Category Archives: Q & A with J

Q&A with J: Oral Sex, Good Habits, and “Ladies First” Orgasm

At the end of last year, my email inbox had 336 emails I needed to address. Through a concerted effort in the last month, I have gotten my inbox down to 120 emails!

Several of the questions I received didn’t warrant a full post, but I answered the individuals in briefer return emails. Today, I want to share three of those with you, and next week I’ll share more.

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

1. “Blow Jobs” and Lockjaw

Not sure if you’ve addressed something like this question before but what would you do if your husband loves a good blow job, and would like it often, but it quite literally pains you — I have a really bad lockjaw issue that I go to the chiropractor for to help manage it and I’ve noticed that after I’ve given him head I get pretty bad flare up. I’ve mentioned this to him, but it doesn’t seem to phase him much I guess. I start to get irritated while doing it because I’m in pain and I don’t want to feel like that because I love pleasing him, as he is very good to me, but I don’t love being in pain everyday because of it either…What would you do?!

Since you asked the straightforward question, “What would you do?!” I’ll answer just as directly: not give blow jobs.

If you literally have a physical condition that prevents you from performing a certain sexual activity in your marriage bed, and especially if that activity gives you pain, you shouldn’t have to do that. Not giving your husband fellatio doesn’t count under the “do not deprive” clause of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.

If your husband doesn’t understand, then he probably doesn’t realize how much it hurts you. Sometimes we think we’re being clear about something, but we’re really not or our spouse has a blind spot — so their lack of responsiveness isn’t because they don’t care, but rather how they’re receiving the information.

That said, you can still give him oral sex. Without giving him the full blow job. I talked about that in each of these posts:

What Does He Mean by “Oral Sex”? (It May Not Be What You Think)
5 Things You Should Know about Oral Sex

Now I don’t know a whole lot about lockjaw, but I suspect you could still attend to the head of his penis. And you could add other things to your repertoire. Hey, maybe you become the Hand Job Master! (I have tips for that in my book.)

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2. Making Sex a Habit

Our sex life is good, not great and we both want to improve it. Have you written about making sex a habit? We’re constantly amazed that if we go a week or a bit more and we make love, how wonderful it is and we inevitably say to each other “why don’t we do this more??” LOL. So curious on your thoughts of helping making love to become a routine habit (we both generally agree 2-3x a week would be ideal.

Yes, I talk about scheduling sex in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous (see above), and I’ve answered the question “How Often Should You Have Sex?

Within a lot of posts, I’ve talked about making sex a regular, routine part of your marriage (e.g., see Be Your Husband’s Sure Thing). As for how, one idea I covered was tracking the frequency of sex in marriage (and the comments on that post were interesting), and this is an oft-covered topic on the podcast I co-host with three other marriage bloggers, Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

But yeah, I dare say that most couples should make love more often! It’s a great, God-given perk of marriage.

3. “Ladies First” Orgasm

How can I reconcile my need to orgasm with his inclination to sleep? Once he comes he gets super relaxed and if I am not quick to catch up, I will find myself with a snoring hubby, sometimes still inside me! This isn’t always a big problem, but if I am getting close to that point, it frustrates the heck out of me, and I even feel like crying. Which is not the way I want to finish off a good romp. I would rather not let myself enjoy it too much than to really enjoy it and then get left in the lurch like that.

My immediate thought was Why isn’t she orgasming first? It seems like that would resolve a lot if he just adopted a “ladies first” policy. This could mean that your husband brings you to orgasm before penetration, or it could mean that you add direct clitoral stimulation (his hand or yours) during intercourse to get you to climax more quickly.

However, if none of that works, I’d wake him up, gently but firmly, and say, “Hey, can we finish me off?” Let him know that you enjoyed the experience, but he got his peak and you’d like to see yours, thank you very much.

I’ll be back with more Q&A next week. If you want to ask me something, head over the contact form and send me your question. It’s slow going at times, but I really am making my way through the inbox!

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Q&A with J: How Is Solomon the Expert on Marital Love?

This is a question that landed in my inbox a while ago, and I wrote back a quick answer. But re-reading through emails, I decided I wanted to tackle the question of Song of Solomon here. Because I suspect many of you, especially women, have wondered how a rampant polygamist seems to be the Bible’s expert on sexual intimacy in marriage.

