Monthly Archives: April 2018

High-Drive Wives Are Not Crockpots

Have you heard the saying that, when it comes to sexual intimacy, “Men are microwaves, women are crockpots”?

The message is that men heat up quickly, while women take longer to warm up and reach readiness. Now some have argued this is a poor analogy since it assumes the woman will heat up, which isn’t always true for low-drive wives.

But it also misses the high-drive wives by a mile. Thankfully, we have a new appliance that captures the high-drive wife perfectly!

Sketch of a crockpot with blog post title

In fact, I discovered this quite by accident. I recently established a closed Facebook community for higher-drive wives, and as I was going through requests (yes, I’m behind), a number of them were also part of a Facebook group called the Instant Pot®­ Community.

If you haven’t heard of an Instant Pot, first of all, where have you been? Secondly, it’s much like a slow cooker in shape and plug-in, but it performs several tasks—among them, warming, sautéing, slow cooking,  and pressure cooking. That’s it—the perfect metaphor for the high-drive wife!

She has higher sexual interest than her husband, but she still has sexual responses typical to a woman. It’s not that every single second she’s zapping with sexual energy. Rather, she goes through all of these.

Warming.

Sometimes the sexual interest of a high-drive (HD) wife is simply on warm. She’s not heated up and “ready to serve,” but rather she’s resting in that state of could be interested. For most higher-drive spouses, the sexual interest is rarely gone, but rather it hums in the background.

For most higher-drive spouses, the sexual interest is rarely gone, but rather it hums in the background. Click To Tweet

It’s warm, but not eager. Ready, but not antsy. There, but not prominent.

Slow Cooking.

Even if she started out warm, sometimes an HD wife still needs to be “slow-cooked” in the bedroom. That is, having higher sexual interest does not mean her body necessarily cooperates with where her mind and desire are.

Many wives have more reactive than proactive sexual responses. That is, when the sexual cycle was originally proposed, it considered the male experience:

Desire → arousal → plateau → orgasm → resolution

But for many women, things can be less straightforward. For instance, this isn’t an unusual experience for wives:

Desire → arousal → arousal → arousal → plateau → orgasm → plateau → orgasm → resolution

As you can imagine, it can take longer for the wife to get there than the husband. Even if she started out with more sexual desire than he had. It’s often a good idea for husbands to slow down the arousal phase, even if she’s generally excited about making love.

Steaming.

An HD wife knows what being “steamy” feels like. Sexual awareness hangs over her like late-summer humidity by a Louisiana swamp. Sights and sounds and smells of her husband can trigger desire and even arousal.

These moments might coincide with hormonal peaks in her cycle, but that’s not necessary. The warmth she typically feels has risen to full-on heat, and she can be ready to initiate or respond in the same 5-7 minutes it takes to steam broccoli.

Sautéing.

Sautéing takes about the same amount of time as steaming, but it places the food closer to the heat and adds a little oil. While I’m sure I could draw some analogy from the inclusion of oil (oh, the possibilities…), I’m going to bypass that one and stick with the heat.

But this is when HD wives are very likely to initiate. They feel heated up, eager to make love, and want to sizzle in the marriage bed. Eagerness and excitement underlies sexual interest, and arousal is right behind or even taking the lead.

Pressure Cooking.

Slow cooking pinto beans takes about five hours, while pressure cooking them takes about 25 minutes. How does pressure cooking work? It keeps water and steam consistently above a boiling point, substantially shortening cook times.

Likewise, HD wives can reach the pressure cooker point when it’s been a while between sexual encounters. The steam and heat have built up, and they long for a release. This isn’t to say that lovemaking is merely physical for them, but oftentimes the longer a higher-drive spouse goes without sexual contact, the more they experience a physical urge. There’s an intensity and urgency to their sexual desire.

Now I recognize you all can tear apart my analogies if you feel so inclined, but the main points I want to make in this post are:

  1. HD wives (of which they are many) often do not fit neatly into certain stereotypes about female sexual desire.
  2. HD wives often do fit into other stereotypes about female sexual response.
  3. HD wives have varied responses, just like those multicookers we call Instant Pots.®

Does that make HD wives complicated? I suppose. But then aren’t all women a bit complicated? If you didn’t want complication, hubbies reading this, you should have gotten a dog. Mind you, it won’t care for you when you’re sick, you’ll have to pick up its poop, and you definitely aren’t getting sexual intimacy, but Fido will be easier to figure out.

