[This article contains a rather frank conversation about sexuality. Please read this only if you are mature enough to handle such things or if such topics offend you. Thank you!]
“Is it wrong to want to be sexy?” one reader asked.
So before I tell you what I think, let’s be clear what we mean when we use the word “sexy.”
“Sexually appealing, attractive, or exciting”
“Sexually suggestive or stimulating: erotic”
It’s difficult to define a word that is used so flippantly to describe anything from burgers to gorgeous women, to high-end perfumes, but the general consensus on the word is that it means to have some sort of a quality that makes you an object of sexual desire. Which really, makes sense without thinking about it very hard at all. Just look at the word: “Sex… y.”
So is it wrong to want to be sexy? No. Let me explain why.
Wanting to be sexy is not wrong because asking the question, “Is it wrong to want to be sexy?” is pretty much exactly the same as asking the question, “Is it wrong to want to have sex?” It’s not wrong to want to have sex, just like it is not wrong to want to be sexy. It just depends on the context.
In the right context, wanting to have sex and wanting to be sexy are fantastic things to desire. In fact, a lack of desire – whether to have sex or be sexy – when one is married can cause huge problems.
Many damaging misconceptions can arise from a misunderstanding of sexiness and intimacy, as I detailed in my first “Blushing Bride” post, where I told of my friends who thought that it was necessary to be modest and not incite lust on their wedding night. With women holding a continued, uncorrected understanding like this one, if they ever get married, they have huge problems lurking on their horizon.
Wanting to be sexy to anyone and everyone – that would be wrong. But wanting to be attractive for your husband, dancing for him (if your husband is into that kind of thing), or purchasing and wearing lingerie solely for his benefit? That’s perfectly fine. In fact, I wrote a whole post about things you can do to “spice up” your marriage without all the nastiness.
Your husband actually needs you to want to look and be sexually appealing. He is married to you and is supposed to have eyes for only you, but doing that becomes more difficult the more you neglect to show interest in sex. Of course, this is important to varying degrees to different men. As William F Harley points out in his book, “His Needs Her Needs,” some men have this need stronger than others. You might have a man who doesn’t care for the likes of lingerie or strip teases. Find out what he does like (there’s more about how to communicate in this article), and if there is something you can try, resolve to put in a little effort in this area. There are many women I hear say, “Oh, my husband would love it if I wore that, but no way will I!” Please, don’t be that woman.
Not only is this something the man needs, but something that wives need as well. Men are attracted to women, and women love being told they are attractive. When we fail to express our sexuality to our husband, we actually miss out on that opportunity to feel sexually attractive. In a healthy sexual relationship, both the man’s desire to look at a woman and the woman’s desire to be looked at are fulfilled – and both spouses feel all-at-once needed and satisfied. That’s the way God designed it to be.
Think about it, in the Song of Solomon chapter 4, Solomon spends the first 15 verses praising his wife from head to toe as a matter of foreplay. The wife? She has one little verse at the end, basically saying (to put it in modern terms), “Ok, I’m ready now!”
In chapter 7, we see them come together in sexual union again. This time Solomon praises her from toe to head for the first 9 verses. The last couple of verses are basically the Shulamite saying, “I love that my husband desires my body. Let’s do this again some time!”
Men need to praise their wives’ attractiveness to fulfil that need for being attractive she has. Women need to be ready to be an object of sexual desire – or “sexy” – for their husbands. This is not something which is dirty. This is something God created for you and your husband to enjoy. It is something pure, and undefiled – something to be cherished and held in honour.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4)
Marital intimacy has to be held in honour, because sex and sexiness outside of the marriage bed is not a God-approved way to express our desires.
Now, I realise that for those dating or for singles, this is more difficult. We have this desire to be intimate, yet we have no outlet! Desiring to one day have that connection is not wrong, but just remember what the Shulamite said, about “not awakening the love” before its time (Song of Solomon 2:6, 7; 3:5; ESV). The Shulamite thought of the intimacy she would enjoy, but stopped herself before the thoughts got out of hand. Buying lingerie, wearing pretty underwear (either in anticipation of marriage or just for yourself to feel pretty), or reading good books or articles on intimacy are not wrong – you just have to be careful of where your thoughts go!
Satan has tried to steal this away from Christians. We live in a world where everything is sexy – from women, to perfume, to burgers. Womens body parts are spliced from their bodies and used to sell basically everything. Satan tries to cheapen intimacy and make it a thing of shame – but as much as he wants us to believe his lies, he does not own sex. God does. God created our sexuality – and an area to practice it in. He gave us a desire to be sexy – and a relationship where that expression is right, pure, and beautiful.
Mums and dads, help your daughters and sons to understand this.
Preachers, tell your congregations.
Let’s create a new culture.