The Sexually Confident Wife
Courtesy of The B&B Media Group
CBN.com Author Shannon Ethridge is tackling a topic that some Christians find uncomfortable to talk about. In her new book, The Sexually Confident Wife, she explains that many women have been robbed of their sexual confidence by shame from past sexual abuse, guilt over past sexual behaviors, or a fear of intimacy. God has given couples sex as a gift to be enjoyed, but many women struggle in this area.
With both warmth, and extreme candor, Ethridge teaches women how to find victory over the issues that are holding them back in the bedroom and embrace intimacy with their husbands with a new passion and joy. She recently discussed the book.
In previous books like Every Woman’s Battle, you have addressed sexual issues with tremendous candor. Still, some readers will be surprised by the no holds barred information in The Sexually Confident Wife. What motivated you to take your discussions of sexuality to the next level?
As I was writing Every Woman’s Marriage in 2005, I became frustrated with the chapters on sex because I felt as if there was so much I really wanted to say, but that would never fly in a Christian book. I asked God, “Why are some Christians so uptight about this gift that YOU have given us for our pleasure?” And I sensed His reply, “Indeed, women and marriages suffer for this very reason, but it’s not just women in the church. Women from all walks of life have been given such negative messages about their sexuality, and I want you to break that cycle. I want you to teach them how to be sexually confident wives, for that is truly My plan and My desire for them.”
I chose to be so blunt and bold in this new book because sexuality IS God’s gift to us, and if Christians don’t have the right to talk openly and honestly about it, who does? My desire is to be a “voice of reason” in a sexually unreasonable world, and I chose not to candy-coat anything just so that women could stay in their comfort zones. We have let the world rob us of this gift and turn it into something we feel we need to be ashamed of. I am hoping that this book will help Christian wives—and all wives—to rediscover (or discover for the first time) the true purpose of sexuality and create a powerful bond with their husbands that fuels their deepest passions and satisfies their very souls.
As women, we often crave emotional connection instead of the physical connection. Is it possible to achieve one without the other?
It’s true. A woman isn’t as interested in having her tonsils tickled as having her soul touched. Her innermost need is for an emotional and spiritual bond with another human being—a need called “pair-bonding.” But for all those women who want the sexual and emotional connection instead of the physical connection, I have a revolutionary news flash: There is scientific evidence that proves you’d be spinning your wheels to try to get one without the other. Humans need physical touch to feel fully connected to another human being.
I call this scientific evidence the “Big O!,” standing not for “Orgasm” but, rather, for “Oxytocin.” When we are tenderly touched by another human being, a wonderful hormone called oxytocin is released. Then what happens? We feel good about the person who touched us, and we crave even more touch from the same person. It creates a powerful relationship-building spiral. This hormone increases testosterone production in both men and women, which sends our sex drives into high gear, and oxytocin levels skyrocket to the highest levels when women experience orgasm. There is nothing more important than feeling this special connection with your special guy. In doing so, you are fulfilling the main purpose of our sexuality—to strongly pair-bond us to one another.
What does a sexually confident wife look like?
Most women are sexually competent. They know what to do in the bedroom. But I want more than that; I want women to be sexually confident. Sexual confidence isn’t just for the supermodel or porn star. It is the birthright of every woman, and the deep desire of every husband for his wife. It’s not about having a great body or obsessing over getting one. It’s not about fitting the “young, hot” stereotypical mold. It’s not about being a sexual rag doll, doormat, or vending machine, or killing your conscience and being willing to do anything and everything to sexually satisfy someone else. It’s about being who we really are, and humans are sexual beings.
The sexually confident wife strives to keep the physical, mental, emotional, and physical components of her sexual relationship in balance. She learns to love her body and feels beautiful in her own skin. She does not feel the need to compare herself or her husband with anyone else. She believes wholeheartedly that her husband finds her desirable, and she is able to openly communicate what she finds pleasurable, as well as what is beyond her personal boundaries. She feels great about what she has to offer her husband, and she is able to relax and freely enjoy all that he has to offer her. She is also passing the baton of sexual confidence (in the context of marriage) down to her children, especially her daughters.
How can Christian women overcome the “Church Lady Syndrome” and become more adventurous in the bedroom?
In my years of speaking on the topic of sexuality, I have encountered a handful of real, live “church ladies” that have said things like, “This is shameful! There’s so much sex in the world already, and now we have to bring it into the church?” If these women find talking about sex in church so disturbing, are they really able to indulge in it freely in their bedrooms?
What happens to a woman when she grows up with the mentality that sex is bad and God doesn’t approve of it? She feels as if she can’t have both. She must choose. God, or sex. Married women sometimes falsely assume that, if they freely engage in sexual relationships with their husbands, it will make them “bad girls.” But nothing could be further from the truth.
Consider the words of Philip Yancey: A few mysterious passages in the Bible hint that, besides being a token of human intimacy, sex has layers of further meaning…in one sense, we are never more Godlike than in the act of sex. We make ourselves vulnerable. We risk. We give and receive in a simultaneous act…quite literally, we make one flesh out of two different persons, experiencing for a brief time a unity like no other.” Unless you’ve taken a vow of celibacy as a nun, your faith does not require that you abandon your sexual pleasure. Consider fully integrating your sexuality and spirituality. Once you bring these two aspects of your being together, they become inseparable, absolutely vital to your personal identity and fulfillment, and incredibly satisfying.
Read more about this book at the author's Web site.
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