An Embarrassing Little Secret or Monumental Mistake?

embarrassed-facial-expression-3_mediumI can remember the most embarrassing moment of my life that occurred back in junior high school. I was 14 years old, but I looked like I was about nine. I was sickly and a late bloomer. I had a huge crush on one of the neighborhood boys, but he seemed to be quite taken with big breasts. I unfortunately had the chest of a little boy. I thought I would fix that problem by stuffing my bra. After all, every under-developed, late bloomer does it. Doesn’t she?

 I did a great job. I was always very artistic so I even managed to create nipples (laugh). The only problem was that I knew if my mom ever saw my tissue breast implants, she definitely would have made me undo all of my hard work. Therefore, I would have to “de-breast” myself every time I went in the house and then “re-breast” myself whenever I left. On a particular evening, I asked my Mom if I could go back outside after dinner. She informed me that I only had 15 minutes. I wanted to be around my crush as often as possible, so I frantically re-stuffed my bra and ran outside, knowing that I had precious little time to continue my work on winning his affections.

 There was a group of us that hung out together. I was the outcast. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even an invited member of the crew. I was more like a stray dog that they just could not get rid of.  At any rate, I hunted them down that night after dinner and stood amongst the group. I was probably a good 8 to 12 inches shorter than everyone else, but I tried to be big in personality to make up for it. I was talking loudly, trying to entertain everyone as usual, and thenthen… it happened… My crush, “the love of my life” looked down at me, pointed his finger at my chest, busted out with laughter and shouted as loudly as he could, “Ilk, Laneen has tissue in her bra!” If there were ever a time that I wished I had magic powers, that was it!

For me, my bra-stuffing was just an embarrassing little secret, but at the moment of its revealing, I realized that it was really a monumental mistake – a monumental mistake that stemmed from much deeper issues than just that of being flat-chested. I use this illustration to correlate to a common “embarrassing little secret” that many Christian women keep. It’s that dirty ol’ word called masturbation.  After all, every under-sexed, unsatisfied, lonely, stressed out woman does it. Doesn’t she?

Well, I don’t know about every woman, but statistical studies amongst Christian women suggest that about 60% admit to masturbating. My own experience as Dr. Intimacy leads me to believe that number is much higher. But masturbation, although done in secrecy most times, is much more than an embarrassing little secret. It is a monumental mistake that stems from much deeper issues than simply that of needing a little sexual release from time to time.

If your high-school was anything like mine, you were taught in health-ed class that masturbation is “natural” and “healthy”. I myself began performing it at the age of five. I have had clients share with me stories of starting as early as age two. Yet contrary to popular opinion in our sex-crazed, disease-ridden society, masturbation is not a safe and healthy alternative to promiscuous sexual relationships. That embarrassing little secret is a cover up for much deeper issues such as feelings of depression, loneliness,  inadequacy, rejection, stress, low self-esteem, lack of acceptance and more. Such issues if not properly addressed can lead to health problems, poor social skills, failures in life, many failed relationships, weight control problems and even death or suicide.

 Another common misconception is that masturbation can be used as a therapeutic substitute for unfulfilling marital sex in order to stave off infidelity. The practice of masturbation trains your body to climax in response to your own touch. This makes it difficult, if not impossible for your husband to ever bring you to climax without the aid of your own hand. Consequently, that unfulfilling marital sex is likely to get worse.

For men, even married men, sex is a conquest. If a man becomes dejected in his efforts to sexually please his wife, he is likely to respond by discontinuing sex with his wife and turning to pornography, masturbation and/or adultery. He may turn to these things and continue to have sex with his wife but with complete emotional detachment, as he fondly reminisces on his favorite past sexual conquest or porn scene. Such lack of intimacy will break down communication in the marriage.  Some women in these situations feel as if they are being raped during sex with their husbands. And if you think that this terrible state of affairs in a marriage won’t possibly lead to adultery on the wife’s end too, you obviously have not been paying attention to infidelity statistics lately.

Masturbation only medicates your issues, just like any other drug. When you masturbate to cover up your issues, you are just as bound as a drug addict or alcoholic. Masturbation is highly addictive and I can even remember reading an article that stated an orgasm causes a chemical reaction in the brain that is similar to that which occurs during drug highs. The real frustration trap of masturbation is that it essentially increases the issues that initially triggered the act in the first place. Since for most women sex is more about the emotional connection than the actual physical mechanics; laying in bed alone after concluding the act of masturbation triggers an emotional letdown. It emulates the sharp increase in negative emotions (depression, loneliness, self-hatred, etc…) that women often experience after a boyfriend gets up and leaves after “he is finish”, or an uncaring husband rolls over and falls asleep after sex. Such a woman is most often left feeling worse than she did at the onset.

In the Power of His Love,

Dr. Intimacy

Breaking the bonds of sexual perversion ~ Healing the bonds of heart-2-heart intimacy

Copyright © 2013 by Laneen A. Haniah “Dr. Intimacy”. All rights reserved. Please see full copyright and legal notices on this page.


