People associate the Bible with plenty of things, but it’s safe to say that erotic is not one of them. Religion? Sure. Jesus? Maybe. But eroticism? You crazy fool. Let’s leave that to Trey Songz and Jeremih. We know you have birth-day sex, birth-day sex ringing in your eyes. When it comes to defining erotic, we’ve typically left that to the broader culture, musical artists, pornography and Hollywood. Trey taught us that the most erotic sex will be having the neighbors knowing your name. Oh we know she be screamin’, scratchin’, yellin’. We learned from Diane Lane in Unfaithful of the insatiable rush that comes from stepping into the forbidden. Earning an Academy Award nomination, she collided with a stranger on the street, which led to the most seductive of affairs. Things got a bit more explicit when 50 Cent, Lil’ Wayne and Cardi B gave us specific details as to what we should be doing with our bodily parts and fluids. Hint: it involves credit cards, lollipops and a candy shop. So it’s settled then? Not so fast. If there’s a truly an Architect, wouldn’t he have something to say about what erotic truly looks like? Well yes. In fact, he made an entire book about it. If for no other reason than a peculiar sense of curiosity, hop on for a ride as we explore the steaminess of the Erotic Bible.


Before we get started, let’s address what you might be thinking. How do we know you’re not misreading the Bible? Does it actually truly have anything relevant to say about erotic sex? To which we would say, context matters. Throughout history, people have gotten in trouble because they took something out of context, which usually resulted in some form of oppression, religiosity or weirdness. We must consider who this was written to, what the cultural context was, what the original language was (for accurate translation) and lastly, what literary genre each passage fits into. In fact, there was a time in which the books of the Bible didn’t have chapters or verses, making it much harder to cherry pick things out of the text and miss the big picture entirely. Chapter breaks and versification of the Bible didn’t come onto the scene until 1,550 with Estienne’s edition of Jerome’s Latin vulgate. That’s 1,500 years later after the New Testament church. The Hebrew Bible was written on scrolls that needed to be rolled out to read. Visually, this forced readers to locate the text in the larger story of scripture. The point: we must place high value on the historical context. And it’s with this we say… leggo.


When you think about being completely naked in front of someone, what feeling overcomes you? Anxiety? Shame? Excitement? All of the above? We’re talking about that moment when your bra slips off and he finally sees the size of your areolas. Or that moment when she scans your body, noticing your stubborn belly fat and penis that isn’t quite erect yet. Does he think I’m fat? Are my boobs too big? What if she thinks I can’t get it up? For women AND men everywhere, this a window into our deepest and darkest insecurities. Sure, we’d never tell anyone. But as we look into the mirror naked, before we’re about to go out, we too are uncomfortable with our own nakedness. The painful self-criticism ensues. We pop on a t-shirt and do a quick flex to gauge if our arms look swole enough. We change our dress over and over AND over again, because our butt doesn’t look “quite right” in any of them. Thoughts swirl as we analyze every part of our body that we wish was different, thinking we’d be content if they only were more in-line with the cultural ideal. Leading sex educator Emily Nagoski documents much of these insecurities in her best-selling book Come As You Are. She explains how culture has shaped how we feel about every one of our body parts -- labias, vulvas, clits, penises, areolas, booties, arms, legs, boobs -- you name it. And she tells the tragic first-person stories of women everywhere who are uncomfortable within their own bodies. In the end, we just want to feel normal, loved and accepted as we are. This leads us to our very first passage in the Erotic Bible. The setting? All the way back to the beginning of time. Adam and Eve are sitting together in the Garden of Eden and it says “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25). Don’t get distracted into a trail of thoughts about the historicity of Adam and Eve. That’s a conversation for another day. The message the Bible is trying to communicate here is that when God planted the first humans on Earth, a husband and wife, he made them completely naked without any shame. This was the original vision, long before sin, corruption, misogyny, patriarchy and oppression screwed up God’s good world. It probably goes without saying, but this is where eroticism starts. While Cardi B and 50 might have different ideas, it begins in an open and vulnerable space where we feel fully safe, in the presence of a loving, committed partner. The Bible says that marriage is the ultimate environment to cultivate this. And it makes sense. We can’t live into the fullness of sexual expression we were designed for if we’re anxious. Or insecure. Or full of shame. We might be able to act like we’re enjoying it and put on a show, but deep-down we’re not having too much fun. Here’s the best part: this invitation is for all. The text does not say, “Adam had washboard abs and Eve had an hourglass figure and they were both naked without shame.” Scientifically speaking, there are many different body types. All are normal. All are deserving of love. All were designed to be naked in the presence of another without any shame.


