New Video Series: "My boyfriend is watching porn!?" – #1

HI EVERYONE! I’m a little tired of writing so I’m beginning a new 7 (ish) part video series to answer the very big, very important question, “I just found out my boyfriend is addicted to porn! What do I do?!”

I’m intro-ing the series with this little video below. I wanted to do a bit of an explanation, as well as share some stories of girls who just found out their boyfriends are watching porn, and establish the foundation of the next 6 or 7 videos. If this is an issue you are dealing with, please watch this first one just so we’re all on the same page and know what our perspective and goal is. I’ll be posting them hopefully once or twice a week, so make sure you follow me on Twitter (@laurendubinsky) or Subscribe to my blog via email so you don’t miss them.

Oh, and please pardon that I looked exhausted in this video and kind of sound like a 7 year old. I’m trying really hard to grow up, y’all. I even got married and everything, but I’m still clearly not there yet. 😛

Intro to “My boyfriend is watching porn!” from Lauren Dubinsky on Vimeo.

Boundaries – Cloud & Townsend
Pure Eyes – Gross & Luff
Living With Your Husbands Secret Wars – Marsha Means

Purchase them for ~$5 at or on Amazon.

Future Videos: (subject to change)

#2 – Emotional Safety & Security
#3 – Becoming Educated About Porn
#4 – Setting Boundaries
#5 – Confronting & Communicating
#6 – Leaving or Staying
#7 – Stories & Resources

LOVE to you all. If you have something important to share, feel free to email me at laurennicolelove[at] If you need to share your current struggle with someone, please reach out to a woman in your church (or any church in your community – sometimes anonymous is very helpful) to ask to meet her in person. I am trying very hard to set healthy boundaries for myself and protect my time with my husband, so I am unable to answer emails on this topic right now. Thank you so much for understanding. <3 – lauren xoxo.

I Showed My Husband Pictures Of Naked Women, And I Didn’t Mind.

I had a weird thing happen, several weeks ago. And I keep thinking about it, so I wanted to open a discussion about it.

Yep, a discussion. Something I never do here on my blog. I prefer to tack up my crazy, open heart and peace out before I read any responses that sting just a little bit too much.

But I have a question for you, because I’m having trouble getting to the bottom of this thought.

To explain.

I was reading articles on Retronaut (one of my favorite websites) and found one of Sexual Album Covers from the 1950’s. I found the album titles hilarious, and slid my laptop around to show my husband.

I didn’t think twice about him seeing a page full of photos like the one above. The sick pang that runs through my gut when I see women in their lingerie in the sidebar of GQ wasn’t there. The hurt, the anger, the betrayal, the loneliness that we women feel when slinky, perfect, 24″ waist 36″ breasted women throw themselves in our men’s faces…I didn’t feel it.

And so I’ve been thinking about this.

Why did I not feel instantly thrust back into the “never sexy enough” category?

Why did I not feel like I had to compete with these semi or completely nude women, the way I feel when I see this week’s celebrity’s leaked nude photos?

Why could I feel like I could flip through a 1947 Playboy with my husband?

What is it that makes one woman beautiful and one woman a slutty threat?

Last week while running errands with my husband, we talked about how this generation has taken everything beautiful and tried to sexualize it. He told me how a woman with her hair up in a sundress will turn every man’s head, simply because we are women, and we are beautiful. Beauty is meant to be admired. I know what he’s talking about, too – because I’ve looked at women and admired their beauty. But for both me and my husband, just because a woman is beautiful, doesn’t mean we want to sleep with them. But we struggle to believe this now, as women, because feminine beauty barely exists anymore without the thick presence of sexual competition.

And in competition, one person wins, and everyone else loses.

The everyone else? It’s our husbands. Our boyfriends. Me. You. Our daughters. Our sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers. Every woman who is real. Even the woman on the billboard who looks at her photoshopped image and skips her dinner to work out, using her own fake image to motivate her further towards an unattainable, loveless, beauty-less sexuality.

Maybe when I look at curvaceous women in these 50’s advertisements, I see women who are sexy because they are beautiful. Beautiful because they are women with a womanly form.

Maybe I don’t get that sinking, broken feeling because when I look at those women I know that I am one. Instead of seeing a woman I can never be, I see myself as a woman who is part of the female race everywhere, inherently possessive of beauty and sexuality.

Maybe the fact that our men look at other women isn’t what’s really destroying us the most. Maybe it’s that our men are learning to compare us to a woman that doesn’t exist.
And maybe, deep down in our souls, we’ve known all along that other women aren’t our competition – but we sit helpless, having no one else to hate and blame for our loss, as we watch our beauty be stripped from us because we are unable to play by the new rules.

But I don’t know, still, really. What are your thoughts?

Oh and PS. If you want to leave a comment and tell me to stop being threatened by other women, or that my husband was lying to me and really does want to sleep with every beautiful woman, and that I’m just an insecure woman blogging about my problems, you can please leave and never come back to my blog again. Thank you for understanding, and for not being ridiculous.


Thoughts On Getting Used To Marriage – And Confessions On Not Seeing God.

