There's a reason it's called the "missionary position"

While most people think of Christians who wait until marriage to be prudes, there is a new movement happening. Christians, mostly American Evangelical Christians, are starting to talk openly about their sex lives and experiment with wild sexual practices. Though easy to call it a “sexual liberation” for Christians, the strict rules of their religion make it a far cry from gay liberation, acceptance of promiscuity and revealing clothing or the changing of sexual health laws. Still, getting devout Christians to admit they are happily having anal sex is impressive.

One of the leading groups that encourages Christians to have exciting sex is a website called Christian Nymphos. Their motto: “Married sex: Spicy, the way God intended it to be!” is the true core of what this movement is all about. Using the bible to show that God never intended Christians to have boring sex, but to enjoy His gift to the fullest extent, gives married couples to tools to enjoy all the crazy fantasies they never knew they had.

Who they are

“We want women to be empowered to embrace their sexuality in a way that allows them to enjoy all that is available to them in their marriage,” explain representatives from the Christian Nymphos website. “To enjoy sex within marriage fits perfectly with the Christian faith.”

The writers of the site call themselves the Christian Nymphos Spice Girls, and require that they remain anonymous. “We want to keep the ministry of our blog separate from the rest of our personal lives,” the CNSGs explain. Although preaching sexual liberation and open communication between spouses, attaching their names to their viewpoints and essays is not something they feel comfortable with.

The topics they cover are extensive, and include oral sex, masturbation, anal sex, fisting, pegging and many things in between. They justify all of these things through interpretations of Bible passages. “Deviant things in the Bible are having sex with animals, incest, adultery and homosexuality,” they explain. Everything else is up to the comfort level of the couple.

“We have women from many different Christian denominations, from Catholic to Protestant and conservative to liberal, who are part of our community of readers,” the CNSGs explain. “Most of our readers, however, would probably identify themselves as Evangelical Christians.” The website has guidelines for everything regarding sexuality, from how to dress when in public to the proper storage of sex toys, to what you should do if your husband falls to temptation.

Anal sex and homosexuality

A point of interest is the CN’s justification of anal sex between a husband and wife, yet continuing to condemn homosexual activity. “The Bible is silent on anal sex,” reads an entry on their website. “Of course it tells us that homosexuality is a sin, and that bestiality is a sin, but it really says nothing about this type of sexual experience between a man and his wife.” They explain that anal sex does nothing to ruin the honor of the marriage bed, so long as there is no adultery or bestiality. To support their stance, bible quotes are used. For example:

Leviticus 20:15-16 (King James Version)
15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Although clearly bestiality is not allowed according to the bible, there are no passages that refer to anal sex between a man and his wife, according to CN, and this means there is no reason not to try it.

However, there is still the issue of sodomy to discuss. CN asked a pastor to clarify the matter, for them, and his findings are based on Genesis 18. When Lot and two angels are in Sodom, a group of men desire to have sex with them. Lot refuses and the angels strike the men blind. They then leave the city before Sodom is destroyed by God. The pastor clarifies, however, that Sodom was destroyed because of arrogance, abundance of food and careless ease and not assisting the poor and needy. “If Sodom was guilty of the above sins as scripture teaches,” the pastor explains, “then a Sodomite could be defined as anyone who doesn’t help someone in need and is arrogant. If you have plenty but your neighbor does not and you fail to act, you are also committing sodomy!”

He goes on to conclude that though the acts of the people of Sodom were indeed sins, anal sex between a man and wife is not equivalent to today's definition of sodomy. “It is true that homosexual men engage in anal sex but it is also true that they engage in oral sex,” he explains. “They also hold hands and kiss one another. Does the fact that a homosexual does these things too mean that heterosexuals are forbidden to do these acts as well? It most certainly does not ... Homosexual sex was stolen from heterosexuals, not the other way around.”

