Under the Pastor’s Covers

I am about to tell you what is a rather open secret among the clergy – pastors have better sex lives than everyone else.

I might be writing about this today because I guess I am a bit of expert on sex. I was recently confused with Rob Bell, the pastor who actually wrote the book on sex. More likely than that, it might be that my three children are on their annual trek to their grandparents’ house, leaving my wife and I alone for a week. We’ve come to refer to this yearly adventure as Sexapalooza. Or I might be writing about this in an attempt to get my brother-in-law Ron to squirm, “Dude. That’s my sister.”

Whatever my motivation, here I am writing about this counterintuitive yet well-documented phenomenon that pastors of all people get more and better sex than everyone else. Christianity Today broke the story several years ago.

Pastors are more likely to be happily married than the people in their congregations, our Christianity Today International survey shows. Three-fourths of pastors say they are happily married, compared to 49 percent of married church attenders. One reason may be because they are more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives.

Maybe these survey results can be explained with something akin to the Wilder Effect. Pastors didn’t want to admit to the nice, young Christianity Today intern on the phone that they are in fact dissatisfied with the quantity and quality of their whoopie-making. Maybe they were afraid that their wives would overhear them talking about sex on the phone, and so they just said “Yes” and “Daily” and “Very Satisfied” like they were taking a survey about their usage of squeezably soft Charmin toilet paper.

I think this survey is the best explanation of this t-shirt. But it is not a very good explanation for why pastors seem to “fall into” sexual misconduct with the about the same frequency of politicians. Maybe that is because both pastors and politicians have a narcissistic hunger that is fueled by their chosen professions.

Regardless, I think there might be a good explanation for why pastors and their wives get it on so frequently and so well. Sex is more than just a physical act. It is far more than just a procreation ritual. Sex is a deeply intimate union that connects us to a force bigger than ourselves. Our sexuality and our spirituality are intertwined. When the bodies of a man and woman are united in sex, they are connecting in a profoundly soulful way.

But sex is not the means by which this connection is made. I think it is the fruit of this kind of connection. For a man and woman to have a great sex life, they need to be connected deeply in all other aspects of who they are. They need to have harmonious values, shared vision, a common purpose in life that transcends just making it through the day, balancing the checkbook, and raising the kids.

The nature of pastoral ministry draws together people who want to do the same thing in this world, who want to have the same impact, who are headed in the same direction. A pastor’s marriage simply won’t make it if his wife is, say, an atheist.

Recently, a friend talked to me about the infrequency with which he and his wife have sex. (I felt bad talking to him about how he had sex maybe once a month when my number is … that’s probably oversharing, right?) Anyway, he had just told me that his wife wants them to move to another country but he is not so sure, that they have separate bank accounts, that they have vastly different parenting styles, that they go to radically different churches, that they spend very little time together. And then he wants to know why they are making the monster with two backs so rarely.

Sexapalooza is possible. And if you want it, you’ve got to work for it. Talk. Connect. Be together. And if that doesn’t work … become a pastor.

What Do You Think?

Got a much needed haircut today. I know it is wicked crazy of me, but the Browns had such a good season, and I am so excited about the upcoming one. The guy at the place said it would grow in quickly if I didn’t like it. What do you think?

Kiss Me, I’m Irish

So, I think I had a great St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, and I thought I would tell you what I did.

I went to work, and noticed once I was there and saw all the people decked out head-to-toe in green that I had a green stripe in my shirt. Check.

After work, I came home and ate Irish Chicken, one of my favorite meals, the recipe for which Vanessa and I kifed from our favorite Irish pub in Lansing. Check.

I drank a Guinness. Check.

I worked on a U2 video for church on Friday night. Check.

Then I went to bed and ate a bowl of Lucky Charms while watching Conan O’Brien. Check and check.

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