We mentioned above that there was an entire book in the Bible that God dedicated to sexual love and eroticism. This is the Song of Songs. In the original Hebrew language, Song of Songs literally means The Greatest Song. Which would mean it's topping WAP, Candy Shop and Lollipop on the Billboard Top 100. This book is eight chapters jam-packed with ancient love poetry, featuring two protagonists who quite clearly are enthralled with each other in every way imaginable. It’s as if they believe they are the only ones in the world for each other. Song of Songs explores the erotical journey of love and sexual desire, as seen through the lens of the human experience. Keep in mind this is love poetry, which contains elaborate metaphors filled with sexual imagery. We’ve seen some pretty nutty blogs who have completely misread this book because they have not grasped that Hebrew metaphors are NOT meant to be visual. When we read something like “your two breasts are like two fawns”, we’re meant to reflect on the meaning of these images in the context of the relationship, not literally equate a set of boobs with a young deer. In the end, we have to read Song of Songs within the context of the larger overall story that the Bible is telling from beginning to end. As we examine this erotic text, we can’t help but notice the heavy use of Garden imagery. Dr. Tim Mackie, founder of the Bible Project, puts it this way: “There are powerful echoes of the Garden of Eden and the idyllic scene between the married couple in the early chapters of Genesis. So the image of the man and woman naked and vulnerable -- but completely unified and safe with one another -- this resonates in the background of the Song of Songs.”

He continues, “it’s as if in these poems we are witnessing the love of a couple whose relationship is untainted by selfishness and sin.”

In other words, the Song of Songs points to God’s original (and perfect) design for romantic love and sexual harmony. It’s the perfect kind of sex that equates to what world-renowned psychologist Dr. Sue Johnson calls “synchrony sex”. Song of Songs gives us a snapshot into the idyllic environment in which our sexual passions and fantasies can run wild.


The desire to be seen, valued, wanted and pursued stretches across every facet of society. In 2018, Lisa Wade’s American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus burst onto the scenes, eventually becoming a best-seller. In the book, Wade details her travels to college campuses across America, getting the inside scoop on the rise of hookup culture. When she got to the topic of the desire to be wanted, one college student confessed that “the more attention we get, the more pretty we feel”. Another told Wade, “It makes me feel attractive when [my lover] notices me. It makes me feel like I am hot, someone who he would want to hook up with.”

Even Wade herself said, “There really is nothing quite like knowing that someone wants us. We are told to love ourselves, to love our bodies, but this is no substitute. The pleasure of being desired has to come from the desire of someone else. And there's no doubt it can feel amazing.”

It’s quite simple. We want to be wanted. This is constantly playing out during every second of everyday, ordinary life. It’s why both women AND men post scantily-clad images of themselves on Instagram. It’s (usually) the primary motivating factor behind plastic surgery. Why? Because we want to be noticed. We want to be desired. We want to be pursued. It’s almost as if we’re putting out one big sign on our digital front lawn saying: LOOK AT ME. I’M WORTHY OF BEING WANTED. Yet we all know too well from personal experience that this strategy doesn’t end up the way we had hoped. If we get attention, it’s fleeting. The temporary high is elusive.

We post a pic on Insta, and quickly get a notification, seeing a new comment that simply says "DAMN GURL." We get a temporary rush of dopamine. But tomorrow morning we wake up to the same reality once again. We know it’s only a matter of moments before we have to get back on the hamster wheel of validation.

