Monthly Archives: September 2017

Q&A with J: “A Sexual Stimulant for Women?”

Today’s question is an interesting one, from a husband wanting to help his wife’s sexual desire:

So I hate to ask this as I can see [there] being conflicting opinions on the subject but, do they make a sexual stimulant for women? As well as you know they have been making them for years for the guys but I can’t find anything that looks reliable for the woman’s side of things. My wife and I have talked about this off and on for some time and she is willing to try almost anything to help her with her almost non existent drive in the bedroom.

I write about sex drive differences, but honestly there are resources more dedicated to low libido in wives than I am. Here are just three you could take a look at:

Image result for amazon.com unlock your libido

Bonny’s OysterBed7.

Given the question, I think Bonny’s site is a particularly good resource, because she addresses the science of sex and low libido. Bonny does a great job of giving emotional encouragement, practical tips, and covers studies that show which substances do work or don’t work in lifting your libido. She also has a great book titled Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation. She’s also one of my podcast partners, and she brings her science knowledge to our Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

Boost Your Libido course.

Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum has a wonderful online course for low-libido wives that walks them through reasons they might not be “feeling it” and what to do about it. She doesn’t talk supplements so much as tips, but they are helpful and might indeed boost your wife’s libido. Click below to find out more.

Dr. Oz’s List.

Confession: I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Dr. Oz. I think some of his advice is really good, and some of it is, well, opportunistic. But I found this article on his website with natural substances he suggests could boost female libido. Do they work? I’m skeptical how much of this stuff you’d have to actually eat/take to get results enough to notice a difference. But then again, why wouldn’t you just try and see for yourself? Especially when the prescribed substances include innocuous things like pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

In addition to these resources, I suggest your wife see a doctor and get tested for hormone levels as well as deficiencies that can cause fatigue and low response, like low thyroid and anemia. Tell the doctor what exactly is happening, so she’ll know what to look for. It’s certainly possible that her physiology makes it difficult for your wife to feel desire.

But also remember that many women don’t experience a sex drive the way it’s been primarily described — as a desire for sex followed by engagement. Instead, many wives have a libido that is responsive, in that the drive is there after engagement in affection, foreplay, and sexual activity begin. There’s nothing wrong with having a responsive drive; it’s the way many of us were created. What matters instead is whether she can get into the sexual experience at all.

As for an actual sex stimulant for women? Nope, I don’t really know of anything I’d recommend. There are some shysters who will sell you something that claims to fire up a woman’s libido, but they’re not a magic pill. Stay away from anything that sounds too good to be true, because it probably is.

Like or not, sexual desire can be a delicate dance for many women. So just be patient, investigative, and willing to try various thing to see what works. I wish you all the best!

4 Responses to Hurricanes and Marriage Struggles

I’m sitting here on the Wednesday before yet another massive storm pummels the coast, writing my post a little early, and thinking about these storms. Having been through Hurricane Harvey and then discussing with a friend her preparations for Hurricane Irma, I considered how our options to a coming storm and to marriage struggles are the same.

Disregard.

You know that person after a hurricane, whom news reporters always seem to find, that says something like, “I knew there was a storm coming, but I had no idea it was going to be this big. So when it shattered my house…” All the signs and warnings were there, but the person chose to ignore that something bad was happening, preferring instead to live in denial.

Too many deal with marriage struggles the same way. Sure, they’ve heard that their spouse is unhappy, but they didn’t realize it was that bad until she left with the kids or until he filed for divorce. Despite the signs and warnings being there, the spouse chose to ignore the conflict or silence in their marriage, the emotional pain their mate felt and expressed, the absence of companionship and intimacy.

And, sadly, in many cases, the home eventually shatters. If your spouse is telling you they’re unhappy in the marriage, listen and take steps to avoid irreparable damage.

Ride It Out.

This is what the vast majority of Texans decided to do with Hurricane Harvey, staying put in their homes while the storm raged over and around us. While the photos of devastation in Houston and now Beaumont are truly heart-wrenching, we experienced relatively few casualties and most of our homes and buildings survived. We have a lot of rebuilding to do, but riding it out allowed residents to be here immediately to begin reconstruction once the rains subsided.

Some challenges in marriage are worth riding out. You might be experiencing conflict tied to external events, like a health issue or financial pressures, that won’t last forever. We tend to think however things have been going for the last year or two are how they will continue to be, but it’s just not true.

One important research study showed that couples who reported being unhappy in the marriage reported being happy in their marriage just five years later …. with no intervention. What happened? They rode out the storms, and things got better. Riding it out doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing. You still need to take care of your home, prevent further damage, and create a safe and reassuring place as best you can.

Seek rescue.

Hurricane Harvey dumped about 50 inches of rainfall in my area just outside of Houston. A few of my friends, whose homes had never flooded before, had to be rescued. They had every intention of riding out the storm, having prepared well based on hurricanes in the past, but this time was different. It was worse. It was life-threatening. The only answer was to seek rescue, from organized rescue teams or that average Texan guy who brought his bass boat to help out. Once rescued, further relief efforts began, providing shelter, food, and healing to those who had to leave what they’d known behind.

