In most Christian circles, there is simply no sexuality for Christian singles. However, completely denying the sexual needs of singles is not healthy at all, as explained by a Christian sexologist.
Talking about sexuality in churches is never a popular subject! “Sexuality is, in my opinion, a taboo subject all over the world, even in Western societies which advocate openness and sexual freedom. The church is no exception”, says Fabienne D’Haïti, Christian sexologist. Since sexual relations take place in the secret of a couple, this subject is rarely discussed in public. Our pastors do not hesitate to talk about sexual sins, but about needs … it is extremely rare. “I believe there is a blatant need for sustained sexuality education to be well-informed from a Christian perspective. The Christians that are interested in doing the will of God are looking, in my opinion, for new ways to better understand this very complex area. All of this will aim to break down stereotypes and prejudices to promote egalitarian and harmonious relations between men and women”, she continues.
Because sexuality is not only what happens in a bed! “What you need to know is how to distinguish between sexuality and sexual intercourse. Sexuality is a central aspect of the human being. It develops and evolves from childhood to old age. It includes a set of elements such as gender, gender identity, roles, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction”. Sexuality is part of our identity, and of course, it is also important in our interactions with others. Single or married, young or old, we all experience a form of sexuality. “It is experienced and expressed in the form of thoughts, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles, and relationships. It is influenced by biological, physiological, emotional, cognitive, sociocultural, moral, spiritual, or religious dimensions.”
When a woman wants to chat with a man, to have his opinion as a man on a subject, it is a form of sexuality and there is nothing sinful about that. It’s time that the brothers and sisters in the church start talking to each other without everyone else around them planning their wedding! Singles need to talk to people of the opposite sex, not just to find a partner, but simply to make friends and get to know how a man or woman thinks, and sensitivities of each one. When a woman asks a man to help her move a heavy piece of furniture, it’s a form of sexuality, but nothing erotic about it! There is nothing healthy in separating men from women in a church, to avoid them falling into sin! Such a separation makes male-female relationships uncomfortable and often full of prejudice, and that does nothing to help future marriages!
What God is asking is to reserve sexual intercourse in the context of marriage and for very clear reasons, as the Christian sexologist explains. “Sex outside of marriage can create long-term expectations, not to say illusions, between two partners. Affective bonds, feelings, and habits can end up being born between the partners or at least one of the two individuals even if these bonds are not desired. All of this is the perfect setting to create emotional wounds, frustrations, and the like. There is also the risk of having a child or getting STDs. We often forget the relationship side of sexuality. Indeed, a sexual relationship is most of all a relationship between two people in terms of soul, emotional, and physical.”
So do Christian singles have sexual needs? Yes, they need to talk to people of the opposite sex, they need to learn how the other sex thinks or sees life, and they need friends of both sexes. Can singles indulge in “genital” sex? No, this is reserved for the married couple, for the reasons mentioned above. We must not banish any form of sexuality among Christian singles, we must only put a divine limit.
What should a bachelor do, then, if he has thoughts that go beyond the Christian framework? Sexologist Fabienne D’Haïti has an excellent answer. “For my part, I believe that sexual desires are linked to emotional needs. Like our emotions, sexual desires express a conscious or unconscious reality. It is therefore important to question oneself as to their origin” and what is the real need behind these thoughts. It could be “for example a need for security, need for love, a need for appeasement or others. When this process is done, it is possible to plan a substitute activity to channel your energy into a healthy activity ”, which will meet the real need.