Is Common Law Marriage Acceptable Before God?

Most of us know what common law marriage is. This happens when two people, who are afraid of commitment, shack up for so long that they become legally recognized as husband and wife, by the government and other people. These types of couples tend to consider themselves to be married when it suits them, and not married when it doesn’t  It is a false commitment or an oxymoron at best, because you cannot be “committed” in a non-committed relationship.

Nevertheless, the concept of a common law marriage is not as unbiblical as it may seem. In actuality, what creates a marriage covenant is sexual intercourse. The courts create a marriage contract, but sexual intercourse – with or without the involvement of the courts – creates a marriage covenant. When two people become sexually active and then decide to live together, the inbred human instinct is likely the force that is driving them. You see, from the beginning of time, it would have been unlawful to follow any other course of action.

As the old saying goes, “You break it, you buy it!” In other words, whenever a man was the one to break a woman’s virginity, or her abstinence after divorce or widowhood, she became his to keep for life. She became his responsibility and obligation. If you were a woman, who allowed yourself to succumb to the temptation of sex with a man, you became that man’s property, his wife.

What we call “common law marriage”, was the only type of marriage that existed in early times and amongst the Children of Israel. Paperwork was not necessary to establish, solidify or validate a marriage covenant that two people made in private. As a matter of fact, amongst those cultures of morally strict beliefs (such as the Jews), if two people had sex and did not accept each other as husband and wife, and it became publicly known, there were serious penalties – sometimes as serious as execution! For the woman found in this situation that was not killed, she was labeled a prostitute, and the man a whoremonger. So in actuality, “common law marriage” was common place.

Yet at the same time, because marriage in most cultures is such a significant and honorable event, there was quite a bit of ceremony surrounding the making of a marriage covenant. The village of the husband and wife to be – the elders, family members and friends – rallied in support of the new couple. The village also stood as witnesses of the covenant, to ensure that the union be made publicly known. This was to hold the new couple accountable to the guidelines of the covenant, and to discourage the couple from living as if they were still available. These traditional practices led to what we now know as the wedding ceremony. However, these ceremonies were not paramount in the establishing of a marriage, the way it is in our culture today.  In some instances, the covenant was made privately between the new husband and wife; then publicized and celebrated later. It was perfectly legal and acceptable to do so, as long as the female was free to speak for herself (meaning she was not still of her father’s household, a slave or in another marriage).

So if you are involved in a common law marriage, you might be jumping for joy right now, feeling like you are “OK” in your “shacking” situation – BUT HOLD YOUR HORSES. No covenant can ever be established without a meeting of the minds. In every covenant recorded in scripture, the terms of the covenant were clearly outlined to all parties involved. Furthermore, the covenant was not binding until all parties, with full understanding and by their own choice, agreed to abide by the terms. “How can two walk together unless they agree?” There cannot be the establishment of a covenant without full AGREEMENT. And since a marriage covenant is made between a man, a woman and God (because it is God who designed and ordained the marriage covenant) – the man and woman must be in agreement with each other and with God, in order for that covenant to be a legitimately established and binding one.

A covenant is such a strong, life-altering, forever-binding commitment, which such great consequences for violating any of the terms. It would be beyond unjust to bind someone to a covenant, without their knowledge.  As it were, it is actually impossible to do so! You can forge someone’s name on a contract, but you cannot forge a covenant. The issue here is that we are talking about the difference between a contract and a covenant. A contract is created on paper and can therefore be nullified on paper, but a covenant is created in the spirit. It is something that cannot be established on paper, but is instead written on the tablets of the heart. It is a solemn, sober-minded, life-long pledge of commitment that is literally engrafted into the heart and soul of the parties of agreement.

A contract can be cancelled, but in order to break an established covenant, something or someone has to die. You are forever changed after making a covenant and whatever or whoever you were before that covenant was made, no longer exists afterward. You can never go back and be that person again. You are so radically altered that you are literally no longer the same person. The only way to get around the obligations of a covenant – and I do mean “get around” in every sense of its significance – is to drastically alter your life once again. You have to recreate yourself, in order to be able to function and work around whatever in you had to die, for that covenant to be broken.

So you may be asking yourself, “OK, what is the point she is trying to make here?” The point that I am making is this:

Any sexual blood covenant that you create with the person you are having sex with, will not stand as a binding marriage covenant before God – unless that was the full “heart intent”, of both you and your partner, before the first sexual act took place.

Let there be no confusion about what I am saying here. Irrefutably, you do create a sexual blood covenant, WHICH IS THE FORMATION OF A MARRIAGE, each and every time you have sex with someone. However, it is not a binding marriage AGREEMENT, unless marriage was your intent. In other words, your covenant exists, but is not honorable, legitimate or binding.

The core commitment never existed – when your initial intent was a moment of pleasure, as opposed to a life-time of serving.

So my final answer is this: Yes and No.

