“What do you do as a spiritual wife if you know that your husband is aroused by your pain (sexual sadism). And that it is inflicted purposefully? How much of this type of pain is it our duty to endure?”
These were some questions that were sent in on my article “Why A Wife Should Endure Painful Sex with Her Husband”.
What is Sexual Sadism?
The overwhelming vast majority of men would be turned off by their wife expressing any symptoms of pain during sexual intercourse. This natural response is by the design of God. Whether it be with our wives, our children, other human beings or even animals the natural human response to pain is that we are uncomfortable with seeing it.
A sadist is one who actually enjoys causing pain, or watching pain being caused to others. A sexual sadist is one who is sexually aroused by causing pain to others. Some sexual sadists cannot be aroused to sex by any other way except causing the person they are about to have sex with pain. And to continue their arousal during sex they need to continually be causing pain to that person as they are having sex with them.
Unfortunately, though, pain is apart of living in this sin cursed world. We all experience lesser or greater amounts of pain from various activities. Some people experience chronic types of pain every day of their lives. Many common chronic types of pain revolve around neck, back, shoulder, and joint paint that people suffer on a daily basis especially as they age.
Many couples have to overcome chronic neck, shoulder and back pain in order to have sex.
And in some situations, husbands must overcome how their wife’s chronic pain inhibits their sexual arousal. They take no joy or arousal from their wife’s pain, and they must block it out to find any enjoyment in sexual intercourse with her. They must train their minds to take pleasure from sexual intercourse with their wife DESPITE her pain for the proper bonding of their marriage and to keep from sexual temptation.
A husband who is a sexual sadist is one who is aroused by the pain his wife is having both before or during sex, and he is most aroused by pain that he inflicts on her. A husband who is not aroused by his wife’s pain, but has sex with her DESPITE her pain for the good of their marriage cannot be classified as a sexual sadist.
The Bible Condemns All Forms of Sadism
The Bible condemns sadism in several passages including the following passage from Mark 7:20-23:
“20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
The English word “wickedness” found in verse 22 is a translation of the Greek word ‘’Poneria” not to be confused with “Porneia” which refers to sexually immoral acts. This word refers to taking pleasure from causing others pain.
The English phrase “evil eye” also found in verse 22 is a translation of the Greek words “Poneros” and “Ophthalmos”. What this phrase refers to is one who derives pleasure from watching another person cause pain to others.
God shows us in Revelation 21:4 that suffering and pain are a result of the corrupting influence of sin on this world:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
A man who seeks to cause his wife pain to arouse himself sexually is engaging in wickedness. 1 Corinthians 11:9 tell us of man that “he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man”. The Scriptures tell us as part of this sacred duty for men to live out the attributes of God that they are to paint a picture of the relationship between Christ and his Church with their wives:
“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself f or it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:25-29
Can we honestly say that Christ gets a kick out of needlessly causing the church pain? The answer is no! While it is absolutely true that Christ disciplines his churches as seen in Revelation 3:19 he does this for their holiness, not because he gets his kicks from causing them pain.
God does not cause his people pain to arouse himself or amuse himself.
A husband is who causes his wife pain to sexually arouse himself is not protecting his wife’s body as he does his own. When a man causes his wife pain for his own arousal or amusement he is doing the exact opposite of what God calls him to do in Ephesians 5:29.
Husbands Who Use Misuse Biblical Truths to Satisfy their Sadism
Some Christian men take the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and use them for evil instead of for the purposes for which God intended them. The Scriptures tell us the following principles regarding the roles for which God created men and women:
Principle # 1 – Man is the Head of Woman and Woman Was Made for Man
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God… Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:3 & 9
Principle # 2 – Part of God’s Purpose in Making Woman was For Man’s Pleasure
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:18-19
Principle # 3- Women are to Submit to their Husbands in Everything
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24
Principle # 4- Women are to Submit Even to Husbands Who Disobey God’s Word
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear… For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6
Some Christian husbands use these four Biblical principles for evil and not for the purposes for which God intended them. Instead of using their God given position to image God and paint the picture of Christ and his Church with their wife they use their position for their own evil desires. And as we have said previously if a man seeks to be aroused by his wife’s pain this is an evil desire.
This area of sexual sadism is one that we cannot speak in generalities about. We must talk about specific examples of behavior so women understand what is and is not sadism.