The Bible has much to say about all of this, but the conversation doesn’t start with sex or romance. It starts with identity. Because while the deep sense of needing to be validated and wanted is embedded into the human DNA, it’s often a misplaced desire. There is a beautiful narrative arc within the biblical story that teaches us that this desire can only be properly placed when we look vertically for our validation, not horizontally. God made us, so he defines us. He says we have an inherent sense of worth. As the creator of the world, he says we are a masterpiece. He says we are wonderfully made. And why is this relevant to eroticism, sex and romance? Because it allows us to come into the human relationship dynamic from a place of STRENGTH and wholeness. We don’t need to live for the elusive high of human validation. We can hold ourselves with the utmost sense of honor, value and dignity, needing nothing from another person. And it’s from THIS place we see in Song of Songs two people who know their identities in God come together in an intense storm of sexual attraction. In Song of Songs 2:4, the woman explains how the man’s eyes “feasted” on her. From Song of Songs 4:1-7, the man seemingly is scanning the woman head to toe, reveling in every inch of her body. He is filled with infatuation, speaking of her eyes, lips and breasts with graphic imagery. But this is not a one-way street. It’s not the predictable 21st century exchange of a man sexually objectifying yet another woman. No, the exchange is mutual. In fact, the woman is the FIRST one to speak in this entire book, which speaks volumes to what the Bible has to say about female sexuality. She marvels over his arms, legs and body. She too salivates over his lips, eyes and mouth… Wait, stop. You might be saying… this sounds awesome bud, but it’s fantasy land, reserved solely for the beautiful and sexually desirable in society. But remarkably, the story makes no such mention of their attractiveness to the culture at-large. It does not say he looked like Ryan Reynolds and that tons of men were falling over themselves to coerce her into bed. Nope. It is just a man and a woman. Two ordinary people. Isn’t this remarkable? It speaks to the deep longing of the human soul, to know and be known by another person intimately. To be accepted, loved and desired, just as we are. To not have to fit any sort of mold or image, but just be well…. us.


There’s a common adage that says the best things are worth waiting for. And isn’t that true? Take any area of your life and we bet you have a greater appreciation for it if there was some sort of buildup leading up to the payoff. When it comes to the area of sexual anticipation, it’s clear that Hollywood would tend to agree. The film industry loves to paint a picture that says the most erotic sex comes after a period of intense sexual tension. More often than not, it’s a somewhat casual encounter in the midst of a complicated relationship dynamic. You know how it goes… There’s flirting… sexting… fighting… eventually it all gets to be too much and before you know it, the characters are ripping each other’s clothes off. If we’re honest, this often makes us wonder (or secretly fantasize) about what that would be like for us. Maybe it even influences your behavior. Well, you’d be happy to hear that the Song of Songs takes all that sexual tension to the next level... without the complications surrounding the relationship. In Song of Songs 3:1, the woman is seen lying restless in bed, longing for the man. It says that she “wanted him desperately” and that his “absence was painful.” Yet it’s clear that this sexual anticipation was one that was under control. Earlier in Song of Songs 2:7 the woman says, “Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.” So how do we know when the time is ripe and ready? Simple. Scripture says that marriage is ultimately the only union powerful (and capable) enough to release this sexual anticipation in a healthy way. It is the ultimate expression of love. Marriage provides the ideal sexual environment, one that science says is a safe space with a committed, loving partner who we can openly communicate and express our feelings with and which we feel secure with.


As the Song of Songs closes in chapter 8, it does so by reiterating its central theme one final time. “Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.” We see the fulfillment of all the sexual attraction, tension and anticipation when the time is finally right in verses 8:5-14. The man and woman tie the knot. And they have glorious sex. But here’s the remarkable part about Song of Songs -- it ends with a cliffhanger. Mackie says of the ending: “The book concludes with the man and woman -- they’re separate once more, on the hunt for each other. He calls to hear her voice, she begs him to run away with her… and that’s how the book ends. Just totally open-ended.” He continues, “But that’s a lot like love, which never truly concludes. Because there’s always more to discover and pursue in your beloved. So true love has no end and neither does this book.” Mic drop. It is here where we discover everything that’s needed to sustain sexual love and amplifies why hookup culture -- and even cohabitation -- fails. Sure, culture has fashioned our sexual desires in such a way that often makes sex feel exciting in certain settings. But it fails because true commitment is not present, as these types of arrangements always have an expiration date. Whether that be a one-night stand or a three-year journey of living with someone, only for them to move out. By nature, anything outside marriage is antithetical to attachment theory and our deep desire to share a safe space with another.

We want to be wanted -- but not just once.

We want to be loved for who we are -- but not just temporarily.

