Sex is supposed to be fun and sexy. When Christians talk about sex, it usually sounds neither. A lot of men go nuts at marriage enrichment retreats because all the language about sex is soft, lacy and babyish. It sounds nothing like the sex we want to have.
This leaves Christian men with the technical terms, the medical words, like coitus, penis, testicles, vagina, fellatio, cunnilingus and ejaculation. None of these words are sexy. None of them are fun. These words make sex sound about as exciting as a trip to the urologist.
The other alternative is making sex sound super-spiritual. While the best sex is always a spiritual experience, we sometimes describe it in ways that exclude the fun and erotic aspects. In church, the words we’ve most often heard in reference to sex are holy, powerful, union and sacred. While every one of these words is appropriate, they still don’t fully describe the sex most of us want to have. It sounds like part of a liturgy or a mystic ritual. Good stuff, but still nothing that makes you think of getting hot and heavy with your wife. The spirit is emphasized at the expense of our God-designed flesh. And forget about being funny, lest you’re accused of being disrespectful. It’s a shame, because humor makes sex so much easier to talk about as long as it’s not degrading. Christians might sound smart or wise about sex once in a while, but we’re almost never funny unless it’s by accident.
Because of this, many men resort to “dirty” words. That might be okay if a man avoids the degrading words, but it’s still pretty lame. He has to borrow words from the pornographers and great lovers deserve better than that.
We need not worry, because God already gave us a fun, sexy language for physical intimacy. It’s been there for millennia, staring us in the face. It’s in The Bible, in our old friend The Song of Songs (aka The Song of Solomon). Most of these references were common in erotic poetry during the period when The Song was written. Readers of the time would’ve gotten the double entendres. Though our exegetical work is solid, no one can be 100% sure what the author of The Song intended. In rare instances, we made educated guesses guided by research.
This glossary isn’t exhaustive. We encourage you to read The Song of Songs and pick out some of your own fun and sexy terms. Even if your interpretations aren’t 100% accurate (we’re shrinks, not theologians), the words you pick will still be better than the crude attempts of the pornographers or biology terms from sex ed. We hope you enjoy this new but old Biblical language for sex.
And feel free to laugh, be it from delight, surprise or amusement.
Clusters (of the palm): breasts
Dew: male sexual secretions
Feed among the lilies: oral sex or sexual kissing
Fruit: genitals, male or female (usually female)
Entering the Garden: sexual intercourse
Foxes: interruptions or obstacles to sex
Garden: vulva and vagina
Garden of Nuts: penis and testicles
Know/knowing/known: sexual intercourse
Myrrh: female sexual secretions
Orchard of Pomegranates: vulva and vagina
Palm: woman’s body
Pleasant Fruits: pleasure coming from the vagina. The Song likens entering the garden to entering paradise.
Round goblet: vulva
Stag: penis, sometimes the whole male body
Twins of a gazelle: breasts
Vine: penis, sometimes the whole body
Vineyard: the woman’s body or genitals
Wine: symbol of erotic pleasure
You can use these words to make fun, sexy phrases that you and your wife share. Here are a few of our favorites:
“I think the stag is ready to play in the garden.”
“I feel like getting some fruit from the orchard.”
“The vine is definitely growing in the garden of nuts.”
“I’m in the mood to climb the palm tree.”
“We should let the gazelle and fawns out tonight.”
“Would you like me to feed among the lilies?”
We could go on, but you get the idea.
Have fun with the language God gave us for sex in The Song of Songs. By using these words, we’re reclaiming sex as something from God. We’re showing the puritans that it’s okay to be playful and sexy. It’s putting the pornographers on notice that The Bible has better words for sex than they do. And it’s honoring God’s gift of sex in its fullness: something sacred, erotic and fun.