Examples of Behavior By Husbands That Are NOT Sadism
As I have written extensively in another article – wife spanking is not unbiblical and is NOT automatically sadism. Wife spanking can become sadistic, but from the wife’s perspective it is very hard to tell. Just because the husband forcefully spanks his wife for some sin she has committed against him or others, does not mean he is acting sadistically. His actions could be righteous and holy.
I have had many Christian wives whose husbands spank them write me and ask “Is the fact that my husband gets a massive erection while spanking me a sign that he is acting sadistically toward me?” And I have told them NO, it is not an automatic sign of sadism on his part. It is perfectly natural for a man a man to get an erection while spanking his wife for a variety of reasons.
The first is that men are very visual – so him seeing her backside will cause him to be aroused. Secondly, men are turned on by dominating a woman, by exercising power over her. This is not sadism as God has designed and commanded that men should rule over women (Genesis 3:16). Thirdly, men are turned on by the submission of women – and after the spanking is completed the wife is now brought to a very submissive state. So it is possible that a man could be aroused for reasons God designed him to be aroused – because of seeing his wife’s backside, because of the exercise of his dominance over her and because of her submissive state after a spanking.
The act of a man taking his wife forcefully or him having rough sex with her either after discipline or completely separately from discipline is NOT automatically sadism on his part. In fact, this could be a very natural act for a man to do. After all – he has an erection and could be aroused for non-sadistic reasons. The Bible does not say that sex must always be of the gentle and affectionate variety. Sometimes a man just needs to take his wife. And it may be a little rough at times. And wives need to be ok with this.
Examples of Sadistic Behavior By Husbands
Now let’s return to husband’s spanking their wives. Is it possible that a husband may be looking for reasons to discipline his wife to satisfy his sadistic urges? YES. Is it possible that the main reason he is getting an erection while disciplining his wife is because he is being turned on by her pain? YES. But a woman can’t get in her husband’s head to know this for sure. This is something another man would have to explore with the husband.
But one definite way a woman could tell that her husband was spanking her for sadistic reasons is if he photographs her during discipline. Especially if he takes photos of her face – so he can capture the pain on her face and enjoy those images later. This is a dead give away of sadism on the part of the husband.
I have had many Christian husbands try and pass off to me this act of them photographing or taking videos of “punishment sessions” as them “just being turned on by their wife’s submission and not her pain”. But if a man photographs the pain on his wife’s face and the pain he inflicts on her backside and he is turned on not by the normal site of her rear end and vulva – but instead it being red and bruised that IS textbook sadism.
Some Christian husbands abuse their authority to convince their wife to do other horrible and heinous things.
I have corresponded with Christian husbands, professing the name of Christ, who have admitted that they forced their wives to strip naked in the presence of other men and then encouraged those other men to masturbate and ejaculate on their wife. They would convince their wife that she was not actually having sex with the man because he never physically touched them. Yes this really happened and does happen.
I have heard of husbands who attach electrodes to their wife’s clitoris to shock her clitoris as a supposed act of discipline. And they literally film this session focusing on the pain on her face and the swelling of her clitoris as a result of the electrocution. This is NOT biblical discipline – this is sadistic torture!
I have conversed with men via email who have forced their wives to purposefully wear very revealing clothes to public places and forced them engage in sinful exhibitionism and show their nipples to waiters or other men.
These actions of these husbands causing both pain and humiliation to their wives are textbook examples of sexual sadism. Yes – God caused pain and humiliation to his wife Israel to discipline her. But he NEVER got pleasure from doing these things. In Lamentations 3:32-33, God said this regarding the pain and humbling he brought to Israel because of her sin:
“32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. 33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”
God did not want to cause his wife pain or humiliation (humbling). He did it because he had to because of her sin. Christ does not want have to chasten his churches either (Revelation 3:19), but he does so because he has to – because he loves his churches.
Sadistic husbands justify all this behavior by twisting the principle that God made their wives for them and that their wife must obey them in everything. They convince their wives that even if they ask them to sin, that she bears no consequences and the consequences are all on him. These men take their wives through mental conditioning courses breaking down their opposition to these heinous acts teaching them that I Peter 3:1-2 absolves a woman from all sin that her husband commands her to do.
Some men literally have used I Peter 3:1-2 to convince their wife to have full sexual intercourse with other men for their amusement.
