May 312016 3 Responses

Why Jagger Can’t Find Sexual Satisfaction

When the Rolling Stones first released their single “Satisfaction,” the song was so controversial in Britain that it only played on pirated stations. Fifty years later, the controversy is gone and “Satisfaction” is often viewed as one of the greatest songs of all time.

The song’s popularity has much to do with its simple title and memorable guitar riffs, but more than anything it speaks to the human desire for contentment. We all want satisfaction. Mick Jagger’s refrain of not being able to find it is a story of which many can relate, especially in marriage.

Jagger is right in assuming that a sexual experience can bring some sense of satisfaction. He’s not the only one who tries and tries to find meaning between the sheets. If satisfaction can be found anywhere, that is the place it would most likely be discovered. Despite our assumptions, human history has long found that even a great sexual encounter can’t bring lasting satisfaction.

Simply put: sex does not satisfy. It was never meant to. It is a false assumption for us to expect a sexual encounter to bring satisfaction. It can give us a glimpse to such meaning, but sex itself was never meant to be the source of satisfaction. (See: The Greatest Aspect of Sex)

Jesus spoke about satisfaction. He said it was a byproduct of human desire. At least in this much, we have been right all along–by connecting desire and satisfaction. But it’s the desire Jesus describes which is contrary to our common understanding. He doesn’t say sexual desire will lead to satisfaction. He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”

Righteousness is described as a right standing before God. Yet Jesus didn’t just promise satisfaction toward those who are in right standing before God; he guaranteed it for those who would hunger and thirst for that standing.

For a crowd mired in poverty, hunger and thirst were not foreign concepts. They knew the physical pangs and longings for food and water. When their situations were desperate enough, they would do whatever it took to get the nutrients needed to live. Using their real-life setting as an illustration, Jesus said whomever experienced the same desire for right standing with God would receive it from Jesus. They couldn’t earn it for themselves, but he could give it to them if they recognized their own inability. The byproduct of His gift would be satisfaction.

What if satisfaction wasn’t something we experienced in marriage, but was something we brought to it?

Could it be that what many expect marriage to bring them–a sense of contentment, identity, and satisfaction–is nothing marriage was ever designed to bring?

What if sexual satisfaction had more to do with God than sex?

Sex cannot satisfy, but it can be an expression of satisfaction. When two individuals experience a right standing before God, it gives them an understanding about themselves and each other. It explains their frustrations and imperfections while also supplying a sense of gratitude and understanding. It creates a framework through which differences can be viewed and problems solved. (See: What Your Husband Wants from You in Bed)

A right standing before God empowers the couple to have a right standing with each other. It doesn’t guarantee it. We are still fallen people in a fallen world. Even as a husband and wife hunger and thirst for righteousness, they might fail at marriage. They may not be able to navigate the complexities of their brokenness and find the meaning God desires. Right standing with God doesn’t ensure sexual satisfaction.

But it does make it more likely.

As a couple turns to God for their contentment, they no longer look at their spouse with unfair expectations. They no longer expect from one another what the other is unable to provide. Instead, having received their joy from God, they can freely give that joy to their spouse.

This peace overflows into a couple’s sexual life, not with perfection, but with continual glimpses of safety, comfort, love, playfulness, and excitement.

I’ve often wondered what it must be like for a woman with whom Jagger formerly had a relationship to listen to the song “Satisfaction.” It must make many women feel as though they have failed. They could not give Mick what he desperately desired and so he continued to look elsewhere. Sadly, it’s not a foreign experience for most spouses. Societal expectation is often that sex–and only sex–can satisfy. When it doesn’t, people are often left looking elsewhere. (See: One Tip to Improve Sex)

But the song is not a loud announcement of the failings of women, but of Jagger’s wrong understanding from where satisfaction can be found. Every time he went to a woman to seek satisfaction, he missed an opportunity to share with that person a satisfaction he could have found in God.

Do you want to experience sexual satisfaction? Stop looking at technique or the sexiest partner or the most erotic settings. Find your right standing before God. Allow that to enable a right standing before your spouse. Then allow sex to be an expression of commitment and love within that relationship.

The result will be a sexual expression of satisfaction.

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