In Praise of Seduction

male female symbol

Charles Brammall on Sexual Energy

A great one who trained my (all-male) cohort in ministry once said a sage thing to us: “Never stop making love with your wife, even as you age. It’ll have a disproportionately positive effect on your emotional intimacy, as well as physical. As you age you will become tired, and it will become more of an effort,  but persevere, don’t give up. It’s worth it” I have never forgotten this piece of advice. I am definitely no expert on intimacy in marriage, but here are a few thoughts:

If you’re a husband, try and seduce your wife, and if you have talked about it, both feel comfortable and enjoy it, and vice versa as well. Take an interest in what particularly turns your spouse on, and what will make it easier for them to welcome your seduction. And it won’t always be the traditional flowers, chocolates, wine and a massage.

A chap I know asked his wife for ideas of some the things that aroused her, and she said “One thing is when I see you spending time with the kids, and being affectionate with them.” How lovely. 

When you’ve just made love with your spouse, don’t say say something like: “How was that for you?” This can make them feel pressured to say something like, “That was amazing!” And sex is so often not amazing. But it is all about loving and serving each other and having fun (even playing, being silly and laughing together at your mistakes). It’s primarily about getting to know each other and looking after each other, not having an orgasm, which is lovely to have). So, as the great John Farnham said: “Take the pressure down.”

So instead of saying, “How was that for you?” try to say something like “Is there anything I could have done differently to have made that nicer for you?” That way, you’re looking after your spouse and not putting them under pressure to say it was the greatest time they ever had. This is a much better expression of the servant heart of marriage.  

Masturbation and Porn

With regard to porn, please don’t look at it. It kills your sex life with your spouse. And if you do it recently or often enough, you won’t be able to orgasm with them. It also makes you less and less able to see your spouse’s body as the wonderful thing it is and less and less satisfied with it. As you look at porn, it will become harder and harder to be aroused. (All these things are true for single people as well.) This is because your mind will form the idea of the “perfect” body, which is the only one that can arouse you anymore. In my experience, porn is a vexed area for Christian men in particular.

Don’t look at porn with your spouse, even for the alleged reason of “It’ll help us be more creative in our own sex life, and give us ideas”. It doesn’t. It’s forcing your spouse (and you) to be adulterous, as you are getting turned on by the body(ies) of other people you’re not married to. And it’s not loving to the person or people you’re watching or listening to as well, or their spouse if they’re married. Even if your spouse is keen to do it, gently encourage them that it’s not God’s will for the way to express our sexuality. The two of you (or you, if you’re a single person) won’t feel good afterwards, but creepy and disappointed in yourself.

Try and be ruthless with yourself regarding porn. Distracting yourself with something can work well, like cooking, gardening, or writing that book you’ve always wanted to. Make yourself accountable to a mate or girlfriend or your men’s or women’s group. And beg God to give you superhuman strength to avoid porn.  This is a prayer He loves to answer. 

There is good help available – a 12-step programme (the same strategy as Alcoholics Anonymous) called SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous). It is for people who are addicted to sex, love, masturbation and porn- Sydney and Melbourne 1300025983. Canberra 0411153496 or 0421454317.

There is a similar Christian 12-step ministry called OA (Overcomers Anonymous) 02 96989497, 04 1766 3539. This is for people with addictions of any kind (including non-substance, compulsive behaviour, smoking, gambling, compulsive overeating etc). It has a Christian focus, in which the “Greater Power” is identified as Jesus. Unlike other 12-step programmes, in which your Greater Power can be anyone or anything you want. It is a great blessing and has seen people come to Christ. We need to be humble and avail ourselves of programmes like these if needed. In my opinion, they are the best, if not the only, successful strategies for becoming abstinent. 

Masturbating over porn can waste a huge amount of time when you could be doing other enjoyable, productive things. Things like an interest or hobby, journaling, watching a movie, exercising, binging a favourite crime show, or cultivating friendships with people. Or Kingdom things, like praying for friends, emailing a missionary, reading a Christian book, or listening to a sermon. Porn is the Evil One’s great lie- it promises pleasure and fulfilment and delivers guilt, regret and dysfunction. 


A wise one once said to me, when you see an attractive person walking towards you in the street, don’t look at their curves, but only at their face. Even smile at them (not in a creepy way!) This achieves several positive, God-honouring things: it stops us lusting but also reminds us that they’re a person with a personality whom God made in His image. He loves them, and Jesus died for them and wants to adopt them as His child. Ie, they’re not just a body with curves to titillate me.

If there’s one particular curve or set of curves that you’re partial to, it’s even more important not to look at that one. Imagining what they look like under their clothes is particularly difficult for men, in my experience. But it degrades the person you look at and you and your wife if you’re married. And when the person has walked past you, you may be tempted to turn around and look at them, as it’s less obvious that you’re gawking. Please don’t. It’s still mistreating and abusing them, just with your eyes. Try and muster all your energy not to, pray that you won’t, and God will help. He loves answering that kind of prayer. He loves us begging Him for help to be pure.

Andrew Cameron, Principal of St Mark’s Theological College Canberra, once gave my prayer group at college some invaluable advice: “Make the decision to direct all of your sexual energy only towards your spouse, and nowhere else. That is, physically and visually, what you think about, hear, say, read, and watch. Andrew is a wise man. A helpful read is his book on Ethics, “Joined Up Life: A Christian Account of How Ethics Works”.

Image Source: Reaperman Wikimedia