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Are you sexually compatible with the person you’re dating? How can you be certain; particularly if you want to save sex for marriage? How do you gauge your potential without having sex first? Don’t you at least need to mess around?

You wouldn’t buy a pair of pants you hadn’t tried on first, so why does the the Bible encourage us to select a lifelong sex partner without ever taking our pants off? That’s what we address in this episode of LoveEd!

What About Sexual Compatibility?

I am strongly convinced that sexual compatibility is a red herring. If you do the research, I think you will find both science and logic back me up.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, a “red herring” is not only a kind of fish. It is a literary device used to distract the reader from discovering a truth the writer wants to obscure for the moment. Think of a good mystery, where some evidence comes to light that totally makes you think “the butler did it,” when in reality it was the baker or the candlestick maker all along.

In other words, a red herring is used to throw you off the scent of what’s really going on in a story. Just imagine a criminal, who, when being chased by tracking dogs, throws a literal red herring as far as he can in one direction and then takes off in the other direction. The dogs go after the fish, and the felon gets away.

So a red herring is a calculated distraction designed to let the bad guy get away with murder. And that’s what sexual compatibility is. Because what God wants for your sex life is pretty simple: celibacy. That is abstinence outside of marriage and sexual delight in marriage.

But our culture—or more accurately our enemy—throws out the red herring of sexual compatibility to divert our attention away from that goal. The argument goes like this: how can you be certain you will be sexually compatible in marriage if you never experiment sexually with the person you are considering to fill the lifelong role of your monogamous sex partner?

And what an effective red herring sexual compatibility is! Distracting believers who God has called to holiness and luring them into sexual immorality like a dumb dog to a dead fish.

The Only Way to Be Sexually Compatible

Am I saying sexual compatibility is unimportant? Not exactly.

I’m aware that different people have different desires and expectations for sexual frequency, activities, positions, and the like. I get that.

However, after having enjoyed sex for over twenty-eight years with the same person (and only that person), wouldn’t you like to know what makes for our “sexual compatibility”?

Believe it or don’t, it has almost nothing to do with the sexual desires and expectations we each brought into our marriage. Instead, our sexual compatibility has grown out of (and is nurtured by) our compatibility in other more important areas of our relationship than our sex life.

Let me put it to you this way. You can, if you wish, blow off this little “red herring” lesson, mess around in your dating life, and marry someone who you know ahead of time you really enjoy having sex with.

However, do you know what could very likely happen one or two or ten years later? Your sex life could be boring, stale, or completely dead.

Or you can take my word for it and believe sexual compatibility is just a distraction. Believing this, you might not only marry as a virgin, you might be completely sexually inexperienced (which is actually my earnest prayer for you). Then, after you pledge, “I do,” you could find sex awkward, difficult, and even—gasp—disappointing.

However, you know what could happen one or two or ten years later? Your sex life could be amazing, fun, and life-giving to your marriage. Because apart from rare medical or physiological issues, happily married couples generally enjoy happy sex lives. While unhappily married couples usually aren’t having much sex at all. At least not with each other.


If you would like an entire book filled with the kind of practical, Biblical wisdom on sex, dating, and relationships you just finished reading, you can get it NOW! The above post is an excerpt from Date Like You Know What You’re Doing: Your DatePrep Guide. Here are other excerpts from the same book.

A dating life that leads to a life-giving, lifelong marriage doesn’t happen by accident. You need to know what you’re doing.

That’s why I wrote Date Like You Know What You’re Doing to empower you to:

  • Discern God’s will for your dating life.
  • Avoid heartbreak, rejection, and regret.
  • Date with confidence and clarity.
  • Win the war over sexual temptation.
  • Let your marriage hopes inspire, instead of impede your dating life.

Learn more here!


Want to Learn How to Control Your Sex Drive?

Better understand your sexuality and how to effectively pursue sexual purity in video form! This video featured on our FMUniversity YouTube channel introduces several different LoveEd series on sexuality.

In other words, a red herring is used to throw you off the scent of what’s really going on in a story. Just imagine a criminal, who, when being chased by tracking dogs, throws a literal red herring as far as he can in one direction and then takes off in the other direction. The dogs go after the fish, and the felon gets away.

So a red herring is a calculated distraction designed to let the bad guy get away with murder. And that’s what sexual compatibility is. Because what God wants for your sex life is pretty simple: celibacy. That is abstinence outside of marriage and sexual delight in marriage.

But our culture—or more accurately our enemy—throws out the red herring of sexual compatibility to divert our attention away from that goal. The argument goes like this: how can you be certain you will be sexually compatible in marriage if you never experiment sexually with the person you are considering to fill the lifelong role of your monogamous sex partner?

And what an effective red herring sexual compatibility is! Distracting believers who God has called to holiness and luring them into sexual immorality like a dumb dog to a dead fish.