Imagine yourself being subjected to sitting in a room and watching several hundred hours of TV programming that eating chocolate ice cream was wrong. Plus you’re given a mild electric shock every time you looked at the chocolate ice cream they put on a table next to you. After being led out of the room and told the experiment is over, how much would you be able to enjoy eating chocolate ice cream? Even if we told you that chocolate ice cream was great and perfectly fine for you to eat now? Even if we handed you a bowl of chocolate ice cream and said go for it.
I’m imagining that you aren’t going to be able to suddenly grab a spoon and chow into the ice cream like nothing happened. I’m imagining you’re going to hold that bowl of ice cream with an inner conflict between desire and anxiety raging inside you. You know it’s fine to eat it… but you just can’t.
Assuming you were raised in religious circles and took their instruction seriously, you’ve very likely heard several thousand, maybe tens of thousands of messages to resist sexual temptation in one form or another. This teaching is well intentioned, and individual pieces of instruction are perfectly fine, but the sheer volume of the messages are overwhelming and have an effect.
There are some positive messages about sexual enjoyment, but the ratio of “NO!” messages to “YES!” messages are in about a 90% / 10% ratio. The overwhelming message is a default “NO!”
Even messages that are intended to be positive, say… “God designed sex for marriage and it’s a wonderful experience together with your spouse and all part of his plan for us…” still is received as a message to resist their sexuality to an unmarried person. So the married people get to have a rocking good time, but you young man… you need to just hold it… no no no, we didn’t mean literally hold it… we meant don’t touch, do or think anything about sex… for about another decade.
See how that positive sexual message to some is a negative sexual message to others?
So, after hearing tens of thousands of messages to resist sexual temptation in one form or another, you tend to become conditioned to resist enjoying sex. So even when sex becomes allowed by actually getting married, it’s hard for some people to let go and enjoy it fully. It’s like your Rationalization Hamster got brainwashed and instead of trying to find you sneaky ways of getting it on, it’s your own personal inner cockblock.
It’s this sort of programming that makes bizarre stuff happen from an evolutionary-psych perspective. Sometimes a man can game a woman over a few weeks and make better and better traction on her. Then when she decides she wants to have sex with him, she sets the scene for seduction and invites him over. There’s a little wine, a change into something more comfortable, privacy, a bed and that unmistakable look that says she’s available to him…
…and he says goodnight and leaves.
It’s not a moral decision that happened here. He’s actually incapable of having sex with her, the same way a little dog can’t run past the end of the driveway because of the invisible electric fence.
It’s the same sort of thing a wife can have with her husband, where he’s asked her over and over for her to give him a blowjob, the first of their three year marriage, but she can’t. She loves him, she’s attracted to him, she knows he’s getting deeply resentful about it, she wants to want to give him a blowjob… she just can’t. It’s dirty, it’s wrong, it’s sinful, it’s anxiety inducing. There’s the invisible fence in her mind stopping her. That’s why she always has a headache these days…
All your sexual pleasure and motivation is based in the Limbic System, aka your Body Agenda. It’s your Body Agenda that wants to get laid and played with. Your Neo-Cortex is your rational critical thinking center and doing it’s darndest to override the Body Agenda. Sexual enjoyment isn’t based on rational thought, it’s based on feelings, pleasure and emotionally letting go. So if you want to overcome your inner blockages to enjoying sex, there’s really only one way of doing so. You have to stop thinking about it and just start exploring your sexuality and defying your invisible fences. You need to break the rules.
Now some important caveats…
All that old time religious instruction isn’t all completely wrong. There are some serious pitfalls out there sexually and once done, it’s a case of what has been seen can’t be unseen. So my basic advice…
(1) Limit all sexual exploration to you and your partner.
(2) Small steps rather than trying to make big jumps. You’ve got your whole marriage ahead of you to explore things with each other.
(3) Understand that only 30% of what you try is going to work for you both. You’ll fail more than you succeed. Just laugh about it.
(4) Understand that fantasy is different from reality. Things you may never want to happen in reality may turn you on as a fantasy.
(5) What happens in your bedroom is your business and no one else’s to worry about.
(6) Don’t go from the ass to the vagina. Just… don’t.
(7) Small amounts of alcohol are helpful once in a while when you try something new.
(8) Lubrication, lubrication, lubrication.
(9) Be open to doing things your partner wants to try that you have no interest in. Sometimes them really liking something is a turn on for you, and you end up liking it too.
(10) Understand that not everything is going to “work” the very first time you do it. Sometimes you need to try it a couple times to really get a feel for it.
It’s really a case of unlearning the “I’m not allowed because I’m single” conditioning, and learning the “I’m married now and this is what I’m allowed to do” conditioning. And yes, having some invisible fences in your mind isn’t a bad thing for married people to have. In fact you want some in each other. You want your wife to automatically react badly to some guy she vaguely knows sending her a picture of his dick via Facebook. You want your husband to feel uncomfortable when someone slips him a phone number. Fences are great, it’s just a case of where you want those fences erected. Keeps the bad stuff out and you can relax and play inside to your hearts content. You just don’t want to be all cooped up in a tiny area.
Also quite obviously not every religious person is uptight about sex with their partner, but some are, and this post is for them.