With that justification, if you are a married heterosexual couple, anal sex will do nothing to ruin the purity of your marriage bed. The marriage is just as important, however, as the heterosexuality. Having anal, oral or vaginal sex before marriage for anyone is a sin, just as having homosexual sex is a sin.

“We do not support same-sex marriage,” the CNSGs say. “We believe that acting on homosexuality is a choice, however we do understand that we are all born with different temptations and weaknesses.” It may be said that this picking and choosing of Christian morals is not very fair. Sex is traditionally only for procreation, yet having “spicy” sex is now fine, because the bible does not specifically say not to. The CNSGs do state they they do not support or encourage oppression or hatred towards homosexuals, though they do not accept their “lifestyle.”

The severity of marriage

“If people choose to have sex before marriage there are always consequences.” say the CNSGs. From sexually transmitted infections, spouses resenting past partners, to possible damnation, sexual relations outside the confines of marriage is arguably extremely detrimental to a person's life and marriage.

“We believe that a man and woman should be married before God and by law in order to enjoy the greatest freedom in sex,” they explain. Without the confines of marriage, there is no guarantee that the person you are giving yourself to is truly devoted to you before God. Once you are married your sex life can flourish in the security of holy commitment.

However, what happens when there is divorce? The CNSGs explain that “God ... in fact hates divorce, but does give approval to divorcefor reasons of sexual immorality or abuse.” Once single, however, are you allowed to have sexual relations with other people?

“Once divorced, the man or the woman should remain pure until they remarry, if they remarry,” say the CNSGs. “Any time you are unmarried, you should abstain from sexual activity.” So although they lost their virginity to their previous spouse, they are still pure, as it was within the confines of marriage. To not tarnish their purity, the man and woman must abstain once more until they find a new spouse. Ifthey never remarry, they ought to stay abstinent until death.

However, that does contradict several of their reasons for abstinence until marriage in the first place. One of the reasons to save yourself for marriage is to spare your spouse’s feelings of resentment, and to avoid making a “soul-connection” with someone who is not your spouse. Would a future wife not be more jealous and resentful of your past marriage, over whatever interim sexual partners?

How to stay pure

When deciding who you are going to marry, it is generally advisable to gauge your level of attraction to the person. While spending time together and getting to know each other’s personalities is important, if you are going to be sexually exclusive with a person for the rest of your life, most people would say you should be at least somewhat intimate with each other first. Abstinence before marriage, however, makes it much more difficult to ensure that you and your partner are sexually compatible. Christian Nymphos give even firmer guidelines around what is and isn’t all right to do with your partner before marriage.

“If you wouldn't mind your spouse engaging in the act with someone else, it's probably ok before marriage,” they say. For most people, this eliminates kissing, cuddling and even hand holding. In an attempt to preserve their purity for marriage, a whole aspect of getting to know each other is removed.

“It's really about purity of the heart and then your actions will flow out from there,” the CNSGs explain.

However, when asked further to explain, they lighten up a little. “While there are some couples who choose to wait even to kiss until after their wedding day,” they explain, “kissing is something that most unmarried couples can do without it involving lust or becoming a temptation to them to go further than they want to.”

The general idea is that you are not allowed to have sex, and anything that might tempt you into having sex with each other should be avoided. “You can safely presume,” the CNSGs say, “that any acts which involved touching sexual organs in some way are not appropriate for those who want to preserve their sexual purity for the one they marry. Purity, to us, is about more than abstaining from intercourse.”

Sexual Unrest

A situation may arise where a couple gets married, and one partner finds that they require something in the bedroom that the other is unwilling to perform. Even after years together, they are unable to resolve their different desires. For example the husband may desire to be dominated and pegged, while the wife is submissive and feels uncomfortable with wearing a strap-on and unwilling to comply. In this situation, what should happen?

According to the Christian Nymphos Spice Girls, “If there is one thing that one of them wants and they are not satisfied without it, then they have elevated that act above their love and care for their husband or wife.” In this case the couple needs to communicate and work through it, value each other above themselves and make concessions.