Disclaimer: I adore my husband. I love that we are married. Marriage is incredible. But marriage is neither “just so amazing!” nor “always so terrible.” It is both. Life is life, and the ups and downs are ever present, regardless of our relationship status. This is my attempt to be honest about both.
– – –

Last night, I shoved my feet into the boots I was married in. I don’t notice anymore that my socks don’t match. When you dig them out of a duffle bag for the 428th time, socks are socks and the color of the toe doesn’t matter much. I did notice that my socks were too thick for these boots, and I cursed them for it.

It’s been 10 days off the road, 10 days in Hollywood, and 10 days in our first apartment. 133 days of being married.

My socks should match now, but in furnishing an empty apartment with our income, new socks are not on my priority list.

So, I fought about how much we should spend on a new dresser with my husband, standing in my wedding boots, on the corner of Sunset and Vine.

Just like we’d fought about everything else this week. Food, groceries, carpet cleaner, sex, the color of our clothes hangers, the brand of garlic salt, bath mats, cash vs credit, and parking.

We were late for church. We’d spent too much money. We told the girl with the dresser “maybe,” and then my phone died.

I told Max where to park. I picked where we sat. I mentally bitched at the announcement-giver and churches everywhere who ask you to “squish” down to seat people that walk in late. Our collective “squishing” just opened 247 seats for 4 people.

I recited all the lines in every song, thinking only about the days when single-me attended a church with enough room down front to go sing my heart out to songs I knew and loved. Thinking about how I used to go to church alone, sing alone, and disappear alone. I met God, and I met God every single Sunday. I loved it. I missed when my life was just me and God. My life. I could do what I wanted. I could make it an entire 24 hours without speaking to a soul.

And then I looked at the entire row of single girls in front of me.

I imagined what they were feeling when they sang. Praying to be able to pay their bills. Praying for boyfriends. Praying for husbands. Praying to not be alone. Waiting on God. Because that’s what we do when we’re single. We wait upon God. When we’re single, heartbreak is ever present, and that’s okay. Present in our past break-up, present in our single-ness, present in what we dread in the future. And we find God there, with us. It’s rich.

I wanted to join them.

I wanted to shout that I was confused. That being married isn’t a solution to The Great Ache. That love is beautiful but so broken, too. That broken and alone was easier than broken with another broken person.

But then God whispered: “Lauren, when you’re lonely, it has nothing to do with other people. It has to do with you and Me.

Lauren, when you’re lonely, it has to do with you and Me.

Lauren, when you’re angry, it has to do with you and Me.

Lauren, when you’re selfish, it has to do with you and Me.

Lauren, when you’re worried, it has to do with you and Me.

Lauren, when you’re bitter, it has to do with you and Me.

Lauren, when you’re jealous, it has to do with you and Me.

It has nothing to do with other people. It has only to do with our heart and His.

I slowly stood and followed my husband up to communion. I stood behind him in single file line, in the dark, like I was just another girl at church. Not his wife. I felt like he didn’t want to be there with me. I hoped he felt that. Because I was feeling it. And then he reached out his hand behind him and took mine, and my heart broke.

I wanted this. I asked for this. I prayed for this. I begged God for this. I am blessed. I am fed, clothed and sheltered. I am loved. I am recipient of the greatest gift in the universe. I have everything. I know this. What is wrong with me?

And so, I went to where the prayer team was, sat in a corner, and cried. Until someone offered to pray for me. If you have never poured out your hurt to someone you’ve never met, and had them pray with you – for you – over you – with you, you have missed out on what it means to have brothers and sisters in Christ. You have missed out on bearing one another’s burdens. Overcome your fear next Sunday and just do it.

“I have never left you. I have never forsaken you. I am not a God who punishes his children without reason. I am not a God who turns his back on you. I am not angry with you. I am not disappointed with you. I know where you are.”

I sobbed and asked God if I’d done the right thing. If everything was going to be okay. If I would feel Him again like I used to. If I would learn to be close to Him all over again, now that I’m married. If our bills would be paid. If this was Right. If this would be too hard for me, for us.

“Seriously, Lauren? I have stripped depression away from you. I have removed you from the place you didn’t want to be. I gave you a man that you love, who loves you. I gave you passion again. I gave you Good Women Project. I gave you a Story. I gave you new friends who know my Love. I let you travel across the country. I did miracles in front of you. I gave you the awe-commanding sunset behind your wedding on a cliff. I gave you Family. I gave you a new home. And tonight, I brought you to be with children who love me – and sat you at the feet of a woman who would pray over you until you Felt me again. – – – And you ask where I’ve been? If this is right? If I still love you?”

I saw Him again. I heard Him, where I should have heard him a dozen times before. We forget what he has done when we do not intentionally sit at his feet in our mess. We are blind, until we ask Him to let us see. I re-learned unconditional love.

We went home silently, and I held onto his hand for dear life. Remember your first love. I kissed him and I apologized. I made dinner, and I apologized more. I refused to let him help clean up. I sent him to bed to watch what he wanted to watch and found joy in doing the work so that he could play. Love. Not-about-me love. This is what happens when we see God. It is necessary to see Love in order to give love.

