The Emptiness of Sexual Encounters


Society glamorizes sex.

Chris and Sabina's Wedding Cake
Polish Apple Cake

Why is this? Because it feels good? Because it’s entertaining? We assume that any remote attraction between a man and woman should result in a sexual encounter. Why is that? What are we really seeking?

Companies spend billions of dollars each year to promote an activity devoid of any value except a pleasurable experience. Some people feel bungee jumping is a titillating affair, but we don’t see ads telling us that if we wear the right clothes or perfume or even deodorant we will attract a bungee jumping adventure!

So why sex?

Recently, I was chatting with someone about dating online. Since she and I both met our guys on the internet, we had that common connection. The topic of older people looking for love online came up. She wanted to know if I had heard of a particular older woman who wanted sex so she used internet dating to find men.  Traveling all over, this woman encountered these online suitors and had a lot of sex. Apparently, she wrote a book about it.

My initial thought when I heard about this was “and then what?”

Was she satisfied? Left wanting more? What was the point? More sex? Don’t think for a moment that I don’t understand the enticement of the physical experience and outcome of the sexual act.  I’m fully aware! But sex without intimacy, love, and the commitment of two souls is like eating a scrumptious dessert; it may taste good at the time, but it will only last the night.

My husband and I have been reading the book Love and War by John and Stasi Eldrege. I’ve mentioned it before and can’t recommend it enough.  The past couple of weeks we’ve been digesting “The Chapter on Sex” (that’s the title).  The following is from p.178:

Marriage is the sanctuary God created for sex, and only there, in the refuge of covenantal love, will you find sex at its best. For a lifetime. The coming together of two bodies in the sensual fireworks of sex is meant to be a consummating act, the climactic event of two hearts and souls that have already been coming together outside the bedroom and can’t wait to complete the intimacy as deeply as they possibly can.

It doesn’t get better than that.

Truly, it doesn’t. Brendan and I experienced our hearts and souls melding together through our long distance relationship long before we met in person. And we’ve found that our choice to wait for our wedding night to complete the intimacy was one of the best we’ve ever made!

Unfortunately, the general public has bought the line (hook and sinker included) that sex is meant for one night stands or a couple of months of physical pleasure, but that type of encounter is a hollow counterfeit. It may feel good, even great in the moment, but believe me when I say that it’s settling for second best.

The Bible puts it like this:

I have seen something horrible: they commit adultery and live a lie.  Jeremiah 23:14

Adultery is simply any sexual encounter outside the “sanctuary of marriage.” Having sex like that, simply for the sake of a good feeling or entertainment, is living an empty lie. God made sex and made it great (read Song of Songs in the Bible for proof), so the “something horrible” isn’t sex. What’s horrible is the way we get ripped off when we settle for something less than the best God has.

Using the internet to find the love of your life—good idea. Using the internet to find sex—a poor second.

Have you ever taken part in anything you thought was great until you experienced the real thing?

Look Here, But Don’t Look


 As a young girl, my life situation and society around me portrayed women as objects to be used for pleasure.

Men were expected to stare, flirt, touch, fondle, kiss and hopefully take the object of their lust to bed. “Real” women enjoyed being the object of someone else’s desire and would join in eagerly. If they resisted, it wasn’t because they meant no, it was only that they were teasing as part of a game. A man was supposed to pursue and conquer sexually; the woman should melt in his arms. But as soon as she was conquered, she earned the label “slut,” “easy,” or “loose.”

As Christian women, we were responsible for drawing a line, holding men back and making sure that purity reigned; thus relieving men of any respectful responsibility in the relationship. Then, as Christian wives, we’re to submit our bodies wholeheartedly because they no longer belong to us. What a contradiction in emotion and values for a woman, and often a license for selfish, irresponsible men.

As a girl surrounded by these ideas, I grew up looking for the love I craved in all the wrong ways and places.

If a young girl has an absent father, one who spends most of his time at work or play, is emotionally disengaged, or has abandoned the family altogether, she may start flirting or dressing to show off her body in order to secure the attention and affection she misses. Dressing provocatively has become the norm in our society, so often a girl innocently enjoys the attention it brings without understanding the statement she makes.

