How Important is Sexual Compatibility in Your Future Marriage?

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The number of never-married American adults is at a historic high. One in five adults (about 42 million people) are still single. What is the reason? What could be holding people back?

For some, they feel too young to settle down, for others they don’t feel financially prepared, and for many they just haven’t found the one who has what they are looking for in a spouse.

We all have our list of priorities when it comes to finding Mr. or Mrs. Right:

She must love pets ….

He should have a good job …

We have to be sexually compatible …

Twenty-four percent of never-married adults are living with a partner. In today’s world it is common practice to hear about couples who date, have sex, move into together, buy a house together and then maybe consider getting engaged.

It’s hard to be a Catholic with those kind of expectations in the dating scene. Many couples say they would never marry someone they haven’t slept with. They want to make sure they are sexually compatible before they make a commitment. They argue with the example that you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first.

But how do we respond to that?

Well, first of all, people are not cars. Being best friends with your spouse is far more important than being good sexual partners.

It’s helpful to think about it this way: 99% of a marriage isn’t sexual. Even if you have sex every day of your life, that only accounts for about 1% of your marriage. So, in other words, sexual compatibility is not what you should be basing your future spouse on. It’s all of the other things in a relationship and in a marriage that are far more important.

Are you both responsible and willing to make the marriage work even when times get tough? Is there complete trust in the relationship? Will your spouse be faithful in good times and in bad? Is she kind, loving, compassionate, and virtuous? Is he willing to change and be able to sacrifice for you and your future family?

All of these are far more important than a sexual relationship, for these are what make or break a marriage.

So does that mean I’m saying sex isn’t important in marriage? Of course not.

Sex in marriage is a beautiful expression of a deep love that is already there (or should already be there). It’s the visible sign of love between two spouses in the sacrament of holy matrimony.

When you get married, you look your spouse in the eyes, and before God, you verbally promise to give your whole self to him forever. Then, each and every time you have sex with your spouse, you renew that promise made on the altar, not with words, but with your body. Your body speaks the language; it’s the unspoken language of unconditional love forever.

When your relationship is based on love, your spouse will mean the world to you no matter what. When you truly love a person, you would marry him or her no matter what your sex life will be like. Love is love. And if your sex life isn’t so good in the beginning… well, you have the rest of your life together to develop a beautiful, wonderful, and fulfilling sex life based on love, not utility.



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70 Comments

  1. Michael-1294295 June 6, 2017 Reply

    Sex & marriage is a beautiful commitment when two have joined as one. But being a person who has lived in the other end of this, we should also commits understanding of martital abandonment, desertion of vows & rejection.

  2. Marie-828027 December 26, 2016 Reply

    Tell you what, this question has not been dealt adequately with here.
    One reason for the prohibition and the demand for virginity had to do with the father knowing who his children were.
    Another reason had to do with the partners not knowing any different so they weren’t aware if their sex life was good or bad. Ignorance is bliss.
    I will say this, once you have experienced sexual compatibility, you will never want to go backwards. So, it behooves people to figure it out without all the hungupedness I have noticed on this site.

  3. Anneke-842073 October 16, 2016 Reply

    It’s ridiculous to think that the importance of sex in a marriage is proportional to the percentage of time that you spend on it. A couples’ sexual compatibility affects more of their interactions than their sexual interactions.

  4. Joel-1364361 September 21, 2016 Reply

    Very good article. Way too often people move too fast and miss what is more important in life. The true connection is what we all want but often miss because of our hurry to get to the dream as we see it.

  5. Bryan Mercier June 29, 2016 Reply

    Leon: You said: “If two people give of themselves in Love, a true meaning of Love, no “test drives”. Is it sin?” I appreciate the fact that it’s not a mere using or test driving, but to answer your question, yes, it’s still sin. God made sex for marriage, and if you truly love the other, you will wait for marriage. Especially since you love her… you would not want to put her soul in danger would you… or lead her away from God in any way would you … even unintentionally? Pope John Paul II said, “The more responsibility we feel for someone, the more true love there is.” SO, the more responsible we feel for the other person and their soul, in getting them closer to heaven, the more we will keep them away from sin and lead them toward God.

