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Are Your Beliefs About Sex Sabotaging Your Marriage?

______2123420James T. Horning © 2014
Note: The following article is largely excerpted from the book WINNING AT THE GAME OF WIFE You by James T. Horning.

“Sexless marriage” is loosely defined as a marriage where sex happens infrequently to never. A sexless marriage is, traditionally speaking, no marriage at all. And maybe your problem is not the quantity of sex but the quality of the sex. And just for the record, I think having a sexless or ungratifying sex life is like driving a car around that is firing on only one cylinder. If your car had the problems your marriage might have, you wouldn’t hesitate to fix it. Right? A sexless marriage is unacceptable! If your marriage is on the rocks, it could be because your sex life sucks. A couple’s sex life is a window into the soul of the marriage. It’s a barometer for the quality of love, connection, devotion and desire in a relationship. It’s an indicator of the level of honor and respect given not only to each other but to the institution of marriage. Let me explain.

Sex is a fruit or byproduct of a healthy marriage. Great sex is the fruit of an exceptional marriage where deepest needs are synergistically being met by each other in the relationship. If you love and are committed to each other but one or both of you is unwilling to meet the sexual needs of the other, it is often traced back to your beliefs about sex and sexuality. Your beliefs are powerful in that they influence your behavior for good or for worse. They are the backbone of your operating system. They, in practice, are your religion. Your beliefs that may be sabotaging your sex life and consequently your marriage probably came from your religion or your parents or both.

My definition of religion is any structured set of beliefs or concepts that you become convicted of that influence your thinking and guide your decision making, which ultimately determines the quality of your life and your destiny. Indoctrination is the process of communicating these beliefs, concepts, and “doctrines” (religion) so that they become convictions. They become part of your updated “operating system”; a new frame of reference by which your thoughts, actions and decisions are modeled and tested. If you’re consistently updating your operating system (through meditation, reading, attending seminars etc.) and your spouse is not, having a meaningful relationship can be challenging. Beliefs are so powerful in determining your destiny, that you have to consistently take stock of whether yours are holding you back or compelling you forward. Is your “religion” empowering you to have a better life? Hint: Any thought that you hold to be true is a belief. Any belief that causes you pain, limits the quality of your life, or prevents you from realizing your true potential needs to be seriously questioned and remodeled. The following would be examples of beliefs that might just be fire-hosing your ability to get what you deserve in your relationship and in your life. I highly recommend trashing any beliefs that sabotage your ability to experience a fruitful life and a passionate marriage. I don’t care where they came from- your religion, parents, best friend, education, it doesn’t matter. The bible says “By your fruits you shall know them”. That’s good enough for me.

Following, I will refer to some common sabotaging beliefs as “Myths”. I refer to them as myths because they are often held to be true when in fact they are not. Myths are really beliefs that may negatively influence the quality of your connection with your mate, the quality and frequency of sex and ultimately f**k up your life . Myths, in this context, are things we might believe to be true that in fact are detrimental to a healthy relationship and a healthy sexuality. It is my hope that if any of these are a part of your experience, that you at least entertain an alternative perspective and allow yourself the gift of new possibilities.

Myth #1

A great relationship has nothing to do with sex. True, if you’re not married! A primary difference between a good friendship and a good marriage is sex. You don’t need sex to be great friends. However, you must have sex, if not great sex, to have a great marriage.

Dr. Phil McGraw in his #1 best seller Relationship Rescue, suggests that sex provides couples a respite from the rat-race; a place they can go to relax, reconnect, and stay involved. He also adds that without sex your relationship is reduced to “…one devoid of uniqueness”.

Marriages with unsatisfying sex are more often than not on the road to alienation, infidelity and divorce. Extra-marital affairs happen not necessarily because of lack of love, but because of the absence of sex or more poignantly, gratifying sex. Individuals going outside their marriage for sex usually aren’t looking for love, rather they are in search of gratification of an unmet need. That need usually takes form in the excitement and eroticism that comes from being with someone who allows them to be sexually true to themselves without being judged. Good sex is an integral part of a healthy marriage. A great marriage depends on an open, loving, and expanding sexual connection. Sex is a
continual validation of the commitment made at the alter. It is an act of honoring your mate. It’s a testimony that “today, I have once again chosen you”. It’s not optional. In fact, the bible refers to this as “Due Benevolence”.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says:
Let the husband render to his wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband. The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud not one another, except it is with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempts you not for your incontinency.

Sexual intimacy is a “conjugal duty” in a marriage. It is not optional. To deprive or deny your spouse of sexual fulfillment is to defraud them(biblically speaking). In other words, it’s a breech of contract. When you got married, you promised each other that you would meet each others’ needs and that your mate would not have to go anywhere else to have them met. It was not a conditional promise. Any questions?

Myth #2

Great sex just doesn’t happen in a monogamous relationship. Not true! However, it’s a rare experience. You know, sort of like seeing a comet or a lunar eclipse. It happens, just uncommonly. Why? Part of the reason we got married was to have great sex as often as we wanted. Why did marriage seem to mess that up? The answer is in the previous pages and one of the things I hope you will have gleaned from this book is that the absolute BEST sex happens only in a monogamous relationship. Once you begin to coax the “goddess” out of your lady, you’ll begin to question who the “weaker” sex really is!