Some marriage problems are life-threatening; not that they could kill you, but they could kill your marriage. And too often in those storms, we wait too long to seek outside help, the blessed rescue our marriage needs. The time to get outside help isn’t when you’re underwater or having to ax through your roof and wave a white towel to a passing rescue crew, but when you look around and realize you’re flooding and the water isn’t going away.

In today’s world, there are so many resources to address problems that plague marriage, from overcoming porn to recovering from an affair to ongoing conflict to loss of sex drive. Books, blogs, online courses, workshops, counseling, and much more are available as rescue you can seek when you need it.

Evacuate.

I wasn’t here for the last major hurricane that hit Houston, which was Ike in 2008. My family packed up and went to San Antonio to stay with family. I ventured back after the storm to find a hole in our roof where rain had fallen straight into our dining room, and I was glad we hadn’t been there for the actual 104-mile winds that had struck our home. Sometimes, when the hurricane is particularly bad, it’s best to just leave.

There is so much good about being in this ministry, but one tough thing is receiving a comment or email from someone who describes their marriage and their spouse in such a way that I really, truly believe they need to get out. Ah, the weight of that moment! Do I tell them to leave? No, but I do suggest they do some reality checks and soul-searching. Because while this is a last-resort answer, sometimes it’s best to just leave.

Some spouses are sadly in an abusive marriage (physically and/or emotionally) or living with a serial adulterer, and there’s no indication that their mate will change or even wants to change. When your spouse is a 104-mile winds storm every day, how long can you do that? God knows that you are more important than your marriage, and He has provided that there are times you simply need to evacuate.

I don’t know where you are in your marriage, but most struggling marriages are in the stages of Ride It Out or Seek Rescue. Mind you, with both of these, you should be preparing for the storm, investing time and effort, working together to minimize damage, and pursuing emotional safety and health. That’s why my ministry is here, as well as many others.

♥     ♥     ♥

Since I’m writing this post ahead of time, let me say that I’m praying for all those in the path of Hurricane Irma. I encourage my readers to do the same. Any time there’s a massive storm, there will be a time of recovery and rebuilding.

5 Prayers to Say for Your Marriage Bed

As you might have heard, I’ve been a bit busy lately, what with old Hurricane Harvey coming to visit my neck-of-the-woods. So when I contemplated what to write about sex and prayer this week, I decided to first go see what I could find online.

Immediately I came upon a post from Black and Married with Kids, which is a good site to follow. I decided to let their words be the ones you read this week, since they walk you through five wonderful prayers you can say for your marriage bed. Here’s a tease, and I encourage you to click the link at the end to read the rest of the article.

5 Prayers for Better Sex and Intimacy in Your Marriage

We pray for many things in our marriage. So why not better sex and intimacy? If the Bible dedicates an entire book to this subject, it must be important and require our attention. It may seem weird at first to pray over sex and intimacy, but God is concerned about every aspect of your marriage.

When praying be sure to cover these five areas.

READ MORE…

Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”

Today’s question is brief. Here’s what the reader asks:

Is it okay to use sex toys or would that [go] against God??

You know, when I first started writing about sex, I wasn’t interested in sex toys, but I didn’t really have a strong opinion about them. Early posts on this subject include:

Is It Playtime? Sex Toys

Why I Don’t Use Sex Toys

But the more I’ve researched, heard from people, and studied what the Bible has to say about sex generally, the more I’ve come to believe that what really matters is how and why you’re using the sex toy.

Sex toys as marital aids.

Some sex toys are helpful aids to deal with challenges in the marriage bed. For instance, a man who has difficulty achieving or maintaining a strong erection could benefit from the use of a penis ring. Or a woman whose physiology makes it extremely difficult to orgasm could benefit from adding a clitoral vibrator.

Sex toys used in this way are essentially the same as any other treatment we might advise someone to use, like taking testosterone to address low male sex drive. And frankly I’m grateful there are options available for those who struggle with a physical challenge and need some help. These marriage beds are likely blessed by the inclusion of certain sex toys.

Sex toys as periodic spice.

Others use sex toys as an occasional activity to experience different sensations. This I totally understand as well. It’s perhaps in the realm of changing your location or position to add a little spice now and then, just like I talk about in Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

Such couples are selective about what they use, making sure it adds to their marriage bed rather than taking away. They view it as a treat, like pulling out the flavored lube instead of the regular lube. And both spouses feel pleasure and respect in how the sex toys are used.

Sex toys as a substitute.

Here’s where things shift. God’s ideal for sex in marriage is that we can bring one another to pleasure and peaks — physiological obstacles not withstanding — using our bodies. Although you can make a case of locations and positions being mentioned in the Bible, you can’t find any place that suggests the use of a sex toy to fulfill one another sexually. Fulfillment comes through engaging with one another’s bodies, yet plenty of sex toys mimic body parts.

