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Sex Ed: Take Responsibility

October 26, 2016

I had my son within a year of being married. My husband was my first sexual partner and we waited to start having sex until after we got married. Good Christians and all. When I had my son, I remember feeling a panic that we couldn’t have sex for 6 weeks. I wasn’t worried because I wanted to have sex. Dear Lord. No. My body was ripped apart and needed to heal. I did NOT want to have sex. But somewhere, deeply ingrained, was the idea that if I did not have sex with my husband for an extended period of time, he would cheat on me. We had dated for almost two years without having sex. I knew that he could go 6 weeks without it and yet, the idea that my husband was incapable of controlling himself was placed somewhere where logic could not reach.

We’ve been married 10 years and my desire for sex has fluctuated in that time. When my desire is low and I have sought advice to help, the message I most often receive is that I just need to do it to keep my husband from temptation. This message is preached my friends, clergy, marriage books and even doctors. My husband’s desire to stray is my responsibility according to this well meaning but very damaging advice.

Do you know what will kill a woman’s sexual desire faster than anything?  The idea that her husband needs sex more than he needs her. Tell her that and believe me, sex is the last thing she will want.

I love my husband. I  want to care for him. We are in a partnership. However, I am not responsible for his actions. If he cheats because I am going through a time of low sex drive, that is on him. Not me.

My husband is not an animal, driven by instinct. He is a capable human with reasoning and self control.

So where does this idea start? This idea that women are responsible for a man’s sexual actions?

It starts as soon as you tell a young girl that she needs to cover her body or change her behavior so the boys in her class are not tempted.

Don’t do that.

Boys will be sexually attracted to girls and girls will be attracted to boys. That is a healthy, normal response, but she is not supposed to control his desire. He is. Our boys are capable of controlling themselves.

Telling them anything else is damaging to our boys as much as our girls.

Christians, I am looking at you; stop telling your girls that they need to cover up to protect their Christian “brothers” from temptation. You are feeding into the idea that she is responsible for his actions. A boy can refrain from grabbing a girl even if she is wearing a short skirt. To tell them otherwise is to rob our boys from becoming men who can take responsibility for themselves.

The behavior of a certain grown man in the media who is seeking  an office of great responsibility  is appalling, right? That behavior is deeply ingrained in our society and how we raise our children. If you are appalled by the idea that a man cannot help but grope a woman and then brag about it as much as I am, then join me in changing the way we raise our children. Teach your boys and girls that they are not the keeper of the others’ instinctual desire. Give them the tools they need to be reasonable human beings, not animals.

We can and must be better.

 

 

 

 

 

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