By MoS Writer
3 minute read
What I love the most about God’s good gift is that my having sex with my husband is part of my participating in God’s creation. Yep. You read that right. Sex as worship.
The Bible has three important things to say about the meaning and purpose of marital sex:
- It is central to the process by which husband and wife become one flesh (Genesis 2:24);
- It is how we participate in the ongoing work of God’s creation through the pleasure and delight of procreation (Genesis 1:28) – that’s the worship bit I refer to.
- It is intended to serve as a picture or symbol of the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:31, 32).
Isn’t using a sex toy for a Christian focusing too much on the physical? Does it ignore all the important spiritual and emotional connectedness?
Sex toys – based on the verses above and the expressed purpose of sex – raise questions because a sex toy is not a bodily union, it doesn’t aid procreation, and therefore doesn’t symbolise a heavenly union.
However, if God didn’t design sex to be enjoyable, he wouldn’t have created the orgasm.
Not all sex ends in procreation and, as for a ‘heavenly union’ each time? Who hasn’t had one of those experiences (interrupted by the kids, too tired, the last email you didn’t finish, the laundry still in the machine) where you’re both ‘off your game’? Those times when it’s less heavenly union and more worldly distracted. Sometimes achieving a heavenly union needs some help.
The Bible, sadly, doesn’t have a handy verse on the use of sex toys. But it does tell us enough about sex in marriage as a relationship of love that we can be guided.
Husbands are told to love their wives like Christ loves the church (Eph 5:25) – a picture of other-focused, self-sacrificial love. How this specifically plays out in behaviour in the bedroom isn’t a set of tick boxes (Thou shalt only have satin sheets. Thou shalt not use a sex toy) but modelling Christ’s love implies that each spouse is obligated to treat the needs, feelings, desires, and preferences of his or her mate as matters of the highest priority.
Mutual consent is basic to all healthy sexual expression in marriage. So sex toys ought to be viewed in that regards too.
Let’s look at some fears about sex toys:
- Using a sex toy is a signal your spouse isn’t a good enough lover
- Using a sex toy will replace your spouse
- You’ll become overly reliant on them for arousal and/or orgasm
- Fun for one but not the other
- They emphasise the physical, orgasm side of sex – perhaps at the cost of emotional and spiritual intimacy
- You’ll feel guilty about using them. Sex can be difficult enough without added guilt into the mix
But remember how we are guided by Christ’s love? Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). If those are your fears, talk about them, pray over them together.
- Are we in agreement?
- Where is our focus – on the physical aspect alone, or on emotional and spiritual intimacy also?
- Will this honour our marriage bed?
Now let’s look at some research on sex toys:
Men who regularly use vibrators (on themselves, on their partners, or both) score higher on measures of erectile function, orgasm function, sexual desire, and sexual satisfaction than men who have rarely or never reached for a vibrator.
Couples who can explore novel ways of being intimate —including trying out one or more sex toys — tend to fare better in terms of maintaining passion and desire (in addition to relationship satisfaction) over the long haul.
A 2016 study conducted by Chapman University found that women and men who reported feeling satisfied by their relationship and the sex that they had with their partners were more likely to report having used sex toys together — in addition to other activities, such as taking a shower together, trying new positions in bed, and scheduling a date night to have sex.
Plus education helps. For instance, the fact that most women do not orgasm through penile/vaginal sex alone means a sex toy can be a great investment for mutual pleasure, like the Svakom Elva on the MoS store.
Couples massagers or ‘wearable’ vibrators also enhance stimulation during sex. Some of the wearable ones are remote controlled, meaning you can use it to add hidden extras to your foreplay.
Sex toys also can assist during times of low libido. Certain medications, breastfeeding for women, illness – all can cause libido to dive off a cliff.
Sex toys can help keep thing fun. Be honest. Sex can get dull. We do it the same way in the same position for years!
They can help communication. Shopping for a sex toy can be done together – sit down, go online to the MoS store and have a discussion about the products. What do you enjoy, what do you like and not like?
Sex toys give us a new way of focusing on our spouse. As well as a new focus on exploring their body, it’s a new visual stimulation, which is especially exciting for men. And whilst delaying a man’s gratification via added visual stimulation, a sex toy can increase the usually slower woman’s gratification.
This is a topic often avoided by pastors and women’s ministry leaders. The Bible is eternally truthful but was written before battery-operated anything was a concept. It’s not a question the Bible answers definitively. And nor can MoS. It’s something to be considered and prayed over with your spouse. Enjoying sex, taking some risks and stepping outside your comfort zone are not bad things. If you are both in agreement, and there is emotional and spiritual intimacy between you – then give them a try.
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