Contrary to some opinion out there, I don’t walk around thinking about sex 24/7. Outside of this important work I do, I’m just as likely to be thinking about the lyrics of a David Bowie song or wondering how laundry breeds like rabbits or listening to a politics podcast as I am thinking about the sexual intimacy in my marriage.
But I do sometimes evaluate how things are going, as I believe all spouses should. And the other day, I was thinking about our most recent lovemaking session and how it had made me feel. A strange thought struck me — surprised me really — and I thought it worth sharing with y’all.
My favorite feeling during sex isn’t orgasm.
WHAT?! How can that be? Isn’t orgasm the pinnacle of sexual pleasure? The aria of the opera? The chocolate syrup on the sundae? The Wonder Woman of superheroes?!
Yes. Yes, I am.
While I recognize that not every wife experiences orgasm as an earth-shattering event, and certainly not every orgasm is as terrific as every other, it is a pretty lovely gift from our Father. It’s typically the peak moment of sexual pleasure, thus earning its name of climax.
But when I thought about it, I realized it still isn’t my favorite feeling. Because my favorite feeling when we make love is…
When my husband enters me.
It’s this moment that makes me feel the best about our marriage bed, the closest to him, the most grateful for this experience called sex. Because, to me, it’s then that one flesh really happens in a physical way. I’m not only reminded, but I physically experience these truths:
We fit together. The man-part fits inside the woman-part. If you study the anatomy of how our genitalia are designed to come together just so, it’s pretty amazing. God managed to design all shapes and sizes, and still those two parts almost always fit together.
Maybe that’s why Genesis 1 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (v. 27). And then the next verse is: “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number…’” (v. 28). We’re made male and female, and since those two parts fit so perfectly, we can be fruitful together.
We meet each other’s longings. If a man and a woman grew up alone without any outside knowledge of sex, I think they’d still figure sex out. Why? Because once a man becomes aroused, something in his mind triggers the notion that he wants to put that erection inside something … or rather, someone. His physiology clues him into the idea that it would feel really good to penetrate his beloved woman with his penis.
Meanwhile, once a woman becomes truly aroused (which, by the way, is often after things get going), she can experience a strong desire to have something inside her … or rather, someone. Her physiology triggers the thought that being filled up in there would satisfy a biological and emotional longing.
If we’re attuned to our sexuality, we experience a desire for what the other one has. When that longing is met, through penis-in-vagina (PIV) penetration, something deep inside is also sated. As if you’re both filled by what the other offers.
We’re totally connected. Sexual activity can be pleasurable in so many ways, and there are many delights to be experienced. But there’s something in particular about intercourse that demonstrates physically the connection we have emotionally and relationally. You’re literally linked together in one particular part of your bodies.
In that moment, you can feel like you’re a part of the other. His penis belongs to her, and her vagina belongs to him … representing physically how you belong to each other. No, of course people don’t get this feeling with just anyone they have sex with, and unfortunately not every marriage has this sensation. But it’s what God intended. When you feel deeply connected in your marriage, sexual intercourse is a physical confirmation of that connection — that intimacy.
So what if you don’t feel these things, but you want to?
First off, if you’re experiencing problems having intercourse, check out my latest post on Q&A with J: “He Goes Hard and Then Soft.”
Second, ask how your whole relationship is going. Because you’ll feel these things far more readily when you two have been investing in your friendship, your partnership, your romantic affection. Then this deep connection is an outgrowth of what exists outside the bedroom.
Also, consider how attuned you are to your sexuality and — perhaps more so — your sensuality. How much do you allow yourself to really think about the sensations you’re experiencing during sexual arousal and pleasure? Are you aware of what your body telling you about how it wants to be touched? If you struggle with this, my book Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design gives lots of tips for focusing your mind on what’s happening with your body.
Next, talk about whether you’re spending enough time doing those things before intercourse that make PIV penetration a welcome experience. Some wives need more time individually to prepare themselves, by stepping away from work or household or mothering duties for a while before engaging in sex with hubby. You may also need more flirtation throughout the day or connecting conversation with your husband.
Many most wives need more prolonged foreplay to really get to that point where they long for their husband to enter them. You should be very wet — on your own or with the handy-dandy help of your personal lube — and your inner vaginal lips swollen to 2-3 times their normal size. You might even feel that longing more intensely if he gets you to clitoral orgasm first, through manual play, oral sex, or whatever works for y’all.
Finally, ask how your whole view of sexual intimacy is going. Do you see it as a positive thing in your life? Many do, but many struggle as well. For various reasons, so I don’t have a one-size-fits-all suggestion here. But if you don’t feel good about sexual intimacy itself, it’s unlikely you’ll experience that sense of one-fleshness with intercourse in your marriage. I know you can’t flip a switch, but you can be honest about where you are and take steps in the right direction to resolve the obstacles you face. And you can use that search bar up top to see if I have posts addressing your particular problem.
I’m praying that every couple can experience the beauty of being linked together in this special and amazing way. It’s my favorite feeling in my marriage bed, and I want you to know its distinct pleasure as well.