One thing I’ve been wondering about for a while now, is how frequently you and other marriage bloggers reference the Song of Solomon to cite evidence of how God is sex-positive. I fully understand that sex is a beautiful God-given gift that unites my husband and [me]. I just don’t get why Solomon is the Biblical expert on marital love when he had 1000 wives and concubines (1 Kings 11:3). This doesn’t support the sort of fidelity that I sense that God wants from us.

blog post title + illustration of king's crown

Okay, I’m about to say something potentially shocking, but here it goes anyway: I don’t think Solomon wrote Song of Songs.

He might have, but it wouldn’t surprise me to someday be introduced to some other guy in Heaven who says, “Hey, I hear you’re a big fan of my book!” And then I’m all like, “Oh yes! Will you sign my copy and take a selfie with me?”

That’s my opinion based on my study of the issue. But there are three main positions on whether Solomon was the author of this erotic book in the Bible.

1. Solomon’s favorite wife

King Solomon had a special affinity for this one wife, so he wrote about how that special relationship. Scholars say this was likely early in his youth, perhaps his first wife, before he was tainted by the many wives and concubines he took throughout his reign.

Song 6:8-9 does say:

Even among sixty queens
and eighty concubines
and countless young women,
I would still choose my dove, my perfect one—
the favorite of her mother,
dearly loved by the one who bore her.

But as a woman and wife myself, I’m rather distressed by this idea. If I was such a peach of a wife that this beautiful book of love was penned about me, why would my husband go marry and bed 139 other women? And calling me your “favorite” among 140 women sounds like reaching into the Dove Dark Chocolate bag, eating one, and saying it was the best. How can I trust that statement when you plan to eat the whole bag?!

Image result for reverend fun marriage

All that said, it really was a very different time. So applying our cultural standards to the time in which Solomon lived and the position he held (e.g., some of those marriages were politically motivated for kingdom peace) isn’t likely to give us a full understanding. If Solomon did write the book, we should place this story in the context in which he existed.

2. Solomon wrote from observation, not experience

Solomon wrote the poetry to describe passionate love he observed among two lovers he envied. This view says that essentially Solomon saw what another had, noted it was beautiful relationship, and creatively captured the essence of it to celebrate godly, sexual love.

At first, I thought, Well, that’s creepy. So he was enviously stalking some couple and writing about their sex life? But then I realized that I also write fiction, and I kind of did that with my book, Behind Closed Doors: Five Marriage Stories. My stories aren’t nearly as erotic as Song of Songs, but storytelling authors always put themselves in the shoes of someone else (fictional or nonfictional) and convey the message from that point of view.

And most of the time, envy isn’t the motivator; rather, the author wants to tell a story they find intriguing and useful to others. Perhaps that’s what King Solomon did — tell a story he liked, hoping it would inspire others to greater love and intimacy in their marriages.

DESCRIPTION: Guy hitting on a girl using Song of Solomon for inspiration CAPTION: YOUR HAIR IS LIKE A FLOCK OF GOATS

3. Solomon didn’t write the book

Rather, Song of Songs was written by someone else in his kingdom about his own marital love. Indeed, some ancient texts bear the name of the person to whom the writing was dedicated rather than the author itself, as a way of giving the work greater weight.

Back then, they didn’t look at plagiarism the way we would. You writing something and attributing it to a well-known figure could be viewed as praise and honor of that person. It was more like ghostwriters these days, who share the glory or even give it to the person whose name appears on the book cover, but they get a book out and get paid.

For recent examples, Donald J. Trump’s The Art of the Deal was actually written by Tony Schwartz, while Hillary Clinton’s popular It Takes a Village was written with the (uncredited) help of Barbara Feinman. And if you think all those celebrity memoirs were written by the celebrities themselves, think again.

Mentioning King Solomon within the book and attributing it to him would have been seen as a compliment or a gift. Certainly, this book was embraced by the people and Jewish scholars, and perhaps Solomon himself.

Does it really matter who wrote it?

It’s uncomfortable being unable to verify biblical authorship. It’s so much easier when you have a letter from Paul directly saying, “I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write” (2 Thessalonians 3:17). Well, there’s no doubt there who’s talking.

Instead, it’s possible Solomon didn’t write Song of Songs, but it’s quite possible that he did. We just don’t know for sure.

Regardless, I feel confident that Solomon wasn’t sitting among his harem penning this book as a hypocritical act.

Consider this: If you traveled back into my past and said, “Hey, that girl is going to have a lot of good stuff to say about Christian sex,” a lot of people would have laughed, including me. The idea would have been preposterous! Who was I to say squat about godly sexuality? But at this season of my life, God seems to be using me to do just that.