Myth #3

Sex is for procreation only. Sex is a gift given us by God. Sex, along with the power of choice and the ability to bring meaning to our lives is what separates us from the animal kingdom. Putting these three together, we as Human Beings, have the ability to choose to have meaningful sex. If it were only for procreation, God would not have given us desire nor would she have made it pleasurable. For further study, see appendix for additional materials on the role that religion has taken in robbing people of their god-given gift of sexuality.


Men want sex more than women. Another way of putting this would be that men are the more “high desire” partner.
This is a myth perpetuated by social pressure and the fact that both men and women,on average, have never felt comfortable expressing their true needs, desires and problems because of that social pressure. Speaking in generalizations of course, If a man has low libido, he feels less “manly”. His lack of sexual desire is a blow to his masculinity and not something he will readily admit, take responsibility for, seek help for and certainly not share in a questionnaire. If a woman has a high sex drive and finds her needs consistently not being met, she’s conditioned to keep her mouth shut. In high school, the high-desire girls were always “sluts”. They’re told that “Guys are the ones that think about nothing but sex.” Forget every preconception you may have. Every relationship has a “high desire” and a “low desire” partner and it’s not gender determined. The “high desire” partner in one relationship could be the “low desire” partner in the next. If your woman wants sex more than you, man up and start giving her more. If you don’t have the energy for it, than you might consider a life style change that gives you more energy.

Myth #5

Sex is “dirty” or immoral. You’re darn right it’s “dirty”! If it’s done right. Woody Allen says, “Sex is dirty, that’s why you should save it for someone you love!” Well, in the context of swapping bodily fluids, I think he’s right. When we talk about “monogamous fucking” in our bonus chapter, you really have to question the sanity in engaging in such an act outside of a monogamous relationship. So, where is the Myth? I think it ties in with Myth #3. The “belief” that sex is “dirty” from a philosophical standpoint is an indoctrination that some people have had instilled and perpetuated by their religion, their parents, their education and social influences. It’s an indoctrination just like “Money is the root of all evil” or “You should never talk to strangers” or “You must go to college to succeed in life”. These things are treated as absolute truths and influence our decision making and how we interpret the world around us. The belief that sex is “dirty” has been perpetuated by fear rather than love. Fear of a daughter getting pregnant. A husbands fear of a woman’s overt sexuality. The churches fear of losing control over its members. The “church” has used guilt to control it’s membership by keeping them in a perpetual cycle of sin-guilt-repentance. Associating sex with sin and sin with guilt has proven to make sex a “dirty” word. Certainly there is “dirty” sex, in the sinful sense of it, such as sex performed for money; sex that degrades human beings; sex that is used to control another; and sex that is manipulative. In an effort to control and manipulate teenagers and prevent them from doing something stupid, parents tell girls things like “If you have sex before you’re married, no decent guy is going to want you.” The message they get is that sex makes them unclean. What a travesty! If you have moral hang-ups(religious beliefs) about sex or specific sexual practices that are barriers to a fulfilling sex life with your lover, please see appendix for additional reading material on the subject. What if your beliefs about sexual immorality were based not on the bible but on religious and social tradition? What if you learned that it is actually God’s design for a husband and wife to experience each others’ bodies without limits?
An all-you-can-eat buffet of sex between two consenting adults who love each other is one of the most beautiful things in the world along with a baby being born, a desert sunset, and seeing two people in love. Whether it’s “dirty” (morally and philosophically) or not, I think is in the mutual intention of the two consenting adults doing it.

Myth #6

All men ever want is sex! It’s the only thing on their minds. This statement is false when men are in a mutually loving and engaging relationship. However, it is often times very true when a marriage is cold, stale, and dispassionate and they’re not “getting any”. In other words, guys only obsess about sex when they aren’t having enough of it. Otherwise, they’re thinking about cars, football, golf, fishing, making money and oh yah baby…how blessed we are to have YOU in our lives.

Myth #7

Intimacy increases desire. Not necessarily. Intimacy and passion are two different things. Intimacy and sensuality are two different things. Intimacy and sex are two different things. Intimacy does not beget desire. Intimacy begets connection, comfort, familiarity, and security. Intimacy is the experience of loving, sharing, knowing and accepting. Intimacy can lead to sex but the kind of sex that one engages in to foster connection, reassurance and love. All good things, but not desire. Not desire in the sensual, erotic sense of desire as in “I want you!”. You know the kind of desire where you both start tearing your clothes off the second you see each other. Sensual desire comes from liking what you see, from being intrigued by what you see, being curious about what you don’t see and wanting a peek behind the curtain. It comes from getting a couple of licks of chocolate gelato and “wanting” more. Desire forms in the “gap” between what you take for granted and what is intangible. In other words, desire is the emotion you experience when you long for what you don’t have, whereas intimacy comes from being secure in what you do have.


Our beliefs about sex and morality can really muss things up in a marriage, can’t they? But those aren’t the only things. Do you really know what your mate’s needs are and how to meet them? You promised, at the alter, to meet their needs or didn’t you know that? Are you bringing your best to your relationship every day? Or are you holding back? Does she or he drive you out of your f**king mind? Would you rather hang yourself than be in the same room with your spouse sometimes?

What if you could transform your marriages from what it is today into the your life’s most rewarding experience? Would you do it? What if you could bring the sex back into your relationship with more passion than ever before? Would you? What if your marriage could became your greatest asset? Does that sound like a dream? What if there was a program you could go to that could make all this possible? There is and it’s not marriage counseling or traditional marriage advice. It is total emersion. You’ve taken the first step. Don’t lose your momentum.

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