Category Archives: Sexual Intimacy Encouragement

Pursuing 4-Dimensional Intimacy

When someone asks me where to get date night ideas, The Romantic Vineyard is the first place I send them. The authors, Tom and Debi Walter, have been blogging for many years with practical tips, biblical truths, and romantic ideas to help couples nurture companionship and intimacy, including 430 date night posts. Wow.

But when I think about Debi Walter, I can’t help but think about how she inspired a chapter in my book. When I took up her challenge to the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association to talk specifically about the gospel, I wrote “The Gospel in the Bedroom.” Not only did I feel that chapter was a special message about sex in marriage — but that God had used Debi to invite me into His calling. An angel in the true sense of God’s messenger.

Thus, I feel particularly privileged to have this angel here on my blog today with a wonderful message about intimacy. Here’s Debi Walter.

Blog post title + close-up of couple embracing in a vineyard

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely.”

“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”

Song of Solomon 2:14-15

This passage speaks of the precious gift a husband and wife share behind closed doors. He longs to see her form and to hear her voice. He compliments her, encouraging her into deeper intimacy with him. Such a picture of innocence and trust. It is precious and worth pursuing.

A man who has eyes only for his bride and a bride who lovingly allows him to have all of her without holding back is intimacy as God designed it. It is beautiful.

Our pastor shared a definition of intimacy that has helped us judge how we are doing in this regard. He says when we share intimacy with our spouse, we are inviting them “into me see.” We aren’t holding back in any area. Total disclosure and total trust.

Intimacy includes four areas where we must regularly invite our spouse in. We refer to it as 4-dimensional intimacy. If you’re not familiar with the term, 4-D is a fairly new way of viewing movies at the theater.

Definition: 4-D (adjective) describes a 3-D film experience that is supplemented with synchronized physical effects.

If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they were one of the first to showcase this effect. We went to a 3-D presentation of A Bug’s Life. While we were watching the ants march on the screen, we felt something crawl under our seat. It made everyone jump and scream. Laughter followed when we realized that we were experiencing the movie on a new level.

Imagine what 4-D intimacy could do for our marriages? Let’s consider these four dimensions:

Dimension 1 – The Mind (Intellectual intimacy)

Every day our minds are bombarded with thoughts about work, family, budgets, and schedules. They can be like a tidal wave, and we must spend time sharing what is on our mind with our each other. To stay on the same page, so to speak, in regards to priorities and responsibilities. We must help each other take each thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

This is where we are tempted to worry about the future. Being honest about all the temptations you are both facing will go a long way in building intellectual intimacy together. This intimacy also includes growing and learning new things like current events, science, and history.

Dimension 2 – The Heart (Spiritual intimacy)

Feeding our Spirit with the Word of God and sharing what we are hearing the Holy Spirit say to us is important for our growth in godliness. When we got married, we invited the Holy Spirit to unite us forever, and a miracle took place. No longer were we two, but now we are one flesh.

Spend regular time talking about what God is saying to you. Encourage each other to pursue the Lord. This is spiritual intimacy helping your spouse cultivate their personal relationship with the Lord. This intimacy also includes commitment to the local church and serving others together.

Dimension 3 – The Soul (Emotional intimacy)

Emotions can change like the tide of the ocean — up one day and down the next. They can be predictable in their unpredictability, knowing for certain they will change. We must be committed to not only share our emotions with each other, but also giving each other time to be heard.

When I am feeling the most emotional is when the ground is ripe for a conflict. It takes patience and kindness on my husband’s part, not to mention discernment, in knowing what to say or not say. Often times a hug is all that is needed to let me know that he cares and is there for me. This intimacy also includes having fun together and finding ways to laugh.

Dimension 4 – The Body (Physical intimacy)

This is the intimacy that is supported by all the other intimacies mentioned above. You can have physical intimacy without the first three, but it will be one-dimensional only and not what God intended. Adding this element to the three above is as ecstatic and exhilarating as we felt experiencing the 4-D movie effect for the first time. It caused all the other dimensions to come alive.

It is what King Solomon was describing in our opening verse. Make love not because you have to, but because you get to. It is a gift. If it feels otherwise, I encourage you to seek help to find out why?

Make love not because you have to, but because you get to. Click To Tweet

This brings us to the last part of the verse in Song of Solomon that speaks of catching the foxes that spoil the vine.

