In discerning what is and is not OK in a husband and wife’s sexual relationship when they have as much of a desire to walk rightly with God as they do to have a passionate marriage bed, I want to give you several guidelines to help you find clarity for your relationship with your spouse. We have spoken of these guidelines generally with certain topics as they have come up, but this article is focused on explaining each of them. Whether you are considering oral sex, anal sex, sex toys, masturbation, role playing, light bondage or simply even a new position, I offer you these questions to consider as you look at whether or not to include it on your shelf of spices.
Does this sexual act include anyone other than your spouse? Whether the person is physically in the room as in the case of threesomes, or if they are on a television screen in the case of pornography, or even if they are mentally in your head in the case of fantasizing about having sex with someone else, we would encourage you not to include these activities in your marriage bed. Although they might seem erotic and sexy, they will be a distraction from God’s plan for your hot and spicy sex life.
Is this sexual act something that both spouses agree they would like to try? If one spouse would like to try an activity in bed and the other feels it is wrong or simply feels really uncomfortable doing it, it should remain off the table until unity is reached. Now, there are situations where a husband or wife wishes to avoid all sex and in this case we are dealing with a sin issue of refusal which you can find information about here. However when I speak of being in agreement, I mean that if, for example, one spouse wants to have sex somewhere semi-public and the other is uncomfortable with it, the one who desires it should present it on occasion and then let the other person choose to try it or not. Strongly pressuring your spouse because you find it highly erotic and know that it would add to your sexual experience will actually make them less likely to try it. Refusing a specific act is not the same as refusing sex. Having said this, let me encourage you to try things you are a bit uncomfortable with if your spouse shows an interest. Sometimes we view something as sin either because we were taught that it is, though it may not actually be so, or because we fear it. Pray about it. If it is sin, avoid it. If it is something you fear or something someone else told you was wrong, consider trying it if you feel peace about that. Ask God to give you truth as you seek out what is and what is not sinful.
Is this sexual act one that God has clearly told us in Scripture is to be avoided? There are some acts which we are told in the Bible are not for us to participate in. Among the list are sex with animals, sex with someone of the same gender, and sex with someone who is married to someone else. Trying to justify our sin by saying that a loving God wouldn’t restrict us in these ways is harmful primarily to our relationship with Him, but also to our spouse. God planned for sex to be the way He did for a reason. When we avoid the things He tells us to avoid, then sex as He planned it to be from the beginning can be restored. Remember that before sin entered the world Adam and Eve walked around naked all the time. Sin, not God, caused them to think there was something wrong with their sexuality.
Does this sexual act move you towards deeper intimacy or further away? There are some things which could be a distraction from where our sexual energy should be focused. Fetishes would fall into this category. Dictionary.com defines a fetish as “any object or non-genital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.” If you love your wife’s sexy feet or your husband’s strong broad shoulders and they are a turn on for you, this is not a harmful fetish unless you require these body parts to be involved in order to become aroused. A harmful fixation on a fetish will result in the item or body part becoming a greater focus than your spouse which will not facilitate deeper intimacy.
Does this sexual act degrade or cause pain to my spouse? There are a number of sexual acts which some people participate in that are degrading to one of the people. Acts involving bodily waste (scat, golden showers, emetophilia…) have no place in a sexual relationship where the husband and wife are also seeking to live a life of devotion to the One who said that husbands should love their wives and wives should respect their husbands. As well, if you and your spouse enjoy the teasing and playfulness and trust involved in light bondage and that builds your intimacy then feel free to incorporate it, but anything in the arena of BDSM which causes pain or is motivated by a desire to intimidate the one God has given you to be your lifelong companion should not be incorporated. Violence is unacceptable.
I hope these guidelines are helpful as you honestly look at the options you have for spicing things up. Really, there are far more things that you can enjoy together, than those you can not. And for the things that shouldn’t be included, there are legitimate reasons. Don’t fight God on it, trust Him. If you don’t believe in God, try living sexually this way for awhile and see what comes of it.