Do You Have Sexual Integrity? Adapted from her new book, How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain! our expert explains how sexual integrity can combat your relationship challenges. BY DENISE J. CHARLES
Making the right choices is the first step in maintaining sexual integrity in your marriage.
“ Sexual integrity can be defined as any sexual behavior, which is aligned with the greater good of the relationship.”
Most of us know instinctively that a relationship, like marriage, should be characterized by such values as honesty, trust, loyalty and selflessness. These are expected and come with the marital territory. Yet many within the context of marriage have experienced broken vows, disloyalty and disappointment. Of course, there are a slew of reasons as to why these instances occur and these are individual enough to fill an entire book on the topic. Chief among these reasons, however, is the issue of a lack of sexual integrity. The following fictitious scenarios are written to assist us in wrapping our minds around this concept of sexual integrity and how it should empower our relationships.
How Lust Can Transform Behavior
Stacy gave one last downwards tug to her tight blouse to ensure that her buxom cleavage was showing adequately. She was all too familiar with the heady thrill of sexual power. It gave her a peculiar rush to walk through the doors of "The Red Room," the bar she had frequented every Friday evening for the past six months since assuming her new job in the downtown financial center. She had grown accustomed to the lecherous eyes, which caressed her breasts and looked deeply into her eyes asking questions she was only too willing to answer. In fact, she welcomed those lustful stares with every fiber of her being. They made her feel wanted and oh so powerful.
She perched gingerly atop her favorite bar-stool being sure to allow her ample derriere to protrude at just the right angle. This was guaranteed to bring even more attention since she was sure every man in the room appreciated her voluptuous curves. These were the well-known tricks of her trade; the calculated use of her body in a clever little game of sexual conquest. As she called for a stiff scotch on the rocks, she surveyed the room with purpose as her desire-filled eyes moved in for the kill. It was then that she spotted him.
Sitting and swirling an anonymous brown liquid absentmindedly was absolutely the hottest man she had ever seen. There were two things about him that drew her like a moth to the flame. One was the large size of his hands (she believed every story she had heard about a man with large hands) and the other; that unmistakable glint of gold on his ring finger. As she drew near to throw down the gauntlet called deliberate eye contact, she knew that her evening held promises of wild, unbridled passion and he wasnít going to be sorry he cheated.
Brian knew deep within his heart that there was something distinctly childish about his behavior that evening. He shouldnít be here sipping a drink in "The Red Room." He had responsibilities at home and besides, his wife was expecting him but this was the third straight week that they hadnít made love. It seemed to him, that since the baby was born three months ago, he was no longer a priority in her life. He was tired of the gnawing desire at the pit of his stomach that refused to be assuaged. And he wasnít about to "help himself," that was not what he wanted at this stage of his life.
He longed for his woman, his lover, his wife. He wished that he could adequately communicate to her just how much he missed her: the enchanting curve of her neck, her smell, her breasts, her inner softness, which drove him wild with desire. Just thinking about her now brought that telltale reaction to his body and he knew instinctively that she just did not understand. He almost felt like crying and he was slightly ashamed of such a powerful emotion.
But then he smelt it, the familiar scent of feminine perfumeóof woman. It was just beyond his sensual radar and he knew without even looking that he was being approached. As he turned his body to take a look, her breasts were everywhere and he was riveted. He swallowed suddenly and attempted to cover his awkwardness with a slight smile. But with one look she knew. She knew that he was hungry and not for food. Her eyes held promises that told him here was a woman who understood a manís needs. And she was all too prepared to deliver.
Dissecting Oneís Sexual Integrity
This scenario serves to highlight how the individual stories of two strangers in a bar can converge to influence behavior, which can have a lasting impact upon an unsuspecting family. How this scenario plays out is to a large degree contingent on how Brian, our married character, decides to deal with the issue of his own sexual integrity.
Sexual integrity can be defined as any sexual behavior, which is aligned with the greater good of the relationship. It is the extent to which a spouseís behavior, particularly sexual behavior, serves to cement the bond of intimacy in the relationship, as opposed to harming that relationship. It represents an agreement or congruence between an individualís stated sexual intentions and their behavior. You know, like how we promise to love, cherish and "body worship" in those marriage vows? Well, our sexual integrity should hold us to those promises we made and should influence how we deal with relationship challenges.
This brings us right back to our scenario and to the options, which our character, Brian, is faced with. While our character, Stacy, also has some choices to make, her seemingly lack of sexual propriety emerges from her own value system, which places no particular stock in marital vows made by other people. In fact, she has already made her choice. Her story is included merely to help us to see how anotherís behavior can influence (not force) the sexual choices that we make. Brianís behavior, on the other hand, should be guided by his own innate desire to fulfill his marital vows, in spite of the way he feels.
There is no doubt that Brian has experienced a great sex life with his wife. The memory of his wifeís body alone is enough to set his clock ticking, but more than that is his longing for her soul and her spirit. He misses her more than he is willing to admit and this makes him vulnerable to the attention of another woman.
There is more to this issue than a man who hasnít been laid in a while. Brian has failed to communicate to his wife just how much their sexual relationship means to him. This is in fact the crux of his dilemma: a lack of honest communication. This deep desire of Brian is also something many wives fail to understand. His need for her is more than a desire to experience a pent-up sexual release. It is through their unique physical relationship that he communicates his love for her and shares in the essence of who she is. When he is with her sexually he feels the strength and completeness of his manhood in a way that is second to none. There is nothing that can replace that sense of oneness which he experiences as they soar to the heights of sexual pleasure. When Brian has regular sex with his wife, he feels as if he could conquer the world and then some. This is as it should be.
The critical question for Brian is: How will he respond now that life has brought change to his marriage? Yes, of course he misses the testosterone-related sexual release, but more than that, his masculinity feels depleted. But the macho, self-assured man he is, Brian would never admit this type of vulnerability to the woman that means more to him than anything. To admit his need would mean that he could be rejected. In fact, he already feels rejected since his wife seems to have "fallen in love" with someone elseótheir son. And what right-thinking man is jealous of his own son?
Unless Brian makes a conscious decision to preserve the integrity of his sexuality, he will fall prey to his own sexual vulnerabilities. If Brian is to preserve his own sexual sanity and the health of his marriage, then he will have to engage his brain beyond the short term. He will have to dwell on the consequences of any decision that he intends to make over and above the swelling in his pants. He should recognize that what he stands to lose if he gives in to Stacy, the seductress in the bar, is far more than what he stands to gain. If his desire does not allow him to see above and beyond the immediate, he will experience a significant loss. Ultimately, Brianís solution lies at the level of choice.
Of course, we have deliberately omitted the story of Brianís wife, which would obviously carry its own individual perspective. While it does take two to tango, just as the power of one can destroy a relationship (if Brian decides to cheat), the decision of one can also provide the context for healing. If Brian makes the right choice in forgoing this fling and communicates to his wife how he really feels, then his decision to act on his sexual integrity would have paid off.