I moved back to Amarillo, Texas in March to take advantage of the amazing group of writers, programs, and critique groups here. Last Wednesday, I took my online article “Solomon made love to 1000 virgins but he never had great sex” for review. The article discusses how Solomon kept having the same sexual experience over and over—1000 times to be exact. He stayed locked in immature high-school backseat-quality lovemaking his whole life.
A male screenplay writer observed, “I’ve never understood the fascination with virgins. Think about all that inexperience.”
And I have been thinking about his comment ever since. I’ve written about Solomon’s inadequacies as a lover and concentrated on the healthy attitudes of the Shulammite maiden whose mother taught her how to please a husband. But I’ve failed to note the significance of the sexual immaturity of Solomon’s 1000 wives and make application to the #1 marriage complaint I get from both husbands and wives—marriage to a sexual dud. Infrequent, lukewarm lovemaking sucks the emotional life out of a marriage for both the husband and the wife regardless of which one deprives the other of mature sexual contact.
Solomon and his wives stayed locked in sexual immaturity for 40 years. Many couples today suffer from stunted sexual growth longer than they did. If you are unfamiliar with the true story of Solomon and his attempt to woo a country maiden, the Shulammite, who already had a boyfriend, the Shepherd, visit my Song of Solomon FAQ for a quick review.
God’s timetable to grow up sexually is one year
My online article “Soul Mating for a Lifetime of Ravishing Lovemaking: God’s Four Steps” details how God expects a couple’s sexual life to grow over the course of a long marriage. Skillful, mature lovemaking is a learn-as-you-go life course. An overview of that article shows how God instructed young Jewish husbands to not take a traveling job or go to war, but to stay home for one year and learn about sexual love with their wives by practicing and experimenting (Deut. 24:5). Then making love all over again and again and again until they became drunk on married lovemaking (Song of Solomon 5:1b). God designed sex to reward husbands and wives for working hard to make a living as “love” means to love sexually or otherwise (Eccl. 9:9). This necessarily implies God expects Christians to enjoy great sex in their marriages. God concluded in Proverbs 5 with how the older wife’s sexual charms far out weigh both the sweet young virgin’s inexperience (5:15-19) and the prostitute’s emotionally-shallow experience (5:20-23).
Obviously, Solomon and his wives couldn’t physically enjoy that kind of lovemaking with each other. To quote my screenwriter friend, “Solomon may have been a stud muffin with his testosterone all jacked up,” but no way could “the spoiled brat” have developed a healthy sexual relationship with each of his wives. The math of averaging two weeks on each woman from courtship, to the wedding ceremony, to the honeymoon, and moving on to deflower the next beautiful body prevented a healthy relationship for everyone.
Neuroscience research shows God’s love in designating the first year of marriage for growing up sexually
In Hooked by Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., MD and Freda McKissic Bush, MD, both obstetrician-gynecologists serving on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, explain how what the body does sexually changes the brain:
[T]hanks to breakthroughs in neuroscience research techniques, scientists have been able to literally view the activity of the brain as it functions. With state-of-the-art mapping and imaging tools, researchers have unlocked a new world of data on what happens between your ears each day.
In addition, new methods of tracking brain chemicals have allowed scientists to understand when and how much of these chemicals are released and how they influence behavior. We now have scientific studies about brain function and sexual thoughts and behavior that are not only fascinating but are true breakthroughs in our understanding of ourselves and the intriguing part of our behavior called sex. And yes, this new science does establish once and for all that more happens during sex than physical activity or the transfer of secretions (or germs). What we now know from science is what some have been saying for years—that the largest and most important sex organ is the brain. (Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., M.D. and Freda McKissic Bush, MD, Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children [Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing, 2008], p. 26.)
