Monthly Archives: May 2018

5 Ways to Unlock Your Libido with Bonny Burns

If you’ve listened to our (wonderful) podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, you’ve heard my friend Bonny Burns giving fabulous tips to wives, especially those who struggle with lower sexual interest. Her blog, OysterBed7, is dedicated to helping these wives.

The following post was on my blog in 2015, but since it’s been a while, I thought it would a fabulous resource to bring out for my Saturday High Five series. Bonny covers five great ways to unlock your libido, or sexual interest.

I may not always have a zing running through my veins when my husband and I start to engage, but I always have a zing in my heart for connecting with him in a way that has ended up being meaningful for both of us!

Consistent, satisfying sexual intimacy is possible in spite of struggling with low physical sex drive.

After my husband and I had worked on our marriage and improved the frequency of our sexual relationship, I realized that I still had one challenge to address: my low libido.

I scoured ideas to help ramp up my physical sensation. There was a bit of success in the physical realm.

My biggest ah-ha moment was when I discovered low-libido wives can be high drive when desiring to emotionally and spiritually connect with their husband’s through sexual intimacy.

Low libido is not a permanent condition. If you are a low drive wife, there is much hope.

Here are five thoughts to help unlock your libido:

1. Embrace God’s view of sexual intimacy.

Bible verses I’d read about sinful sexual immorality leaked into my thoughts about marital sexuality. Sex within marriage isn’t dirty or wrong. Although slippery and messy at times, it’s perfectly God approved!

Satan likes to create a false notion that sex is all about the physical climax. Yes, orgasm is really really nice, but it is not the whole of sexual intimacy.

In my ice princess days, I only saw my husband’s pursuit of me as one-dimensional. All he wanted was a place for physical relief. God showed me that sexual intimacy is my husband’s most intimate conversation. Sexual intimacy seals an emotional and spiritual bond that was created by God for marriage.

Sexual intimacy seals an emotional and spiritual bond that was created by God for marriage. ~ Bonny Burns Click To Tweet

2. Pray

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6, NIV).

God truly cares for all areas of your life, especially your marital sexuality. Thriving sexual intimacy keeps many forms of temptation at bay for both of you.

God designed sex and it’s okay to pray about your marriage bed!

God designed sex and it’s okay to pray about your marriage bed! ~ Bonny Burns Click To Tweet

3. Expect God to show you things. 

I’m not discounting God’s abilities to perform miracles. However, I found that my low libido was a place where he was nurturing maturity. I couldn’t just wish for a little more oomph in the sexual craving department. I had to actively seek through prayer and action. I had to follow God’s lead when he showed me resources and tools. Expect God to show you things!

4. You are perfectly normal.

There’s nothing wrong with you if you are low drive! Yes, you may want to have a full physical work-up to check hormone levels and general health, but you are not tainted in some way or being punished for having a low drive.

Every marriage is different. Every season in marriage is different. Who knows? You may have an upcoming season of life where you and your spouse desire equally or you may even be the higher-drive spouse. 

Don’t compare your experience with anything you read or see (TV or movies). How lovemaking unfolds between you and your husband is going to be unique and normal for the two of you. Great moments in lovemaking can be quiet, calm or klutzy. The klutzy spells usually become priceless inside jokes with your husband. 

Check out Sex Chat for Christian Wives, Episode 25: Sex Is Funny.

5. Give yourself permission to be a sensual woman.

Open your heart to see that sexual intimacy is an asset to your marriage and to you personally, not just your husband.

Give yourself permission to BELIEVE your husband when he says you’re beautiful, in form and face.

Give yourself permission to let go of worries and just be in the moment, concentrating on the physical sensations of your husband’s touch.

Open your heart to the possibility of seeing yourself warm with desire as the Shulamite wife in the Song of Solomon. “….It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (Song of Solomon 8:6). Okay, a blazing fire might seem optimistic, but just open yourself up to a firm maybe.