However, I know people who had great stuff to say about God earlier in life and got off track later. You can find plenty of examples of those people in the Bible. Didn’t God still use them? Perhaps that’s where Solomon fits. 

But whoever wrote it—and the most prevalent, traditional view is Solomon—God made sure it was included in our canon. Song of Songs is part of the inspired Word of God.

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Additional reading: Insight.org (Chuck Swindoll) – Song of Solomon; ESV.org – Introduction to The Book of Song of Solomon

Q&A with J: “Condoms Make It Difficult for Him to Finish”

Today we’re talking about birth control. The reader has an interesting scenario in which other birth control methods aren’t good options, so condoms are what they are using. However, condoms are also affecting their intimacy. Here’s her specific question:

Hubby and I have always had a wonderful and frequent sex life and I’d like to keep it going! However, hubby has a difficult time finishing with condoms (he does perfectly fine without). He just doesn’t get as much friction and doesn’t enjoy the feeling (or lack thereof). Obviously, I don’t either. Do you have some tips for helping him finish and enabling us both to enjoy the experience a little more? 

Blog post title + illustration of three condom wrappers

You know, I’m always amazed at how often condoms are touted as the perfect contraceptive method. Yet a fair number of people report what this wife says: Condoms lessen the friction and can make it difficult for him (and/or her) to finish.

So if condoms are your best, or only, birth control option, what can you do to reach climax?

If condoms are your best, or only, birth control option, what can you do to reach climax? #marriage Click To Tweet

1. Try different condoms.

There is a large variety of condom brands, sizes, and types — not to mention novelty condoms (e.g., glow-in-the-dark). Experiment with different condoms to see what feels best to both of you.

Considering the issue is reaching climax, first get a good fit. Yes, I know some guys would like to boast that they require the jumbo-sized, hung-like-an-elephant condoms. But in reality, an average-sized penis can more than get the job done. And wearing a too-large condom can lessen sensation. The condom should instead be snug on the penis, feeling like a second skin.

Then look for an ultra-thin condom so that you can keep as much sensation as possible. Also, brands make comfort fit or “pleasure-shaped,” which means it’s tapered at the bottom and wider at the tip to allow for that tight fit around the shaft and more room around the head.

Finally, one interesting suggestion is to squeeze a small amount of personal lubricant into the tip of the condom before putting it on, with the idea that the squishy feeling mimics the feel of a lubricated vagina.

2. Stimulate the perineum.

The space between the bottom of his penis and his anus is the perineum, and massaging it can provide additional stimulation that can help him get over the edge. Some suggest the prostate gland is the male version of a G-Spot, and stroking the perineum can reach that sensitive spot.

Digital (finger) penetration of his anus is also a possibility to reach that spot, but anal stimulation presents some health risks, as the rectum is not designed with the basic cleanliness a vagina has. So while I felt I should mention it, I’m not one to recommend it.

But adding your hand to that sensitive area beneath his penis can assist his arousal. You can read more in this post: Making the Most of His Manhood.

3. Experiment with positions.

When you’re reaching for that elusive climax (for him or her), sexual position can make a difference. While there a gazillion positions out there, I go into all you really need to know about trying new positions in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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Shift around and give various positions a shot. You might even want to try a wedge pillow that can help you get into the right angle.

4. Employ edging technique.

What is edging? I’ve been meaning to write about this technique forever, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Essentially, it’s getting right up to the edge of climax, then pausing or lessening stimulation; then building up again and dropping back down; and going up again until the tension is high enough that climax is more likely to happen.

How can he use edging during intercourse? Your husband can thrust for a while as he feels the tension build, then pause and hold still for several seconds, then continue his movements, pause again, and again begin thrusting again, etc.

Some who’ve tried edging also report experiencing a more intense orgasm. Regardless, that build-up, stop or slow down, build-up, stop or slow down, etc. does seem to create an urgency that could help your husband reach climax.

5. Add erotic touches.

Where else does he like to be touched or kissed? Or where does he enjoy touching or kissing you? Add another form of stimulation through erotic touches that gets his heart pumping, and eventually that other part pumping too.

And yeah, I have chapters in my book too that go over how to use your hands, mouth, and other body parts for sexual intimacy. It’s a great resource for fresh ideas!

If you already know things he likes, give those a try during intercourse. Just add that supplemental affection so he’ll feel not only the pleasure with his penis but elsewhere on his body as well.

6. Use your words.

Words are powerful. They convey our feelings, create images in our minds, and set a mood with our tone, volume, and pitch. I’m always a bit amazed by how much of Song of Songs in the Bible involves the husband and wife talking to each other about their bodies and sexual intimacy.

