terms of what SHOULD be, I agree, but they’re not completely false in terms of what IS.

    At one time, I thought my husband would set me free from his addiction by getting himself free, but instead he’s divorcing me. I’m still sincerely grateful for my freedom, but it would take an act of God for me to feel safe in a future marriage. I feel like singing for joy at my freedom and…not trusting anything with a Y chromosome.

    Except…I must give Keith and Connor credit for giving me a little bit of hope. They seem like the exception to the rule, but at least they exist.

    • Cynthia

      While I can’t tell you to trust just anyone, as a happily married woman who isn’t Christian, I can tell you that there are men out there who have sexual interest (some may occasionally view porn, some may not) but manage not to see women as being obligated to have sex with them and who are looking for genuine, intimate relationships where there is mutual love and respect. They are adults who understand consent. If they have a sexual thought, they fully understand that it doesn’t obligate another person in any way. If they view porn, that is their choice and it isn’t something that another person is responsible for stopping.

      I don’t have exact percentages, and expect that it could vary from one community to another, depending on what messages boys are raised with. I certainly know men like this, though, who would be horrified at the thought of ever having sex with someone who wasn’t enjoying it and was just doing it out of a sense of obligation. So, it is POSSIBLE for men to be like this, and while problematic or dangerous men certainly exist, we need to see them as not being normal. Women who are looking for relationships need to know that it is possible to expect better, and to see being treated like this as a red flag.

    • Anonymous

      So I feel like my husband has heard these messages and believes them. He treats me as his way of not looking at women or doing porn. What do I do? He becomes very offensive when I say I don’t want to be that for him, and he says that’s why you get married to help with that. That makes me feel like a tool to be used so he won’t do those things.
      I’m not saying I’m perfect. I don’t like being vulnerable and we don’t have sex super often. It’s regular, but not a lot to probably the norm. I just don’t know how to address it anymore. I just want to give up.

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Can you go back and read this series about getting out of the sexual pit? It sounds like you feel like an object, and that won’t be fixed until your husband starts treating you as a whole person. (At the bottom of the post are links to the rest of the posts in the series).

  10. Mara R

    Phil, Nathan, Tim, and other Brothers-In-Love who comment here. You and your presence on this blog are invaluable. Thank you for seeing beyond our anger and prickliness. Thank you for walking along side us as we continue to overcome and overcoming your personal battles in this as well. Thank you for valuing us and working to see us as God does.
    There is still much work to do. But I’m glad for what has been accomplished so far.

    • Phil

      Glad to be walking with you Mara. I know it is important for women to take the stand for themselves and also lead that effort. However, there is absolutely NO REASON why we as men can not be an equal partner in the stand and as matter of fact surround women in their effort to take the stand! I got your back ladies. I still dont know what that fully looks like but as I have been hanging around here for about 7 years now – I have watched a ton of cool stuff happen. It takes time but it would be neat to see a timeline of all the cool stuff that has happened around here. This is my tag line I throw out here every so often…“I can’t wait to see what happens around here next!” LOOK OUT! 🛡️

    • Tim

      Thanks Mara. Very kind of you to say that.

  11. Nathan

    Thank you for the kind comments. I’m not perfect, but I try to be as good as I can.

    I for one can’t imagine demanding sex from somebody who isn’t willing, nor can I imagine being entitled to sex just because I find somebody attractive. I may think about it sometimes, but would never do it.

  12. Brambonius

    There’s a deep dehumanising internalised anti-male sexism in this way of thinking, one so toxic that if ingested fully it works as an effective vaccine against intimacy.

    I wonder whether this is a reason for the horrible anthropology and deeply destructive hopeless version of ‘total depravity’ some fundamentalists have. If intimacy has become predatory sexuality, and man is supposed to be not better than that, then I don’t think you can have any faith in love, humanity, or goodness at all.

    It’s simple though, any person who is able to enjoy sex with an unwilling partner or stuff like that is unready for a sexual relationship and should not come close to any person of the sex/gender they are attracted too.
    Telling them they need it instead (the whole pseudoscientific ‘men need release’ stuff and the 72-hour nonsense) is the most destructive thing you can do, not just for the partner but also for the person themselves who’ll never be fully human.

    And if you’re a Christian there always is ‘treat each other like you want to be treated’ and ‘love the other like yourself’, which apply to all people around us, but if you can’t even do that with your lover then something is deeply deeply deeply wrong, and very destructive sin is going on.

    That stuff like that is institutionalised in churches is antichrist.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      very, very well put! Thank you.

  13. Healing

    So I have come across a teaching a few times in the last couple days and wanted to know your thoughts. I have heard about how sex in marriage is the “covenant sign”. Like, when you have sex, it’s not about pleasing each other, it is about pleasing God. Jimmy Evans (Ugh, I know) goes further in saying that every time you renew the covenant (ie. have sex), you bless your marriage. Now, maybe it’s me but this sounds very manipulative. So here are my thoughts: with this logic, a spouse can be like- this isn’t about my pleasure/my release, this is about pleasing God. (Coercion much?) OR: With this logic, it doesn’t mention what kind of sex is pleasing to God… this could mean the non-arousal, artificial lube, PIV 20 seconds of thrusting and climb off type-of-sex and is considered “pleasing to God” because sex happened. OR using the “sex will bless our marriage… we can’t deny each other or else we won’t be blessed.” (Again, sounds like coercion or spiritual abuse). OR what happens in cases where sex can’t happen anymore? Does that mean their marriage won’t be blessed or that they won’t be pleasing to God because they can’t experience sex anymore??

    Isn’t marriage about more than JUST SEX? It just feels when these Christian’s say stuff like this, it makes marriage ONLY about sex.

    Regardless, this idea just sounded toxic and I wanted to know your take on it.

    • Tim

      My 2c is I’d just like to know where people got that idea from. If there’s more to it than your brief summary then maybe that’s all well and good. If not then an argument made without evidence can also be refuted without evidence. As you’ve summarised it, it really just sounds like a random idea that someone decided they’d like to believe, but there’s probably some kind of background I don’t know about.

      (I know you were asking for Sheila’s opinion but from experience she doesn’t tend to revisit the comments on old posts – which is fair enough – so you can have my opinion as a consolation prize)


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