What Can Stockpiling Toilet Paper Reveal to Us About Sex?


managing-riskToilet paper.

The chatter about toilet paper in this pandemic crisis is notching down a bit, but not completely.

Most stores are wisely still limiting purchases to “1 package per customer” to keep the hoarding at bay.

Why does the hoarding of toilet paper happen anyway in a situation like this? 

Why do people feel the need to buy “just one more package,” even if they have 10 packages at home?

And why am I talking about toilet paper stockpiles on a website about sexual intimacy in marriage?

I will get to that last question in a moment.

First, let’s talk about this tendency to hoard something like toilet paper. Experts who study human nature and psychology would tell us that it’s all because of this phenomenon called “zero risk bias.”

In layman’s terms, zero risk bias is our human tendency to eliminate all the risk with at least one thing we can control. We see it often in crisis situations. Zero risk bias gives us a sense of security in the midst of a lot of unknowns. With the coronavirus pandemic, there are so many unknowns.

When will it end? How many people will die? What will happen to the economy and jobs? Are our leaders doing all they can? Will my loved ones be safe? When can I see people again? 

So. Many. Unknowns. And nearly all of them are beyond our control.

But going to the store and buying an essential like toilet paper gives us a sense of security. If I can completely eliminate the risk of running out of toilet paper, then at least I can feel less anxious about that one thing. And in a time of crisis, who among us doesn’t want to feel less anxious (even if it is about toilet paper)?

So now let’s talk about how zero risk bias affects sexual intimacy in marriage. I was listening to an expert being interviewed about the virus and zero risk bias, and it made me think how so many people long for zero risk bias when it comes to sex in marriage.

There are risks involved when a husband and wife are trying to build their sexual connection or heal their sexual struggles or increase their sexual passion.

What if she doesn’t like the way I touch her? What if he rejects me when I initiate? What if we can’t get past our struggles? What if he gets upset when I suggest a new position? What if she pulls away? What if he doesn’t listen to me when I tell him about my past sexual abuse?

Every couple’s situation is unique, so it would be impossible to list all the potential risks. But there are definitely risks. Definitely a lot of unknowns.

Have you longed to build sexual connection or heal sexual struggles or increase sexual passion with your spouse? Does it feel risky to take even one step in that direction?

Many married couples miss out on phenomenal sexual intimacy because there are risks in trying to get to that profound intimacy—and they allow those risks to paralyze them. They want zero risk bias with even one of the risks. But it’s not a realistic expectation. It’s not like stockpiling toilet paper.

There are risks you’ll have to push through to at least try to nurture authentic sexual intimacy. While zero risk bias isn’t realistic, you can help mitigate the risks. Don’t operate from a place of assumption, but instead try to communicate about where you feel anxious or unsure.

Shedding light on what feels risky can help. No, there are no guarantees. But you risk even more if you do nothing.

Do you long to build sexual connection or heal sexual struggles or increase sexual passion with your spouse? Can you take even one step in that direction?

For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts, as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.

And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage!  You can find out all about it at this link:  Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.

Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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3 thoughts on “What Can Stockpiling Toilet Paper Reveal to Us About Sex?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Julie, this is a very insightful blog about risks. You are correct, IMHO, many Christian couples missed out on a wonderful sex life due to risk avoidance behavior. I am personally guilty of this…I prefer to “play it safe”and not “rock the boat”. The result is a sex-starved marriage of 40 years.

  2. David says:

    Thought provoking.

    I believe all of us possess our own unique “invisible” emotional (and or physical) boundary.

    Without taking a risk to discover the location of our spouse’s boundary leaves certain voids inside those boundaries that may never get soothed.

    Never too late to find little ways (or taking a little risk) to push the playful envelope to find those boundaries.

    We can act all innocent say “I’m taking a humongous risk trying to find an emotional boundary, that my eyes can’t see”.

  3. Inquiring Mind says:

    Julie I’m in day one of my COVID-19 Induced furlough. Do you think that during this time of forced proximity, it is wise to delve into our risk avoidance? How should these conversations begin?

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