Sex and the Christian woman
CHRISTIAN women have always been chided for being lacklustre and timid when it comes to sex, but for some of these women, nothing could be further from the truth, as their spirituality is precisely what adds that extra spice in the bedroom that helps to keep their husbands very satisfied.
There are some who even go as far as to argue that they have even better sex than their less sanctified sisters, since God is right there with them in the midst of the act, dispensing divine instructions during their exploration.
"That is the one time I put down holiness -- when I am in the bedroom with my husband," said Anne-Marie, who has been married for 20 years and baptised for much longer.
"I try every position, because the Bible says that the marriage bed is undefiled, so I give it to him front ways, sideways and every other way you can think of," said the Pentecostal worshipper.
She said that while the upbringing of some Christian women would have them viewing sex as a job, rather than for pleasure, this is not the case for every Christian woman.
Though a newbie to married life, Alicia finds that being a Christian further enhances the sexual experience for those who have a personal relationship with God, since with this comes the knowledge that sex is very sacred.
"It then becomes more than just a joining of bodies, but an intermingling of spirits and that takes it to an entirely different level," she said.
"There is a certain freedom which comes with knowing that you are not cheating or being cheated with, but that you are both committed to God and each other without wondering about that person's past or your own past, having waited based on Christian principles," she asserted.
She noted that although there are Christian couples who narrow down the Christian union to something you enter into just for procreation, these individuals would be among those who are cheated of the wonders God has enclosed in intimacy between couples. Among those, too, who are being short-changed, are those who block their minds to being creative in the bedroom, since, as she puts it, "God is not afraid of the marriage bed".
"Any couple submitted to him in truth and in fact will experience red hot monogamy and divorce is not anywhere in their vocabulary, neither is sexual unfulfillment," she said.
"He instructs in any and every area of your life, without you having to turn to porn or illicit means."
But while these wives are convinced that their relationship with God enhances their sexual encounters, church brother Duran Daley feels that it depends on how open and willing each person is in exploring their partner's body.
"You do have unsaved couples who are very conservative as it relates to sex and the same is true for Christians, so it depends on the individual," said Daley, who has been married for five years.
The matter of the link between sex and spirituality was the basis for a research project carried out by Howard Anderson from Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville. The study was published in the spring 2012 edition of the university's International Humanities Review and sought to explore the relationship between spirituality and sexual and marital satisfaction in Christian, married persons living in Mandeville.
"Research confirms a strong association between spirituality and marital satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction was found to interact with the two constructs when explored among wives," he noted in the abstract of his research.
Anderson sought to ascertain the link between religiosity and sexual satisfaction, by polling 49 married individuals from four churches in the parish.
He found that, "an increase in the level of spirituality increases the level of marital happiness among Christian married persons in Mandeville."
The study also revealed that sexual and marital happiness were related to each other in a moderate and positive way, but there was no significant relationship between spirituality and sexual happiness.
The study comes at a time when religious rigidity and a perceived lowered sexual interest by churchgoers are being touted as two of the reasons for the high divorce rates among Christian couples.
The national census has suggested that divorce is just as common in the church as it is outside and issues of infidelity and domestic violence experienced by a few televangelists in recent times have further given credence to a widely-held belief that sexual dissatisfaction is the primary reason for the increasing divorce rate within the Christian community.
While he believes that sexual dissatisfaction and financial problems also play a role in divorces, secretary of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Milton Gregory also feels that communication challenges is one of the major reasons for divorce.
"If you have the feeling that sex is dirty or sex is just for procreation, then you will have a problem. If you view sex as a gift from God to be enjoyed by two individuals who are married, then you will engage in the activity,"
He said that his church has always taught that sex is for pleasure, but still he understands that some individuals do have a warped concept of sex which makes it very difficult for them to enjoy it. This has been based primarily on their upbringing and associations.
"I always tell people that when God said you should be fruitful and multiply, he didn't say how to do it. So one can become creative within the bedroom. Being a Christian doesn't stop one from being creative and enjoying sexual activities," said Gregory.