    We both realize that lust is sin but love is not. Your intentions seem to be pure, and yet, God still asks us to wait! He doesn’t say, wait unless you really love them, but wait. Remember God created sex to be the renewal of our wedding vows. It’s a promise of love in marriage. We take vows on the altar and promise to love our spouse forever. Then, every time you come together in sexual relations, you renew your wedding vows ‘without words.’ It’s a renewal of the marital covenant, and as good as your intentions may be outside of marriage, you’re still not married, and so the language of sex becomes false. Only in marriage is where sexual relations may be lived out. On the more harsh side, just a friendly reminder that St. Paul stated several times in the Bible that unrepentant fornicators [people who have sexual relations outside marriage] will not enter he kingdom of heaven. That’s a hard saying. He did not distinguish between whether you loved someone or not because the command of God was to wait until marriage. You should not even take a chance… especially if you truly love your girlfriend/fiance, etc. Hope that helps. 🙂

  6. Bryan Mercier June 29, 2016 Reply

    Beelza, Thank you for your comment. I just wanted to affirm that I wasn’t minimizing the greatness or importance of sexuality ‘in’ marriage but of sexuality ‘before’ marriage, and especially in connection with making it ‘necessary’ to find a spouse.

  7. Beelza-1191548 February 8, 2016 Reply

    I’m somewhat offended that the author choose to minimize the importance of sex in a relationship. My wife and I married in our late 20s and our sex life was good and fairly frequent. By 33, she told me that more than twice a month was too much and she had only been doing it more for me but she didn’t think that fair to her or me. For the rest of our marriage, we made love 12-24 times a year. She has passed away and I’ll always love her but that was years of frustration, and hurt that led me to sin. I’m not blaming her for my sin because that’s my fault but when you can only have sex, at best, every 14 days and you would prefer it every two or three days, that leaves a lot of time to be tempted.

    I’m 55 now and if I marry again, which I certainly hope I do, 12-twenty-something times a year wouldn’t be horrible. In my thirties and forties, it was not nearly enough and I wish that on no man.

  8. Manuel-1265983 January 5, 2016 Reply

    That was the old – when even Moses allowed divorce because of hardness of heart
    Read the New Testament and see what Jesus said…..

  9. Leon-1152072 December 29, 2015 Reply

    It’s been a while since fever has gone from this article, but I’d like to offer another view on Marriage, Sex and Adultery. What truly constitutes adultery?
    When Moses was given the Ten Commandments there are two commandments that carry a lot of weight in today’s society, those being:
    Thow shalt not steal.
    Thow shalt not commit adultery.
    When it comes to stealing, if one is offered the item he choses to steal, it’s a gift (Love). If he takes it without permission it’s a sin, but the same item can be given.
    When Moses was given the ten commandments God was very strict in his ruling and discretions, he punished his people harshly. The Israelites were placed into the hands of Saul to take them into the Promise Land, it’s not clear how many wives Saul had. The Israelites were placed into the hands of David, it is well written of the many wives David had, yet David is the Foundation of the Israelites. The Israelites were given over to Solomon who was not David’s first born son, neither the son of his first wife. God used Solomon to build his Temple, to establish his Church, yet Solomon had several wives and many sons from the group of wives.
    You’re probably asking why I bring these things up, it’s to get you to think about what God was trying to establish at the time, Love. Love of one another and a LOVE and respect for him. Solomon’s blood did loose favor with God but it was for the worshipping of other gods and sodomy.
    I’m not saying that we should have multiple wives, what I’m saying here is that a gift from the heart, when one truly gives of himself in Love, is it sin?
    God had Moses appoint priests, they more than likely performed marriage ceremonies, who married the other people around the globe, the Europeans, the Native American, The Aztec, The Slovac, what constituted a marriage for these people?
    When Saul, David and Solomon ruled God’s People, they were not punished for the Love from their heart. God had them carry the Arc of the Covenant into battle so he could be with them to protect them. What is their interpretation of “Adultry”? God was laying on their hearts what “His” laws were and how they were to be administered.
    If two people give of themselves in Love, a true meaning of Love, no “test drives”. Is it sin?
    In closing, when a person cheats on their spouse, that is stealing one’s affection, Love that could have been shared with their respected partner. Truly a form of adultry. There are other forms as well and I’m sure you can envision them on your own as is meant to be.
    I don’t mean to offend anyone, I only ask you to think.

