Monthly Archives: December 2016

A Free Christmas Short Story for You!

Each year, I try to come up with something special to gift my readers. This year, I wrote y’all a short story!

Here’s Under the Mistletoe: A Christmas Short Story: Download as a PDF.

If you’d rather read with your e-reader’s format, I’ve uploaded the story to several retailers, but I’m still waiting for it to go live. I’ll update as I get the links.

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBooks

Barnes & Noble Nook

Kobo eBooks

Scribd

Download as a PDF

I hope you enjoy this quick tale. Here’s the teaser:

It’s Christmas Eve, and Grace still hasn’t seen a present under the Christmas tree from her husband. When Todd announces there is no present coming, she feels snubbed, not realizing that he’s got a different surprise planned. But is his gift what she really wants? Or even what she needs?

I’ll be taking a break from the blog through New Year’s. See you on the other side of 2017.

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Q&A with J: Adding Variety to Your Marriage Bed

Today’s question is about variety in the marriage bed. Specifically positions, but I’ll deal with a bit more than that.

… my husband wants more variety. We mainly stick to two positions, missionary and me on top. They are great but I am self conscious about other positions like rear entry or reverse cowgirl. My husband would also like to do positions that show off more of my lady parts. I’m not sure what those would be. Any ideas?

Messy white bed and pillow, in the morning - with blog post title

If you’re going to do only one position, you’d probably start with missionary. It’s face-to-face, he’s putting forth most of the effort, and everybody’s heard about it. It’s also the most often seen position in movies and on TV.

Add one more, and you’ve likely gone to woman-on-top. Which is an excellent addition because the husband gets a great view, the wife gets more control over the action, and many women have an easier time orgasming with this angle.

But that’s a limited repertoire — two positions — and it makes sense to expand your options. You might find that variety increases your pleasure, the engagement of your five senses, and adds to your shared experiences. And you’ll likely find some favorites among positions you haven’t yet tried!

Let’s start with the self-consciousness about rear entry or reverse cowgirl. Because I totally get it. Waving your behind at your husband during sex can feel a little … awkward. I used to feel anxious about facing the other way from my husband. I wondered:

  • Why doesn’t he want to look into my eyes?
  • Is he more comfortable not looking directly at me during sex?
  • How can a front-seat view of my butt be attractive?

One day, I finally asked: “Why on earth would you want to see me from that angle?!” His explanation helped me understand why a husband would be interested in this position. For one thing, there’s a lovely view of your curves, including a heart shape created by your derrière and downward. Then there’s the ease of gripping your hips and thrusting from that angle. Plus, coming into the vagina from behind can allow deeper penetration, which often feels good to both of you.

Whatever your reasons for feeling self-conscious, I suggest you do some relaxation breaths, remind yourself how beautiful you are to your husband and how good this will feel, and then give those from-behind positions an honest try. After several times, I suspect your nervousness will subside, and you might discover you enjoy these options as well.

As for other “positions that show off more of my lady parts,” it’s less a matter of this sexual position or that sexual position than how you move your own body parts. Let me explain what I mean.

Are there numerous positions? If you go look up sexual positions, you’ll see a bunch of options. The well-known Kama Sutra names 64 positions. But if you actually look at them, you’ll see those positions are variations on a few themes. You’ve got sitting, standing, lying down, and then you figure out who’s on top, which way y’all are facing, and where your arms and legs are.

Understanding that there aren’t a gazillion completely different positions can ease anxiety or lack of confidence about trying things. Because once you’ve done some basic stuff, it’s really a matter of moving limbs and changing angles and so on.

How can you create variety with those changes? The same position can feel very different, and quite possibly more pleasurable, once you loosen up and move your legs and hips. For instance, the missionary position has greater potential for deep penetration and contact with your clitoris (hello, female pleasure center!) if you hike your hips upward and plant your feet on his chest or over his shoulders. That’s considered a new position, but it’s basically a tweak to Lying Down, Man on Top.

With your hips, when you’re lying down, try tilting them up. If/when you engage in rear entry, tilt your hips down (bum up). Honestly, a sex pillow can help if you want assistance getting into the right angle. Not only might that feel better to you, but it will give your husband a better glimpse of your “garden.”

The placement of your legs also can help with his view. In the missionary position, you can spread wide, either with your legs straight or your knees bent. If you can still do a butterfly pose (which I never could do in any gym class, but maybe you can), you could give that a try as well. In the Woman on Top position, you can try squatting instead of sitting, which gives you a bit more control but also exposes your genitalia to his sight.