Frankly, most husbands think the puzzle of their wives is worth it. Especially when you both enjoy all kinds of intimacy in marriage.

For more on HD wives, check out the following posts:

I Am the Higher Drive Spouse (or Yes, Rejection Hurts)
Confessions of a Higher-Drive Spouse
A Letter to the Low Drive Husband
3 Things Higher-Drive Spouses Long For

For those wives who are lower drive, please don’t feel that HD wives have it easy. Every marriage has a lower drive and a higher drive spouse, and the couple has to work through that. And if you’re really struggling, please check out Sheila Gregoire’s Boost Your Libido course and/or Bonny Burns’s Unlock Your Libido book.

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Q&A with J: How to Celebrate an Anniversary

It’s another Q&A with J day, but frankly I’m exhausted. I went a conference in Chicago last week, and then my husband joined me for a few days of rest, relaxation, and sightseeing. On Sunday and Monday, I walked over 14,000 steps, and on Tuesday, I walked 18,848 steps!

So let’s imagine this is the question y’all asked: How should a couple celebrate their anniversary?

It’s a good question, right? Surely, someone out there wants to know the answer!

Blog post title + illustration of couple embracing

1. Acknowledge your interests and values.

What do you both enjoy doing? What do you do together well? My hubby (“Spock”) and I love to explore new places and visit museums. So when I scheduled a trip to Chicago for a conference, we saw the opportunity to explore a city we hadn’t been to before and set The Art Institute and The Field Museum as our two must-sees.

J and Spock on the steps of The Field Museum with Chicago skyline behind them

On The Field Museum steps with Chicago Skyline behind us

Other couples would prefer dinner and dancing, a party with family and friends, a beach vacation, a tent-camping trip (what’s wrong with you people?), or even snuggling up on the couch for a weekend movie marathon. That’s great! Don’t fall for the pressure of This Is How You Celebrate; rather, do your own thing and let your celebration remind you of why you enjoy being in one another’s company.

2. Allow for each other’s quirks.

My husband is one of the most deliberate human beings on the face of the earth. Like how he spent five full minutes folding and putting his jacket into his suitcase. I also know that if we pause at a museum plaque, we’ll probably be there for a while.

I used to get really antsy about such things, but now I embrace that that’s just who my guy is. (Also, I prayed for patience a long time ago and God has a sense of humor, so it’s really my own fault.) I just build that time into my expectations and don’t sweat if we’re not moving through as quickly as I might on my own. In fact, that’s the point—doing our anniversary together.

View of park and Chicago skyline from Maggie Daley Park

Taking a leisurely stroll through Maggie Daley Park in Chicago

When you consider how to celebrate your anniversary, think about your quirks and your spouse’s quirks. If she’s always late, don’t plan something where timing is crucial. If he’s a picky eater, don’t go to the new Asian-Mexican-African fusion restaurant. Plan for the quirks you know you already have so that you can avoid anxiety and just enjoy one another.

3. Avoid stress-producing topics.

While on our trip, it was tempting a couple of times to use our extended time to discuss current politics or some financial issues we need to cover. But we navigated away from those very quickly, because we simply wanted to refresh and reconnect. And wouldn’t you know—discussing Congressional hearings or retirement planning is apparently not the way to relax!

Yes, you might have some topics you need or want to discuss — whether your relationship, your children, our finances, or something else — but hold off. This is a celebration! No one stops in the middle of an Easter egg hunt or Christmas present opening to discuss heavy issues. Your anniversary deserves the same kind of focus.

4. Appreciate the good years.

Spock and I have been married for 25 years. How many of those were good years? Definitely not 25. Maybe 20? But we held on in those five or so years and rebuilt our relationship with a solid foundation that set the stage for many happy years to come.