  10. Lisa-1152763 September 14, 2015 Reply

    Very good article! I lived with my ex before marriage and sex was good…until we got married. I lived with a partner for almost 19 years and sex was great the first few years and then went out the window. Now that I am Catholic, I want to try a different way…a new way for me…God’s way, and stay chaste until I marry. I can’t say that I won’t ever be tempted because I am sure I will be! With God’s help, though, I pray I can overcome that thought.

  11. Diana-1229708 July 13, 2015 Reply

    I consider myself very fortunate to have a father who is or I should say was, (since he is now very elderly, and suffering from dementia), very responsible, duty-bound, caring to the extreme and very loving. He is a man I greatly admire, love and look up to. I believe it is a father’s duty to provide, care, and guide his children. Having said that, I agree with Dean that the courts have been very heavy-handed with divorcing fathers, stripping them of all their possessions, investments, pensions and even from their future earrings. That is not right and not just. It is not surprising that many men have become jaded and cynical about marriage. Unfortunately, there are women who marry a man only to use them economically and milk them for what they are worth — sad to say.

  12. Dean-1150250 July 10, 2015 Reply

    The author asks why people marry less, then provides some possible reasons. It is my opinion that the primary reason is that men choose not to marry because of simple math. The liabilities and negatives of marriage FAR outweigh the possible benefits. Over 80% of divorces initiated by women, over 96% of alimony (wage slavery) paid by men who are forced at gunpoint, as all laws are enforced, while courts will not force women to get jobs and support themselves, reproductive tyranny where men are forced to be fathers and women have ultimate choice, draconian child custody and mommy/child support “laws” that heavyhandedly favor women are just a few examples.

    A book, Men On Strike, explains: Men are sensing the backlash against them and are
    consciously and unconsciously going “on strike.” They
    are dropping out of college, out of the workforce, and
    out of marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. So
    much so that a number of books have been written about
    this phenomenon in recent years that look at the “manchild”
    of today and summarize that he and his arrested
    development have taken a vacation from responsibility
    because he can, or because he can now get sex on demand.
    Or worse, these books discuss how his irresponsible
    behavior has harmed females, since his only purpose on
    earth is to serve women. Nothing could be further from
    the truth. Most men are not acting irresponsibly because
    they are immature or because they want to harm
    women; they are acting rationally in response to the lack
    of incentives today’s society offers them to be responsible
    fathers, husbands and providers.

    Until women start viewing men radically differently thing will only get worse.
    Have a nice day 🙂

    • Aaron-1227921 July 15, 2015 Reply

      My ex-wife did our own divorce (no lawyers) so it was the best of a bad situation. One thing struck me however as I was reading the divorce documentation..

      There was this section on reasons for the divorce occurring. There was a section to check off if someone was having an affair. One question was, “was there abuse?”. Another section was something else I don’t remember, but didn’t apply.

      I was reading this document, and looking for the question “Is your spouse refusing you in bed all the time?” I know it sounds silly, and I really don’t expect sex all the time, but c’mon I thought, being neglected physically is the entire reason I’m signing up for this divorce, and it’s not even in this document!

      That’s when it hit me that the courts have a very female centric view of marriage. There really isn’t any protection for men once they say “I do” – unless you get a prenup of some sort, or live together first to see if your sexually compatible.

    • Louis H. November 3, 2015 Reply

      Dean –

      Very true. Young men also have n o example of being a man. The young man’s father has already been thrown out by his mother. He sees her as the authoritarian with all the power, the breadwinner and the decision maker. Why would he go to college? Get a career? perhaps he can just live with a woman and not marry her? She could support him, he would have sex and housing, if he decides he does not like it, he can move on. With laws the way they are, why would he marry or have unprotected sex?

  13. Aaron-1227921 July 8, 2015 Reply

    I didn’t have sex before marriage, and married my best friend of 4 years (first by dating her for 2 years and then getting married). It was a huge mistake and our honeymoon was terrible.

    I stayed a virgin until marriage, so when I got married I had a high sex drive (staying a virgin will do that to a man). My new bride just couldn’t keep up with me. She also was not into sex much anyways.

    We took marriage counseling before, but since we “didn’t test drive” each other, how were we to know we were not sexually compatible?

    Sex bonds together two people, and good sex covers a multitude of irritants when two people cohabitate and live together. Bad sex, I tell you, drives people apart.

    So guess what? We divorced. And my current girlfriend now lives with me and we are planning to get married because NOW I KNOW that we have great sex and are FULLY compatible.

    I was raised to believe that gambling is a sin, and not having sex with your future spouse before marriage is the biggest gamble you can make.