Not only are there toys that resemble or simulate vaginas and penises, they improve on them. That is, those toys can do things that no vagina or penis can do. Moreover, if you incorporate sex toys regularly into your lovemaking, you might find that you lose some of the pleasure you could and should get with your spouse. Just read this post: Q&A with J: “I’m Desensitized to My Husband’s Touch!”

Are such sex toys a sin? I can’t say that, but they’re unlikely to take you in the direction God wants married couples to go with sexual intimacy. Thus, their use is unwise.

Sex toys as “chasing a high.”

Finally, I’m concerned that too many Christian couples are chasing a high. Because of the varied sensations sex toys can produce, it’s tempting to find anything that gives you new and/or better pleasure. Toy choices can become kinkier and kinkier.

But it isn’t the kink that matters so much as the sheer selfishness of this approach. God created sex to help us become one flesh (see Genesis 2:24). But when it’s just about the physical high you can get, your sexual encounters can become more like parallel play. Perhaps you’re both feeling a lot of pleasure, but it’s not from each other; you’re just in the same space while you use the toys.

We have to really think about how and why we’re using sex toys, to make sure that we’re not just chasing a selfish sexual high. Rather, again, it’s about intimacy.

For more discussion of sex toys and whether they’re good or bad for a marriage, listen to our podcast episode on that very subject by clicking the image below:

Sex Toys - Is it Okay for Christians to Use Them?

Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing

This past week has been a big fat WOW. I live just south of Houston, the fourth most populous city in the United States that turned into a sea with the massive rainfall supplied by Hurricane Harvey. My suburban town received over 50 inches of rain in just a few days.

Believe me, when your street looks like a river and you know friends are already flooded in their homes, rain is the last thing you want to see. And yet, it kept coming.

J standing shin-deep in water on her street

After the worst of the rain, on my street

Having been deluged by water for days and knowing people who had to be rescued by a boat, it would easy to assume that I never want to see rain again. All that water, quite frankly, sucked.

But…

I know that’s not true. God created water and rain, and they are more often beautiful blessings in our lives. For example, sitting on a beach watching the ocean is inspirational to me — just soaking up the majesty of the sea, billowing waves that trickle down to a tide that tickles your toes as they sink into the sand.

Or have you ever danced in the rain? Just waltzed with your beloved or boogied on your own? It’s a liberating experience, like Gene Kelly dancing in Singin’ in the Rain.

Related image

How about this best example? Two weeks ago, one of my sons was baptized. Believe me, that day water was a real blessing.

Are you wondering when I’m going to get around to the subject of sex? Well, here we go: The amount of a good thing matters.

If you spent your whole marriage obsessed with sex, constantly living for the next romp in the sheets, then you’d be flooded. You would have made sex an idol in your life, and too much of a good thing ain’t always good.

Now God is incredibly generous about how much sexual pleasure you can and should have in your marriage. Song of Songs 5:1 says, “Eat, friends! Drink, be intoxicated with love!” Intoxicated is a lot of love. But no gift from God should ever be treasured more than God himself. Some spouses sadly put so much emphasis on sex that they ignore other important experiences.

More spouses, however, are dealing with the opposite — not enough sex.

Believe me, people who have been dealing with a drought in their region would have liked the Houston area to send them a few inches of our rain. (If only we could have…) When you are nowhere near having enough, you are all too aware of how needy you are.

Let me simply assure you that hardships usually last longer than we think is fair. There was definitely some yelling at God down here while we were desperate for sunshine and all we kept getting was rain. But the skies eventually stopped dropping water. And although damage has been done, everyone I’ve talked to is hopeful that we will recover. (I really want to add #HoustonStrong here. 😉 )

You might be in the drought longer than you want, but I certainly know couples who came out of a long dry spell, found true sexual intimacy on the other side, and absolutely recovered. And I think many of you can too.

Keep pursuing a better sex life, whether it’s working on your obsession with sex or the drought your marriage is going through.

And remember: Baby steps count. Indeed, there was rejoicing here with every inch that receded after the flood was over. Just get going in the right direction.

***

I hope to be back on Thursday. But for now, the Harvey deluge has been replaced with neighbors helping neighbors salvage what they can and discard the rest. A large portion of people’s homes fit in that “rest” category, with furniture, appliances, flooring, sheet rock, and insulation forming truck-sized piles on curbs for trash pick-up. 

My family is doing what we can. Here I am yanking nails out from stripped studs in a church member’s house:

J crouched and removing nails from a house frame stud with a crowbar

When I told my podcast partners I wanted to exercise more, this is not what I meant.

If you want to donate to the relief efforts, fellow blogger Jason Graves of My Beloved Is Mine recommends Christ In Action, a charity he knows well. I’m also partial to our local Lighthouse Charity Team, which has been feeding first responders.