My first kiss probably looked like a food-eating contest. You know, the ones where throngs of pear-shaped people snarf down as many hot dogs as possible. I thought kissing a girl was like eating spaghetti, which might be why my sweetheart giggled as she graciously taught me what to do (and a lot of what not to do) with my clueless tongue and lips.
What I learned from that first kiss is that when it comes to kissing, you have to listen. We think we know who the beloved is and what she wants—but we likely do not. We need to step back. We need to listen. As far as I can tell, this is also the secret to great sex. But we have forgotten this.
Christians have a reputation for being about as sexual as geography class. In a world of Maxim magazine and Kama Sutra, Christianity's love of monogamy and the missionary position seems old-fashioned and gray. The middle of the Bible opens to a love poem (Song of Solomon), but the middle of Playboy is a full-color centerfold.
But the more I kissed real women and went on real dates, the more I learned that it is quite the other way around: Playboy magazine and the Kama Sutra's emphasis on tricks, tackle, and technique turn sex into something like geography class. The emphasis on topography and tactics has created what I call Savvy Bachelor Sex: an attitude toward sex that turns love play into a performance.
Men, are you tired of worrying about size and stamina? Women, are you fed up with fretting about adequacy, the dramatized and seizure-like orgasm? Disconnect from those juicy online sites and stop trying to have one-night stands. What is advertised as free speech and sexual freedom is really just the Tyranny of Technique.
The more I looked into it, the more I discovered that the old Christian vision for sexuality is erotic and inviting. Monogamy is more sensual and exciting than promiscuity because it cares about more than performance. Real relationships involve the whole person—not just bodies and toe-curling orgasms.
Savvy Bachelor Sex turns people into appliances, just another body in a long line of bodies. But we are not making love to biochemical mechanisms: we are making love to people. And this is what Christian sexuality celebrates. Christians believe God made us as sexual, embodied people of passion and personality. Faithful marriage uniquely affirms the heart and soul of our deepest desires: love, trust, belonging, and, yes, great sex.
Christianity, like other faiths, believes that sex is about a person—not a bunny or an adventure or a statement. And when it comes to people, we have to listen. We cannot assume we know the beloved, or that our preconceived contour maps and charts are what her body is really like. Despite how prudish they seem, married couples just might be having better, happier sex than those involved in the most glamorous love affair.