    • Dean-1150250 July 10, 2015 Reply

      I have an identical story to yours and fully agree with every aspect of your story. I feel for you brother and hope this works out for you. I have the same outlook as you.

    • Marie-828027 December 26, 2016 Reply

      Yes, I totally agree. It makes a huge difference and if a couple can relate well in this way that is what bonds them.

  14. Author
    Bryan M. June 17, 2015 Reply

    Paul, to answer your question. The Catholic divorce rate is roughly the same as everyone else for Catholics who use contraception and don’t live marriage according to God’s design. But for Catholics who do live as God planned, i.e, Catholics who practice NFP instead of contraception, there is only a 1-3% divorce rate. You can check out this link for more information between the two and for the stats. http://chastityproject.com/qa/whats-the-big-difference-between-nfp-and-contraception/

  15. Michael L. June 17, 2015 Reply

    I’d like to know how many Catholics remain chaste till marriage? I’m not sure we could find any good statistics here. Most people have their first sexual experience at age 17 in America. This data is from surveys done. How many of them are Catholic? I’m sure many Catholic teens don’t even know or care about staying chaste until marriage. Our culture stopped supporting it decades ago once the pill came along. If you are sexually active before marriage with multiple partners, it’s very hard to stay faithful to one partner for life. I wish the church would get this message out to teens before they hurt themselves.

  16. Joseph-349643 June 16, 2015 Reply

    Funny stuff, and how important is it? It’s at the top with many other issues…the funny part, there’s only one way to find out if your future spouse might, that’s “might,” be compatible!

  17. Susie L. June 16, 2015 Reply

    Sex is supposed to make you feel loved. So, sex is enhanced when people wait for each other and make a commitment. Two virgins can know if they are “sexually compatible” just by holding hands. On the flip side, sexual compatibility is often ruined when people sleep with multiple partners and the emphasis is on performance. You’d feel judged and compared. Bleah.

  18. Paul-1129517 June 13, 2015 Reply

    it would be good to already be in spirit but our bodies bog us down. the spirit is willing but the body is weak, the comments are great and create the impression that we as Catholics are an oasis in a world run amok, but what I’d like to know is the statistic of Catholic divorce rates compared with other Christians and also Catholic divorce rates compared with the secular world or an aggregate of all the other non Catholic Christian religions.
    This information is very important to know as each individual Catholic no matter how pious our ideals is faced with a tsunami of pressure, not merely from the beliefs of the secular society but from the natural needs and wants of the earthbound spirit of our mortal flesh, that which causes us to be lonely, to covet the desirable things around us and constantly wonder is my piety causing me to cheat myself out of something?, to question our faith, and ultimately to saunter ever so cautiously into compromising our ideals via sin, over, and over, and over again, so long as we draw breath.

    This is where humility in submission to Christ Jesus comes in, that his Grace, and the resulting empowerment we receive from the Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the spirit of the flesh and avail us to God’s bounty for our lives. We think of the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector where the Tax-Collector mindful of his losing battle with the spirit of the flesh beat his chest in anguish praying;…”Lord have mercy upon me, a poor sinner”.

    What we need is prayer, and for the Holy Spirit to order our steps and find us our right spouses while enabling us to traverse fleshly obstacles unencumbered.

    Forgive all the rambling, but hopefully there’s a point in here somewhere.

  19. Diane-881412 June 12, 2015 Reply

    an interesting article and very thought provoking comments. reminds me of something I heard some time ago, it goes something like this, Nobody on their death bed every wished they had slept with more people but a lot of people regretted having slept with so many. Only by God’s grace can we keep our resolve to remain chaste until marriage.

  20. Rosemary-1041501 June 12, 2015 Reply

    This is why having open, honest discussions about sex before you do get married is so important. Premarital sex is out, but conversations about your partner’s expectations, desires, and concerns, as well as yours, need to be had before you’re standing at the altar. I would never marry someone without having that discussion with them first.

    • Aaron-1201944 June 14, 2015 Reply

      Great advice, thanks Rosemary! Our culture is so afraid of talking about things related to the body: Birth, death, sex, etc. Later on, we learn how we feel about children, intimacy and all of these things that are a huge part of married life. Better to get it all out in the open at the beginning (and to take some guidance from more mature couples in the process).