Doctors McIlhaney and Bush reveal the function of an important component of the brain—synapses:
In order for the brain to function, the various neurons need to be able to communicate with one another and connect into a cohesive whole. Much like the Internet for computers, the brain’s network requires connections and continuity—otherwise it would simply be a collection of dead ends. The connections that bridge the gaps between neurons are called synapses. …
But unlike the cables or wires that connect your home computer to the Internet, synapses are not permanent, fixed objects. They are organic connections that rely on use for their very existence [emphasis mine—prd]. In this manner, they are somewhat like your muscles or some other kinds of organic tissue—in other words, use them or lose them [emphasis mine—prd].
When a new activity or experience occurs, it can result in a strengthening of the connection between neurons, or even in a new connection altogether. These connections are critical for memory, behavior, emotions, desires, and any number of other outcomes that activity or experience brings. If that experience or activity occurs again, the connection is used and strengthened in the process [emphasis mine—prd]. If that connection is not used, the synapse eventually breaks down and dies. This process refers to either a continued connection between neurons or to a loss of connection—not the life or death of the neurons themselves, although that can and does occur as well. (McIlhaney and Bush, Hooked, pp. 27-28.)
Good news about the brain and sexual pleasure in marriage: It is never too late to create good habits and thought patterns:
A fundamental fact about the brain is that from before birth until death, the brain is moldable and adaptable. It is not a rigid, immutable structure, but an organ that can grow and flex [emphasis mine—prd].(McIlhaney & Bush, Hooked, p. 29.)
God commands his people to grow and flex their sexual behavior so that it culminates in exhilarating lovemaking in their older years—it is a life-growing process (Prov. 5:19).
The primary things that change in the brain structure, that mold it, are its synapses [organic communication connections]. Synapses either are sustained or they are allowed to deteriorate based on behavior and experience. It may seem incredible, but the things we see, do, and experience actually cause part of our brains to flourish, i.e., synapses that survive and strengthen; and part of our brain to weaken, i.e., synapses that disintegrate or die [emphasis mine—prd]. (McIlhaney & Bush, Hooked, p. 29.)
This small sample from Hooked gives just the beginning of some of the discoveries in neuroscience the doctors discuss. They go on to show how the current sexual activities of our young people are dooming their marital future. Solomon was a teenager, between 14 and 18, when he became king and quickly married the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. She apparently was his favorite wife as she was the only one he built a house for. McIlhaney and Bush discuss how a person’s first sexual partner imprints the brain in a way no other hookup can.
Since the Jews considered a girl an old maid at age 16, Solomon’s 999 later virgins were probably all teenagers when they began sexual activity with him. Solomon making the same speech twice to win the young Shulammite reveals how he quickly developed a routine to use on each woman he wooed.
Solomon’s sexual fetish for virgins doomed his and the women’s sexual pleasure
Solomon running after virgins instead of building a mature sexual relationship with his first wife, hooked his synapses on reliving immature high-school sex over and over. Ob-gyns McIlhaney and Bush use emerging brain science to demonstrate how casual sex does not give happiness.
Solomon made this same observation at the end of his life. Lamenting how he failed to find satisfaction with 1000 virgins, he concluded he didn’t “get it” in Ecclesiastes 7:27-29:
“Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, which I am still seeking but have not found, I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these. This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.”
Solomon’s admitted disrespect for women is a common component with sexual addicts, serial adulterers, spouse abusers, and homosexuals married to straights. No doubt, as his immature sexual activity denied him physical fulfillment, his disdain for women increased over the years just as it does today with this group of men who don’t have a clue what sexual love is all about.
Indeed, the math suggests Solomon’s sexual satisfaction with virgins lasted only about two weeks. While Solomon had somewhat of an emotional bond with the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, his first sexual contact, he included her in saying he had not found a single woman among 1000. No one in Solomon’s harem enjoyed the great sex life God planned for his people in marriage.