Give yourself permission to be a sensual woman. It’s okay to look inside yourself and contemplate your physical, emotional and spiritual sensations. It’s okay to want to fire up the old cravings of first romance. It’s okay to have sexual feelings!

This doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re installing a pole in your bedroom. This just means you are willing to have faith in God’s design. He designed marriage to include sexual intimacy. It’s how he made marriage different and more bonded than any other relationship on earth.

Final thoughts

You may think all problems in your marriage need to be fixed before you can even consider bolstering your sexual activities.

I used to think this way, too. However, that logic is wrong. You really can work on re-connecting through sexual intimacy as you work on other problems. I even think it helps the healing process. I’m here to attest that this is true.

Not all wives are the low-drive spouse. I think much of what is written here can be applied to the low-drive spouse, no matter which gender. Marriages I refer to here are generally good-willed. If there is any kind of abuse, please seek guidance through a Christian marriage counselor.

Would you like to read more ideas on how to Unlock Your Libido?

Although not a Bible study, Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation is an ebook based on scripture, a bit of science, and my own journey. It’s a simple method that may have profound results.

♥   ♥   ♥

Bonny Burns encourages the low-libido wife through a Christian lens at the oysterbed7.com blog. She writes gently and with a nurturing heart because sexual intimacy can be a raw topic for some. She knows all about this struggle from personal experience.

Bonny and her husband, Dave, raised three sons and have been married for more than three decades. When friends say they can’t imagine the two of them arguing, she snorts. Because, they’ve had some doozies and they were usually about sex. Her marriage story evolved and yours can too. Low libido and hard marriages do not have to be a permanent condition.

Q&A with J: A Wife Struggling with Lust

Today’s reader question is from a woman struggling with lust and/or discontentment. Here it is:

I am a woman who considers herself to struggle with thoughts of lust, though many would disguise this cringe-worthy term with simply “discontentment”.

…I never thought of myself as attractive growing up, because my two older brothers were verbally abusive to me, which I believe was an effort in ensuring I wouldn’t be a slut (solely to not make them look bad… not because they cared). My perspective of it, anyway.

So to the point- I am not out looking for guys… but I know that there are men out there with attractive personalities that would be compatible with mine. I sincerely don’t have any attraction to them if they don’t express any interest. However, if some guy who is potentially attractive were to hint at being attracted to me, my mind goes wild. I begin to really wrestle with getting these thoughts out of my head. Essentially I am going insane wondering, “does he think I am attractive? Is this in my head? I don’t think I’m making this up…”, and can go as far as wondering what life would be like if I was married to said guy (my thoughts are thankfully not sexual in nature, but still covetous).

I’ve talked to several close friends and everyone is appalled when I say that I struggle with lust… and then when I explain, they pretty much all admit that they often wonder what life would be like with another man… but never do they consider it to be a real issue in their life… Help!

A wife asks about how to deal with her lust or covetousness toward other men, and J. Parker of Hot, Holy & Humorous answers.

First, let me say what she describes isn’t what some might immediately call “lust.” But if you read my post on What Is Lusting? I think you’ll agree her use of this term is fairly accurate. As she says, “my thoughts are thankfully not sexual in nature, but still covetous,” and the Greek word that gets translated at times as “lust” can also mean “covetousness.”

As to the question itself, I really wanted to answer this one. Partly because I’ve had lust issues too and been in circles with Christian women who act like that’s a shocker. “Seriously?” I want to say, “Have you never taken a longer look at a hot guy than you should have?”

But this really isn’t a problem for me anymore, so I’ll tell you from personal experience what I’ve learned.

1. Attention feels good, but it’s pretty meaningless.

If you grew up thinking you weren’t pretty and then discover some guys think you are really attractive, the attention can be heady. Growing up, I was puny, awkward, and the brainy type. Believe me, the profile photo you see on my website now is so much cooler than the complete dork I was in 8th grade, right when boys were noticing girls — but not me. So I understand that having guys looking, now that you’re an adult, can feed your self-doubt and longing for acceptance.

But this is false attention — it’s pretty meaningless. I’ve concluded that any guy who’s ogling a modestly dressed woman wearing a wedding ring is the kind of guy who ogles a lot of women.

