Skirmishes about good sex (bad sex?) are breaking out all over the place. With her recent, widely read and distributed post, Rachel Pietka has set the cat among the pigeons, arguing as she does that Christians should not assume or expect that sex in marriage will be great. It might never be great, and that’s ok, she says – just take bad sex as an occasion to grow in grace and focus on the more vital aspects of life and marriage.
Pietka is particularly taking aim at the false claim of abstinence education programs that insist that if you just wait until you are married, you will have the reward of great sex. She thinks this emphasis on great sex is setting an awful lot of people up for disappointment in the bedroom when the wedding night is a flop and there may be years of sexual dissatisfaction.
But as an orthodox Christian, Pietka also doesn’t believe the answer to this problem is an abandonment of abstinence before marriage (which is, of course, the prescription contemporary culture offers). Rather, as mentioned, she suggests that sexual incompatibility, or bad sex, is something that Christians just might have to endure faithfully and prayerfully, as we endure many other things.
And in the other corner we have Sheila Gregoire, who has written a book entitled The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. So you can imagine where she comes down on all of this. To sum up her counter-argument to Pietka: “After a decade, whether your honeymoon was great or not, you experience roughly the same levels of sexual satisfaction. Sex is a learning curve, and the best thing to do is just relax and be happy you can truly be intimate. Don’t worry too much. Things will happen and will get great with time.” Continue reading