What about the other activities? If your husband wants the best views of your body, those are likely more available with foreplay. You could let him use his hands to stimulate you, and he can do this from various angles. Again, tilting your hips and spreading your legs will provide better access. If you’re both into oral sex (called cunnilingus for women), that’s another way he can get up-close-and-personal. The view is pretty clear when you’re, um, down there.

But even him touching and stroking your naked body — moving himself and his viewpoint around as he goes — could add some variety and pleasurable exploration for you both. He could also give you a massage or rub lotion on your skin.

What more can you do for variety? Let’s go back to your original question (and not just your husband’s desire to see more of you *wink wink*): How can you get more variety in your sexual intimacy while minimizing all those self-conscious feelings? It’s not just positions or activities that achieve this goal.

Here are some ideas to play into your desire to lessen your nervousness and increase your engagement. How about some bedroom games? You can find some ideas on my Christmas gift posts, or by visiting on online Christian retailer of marital aids, or simply adapting one of your current games for your use, like strip poker or strip Battleship. What about setting the mood? You can add candles and music, and maybe even slow dance naked before you make love.

How about what you wear? Or adding more communication to your lovemaking? Or trying that missionary position in your car’s back seat or a tent in the backyard? Or stripping down and then reading love poetry or the Song of Songs to each other? Check out my 40 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband for more ideas.

Just get creative. Think of your marriage bedroom not only as a holy place of deep connection — which it is — but also an intimate playground where you can enjoy one another and your own pleasure. As Song of Songs 5:1 says: “Drink, be intoxicated with love!” (HCSB).

10 Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband

In all of our years together, my husband and I have not had Christmas stockings. Yep, that’s right. Even when I’ve been writing posts like 10 Sexy Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband and 10 Sexy, Manly Items for Your Hubby’s Christmas Stocking, I had no place to put such items for my own hubby.

I’m planning to remedy that soon. But whether you drop these items in an actual stocking, in a gift box or bag, or just plop them onto his pillow on Christmas Eve, I’ve come up with a few more ideas. Not all of these are sex-related, but some are. (Click on the picture to open a link to the product.)

10 Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers for Your Husband

1. Secret Love Letters Invisible Ink Writing Set

Secret Love Letters Ink

I found this cute set in my local Barnes & Noble (where you might also find my book, by the way), at the front of the store. Ever wish you could write sexy notes to your guy without others — like your kids — seeing your words? This ink set allows you to write invisible messages that can then be read with a UV flashlight in the pen’s cap.

2. Package of Gum or Mints

Five Gum

Face it: Sometimes you’re not kissing him because he smells like barbecue potato chips or extra onions. How about a package of gum or mints to freshen his breath and make him particularly kissable?

3. Hand-held Massager

Hand-held Massager

Target, Wal-Mart, Academy, and even your local grocery store should have options for a small hand-held massager. Some are pronged like this one for pressure points, some are roller balls, some have spikes. You’ll have to decide which version would be best for your husband, but a good massager can help you deliver a muscle-relaxing rub-down to your man.

4. Personalized Candy Bar

Thanks to Intimate Weddings website for editable and printable templates, as well as instructions to create your own personalized candy bar wrapper. You can use your names as shown here, or edit to include any romantic or passionate message you want. Like: For Your Mouth: This Chocolate & My Lips.

(And if you don’t like this idea or template, trust me — Pinterest has you covered. Just run a search and prepare to spend some time eyeballing all the choices.)

5. Sneaker Balls

Sneaker Balls

Yes, I’m using the word balls on my blog without meaning “his jewels.” (Aren’t you proud?) These are shoe deodorizers in the shape of balls, and some of them even look like soccer balls or basketballs. You can easily find them at a sporting goods store, like Academy or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

6. Personal Lubricant

Wet® Boink N’ Oink bacon lube

The above picture is simply to show you that there is no end to the number of choices in the personal lubricant market. Really? Did we need Boink n’ Oink Bacon Flavored Lubricant? (Although the website says it is paraben-free and kosher. Good to know.) Go online or hit your local store to find your favorite or something you haven’t tried before, then slip it into your husband’s stocking with the obvious message that you two will try it out later.

7. Superhero Underwear

Capt America Boxer Briefs

Want to let your husband know he’s your superhero? How about putting it on his undies? I easily found briefs, boxers, and boxer briefs online and in stores with your choice of superheroes — Batman, Captain America, Superman, Hulk, etc. Or you could ride the wave and go with a Star Wars theme.