I’m not saying you’re not gorgeous, but I started reminding myself in the moment this guy’s attention didn’t matter. Rather, it was my husband’s desire for me that filled me more and what I thought about myself that really mattered.

2. Instead of looking away, maybe look deeper.

I tried bouncing my eyes, but that didn’t really bounce my mind. What has helped instead is actually looking more closely at guys I find physically attractive.

Is he wearing a wedding ring? Then I think about how he’s probably a family man and at the store shopping for his wife and kids. Is he sporting a tattoo? Then I wonder why he got the tattoo and why that particular image. Is he wearing a T-shirt with a message on it? Then I consider what I think about the message, the team, the image he’s chosen to show to the world.

I take my mind off the man-as-an-image and find ways to see the man-as-a-whole. Then the potential for lust just fizzles. He’s a whole person, I’m a whole person, and we’re just going about life.

3. Maintain reasonable boundaries.

I maintain boundaries about being alone with men. Knowing how my past has been, I have pretty strict rules for myself—no extended or private alone time with a man other than a family member. If I have to meet with another man for professional reasons, I do so in a public place like a restaurant, and that’s rarely the case anyway since I can mostly do those things through other means like email or a phone conversation.

I don’t share any personal information one-on-one with a man. If I feel any spark of attraction to someone, I avoid them. Chemistry is not destiny, and it goes away if you don’t feed it.

In conversations with men, I bring up my husband or his wife positively, giving off the clear indication that I am happily married and he is married and that is that.

4. Focus on gratitude for what you have.

Finally, I think a lot about what’s so great about what I already have. Sure, it’s not perfect—no marriage is—but it’s pretty darn good.

I have a husband who loved me enough to marry me, have kids with me, and keep coming back for 25 years. I think he’s rather hunky too, so I’m certainly attracted to him.

And as others have said: “The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.”

A wife asks about how to deal with her lust or covetousness toward other men, and J. Parker of Hot, Holy & Humorous answers.

I simply want to add here that there’s been a bit of talk in the past on my blog about husbands and lust, but lust happens to women too. It’s our temptation as well. But it can be addressed and quelled by taking intentional steps to lessen the temptation and embrace what we have instead.

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The Lamest Excuse for Your Sexual Problems

Blog post title + illustration of rubber stamp that says "NO EXCUSES"

I love the movie “Say Anything.” It came out when I was in college, and I remember being so struck by its story and characters. Looking back, I think what I liked most about this film was how the main character, Lloyd Dobbler, was what we often call an alpha guy — that is, he was 100% masculine — but he changed how he did things and upped his game in the sensitivity and caring department to woo and win the girl he loved.

But as he’s contemplating his own struggles to be the kind of guy who can get the girl he longs for, he has this a conversation with his angsty fabulous best friend, Corey Flood, and this exchange between Lloyd and his friend Corey has stuck with me for nearly 30 years:

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: ‘Cause I’m a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You’re not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

Corey Flood & friend talking to Lloyd Dobler

The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

I think of that every time I hear someone say, “That’s just the way I am.”

Especially since I believe it’s the lamest excuse for not improving your marriage and sexual intimacy. Although it’s one I hear all the time.

  • “I just don’t need sex, so I’m done having it.”
  • “I need sex almost every day. It’s how I’m made.”
  • “He wants me to talk during sex, but I’m just not like that.”
  • “I’m inherently visual, so if she doesn’t show me her body, I can’t help but look elsewhere.”
  • “I can’t do without sex. So if intercourse can’t happen for a season, my spouse still owes me sexual release.”
  • “I can’t just flip a switch, and if I’m not in the mood, it’s not happening.”

Maybe you see yourself in one of those, maybe you don’t. But I think a lot of spouses, even ones with minor issues in the marriage bed, fall back on the excuse of “That’s just the way I am.”

Well, Corey Flood and I have some advice for you. Yes, you may be that. But if it’s not working for your life, you can make a different choice. You can choose to be something better.

