Category Archives: Sexual Intimacy Encouragement

5 Times of Day to Make Love

One of the statements I often hear from wives is they’re too exhausted to have sex. By the time all the day’s to-dos are done, the kids have finished their activities and gone to sleep, and you’ve gotten ready for bed, you’re too pooped to play.

I get it. I really do.

But perhaps we believe a little too much in Ray Charles’s lyrics that “the nighttime is the right time to be with the one you love.” Or rather, we don’t listen well enough to the background singers chanting “night and day” throughout the whole song.

With that in mind, let’s talk about five different times of day that are great for making love!

Blog post title + clock face themed with love birds in a cage

1. Good Morning!

Now before you night owls jump right to the next point, I want to iterate that I am not a morning person. But whether you are a lark or a nightingale, morning really is a wonderful time to have sex with your husband.

One study showed that couples who have intercourse first thing in the day report better moods, probably because of all the feel-good chemicals released when they make love. But even more interesting is that morning sex seems to boost your immune system.

Also, men’s testosterone levels are highest in the morning, meaning it’s a great time for him to engage. I mean, you know how when he wakes up, he has that “maintenance erection” already going? Might as well that readiness to have a little fun, all while helping yourself avoid catching the next cold your children bring home from school.

2. Time for a Nooner

Recently, a councilman in a small town in Sweden proposed giving the municipality’s employees an hour-long paid break at lunchtime each week to go home and have sex. His reasons? To increase the birthrate and promote physical and emotional health: “Sex is also a great form of exercise and has documented positive effects on well-being.” Now if that proposal somehow passed, it would only affect those 550 Swedish employees, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing lunchtime sex on your own.

Of course, the “nooner,” as it’s called, is easier to squeeze in if you work from home or your workplace is close to home. For commuters, this is more difficult to effect. But if you can grab a quickie during lunch, it can boost your mood for the rest of the day and remind you two that even a little bit of time together can result in sexual intimacy.

There’s a playfulness to nooners that you should also lean into. A little “grab your lunch and then come find dessert” message helps to get things going. Then you and your spouse can enjoy all the deliciousness of lunchtime before heading back to the job.

3. Afternoon Delight

I could easily argue that the reason you should have afternoon sex is just so you can sing the Starland Vocal Band song about it. But here’s another good reason: One hormonal expert argues that 3 p.m. is the optimal time for a couple to make love.

Why? Because in the afternoon, women have higher levels of cortisol, which increases alertness and energy. Meanwhile, this is when men have elevated levels of estrogen, meaning they’re “more emotionally present” during sex. In terms of hormones, mid-afternoon could be a sweet spot for your lovemaking.

Not to mention that it feels a bit luxurious to shove aside everything else you could be doing to have sex with your beloved. So rather than ask why, ask why not!

4. Honey, I’m Home!

After we finish work but before supper is a favorite time in my marriage. But frankly, the research I saw goes against me, because late afternoon to early evening is one of the windows couples report as not good for lovemaking. Yet I suspect this is related to our after-work circumstances.

When my children were little, this time of day was “the witching hour.” That’s what plenty of parents call that early evening time when babies are prone to fussiness and colic rears its ugly head. But once our kids got older, and definitely once they were teenagers, this was a great time to make love. Our kids were involved in evening activities or burning off steam after school playing video games with headphones in their ears, meaning we could head to our bedroom, lock the door, and have uninterrupted time.

Plus, it’s a lovely way to reconnect after being apart from one another throughout the day. It can give you a little boost of energy and reasons to smile at each other the rest of the evening.

5. Nighttime is the right time

Nighttime can be the right time too. In a recent survey of 2,000 UK participants, nighttime still caught 7 of the top 10 spots for best times to make love.

If you can push off your fatigue and get things going, you might discover that you really enjoy making love right before you nod off to sleep. In fact, sex could well help you fall asleep. That’s because sex increases oxytocin, the bonding chemical that makes you feel close to the man you’re sharing the bed with, and decreases cortisol, a stress hormone that can impede sleep. In addition, when you experience an orgasm, your body releases prolactin which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy.

By staying awake a little longer and having sex, you could help both your marital intimacy and your sleep cycle. And given everything else you’ve got going on, it’s nice for one activity to knock out two benefits at once.

Be willing to try different times of day to make love! You might just find something different from your usual works really great for you and your husband.