  21. Antonio-1040785 June 12, 2015 Reply

    Great article and great comments! Thank you Bryan and CM members! Sex is meant to be a comprehensive act where the whole of the human person becomes one with a compatible other (compatible being used simply as in man and woman are compatible). This includes body (obviously), heart, mind and soul. If you are able to be intimate with your spouse in heart (emotional intimacy leading to a safe vulnerability), mind (intellectual intimacy leading to open communication of thoughts and ideas), and soul (spiritual intimacy leading to awareness of God’s will for us and our role in creation), then the intimacy of the body plays along just like a little boy learns to ride a bike (because simply put, you’re learning to have sex with your spouse regardless of how much “experience” you have). That is one of the reasons why getting to know someone at a deeper level is first and foremost before “test driving” them. The other, of course, is that bonds of the heart, mind and soul are sacramentally sealed or fulfilled by the union of the body, and not the way around. Now, it is not my intention to oversimplify, but when we “test drive” our potential spouse instead of truly getting to know the person without the drunkenness of sex, (don’t get me wrong, that drunkenness is meant to be a wedding gift from God, but can numb our wits if we open it before we’re ready), we are doing so by seating in the back seat. Our idea of sex is so poor, and even at our age of communication, information and “sexual freedom”, our expectations of sex are laughable, and even sad (many of which are created by popular culture), so let’s grab a copy of St. JPII’s TOB, and continue to build a culture of life!

  22. Joan-529855 June 11, 2015 Reply

    Great topic, well written article, and many wonderful comments. Glad to be a part of CM!!

  23. Laura-1204113 June 10, 2015 Reply

    This was a nice article! Honestly I think the best way to know is the old fashioned way that Latin dancers use: dance together. Salsa, Tango, Bachata do something together that requires coordination and a time for bonding. Maybe even try swing or ballroom dancing if you can find lessons. Most agree that if you have chemistry on the dance floor it won’t magically disappear after you walk down the isle. Also, even when sex is not the only part of marriage it is important for wives to remain committed to fulfilling her spouses needs and vice versa. It is very sad the amount of men who commit adultery just because their darling wife refuses to be intimate (a form of adultery) for a very long time. Sadly missing this concept can end in a devastated marriage. I’ve heard that the two should feel an electrical spark when they are together, too. Such a flame is thought to transfer into passion between the married people intimately. I digress. May God bless all who are looking for love and for that right one. Especially for those who have never experienced the joy of matrimony. May God grant us deep wisdom and good fortune in making the right decision. Amen.

    • David-870960 June 12, 2015 Reply

      Amen, Laura! An inspired comment, and remarkable perspective and perception!

    • Joy-1119515 June 14, 2015 Reply

      “It is very sad the amount of men who commit adultery just because their darling wife refuses to be intimate…”
      Please do NOT place the blame for someone committing adultery on the wrong party. We are, even in marriage, responsible for our own bodies and what we do with them. NO ONE can force you to commit adultery, that is a CHOICE made, not forced.
      If a woman is refusing there is usually a good reason why and there are much more severe problems in the marriage than just a woman refusing to please her husband.
      If a husband cheats on his wife, he can bring STD’s into the marriage that can be a death sentence (and usually it is the woman who suffers the most from an STD- this is no joking matter, it can even become a matter of life and death.) God does not commit us to living a life of abuse just because we are married.
      That is not what God meant for a marriage to be.
      A man saying he only cheated because she wouldn’t is nothing more than a lie and a poor excuse for a lousy husband.

    • Kathryn-984721 June 14, 2015 Reply

      Laura your comment made me smile. I have been doing ballroom, Latin, and Swing dancing for years and I had the same thought as you. You can find out a lot from some by dancing or training with them. Are they bossy and pushy, do they pay attention and take care of their partner, or are they too busy showing off and doing what’s fun for them, if you tell them you don’t like something or uncomfortable with it do they listen?

      I also have to strongly agree with Joy, blaming one partner for the other’s adultery is wrong for several reasons.

    • Louis H. November 3, 2015 Reply

      Laura – I dance also and agree with you. The ability to move in unison on the floor without exchanging a word transfers well into the bedroom! (after marriage!) As for the other 99%, without it there will not be sex anyway. If you don’t get along when it comes to managing money and disciplining children, you will not be rewarding each other with physical affection in the bedroom. The other 99% makes the one percent possible. most people plan a wedding and test drive each other as if that was it./ then they come to sharing money and possessions and chores, and all of a sudden – all arguments and no sex!