You don’t have to surrender to your natural tendency. Good gravy, the Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus. #marriage Click To Tweet

For Lloyd Dobbler, it was Don’t be a guy. Be a man. But for spouses with marriage bed struggles, it’s about not being the person who’s causing or contributing to your spouse feeling terrible about sex in your marriage or to your marriage itself becoming a place of conflict or despair.

Is it really so important to hold on to some aspect of yourself that you believe to be inborn if it costs you your marriage?

Honestly, all of my examples hit on real issues that would need to be dealt with if they are in your marriage. I’m not saying that you just sweep that problem under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is that it’s a lame excuse for keeping the status quo to say, “That’s just the way I am.”

What if you could be something else? What if you could view sex in its right perspective for your marriage? Neither the be-all-end-all, nor an optional experience in your relationship. What if sex in your marriage could be mutually pleasurable? Intimacy-building? Emotionally and spiritually satisfying?

Let’s figure out how to be that, starting simply with the first step toward growth.

5 Reasons to Love a Quickie

Quickie (n). a brief or spontaneous episode of sexual activity.

Quickies should not comprise the majority of your lovemaking. If they do, you’re not giving your sex life enough time and attention. Because the ultimate goal of sex in marriage is intimacy. And you can’t get super-intimate with your spouse in 5-10 minutes.

That said, when you’ve invested a lot of time with someone, those brief encounters can be great touch-base moments. I’ve seen this with texting my best friend in between seeing one another, quick greetings at church with people I later sit down and talk to at length, and quickies with my husband when we also have longer lovemaking times.

With all that in mind, let me tell you why you should embrace—even love—the quickie!

Stopwatch illustration + blog post title

1. You can take the edge off.

One of the primary reasons to have a quickie is because one or both of you is feeling edgy about not having had sex in a while. A while could be a few days or a week, but for higher interest spouses, the longer they go without, the more the desire translates to physical tension.

Some spouses report getting antsy or cranky without both the physical release and intimate connection sex in marriage provides. Having a quickie can sate that hunger until you have more time for a longer lovemaking encounter.

2. You can avoid little-people detection.

When you have young children in your home, it can be difficult to find time to eat a decent meal or take a shower, much less have extended nookie time. Sometimes, 5-10 minutes is all you have, so you make the best of what you’ve got.

Nearly all kids can be left alone for the time it takes to have a quickie. Yes, you might need to put the baby in the playpen, turn on a kids’ show, or drag out the craft supplies and hope glue doesn’t end up on your walls, but you can figure out how to safely make it happen. And then you can figure out how to make the quickie happen.

3. You can bless your spouse.

Quickies don’t necessarily mean sexual intercourse — any brief sexual activity counts. That means you can take a short period of time and use it to bless your spouse by taking care of their sexual/emotional needs or by just making this time all about them.

Specifically speaking, give him a blow job or a hand job. Give her cunnilingus (aka oral sex) or manually bring her to orgasm. You may need to bring out your best plays and a bit of lube to accomplish what you want, but you might well be able to get in a sweet blessing in only a few minutes.

4. You can have it in places other than the bed.

Quickies are great for the shower, the closet, the car… Wherever space is limited, quickies are wonderful option. You may need to get creative enough with positions to make your bodies come together, but check out Christian Friendly Sex Positions or the Ultimate Intimacy app for ideas. CFSP even has the best sex positions for in a car!

By the way, couples often ask how they can still have sex while on a family vacation, and this might be your best bet. You may not be able to get the hotel room all to yourselves, but even a small hotel bathroom could work for a quickie.

5. You can express true familiarity.

Yes, a long, lazy time of kissing, caressing, and lovemaking is an absolutely beautiful, and crucial, experience in marriage. But the quick, playful moments of a quickie also express how well you’ve come to know each other and your bodies. By cutting to the chase of what he/she really likes, you express the familiarity you’ve come to have.

You know just where to touch her. You know just how to stroke him. Even if it’s not that easy to get revved up yourself, you know how to bless your spouse. We’re better at quickies now than when we were younger, because we’re just better with each other.