8. Dirty Dice

Dirty Dice

I’m not in love with the title of this dice, but they are effective. Essentially this game is played by rolling the dice and matching the instruction (lick, suck) to the body part (lips, ear). Amazon might be your best bet to get them in time for Christmas, but Married Dance (a Christian retailer) carries them as well and you can find knock-offs in various places too.

9. Mistletoe

Mistletoe

Can’t miss the message if you give your sweetheart a sprig of mistletoe! You can find real or fake mistletoe at craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, or basic retailers like Target and Wal-Mart. You might want to make things even clearer by attaching a message like “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” Song of Songs 1:2.

10. Love Letter

Love Letter

All this takes is a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, and a little creativity. But wouldn’t your husband love to hear straight from you how much you love him? Or to read how committed you are to your future? How about something playful or passionate? I have tips for you here.

That’s it! Ten more ideas for your hubby’s stocking. Now go forth and finish up that last-minute shopping. I’ll be doing the same this week!

Expect Trouble, But Have Peace

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

You know what? It’s been a hard year, with disappointments, frustrations, and tragedies for so many people I know. I’ve also experienced some challenges.

But one thing that has made a difference in my level of contentment is not expecting everything to go smoothly or for this life to be pain-free. Whatever has happened in 2016, I’m still a happy person. Partly because I expect trouble, but I have peace.

Expect Trouble But Have Peace John 16-33

For a long time, this wasn’t true in my life, and in my marriage. Years ago, when my husband and I faced difficulties, I got angry. Not just with him, but with how Life itself had turned on me. Hadn’t I married a great guy? Hadn’t I tried to pursue God? Wasn’t I doing better than anyone, including me, had anticipated? So why wasn’t everything working out for me?

Many marriages have problems that need solving, but then we add to that pile with issues that are really unmet expectations. We thought it would be easy — it wasn’t. We thought our spouse would agree with us — they didn’t. We thought our tough past was behind us — it wasn’t. We thought we’d have sex nearly every day — we didn’t.

I’m not saying these aren’t real issues. I’m saying we make them worse with our personal indignation, that attitude that this shouldn’t be happening to me! Well, to borrow a well-known phrase, whoever promised you a rose garden?

Last I checked, we’re not still in the Garden of Eden, the world is broken in many ways, and Jesus Himself said we’d have trouble. “In this world you will have trouble.” He couldn’t make it any clearer. The apostle Peter also reminds us that Satan’s actively trying to make our lives hard: Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We’re simply not promised perfection here.

But we are promised something that gives us hope, joy, and gratitude. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Oh, that’s right: Jesus has got this covered.

I’ve seen God work in my life — all the trouble that my husband and I have overcome with His help. Other marriages that have come through difficulties and found a better, stronger place. Relationships reconnected. Marriage beds revived.

Maybe this holiday season, we need to remember that Jesus Christ came to Earth for one main purpose — to overcome. He overcame our sin, our hopelessness, our brokenness.

We don’t get to go through this life without challenges and hardships. We should expect trouble. But we can have peace. We can have peace that God is working in our lives and, if we ask Him to, He can work in our marriages.

Q&A with J: Can Christians Get Sex Tips from Cosmo?

Today’s reader question is a practical one and worth covering.

I have a question that I would love to get your thoughts on: Is it “OK” for a Christian woman to go to secular websites (such as Cosmo) for sex tips? I do this every so often to find new positions/foreplay ideas/etc. Obviously, there is a ton of trashy/sinful stuff that goes against God’s Word (porn, threesomes, etc.) and I bypass this. As for sex positions, they are obscure drawings…..but is that considered “pornographic material?” I don’t feel like I’m going against my conscience in looking at these sites, but to be honest, I would feel awkward telling my girlfriends (or even my husband) that I do, I guess because Cosmo has a rep for being trashy. But, are there Cosmo-type Christian sites to get ideas?? Yours is the closest thing I’ve found (for which I’m grateful! As is my husband. ;). But it’s not as detailed as what I can find on secular sites. Anyways, I’m interested to hear your opinion!

Q&A with J Can Christians Get Sex Tips from Cosmo

While standing in the grocery store line, I sometimes pick up the latest issue of Cosmo magazine and flip over to an article titled something like “14 New Ways to Drive Your Lover Wild!” or “Do These 3 Things for a Stronger Orgasm!”  Am I looking for ideas? Not really. I’m just curious what they have to say.

