If your heart whispers – or screams – “I hate sex”, you’re not alone. That might sound as strange as “I hate food.” (That can happen, but that’s another story.) There are plenty of reasons you might hate sex. And understanding why will make a difference.
This is not simply desiring sex at a different frequency than your husband or wife. This is about an inner revulsion that is stirred up at the idea or possibility of sexual intimacy.
(If you’re married, and your spouse is the one who hates sex, you might want to keep reading. Understanding the why will help in your relationship.)
If you’re single, this may look like avoiding close personal relationships because marriage would involve sex – and you don’t want that! Or it may look like diving into any sexual encounter you can to “prove” you’re not weird.
If you’re married, this may look like doing your “duty” by allowing your husband or wife to have sex with you at times, but internally resenting it. Or it may look like avoiding any suggestion of intimacy from your spouse because you just can’t stomach sex itself.
Married or single, you might avoid all the sexual content constantly promoted by contemporary media and society. Or you might engage in solo sexual activities in an attempt to “assuage” your sexual urges, while hating your own sexual needs and desires.
But where did the “I hate sex” come from?
The Root of Hating Sex
Hating sex doesn’t happen in a vacuum; there are triggers.
Dr. Dan Allender, clinical psychologist, professor, and author (The Wounded Heart), says that satan gets a bigger return on investment by messing with us sexually than by any other tactic. That rings true.
Perhaps you know the root of your own hatred of sex. That wound can be healed!
If you’re not sure where your own feelings came from, think back to when and how you first learned about sex. Who gave you your very first messages about sex? How did you feel at the time? Afraid? Aroused? Ambivalent? Curious?
Most people have had negative experiences or messages around sex. We have all experienced sexual harm. What did that look like for you? Have you owned your history of sexual harm? Have you done anything to seek healing?
What words or phrases come to mind when you imagine sex? What does “sex” mean to you? For many, the idea of sex means domination, pain, humiliation, abuse, exploitation, being used, or feeling powerless. It might mean feeling contaminated, guilty, or ashamed. It’s not uncommon to hate one’s own body – your sexual organs, sexual desires, etc. And you may both dread and desire sexual arousal.
Oh my. See the “return on investment” the enemy gets from messing with us sexually?
And this is about much more than sexual harm. Other possible factors include physical problems, sexual messages from “church”, or other issues in your marriage (if married).
Why Such a Big Deal?
For someone who hates sex, it may seem the best option is to just avoid it. After all, one doesn’t need sex to live, right? It may be OK for other people, just not for you.
It’s true that one can go an entire lifetime without sex and be fulfilled and happy. Jesus – the most fulfilled human being ever to walk the earth – never had sex.
But we’re talking about wounds in the soul. Hating sex can make sex into a god just as much as lust can. And God is decidedly against anything and everything that harms His children, including the wounds caused by sexual harm.
Some years ago I heard Pastor Jack Hayford describe why these wounds are such a big deal. He said that no other sins or harm come as close to the core of one’s being as sexually-related “stuff” does. That goes along with Paul’s statement that “very other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
God created you and me for intimacy with Himself. Sexual harm affects your view of and ability to engage in intimacy not only with another human being, but with God Himself. Tweet that. And that’s why these things are a big deal.
What to Do Now
It’s almost ludicrous to suggest any “steps” for someone who hates sex. The wounds of sexual harm don’t go away quickly. I make these suggestions with great humility.
But for someone who hates sex, these are perhaps a place to start.
- Own your story. How you have come to the place you are today is unique to you. Your story, and how you are affected by it, deserves to be explored, respected, and understood. See your story, including your sexual wounds, as worth taking seriously.
- Tell your story. Not to everyone, but to someone. Telling your story in a safe place begins to disinfect the shame, and allows healing to begin. (See James 5:16) Another person hearing your story is a powerful means of grace.
- Invite Jesus into your story. Jesus will never shame you. He understands. In fact He is the only One who truly does understand you completely. Invite Him into the middle of your story, and He will walk with you each step forward.
From my own experience, I can attest that this process can bring you healing in the deepest parts of your soul, the parts of you that you thought were lost forever.
Don’t give up. Give healing a chance. Give Jesus a chance to do what only He can do.
Sex or no sex, you can come to treasure, embrace, and experience intimacy.
Your turn: Is there some part of you that hates sex? What do you know already about where that feeling came from? Have you told someone your true story? Leave a comment below.
Tweetables: why not share this post?
- Do you (or does your spouse) hate sex? That feeling didn’t happen by accident. Understanding the WHY will make a huge difference. Tweet that.
Could Your View of Sex Use some Help?
During the month of August, we’ll be addressing sex and sexuality in the Fully Alive Group – our encouraging and confidential online community.
Teaching, guest experts (both men and women), Q&A – all that and more. Why don’t you join us?