Ways to Improve a Boring Sex Life Within Christian Marriage
Orange County Christian Counseling
Sexual boredom inevitably plagues most marriages at some point—but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a monotonous sex life. Married sex often devolves into “leftovers sex” (as described by Dr. David Schnarch), where anything adventurous or slightly uncomfortable is eliminated and the relationship settles into a comfortable routine.
Eventually, this approach starts to seem monotonous to at least one of the spouses. It’s no different than eating the same meal every day. Even if you love that meal, you’ll probably get tired of it after awhile and crave something different.
Why Sex Gets BoringSo how do married couples get into ruts like this if they don’t really enjoy what they’re doing? It’s because the routine feels safe. Different people have different definitions of what feels safe or off-limits to them, and these ideas often aren’t based on whether they’re objectively right or wrong, but rather what the act says about them as a person.
“When you realize novelty is mostly mental, you see that couples fighting over doing something new are really fighting about revealing something new.” (165)
It is hard to get out of a comfort zone of any kind, including sexually, but it’s important if you want to improve your relationship. A comfort zone in a sexual relationship is described by Schnarch as “other-validated intimacy.” This means you let your worries about what someone else might think stop you from doing something.
The more intimate and bonded two spouses become, the more their fear of changing things can increase. They might worry that if they ask for a particular act, this will reflect negatively on their sexuality or make them seem aberrant in some way. They also don’t want to make their spouse upset by asking for something they’re not used to doing; they don’t want to rock the boat.
“As your partner becomes more important to you, sexual boredom becomes more likely. It’s harder to innovate sexually because as her opinion grows more important to you than your own, you won’t risk her rejection.” (167)
This is a natural response, but it can lead to resentment if you constantly suppress your true thoughts and desires. People pleasing isn’t a good motivation in this situation or in any other.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
Healthy, open communication about one’s sexual relationship doesn’t mean being forceful about what you want, but it also doesn’t mean shutting down about things you’d like to discuss. Stepping outside your comfort zone together can create new adventures and growth for both of you.
If Sex is Boring, How Can You Fix It?
Vulnerability creates the opportunity for growth in a sexual relationship, and this means the willingness to explore parts of you that you may have been reticent about for fear of rejection. Talk with your spouse about both of your concerns related to changing your sexual routine. Is there anything you’ve been hesitant to try or ask for? Is there anything they would like that you are willing to try?
A conversation like this requires honesty and vulnerability, and that is what will get you out of a sexual rut.
According to Schnarch, partners who are willing to have this discussion have often grown tired of hiding their true desires, and out of a sense of integrity, they want to be forthright with their spouse. “Eventually, your integrity and self-respect kick in. Feeling like you’ve sold yourself out–and your desire for interesting sex–motivates you to do it.” (175)
This is not encouragement to coerce your spouse into acts that they find disagreeable; it’s about creating an atmosphere of emotional safety where both of you feel you can be open about your sexual thoughts and feelings. These conversations must be approached with compassion and mutuality.
Confessing weaknesses and bearing one another’s burdens is what we as Christians are commanded to do, and we can apply these principles to the sexual relationship within marriage as well. An honest vulnerability with one’s spouse will help prevent couples from settling into boring ruts in their sex lives.
Christian Counseling to Improve a Boring Sex Life
If you and your spouse are struggling because of a boring sex life, consider making an appointment with a professional Christian marriage counselor, who will provide a safe space for both of you to discuss ways you can move toward greater intimacy.
“Trouble”, Courtesy of Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash.com; CC0 License; “Still in Your Arms,” courtesy of Toa Heftiba, unsplash.com, Public Domain; “Bench,” courtesy of Elvert Barnes, FCC (CC BY 2.0); “Eye contact,” courtesy of Jeremy Wong, unsplash.com, CC0 License