So @markgungor said yesterday: "At it’s core, marriage is a sexual contract. Refusing sex to your partner is a violation of the contract."

In our recent survey of 20,000 Christian women, we found that his take on sexless marriages is completely off base. Here's how.
When women (1) have high marital satisfaction; (2) frequently orgasm during intercourse; and (3) have husbands who don't use porn, marriages almost NEVER become sexless. Sexlessness is a SYMPTOM of a greater problem. Women don't suddenly up and decide to give up on sex one day.
Now there are many reasons why a marriage might become sexless. In this thread, I'm only going to address the most common scenario: She never orgasms; she feels distant from her husband; and she's one of the 16% of women who say their primary emotion after sex is "feeling used."
Evangelical marriages have a 47 point orgasm gap--95% of men almost always/always orgasm during sex, compared with 48% of women.

And the most common reason that women don't orgasm? Lack of foreplay on the part of the husband, and lack of prioritizing her pleasure.
Let's consider two marriage scenarios:
1. No intercourse
2. Intercourse where she doesn't orgasm & she feels used.

In #1 she has no orgasm. In #2, she has no orgasm AND she feels used.
#1 is worse for HIM. But #2 is far worse for HER.
But only #1 raises red flags to Mark Gungor
We count a marriage as "having sex" as long as THE HUSBAND orgasms. Her orgasm is optional, a bonus, but not necessary. And we know this because no one calls a marriage where she doesn't orgasm sexless; but they do call a marriage where HE doesn't orgasm sexless.
Again--there are many other reasons for sexless marriages. But saying that men can separate from wives who don't have sex without acknowledging that many men in sexless marriages have systematically killed their wives' sex drives completely eradicates her experience.
I also know that there are many reasons that women don't orgasm. It isn't always due to the husband. But a good husband will help her unlock her sexuality and deal with any trauma she has. He won't have sex with her for years on end without caring that she feels little pleasure.
I could also say much more about rape culture & obligation sex--we found in our survey that making women feel obligated to have sex results in far worse sexual outcomes for her and far higher rates of sexual pain. The obligation sex message, as Mark frames it, is toxic.
So what should we say instead? Let's have a HEALTHY view of sex--where sex is only sex if it is MUTUAL, INTIMATE, and PLEASURABLE. One-sided intercourse is not biblical sex, and God does not demand that women put up with it.
And listen--two years ago I would have something similar to Mark. But we did the research, & we've changed our view. We need a better conversation about sex in the evangelical community, which means listening to research. Simply being a pastor doesn't make someone a sex expert.
For a healthier route forward, please see The Great Sex Rescue, and learn what 20,000 Christian women can tell us about what really makes sex work in marriages--and what evangelical messages are toxic.

Reference: Mark Gungor's Facebook post:…

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More from @sheilagregoire

8 Apr
Along with this—

Many comps say to me, “Ah, but you do need someone in marriage to be a tie breaker!”, as if that’s a winning argument.

I’ve been married for 29 years. We don’t use a tie breaker.
We pray about it, talk it through, ask for advice for mentors, and don’t move ahead until we agree. It actually works well.

If people think “you need a tie-breaker” is a winning argument, I wonder if they don’t know what it’s like to do the real work of coming to agreement?
Like, if they can’t picture a marriage where it’s possible to work things out together, then perhaps that says something about their marriages?

We’ve had big decisions—including whether to let a child pass away or try one more surgery that wouldn’t likely work. It’s not easy.
Read 4 tweets
17 Mar
It's time for the evangelical church to realize that the way we talk about sex and lust and porn poses a danger to women, as the Atlanta shooting all too horrifically showed us--and 8 people, including 7 women, died for it.
Apparently the shooter has said he had a "sex addiction" and the spas were "a temptation ... that he wanted to eliminate." This language sounds a lot like how Every Man's Battle describes the temptation to lust.
Defeating lust involves "bouncing your eyes" away from women. The 1st step is to "make a list of your greatest enemies." Among your potential enemies? Female joggers, or a "female co-worker who tends to dress a little suggestively." Or women at the beach.…
Read 13 tweets
14 Feb
Here’s an example of man pushing back against my thread. I’d like to respond to some of his points:

Re 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 and why it should not be used to tell women they need to have sex on demand:
Biblically, sex is INTIMATE, MUTUAL, and PLEASURABLE. The whole point of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 is mutuality. And sex is about intimacy; God describes His relationship with us in sexual terms.
Therefore, any interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7 that says to women, “You need to allow your husband to use your body on demand, no matter what you are feeling,” is completely unscriptural and taking that out of context to weaponize it.
Read 11 tweets
13 Feb
We're all bemoaning the celebrity Christian culture that led to the Ravi Zacharias & Carl Lentz (& so many more) sex & sexual abuse scandals.

But what if the problem is not just--or even mostly--celebrity culture?

What if it's the evangelical view of sex?

A thread.
Yes, celebrity culture gave these men (and so many others) more access to victims, and it gave them cover for what they were doing.

But it was not celebrity culture that taught these men to objectify women. Our evangelical culture did that all on its own.
Take the Every Man's Battle series of books: Every Heart Restored says: "Because of male hardwiring, men don't naturally have that Christian view of sex."

EMB says: "We find another reason for the prevalence of sexual sin among men. We got there naturally--simply by being male."
Read 19 tweets
11 Feb
Here’s my problem with the #TheWisdomPyramid : He says that books are higher than online resources.

But in our survey of bestselling evangelical resources for our upcoming book The Great Sex Rescue, it was the books that called women methadone for their husbands’ sex addictions.
It was books that said about sex, “if your husband is typical, he has a need you don’t have,” denying women’s sexuality (Love & Respect).

That book also said sex was about a husband’s “physical release”, rather than also about deep intimacy and knowing.
It was books that said that women had to give husbands oral sex & hand jobs during their periods & postpartum phase, because it was a difficult time “for him” (Sheet Music).

It was a book that called a rapist “equally unhappy” to his wife, his rape victim. (Act of Marriage).
Read 7 tweets
17 Jan
One reason I find Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis so dangerous to our children:

In this age when too many Christians are believing conspiracy theories, Ham marinates kids in conspiracies from the very beginning when teaching young earth creationism.
He teaches kids: You cannot believe scientists or teachers or leaders. They are all trying to lead you astray. Only we, who aren’t actually scientists, know the real science.

(When kids grow up and learn science, they feel they have to abandon God).
From very young ages, then, our schooling of kids is predicated on conspiracy theories.

Think how much the church does this! Even with biblical counselling—you can’t believe anyone secular or medical. They are trying to lead you astray. You can only believe the Bible.
Read 4 tweets

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