What do you like about quickies? And what tips do you have to make quickies go well?

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Yes, quickies are covered more in the book!

Q&A with J: Good Websites for Husbands About Sex

Since I started blogging in 2010, there has been a flourishing of websites like mine — Christian women devoted to helping other Christian women pursue holy and pleasurable sexual intimacy in marriage. We come from different perspectives, but many of us share a similar mission.

For instance, I’d count all of my Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast partners: Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife, Gaye Christmus of Calm.Healthy.Sexy., Bonny Burns of OysterBed7. Two other favorite voices are Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage and Sheila Gregoire of To Love Honor and Vacuum. Also, the wonderful Juli Slattery of Authentic Intimacy, Keelie Reason of Love Hope Adventure, Ruth Buezis of Awaken Love, and Jessica McCleese of Be Fully Well. (And I’m going to look at this post later and think of someone I forgot!)

When it comes to wives and the issue of godly sexuality, there are so many more resources now than when I was younger. If you are a wife in need of a biblical perspective and practical tips to address sex in your marriage, I now can say with confidence that there is a resource out there for you. It may well be mine, but if not, you’ve got other places to look.

If you are a wife in need of a biblical perspective and practical tips to address sex in your #marriage, I now can say with confidence that there is a resource out there for you. Click To Tweet

BUT I frequently hear from both wives and husbands asking about parallel resources for husbands. Yes, there are blogs for men, but not that many specifically written toward men. And I’ll be honest: I don’t think there are enough.

Blog post title + illustration of man's shirt with necktie (bow shaped in a heart)

I have enormous respect for several male bloggers who have written well about sexual intimacy in marriage — Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband, Scott Means of Heaven Made Marriage, and Brad Aldrich of One Flesh Marriage, just to name a few, but we need more.

And I really would like to see some godly men speak out on issues that could use more focused treatment, like:

  • Lower drive husbands writing for other lower drive husbands to show them how to be sexually engaged in their marriage
  • Husbands sharing how porn is no longer a temptation, because they overcame it and you can too
  • Older men sharing how sexuality changes in later years and how to keep that intimate spark alive
  • Pastors addressing how to responsibly promote godly sexuality in the Church, with real-life ideas for teaching and ministry

As you might surmise, I believe in strong women. Yet I also believe that for godly sexuality to have its revival in the Church, it needs men to champion the cause.

For godly sexuality to have its revival in the Church, it needs men to champion the cause. Click To Tweet

So when I receive questions like “Where are the blogs or books like yours…but for men?”, I have a few suggestions, but I’d love to have more.

That said, I’m not even sure blogs or books are the best way to reach men. My own husband is less likely to read a whole marriage book than he is to listen to a podcast.

Men often respond well to short snippets of information that get to the point and then allow them time to process the idea. So perhaps the ministry on sex to husbands should look different, with such resources as:

  • A video series in church
  • Daily reminders in his email inbox with a godly sex tip
  • A mobile app with Christian sex ideas (oh hey, there is one of those now—see below!)
  • A podcast for men on how to foster their marital intimacy
  • Short online videos with marriage bed tips
  • Online communities (Facebook or elsewhere) for husbands to plug into advice and support

My suggestions are not intended to diminish anything already happening, but I’ve love to see more. Because I still get these questions, and I don’t like how easily I can come up with answers for the ladies but fewer answers for the gentlemen.

Also, I don’t like that many of the resources for husbands focus almost exclusively on sexual sin. Not that we shouldn’t help men break free from porn, refrain from lust, and avoid adultery — we should! — but husbands don’t merely need to turn away from sin but turn toward God’s design for sex in marriage. Many of them need to know how to effectively nurture sexual intimacy with their wife.

Now instead of me advising a bunch of other stuff, I’m shortening this post so I can hear from you in the comments!

Husbands, what resources do you believe would be helpful in encouraging you toward biblical and beautiful sexual intimacy in your marriage? And yes, you wives are welcome to comment! 

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