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Sex And The Single Person

Photo courtesy of MattysFlicks via Flickr
Photo courtesy of MattysFlicks via Flickr

I’ve got a confession to make.

I want sex.

This really shouldn’t be surprising. I’m a 30-year old, never-been-married, very single woman. I’ve got hormones. Correction: I’ve got *raging* hormones. Just because I’m single doesn’t mean that my desire for sex has stayed dormant. I certainly wish it did. On numerous occasions, I have whispered prayers to God asking Him to tame them or at least help me get through the grocery store without jumping on some innocent man who was just trying to buy some fruit.

Ya, some days it really is that bad.

I think “bad” may not be the right word. Maybe a better way to describe it would be to say that some days the feelings are more intense than others. Honestly, there’s nothing bad about my desires at all. When God created the first man and woman He gave them (and subsequently us) certain longings and those longings include the desire to be fruitful and produce offspring. How does one make the Earth fruitful? Oh ya, by having sex and lots of it.

Gasp.

Before I get too far into this, let me do some clarifying.

God intended sex to be within the context of marriage. I’m not saying that just because we have certain desires, we should act on them. I crave chocolate about as much as I crave sex, but that doesn’t give me the freedom to eat it every time the desire arises. Believe me, my waistline couldn’t handle that kind of abandonment of self control. There are certain guidelines God gives us, for good reason—those include boundaries in regard to sex.

Back to me wanting sex. I’ve grown up in church, and the resounding message has always been pretty clear cut: “Do NOT have sex outside of marriage.” But somehow my brain translated this instruction into “Don’t you dare even think about wanting it. Desiring sex is lustful and a sin.” I don’t think anyone ever said that, although my youth pastor did say that the sweat that forms when a boy and girl hold hands is “liquid lust,” so it’d be best to never do that. He was being silly, obviously, but maybe the attitude behind it stuck, and with it some shame.

Where does the shame come from? I mean, I’m not alone in this, right?

I’ve got my ideas on this. First, I think the church (generally speaking) tends to stay away from the topic of “Sex and the Single Person,” and that is one of the biggest culprits. We need to start talking about it instead of allowing it to be, even unintentionally, a blacklisted topic. The moment we become hush-hush concerning a specific topic, when it becomes taboo to discuss it, the shame will surely come.

Shame grows in secret. The moment we shine light on it is the moment freedom comes.

Besides shame, there’s fear attached to making such an admission. We have this idea that God’s mouth will drop if we admit we want sex. I promise, this is no shocker. There’s no rule, and last I checked it wasn’t included as part of the “Big 10” that we couldn’t say the word “sex” in church.

So let’s talk about it, laugh about it and learn how to live with it. I make it sound like some kind of terminal illness, but seriously, its not easy wanting something you can’t have with no apparent end to the “dry season.” That’s about the only thing that will get me through this—well, that and knowing I won’t die because of my abstinence, no matter how convinced I am that might be the case.

Who do you have in your life that you feel safe discussing this with, to get godly guidance and encouragement?

About Holly Hrywnak

Holly is a 30ish-year-old writer who strives to share honestly and transparently in hopes that it will encourage others to be open about their own struggles and lessons learned. She's been accused of being sassy, which she finds to be an admirable attribute. Her favorite things include: making people laugh, chocolate, sweatshirt weather and authentic conversations over coffee. One day she hopes to find herself a bearded lumberjack to call her own.
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26 comments

  1. Uh huh, tell me about it:)

  2. Elizabeth Pruiett

    Total agree!! This can be hard to discuss with others as well as facing the facts myself.

    • Praying you find a confidant or mentor that you have the freedom to talk to about this issue and the variety of things we deal with as single ladies! 🙂

  3. I’ve noticed that others–parents, mentors, the church–don’t bring up this topic much with young adults after we hit about mid-twenties. As if, once we hit 24 or 25: Boom! We have magic control over out desires because all those raging hormones of adolescence are surely gone by this age, right? Yet, from a nearing-her-thirties woman’s perspective, it only gets *harder*.

    Not that I *want* constant lectures on abstinence (youth group firmly imprinted 98% of the theological aspect of this subject matter on my brain, thanks), but the struggle is *real*, and daily, and far too un-discussed (insert face of holy shock and pious horror for mentioning the s-word and “desire” in the same sentence as “struggle”). Thanks for sharing so honestly!

  4. You are 100% right on the physical attraction stuff, which is why I get so frustrated with the modesty conversation so often. Men not wearing shirts is just as difficult for me, as a woman in yoga pants may be to a man.

    I like how you talked about “starving” those desires– there’s a lot to be said concerning self discipline and taking thoughts captive and such. We’ve got to guard our hearts in these longings, which is what causes me to need to talk about it. If I can talk about it, bring it to light then get some freedom there.

    Thank you for your comment and your thoughts on this! 🙂

  5. I think its important to discuss struggles honestly and platitudes have a way of “making everything ok” that frankly isn’t even close to being ok. I understand the boundaries you need to put in place for your own heart. I find that wise and commendable. Thank you for reading and for commenting your thoughts! I really do appreciate it!

  6. I get ya. That’s the thing with singleness– what if THAT never changes? What if I never get married? How do I deal with this? I don’t think I have any answers besides being able to talk to trusted mentors, leaders and friends in my life who can help me when I feel weak and give me guidance when I feel “stuck” in all of my thoughts and struggles.

    • I think the Church needs to change in really talking about that inside being single. After all, they really, truly leave us all hanging….
      I’m a firm believer in prayer especially “The Chaplet of Divine Mercy” And at the moment, I’m re-learning to trust God in a way that I guess I didn’t.
      I think that God does forgive period and as long as we keep praying..which is really trying…we will in the end make it all the way to heaven:)
      And in the meantime, we have to realize that he will take care of us….

  7. Holly – Great post. I appreciate your willingness to be open on this topic. Great writing. Keep it up.

  8. Yes the hormones do tend to wane but you have to wait a while…
    But the desire to be loved, which to me is the same thing, doesn’t really go.

  9. True, Freddie.

  10. “Little or no sexual intimacy” That should be a deal breaker saying “Hey, we have a problem here”!

    • I think no sexual intimacy would be grounds for annulment. I don’t know whether little intimacy is a basis for the same. This is from a legal perspective only. I don’t know what various theologians would say.

      • If you think about it, marriages get into trouble because both spouses forget each other. That intimacy …not having it is grounds for saying ..hey wait a sec…what happened to us and how do we re-connect as in marriage counseling.

  11. Thanks so much, Victoria!! I understand the struggle, which is why I wanted to talk about it, ya know? It’s not easy, but I do NOT believe we should be ashamed. I carried that too, but I realized how untrue it was. I appreciate you reading and commenting!

  12. Great article! Thank you! As a 48-year old never-married single, I can certainly identify with it!

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