  24. Patrick-858671 June 10, 2015 Reply

    There are a lot of good comments here, both in support and criticism of this piece. However, just from what I have observed, the users who’ve posted the more critical comments seem to be saying that he’s willfully left something out when in reality, he simply didn’t think of it. Let’s put it this way. In college, one of my professors said “a lie travels around the world overnight before the truth gets dressed the next morning”. Unfortunately, we in the Catholic Church find ourselves in this position a lot.

    And personally, I think there already is a guide for assessing “sexual compatibility”. Thank God for the life of our beloved late Holy Father, John Paul II and his great works, Theology of The Body and Love & Responsibility.

  25. Deepu-772853 June 10, 2015 Reply

    All true. Happy to read & practice this. Thank you.

  26. Jose-1193716 June 10, 2015 Reply

    Sex is breath taking! But however, let’s wait until Marriage. because sex before marriage is Fornication. It’s a sin! What will I answer to God? No! Wait until Marriage!

  27. Laurelie-898130 June 9, 2015 Reply

    True a good marriage is not only about sexual compatibility but I would think it made up a lot more than 1% of the relationship. Having said that I do not think you have to live with someone to find that out.

    • Jean-504066 June 9, 2015 Reply

      Agreed. It’s definitely more important than Mr. Mercier is making it out to be, though of course there are lots of things that contribute to a good marriage, many of them also very important.

  28. Joe-1133984 June 9, 2015 Reply

    Well about the whole people aren’t cars and test drive argument.
    I would think that the dating process is the test drive, because if you go out to eat that’s the fuel,you also get to know the others likes, dislikes and hobbies.
    And in the immortal of Jack Sheldon of Schoolhouse Rock fame.
    I’m a machine you’re a machine everyone you know they are machines.
    And first impressions are lasting impressions.

  29. Joseph-924851 June 9, 2015 Reply

    I found one comment amusing: If you’re only having sex for 1% of your marriage (which works out to less than fifteen minutes a day), one or both of you ain’t doin’ it right.

  30. Dinora-75273 June 9, 2015 Reply

    Very interesting!

  31. Scott S. June 9, 2015 Reply

    All comments are wonderful to read and have application to all of us in one for or another.

  32. John-1046049 June 9, 2015 Reply

    Father Benedict Groeschel–God rest his soul–said to me when I was in a state of sexual sin, living with someone outside of marriage, “John, how can you expect God to bless you with a Holy wife when you are not living according to His will?” He pretty much read me the riot act and as humbling as it was for me, he was right, and I knew it. Sinful men don’t attract Godly women…

    I could write an essay on this, but I think the big take away is God’s way is the right way; pre-marital sex takes us out of a state of Grace, it creates false intimacy, and it clouds our judgement. If two people can date and stay chaste out of love for the Lord and the desire to honor Him and each other, I’m betting that even if the sexual compatibility isn’t great on the honeymoon, it will come in time, because their lovemaking will be an expression of something sacred and the emotional, intellectual and spiritual intimacy that they took the time to cultivate…

    • Aaron-1201944 June 14, 2015 Reply

      Couldn’t agree more – thanks John for sharing!

    • Jennifer-1108461 June 18, 2015 Reply

      ,John, your post was spot on. As someone who walked away from the practice of the Faith for years, I can say first hand, pre marital sex creates a false intimacy, cloudy judgement, and it redefines the meaning of “love” by these misconceptions. One begins equating love with sex, which obviously it isn’t.
      Also, in regards to physical attraction, most women find a deeper and more intimate connection with someone emotionally rather than physically, so the idea that sex before marriage is a necessity, holds no weight considering that if a couple is growing together, the intimacy should also grow.

    • Marie-828027 December 26, 2016 Reply

      I think the issue is love. If you are in love, as opposed to “hooking up”, is it “sin?”

  33. Schultz S. June 9, 2015 Reply

    What Eric said.

  34. Brian Barcaro June 9, 2015 Reply

    @Eric&Julia The article could have been titled better and has been corrected. Thanks for your feedback.

  35. Benjamin-1200321 June 9, 2015 Reply

    Super article,,,, Thank you for posting

  36. Tom-995241 June 9, 2015 Reply

    The title of this post should garner a lot of comments.