YES: Common law marriage (saying the term loosely because there was no such term or concept in ancient, biblical times) is acceptable before God, if marriage was the initial intent – with a full understanding that the sexual act would be the beginning of the commencement of that marriage. This basically means that two available (not currently married) people of the opposite sex, choose to come into agreement about a marriage covenant privately and without a public ceremony or court involvement. However such marriages would still be made publicly known.

NO: Shacking up in a sexually-based, non-committed relationship for years, and then just through the passing of time “ending up legally married” is not honorable before God. This covenant can and should be nullified and re-established the decent and orderly way, if you both agree and desire to have a legitimate, binding and blessed marriage covenant before God.

In the Power of Love,

Dr. Intimacy

Prolific Author and Speaker Specializing in Sex, Intimacy and Relationships from a Holistic Perspective – Spirit, Soul & Body

Copyright © 2012 by Laneen A. Haniah “Dr. Intimacy”. All rights reserved. Please see full copyright notice on front page for more info.

When Is The Right Time to Talk To Your Children About Sex?

Two years ago, I took my then nine-year old daughter along with me to a Christian girls rally. The audience consisting mainly of 14 to 18 year olds was all abuzz as the hostess introduced “Dr. Intimacy”. They wanted to know who I was and what I was going to talk to them about. I’m sure if this event had been held at school and the community liaison of Planned Parent Hood was announced the girls would’ve known pretty much what to expect. However, the very notion of talking about sex in any Christian function seems almost sinister to most.

After running down a quick introduction I asked the audience a series of questions such as, “What is intimacy?” Many gladly volunteered answers. But when I asked, “What is sex?” everyone froze. No one wanted to answer my question. An audience that I assume by observance of their behavior consisted of very few virgins, was unwilling to render an answer. I refused to move on until I got an answer and so much to everyone’s surprise, my nine-year old daughter raised her hand. With no other volunteers after two minutes of waiting why wouldn’t I give her a chance to answer? She opened up her mouth and said very plainly without smiling, blinking or stuttering, “It’s when the penis goes into the vagina.”

The entire audience responded with laughter and amazement. Why was this nine-year old girl willing and able to explain what a room full of teenagers was not? She was able to explain because I taught her. I have seven children and I began teaching all of my children about sex when they reached the age of two. It never ceases to amaze me as I travel across the country to speak to people on issues of sexuality and intimacy, how ignorant most parents are to the dire need of candidly discussing sex with their children!

I’ll never forget the frantic phone call of a friend of mine. He had been called to his five-year old’s school because the boy had been accosted by two female students in his kindergarten class, who pulled his pants down and began performing oral sex on him right there in the class! It sounds hard to believe I know, but most children begin sexual exploration around the age of two. Sexual exploration is when they get curious and begin to test out “what it does when I do this”. It is also the typical age at which they want to know whether or not other people “have one too”.  It won’t take a child long to figure out  in the midst of their innocent exploration that it feels good when they rub this or pull on that. Many people have discussed with me children masturbating as early as two. I performed it regularly beginning at age five.

Parents, the right time to talk to your children about sex is NOW! The greatest thing that you can do as a parent to help avert sexual misbehavior, and the ill consequences thereof, in the lives of your children is to be very proactive. Don’t just react to what they do, influence what they do. Our children are bombarded with the deviant sexual influences of society from birth. No matter how wholesome you try to keep the environment in your home, unless you plan on moving to a deserted island, there is nothing that you can do to protect them from this. The most important challenge is helping them overcome their curiosity about sex by having candid discussions and lessons.  You can start by showing them illustrations of naked bodies and allowing them ask as many questions as they want to.   Give them honest but age appropriate answers using the proper names for the anatomy.

Always remember this about parenting and life and general: The first time a person hears something will be the most substantial time and will set the foundation for their beliefs on that topic forever. If the first time your children hear about sex is in a perverted way on the school playground, that is what will shape their beliefs about sex. If it is at home with Mom and the Bible, talking about the beauty of intimacy in marriage and the sacredness of their bodies to be reserved for that time, that is what will shape their beliefs.  It is such a terrible and irreversible mistake when parents neglect to discuss sexuality with their children. What I find is that most parents wait until they think their children may be interested or involved in sex, but once that sleeping giant of sexuality is awakened it is hard to return it to hibernation. Don’t wait until it is too late. Equip them now to successfully stand against the pressures of a society that is encouraging sexual immorality on every hand. Help prevent them from becoming another bad teenage statistic and prepare them for enjoyable intimacy with a spouse in the future.

What are your thoughts on this? If you have children, at what age did you first discuss sex with them? Have you been “waiting for the right time”?

In the Power of Love,

Dr. Intimacy

Prolific Author and Speaker Specializing in Sex, Intimacy and Relationships from a Holistic Perspective – Spirit, Soul & Body

Copyright © 2011 by Laneen A. Haniah “Dr. Intimacy”. All rights reserved. Please see full copyright notice on front page for more info.