Aphrodisiacs: Who-ahhh!: Alcohol

Alcohol must be the most used aphrodisiac in the world. Why? Alcohol lowers inhibitions. Many people have sexual hang-ups. Drinking alcohol tends to relax people and put them more in the mood for a little rumpy-pumpy.

We can use alcohol to address a challenging Christian principle: What are we allowed to do?

Let me tell you a story. When I was in my late 20s, my co-worker, Jack, and I went to a bar together and got drunk. We laughed as we talked about our kids, our wives, and our work. We were good friends and brothers in the Lord. I remember barely being able to walk as we left the bar. A few days later, Jack called to tell me he was going into a 30-day alcohol rehabilitation program. As I prayed for him, I got a clear message (which I believe to be a directive from the Holy Spirit) that if Jack couldn’t drink anymore, then neither could I. So I abstained from alcohol for over 25 years, and I never regretted the decision.

I didn’t have a drinking problem like Jack did, but I did have a maturity problem. I needed time to grow into the man God wanted me to be. I’m still working on that. I knew, though, that God didn’t want me drinking alcohol anymore. It was forbidden for me. But I recently felt a strong urging that I was too prideful about my abstinence—that an occasional drink would be right for me, even though I don’t particularly enjoy drinking.

 I like when Debby drinks, though, because her inhibitions go down. I don’t really have any inhibitions. I’m thinking of asking for some for Christmas. Regardless of inhibitions, Debby and I both feel God gives us the grace to drink alcohol.

The Bible explains this principle of grace in different ways, but it’s difficult for us to grasp. We tend to want simple rules. Grace tells us that everything is allowable, but the Holy Spirit will tell you what is permissible for you.[1] Jesus tells us not to judge others.[2] How could I possibly know what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do? Yet, we spend much of our lives trying to manage the behavior of others. We all love bossing someone else around. It’s easier to do that than to deal with our own issues.

Regarding alcohol, then, follow God’s leading. But remember: alcohol may be poison for you, or it may be poison to your spouse; the struggle to abstain from alcohol may be so challenging for your spouse that your only reasonable response is to also abstain. The beautiful grace of Christianity lets you decide and live with the consequences.

Caution about alcohol-sex dependence: Be careful not to become dependent on alcohol for good sex. Remember that variety keeps sex fun for years. Don’t get caught in the trap where good sex only occurs with alcohol onboard. If that tends to be the case in your marriage, figure out what the alcohol changes about you or your spouse’s behavior and try to address it in another way.

For example, if your spouse tends to be tense and the alcohol acts as a relaxer, try a full body massage instead or watch a funny show that you both enjoy. Laughter works well as foreplay. On the other hand, perhaps your spouse feels on some deep level that sex is disgusting. Alcohol helps temporarily alleviate that feeling, but you don’t want to always rely on alcohol for fun sex.

You may want to talk to a counselor or perhaps study a Song of Songs together.  Perhaps study this book, Great Sex, Christian Style, together. I can’t imagine being able to talk Debby into doing that, but it might work for you and your spouse. Remember, it can take considerable effort to understand the source of sexual hang-ups. And it takes even more effort to change them. You’ve got the time, though. Are you are willing to put in the effort?

[1] I Corinthians 10:23-31 and I Corinthians 6:12

[2] Matthew 7:1-5