Ad for Hot, Holy & Humorous - $1.99 at Christian Book - click to buySources: DailyMail.com – How a spot of morning passion can make you glow all day long; The New York Times – A Paid Hour a Week for Sex? Swedish Town Considers It; DailyMail.com – Why 3pm is the best time for making love: Time is when men and women are most in tune with each other’s desires due to hormone levels; Medical Daily – 3 Benefits Of Morning Sex, Plus Science Reveals Best Day And Time To Get Naked In Bed; Sleep.org – Is Sex Helping or Hurting Your Sleep?

 

5 Questions to Ask about Your Sexual Intimacy

It’s Saturday, meaning I’m back with another high-five! That is, five somethings that I want to share with you about sexual intimacy in marriage.

Today I want us to ask some questions about our sex lives. These are hardly the only questions you could ask, but they are five important ones that might illuminate where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there. Let’s go for it!

Blog post title + sketch of silhouette man and woman kissing

1. What am I afraid of?

No, not the dark or the Big Bad Wolf or the very idea of a swallowing a spider in your sleep. I’m talking about what fears you have about sex.

Most of us have something that causes us to tense, worry, or even avoid some aspect of sex. For many, the fears are based in real experiences, such as sexual abuse or harassment, or even poor teaching about sexuality that made sex seem scary. We might have performance anxiety or body image issues. We might be worried that he’s thinking of porn or she’s unhappy with penis size.

But even though these fears change how we view the marriage bed, we don’t often delve into what they are, why we have these fears, and if they’re real. It might not be as bad as you think. For instance, that swallowing-spiders story? Sleep soundly — it’s an urban legend. Likewise, your fears could either spotlight areas to work on or be worries that you can safely let go of and choose a better reality instead.

2. What does my spouse really think about our sex life?

One of the biggest issues I see in marriages that struggle with sexual intimacy is one spouse thinks they know what the other feels and believes about sex … but they don’t. She thinks he just wants a physical release, but he wants emotional connection through sexual intimacy. He thinks she doesn’t ever want to have sex, but she does want sex if it could be more mutually satisfying….

I could give more examples, but the point is that at least some of your assumptions about your spouse are likely wrong. We tend to look at a situation and think, If I said or behaved like that, it would mean X. But it doesn’t mean X for your spouse, because they’re a different person.

Take a look at all of the messages your spouse has given you about your marriage bed. For instance, if you think he’d rather be with a prettier woman, but he’s asked to see you naked, wants to kiss and touch you, and says positive things about your body, that’s probably the truth about what he thinks. And be willing to ask your spouse, with an open mind and heart, what they think. You might find out something you didn’t know.

3. Would I want to make love with me?

A while back, Kevin A. Thompson, minister and blogger, wrote a post titled “I Wouldn’t Sleep With You Either.” It was addressed to husbands who wanted to have more sex, but there was good reason why the wife wasn’t obliging. If you want to read the post now, I’ll wait while you do that. (Whistles and taps fingers on desk…)

Okay, sometimes the reason your sex life isn’t going well is because the rest of you isn’t all that peachy. Yes, I know that’s a hard thing to hear. But ask yourself this question: If we switched places, and all I saw of my spouse is what he gets from me, would I want to make love with that person? Would that be an appealing prospect?

Sometimes the reason your sex life isn't going well is because the rest of you isn't all that peachy. Click To Tweet

This is why I often tell people who whine and complain about sex to Stop It Already. Even though there are issues that need to be addressed, who wants to bed someone who’s always throwing a conniption fit? By being a prickly person to be around, you could be making things worse. But if you love your spouse like a walking 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (“Love is patient, love is kind, etc.”), that’s really attractive. And then if/when you work out the other issues, you’re rather bed-able.

4. What’s the number one area you need to nurture?

One of the three points above may have hit on an area you need to work on. But oftentimes, the marriage bed has several areas where improvement could be made. Whether you’re in the sexual doldrums or riding high, you can always find something to nurture.

But rather than taking a scatter-shot approach, focus on a single target at a time. What’s the number one area you need to nurture? If you can identify it, then you can tackle that next step and see some progress in your sexual intimacy. Step by step, target by target, you can build greater intimacy in your marriage bed.

Now your number one area might not — or probably won’t — be your spouse’s number one area. And that’s okay. Work on your stuff, and be willing to cooperate with your spouse’s. But know that you don’t have to work everything out all in a day. That’s part of the beauty of God’s design for sex in a covenant marriage — you have a lifetime to learn and improve and experience the intimacy He longs for you to have.