“We also believe, according to another portion of scripture in 1 Corinthians 7,” say the CNSGs, “That to sexually refuse your spouse is actually a sin. This passage tells us that the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but to his wife also, and visa versa.” In this sense the idea of pushing your own boundaries to please your partner is put to the extreme. What happens if the wife has a deep desire to fist her husband, while the husband has no desire at all to try this?

The CNSGs believe that sexual incompatibilities are evident before sexual relations have even been had. “We will be honest and say that in most cases there were signs of these incompatibilities prior to being married and they were ignored.” What signs these are is left a mystery, but apparently our sexual desires are more obvious to others than we thought.

Uncomfortable Sharing

So why are most Christian women still so shy to talk about sex? If there isn't anything wrong with having “spicy sex,” then why is the stereotype of a Christian woman a prude? What about Christianity makes women feel ashamed to talk about their marital relations?

“I believe that it usually stems from misinformation about sex, either by family members or the church,” say the CNSGs. “Some women grew up in a church or a household where sex is made out to be dirty ... So when questions would arise, who would you ask when you are given the impression that it is bad? You keep it to yourself and just don’t talk about it.” The pressures from the non-abstinent portion of society to have sex is also another reason why sex is often turned into a negative thing for young Christian women. They are taught to value their virginity and not talk about sex, lest they become lustful and impure.

“On the other hand,” say the CNSGs, “If you grow up learning that sex is the best wedding gift you will receive on your wedding day, and God wants you to honor your future husband by saving yourself as part of this gift, you are more willing to ask questions about it and talk about it freely.”

As the CNSGs say, there are all sorts of temptations in the world that make sex seem bad, or negative, and make Christian women want to disassociate themselves with it. “Our earthly home has become so filled with pornography, pedophilia, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, adulterous affairs, homosexuality, TV and movies portraying sex as 'everyone is doing it' … it has blurred the lines for a lot of people on what is truly the purpose that God created sex for.” The divine purpose for sex gets forgotten, and Christian women become afraid that if they talk about sex they will be associated with promiscuous society and sin. Fear and shame is preventing Christian couples from fully exploring their sex lives, and unless the stigma around sex disappears, the silence will continue.

“I think it is important,” say the CNSGs, “that parents are open and honest with their sons and daughters and that churches take the time to debunk society and teach their congregations about God’s will for sex. How it is beautiful, pleasurable and the most giving thing you can do for your spouse/future spouse.” To think of sex as a gift, to save yourself for marriage, and to value your purity and your partner over your lustful desires is the way to have a healthy Christian sex life, rather than one of shame.

Not a feminist movement

Although the focus of Christian Nymphos is to help “women to be empowered to embrace their sexuality in a way that allows them to enjoy all that is available to them in their marriage and to do so with confidence, knowing that to enjoy sex within marriage fits perfectly with the Christian faith,” they do not think of themselves as a feminist organization.

“To us, it's not about equality between sexes, which is the focus in the feminist movement, but rather stepping into what it means to be a Christian woman.” Calling it a sexual liberation movement would be a stretch, then, and ignoring the negative aspects of how religion impacts sexuality would be a mistake. The constant judgment and condemnation of homosexuality keeps millions of people ashamed of themselves and unwilling to come out of the closet, and helps to spread the ignorance and hatred of non-heterosexuals. Calling porn a form of adultery also makes people ashamed of their actions, and prevents any voyeuristic fantasies couples might have.

Although there is still a lot of progress to be had in terms of sexual open-mindedness of Christian people, the idea of open communication is a good start. Once Christian people start having wilder sex, they will hopefully start seeing that alternative lifestyles to their own are no so far removed. Christian sexual freedom within marriage is one step closer to Christian sexual freedom outside of marriage, and, eventually, Christian sexual acceptance of everyone.

//Sarah Vitet, Arts Editor
//Illustrations by JJ Brewis

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