Authentic Intimacy: Distorted Sex, Heartbreak and Mommy Porn

By Heather Patenaude

Dr. Juli Slattery is a clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcaster. You may recognizer her as the former co-host of Focus on the Family. She left that ministry in 2012 to launch Authentic Intimacy, “a non-profit organization designed to ministry to women on all topics related to intimacy in marriage and intimacy with God.”

I recently contacted Juli for the scoop on real, lasting intimacy. Here’s part one of that interview.

Heather: In a Facebook note from May 2012, you laid out how God began drawing
you closer in the past couple of years and you then share: “In July 2011, the Lord drew my attention to some verses in Isaiah 61— “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

I wrote in my Bible that day ‘this is God’s call on my life.’”

Within a week you saw the beginning of a new ministry — Authentic Intimacy — take place! Can you share a little bit about your vision for this new ministry?

Juli: One thing I know about Authentic Intimacy — it was God’s idea, not mine. The journey that He took me on was unlike anything I have known. The gift of sexual intimacy is precious, sacred, even holy. This truth has gotten lost by the many ways Satan has tried to distort it. Here are just a few distortions:

• At least one in three women were sexually abused by the age of 18.
• 40 million Americans regular visit porn sites (1/3 or these are women).
• Cohabitation has increased 65% in the past 10 years.
• The 3 books in the “50 Shades of Grey” series are  numbers 1,2 and 3 on the NY Times
Bestseller List.
• Sexual problems continue to be one of the primary reasons cited for divorce.
• Many women suffer from no sexual desire and/or pain during intercourse.

An increasing number of women are reporting that their husbands have no sexual
desire.

This breaks God’s heart and it breaks mine. Authentic Intimacy is designed to help women rediscover God’s original design for intimacy and to address the many wounds inflicted by Satan’s distortions.

We want to be real — addressing the questions women are really asking. We want to be authentic — responding with real-life answers, not cookie cutter formulas. We want to be compassionate, acknowledging that these are very sensitive and sacred topics. Above all, we want to be biblical, proclaiming God’s truth first and foremost.

Heather: Over the years, as you have worked with Christian women in the area of physical intimacy/sexuality, what would you say is the number one area they are “brokenhearted, being captive of, and need release from”?

Juli: It’s difficult to say a number 1 area. There are some big ones that I hear all the time. A huge one is concern about a husband involved in pornography. This problem spirals into many others, including insecurity about how you look (I can’t compete with porn!), husbands who are not able to be aroused by “normal sex,” lack of trust, and a wife withholding sex or sexually acting out because of the betrayal.

Also the guilt of sexual activity before marriage and/or experiences of sexual abuse cause many women to have a lot of confusion about sex. Feelings of physical pleasure are mixed with guilt and shame. A woman wonders, “How can God bless our sexual intimacy when I’ve…?”

Satan loves to wreak havoc with this confusion so that a woman never feels free to celebrate what God has created for her to enjoy with her husband. He tells her that her sin is too great to be fully forgiven and that her wounds are too deep to be completely healed. These are lies that we want to expose through Authentic Intimacy.

Heather: Speaking of porn — With the increase awareness and popularity of “mommy porn” we know that some women are viewing sex through this filter, claiming it “spices” up their own sex life. What is the ultimate goal of our sex life and how does “mommy porn” help or hinder that goal?

Juli: “Mommy porn” will probably spice up your sex life temporarily. Yes, the immediate thrill and adrenaline rush might lead to a great couple of weeks of sex. However, spicing up sex is NOT the same thing as deepening intimacy. Mommy porn is PORN. It is a shortcut to the physiological sensation of sexual stimulation, bypassing the ultimate goal — expressing love and building intimacy.

Think of Mommy Porn like giving your kids cotton candy for breakfast. Will they like it? Probably. But it’s terrible for them and will spoil their appreciation for the natural sweetness of something like a strawberry.

An exciting, life-long sex life takes work and discipline. It means saying “no” to every shortcut so that you can learn to experience the ultimate pleasure of oneness and sexual ecstasy that God designed for you to have with your husband.

Most importantly, when we choose to engage in mommy porn or any kind of fantasy that involves someone other than our husbands, we are choosing to walk away from the sanctuary of sharing in the holiness of God. Sex is about more than your marriage. It is a very practical way of setting yourself apart for the Lord. There are great promises and deep blessings for those who daily make this choice. Whatever pleasure mommy porn may offer you will come at much higher cost than you may realize.

Can you relate to some of the “distortions” Juli mentioned? What hits you about Juli’s take on porn or the challenges of developing “an exciting, life-long sex life?” Leave us a comment and tell us about it. We will choose one of you at random to send Dr. Slattery’s book, “ No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex and Intimacy In Marriage.” And be sure to hop back on the blog Friday for Juli’s answer to the question “What’s okay in the marriage bed?”

For more on Juli’s ministry, check out authenticintimacy.com.


 

 

 

 

 

HEATHER PATENAUDE is passionate about living a Christ-centered life. This passion flows over to being a wife to John and a homeschool mom to: Miles 7, Luke 6, and Clark 3. Heather is “doing” motherhood right along the side of most of you and hopes that she can encourage you to look beyond your “bath time” challenges and embrace the beautiful calling of motherhood!

9 thoughts on “Authentic Intimacy: Distorted Sex, Heartbreak and Mommy Porn

  1. Thank you for speaking out! I am so upset by Christian friends reading those horrible books and justifying it because it put a little “spark” in the bedroom.

    • Lindsey,

      Dr. Juli and Dannah Gresh are doing a lot of speaking out on this type of “mommy porn”. You can “like” them both on FB and keep up with their writing!

      Heather

  2. This is amazingly timely for me today, Heather. Just last night as I was watching about 15 minutes of a movie on AMC at 9:30pm, there was an unbelievably graphic commercial on for a “sex enhancement” product. I just kept yelling “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe this!” to my husband repeatedly. It was 9:30, not 3am! It’s American Movie Classics, not Showtime! So the target audience is clear–and it’s us! It’s moms clicking on the TV for a few minutes before bed after kids are down and the last of the chores are done. A few moments when we may have our guards down after a long day…and then in walks the tempter. So let’s be alert! Let’s pay attention to this conversation that Erin and Heather have begun and talk to our husbands too. I know God has so much in store for our marriages if we seek His ways for intimacy.

    • Thanks for your encouragement and comment!

      We don’t have TV and I’ve not watched any regular TV since 2006. Recently a friend put on a show when I was at her house, I was appalled! This was a “family show”!

      Keeping our guards up is key!

      Thanks for your comment!
      heather

  3. Thank you for this post Heather! I have listened to Dr. Juli many times on Focus on the Family and always enjoy hearing her experience and the wisdom that God has given her. While, I do not personally struggle with pornography through television or books, I do still struggle with guilty feelings of sexual experiences before marriage and my husband and I have been married almost 5 years. I know this keeps me from fully enjoying the gift of sex that God has given my husband and I and I feel like it has taken away a lot of my desire for sex in marriage because I am often internally reminded of my past sin in this area. Will you be addressing this in the future?

    • April,

      We will be “lightly” addressing this topic in the coming posts. I’d highly recommend checking out “Authentic Intimacy” website where they touch base on these type of topics.

      Also, Dr. Slattery and Linda Dillow have a bible study coming out which I’d recommend.

      Until then, I’d do a bible study of your righteousness through faith in Christ. You are holy and blameless before God through Christ. You are forgiven and Jesus wants to set you free. You were guilty, but through repentance you can have restoration fully.

      Memorize scripture that reminds you that you are indeed forgiven through Christ.

      Hope this helps!
      Hugs!

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