Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Real Women Don't Like Lust" (Part 1)

"Real Women Don't Like Lust" (Part 1)
by KC Schnitker

I am compelled to write this series, "Real Women Don't Like Lust", in response to various media (movies, magazines, television and print) continually characterizing women as sex objects and as insatiable wild lusty types while in reality all the emphasis on 'sex' and 'sexy' and 'sex lives' separated from real meaning and purpose is having the exact opposite effect- driving couples further apart and in the long run making women feel kind of pukey about it all. 

I am an instructor of The Ovulation Method of natural family planning (NFP) and I've become so frustrated by these dishonest, inaccurate and harmful portrayals of truly beautiful and life-bearing woman and the obnoxious emphasis on the errant notion of a 'sex life' that I came up with the following to express my thoughts and frustration:

There should be no such thing as a "sex life". 
There is "married life" and within it, the many expressions of love 
which includes the renewal of the wedding vows.

I received the testimony below from a woman I instructed who has experienced that very aversion that happens to women over time in this culture.  She enthusiastically relates what a difference natural family planning- NFP (a.k.a.- the practice of chastity in marriage) has made in the intimate area of their marriage and in her attitude toward the renewal of their wedding vows:  

"NFP.  We were huge advocates of it during the first 17 years of our marriage, when we were happy to welcome more children, and we had no real reason to avoid another pregnancy.  However, in my 40’s, with children aging from teens to toddler, I felt unable to handle another baby.  It was time to practice what we preached.

My husband was NOT happy!  He came into the faith late, and therefore had never had to exercise any sort of discipline in that area; not as a teen, not in single life, and not in married life.  In our culture, from the time boys begin to feel any urges at all, they are encouraged to release them; they are certainly not told they need to conquer them.  We were both born and raised in that culture.

When we first looked at actually practicing NFP, we had mistakenly assumed there would be two week stretches without intimacy and he staunchly refused to consider such a sacrifice.  This led to months of upheaval, as I was panicked every month, and he was sick of my emotional swings.  I was angry with him that he couldn’t contain himself for my sake.  He was mad because I was not…enthusiastically participating in our intimate life.

Finally he said he was going to get a vasectomy.  I was devastated!  Not only for the fact that he would be committing a grave moral evil, but, admittedly, because there would be no reason for me to say ‘no’ to sex, at any time.  I’d done enough reflecting on sexuality that I knew the effects of objectification, and I knew that I would end up feeling used for gratification if there was no reason to abstain. It was during this reflection that I recognized that, in spite of contraception, this divide still exists between men and women in our culture.  It is considered comical, and quite normal, for a woman to feign a headache in order to avoid making love to her husband, as evidenced in TV, movies and magazines.

I put my foot down.  We had to go get some NFP training and, at the very least, give it a good try for a few months.  He avoided the instruction for weeks, but finally agreed to yield an hour.  It had a huge impact on me.  Not so much the science part as the relationship part of it.  I remember the instructor saying that lust can never be satisfied, and that pretty much summed up what I felt was happening, and would continue to happen in our marriage, if we didn’t use NFP.

Reluctantly, my husband agreed to give it a shot.  I won’t bore you with all of the details, but this experience has proven to my husband, more categorically than anything else, that God knows what He’s talking about!  We have had more intimacy, and more enthusiastic intimacy that we had in the first 17 years of our marriage.  He is stunned to see me invite him to union, which was a constant source of strain in our marriage before.  He didn’t feel loved, and neither did I.  The best way I can define it is this: during the stretches of abstinence I see him giving; giving me peace of mind, giving me love in the countless other kindnesses that I know are not just a prelude to sex.  During the safe times, I am so in love with him for his generosity that I desperately want to be near him.  I am thrilled to have that closeness with him, and I want to give him all that I can.  NFP has been a tremendous blessing, in ways that I never imagined, and on a level of depth of heart and soul that I didn’t even know existed between two people. “

It's important to point out that this couple is not being presented here as a model for the perfect attitudes regarding married intimate life or towards children.  The focus is not on the before, which obviously needs some adjustment, but it is on the end result and how their attitudes, feelings and behaviors changed as a result of practicing natural family planning.

Living in this culture I don’t think people think there is another way and it is difficult to admit, “I’m sick of it all!!”  But, there really is another way as evidenced by the above testimony- a way that is much more fulfilling, satisfying and loving.

For a time a woman may participate and engage in the marriage act where lust is predominant, but after a time, especially after infatuation has faded… well… everyone knows what “I have a headache” is referring to AND everyone knows that the one saying it is… THE WOMAN.
Why is it that the woman is the one getting the headaches??
I have some suggestions in to offer in Part 2, “Why Women Get…Headaches”.

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean

Also published in LifeSiteNews: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/real-women-dont-like-lust
And Defend Life: http://www.defendlife.org/newsletters/2013/September-October-2013-Newsletter.pdf


  1. This is very interesting to read from a male perspective. There are some good points, and it makes a lot of sense.

    I do feel like it simplifies the male part of the equation, however. I don't believe that women are the only ones who 'get headaches'. Men may use different strategies when they're not in the mood, but speaking as someone who has been married long enough for the infatuation to wear off, I know that I am not interested in physical intimacy unless I feel a strong sense of emotional intimacy first.

    There's also a chicken and egg thing going on with male vs. female needs here. Speaking in broad, generalized terms, most men have a 'need' to feel desired by their spouses. When they feel respected and desired, it makes it easier for them to be better husbands. Your article seems to be saying that women have a 'need' to feel intimacy that is separate from sexuality. When they feel that intimacy, it makes it easier for them to express their love physically.

    I think it's one of the many situations in marriage where both parties have to step up and try to give their partner what they need without expecting anything in return. If they're both just waiting for the other person to provide for their needs, nothing is going to happen.

    Thanks for the post. Good food for thought.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments. You are right that this article does focus more on the woman's perspective and is also looking at 'in general' situations. So many women in my 23 years of marriage have told me that they could 'take it or leave it' (referring to intimacy with their husbands) and I know that these couples were using contraception and that the whole 'lust' thing is what caused them to have that condition. What has been so exciting to see is what is related above- that when the child is reconnected to every act- either through 'we are willing to parent if we conceive' or 'we are willing to abstain from the marital embrace until the fertile time passes (because the procreative aspect is respected), the beauty, integrity and dignity of sex is restored, lust takes a flying hike and the woman goes from, "I will" to "I want" because of it- THAT, as you said, is VERY important to men AND very exciting as well :) I think men suffer two fold in the contracepting culture- unmeetable, unfulfilled desire and the hurt of not being as desired as they ought to be by their wives. It is VERY difficult for the couple to connect the dots for why they are frustrated and resentful to contraceptive behavior because on the surface it appears to be so practical, the behavior is so ubiquitous and societally accepted and because of the "Like... it's no big deal!" attitude about it.

      At the beginning of a relationship when infatuation is functioning, women are motivated and interested, but infatuation fades (as God designed it to) and if lust is flourishing because contraception enables and facilitates it to, beautiful, lovely, life bearing woman begins to feel an aversion. The tragic thing is that she will think 'it's him' or 'it's us' and almost never realize that it's because the procreative aspect has been removed. Our culture tells us that our fertility is of no consequence- in reality, it's the biggest lie going.
      Anyway, thanks again for the comments. I plan to write another post because of your points focusing on the man's side of things- tentative titles: "The Radical Adventure" and/or "Men are Powerful".