But to gather ideas, I have looked through secular sources like books in used bookstores, articles from websites unaffiliated with Christianity, and studies conducted by state universities and research labs. Even if they don’t share my values, they can have useful information.

You can guess my general answer based on what I do, but the complete perspective requires some clarification. (Please read to the end, because the most important conclusions are at the bottom!)

Lay a strong foundation. At one point in my life looking at Cosmo magazine articles on sex would have been a very bad idea, because I didn’t have a godly view of sexuality. You need spiritual maturity to keep your Christian perspective intact while looking through secular sources — that is, a strong foundation.

In Ephesians, the apostle Paul speaks of the importance of God’s people being fully equipped so that “we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (4:14). But I suspect more Christians believe they’re mature enough than really are. 1 Corinthians 10:12 always warns: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” Apparently, people can think they’re standing firm, and still be susceptible to falling into temptation.

I can’t tell you when your foundation is strong enough. But I do know what it feels like. I can actually look at more now because I mentally blow off anything that falls short of the beautiful lovemaking I’ve experienced that matches God’s design. At the same time, I’m less interested in looking at anything that wanders from His truth, because it feels like a waste of time. Maybe that’s a paradox, but it’s one way I know that my foundation is solid. And I think that’s the place to start.

Exercise your filter. It’s impossible to avoid all stimuli that contrast with our worldview. Every day, we have to be able to sort through all the messages and choose what’s good and true … while discarding the lies and temptation that Satan wants to put in our path. It’s smart that the reader said, “Obviously, there is a ton of trashy/sinful stuff that goes against God’s Word (porn, threesomes, etc.) and I bypass this.”

Some secular sources have good information we can access and use, as long as we use discretion and wisdom. For some time, the best sexual position site I’d found was a secular, UK-based site that had some too-revealing images on certain pages but their positions section had tastefully drawn images and excellent descriptions. So I made the conscious effort to avoid anything untoward on their website while accessing the areas that met my moral standards.

In fact, my sharing an article or post on social media doesn’t mean I agree with everything on a website. I’m presuming my smart readers will check out the article or post, but filter through anything else on that site that might not agree with biblical teaching. As Proverbs 2:9-11 says, “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair — every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

Know your weaknesses. I don’t keep candy bars in my house. It’s just a very bad plan, because I know how quickly I can devour chocolate if it’s easily within reach. I don’t have a poor foundation of health, nor would I only eat chocolate and avoid broccoli. But it’s a weakness … so I’m better not to plant that temptation in my house.

I don’t know what, if any, weaknesses you have regarding sexuality. But if something appeals to or arouses you that you know isn’t good for you, you’d be far better to avoid it. Which might mean flipping past an article or images or simply putting the Cosmo back on the shelf.

So take stock and ask yourself honestly, deeply, mercilessly whether there’s something you shouldn’t expose yourself to. If something would turn your thoughts away from your husband or God’s design for your sexual intimacy, maybe you should pass over that resource. Just know your weaknesses going in.

Seek better resources. At one time there was a scarcity of quality sources regarding Christian sexuality. But that’s changed! Yes, we still have strides to take in discussing this topic more in churches and small groups and friend circles. But as for articles, books, podcasts, video classes, etc., I can name a lot of current sources. I have a books I recommend page you can check out. And HEY, I wrote a whole book with lots of how-tos, all from a Christian perspective, and you can find it online and in many Barnes & Noble bookstores: Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

Remember how I mentioned that secular website where I accessed a positions section? That was years ago, and now there’s Christian Friendly Sex Positions. So why go to a site with lots of stuff I don’t agree with when there’s another website that provides all that information from a biblical perspective? New Christian resources arrive all the time, including Awaken Love’s recent video class launch that gets pretty specific.

Also, you need to think about who you’re supporting. Cosmopolitan‘s cover price is $3.99. I personally don’t want to put that money into the pockets of people who shove cleavage and sensational headlines at me and everyone else every single month. Especially when $4.99 will get me an ebook of Sheila Gregoire’s 31 Days to Great Sex or some other Christian resource. So if you’re actually purchasing the magazine, think about whether that’s really where you want your hard-earned money to go.

So can you get sex tips from Cosmo? Yes, I think you can. But whether you should depends on several factors, and it’s best to make spiritually sound resources your initial go-tos. On that note, Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage has been doing a series highlighting marriage blogs and has a blogs and websites page listing quite a few resources.