[Today’s guest post is from Sheila Gregoire, a noted expert on sex in Christ.]
If you look at the best-selling marriage books on Amazon, it’s amazing how many are Christian.
Christians buy marriage books. Christians study marriage. Christians seem to prioritize marriage, and value marriage, more than the general population.
So Christians must have awesome marriages, right?
Well, I guess there’s some good news. Studies have repeatedly shown that committed Christians do, indeed, have the best marriages (though secular progressives come pretty darn close), and that Christians have lower divorce rates (although we also put up with abuse much longer than non-Christians do).
When I did my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I also found that Christian women enjoyed sex more than those who didn’t call themselves Christian.
There’s only one thing. While we do better, we don’t do substantially better.
When I asked women to rate their sex life on a scale of 1-10, for instance, Christians rated it, on average, 7.36. Non-religious women rated it 6.38. So, sure, we’re doing better. But it’s not buy-a-float-in-the-Macy’s-parade-to-celebrate level better. And a lot of those women who rated their sex life high also didn’t reach climax. (I think they didn’t understand how great sex is really supposed to be.)
Now Christians have the Holy Spirit living in us. We’re supposed to be transformed. We’re supposed to be passionate (and I do believe that hot and holy go together!). Shouldn’t we be doing awesome?
I’ve spent the last seven years blogging primarily about sex, and I’ve seen, over and over again, Christian couples facing major sexual problems. Women with no libido. Men with no libido. Porn use (in both men and women). Trouble reaching orgasm. Difficulty setting boundaries. It goes on and on, to the point that I get scared to check comments every morning because it can get so depressing. If Christians have the Holy Spirit, and Christians value marriage, why are we having so many problems?
I think I know–but I want to test several hypotheses and see.
I want to get to the root of what makes sex & marriage great for women–but also what makes it terrible. Together with two researchers, I’m embarking on what I hope will be the largest survey of women’s sexual and marital satisfaction (and dissatisfaction). I want to figure out what the key things are that make marriage click, and what things set couples up for a world of hurt.
Christians should be thriving–but we’re not. Instead of just offering Christian pat answers about submission or having more sex so he won’t stray, let’s do some evidence gathering, so we can create some evidence-based solutions.
Can you help? I need as many Christian women as possible to take this survey. If you’ve ever been married (even if you’re not right now), I’d love for you to participate! Most Christian marriage surveys have ignored divorced or remarried women, but we’re being sure to include them, because they have a lot to teach us about what went wrong in the first place.
And, no, men aren’t eligible for this one (sorry, Tim!), but hopefully we’ll do one of men in the future.
Want some incentives, even though Tim’s awesome readers don’t need any? You can win 1 of 98 prizes (valued at over $2000 in total) once you take the survey. Plus everyone who takes it gets a free intimacy igniter–a 4-date night exercise that can ramp up your intimacy in your relationship.
Thanks, everybody! I appreciate your time.
If you’ve returned here to comment after taking the survey, please refrain from speaking specifically about any questions, so as not to “prime” those who haven’t taken the survey yet. Thank you!
Sheila Wray Gregoire blogs everyday at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, where she tries to get beyond Christian pat answers and help people stop seeing marriage as a to-do list, but instead as a passionate adventure. She’s the author of 8 books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.