The Marriage Podcast for Smart People

The Best Sex Happens Inside Marriage

March 22, 2017

Is this just a Christian myth? Is the idea that the best sex occurs within marriage something that is only believed by church-going people? What does the research say? If you’re struggling with your sex life we offer sound, research-based advice, and today, hope for a constantly improving sex life too. Today we’re going to be looking at why the best sex happens inside marriage. Actually, it’s hard to believe that going through a bunch of research might be arousing but today we’re going to take a crack at it. Why Sexual Boundaries Are A Good Thing We’re going to do something very deliberate today: we’re not going to refer to the Bible at all. Now if you’ve just started reading our posts you need to know that Verlynda and I are born again Christians who are very involved in our local church and we always think and write out of our Christian worldview. We often refer to Scripture as well as to research. And today could definitely be a Bible-thumping episode. In the New Testament, there are only a handful of epistles that refrain from addressing sexual sin, from lust to fornication to adultery. So that message is clear. And I think that a lot of people, perhaps from more agnostic or atheistic backgrounds, look at Christianity and see it as being very prudish because of these restrictions. Like we’re missing out. But I think it’s actually very much the opposite: the sexual revolution of the 1960s to 1980s has actually done more to erode the quality of sex that people are experiencing than to enhance it. It’s telling that just now, in 2017, we’re starting to see articles in the New York Times and Washington Post raising the alarm over pornography use and its detrimental impact on male sexuality. This is nearly 50 years after the first adult erotic film had a wide theatrical release in the USA. Where culture has got this backwards and impressions are still inverted is that God put boundaries around sexuality to increase the amount of pleasure and sexual satisfaction that can be experienced, not to decrease it. And we’re going to demonstrate this from the research today. At the end I’m going to tell you why this is important to your marriage, and to ours, of course. What Statistics Say About Sex Within Marriage Overall, research tends to support the idea that the best sex happens within marriage. Let’s start with a study from 2000 by Christopher and Sprecher[i] which compared sex within marriage to sex within dating and cohabiting relationships. They found that married couples generally reported being satisfied with their sexual relationship. They cited a study where 88% of married couples reported being “either extremely or very pleased in their [sexual] relationship” 88% Rockin' It What I think is really cool is the words that these same extremely pleased or very pleased married couples used to describe how they felt about having sex: loved, thrilled and excited. So not only are married couples typically satisfied with their sexual relationship but Scott and Sprecher also showed that studies have found that married individuals are more satisfied with their sexual relationship than single and cohabiting individuals. This was particularly the case for monogamous married respondents. So it’s not just being married that’s the key, but being monogamous in marriage too— can’t make any assumptions here since the Sexual Revolution. So this is great: sex is better within marriage. But why? Again, we could go to the Bible and argue that it just makes sense because God is good, and He designs us to flourish when we are obeying him. And of course, that’s very true. But instead, let’s go to the research again and see what these researchers are observing.

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