Foxes were capable of completely destroying a healthy vineyard. They are known to not only eat the fruit, but also to chew on the trunk, killing the entire vine.

There can be many foxes after your intimacy, and only you know what they are. The question is, have you talked it over with your spouse? Do they know you well enough to know the foxes stalking your mind, heart, soul, and body? If they don’t I encourage you to open up and start the conversation. This is how you go after those little foxes and catch them before the damage is permanent.

Our new book, Cherishing Us: 365 Tips for a Healthy Marriage, can help you begin talking on a regular basis to help deepen your intimacy.

♥     ♥     ♥

Thanks so much, Debi! And to my readers, here’s more about the book:

CLICK TO LEARN MORE OR BUY

Cherishing Us is a compilation of advice shared the past several years on The Romantic Vineyard Facebook page. We brought them together in this handbook to allow you to keep the tips close for easy reference. Read one daily and use it as a springboard to assess your marriage. Let it be a constant reminder of the priority your marriage holds in your life as you seek to grow closer together for a lifetime. Includes monthly Contemplation Questions, Date Night suggestions, and ruminations on the importance of cherishing one another. Ideal for engaged couples, newlyweds, and enduring marriages. Give this as a wedding gift, or anniversary gift, or just because. Every marriage can benefit from daily reminders to honor the one you’ve promised to love and to cherish!

5 Holidays to Celebrate with Your Spouse (Besides Valentine’s)

Valentine’s Day is over for 2018! Either you nailed it, or you have 364 days to show love in other ways to your spouse. Actually, how about we all express our appreciation and desire for our beloveds throughout the year!

However, if you like having a little nudge from a holiday, be assured that February 14 is not your only opportunity. On today’s High Five Saturday, let’s talk about five upcoming holidays on which married couples can celebrate their hot, holy, and humorous love!

Blog post title + illustration flip calendar with heart on front

1. Steak & BJ Day

This year: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The theory behind this holiday, clearly concocted by men, is that Valentine’s Day is for women — what with the emphasis on greeting cards, flowers, candy, and romance. Meanwhile, what does a man really want to get from the love of his life? Two things: steak and a blow job.

However, I know plenty of husbands who enjoy Valentine’s…and plenty of wives who also enjoy steak and giving their husbands fellatio. So perhaps Steak & BJ Day would be a win-win in your marriage!

For tips on giving a great blow job, check out the chapter on oral sex in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

Ad banner for book, click to buy

CLICK TO LEARN MORE OR BUY

2. International Kissing Day

This Year: Friday, April 13, 2018

This holiday celebrates kissing for kissing’s sake, whether or not it leads to other affectionate activities. Why not devote extra time and focus on smooching with each other on this day?

For more on kissing, check out 5 Kisses You Need to Master and my more extensive tips in the Hot, Holy, and Humorous book.

3. National Sex Day

This Year: Saturday, June 9, 2018

It’s either impossible or a complete waste of my time to track who came up with this holiday. Yet it’s become a hashtag on social media and a goal for some couples to make love on this particular day. Although this year you have a whole Saturday to accomplish this challenge, the holiday actually occurs on June 9 every year. That’s 6/9. Get it?

If you want tips on having great sex…yeah, that’s pretty much my whole blog, as well as my books. But in case you want to know what qualifies as sex, check out this post: What Is Sex?

4. National Romance Awareness Day…oh wait, MONTH!

This Year: Wednesday, August 1, 2018, and beyond!

Apparently, a single day dedicated to romance is insufficient. We need an entire month! Now, research shows it takes about twice that long to really develop a new habit, but a full month of romance might convince you of its benefits so that you’ll keep it going for years to come.

How to do romance well? Three blogs I follow share quite a few romance tips. Check out The Romantic VineyardLove Hope Adventure, and The Generous Wife.

5. Your Anniversary

This year: _____________________, 2018/2019

If you couldn’t fill in that blank, you’d better figure it out quickly! Because of all the marriage holidays one can celebrate, your own anniversary is probably the one your beloved cares most about. It’s the day unique to the two of you and your marriage.

How should you celebrate? I suggest you ask the spouse who cares the most about this day and commemorate the way they want. Within reason, of course. I mean, I’d love to go to Australia for a full week to celebrate our upcoming 25th! But we’re going to Chicago for a few days, because that’s where I’m traveling already for a business trip and it’s what we can afford. Likewise, figure out how you can do your anniversary up big without breaking your back or the bank.

