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Christian Couples Engaging in Kinky Sex, Including 'Anal Play,' Say It's OK if It's in Heterosexual Marriage, Researcher Finds

Christian Couples Engaging in Kinky Sex, Including 'Anal Play,' Say It's OK if It's in Heterosexual Marriage, Researcher Finds

In addressing the issue of anal sex between husbands and wives, though not in the context of pegging, one Christian advice website called biblereasons.com comes out strongly against it.

"While it is true Christian couples don't have a sex limit on what they can and can't do in regard to sex positions and oral sex. Sex is the male's penis into a female's vagina. Anal sex is penis to anus, which is sodomy. You might say how about if it's between husband and wife, but God didn't intend men to put their penis inside an anus period," it advised.

Focus on the Family, a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive, argues that the Bible does not address practices such as oral sex but cautions against anal sex.

"With regard to your specific inquiries, the Bible never addresses the question of oral sex in marriage, and for this reason it's our opinion that this issue must be left to a couple's own judgment. (We realize, of course, that some Christians have strong reservations about oral sex, and we respect their point of view.)," the organization noted.

When it comes to anal sex, however, Focus on the Family encourages couples to avoid the practice for several reasons.

"It is crucial to add that we have special concerns about this practice. Renowned Christian sex therapists Clifford and Joyce Penner report that the majority of women who engage in anal sex with their husbands admit that they do not enjoy it and feel violated. In such cases, anal sex would appear to breach the biblical concept of mutual respect and enjoyment between partners. There are also serious medical risks associated with anal sex, including the danger of bacterial and viral infections of the vagina, penis, rectum and anus. That's not to mention that rectal tissue is more delicate and thus more vulnerable to tearing and abrasion than vaginal tissue. With these points in mind, we would strongly caution couples against this practice," Focus on the Family added.

Burke told Broadly that she first became interested in how Christians navigate their sexuality when she was in a women's Bible study meeting and overheard a woman express her irritation with the modest dress she was supposed to wear. "She told all of us, 'I think God likes it when I show off some cleavage and wear red lipstick.'"

When asked Thursday if she thought the woman was joking, Burke said she was very serious.

"This was almost certainly not said in jest. This woman was annoyed that the Bible study on that day was harping on the importance of women dressing modestly, when she wanted to point out that she believes God celebrates sexual expression (within certain contexts) and that God approves of her dressing in a way that appeals to her husband," Burke said.

Asked if she thinks her research is reflective of a broader sexual revolution in the evangelical Church, she argued that the variety of sexual practices Christians seem to engage in within the confines of heterosexual marriage threatens their stance that heterosexuality is "exclusively normal."

"One of the recurring themes in Christians under Covers is how believers negotiate a religious logic about sexuality amidst a secular (and sexualized) world. Website creators and users overwhelmingly oppose sex outside of marriage and homosexuality, but they support a wide range of sex practices within monogamous, heterosexual marriages, like women's pursuits of pleasure and even sex practices deemed 'kinky' (like male anal play)," she said.

"Yet, as Christian sexuality website users may push the boundaries of gender and sexual norms in their own marriages, they may lose the ability to rely on those norms to justify heterosexuality as exclusively normal and natural. They write about sexuality in an era of legalized gay marriage in which monogamous, married lifestyles are not the sole territory of heterosexuals.

"Religion provides a foundation for heterosexuality, which has largely lost its other familiar attributes: gender, monogamy, and marriage. This may mean that conservative Christians will hold steadfast in their exclusive support for heterosexuality, or it may mean that they may gradually accept non-heterosexual practices and identities. Christian sexuality websites are one place where this future unfolds," she added.

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