So, what has my response been to these men who misuse Biblical truths to get their wives to submit to their sexual sadism? My response from one man who claims Christ to another who claims Christ has been simple. REPENT. What you are doing is wicked and you are perverting what God meant for his glory and not your desire for sin. You must recognize that if you are a Christian man with sadist tendencies these tendencies are NOT from God. They are a corruption of the sexual nature he designed in you.
You need to repent both to God and to your wife for this evil you have committed against her. And as a failsafe against you giving into your evil desires again, you need to tell your wife that she must resist your sadism with all her ability if this happens again. You need to explain to her the principles I will now outline for wives in dealing with their husbands who have sadist desires.
How Should a Christian Wife Respond to Her Husband’s Sexual Sadism?
In a previous article I wrote entitled “Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship” I made the following statements:
“So on the one hand Biblically speaking we do not have to suffer or allow every kind of abuse from every sphere in our life but on the other hand the Bible does not allow us to or encourage us to do what the world says and confront EVERY kind of abuse or mistreatment toward us no matter what the offense is or where it comes from.
We all need to look to Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.
What I was tackling in that article was the American “abuse” industry. We are told here in America that we are not to tolerate any kind mistreatment by others.
Many people did not actually fully read that article and did not see the disclaimers I made. I made it clear that if a person feels their life is threatened, or they are suffering serious physical abuse that causes permanent damage they should get out. They should seek out the proper authorities for help.
But today we have people saying if a husband or wife calls the other person a name that is “verbal abuse” and they need to get out of that relationship.
Now let’s relate this to a husband engaging in sexual sadism with his wife. This is definitely an abuse or mistreatment toward his wife. God did not give a man his wife so that he could arouse himself by causing her pain. This is evil and wicked in the sight of God.
So how should a Christian wife respond? Some Christian teachers would say she should separate from him and tell him if he does not seek counseling to address the issue, she will divorce him. The problem with that advice is that it is completely based on emotion and not one ounce of Scripture. That Bible does NOT allow a person to be divorced or free from their marriage for just any kind of mistreatment by their spouse. See my article “For what reasons does God allow divorce” for the Scriptural reasons that God allows divorce.
Trigger Warning for those of us raised in a “resist and fight all abuse culture”
The husband is called the master of his wife in 1 Peter 3:6. And the Bible says this to those who suffer under cruel masters in 1 Peter 2:18-19:
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”
The word “froward” means “cruel”. God calls servants and wives to suffer cruel and sinful treatment from their masters.
But just as 1 Peter 2:18-19’s admonition to servants to endure cruel behavior from their master’s applies to wives – so too Exodus 21:26-27 applies to wives regarding their master husbands as well:
“26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.”
If a sadistic husband does anything to his wife that risks or causes serious or permanent physical injury she may leave him.
Acts 5:29 very much applies to a woman dealing with a sadistic husband:
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
If the sadistic husband asks his wife to do anything that risks serious or permanent harm to her body she must respectfully decline.
If a woman’s sadistic husband in an effort to humiliate her commands her to do something like stripping off her clothes in front their dinner guests – the wife must respectfully decline.
If the sadistic husband commands his wife to flirt with a waiter at the restaurant they are dining at, again the wife must respectfully decline.
If the husband asks his wife to drink large amounts of alcohol the wife must decline both because it is a sin to become drunk and drinking too much alcohol can kill or seriously injure someone.
First a woman needs to be careful of calling her husband’s behavior sadistic when it may not be. Male dominance is not sadism. Rough sex is not automatically sadism. If a man takes pleasure from sexually dominating his wife this is not sadism. But if he takes pleasure directly from causing her pain or humiliation that is sadism.
If a husband acts upon his sadistic urges toward his wife there is no doubt that this a great sin before God. But Christian wives need to be careful of compounding their husband’s sin of sadism by adding their own sin of rebellion against God. God calls those under masters to suffer cruel and unjust treatment from them. This does not mesh with modern Western values which teach us to fight all forms of injustice and abuse. But it is the truth of God’s Word.
But there are of course limits on this. God allows a woman to be freed from a man who is so sadistic in his treatment of her that he risks serious or permanent bodily harm to her. God also allows a woman to respectfully decline anything her sadistic husband asks her to do which is sinful.