I noticed an advertisement for an upcoming show in which the woman, who was wearing an extremely low cut blouse asked the man she was talking to why he was looking at her breasts instead of her eyes. Is that a trick question? It presents a contrary and unfair message for both men and women! “Look here, but don’t look!” As women, we must be cautious what we portray to men.

Now, take the same girl who is desperately seeking a father to love and cherish her, and affirm her importance. If she meets someone seeking to use her sexually, she is in trouble without even being aware of it. Patterns can then be set and repeat themselves in each relationship she has.

In my case, unhealthy childhood patterns led to many unhealthy relationships.

Sexual promiscuity became the norm for my life, and I was afraid that if I didn’t go along with whatever was asked or expected of me, I wouldn’t be loved. I often felt sickened by my circumstances and had a deep sense that it wasn’t as it should be, but I didn’t understand the patterns. I didn’t know how to break free. Marriage seemed to be an answer. My dream for love and acceptance could be lived out in a Christian home with a man who promised to be faithful to me until death. Wasn’t that a guarantee?

The Bible says that deep calls to deep (Psalm 42:7); God’s spirit calls to ours. But also, the beliefs and values we’ve adopted over the years that reside deep within our soul or spirit, call to similar patterns in others. My longing for love and attention called out to men looking to fulfill something broken in themselves. Marriage didn’t change the patterns. It created another kind of trap…

Have you felt trapped in behaviors or patterns you didn’t want to be in? Do you think society’s portrayal of sex is helpful, destructive or neutral?

Are You Kidding?


Baby, I want you. IMG_4059

For those of you who have already frequented internet dating sites, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who are still juggling the idea, consider the value of humorous interactions as one of your pros in the decision making process. You wouldn’t believe how some individuals approach the internet dating scene. I suppose it may be equally ludicrous with people at bars, but I can only confess to my experience online.

Let’s start with the men—and  I use men only as the example of my experience, not to be sexist in any way…perhaps women exist who use similar tactics—who in their initial correspondence use the terms: “Oh baby” (Do I know you?); “I want you” (Like for dinner or…?); “I can’t live without you” (Really? What have you been doing all these years?); and “You are my angel” (Sent straight from heaven I suppose).  What response do these men expect from such nonsense? Do people actually reply to those comments?  And what about messages spelled horrifically with no apparent understanding of any language, let alone English? I mean no disrespect, but if you are someone who has been lured by this type of drivel, please know that you were meant for so much more!

Clearly these men are not “in love” with anyone, they simply desire to get something—like money, sex, or a way into the country!

Predators stalking the innocent!

Nonetheless, the possibility of endless pee-your-pants laughter abounds in these situations. One of my friends encountered a suitor that claimed her as his little goldfish, and then referred to himself as a piranha! Really?? Like a girl would be wooed by that line.

Once I was contacted by a Russian scholar-writer-pastor-missile salesman about whom my friend inquired, “Does he do that door-to-door?” We truly didn’t know how someone goes about selling missiles, but we certainly enjoyed a great laugh!

On christiancafe.com, the site I ended up on for about a year, the options for communicating were varied. If you wanted to show interest without corresponding directly, you could wink at someone by simply clicking a button that would send a short general interest message. You also had the choice of either sending a short form email, or a personal email. Generally, I ignored winks because I supposed that if someone was truly interested in me they would take the time to write something.

But when Brendan winked at me, I had already been drawn to him through his profile. Initially, it was his smile that grabbed me, and the fact that he was widowed with three children gripped my heart (more about that in coming blogs). His responses to the questions posed by the site’s profile page delighted and entertained me, and I was so disappointed when I realized he hadn’t finished answering them! So, just a few days after I had enjoyed reading his captivating responses, his wink caused my heart to skip. Really, Lord? Are you kidding me? Really? He’s so far away! Really?? Oh, my gosh.  Beyond thrilled and shedding joyful tears, I took hours to compose an email in reply because of the deep impression on my heart that he might be the “one.” And it turned out that he was.