I could write a book on last night, and the perspective that God righted in my heart. On marriage and learning to confess everything. On knowing that really, really hard doesn’t mean really, really bad. On how it is not human nature to believe that someone is going to love you unconditionally, and that it isn’t human nature to love them back unconditionally.

But instead, I share my little story of Sunday. A reminder of the blessing we have in one another. Of seeking God until we find out He’s been there the whole time. And of being thankful for what we have, because it’s so much better than we know.

And to say thank you to my husband for letting me pick out the bath mat. That we still don’t have, because I’m unforgivably picky.

I love you. And I love that we are re-learning to love Him together..

My Life In Pictures + I Answer Your Questions On Sex, Dating, & Masturbation.

I feel like I owe someone (or many someones) out there an apology for not posting as much. I want to blame myself, but I’m going to blame Instagram, my new iPhone, and a new side-project for my brief absence. Oh, and just getting married. Turns out you don’t get as much alone time (I’m not even talking physically – I’m talking about mentally, haha) in your first couple months of marriage. BUT IT’S AWESOME. Most of the time. 🙂

Instagram can do a much better job telling you about my life for the last couple weeks, so I’m going to let it do the talking:

I’ve been trying oh-so-very hard to answer anonymous questions on AskLauren in a way that reflects not the rules and black and whites that we fall prey to, but rather the heart and character of God. If you’d like to read any of my answers to the latest questions, I’m glad to share them:

1. What does “submit” mean in marriage? Are men responsible for their wife’s sin like my college ministry leader said?

2. Is the birth control pill a form of abortion? What’s the best method of family planning?

3. Why do we get to control when we have kids instead of leaving it up to God?

4. Is it wrong for a Christian woman to masturbate?

5. Is it okay for Christian married couples to have anal sex?

6. What are good books of the Bible to read that deal with loneliness?

7. Where do we draw the line between expecting and praising men for their good behavior?

8. What are good books to read that deal with your value and worth as a woman? I keep comparing myself to other women and it’s so destructive.

9. How do I turn down a guy, tell him to leave me alone, or tell him I’m not comfortable with his sexual flirting without hurting his feelings?

10. I’m stuck in a very strict church and I struggle to decide if I want to spend the rest of my life this way in church. I feel like I have the life I’m supposed to live, and the life I want to live. What should I do?

11. I want to date this guy exclusively, but he doesn’t want to commit to be my boyfriend. He wants to still see other women without feeling like he’s cheating. Advice?

– – –

Massive exhale. So there you have it. If you’re on Instagram, please follow me!! I’m laurennicolelove. Max and I are leaving Portland right after Thanksgiving to drive down the west coast and spend a little bit more time in Los Angeles before heading back to Ohio to spend Christmas & New Years with his family (!!!). I’m so excited to be traveling again, and to be heading back to the hot hot heat. Also, the pictures on Instagram will be awesommmee.

Oh and one more thing. It’s been an intense month leading up the Good Women Project. We’ve been sharing stories on pornography and our experience with it as women: our own addictions, our significant other’s, and how it’s affecting our lives. Please come join us.


What I Wish I’d Known Before Watching Porn

In addition to this little blog here, I run Good Women Project. I don’t normally post much there and am primarily the editor, since I have been blessed with countless women who have incredible stories of their own to share. This month, however, we are talking about pornography. So, I decided to begin with a little bit of my own history with porn. To read the full post, click here. We will be talking about pornography from a women’s perspective for the rest of November. Join us.

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“Pornography is a charged subject, and it’s a word that rarely crosses the lips of most women. Yes, there are now breeds of the modern woman who watch, talk and joke about it regularly, but most of us still stay further away from speaking the word than we actually stay away from it.

When I was in high school, pornography was on the long list of “bad things” that I didn’t know much about – and unfortunately also on the list of things I had participated in. Nevermind why I was watching it, the how is the same for all of us: we stumbled upon it because of someone else. And none of us knew what to expect, or how to handle it.

Later in life, I caught myself remembering how I used to watch it for a few minutes here or there, and wondered strictly out of boredom if it would fill the big, empty space of loneliness in my late nights. There were no parents around to hide from anymore, and no one checking my Internet history. Pornography was easy, and I never exactly knew why it was bad, particularly since I wasn’t actually having sex. To me, it was just something dirty that you probably shouldn’t have anything to do with. But “probably shouldn’t” never stands up against loneliness and boredom.

I am not one with an addictive personality. Meaning, I binge, and then drop things quickly. I knew this about myself, and so I used this as an excuse for watching pornography. I’d watch it every night for a couple weeks, then not at all for a few weeks. Always off and on. Clearly I wasn’t addicted. Just like I smoked, and never became addicted to nicotine, and drank, but never became an alcoholic. I was just watching it, and could stop anytime I wanted. No damage done, because I was still in control.

Wrong. Nicotine still seared my lungs, and alcohol still did some decent damage to my liver and personal life. Just because we aren’t addicted, doesn’t mean it does no harm. Even while I wasn’t “addicted” to watching pornography, I always wanted more. It existed as a guaranteed time-filler and pleasure-bringer, and when you get an hour to yourself – that’s an easy default. An easy default activity that establishes a heavy precedence in what you do with your next bad night.

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on pornography. What it is, what it does, and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.