  37. Michael-978600 June 9, 2015 Reply

    I’m curious in regard to the quantitative 1% of the marriage being in the category of sex, and how the author arrived, or referenced that number. I would believe that the actual number would be higher when considering everything which is involved with intimacy, and not just the physical aspect of sex. With a couple, I would believe that intimacy would be a better measure rather than just sex. If the 1% is simply a measure of time, perhaps there could be greater time involved when considering other aspects of intimacy such as residual emotional feelings, thoughts, and memories, thoughts of anticipatory nature, and time spent for preparation of special intimate moments with the spouse, and other related aspects of a relationship which involve intimacy. I would like to believe that the sum of correlated aspects of intimacy would equal more than 1%. As in love and memories and thoughts, etc. sharing that through intimacy, or sex does involve much more of ones time than the physical aspect of making love, or having sex. Just wondering.

    • Bob-59786 June 9, 2015 Reply

      Wonder how many accomplish 100% of the 1%, but don’t do well w/ the other 99%?

  38. Eric-1088081 June 9, 2015 Reply

    I agree with the points in this article, but I feel it was somewhat of a bait and switch. I had thought that the author would give real tactical advice on how to know if a couple is sexually compatible before marriage, without having sex. I am sure that there are common questions Christians (whether virgins or not) want to investigate when in a chaste relationship before marriage. For example:

    * Will the wife be as interested in sex as the husband, and even if she would not naturally want the frequency he does, will be excited to to have sex with him anyway, because she knows it makes him happy, which makes her happy.
    * Will he be attentive and sacrificial to her needs in sex and before and after it with affection and kindness.
    * etc.

    These are fair, important, and legitimate questions. In fact, the author acknowledges sex it important. Are there ways to assess sexual compatibility by observing other behavior? Should couples have discussions and ask open questions about this?

    I’m hoping that he writes another article where he answers the real questions at hand.

    E

    • Julia-163268 June 9, 2015 Reply

      I agree with the bait and switch comment, Eric. Your questions are excellent ones, and presumably ones that have to do with character as much as with desire, etc. Is it possible to gauge things like generosity and patience, selflessness or enthusiasm in other areas and extrapolate to sexual intimacy? Perhaps, perhaps not, but this article implied that it would address that, and it did not.

    • Angelique-1208705 June 9, 2015 Reply

      Eric, keep in mind nobody is going to be a perfect match, sexually. There’s always going to be a certain amount of disparity in every couple, no matter how perfect their relationship is. Sexual compatibility takes work, and that means being willing to make sacrifices and reach compromises. Couples are both responsible for trying to fulfill their partner’s needs as well as their own. Sexual compatibility doesn’t mean you have to be exactly the same… just that you’re complimentary. When you can work together to meet each other’s sexual needs, you’ll find sexual compatibility and sexual fulfillment comes much more easily.

    • Patrick-858671 June 10, 2015 Reply

      Hi, Eric. Thanks for your post.

      I think what we need to keep in mind however is that the culture at large doesn’t look at marriage in the same way that we do. They see it as a mere contract, but we look at it as a COVENANT, which, yes, is at its basic level a contract, but with a sacred component to it. The covenant is consummated (fulfilled, completed) by sexual union, not tested by it, which is how the culture at large looks at “sexual compatibility”. They use this as an excuse to justify having sex before marriage. In fact, in my experiences in the blogosphere, there are some who think that sex is necessary even before becoming boyfriend-and-girlfriend so that they can know if they are sexually compatible for the RELATIONSHIP which may or may not lead to marriage.

      Then there’s also the issue of contraception, which many couples use, whether it’s condoms or the pill or whatever other methods. The problem here is that they’re using contraception while trying to determine if they’re “sexually compatible”, which is an inconsistency at best because they’re not experiencing each other as they truly are.

      “Are there ways to assess sexual compatibility by observing other behavior?” I think yes. The skin is, scientifically speaking, an organ in and of itself, the largest organ of the body actually. This is why I think that couples should have some kind of physical interactions – holding hands, cuddling, kissing, etc. Some Christians (like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” author Joshua Harris) will argue that such interactions are impure or even sinful.

      “Should couples have discussions…?” I think they would certainly do well to have those discussions at some point between getting engaged and getting married.

      All in all, I think you have the right idea, but remember that we’re still looking at sex and marriage differently from the rest of society.