The Shulammite promised mature lovemaking in marriage
After the first night in the palace, the Shulammite maiden awoke from a dream and sent for the Shepherd to take her away from Solomon’s depravity. Before the Shepherd got there, Solomon summoned her to his court to meet the 140 wives he had at that time. However, his perfected speech that worked with all the other women only opened the Shulammite’s eyes further to his sexual immaturity. The Shulammite boldly told Solomon she could not stand the thought of his practiced hands on her body in Song of Solomon 7:9-10.
The Shepherd arrived in the middle of the young virgin’s rebuke of Solomon’s advances. The maiden turned to the Shepherd with outstretched arms in 7:11-13 promising him what their sexual future held:
“Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,…[1—see below.] There I will give you my love [breasts—Septuagint—Greek translation of Hebrew Old Testament], The mandrakes have given forth fragrance; [2—see below.] And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.”
The Shulammite made two major promises to the Shepherd:
- She would initiate lovemaking with him. She looked forward to being not a passive recipient of his attentions, but an excited, ravishing participant. This is the opposite of what Victorian morals have taught women since Queen Victoria made lovemaking between a husband and wife politically incorrect. At the same time, Victoria indulged her passions for nude art and the Prince.
- She promised not be locked into a lifetime of immature virgin sex. Her mother had instructed the Shulammite how to please a husband (Song of Solomon 8:2-3). Indeed, Jewish mothers at this time enjoyed a reputation for giving their daughters a liberal sex education on how to satisfy their husbands. The Shulammite promised she had learned well and had saved up all kinds of choice fruits for the man she loved, and who loved her.
This surprising scene of rebuke of the highest male government official took place in a public setting by a young woman about sex. It ended with the Shulammite turning to the virgins awaiting entrance into Solomon’s harem and begging them to not be sexually stupid by marrying Solomon. Read the entirety of the Shulammite’s public address in Song of Solomon 7:6-8:4. Her plea was the third repetition of the theme of the Song of Solomon, which you can read about in my FAQ, question #9. Maybe we need to re-examine our religious stereotypes of the roles of men and women along with God’s commands for mature lovemaking in marriage.
Middle-aged husbands stifle anger against mental-virgin wives
I get many emails from angry middle-aged husbands who are frustrated from being married to a mental virgin still living in Solomon’s time warp. These husbands, full of passionate love for their wives, are rejected by aged virgin timidity. The ticking of their biological clocks causes them to fight resentment and the temptation to commit adultery. They fear the loss of their potency to age and dying without ever realizing true godly chandelier-hanging lovemaking with the wife they love and desire.
A person, male or female, who is married to a sexual dud, never enjoys the emotional freedom to delight in the daily sexual twinges that occur in a healthy person. That person knows if the sensations of desire are allowed to build into romance, the answer waiting at home is no, a lukewarm yes, or wait a few days. The constant clamping down on normal sexual love for a sexual dud dries up the emotional bond with the mate. Hanging on to sexual immaturity dooms the marriage to an emotional desert, especially in the later years.
Christian women preach virgin thinking on the Internet
The only way Solomon survived marriage to his sexually immature wives was to keep adding more and more virgins to his harem. In the process, he ruined both his and their sexual experiences with each other. Solomon and his wives’ stunted sexual growth is not God’s way.
God designed for a husband and wife to speak a beautiful language of love in each other’s arms that transcends spoken words through mature lovemaking. The Shulammite made some major implications in her promise to the Shepherd in contrast to virgin thinking. Unfortunately, Victorian-morals-preaching virgin-thinking Christian women on the Internet create a lot of false guilt for Christian wives. But I’ve run out of space in this column to continue.
First-century pagans exclaimed, “What women those Christians have!” But they’re not saying it now. Instead, they’re saying, “You’re a Christian? Guess that means you never get a good lay job.”
Got questions? Ask.
With Christian love for you, I remain
Always in his service,
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Neuroscience exposes Solomon and 1000 wives stunted sexual growth by Patsy Rae Dawson. Copyright © 2011 Patsy Rae Dawson LLC. All rights reserved.
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