I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have proven it sabotages your sex life.

I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.

I wish someone would have told me that the kind of pornography you’re most turned on by is usually linked to a corresponding hurtful event in your life, further injuring your brokenness.”

To read the rest, please visit Good Women Project. > > >

If you aren’t already following GWP, please follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to stay in touch!.

I Don’t Have To Be A Slut To Be Sexually Confident

I have a little confession to make. While I’ve been submersed in the topic of sex and dating over at Good Woman Project and here on my blog, I’ve forgotten the world of sex as I knew it a year ago.

I understand that this month I’ve spent most of my time discussing sex with:

1) my husband, who used to be addicted to porn, and now talks on how damaging porn is;
2) Ally Spotts and her fiance Darrell, two awesomely attractive and super cool Jesus-lovers who write about sex and dating;
3) my 20-something friend Haley who is outrageously gifted in the relationship-advice/purpose-of-sex department;
4) young Christian girls in bible studies; and
4) sifting through countless stories from women on how casual sex broke them.

I am blessed to be a part of a movement of men and women who are willing and excited to talk openly on sex the right way. A movement that is unafraid to say, “the traditional church hasn’t handled it as well as it should,” and also “the world hasn’t handled it well at all.”

But this week, I’ve read some articles that have shocked me out of my sexy-just-married-lingerie and honestly, made me a little bit angry that I’d forgotten WHY I started talking about sex in the first place.

Women are giving up on being the good woman they’ve been striving towards, because they’ve stopped believing the good men are out there.

Translated: Women are embracing sex before marriage because they’ve stopped believing there are men who will wait for them.

No, seriously. It’s true. It’s why I gave in to sex, and it’s why I slept with men I didn’t even pretend to love. I developed an, “I deserve this, because everyone else is doing it” attitude. The men that cheated on me, left me for other women, left pornography open on their laptops, or simply dated women that slept around angered me into my own “I don’t care” behavior. Men were proving to me that sex was the most important part of life, and I should be living that way too. Sex first, questions after. I stopped believing I could find a man who could prove that he meant it when he said I was beautiful and would stick around forever. If men were going to have sex any way they wanted it, when they wanted it, I was going to have it too, damn it.

Sex has become a selfish thing, and the current “me” has become more important than the future “we.” This is why sex outside of marriage is self destructive.

And what I’ve been reading this week is re-confirming that this is why women are still embracing and manifesting their sexuality in all the wrong ways.

AskMen and So Feminine did polls this year on promiscuity. The AskMen survey that revealed 70% of men find women promiscuous between 5 and 10 partners, while the So Feminine survey reveals 55% of women find men promiscuous somewhere between their 20th and 50th partner. Only 15% of women find men with 10 sexual partners promiscuous.

Marrie Lobel “sort of” reviewed these polls in her “Promiscuous Women” post in a rant about her self-admitted out of control yet perfectly acceptable sex life, and said: “It’s this perception of what makes a ‘good’ woman that keeps women from being equal to men. It’s in women’s nature to want to be accepted and thought of as worthy and good. This survey, I’m afraid, will not only set a precedent for what men think a good woman should be, but box women into living life according to what others dictate as appropriate. Well, fuck society. If I am considered a wanton woman because I have slept around with more men than another man is comfortable with, then it is his loss.”

Classy, Marrie. However, you do present a problem that demands at least a hypothetical solution.

Apparently, women still aren’t equal in your eyes. Not because of our civil rights or because we now make up 52% of the workforce, but because we are attempting to have as much sex as we want outside of marriage and men are thinking less of us for it.

Hypothetical solution? Women need to be averaging as many sexual partners as men, and men need to GTF over it.

The problem with this solution is actually hinted at in your own words: “Men express their desire to be with a sexually confident woman, but find her promiscuous at 5 partners.”

Marrie, I’m going to tell you a little secret.

“Sexually confident” stems from one of two things. Either from a woman who is insecure in her identity and therefore overcompensates in her sexuality to find confidence somewhere, OR is confident in her identity, in which case it carries over into her sexuality. And men know this.

Men are attracted to confident women. Men are attracted to a woman’s sexuality. But good men are not looking for insecure women who find their identity in their sexuality.

Marrie, I’m going to give you some words of advice, woman to woman:

Don’t read the polls to determine how you should be finding your identity and living out your sex life.

Don’t decide whether or not you’ll find a good man based on a statistical study.

Don’t make sex about yourself just because you haven’t found a man who makes it about your loving commitment to one another.

Don’t get angry that men still desire women who are confident enough to share her sexuality with one man that deserves it.

Don’t play the numbers game with your heart just because a poll shows you the world is playing a numbers game with their body.

Don’t stop believing that there is a man out there who will protect your identity before he participates in your sexuality.

And please, for the sake of all relationships everywhere, please don’t believe the lie that you must be sexually promiscuous in order to be sexually confident.
I’d like to end with words from an anonymous good man who commented on Marrie’s post:
“To me, anyone that has had many casual sexual encounters has a high likelyhood of having damaged their ability to respect sex as part of a committed relationship. I very deeply tie sex and love together, and frankly I don’t believe someone that has used sex for casual pleasure can feel the same as I do on the subject. I would gladly give up “wild, kinky, crazy” sex to be with someone that feels as I do. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many women left that haven’t ridden the merry-go-round of casual sex, which means I either suck it up and settle for less than I want, or go without a committed relationship.”

