Rethinking Intimacy & Redefining Sex- with Sheila Wray-Gregoire
There’s a big misconception that sex = intimacy. We even call sexy lingerie “intimates,” and refer to our action between the sheets as intimacy. But what if we actually need to redefine sex and rethink intimacy? The truth is you can have sex without being intimate (think one-night stands), and you can develop intimacy without sex (think a celibate, romantic relationship). If we have a shot at learning how to truly develop intimacy in our marriages and relationships, we have to get very clear on this point.
I wanted to have this conversation with popular blogger, author, and speaker, Sheila Wray-Gregoire, because not only is she amazing, but she has been a great teacher in helping couples to develop real intimacy in their marriages. Sheila is straight up. She holds no punches, and she will have your eyebrows raised for half this interview because what she shares is a much-needed dose of reality for those of us who are trying to build true intimacy in our marriages.
Away with the “Churchisms”
My last podcast episode focused on what the church forgot to tell us about sex. Sadly, I see and hear from many Christians who have been invariably indoctrinated to believe that virginity equals purity and consent goes out the window once you get married.
Let’s talk about it.
The Purity Culture
Sheila and I discussed how harmful the “purity culture” can be to say, a victim of sexual assault or someone who has made past mistakes concerning sex. With a generation of shame-filled saints, it’s no wonder true intimacy becomes a concept to be embraced but never enjoyed. Neither the sins you commit nor the ones committed against you make you impure. Having sex outside of marriage doesn’t make you any more impure than binge-eating (greed and gluttony), cheating on your taxes (lying) or buying that too-expensive house to impress your co-workers (covetousness).
I’m reminded of the beautiful promise of Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, “says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” It’s Jesus, not whether or not we wear a purity ring, who makes us pure.
Redefining Sex and What it Takes to Create Intimacy
Let’s get back to basics. How do you define sex? Sheila encourages us to think beyond vaginal intercourse when thinking about sex. Think broader. Sex is more than that. I can tell you there are many sexually frustrated married folks who are bored or unfilled with sex because they have a limited view of what sex actually is. This is dangerous because it gives room for married people to turn their eyes on another instead of each other. If only they knew to prioritize intimacy instead.
As we began to wrap up our conversation, Sheila and I talked about how porn is affected women at higher rates and we discuss the link between pornography and sex trafficking. If you are struggling with porn, please seek help. There are much better and healthier ways to spice up your sex life than porn.
I pray this episode will help you to rethink and rekindle intimacy as you learn to redefine sex in your marriage.
Sheila’s blog: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum!
Sheila’s books (discussed on the podcast): The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex; The Great Sex Rescue(available March 21, 2021)
Sheila’s podcast: Bare Marriage
Feeling stuck in your marriage or relationship, let’s work together. Schedule your discovery call today at http://danache.com/coaching.
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