    • Aaron-1201944 June 14, 2015 Reply

      Hi Eric! I feel that the things that you noted are correct. In a friendly way, I also want to say that I don’t feel at all that the article did a bait-and-switch. Rather, the fact that you and one other commentator here felt that tells me that you’re really anxious to know!

      I think that if you put that energy into seeking the answers wherever they may be found that you will find them. This author may not have the scope in his own personal knowledge to address your questions, and that’s OK. We have to go out and seek what we need for ourselves. It’s out there if we’re looking for it to assist us in serving the Lord through our marriage (seek, and ye shall find)!

      A final point – we don’t have to worry about marriage failing because of sexual incompatibility. That worry may also be there based on what I’m reading from a couple of persons here. What one commentator said is absolutely true: “A person who is selfish in other matters will surely be selfish in the marriage bed. A person who is sacrificial will be sacrificial in sexual relations. A person who is lazy…. you get my drift.”

      Sex is just one part of a relationship. A great partner will also be a great sex partner, just as they are a great partner in parenting, maintaining the household, etc. It’s about having Christian character with a sense of charity and a desire to serve one another in pursuit of serving the Lord through matrimony.

      • Aaron-1201944 June 14, 2015 Reply

        And a subsequent note: I didn’t see the original title of the article, so as the author appreciated your feedback in terms of how you felt about it I would not want to be commenting on your feelings about that. You may well have been right!

        • Leocardia-1226578 July 17, 2015 Reply

          I like your analysis as well

        • Leocardia-1226578 July 17, 2015 Reply

          This is an exciting topic. Have learnt so much from all the comments and issues raised. Having learnt from past mistakes and getting to know how God detest the sins of the flesh, I pray God to bless me with a man that would only ask for sex after marriage and I believe He will grant this desire and I do not see why i should not give myself totally to him to consummate the marriage

  39. JP G. June 9, 2015 Reply

    Excellent article!

  40. Jennifer-1129144 June 9, 2015 Reply

    Very good article!

  41. MaryAnne-1036894 June 9, 2015 Reply

    Being 76 years old, and having been married over 50 years with one man til death do us part, I can say , my husband and I never had sex before being married. I’m the mother of eight wonderful children. Sex wasn’t always perfect, but due to other reasons, not desire! Now being alone after my husband died three years ago, I miss that intimacy and companionship, and still looking for a compatible man who feels the same way! Very difficult to find these days, especially at my age! So, Mr.? , if you’re out there, and interested in marriage, I’d love to hear from you!

    • Bob-975224 June 9, 2015 Reply

      Dear Maryanne-1036894

      I fully agree with everything that you mentioned.

      Sex after marriage is the frosting on the cake. For a truly happy God Centered marriage it is more important to have many good ingredients, such as: worshiping God together,
      concern for the other persons feelings and the things that make the other person happy or unhappy, desire to help the other persons soul be with Jesus, after death, etc.

      God realized that it is not good for a person to go through life alone. That is why He created a Help-mate/ Soul-mate for us to help each other.

      • Andrew-1114997 June 9, 2015 Reply

        Besides which, sex should itself be an act of worship. In sex, a married couple become partners with God in the act of creating new life, and the two become one flesh. Matrimony isn’t called “holy” for nothing. The marriage bed is a place to worship God and rejoice in one another.

  42. Vincent-767706 June 9, 2015 Reply

    If sexual compatibility is as important as some say, then contracting erectile dysfunction would be grounds for divorce.

    As a second point, what are the real odds that you will marry the love of your life and have a relationship that is 99% in order and then find out the sex is bad? I imagine it’s extremely rare, especially as even in a chaste relationship, there would probably be some hints of your compatibility or at least desire.

    • Amy-1104389 June 9, 2015 Reply

      Exactly. A person who is selfish in other matters will surely be selfish in the marriage bed. A person who is sacrificial will be sacrificial in sexual relations. A person who is lazy….
      you get my drift.

    • JuanPedro-458618 June 9, 2015 Reply

      Excellent arguments, Vincent! Both of them.

    • Aaron-1227921 July 8, 2015 Reply

      Nobody can “contract” erectile dysfunction. It’s not a disease.

      Also, if someone wants to have sex, they are willing, then them and their partners can have lots of other fun sexually.

      In regards to your second point… that was me and my ex wife. Feel free to ask me all about it, because yeah, we “stayed pure” before marriage, and our sex life was awful. It ruined everything. There was NO HINTS of what was to come because we didn’t have sex beforehand.

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