PS. Can I just re-phrase “sex out of marriage” as “sex without committed, unconditional love” once and for all, please? Maybe then we’d realize that we’re not breaking a rule someone else set, we’re actually harming ourselves.


Friends With Benefits for Relevant Magazine & Identity for DeeperStory


Sex, Faith & Men: What I Never Knew About Dating.

“Why don’t you date him? He’s a good guy.”

“Just give him a chance. You never know unless you take the risk.”

“Go on a few dates. Just because he isn’t a Christian doesn’t mean he will be a bad boyfriend.”

“God can change people. Maybe he’s the one. You can make it work.”

“We’re just hanging out, it’s not serious. It won’t go anywhere.”

“You’re not deciding to marry him right this second. Just see how it goes.”

I remember being a freshman in high school and believing heart and soul that I would never date a “non-believer,” much less ever have sex with one. Fast-forward five or six years, and I’ve dated a couple. Fast-forward another year or two, and I’m sleeping with one that I’m not even dating.

No girl wakes up and says to herself, “I’m gonna fall head over heels in love with a man I’d never marry today” or decides over lunch that sex is just sex is just sex, and none of it is a big deal anyway. I didn’t. And you probably didn’t, but both of those things happen to us.

“Your first perfect Christian boyfriend broke your heart. You weren’t supposed to mess around with him, but you did anyway. Now you might as well mess around with the next one. You’ve been perfect your whole life. You deserve to have some innocent fun. It’s just going out for a drink – that isn’t committing to a relationship. Cuddling as ‘friends’ isn’t wrong. Marriage is like, a decade away. What are you supposed to do for ten years – be bored? Everyone has sex before marriage. And everyone ends up with a husband and happy in the end. You need to experience everything before you settle down and only have sex with one man for the freaking rest of your whole entire life.”

I don’t know how it happened to you, but that’s a glimpse of what happened to me. And I was the girl with the best intentions, the highest standards, and the most reasonable head on my shoulders. Maybe you got there a little differently, but it ended us both in the same place.

Why did it happen? Because we’re human. Because life happens. Because we get hurt. Because we’re built for relationships, but we’re born broken.

And because too often as Christian girls, we are given the rules with no explanations. We’re told the No’s without the Yes’s. We’re given the worst-case scenarios without a picture of the amazing fun-filled, purpose-filled, hot sex & crazy love filled marriage that we were created for.

As Christian girls, we’re told that sex gets us pregnant, ruins sex with our future husband & is SIN SIN SIN. The church has steered us away from sex by way of guilt, shame & fear. The problem with motivating by guilt & fear (instead of truth & life) is that the moment another area of our life collapses (which it will), we give up on everything. Because sin is sin is sin, right?

We say, “What the hell.” And we give up a little, settle a little, stop caring a little.

This is what I didn’t know about relationships. About men. About myself. About sex. About dating. About marriage. About life.

This is what I didn’t know, that had I known, I might not have become addicted to things that slowly began to destroy me.

This is what I half-knew, that I pushed to the back of my mind and heart, believing that I couldn’t have or couldn’t find.

This is why you can’t date a man who doesn’t love Jesus, if you have given your life to the God who created, treasures and adores you.

– Because Love isn’t enough to get you through anything. You have to respect him, too. There is something in the heart of a woman who loves Jesus that knows she can’t fully respect a man who doesn’t have God as his number one priority. If you don’t respect him as a man, get out. If you question it now, you can expect it to be wholly sabotaged when things get rough. A man knows when you don’t respect him, and there are few things more dangerous, problem-causing & explosive than a man without respect.

– When we evaluate relationships, we forget to set the stage at its worst – we just set it for now. Last week, my man hit rock bottom. As the woman who is promising to love & support him (and invest my entire life in him) no matter what, I HAVE to know that God loves, protects, will provide for, and will strengthen this man in my arms. If a man doesn’t love God with his whole heart, I can’t be assured that what I’m comforting him with is going to be delivered. I can’t have faith in a man who doesn’t have faith. I can’t strengthen the faith of a man who doesn’t have any to begin with.

– If you are a woman who loves Jesus, a man who doesn’t love Jesus doesn’t know who you truly are.
Your identity is defined by God. You’re lying to yourself if you think that your relationship with Jesus can remain in a box, outside of your romantic relationship. For a while, I told myself that if he understood every part of me except for the God part – that was okay. When you are created a new creation in Christ, ALL of you is “the God part.” No part of you is untouched by your love for Jesus. And your man does not see that you – he sees a different woman.

– You need an anchor. One day you’re going to fall apart. And you’re going to need him to come to your rescue by way of God, not by himself. God is our rock, and our foundation. Max cannot be my savior. I cannot be his. And both of us need one. If you date a man who doesn’t know his Savior, you are forced to fulfill that role, which as a human being, you cannot. And he will try to be your savior. And he can not. Everything will be okay because you believe in God, not because your boyfriend “believes in you.”