J and Spock sitting on the bench in the elevator of the Drake Hotel

Sitting on the lush bench in the elevator of The Drake Hotel in Chicago

On the day set aside to honor your marriage, you don’t need to dwell on the bad stuff or even the stuff you still need to work on. Embrace what makes you glad you’re still married and celebrate that. Commemorating the positive will give you inspiration and hope for the future.

5. Arouse and excite one another intimately.

When I posted the above picture in my Facebook group, a couple of people commented that they expected some hot things to be going on between Spock and me in that elevator. I added the comment: “Wow, what y’all think of us! Lol. Our hotel room was only steps away, you know. ;)” And yes, we made reasonably good use of the bed. Gaye of Calm.Healthy.Sexy. wrote about this with 5 Ways “Hotel Sex” Can Improve Your Marriage.

Whether you’re in a posh hotel room, your own bedroom, or the floor of a camping tent (seriously, how is that a vacation?), pay extra attention to your physical connection. Take a little more time with one another’s bodies or try something different. Express extra affection as you touch, caress, and kiss. Remind one another of why this relationship in particular is different from all others—including the intimacy you experience as one flesh.

But all of this actually can start with holding hands as you walk into a restaurant, a party, or a museum; lingering with your eye contact; speaking lovingly to one another; and flirting with playful innuendo and suggestive touches. This is the time to awaken all those senses and enjoy the mutual experience of physical pleasure.

Your turn: What are your tips for having a great anniversary?

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What I Really Want to Say about Sex

What do I really want to say about sex? Not much today. At least, not to y’all.

I’m following my own advice and having a lovely, romantic getaway with hubby. So I just popped on here to say that if you’re looking for my Monday post, I suggest reading (or re-reading) one of my most popular posts: 8 Things I’d Say about Sex If I Had NO Filter (Heaven Help Us All)

But as for me and “Spock (my hubby)…

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Is He (Secretly) Unhappy with Your Body?

My blog schedule has been thrown off this week, but I’m thrilled to share with you today a post I wrote for The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor has been doing a series on healing from sexual brokenness, and I tackled body image.

I’ve talked about this topic quite a bit here! However, this time I got really personal. I talk about how I believed at one time that my husband couldn’t possibly be happy with my body. Maybe you’ve felt the same.

Following is a teaser, and I pray you’ll click Read More to finish the article on The Forgiven Wife site.

I remember lying naked in bed with my husband above me, and all I could think was how small my breasts were — how desperately I wished I had more to share with him.

But this wasn’t the only time when poor body image stole my healthy view of sexual intimacy.

I’ve spent most of my life as a small woman, size 4 or below. Wait! Don’t stop reading. Whatever your size, I promise there’s a message for you here.

Deep down, I knew I wasn’t pretty. I lacked the curves that seemed to distinguish a girl from woman and instead felt trapped in a pubescent 13-year-old body. People “complimented” me with statements like: “You’re so thin, one of these days a big wind might just up and blow you away” and “You’re so skinny, I can see your bones.” But seriously, what man wants to be with tumbleweed or a skeleton?

In fact, this is one of the reasons I fell into promiscuity before marriage. Believing I couldn’t measure up to the beauty of the bodies around me, I figured I could at least snag a guy by giving him the sex he wanted….

Click Here to Read More

How Should Christians Respond to Past Sexual Misconduct?

When I decided to talk more openly about my promiscuous premarital past, I did so with great trepidation. What if someone from my past emerged and told about their sexual experience with me? What if someone came forward with their story and it cast me in a bad light?

What if my past came back to haunt me?

That hasn’t happened yet. I suppose it still could, but I haven’t had to address any of that so far. Over time, that worry faded away.

However, some news stories recently made me revisit this question — how would I respond if someone come forward with information about a sexual encounter from my promiscuous days?

How Should Christians Respond to Past Sexual Misconduct? + illustration of large finger pointing at person

Now let me be incredibly clear: I have never — NEVER — assaulted anyone, nor have I ever engaged in any kind of sexual activity with a minor (except when I was also a minor). I also don’t believe that I’ve ever harassed anyone.

But could someone embarrass me with a memory from my past? Yeah, I suppose they could.