Just ask those using Ashley Madison, a (married) dating app that is being advertised with, “Meet bored men & lonely housewives. Define your experience, and live life to the fullest! Life is short. Have an affair.” Affairs aren’t just about sex. In fact, renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel writes in her New York Times best-seller The State of Affairs: “Many affairs are less about sex than about desire; the desire to feel desired, to feel special, to be seen and connected, to compel attention. All these carry an erotic frisson that makes us feel alive, renewed, recharged. It is more energy than act, more enchantment than intercourse.” You probably are all too familiar with this as you’ve witnessed relationships around you crumble, but we must remember that marriage fails when we stop pursuing each other. When we stop communicating with each other. When we fail to exemplify the sacrificial love so beautifully modeled by Jesus. Since we have so little evidence of healthy marriages to point to within our social circles, this makes us have a fear of commitment. Why would we want to get ourselves involved in such a risky arrangement? But it’s clear from the cliffhanger in Song of Songs that God designed sex and marriage to be a continual romantic and sexual pursuit. And when we follow his design as we’re following him, it no longer becomes a risky endeavor. It becomes that which we mentioned before, the idyllic sexual environment, one that science says is a safe space with a committed, loving partner who we can openly communicate and express our feelings with and which we feel secure with.


The powerful sentiments of the idyllic sexual environment found Genesis 2:25 and Song of Songs echoes throughout the rest of the Erotic Bible. Later on in the New Testament, one of Jesus’s original apostles, Paul, writes an entire exposition on sex, intimacy and marriage. If you’re not all that familiar with the Bible, then his words in 1 Corinthians 7:5 will probably shock you as it breaks all the prudish religious stereotypes. For those of us who grew up in religious homes and witnessed broken (and likely sexless) marriages, it becomes clear from 1 Corinthians 7:5 that this was not by God’s design. It is here where it says “do not deprive each other." As in, don’t stop having sex. Don’t stop meeting your partner's sexual needs. Continue to indulge each other in light of what we learned in Song of Songs. But for all those reading this blog who might be getting too ahead of themselves -- this call from God is NOT meant to be weaponized. In fact, if you do this, then you’re grossly violating multiple other principles taught by Jesus. This verse is not meant to guilt trip your spouse. Remember what the Bible says babe… It’s not meant to be a red flag held up in the midst of hard times or illness. Remember that emotional intimacy is attached to sexual intimacy. Don’t be tone-deaf to the current moment you’re living in. Dr. Tim Keller remarks in his New York Times bestseller The Meaning of Marriage that “unless your marital relationship is in good condition, sex doesn’t work.” So don’t expect to be selfish, cold, unkind, distracted, dishonoring and zoned-out, only to pull out the “don’t deprive me” card. It will backfire... hard. It is only when we are both following the model of sacrificial love that Jesus so beautifully embodied that we can step into the fullness of eroticism that God designed us to experience. In fact, when our marriage is firing on all cylinders -- emotional, spiritual and sexual -- it is then where we experience what Dr. Keller calls “the best sex”. The type of sex that “makes you want to weep tears of joy”. Keep in mind folks, that at the time of the writing, Keller had been married for nearly 40 years. For millennials and Generation Z, this sounds completely alien and borderline ridiculous. How could this be possible? Simple. By both of them aspiring to look more like Jesus, day-by-day. Don’t miss this... recognize here that we are saying SIMPLE, not easy. But if we mutually commit ourselves to doing this, the rewards are great. Keller has famously talked about having better sex in his 60s with his wife Kathy than he did in his 30s. This completely breaks every single cultural stereotype, yet we cannot deny it’s beauty. This is what we all long for. To be loved deeply by another for a lifetime. To be sexually pursued and desired, just by being us.