– When you’ve made the decision to follow Jesus, your perception of everything becomes wildly changed. Lifelong friendships are built not on similar interests, but on similar views of the world. Marriages are no different. It is said that marriages do not fail for lack of love, but lack of friendship. You’re choosing a partner to take on the world with together for the rest of your life. You can’t make it through the battle if he’s seeing differently than you are. And you can’t live with someone you wouldn’t be friends with in the first place.

– He can’t love you to the best of his ability if he doesn’t love Jesus. I’m talking about the kind of love you need to survive a marriage. The love that lasts a lifetime. The lay-down-your-life-for-someone-kind-of-love. The world’s definition is but a pale imitation of love. If you want to truly be loved by a man, you need to find one who has experienced unconditional, sacrificial love as is defined by God, the author of it. God created marriage as an image of Jesus’ relationship with the church, and Jesus laid down his life out of love for his bride.

– You can’t marry them, so why date them? Let’s say you’ve already decided you won’t marry a non-Christian – but what’s wrong with “just” dating them? Your body is designed to bond utterly & completely with someone, through the release of dopamine & oxytocin. Dopamine is the chemical that drives you back to pleasurable things. In its most innocent form, it teaches a small child that puppies are awesome. In its most powerful form, it creates a natural addiction to the person you are physically involved with. You were created to be addicted to someone for the rest of your life. The addiction starts the moment dopamine is triggered and begins to flood your brain. The question is: are you created an addiction to something healthy, or unhealthy? (When Oxytocin is triggered, it teaches your mind to trust, and reduces fear. Consider the repercussions of programming your body to trust someone you know you shouldn’t, and to be safe around someone you plan to break up with.)

It hurts. It’s hard. You love him.

I’m not telling you to leave him because you’re sinning, I’m telling you to go get addicted to a man you want in your life forever.

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Want to talk about it? Email me. laurennicolelove [at] I’ve been there.

Want to read more about what sex does to you? Read my post “I Was A Prostitute.

Want some lighter talk on dating? Read my post “I Met My Man on Twitter & I’m Writing You A How To Guide On Dating
And lastly, check out my Good Woman’s Guide To The 21st Century over on MakeItMad.


I Was A Prostitute: The Truth About Sex

Last night I went to a sex trafficking awareness event.

Black and white photographs – mug shots – of broken, bruised women arrested and brought in for prostitution flashed across the screen, over and over and over. Horrifically broken women. Women who, like horses, have had their spirits broken in order to serve another man’s purpose and desire.

I listened to a 30 second clip of a young woman pleading and sobbing with a judge for mercy in his ruling on her 31 solicitation charges: “This isn’t me. I’m not this woman. I don’t want to be this. I don’t want to do this anymore. This isn’t me. Please, please help me. Please.”

Don’t punish me for what I did, because this isn’t the woman I wanted to be.

But I feel like I have no other option.

I beg of you to be the man who stands in my defense.

Sitting on that cold, wooden bench, watching this girl beg for someone to understand that Prostitute wasn’t her name, I was shocked to find that the ache swelling in my heart was an ache I’d felt before. The same pain I’ve felt many times. An ache I could see written on the faces of every single girl and woman in that room.

Why could every woman identify with the sobbing prostitute in the court room?

I have begged for someone to see me as the woman I want to be; not as the woman I’ve fallen into being.

I have been the woman condemned by the sex I’ve allowed, agreed to, and willingly sought out – but later, desperately cried out for someone, anyone who will understand that this isn’t the woman I want to be. This isn’t me.

But a small part of me feels like I had no other option. It was out of my control. I said yes, but did I really mean it?

Desperately wanting a man to stand in my defense. To fight for me, before he wants sex.

“I used to think prostitutes were the criminals. Not the victims. Everyone has a choice, right? She had the option of not agreeing to sex. But look at these women’s faces. When you judge thousands of domestic violence cases, you learn what victims look like and what they don’t. And every single woman brought in on a solicitation charge looks like a victim. I started studying statistics on women charged with selling their bodies. Every single woman has been the victim of another crime: domestic violence, abuse, incest, molestation, abandonment. But we prosecute them as the criminal.”

So this judge made the decision to start viewing prostitutes not as criminals, but as victims. A second chance.

Sex taken from them. Not given. Even though they said yes. Even though they received something in return.

Every time I had sex I said yes to it. But I have always felt like something was taken from me. Even though every single time I thought I got what I wanted or needed that night.

Do you have a choice? And is that really the question? Is it really the word Yes or No that matters?

Did those women have the choice to say no to giving up their bodies in return for something else they desperately needed to make it through the day?

Do you? Do I? Out of the overflow of the heart, so the mouth speaks.

The ugly truth of prostitution is that those women don’t really have a choice. The majority of them have been trafficked, and if you’re familiar with trafficking, you know that it is kidnapping and slavery in it’s most brutal, gruesome, despicable, evil form.

The ugly truth of prostitution is that those women exchanged sex for what they needed to get through that day alive, according to their past, their perspective, and the men who shaped their lives.

And the ugly truth of my sex life is that in the past, I have given every inch of my body in exchange for what I needed to get through that day alive, according to my past, my perspective, and the men who shaped my life and my culture.