Some spouses are big talkers during sex, and others can only come up with a few coherent words during a sexual encounter. But even a few sexily spoken words could be a big turn-on.

What can you say?

  • express admiration of his body or a particular part of his body
  • tell him what specifically feels good to you at the moment
  • vocalize your own orgasm with abandon
  • detail what you want to do or how you want to feel
  • use nicknames that convey how much you desire him
  • encourage what he’s doing (e.g., “that’s it, ” “right there,” “oh yeah”)

What about “dirty talk”? I believe you can do a lot of sexy talk without having to use words that you would never elsewhere use (see Talking Flirty vs. Talking Dirty). The couple in Song of Songs were very frank with each other about their sexuality, yet they also used symbolic and beautiful language to express their eroticism. And Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” Make of that what you will.

Whew, six suggestions! Surely something in that list will help. Riiiiiight? *crossing fingers*

And don’t forget, y’all: Both of my books are on sale for $2.99 for the ebook.

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Q&A with J: “He Won’t Touch My Clitoris”

I’m getting control of my email inbox, slowly but surely. (I’d lost control in 2017.) But this means that I’m re-reading old messages, so some questions I’ll be answering on Thursdays were posed to me months before. However, I considered this one worth addressing, because I suspect it happens in other marriages too. Here’s the reader’s question:

What does a wife do when her husband is afraid or uncomfortable touching her clitoris? I used to feel so resentful and bitter he wouldn’t but I have had more peace about this issue as of late and the last time my husband and I had intercourse, I ended up taking care of myself but he had already gotten up and was in the bathroom and don’t think he noticed me or cared that I took care of my own needs at the end. I don’t know why touching my body below the waist makes him so uncomfortable. I have tried talking to him and he said it’s the way it feels and he seems rather OCD about body fluids… We were making some progress where he felt more comfortable with a glove on even though that felt a bit “clinical’ like I was at the dr or something but I didn’t care that he had a glove on if that was the only way he would touch me but it still felt a bit awkward…. I know I can’t change his feelings about touching me, but I’d sure like him to help me experience orgasm with him. I would like to feel more “mutual” pleasure in our marriage as I know God created it to be a mutually satisfying experience. 

Blog post title + illustrated hand with pointer finger extended, touching heartLet me start with this sentence: “I have tried talking to him and he said it’s the way it feels and he seems rather OCD about body fluids…” Yeah, that might well be it.

I hear from spouses now and then who wonder why sex has to be so, well, messy. I mean, usually it’s a bad sign when something is leaking or oozing out of your body, so it’s a strange twist for some minds to embrace that fluids coming out are a good thing in the case of sexual intimacy.

Then there’s the texture of the fluids themselves. For instance, semen has been described as having the consistency of a beaten egg. Really? Who wants to handle or swallow a raw, beaten egg? Maybe we should come up with a different analogy…

Now take a person with cleanliness issues, and you’ve got a real challenge. And I understand how difficult it can be to try to convince someone with OCD traits that everything will be okay if they’ll just do the thing they feel they must avoid. I don’t have that Help! Sex Is Messy issue, but all the presidents on my currency must face the same way in my wallet, and telling me the world won’t crater if a five-dollar-bill is upside down doesn’t stop me from turning it the “right way.”

Thus, telling your husband that his aversion isn’t logical or to just get over it isn’t likely to work. So what can you do? Here are some suggestions. (And a big thank you to those in my Facebook community who chimed in with their thoughts.)

1. Talk about your concerns and desires.

I know you’ve tried talking to him. But keep the conversation lines open. Let him know that you’ll support him, even if he says something that wouldn’t seem logical to others. Be a safe place for him to express his concerns, and be willing to share your desires as well and why addressing this issue is important to you. You might find some helpful tips in this post: How to Talk about Sexual Problems with Your Spouse.

2. Study female lubrication.

If something seems dirty, we might assume it is. But we’re not always right about which substances in nature are harmful or harmless. So what is all that lubrication made of? You can find a bit of a breakdown here on the LiveStrong website. But after reading so much about female fluids that my eyes were starting to cross, it comes down to this: very little sweat or oils are involved in the lubrication that happens with sexual arousal. Instead it’s mostly a mucus — which doesn’t mean ick, mucus! but rather a slippery substance that moistens and protects — secreted through the vaginal walls and Bartholin’s glands. That mucus contains some starch, chemicals that make the substance slick, healthy bacteria, a bit of acid that kills off bacteria that could harm the vagina, and — believe it or not — alcohol.