Yet it doesn’t really matter if someone airs the sins of my past. Why? Because:

1. I own my sins. Yeah, I was a selfish person, an emotional disaster, and a sinner. If someone said, “You did X” and it was true, I’d respond, “Yep, I sure did.” No denials, excuses, no defenses.

2. I’m forgiven. Not only am I forgiven by a loving God who responds to confession and repentance with unfailing mercy — He made me a new creation. I’m really and truly not that person anymore.

3. I’ve helped others. By being transparent about my past, I’ve set the stage for others to do the same and thus discover what healing and beauty lies on the other side of redemption. My story has enabled me to give hope to spouses who need and want to let go of their sexual baggage — assuring them it can be done and God longs for you to have amazing sexual intimacy, regardless of your past sins.

God longs for you to have amazing sexual intimacy regardless of your past sins. Click To Tweet

It’s coming from that place that I want to talk about the current climate of sexual accusations and how we should respond.Because I know full well that I’m not without sin and don’t need to be casting stones (see John 8:7).

So what is the Christian response to an accurate allegation of past sexual misbehavior?

1. Own your sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” Not you, not me. We’re all sinners. So why do people try to deny when they messed up royally, sinned against others, and left scars in their wake? You’re not fooling anybody!

You’re certainly not fooling God. As Jeremiah 16:17 says, “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.” I like how the NLT translates this verse: “I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me.”

Take the apostle Paul as an example. There’s a guy who had every reason not to trumpet, “Hey, I was once in a club that killed you people!” And yet, he was open about his sinful past; for instance, telling the Galatians, “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it” (1:13). And in Acts 22, he addresses a large crowd (actually an angry mob) and recounts his conversation: “‘‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’” Yep, he owned it.

2. Apologize to those you hurt.

A long time ago, I wrote a post titled A Letter to a Former Lover. In it, I apologize for my part in a premarital sexual relationship that never should have happened. This sentence encapsulates how I felt: “I cheated myself and I cheated you out of what God desired for us sexually.”

If confronted by someone you hurt with your actions, the right response is to apologize. Too often we are concerned about protecting ourselves and our current lives. Some may even cite family as a reason not to admit your guilt and ask for forgiveness. I understand that, but are we sufficiently concerned about how our actions have affected their family? How it’s affected their marriage?

Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Do everything you can to make peace with those you’ve hurt or offended. Even if they messed up too, apologize for your part.

3. Tell your redemption story.

Is there anything more inspirational than someone who used to suck at something and now they’re really great at it? It could be the story of a girl who fell on her skates over and over when she was a child, but now she’s a figure skater competing in the Olympic Games. It could be the former drug user whose habit cost him his job and social life, but now runs a nonprofit organization that helps addicts stay clean. It could be the guy who used to preach against and persecute Christians, who became one of the most vocal proponents of Jesus Christ and The Way.

Paul didn’t stop with a recitation of his past sinfulness. He used that opportunity to explain how Jesus saved him. “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16). What a witness for Christ!

If someone brings your sin from last year or decades ago out in the open, your response should be that of the first stanza of “Amazing Grace”:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

4. Take care of any loose threads.

Is there some tangible thing you could offer to make up for your past sin? Do you need to work on areas of your marriage affected by specifics brought to light? Do you need to forgive yourself where God has already forgiven you? Do you need to deal with any lingering temptations?

Loose threads that need addressing are situation specific. Even forgiven sins have consequences. Some may not be able to be removed, but others could be at least minimized. Take care of what you can.

Why am I offering all of these thoughts? Because sexuality has been in the news, and I believe it’s important as Christians to understand how to evaluate the responses given by those credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

And because on a more personal level, one or both spouses may have past sexual sins that need addressing. If you’re not willing to address your own sins in these ways, it will be difficult to move forward in your marriage with trust and intimacy. Your spouse may not know exactly why they struggle to feel vulnerable with you, but unconfessed sin can be a barrier to sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Unconfessed sin can be a barrier to sexual intimacy in your marriage. Click To Tweet

But remember, there is joy and freedom in owning, confessing, apologizing, and embracing God’s redemption. Trust me — I’ve lived it.

Please don’t assume I’m talking about a specific news story. It’s really not about any one thing, but rather the culmination of various allegations and responses I’ve seen.

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