5. What’s the next step I need to take?

This question may sound like a repeat, but it’s not. Knowing what area you need to nurture isn’t the same as identifying the specific action you’ll take. It’s the difference between saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” and “I’m going to take Zumba classes three times a week, starting tomorrow.” And then paying for the classes. Goals are great, but they don’t mean much unless and until you list specific actions you’ll take to reach them.

Goals are great, but they don't mean much unless and until you list specific actions you'll take to reach them. #marriage #Christiansex Click To Tweet

So what action should you take? Well, it depends on your goal. If you want to address physical discomfort during lovemaking, you make an appointment with your doctor or a sexual health specialist. If you’ve experienced a lot of conflict surrounding the topic of sex in your marriage, it could be time to meet with a counselor, together or on your own. If you’re struggling with a porn habit, you install filtering software and/or join a porn recovery group. If you just want to add some spice to your sexual repertoire, you buy my book with a lot of suggestions for that!

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Whatever you decide to focus on, identify the next step to take. And then take it.

Now what questions do you think couples should ask about their sexual intimacy?

5 Places to Hear Me Talk about Sex

I’ve been talking about sex a lot lately. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that what you always do? Actually, I write a lot about sex, but in the last few weeks, I’ve gotten to chat about this fabulous subject as well.

These conversations ran the gamut on what we covered, but each is well worth a listen. If you have time, listen to them all. If not, choose what suits your fancy based on the descriptions I’ve provided. But please check out at least one of them, because it’s always interesting what emerges when I’m not writing by myself but discussing sexual intimacy with someone else.

Blog post title + microphone wired into illustrated heart

Without further ado, here are five places to listen to me talk about sex.

1. The Drew Marshall Show

Drew Marshall has a radio show in Canada that boasts 100k listeners, so I was excited to have the opportunity to chat with him and share what “Jesus people” (as he called Christians) say about sex — or should be saying about sex.

But having y’all listen would be a marvelous and meaningful bonus. It’s a quick 20-minute interview, and he asked some great questions. Check it out by clicking below.

2. Live In Peace Ministries Facebook Live

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Yolanda and Billy Jackson of Live in Peace Ministries. We got to chat about why sex can be a taboo topic in Christian marriage, two things husbands should know about their wives, and two things wives should know about their husbands when it comes to sex.

I think you’ll enjoy not only the information and insight we shared, but also the fun we had chatting with each other. Click below to listen and view the video!

3. Halfway There Podcast

Eric Nevins of Halfway There interviewed me for almost an hour and gave me a chance to tell many stories about my life, my faith, and my ministry here. I share all kinds of things, from my drag racing disaster, to Real vs Flannel Board Jesus, to how my prayers and actions needed to change so God could save our marriage — as well as common myths and questions about sex in marriage.

You can find this episode on your podcast carrier or click below to get to the website and listen.

4. Be Fully Well Webinar

Dr. Jessica McCleese is a blogger and certified Christian sex therapist. Yep, you heard me right: Christian. Sex. Therapist. Isn’t that cool? She recently invited me to join her for a webinar in which we discussed how sex is different from the movies, tips about how husbands and wives can work out their differences, and some of what we each encounter in our different roles of helping couples with sexual intimacy in their marriage.

Make sure you check out her website at Be Fully Well, and then you can head to her YouTube channel to watch the webinar.

5. Wherever You Are

I’ve talked here before about wanting to set up some speaking engagements, but I haven’t really pursued that well. And lately, I’ve been feeling as if God is nudging me to take that on more intently.

So for the rest of 2018, I’m waiving my speaker fee. That’s right, I want to come speak wherever you are — at your women’s event in the U.S. or Canada — for just the following:

  • Transportation (airfare or mileage per federal rates)
  • Private lodging (hotel, AirBnB, etc.)
  • Meals (provided at the event and/or standard per diem rates)
  • A book table and volunteer for book sales before and after the event and/or a book purchased for each attendee

What can I talk about? To see my topics, download my speaker sheet / flyer HERE.

If you’re interested, shoot me an email at j@hotholyhumorous.com. (Subject to calendar availability and the type of event.)

Bonus

It hasn’t released yet, but I was also recently interviewed by Rebecca Lemke, author of The Scarlet Virgins, a book about growing up in the Purity Culture and breaking away to a more biblical view of sexuality. She has a podcast by the same name, and we had a wonderful time talking. Why not check out her podcast now, and I’ll let y’all know when our episode goes live!

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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.

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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