That is why every woman in the room could relate to the desperation, pain, judgement, guilt, brokenness, and plea for mercy expressed by the prostitute.

Because I believe that as a woman who has had sex with men who did not commit their life and love to me, I am as that of a prostitute.

As are you, if you have also slept with a man before he married you.

I am not judging you. I am fighting heart and soul in your defense.

Because I know that you feel like you were the victim of another crime. A father who left. A man who broke your spirit. An emptiness that never ceases. Pain inflicted on you by another. A culture that tells you sex is all you’re worth. Men who have degraded, devalued and destroyed women through pornography. A society that has lied to you about sex since the day you were born. The victim of men who refused to fight in your behalf; men who refused to fight for you. All of you.

Because I know that when you said yes, you thought he would stay. Because I know that when you said yes, you knew he wouldn’t.

Because I know that you were in search of something other than sex, just as I was.

The truth is that when we want sex, we want passionate intimacy. We want a man to want us. We want him to actively, physically demonstrate his intense desire for us – over everything else he could be doing at this very moment.

We want closeness. We want to feel needed, wanted; to feel like we both fully satisfy and are satisfied by another.

I’m not eliminating our desire for physical pleasure, or to put it bluntly, saying that “women just want to be wanted, we don’t care about getting off.”

No. What I’m pointing out is that when we crave sex, we are craving things that can’t be delivered by getting ourselves off. Otherwise we would be forever content with that.

And this is how we identify how powerful sex is.

I am not jaded when it comes to sex. I am not pandering abstinence because traditional Christianity labels all self-indulgence as “sin.”

I want it. I enjoy it. It frustrates me when I cannot have it. But I have learned that “sex will satisfy me” is a lie, and comes at great cost.

Beloved woman, would you still be turned on if the man in your bed said:

“You’re sexy, but I might decide another woman is sexier later.”

“You are beautiful, but not enough to make me yours forever.”

“I love you, but I can’t promise I’ll protect you, in fact – I’ll probably hurt you instead.”

“I love getting you off, but if you get pregnant, I might not be the dad.”

“I love your body, but only because you’re hot. And I’m watching porn when I’m not with you.”

“I want you more than anything, but just tonight. It will be different next week.”

“I came over because you’re easy sex and I don’t have to really love you to get anything.”

“I want your beauty and your warmth and your body, but nothing else.”

Whether or not the man you are sleeping with is saying these things out loud, these statements are being branded into your mind, body & heart every single time you have sex outside of marriage.

Because they are all true, when sex is had without a diamond on your finger. There is no guarantee that a man is staying, that he loves you and is committed to you – and so these statements are inherently true. And there is nothing that the best intentions can do to alter their truth.

Even if you are content with going through with sex, and sacrificing what you know you want or deserve in order for temporary companionship, comfort, “love,” or physical pleasure, you WILL start to believe certain things about yourself, other men, and other women.

You will start to believe that you are no better. That men are no better.

It will alter your view of sex, love, relationships, and men. But most importantly, it will alter your view of yourself.

It will name you Prostitute when your precious, broken heart begs a man to see you as the woman you always wanted to be.

We are a generation of women who have been convinced by the men in our lives that sex is what we have to give in order to attain what we need to get through life.

I crave Something, and men have convinced me that sex will fill it.

Be honest with me. When you tell yourself that you want sex, did you come to this conclusion by yourself? Or is it the product of the men in your life and the culture you live in? I challenge you to sit down and wrestle through this.

Are you the criminal, or are you the victim of a broken world, in dire need of Love in it’s true form?

Women, we have sold ourselves.

And it is breaking us.

The human body is not built to withstand regrettable sex. We are not built to give everything before he has stepped up and committed to give us everything back. This is why you feel like something has been taken, even though you said yes.

Women, you are not built to have sex with a man who has not committed his heart, mind and body to you for the rest of your life.

I beg of you to join me in saying No.

Saying No to the lie that sex alone will satisfy what you crave.

Saying No to men until one of them loves you enough to promise to give, not to take. For the rest of his life.

I beg of you to sit at the foot of Jesus with me as Prostitute. As he gives us new names, and fights in our behalf.

Men: This was written for women. It is my great hope that you will be a man who stands up and defends the value of women, and resolves to protect a woman’s identity as well as her body, spirit and heart. A loved and respected woman is of infinite value to you. My man writes on sex & pornography. Read more here. And yes, we are waiting.

Men & Women: I run Good Women Project, and we are doing a giveaway of the book Love & War by John & Staci Eldredge. Go leave a comment here if you would like to enter to win.

Are you following me on Twitter? Do that here: @laurenlankford

Be a fan on Facebook. It’s the best way to keep up. Do that here.


I Met My Man On Twitter & I’m Writing You a How-To Guide On Dating

Hearts are messy places, and when you try to merge two of them, it tends to turn two human beings into living, walking wreckage.

I really shouldn’t be writing a How-To Guide on dating, seeing as the man I’m dating I met on Twitter, and our first 30 days together in person have been 30 days on a road-trip to nowhere.

