Sex is Good and May Be Subject to Change

A relationship coach for most of my adult life, though official titles and facilitations have morphed and changed along the way, I found myself invited to participate on a panel with other experts on sex and relationships. I am not saying that I am a sex expert, but early in my religious career, my wife and I did share a ministry focused on religious folks and sex. In those early days, our message was to remove the evil shadow over the issue of sex among married religious folks, insisting that sex is good, not evil. And tried to help them approach marital sex as sacred and enjoyable, not just something that you do out of a sense of duty.

I felt like I was the most out-of-place participant on the panel but realized that I could bring a unique perspective to the topic arena. For instance, religious individuals and leaders are often reported as being sexually deviant, and due to the attention-grabbing fascination or headline news, people often shudder whenever they think of someone being in this-or-that mainstream religion, or if in a smaller independent spiritually oriented group, may be erroneously referred to as a sex cult. It’s the old one bad apple spoils the whole bunch vibe. People can be so heavily influenced by the news media.

Having a ru=ich history in religious counseling, I am often privy to information that the standard therapist or scientific researcher has because the individuals that I work with are more apt to tell the truth and include details when protected by clergy-penitent privilege. Surprisingly to me, I have seen a wide variety of issues across the wide spectrum of sexuality, even within the confines of religion in all stages of membership and clergy. All the while, keeping a welcoming, non-judgmental, open perspective, respecting each individual to be at whatever place they might be in their spiritual journey, even when it was hardest to do so, even in those early years.

I quickly began to understand that sexuality is a spectrum, and even though I am opposed to the labels that are heralded by my peers, I do agree, that for those of particular sexual persuasions, it can be comforting to know that you are not the only one. And believe me, no matter how you feel like you are the only one that feels that way about sex (whatever that means to you), there are so many people out there that feel the same way.

Even in those early days of our ministry, my wife and I would encourage reverently religious folks to entertain the idea of expanding their horizons in private in the marital bed, often citing the first part of Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled,” which means that a husband and wife can enjoy all the joy that can be celebrated between each other, sexually, without limitation, with consent, encouraging exploration and experimentation. We purposely left out the remainder of the scripture because it dealt with relationships outside of the bonds of marriage, and we only did marital counseling. Even so, there were many challenges that religious couples would face when one or both partners strayed outside of the marriage. The most common, infidelity, as you might have guessed.

No doubt, there are endless possibilities among sexual persuasions that couples may experience, and it is not uncommon for any person to move through phases or evolve to and through a variety of sexual orientation(s) throughout one’s journey. This can be highly problematic when one partner changes his or her sexuality when in a committed relationship.

For instance, a couple may be equivocally matched, both being demisexual (someone who is only sexually attracted to another with whom they feel they share a deep emotional bond) at the relationship’s outset, but one partner begins to discover that he or she is freysexual (someone who is only sexually attracted to someone they do not know or strangers). This can be a problem, and most certainly will be. Of course, discovering one’s latent homosexuality can also come as a surprise.

These kinds of changes leave telltale signs that the other partner begins to notice, so planning a path of action is beneficial as soon as the one who is changing becomes aware of it. The partner who is not changing may see this as a sign of betrayal if not included in the change early on. So, some disclosures, and/or seeking a coach, counselor, or family therapist, earlier would be far better than later.

Often, the change takes place in secrecy. Sometimes the one who is changing, and does not understand the change is taking place and hides his or her feelings because they are struggling with trying to figure out what’s going on. In other circumstances, maybe change is not happening at all. Maybe one member of this couple has always had a particular style of sexual interest but feigned being more compatible with the other partner by “acting as-if” out of love, commitment, expectations of others (we see a lot of this in the religious community), denial, or even maliciously to exploit the partner in some way.

If there is to be any hope for the couple’s survival, if that is the agreed-upon intent of both parties, then openness and honesty is the best way to approach the issue.

And, yes, couples do survive these kinds of changes. If it is faced head-on, and the couple’s love and commitment is great enough to survive such a challenge.

Although I was nervous and felt awkward about participating on the panel, I definitely feel as though I would say, “yes,” to a similar invitation in the future.


Holy Sex Acts

Back in the day when a large part of my ministry was focused on religious couples counseling, often Mary and I would be called on to deal with a couple’s most intimate details of their life. We even conducted training seminars on the subject for groups of counselors, nationally.

Even today, the most advanced religiously-based couples still run into these issues, mostly due to rumor and the bent expressions of other religious people who surround them. While I am not specializing in the area of sex in relationships, these days, invariably, the topic comes up for couples (especially Christian couples) facing challenges in their relationship.

It appears that people have forgotten that God’s first charge for mankind was to have sex. Later (for whatever reasons, according to biblical texts), God restricted sanctioned sex to that which was confined to the marriage relationship.

The best news for a sexually active married couple, is that God blesses anything you might like to try, explore, celebrate and enjoy in the marriage bed, for this sacred space is considered “undefilable” for the couple bonded in marriage, according to St. Paul (Hebrews 13:4). This is your sexual playground, to be enjoyed to its fullest.

There are some things that, according to the Bible, should be avoided in the married sexual relationship, which are reasonable things to be avoided in a relationship. I know you’re anxious to find out what they are, so buckle up for what God doesn’t want you to do sexually when you’re married…

Sex Outside of Marriage

God is very clear about having sex with anyone outside the boundaries of marriage. Regardless of examples of infidelity in the Bible by some of the most respected characters and biblical heroes, this is not an indication of God’s blessing. And, pretty much, if all the details were known, adding additional sex partners to the marriage relationship, has led to less than desirable results. And even though the Bible is a 2,000-year-old document, it still contains valuable secrets of successful relationships and mental health, so consider having an open mind.


Many (including scientists and mental health professionals) people have proven over time that having sex with your family members is detrimental to having a positive impact on one’s life. So, again, the Bible hits the bullseye on this caveat to not engage in any sex acts with any family members. Just don’t do it. (Plus, there are laws against it, which vary state to state.)

Weird Sex

Okay, this is where people get all tied up (stay tuned, it’s okay to tie up your Christian wife or husband if she or he consents). Weird sex, according to the Bible, is sex that takes place outside the marriage relationship which is unconventional. This refers to sex acts with animals, which is prohibited, and prostitution. Including deviant sex acts with someone (or something) outside of the sacred marriage bed.

The Sexual Good News

Everything else is okay!

Think about the opportunities which are open to a marriage relationship and sanctioned by God: Everything.


Yes, everything; as long as the husband and wife consent.

What this looks like to a husband and wife will look very different from one couple to another. There is nothing that is more intimately unique and private than that which takes place in the marriage bed.

By all means, establish “safe words” and experiment with each other to find out what works for the two of you.

Let go of all those old-fashioned restraints, which were not put on you by God, but by others with their own sexual hang-ups. Feel free to express your unrestrained liberty with each other as you explore all the magnificence, exciting, elegant, beautiful and consider being creative in your pursuit of this most intimate exploration.

Keep in mind that love is courteous and kind, so find ways to take your partner’s considerations under advisement. You would not want to do anything that is harmful, destructive, or traumatic for your partner. Be compassionate, gentle, and kind as you explore and if something is determined to be undesirable, avoid that particular sexual activity, but keep exploring.

Sexual exploration is part of the expansion and evolution of the contemporary human experience. This is not only available to you, it is God’s calling you to a deeper, more meaningful, and expressive relationship between a husband and wife.