Point being that the fluid is harmless, unless there is an infection of some kind — which you would probably sense based on feel, smell, consistency, etc. Otherwise, it’s not can hurt anything whatsoever to touch it, it’s actually very useful in making sex comfortable and enjoying for both of you, and it even has its own bacteria-fighting properties.

3. Get clean together.

Since one of the concerns might be cleanliness of the area, take a shower or bath together. Let your husband be in charge of washing you down there; that way he’ll know the area has been thoroughly cleaned. I recommend using cleanser pH-balanced for that area, like the Sliquid Balanced Series (link goes to Christian marital aid store, Marriage Spice).

4. Wear a glove or finger cot.

You mentioned this, and it’s certainly an option for your husband to wear a glove. To make it a comfortable experience, try a thin latex glove and make sure it’s powder-less. Another option is a finger cot, which is basically a latex covering just for a finger. You can find gloves and finger cots at a medical supply store or your local grocery or discount store.

If you go this route, find a personal lubricant that can help make the glove slick as well so that it feels good to you. A silicone lubricant might be a good choice for this particular kind of manual play. You can also try different kinds of gloves made from various fabrics or substances to see if a particular texture feels better to you than another.

5. Use systematic desensitization.

When dealing with high anxiety or fear, psychologists often prescribe systematic desensitization. You can find many resources on how to apply this procedure, but it’s gradually exposing yourself to the anxiety-inducing stimuli and introducing a relaxation response at each stage.

In this case, hubby’s a little freaked out about touching your clitoris (or, really, the whole vulva). Essentially, the steps above could be part of a systematic sensitization program, where he talks about his worries, then gets used to the idea of your female anatomy, then touches you with a washcloth, then moves to sexually stimulating you with a finger cot…

Perhaps the next step is touching your vulva through your panties, feeling some of the wetness on the fabric but not making direct contact. You could also insert steps among the ones I mentioned here: like having him watching you stimulate yourself to climax so that he can clearly see what happens and become more comfortable with the fluids there, or him stimulating your clitoris with a vibrator (see Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”).

Regardless, the key is him intentionally relaxing at each step, reassuring himself that this act is beautiful and holy and good for your marriage. Indeed, God’s perfect design makes this natural lubrication the perfect substance for sensitivity, slipperiness, and protection. You can encourage him with your words as well.

What if he never gets to the point of touching your bare vulva? It’s likely he can make real progress, especially if he is personally motivated, but there are no guarantees. If he just cannot get there all the way, then you can ask how he feels about you touching yourself while he stimulates you in other ways. You can stroke that knobby bit of flesh while he kisses the rests of your body or gives full attention to your breasts, or while you two are engaged in intercourse. That way the self-touching still adds to mutual intimacy.

Any other ideas from readers on how to address this particular scenario?

Q&A with J: “How Do We Get Back to Intimacy?”

Today’s question is from a wife who wants greater sexual intimacy with her husband, but they face some pretty big challenges.

My question is how do my husband And I get back intimacy?… I’ve had a hysterectomy so no more kids. We are good with that. Our marriage “broke” 8 weeks after we married due to porn. He didn’t want sex with me anymore and preferred porn and I found dating websites he was signed up too. I was in shock! We obviously had sex again but probably only 10 times in all these years. We’ve done [counseling] on and off. We go to church. We’ve grown in faith. He says I don’t do my “duty” of sex. That makes it awkward to me. But he’s communicating about it with me which is progress. I don’t have those feelings to want him like that, mainly emotionally maybe partially from surgery…. I think the rejection and lies over the years turned me off…. How should I handle this to grow with him?

blog post title + arrow pointing backward

As often happens in a struggling sex life, there’s more than one challenge here:

That’s a lot to deal with. But as usual, the way to break through is to take the next step forward, then the next, and then the next.

To the reader, there are good signs here, in that the tenor of the message makes me believe that he has stopped watching porn. You have attended counseling, go to church, and have grown in your faith. These are important steps forward that bode well for laying a better foundation, both for marriage and for sexual intimacy.

The porn needs to stay far, far away. As the question says, “He didn’t want sex with me anymore and preferred porn…” That’s one possible result of persistent porn use — a rewiring of the brain to respond more easily and consistently to imagery than real life stimulation. Many men have reported impotence problems that have stemmed from too much porn watching and self-stimulation.