I don’t recommend this for everyone. Unless you want your first child to be a carplant that you name Howard and like waking up with no idea what city you’ll be sleeping (or showering) in that night. I happen to want this a lot, but I understand that I’m “special.”

But seriously. I believe that truths come over time, and they are to be learned in all places in all things.

And I’ve realized in the last 24 hours that I can tell you exactly how to land yourself a good man and a good relationship:

You let God do it.

(And you stop selling yourself short.)
You can’t follow steps 1-10 and waltz through a neat little structure of dating rules, and find yourself in love. But you can cling whole heartedly to truth and fight for what you desire most.

My inbox is yet again full of girls and women who are asking me for relationship advice, and wrestling through some of the most both painful and apathy-ridden scenarios I could stage for you. And every single time I feel under-equipped and hypocritical in all of my answers.

But, in my mind, the years of confusion, frustration, high highs and low lows that I went through happened in order to put truth and empathy in my heart and hands. And I’ll be damned if I waste all that pain and exasperation.

So, here goes.

1. Stop telling me that there are no good men left. What you’re really saying is, “I know he’s out there, but I can’t find him, and I’m tired of being lonely.” And about half of you are using that as a free pass to being less of the woman you could be, because you don’t have a good man in your life. I know you’re doing this because I’ve done it too. Stop saying this, and you’ll find him. There are exceptions to everything, but it’s much easier to find a good man when you’re not swearing against them all.

2. You don’t have to choose between What You Want and What You Need. If you are dating who you want but not who you need, you’ve either bought into the no-strings-attached ticking time bomb, or you’ve traded what you’re worth for immediate satisfaction. And if you are dating who you need but not what you want, chances are you don’t actually know what you need. Because what you need is a man who is everything you need AND want.

3. Give it back to God. I’ve always hated when people told me this. For me, giving a relationship to God always meant breaking up with a guy. Usually, this is an easy way for someone in the church to guilt you into singleness solely to get you to put a stop to the “ultimate sin”: having sex. Or it’s an easy way for someone to pat a desperate single woman on the head and say, “Well, God just has to fix a few things first in your life before he can bring you the perfect man.” No. What I mean is that your future marriage will fail and fail hard if you don’t put it in God’s hands, so you’re much better off learning how to keep your heart and someone else’s in God’s hand while you’re still dating. Or still single. This isn’t about changing things, it’s about deciding to want what God wants and believing with your body, mind and soul that what he wants is good. The exact kind of good that you want more than anything else in the world. Your God is pro-relationship. He wants that for you.

5. Everyone is allowed a no-strings-attached period of time. No. This is a lie. And it will wreck you. I would have given a limb for someone to walk up to me on the street at a very specific point in my life and just say, “no strings attached is a lie.” Sex can either build or destroy – and it will do one or the other, not both. If you are sleeping with a man who is everything you want but not everything you need – or the other way around – get out. You’re destroying yourself from the inside out. No more justification, logic, thought, giving-it-more time, excuses, or trying-to-work-it-out. Close your eyes and rip off the band-aid. Today.

6. You’re single because God is still fixing you. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you’re single because the timing just isn’t right. For him, or for you, or for one of any 238520 possible life variables. I dislike this statement because it implies that you are more broken than you should be. And if you’re on year three, seven, or ten of being single, this is devastating to believe. I’ve noticed that it begins to create brokenness that isn’t actually there, “because it must be.” The truth is that everyone is broken. And you don’t need “fixing.” You just need God, and the life he’s already got planned for you. And God has a life-altering, fireworks-on-display, crazy-love plan for you — which will come precisely when he wants it to.

7. I can save him. (Or I can fix him. Or he’ll change.) Thanks to Max, I can end this entire discussion with his words on the subject: “You must run at the same pace. Otherwise, you will either slow the other down, or be slowed down.” Life is too short. Date someone who is running at the same pace as you, or it will end up being very detrimental to someone’s life. Also, don’t pardon stuff like this. Yes, people can change, but you don’t want to be the one responsible for making it happen. Plus, I’m a woman, and I really just don’t feel like training a man. Not my job.

8. If he’s not crazy about you, it’s not going to work. I’m not married, and you could probably find some sub-par, dispassionate men that will get you 30 years of commitment and a wedding band, but after reading dozens and dozens of submissions to the Good Women Project, and investing some serious time speaking with married women this year, I’m pretty confident in my statement. My previous relationships back this up statement up too. Besides, when it comes down to it, do you really have what you want right now? Date a man who is crazy about you. Puh-lease.

9. If you don’t respect him, it’s not going to work. That’s it. If you don’t brag about him, respect the decisions he’s making, love the man he is, and trust the way he sees the world, you’ll end up with a mess of problems that will raise up a mess of pain.
10. Make it God’s problem. Stop thinking about how to make it work, or how to find the man you want to marry. Tell God it’s his responsibility, and be done with it. Every single time I tried to figure out how I would find the right guy within my parameters of my environment, combined with the statistics of good men left that worked against me, I would immediately become overwhelmed, give up, and start making bad decisions. But when I removed myself from my daily life and reminded myself that God will give me an incredible man, I could live, breathe & move again. Make the mental decision to trust God stubbornly for this. And live it out.
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