Of course you don’t need any of these holidays to celebrate the love in your marriage. But if you enjoy the special days, find one or more of these to mark on your calendar and start the joyous anticipation now.

Speaking of marriage (as if I do anything else), I had a wonderful opportunity last Saturday to chat with popular Canadian talk show host, Dr. Drew Marshall. I’d love for you to pop over and listen to the 20-minute interview! Click below to find our segment from February 20, 2018, the Valentine’s Day Special.

Banner to click to listen to show

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.)

Hot, Holy & Humorous ad

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!

E-book sale ad

Click to Learn More or Buy

Sex Is for You Too

Scott Means profile picFrom time to time, I invite a husband onto my blog to give his take on Christian sex in marriage. I’m rather particular about who these men are, and today I’m super-excited it’s Scott Means of Heaven Made Marriage.

Scott has been writing some stellar stuff about intimacy in marriage, and he also just released a book I want my readers to know about. Rather than take up any more space bragging about my fellow blogger and friend, I’ll just hand it over to Scott, who is talking to you wives today.

blog post title + two fingers with faces and arms drawn to resemble a couple hugging

God has hardwired us to desire intimacy, that deep feeling of closeness and connection.  I’ve often said that intimacy is the most important goal of marriage, and I’ve found that it is by far the number one longing of most couples.

Why then, do so many couples who desire deeper intimacy in their marriage find it so elusive?

In my new Kindle book, The Path of Intimacy, I explain how every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. There is no middle ground. You are either growing together or you are growing apart.

Every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. - Scott Means Click To Tweet

One reason couples grow apart is that they tend to have some misconceptions about intimacy. In my book I examine these misconceptions, exploring seven common lies that people believe about intimacy in marriage. Buying into these lies can keep couples stuck on the Path of Separation, feeling disconnected and disappointed, when what they desire most is to be together.

“Sex Is for Him”

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. It’s amazing to me how many women believe this lie, which ultimately steals the joy and beauty from God’s marvelous design of the sexual union between husband and wife. It robs her of the deep connection with her husband that she actually desires.

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. Click To Tweet

The majority of women don’t have the same testosterone-laden sex drive as their husbands (though around 20% of wives have a higher drive than their husband). Many of these lower-drive wives think it’s no big deal to go without sex and can just dole it out as a wifely duty.

But it actually is a big deal.

Sex is the only form of intimacy that God strictly reserved to be shared between husbands and wives, which makes sex not only unique but also sacred. Sex is an essential part of the oneness between husband and wife.

In a Sexual Satisfaction Survey that I ran on my blog a few years back, I found that one in five marriages are essentially sexless (defined as having sex less than once a month). My findings are confirmed by a range of scientific studies over the past decade.

These are sad and tragic statistics that point to the damage being done in way too many marriages.

Sex Is for BOTH of You

Believing that sex is primarily for your husband will rob you of the sexual enjoyment and fulfillment that God intends for you. Additionally, a husband whose wife gives him only “duty sex” because she knows “he needs it” will rarely be sexually satisfied. Your husband longs for you to be fully engaged in the bedroom and likely has a strong desire to see you sexually fulfilled as well.

Sexual intimacy is an essential component of marital intimacy, which I define as “being fully known and completely loved.”  Because sex brings about the ultimate vulnerability in marriage, doing it only for your husband will cause you to miss out on the deep connection found in a mutually fulfilling sex life.

Keep in mind that sex is not primarily a physical act. It is deeply spiritual and builds a wide pathway to a strong emotional connection as well. Having regular, deeply satisfying sex strengthens your marriage, gives you a sense of well-being, and it can help you actually desire sex more.

Here’s the corresponding truth that you can use to defeat the lie that sex is only for your husband:  Even though you may have less physical drive than your husband, don’t allow yourself to miss out on the joy, pleasure and oneness that is rightfully yours.

Explore the other six lies that inhibit intimacy in marriage (and much more) in my book, The Path of Intimacy.

Path of Intimacy Book Cover

In The Path of Intimacy, Scott Means gives you a road map for your journey into deeper intimacy and greater passion in your marriage. Along with insight into God’s heart for marriage, he offers both invaluable wisdom and practical steps you can take immediately to get off The Path of Separation and to stay on the Path of Intimacy.

Buy the book: Amazon

Visit Scott’s website: Heaven Made Marriage

 

And for specific tips on how to make sexual intimacy more exciting for you, be sure to also check out my ebooks, currently on sale through Valentine’s Day!