The Song of Songs is not the only place in the Erotic Bible that goes into explicit detail about sex. In Proverbs 5, the writer warns us about the uncomfortable aftermath of adultery and infidelity. The writer carefully redirects our attention back to our spouse saying in the Passion Translation: “Your sex life will be blessedas you take joy and pleasure in the wife of your youth.Let her breasts be your satisfaction,and let her embrace intoxicate you at all times.Be continually delighted and ravished with her love!” One aspect of the sex conversation that the modern American church has failed to get into is the specifics of sexual encounters between a married couple. As seen in this verse and in much of Song of Songs, the scriptures indulge in the details and the joy in intoxicating ourselves with our spouse’s bodies. Let’s be clear. This is not to advocate for objectifying our spouse and making them into a sexual commodity as we see in larger culture. It’s not to put them on display or flaunt them as our trophy wife (or husband). No it is in light of fully honoring, fully serving and fully loving them that we are called to indulge in their bodies. Can we masterbate simultaneously as we stare into each other’s eyes? Is it okay that I fantasize about doing it from behind? I want him to go down on me, play with my clit and make me orgasm. Thoughts like these often race through our minds as we anticipate a sexual encounter. We may not vocalize it, but these thoughts are normal. Marriage is the environment in which we can explore them. We shouldn’t avoid having these conversations with our husband or wife. Communicate them and as long as you are both comfortable, go for it. We need not be shy. But it’s important to clarify what we’re not saying. All fantasies are not necessarily good. The vast majority of us come from complicated sexual pasts, in which we’ve been exposed to a wide-array of things. There’s no need to give specific examples of dysfunctional fantasies, because this is often so personal to our individual experiences. Yet it is to say that through therapy, communing with God, revisiting our past AND having an open dialogue with our spouse, we can start identifying where dysfunction exists. Our aim should always be the care of the other person. To “one-up” each other in the department of pleasure-stacking. Society often has put the male orgasm on a pedestal, heralding it as the cap-off to a sexual encounter. Yet what about the woman? What about the female orgasm? In Ephesians 5:25, the call is for husbands to model the love, sacrifice and servanthood that Jesus first showed us. This isn’t talked about enough, yet it’s obvious that this should bleed into our sex lives. Ask her what she likes. What she fantasizes about. What turns her on. Dr. Keller says it best in the Meaning of Marriage: “Each partner in marriage is to be most concerned not with getting sexual pleasure but with giving it. In short, the greatest sexual pleasure should be the pleasure of seeing your spouse getting pleasure. When you get to the place where giving arousal is the most arousing thing, you are practicing this principle.”


So that’s the Erotic Bible. Just follow everything it says and you’ll be living your most beautiful, erotic sex life. Thanks for reading! Um… what? Wait. Many of you reading this right now are probably inspired by the narrative of eroticism, sexual love and romance. You want to find someone who you can love like that and who will love you like that. Who you can be naked with no shame. Who will love every inch of your body. Where there will be mutual sexual attraction and mutual sexual anticipation, with an intoxicating payoff as soon as we tie the knot and have sex. A person who will fulfill your every sexual need, while you provide theirs. Someone you can be safe with, honest, open, communicative and feel supported on an emotional level. Yet you’re thinking, this is not reality. It’s too good to be true. It’s not how people behave in clubs or bars. On college campuses. In workplaces. Finding someone like THAT to have THIS kind of relationship is impossible. Even if you are married, it sounds unrealistic. It’s simply not the world we live in and how I experience my marriage. It’s a fantasy. And to this we would say... YOU'RE RIGHT! It is impossible. It is a fantasy. It is not how the world operates. ….unless God is in the middle of your relationship. I’m not talking about those that claim to follow God, but in practice it’s evident that they don't. I’m not talking about religious fanatics you see on the news. We're talking about people who have genuinely dedicated themselves to following the way of Jesus. People who recognize that in and of themselves, they hold no power to live this way. But I thought you said this was God’s design? It was and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s how the current state of the world is. Being able to live into this “fantasyland” and experience this type of eroticism starts with admitting you can’t do it on your own. That you are a “sinner” saved by grace. That it often feels like you have both an angel and a devil on your shoulder, simultaneously competing for your attention. And in the words of author Paul Tripp, recognize that collectively, “you are a sinner married to a sinner and you are together living in a broken world.” When we acknowledge that and start reorienting our lives around Jesus, we find that fantasy becomes a possibility. It’s possible you can find this. And then as you, individually, start looking more and more like he does, possibility turns into probability. We stop becoming prideful and we start becoming more humble. We stop being selfish and learn to be selfless. We live for others and not ourselves. We acknowledge our brokenness. We stop searching for approval. We have a healthy sense of identity and do not NEED another person to live a full life. This is by no means a perfect process. Even when you get married, there is still healing that needs to happen from our sexual past. There are emotional wounds, trauma to be worked through, questions of self-worth -- all of this needs to be renewed and aligned with the way of Jesus. So inevitably there will be bumps along the way, but make no mistake. This is the best way to live. This is the best way to find the relationship and sex life you’ve always longed for. It's the healthiest way to fill that deep desire in your heart if you’re trying to navigate hookup culture, or post selfies so other people notice you, or get your spouse to have more sex with you. All these misplaced desires are fulfilled when God is at the center. And in the process, it'll be an incredibly erotic, sexually satisfying ride.


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