“Do you have to be good at sex?”

During a seminar on sex and dating, I received this anonymous question, among many others from a group of teenagers. While some of the standard questions are, “how far is too far?”, and “is oral sex really sex?”, I have noticed the question about being good at sex has become popular in the last few years.

My older brother has added a bit of insight to this question, but first I will tell you my normal response. I usually respond with this question, “how would you feel if the guy or girl you were dating introduced themselves as a sex professional? Do we really want to marry someone who continues to brag about their sexual accomplishments? Furthermore, I remind students that there can be some fun in “exploring” with your wife or husband in the bedroom, as you move from novice to sexpert. Yes, I just said sexpert. In short, I want them to know that they don’t have to be a pro and that marriages have potential to get better and better when it comes to sex and romance.

As we were discussing this at a conference this past weekend, my brother made an interesting observation. He had trouble with the question. He reminded us that the question in and of itself is one of performance. The church has tried to handle the crisis of performance that has crept into our worship services, but now it has crept into the bedroom? Our teenagers our continually swamped with the pressure to perform in school, on the field and in every relationship they have. Do we really want them feeling this pressure to perform as well? I have often said that pornography is the elephant in the room for the church. I would also submit that pornography has added to the complexities of performance in the bedroom. Lets say a teenage boy who is still a virgin has frequented pornography for several years (girls are not exempt from addiction to porn, by the way). As he watches these sexual performance he begins to form a view of what sex should be like and how his future wife should perform. You can imagine what happens when he and his future wife have sex for the first time. In many ways, she won’t measure up.

What is the role of sex in marriage? Is it a competition or a beautiful and fun experience that brings husbands and wives closer (literally)?

How can we as the church and as parents help change this perception?