Christians and 'dirty talk' in the bedroom
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29.
The marriage bed is where couples let loose and let go of all inhibitions in pleasing their partners but when it comes on to using obscene language, it is a no-no for Christians. So if part of that package includes talking dirty and sending one's spouse wild ... should you be obedient and do as they want or refrain from allowing obscene words to pass your lips?
And if you do, how does that tie in with instructions given in Colossian 3 vs 8-10.?
"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
Family and Religion reached out to Dr Edina Bayne, associate pastor and member of the American Associations of Christian Counsellors who weighed in on the issue.
According to her, in order to talk dirty, one has to be talking in the first place.
The lack of communication in many intimate and sexual relationships is an issue that she said needs some attention.
"The obscene is that which is offensive or disgusting by the norms of morality and decency. It speaks of that which is designed to stir up indecency or lust. We are speaking here of that which is repulsive and repugnant behaviour - the lewd, X-rated, salacious and depraved ... the dirty," she said.
For her, an expression is qualified as 'dirty' based on how the hearer, not the speaker is made to feel by hearing the words.
"What may qualify as dirty for one, may not qualify as dirty for another individual. A key question is, why would we want to be spoken to in lewd and depraved language? But, yes, we should talk, but there is another way," she said.
The sexual act, said Bayne, is one of the most spiritual activities known to mankind. "It is the only process in which two souls come together in intimacy and reproduce one soul. It is sacred, so why would we want to mix the sacred with the profane?" she questions.
Bayne stressed that the whole lovemaking experience - joining of lips, rubbing of noses or connecting foreheads are all forms of kisses in different parts of the world, which have flourished and waned at various times throughout history as it was frowned on or accepted in certain societies.
"Without belabouring the point, the passionate kiss that was predominantly European has become popularised by theatre, movies, and the news. Much of the communication in this context was non-verbal," she said, adding that psychologists cannot trace a specific beginning of human sexual behaviour, except to say that it was from the inception of time.
"We do know that the act has changed significantly throughout the past decades, and we know a lot more about what people are doing today because they are 'fessing up more," she shared.
Dirty talking for Bayne is now one of those things which has emerged and is being interpreted as being accepted by society and the popular culture and it ought not to be so for the Christian community.
Most Christians use the fact that the marriage bed being undefiled to embrace 'dirty talk', she said pornography is covered under 'dirty'.
While acknowledging that all sexual activities between husband and wife should be consensual, Bayne said that they should not unreasonably keep their bodies from each other.
"We are called to obedience also to those who are in authority over us ... but we must stop short of sin, or that which is not pleasing to God. Colossians says to not let obscene talk be uttered from your lips, if indeed, your mind is being renewed and you are having a true transformational experience in your Christian walk."
Christians do not lack inspiration when it comes to the language of love in the bedroom as Bayne said Song of Solomon has them in great supply.
"Once individuals get over the initial 'shock' of the dirty talk from their 'sanctified' mate, they must grapple with the task of how to change this language that they do not appreciate. The poetic can and must replace the dirty. One can be utterly sensual without being dirty," she opines.
The Church, she said, must now stop "over spiritualising the Songs of Solomon, and treating it like the 'dirty' of the Bible - that can't be preached except to make analogies to Christ and the Church - then it can become a book that is instructive to couples, full of beautiful language that replaces the dirty. We can be poetic and authentic. Learn to appreciate every part of your mate, be creative, but keep it clean," she concludes.