Rebuilding intimacy after the porn then requires rewiring the brain back to the sensations of physical intimacy with another person. That takes time and intentionality, but those who follow through can expect far better feelings than they ever experienced with porn. Because God’s design for sex contains not only physical pleasure, but emotional and even spiritual highs that perversions of sex cannot provide.

If your husband isn’t aware of how porn has affected his sexual responses, you should do some research with him. Read An Open Letter on Porn from The Gottman InstitutePorn Can’t Deliver What We’re Created For from XXXChurch, The scary effects of pornography: how the 21st century’s acute addiction is rewiring our brains from The Telegraph, and How Porn Changes the Brain from Fight the New Drug. (By the way, three of those articles are from secular sources, so this is not merely a moral claim religious people are making. It’s science that isn’t surprising to Christians because we know God didn’t create us for porn.) By understanding what’s happening, you can then work on rediscovering sexual intimacy slowly and surely through reawakening your senses and physical pleasure.

But now, three things in particular strike me as needing to be addressed.

1. His rejection and lies.

Sex requires trust and vulnerability. If a wife doesn’t feel physically and emotionally safe, it’s difficult to engage. This is why there are so many resources stressing to husbands how important it is to woo your wife, be kind to your wife, protect your wife, and demonstrate love to her. It’s why infidelity is so hard to recover from, because it breaks trust between spouses. And it’s why building a friendship, not just a sex life, is an imperative in marriage.

Ultimately, you have to invest in the relationship, not just the marriage bed. You two need to rebuild trust in your marriage before you can rebuild trust in the bedroom. How that happens exactly is a little hard to say. It will likely require ongoing conversation, quality time together, investing in what’s important to one another, and even more counseling.

You each need an opportunity to express what would make you feel loved and safe, and then each spouse should pursue making that happen. As much as they can. Of course, your requests need to remain reasonable, but we should be pursuing the good of one another throughout marriage.

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (1 Corinthians 5:15).

2. She has a low libido.

Maybe it’s because of his rejection and lies, maybe it’s partly a result of your hysterectomy, maybe it’s just your set-point. I’m not sure why, but the lack of libido may need to be addressed. I can give you a lot of suggestions, because I do know them, but I have some really fabulous friends who specialize in helping women with low libido. So check out:

Bonny Burns at OysterBed7, who also has a workbook you can go through

Chris Taylor at The Forgiven Wife

Sheila Gregoire’s excellent Boost Your Libido course

It could be that dealing with the relationship issues reawakens your libido. However, many women who experience a prolonged time of not being sexual require purposeful effort to get their libido going again.

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (Song of Songs 2:7) — and then awaken it!

3. He’s pressuring her for “duty sex.”

So look, I believe that we are obligated to have sex in marriage. Strictly speaking, it’s a bit of a duty. But you know what? “I just love having duty sex with my spouse,” said no one ever.

'I just love having duty sex with my spouse,' said no one ever. #marriage Click To Tweet

We sometimes cite 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 to back up the notion that your spouse owes you sex, but if you really read the passage and let it sink in, you’ll see how it stresses the mutuality of sexual intimacy in marriage:

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

If I were in your shoes, I’d turn that around with my husband and ask how he’d feel if I told him he was duty-bound to converse with me, to take me out on a date, to give me extended foreplay — that he owed me. While there’s some truth to that, would it make him excited to engage in those activities? Wouldn’t a different appeal work better?

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

Explain to your husband that you want sex to be for both of you, and focusing entirely on what he gets out of it discourages the trust and intimacy you need in your marriage bed. And believe it for yourself. See Sex Is for You Too! by Sheila Wray Gregoire and Dear Wife, You Deserve a Great Sex Life Too from Calm.Healthy.Sexy.

Does this mean you then turn him down every time? No, of course not. You do need to rebuild sexual intimacy in your marriage, but stress the need for mutual pleasure and connection. Explain that you’ll be more excited about sex with him if/when he prioritizes your experience too. And let him know what you want in bed. That can help your husband feel that you’re a willing — or even eager — partner, but you deserve to be considered in the encounter as well.

As usual, I could say more, but this post is already really long. And there’s a lot of reading material in all those links!

One final thing: I strongly suggest that you grab my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage. And not just because the ebook happens to be on sale right now for $2.99. Rather, it’s a helpful resource in guiding you through what God says about sexual intimacy in His Word and how to align your thinking and your actions with His design for the marriage bed. Although aimed at wives, some couples have gone through the devotionals together and say they have prompted great conversations. Maybe your husband would go through Intimacy Revealed with you.

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