Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

Naked. And Not Afraid.

My husband and I occasionally (and randomly) peruse late night reality shows, just to see what craziness is gracing the airwaves these days.

We need not look far, of course.

So we stumbled across the reality show "Naked and Afraid," which we had never watched. Not gonna lie. It was like a bad car wreck from which I couldn't turn away.

I imagine many of you are familiar with the show, but if you are not, here's the premise:

The show producers take two complete strangers (a man and a woman) and plop them down in the middle of some remote and harsh area (like a mountainous region in Bolivia that is going through a drought).

Then they make them strip down to nothing, and essentially say to them, "Go try to survive for 21 days. In the wilderness. We'll be filming you the entire time. Watch out for the poisonous snakes, fire ants, horrendous weather and the obvious hurdle that there's not much food, water or shelter. Anyway. God speed."

I'm paraphrasing, of course.

And, yes, I know. It's reality TV, so there's probably a fair amount of it that is not real.

A mere 20 minutes in and I don't know whether to laugh hysterically. Or to feel sympathy for the woman who somehow managed to catch a turtle (they haven't had protein in 4 or 5 days), went to the water to "rinse it off," only to accidentally have it scramble out of her hands to freedom.

"No meat for you tonight random dude who I'm stuck with naked in the wilderness!"

My point? (Because you know I always have one).

It is baffling to me that there are people who are willing to get naked with a complete stranger in a remote harsh environment for 3 weeks, and yet countless other people who actually are married to each other who are so unwilling to get naked together.

I know. I'm simplifying.

These people on this show reach this crazy level of comfort being naked with each other. And all I am thinking is, "Why do a husband and wife often not have this same level of comfort being naked with each other?"

The show "Naked and Afraid" is just my tool for shedding light on the irony that where we should feel most comfortable with our bodies and being naked is within a marriage, yet that's where comfort level is often guarded in this regard.

Think about this within your own marriage.

Are you and your spouse comfortable enough with each other's bodies that within the exclusivity and privacy of your relationship, nakedness comes easily?

Or do you avoid letting your spouse see you naked? Do you always want sex with the room completely dark? Do you make sure you do not see each other dressing, undressing, showering?

I know. There's a lot that plays into one's comfort level, maybe even more so in a marriage, where trust and vulnerability are not always safe haven.

Marriage is wrought with complexities and wilderness that sometimes make exposure -- literally or figuratively -- a calculated risk. My heart grieves for situations where safety in a marriage has eroded because of betrayal, hurt, misunderstanding and maliciousness.

I also know, though, that in MANY MANY other marriages, there is no big trust struggle at the root of one or both people feeling inhibited.  My shout out in this post is mostly to these marriages -- where a husband and wife could stretch their comfort level in being naked with each other.

Is there room for growth in your marriage in this area of nakedness? Could you indeed discover that in the wilderness of marriage, nakedness ushers you into renewed oneness?

For further reading on body image, check out these posts:

3 Ways to Like Sex (When You Hate Your Body)

3 Reasons It's Sexy to Undress for Your Husband

The Secret to Stopping the Body Image War

A Body that Never Quits

Copyright 2017, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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