Question:

I am a man 29 years of age. I was brought up in a very religious Christian family, and sexual relations were highly abhored as a taboo. I grew up with this mentality and don't know how to even relate with the opposite sex. Now, age (in terms of marriage) is telling on me. I have sexual desires, but I see sex as a very dirty thing. If I happen to see a woman's full nakedness (e.g. by mistake via sudden wrong television programs, Internet pop ups, or when some of my little sisters' innocently go naked), I get a horrible phobia. Now I see it as a psychological problem, no longer just due to my initial Christian mentality. Can you help me please? How can I cope. Sometimes I am tempted to try out sex in an environment outside marriage to get some experience so that I will not be disgraced getting married and unable to do it. However, the phobia for sex is another problem that will not allow me to do so even if I want to. I have never engaged in sexual activities before. I am a virgin. Please, help me out!

Answer:

I do not know what religion you were brought up in, but somewhere along the line you missed several important points.

First, you cannot fix problems by causing problems. Sin is not a cure for anything. "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? --as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8). You are not going to learn to be a loving husband in marriage by committing fornication.

Second, sex between a husband and wife is never described as being dirty or sinful. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Sex is only trashy when people abuse it and engage in sex outside of marriage.

"Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?" (Proverbs 5:15-20).

What you are expressing is fear. That is a typical reaction people have facing the unknown. But in your case, you are letting your fears run away with you. The cure is to discuss and learn about what you fear so that everything is not unexpected. Not learning through sin, but learning through legitimate outlets of what to expect in a sexual relationship.

There is little I can do without talking to you directly. There is material on this website to learn about sexual matters. I would suggest starting with Growing Up in the Lord: A Study for Teenage Boys. Even though you are well beyond those years, the basic material will do you good. Then look at The Greatest Love Song Written: A Study of the Song of Solomon. This will teach you about courting and the marriage relationship. Finally, Preparation for a Lifetime goes into greater detail about marriage and the sexual relationship.