Q&A with J: Imagery & Arousal, Tantra Sex, and Devotions

Last week, I covered three reader questions that didn’t warrant an entire post, and today I’m back at it with three more!

Blog post title + illustration of a bed with three question marks above

1. Imagery & Arousal

To say my husband and I have never viewed porn would be a lie, but we never have together. I’m ashamed that I ever did, but to be honest I think it has allowed me to be more open to things that I would’ve considered “taboo”. The question I have is a tricky one and I can’t tell if I’m trying to justify something or if it’s alright to do. I’m the low sex drive of the two and sometimes don’t want to even bother with sex and I’m trying not to be that way. I know that one of the fastest ways for me to be turned on is if I find a VERY up close picture of male-female penetration (no faces, hardly even a body, just the parts) and then imagine my husband doing that to me. It’s usually something we have done and I’m recalling it, but it’s something I didn’t see, shall we say, because of position. I’m never thinking of anyone else and in my mind that picture is us in the act, so much so I can practically feel when we’ve had sex like that. I had an epiphany that if we re-created it with actual pictures of us that it wouldn’t be an issues but so far it’s so sub-par in quality it’s not quite the same (maybe with time we can get it to be). Am I on a slippery slope?

I’ll get right to the point: “Am I on a slippery slope?” Yes. Yes, you are.

Studies actually show that viewing pornography or reading erotica can have benefits in the short-term by arousing you and releasing inhibitions. But in the long term, it’s damaging because it’s false intimacy. (See It’s True: Porn Can Kill Your Sex Life.)

While I can’t say it’s wrong to take a picture of yourselves to get aroused, it’s unwise to attach your arousal to an image rather than your spouse. And it’s definitely not okay to expect another couple to snap a picture of themselves (paid or not) for you to get turned on. That’s using people and their sexuality, which doesn’t comport with God’s commands on how we treat others.

Really, I think your question should be how can I get turned on? That’s what you ultimately need to figure out. Not with shortcuts, but really figuring out how to tap in your sensuality, your stimulation, your sexuality, and your satisfaction. Honestly, I give a lot of ideas in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

It’s possible to find your “inner sex kitten,” so to speak, with Christian-based resources like mine and others (check out our podcast too!). I pray that you’ll go there first and find what you need to make your marriage bed an exciting and fulfilling place.

2. Tantra Sex

Minus the Hindu aspects would it be possible to write a post or a series of posts on “tantra”. Also would it be possible either on your blog or on the sex chat podcast to talk about “energy orgasms” (if thats “beneficial “)

For those who don’t know, tantra is broadly methods and practices developed in Hinduism and Buddhism that attempt to tap into the divine through the tangible. Tantra sex has an underlying notion of the partners being embodiments of deity; thus, through breathing techniques, prolonged touch, and various rituals, you connect more deeply to one another and your divinity beyond the oft-prioritized orgasm.

Meanwhile, energy orgasms are presumably whole-body orgasms that release sexual energy throughout the body. These are achieved through a series of deep breathing techniques and clenching of specific muscle groups. This “orgasm” can be had with your clothes off or on. Knowing what I know about physiology and psychology, I believe these are not orgasms, but reactions to an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide and to tension release in the body. Think of it like when you’ve overexerted yourself for a long time and feel both happy, light-headed, and shaky. Of course, you can feel this way with regular, or real, orgasms too.

Although I’ve had requests to write about tantra sex, I haven’t written about it or energy orgasms, because neither really appeal to me. Prolonged lovemaking certainly has its place, but the goals of these approaches don’t line up with how I view godly sexuality in marriage.

For one thing, sex is a piece of marriage — a very important piece — but some couples who regularly practice tantra sex seem to put too much weight on the sexual aspect of their relationship. Moreover, it strikes me as chasing a high in the same way that couples adding more and more kink to their bedroom seem to do.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to have tantra sex or to aim for energy orgasms. But I’m not compelled or motivated to talk about it on my blog, so that’s probably about all you’ll hear from me on the subject.

3. Sex Devotions

After my husband and I are intimate, we often spend time cuddling and just chatting. Do you know of any “365 days a year marriage life sex meditation” books that could increase intimacy and sex relations? If not, ever consider writing one?

Actually, I don’t know of any that have 365 meditations. But I have two recommendations for devotional books that revolve around sex in marriage:

  1. Songs in the Key of Solomon by John & Anita Renfroe has devotions with action items for you to do as a couple. There are 60 of them, and they don’t all revolve about sex. But they are about physical closeness and intimacy, and some are sexual.
  2. My book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions for Sex in Marriage, was written for wives. However, I’ve had spouses write and tell me they went through the devotions together and it spurred both great conversation and increased intimacy. These chapters include a Bible verse, thoughts on the passage, questions (which you could ask each other), and then a prayer.

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As for whether I’ve considered writing one, I haven’t thought about a 365-day meditation book, but I have considered writing a book with discussion prompts for couples.

I receive a fair number of emails and comments from spouses who need to communicate better about the sex in their marriage but don’t know how to get that conversation going. I’d be curious to hear from readers whether they believe such a book would be helpful.

Next week: Three more Q&As!

8 thoughts on “Q&A with J: Imagery & Arousal, Tantra Sex, and Devotions

  1. Joseph

    “I receive a fair number of emails and comments from spouses who need to communicate better about the sex in their marriage but don’t know how to get that conversation going. I’d be curious to hear from readers whether they believe such a book would be helpful.”

    Hot, Holy and Humorous definitely helped my wife and I communicate better our sexual desires and to separate myth from fact about what things the bible has to say about sex. We read this book together even though it’s directed to wives. Perhaps rewriting this book for men and women with official “Exercises/homework” at the end of each chapter would be a fun and useful play on the material you already have.

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    In response to the first one, instead of using imagery perhaps set up a mirror in your room in an advantageous spot. Visual stimulation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but using a mirror would keep away from the slippery porn slope and also stop the risk of someone finding pictures of you and your spouse.

    Reply
  3. Naomi

    I think a discussion prompt book would be so helpful!! I embarrass my husband when I try to bring up bedroom discussion. I think an impartial “third party” would really help facilitate communication.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I’ve read a few other Christian initimacy websites and it seems mixed on whether or not taking photos/videos of your spouse during sex is considered pornography. Of course, this is all under the assumption that they will never make it to the Internet. What are your thoughts on this?

    Reply
  5. Mark

    Question 1 is definitely a slippery slope, through the grapevine (my wife from her girl friends) that when a man views porn, not only does the woman feel bad, but at a certain point, he has over-stimulated his mind and he struggles to achieve an erection. (the porn addiction reached a pinnacle when the man is trying to get aroused looking at porn, but his mind has turned to mush and can’t get aroused, even though the desire is still there) Interestingly if he stops looking at it, then his mind can partly heal.
    For the woman, if you want to feel like a sex-kitten, get a nice designer mirror and install it in your headboard set,, we actually have a headboard shelf with dome lights that we can dim.. This gives the woman a view of herself when she is on top and can see her husband cupping her breasts’ or she can watch her breasts’ jiggle a little. For the man, he is on top, he can get a mental rush when he looks into the mirror and sees the reflection of his wife’s pretty little toes slightly elevated in the air.
    Question 3, I have thanked God many times in my mind while being intimate with my wife,,

    Reply
  6. Phil

    Hi J. I think you are spot on with the tantra sex only I dont think God intended for us to restrict our breathing to imbalance our oxygen levels. I think you are spot on with going higher and higher. [removed a reasonable reference to someone I don’t really want readers looking up]

    Reply

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