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In a marriage, it isn’t “her sex life” and “his sex life”; it’s “their sex life”. A unilateral decision means that one imposes his/her will on the other.
two people do not literally become one. They are joined (by their own consent) and also remain individuals. If my partner hates a particular sex act that he consented to originally and he sacrifices himself (and he experiences discomfort for doing that act for me, what a jerk I’d be to ask him to do that). Far more “sacrificial” for me to acknowledge his boundaries and needs and live without. If I forced him to do the thing I like because he agreed one time, not allowing him to shift consent or change his mind, what a terrible person I’d be.
Of course, if those two individuals find themselves at loggerheads around sex, perhaps it would be best for them to part ways and find stronger more mutually supporting and connected relationships, rather than live in a zone of tension, guilt, shame, and perhaps non consensual sacrifice.
“2) those decisions should involve no force, coercion, pressure, or the like.”
“And, of course, in that decision-making process it’s crucial that both persons be loving, kind, patient, reasonable, sensitive, gracious, understanding, and the like.”
Your response sounds reasonable, even good in theory. I would even be tempted to say, “Yes, you’re right.”
But then I have something like this happen:
A man I’ve been writing to has been married 31 years, with his wife limiting sex to just 2x a month. He’d like sex more often, but no, she says 2x a month. The man started looking for ways to reduce his libido, wondering about depo provara. Well, yesterday, at church, the preacher spoke on sex in a way that he never had, saying that it wasn’t optional, that it wasn’t like “icing on the cake”, etc. On the way home, the wife says, “I know what I’ve been doing to you. I’m sorry.” And takes him to the bedroom.
This near-celibacy wasn’t a mutual discussion. It was an imposition. So, yes, let the sex life of two people be the mutual decision of two people. But be sure that when you marry, you realize that what you decide may damage the other.
This is not what “full and mutual consent” means. Perhaps the person who needs to be “self-sacrificial” is the one who wants to keep going but recognizes their partner’s discomfort or pain and knows stopping is better, even if it means they don’t get “satisfaction” that night.
This is still religious coercion of consent.
So you want to comment on my blog despite the fact you’ve blocked me from commenting on yours? This seems more than a bit inconsistent to me. Please go away.
I’m not going to your blog. You don’t go to mine. We’ll both be happy. Cool? Thanks.
For the public record, I blocked Dianna from commenting on my blog just as she had previously done to me. This wasn’t done out of anger, vindictiveness, or anything of the sort. Rather, experience evidences that meaningful dialogue between us is not possible. I accept that. So, I wish her well but think it best we not participate in one another’s comment threads.
Mate…you do realise that your entire post basically contradicts this bit, yeah: “It seems to me it’s not a one-time deal. Things change with time.”
Things change with time…which means you can’t assume that because your husband/wife consented to a sex act once, that means s/he’ll want to engage in that sexual act again. It’s not a one-time deal…which means that every time you have sex with your husband/wife, you’re entering into a new “deal” about what is and isn’t sexually acceptable.
Thanks for commenting. Have a great day.
But there still has to be love and generosity in the marriage bed. If not, the marriage will not thrive.
I know of a woman who was sexually aggressive toward her future husband prior to marriage, but after the wedding, immediately started to limit sex to almost nothing; something on the order of once a month or once every two months. When confronted about it, she told the hubs, “I wanted to make sure you’d marry me.” She proceeded to tell him that she wasn’t obligated to have sex with him. A relative warned her about her marriage, and she just laughed and said, “He’s a Christian; he can’t divorce me.” Bait and switch much?
How I read this post is that Carson is just encouraging couples to continue to have conversations about sex before and during marriage. If one person feels uncomfortable about something, then he or she needs to talk with the spouse (probably at the first opportunity) about those feelings, and they need to come to some mutual consent about acceptable/expected behavior.
I imagine that often, this conversation would lead to the spouse being self-sacrificing for the sake of his or her partner’s feelings. But the end result would be born of communication, understanding, and true self-sacrifice.
True self-sacrifice requires voluntary choice flowing from love and understanding.
This is how I understood what Carson was trying to communicate.
How very reasonable of you.
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