E-book sale ad

Click to Buy

5 FREE Valentine’s Gifts for Your Spouse

It’s Saturday, meaning another high-five! That is, five resources or tips you can use to nurture your marriage and your marriage bed.

Valentine’s Day is coming up! If you and/or your spouse enjoy commemorating this day, you need to decide on what you’ll do to celebrate. But what if you don’t have a lot of money to spend?

No worries! Here are five FREE Valentine’s gifts you can give your spouse.

Blog post title + two drawn hearts joined like puzzle pieces

1. Full-body massage

Our bodies love touch, and there’s something so wonderful about your spouse soothing your tight muscles with their hands.

Now, if you want to make this a real Valentine’s treat for all involved, remember: The higher drive spouse wants it to lead to sex; the lower drive spouse just wants a massage.

I’m not saying the lower-drive spouse won’t be responsive to the idea of sex on Valentine’s, but if they feel the whole time like you’re only giving the massage to get sex, it won’t be enjoyable. So focus on the massage for the time being, and make your sexual advances separate from that experience.

If you want to present a gift certificate for the massage, Canva has a bunch of templates you can use; although mostly tailored to businesses, they can easily be adapted to a massage for your spouse.

2. Clean house

I know that doesn’t sound romantic, but if you listened to our Christmas episode from the Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, you heard Gaye of Calm.Healthy.Sexy. say that one year the only gift she really wanted was a clean house. And I guarantee a large number of wives were nodding their heads, fully understanding that desire.

But it’s not just wives. In some couples, the husband is more of a neatnik.

If your spouse is  stressed by the mess, it’s a relief and a gift for them to have a clean house. Take a day or more off and focus on decluttering, deep cleaning, and/or decorating your home. Make it a space that feels welcoming and peaceful. And be sure to attend to the bedroom, creating a place conducive to lovemaking.

3. Love letter

Words are powerful. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Your words could be sweet to your spouse’s soul and healing to their bones. Why not put your words in a love letter, to be kept and cherished?

If you don’t know how to write a love letter, I have a section in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, simply titled: “How to Write a Love Letter.” Yep, I walk you through the components of a good love letter and give examples. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write something your spouse will treasure for years. Just learn these tips, and you can write a letter your spouse will love getting for Valentine’s Day.

4. Homemade meal

If you don’t usually cook, be the one to prepare dinner. If you’re not much of a cook, choose something you can’t screw up, or find a simple recipe and follow it to the letter. Videos with a cooking demonstration can be particularly helpful.

If cooking is a shared activity or you typically get meals ready, how about breakfast in bed? Make sure you have a tray on which to serve the food so it’s easy for your spouse to eat. (Unless you’re planning to eat off each other…)

And consider presentation! When you go through Taco Bell, they shove your paper-wrapped burrito into a sack and hold it out the window to you. But when you go to a fancy restaurant, the chef displays the meal on a gleaming white plate with everything arranged perfectly and a garnish on the side. Give your spouse the fancy treatment, as much as you can (search “plating” on YouTube for ideas).

5. Sex

C’mon, you knew I had to say it. Sex is a shared activity that provides fun and pleasure, expresses love, and is free! It’s the gift God gave marriage that we re-gift to each other again and again.

But then how do you make this sexual experience feel special, worthy of qualifying as a Valentine’s Day gift? Try one or more of these:

  • Create a romantic atmosphere, using tools like candles, flower petals, aromas, etc.
  • Try something different or new. Again, my book has a lot of tips!
  • Play a bedroom game, like Ultimate Intimacy or Sexy Truth or Dare.
  • Have sex their way, putting the focus on your spouse’s enjoyment.
  • Lengthen the time you’ll make love, drawing out pleasure with exploration and foreplay.

There you go. Five freebies for your Valentine’s Day.

For other gift ideas, check out:

13 Sexy Valentine’s Gifts from Your Grocery Store
7 Sexy Valentine’s Gifts You Can Make
“Go Big” Valentine’s Gifts for Your Spouse
8 Cool Valentine’s Gifts for Your Hot Hubby
8 Sweet Valentine’s Gifts for Your Spicy Wife

And remember, you can always gift one of my not-free-but-really-inexpensive books! On sale only through Valentine’s Day.

Ad for Ebooks: Hot, Holy, and Humorous & Intimacy Revealed