Tag Archives: christian sex

Getting a Sex-Friendly Mattress

We’ve had our current mattress for a few years, and it is sooooo comfortable. But we just bought a new one. Why? I’ll let clean comic Zoltan Kaszas explain (by the way, Jessica is his cat):

Yep, we discovered the hard way (or soft way?) that some mattresses perfect for sleeping do not work for sexual intimacy. A wedge pillow can certainly help, but even the pillow starts sinking in at some point.

Thus we were engaged last week in a lot of online research about mattresses, which included both the effectiveness in providing a good night’s sleep as well as the bow-chicka-wow-wow. 

But I started thinking about all of y’all: Are you struggling to reach climax because your mattress makes thrusting difficult? Is oral sex challenging to do when your bodies are sinking into the mattress like concrete blocks in water? Do you have to avoid a particular area of the mattress because it’s sagging? Do your springs creak so loud the neighbors are notified every time a little nooky is going on in your house?

Perhaps a new mattress is what your sex life needs.

Perhaps a new mattress is what your sex life needs. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Yes, we all put this off purchase because (1) we expect mattresses to last for a very long time, and (2) mattresses are expensive. 

How long does a mattress last?

Like some of y’all, my twenty-something son is sleeping on a too-old mattress — a hand-me-down mattress we bought before he was born. It should have been tossed years ago. Why?

Because mattresses should be replaced every 10 years, at the most. It might need to be replaced sooner. Indeed, Consumer Reports says it might be time to buy a new mattress if “you’re over age 40 and your mattress is five to seven years old. Remember, your body tolerates less pressure as it ages. As if getting older weren’t tough enough.” Gee, thanks.

Face it: Your mattress is only going to last 5-10 years. So if you’ve had one much longer, you need to consider how your past-its-prime mattress is affecting both your sleep and your sexual intimacy.

What about the cost of a mattress?

Yes, mattresses are not cheap. But think about it: How much time do you spend on your mattress? Actually, we spend about a third of our life sleeping or attempting to sleep. We spend 17 weeks, or 117 days, or 2808 hours having sex. (Some less, some more.) But that’s more time than you spend in your car or your kitchen or even the bathroom. Maybe it’s a good idea to make sure you’re comfortable in the space where you spend so much of your life.

We also know that quality sleep leads to better interpersonal interactions and to better health overall. Sex also leads to better health, meaning you need a good place to have it routinely. Seriously. It’s science. And your mattress can help on both those counts. 

That said, you only have as much money as you have. So it’s a good thing that a lot of mattress companies have dispensed with the storefront and sell online, which cuts costs. These days, you can get a solidly good one for less cost by buying it online or shopping at large discount store (like Sam’s or Costco). But do your homework, because if you go this route, you won’t be able to “test drive” the mattress in store.

What features matter most?

Support and bounce seem to be the key aspects for a sex-friendly mattress. Support simply means the mattress isn’t sinking or sagging. More memory foam on top or softer springs makes for more sinking, but the mattress’s foundation (box springs, base) matters even more in determining how much support it has. Ideally, a mattress should have a center support to deal with our hips or knees push down more during sex (and sleep).

Bounce is how much the mattress pushes back against you. Think about a basketball: If a basketball is filled with air, you can press your thumb into it and it will “bounce” right back into shape. But if the basketball has lost air, pressing your thumb in causes an indentation, and it may not bounce back into shape. Likewise, your mattress should have some of that resistance against your weight to go back into shape. That will help when you’re making love to keep from making an indentation in the bed.

Within those parameters, what mattress you get is a function of your body type and preference. Some want a bed to be soft, and some like it firm. Some have back or hip pain that can be addressed with the choice of mattress. Some people weigh less, and some people weigh more.

And it’s even more fun when you and your spouse are not the same and have to agree on a mattress to share! In which case, you could go with a mattress that allows each of you to set your side to your preference. 
We are trying that approach: an air mattress with separate remote control settings. 

But I’ll leave you with this story. Spock (hubby) and I went into one store to “test drive” the mattresses. We laid down on a display mattress, and he turned so that his back faced me. “Okay,” he said, “now scoot up close, so I can see how it feels with your hips near me.” I scooted up behind him. “Closer.” I nudged closer. “Closer.” At this point, I’m maybe two inches away from him.

I finally said, “Are you wanting me to spoon you here in public, in the middle of a mattress store?” He — oh, he of the Reluctant PDA Society — answered, “How else am I supposed to know how this mattress feels the way we actually fall asleep?”  For the sake of all potential onlookers, I remained where I was. 

But I did jokingly suggest, “How about next time we get into [sex position], you can thrust a few times, and we’ll see if the mattress is good for sex too? I’m sure that won’t make everyone in the store completely uncomfortable.” [Sarcasm at full throttle!] He laughed.

Summing up: Don’t do that. Please don’t do that. Just research, buy a mattress, and do your sex thing at home. 🙂

(By the way, we the found Sleep Like the Dead website to have the most helpful information.)

Ad for Hot Holy & Humorous - click to learn more / buy
Lots more practical sex tips in my book!

Why She Needs Him to Shower

Today’s post is for the gentlemen. Listen up, guys: You’d be surprised how often I hear from a wife saying that she’s struggling with kissing or having sex or even finding her husband attractive because he doesn’t smell good.

And you might be one of those husbands who isn’t making his wife’s nose happy. Without realizing it. Please keep reading.

Women have a better sense of smell.

A couple walks into the house, and she scrunches up her nose, grimaces, and asks, “What’s that stench?” He furrows his brow and answers, “I don’t smell anything.” That’s not because she’s making it up or he’s not paying attention. Rather, her sense of smell is biologically superior, so that she can detect odors he cannot.

Research has shown that women have 43% more brain cells in the olfactory bulbs (where sense of smell is detected) than men. More importantly, gals have double the olfactory bulb neurons, which send signals about smells in our brains.

Women also learn smells better. In one study, men and women were exposed to specific smells. With repeated exposure, women increased their sensitivity to smell by 100,000 fold; that is, with only 1/100,000th of the smell, women could still detect the odor. Meanwhile, men showed zero improvement over time.

Why are we superior smellers? I don’t know. Ask the Creator. Or at least a biologist who can explain why women’s better sense of smell or man’s worse sense of smell uniquely position them to perform some role they typically have in society.

But the upshot is that if you didn’t put on deodorant, she knows. If you didn’t brush your teeth, she knows. If you didn’t shower, she knows. And it bothers her. Not because she’s trying to nitpick, but because her God-given sense of smell can’t help it.

See The New York Times: Why Stinky Socks May Bother Women More Than Men; Daily Mail: Women really DO have a better sense of smell than men; Science Daily: The female nose always knows: Do women have more olfactory neurons?

Men emit stronger smells.

Sorry, dude, but you smell more than she does. Now that can be a really good thing. Because wives are the ones who say things like, “When he’s away, I go into his closet, sniff his shirts, and savor his scent.” We’re attuned to that unique, masculine scent that belongs to our husband.

But he’s sporting not so much his masculine scent as a lacking-in-hygiene odor, he’s still sending that smell out more than we ladies do. Don’t blame me: it’s biology.

And fragrances — deodorant, aftershave, cologne — don’t balance a lack of grooming. One interesting study showed that while women and men can produce equally stinky sweat, fragrances combined with the sweat masked female underarm odor better than male odor. So use the deodorant, but don’t ignore the shower, the tooth-brushing, etc.

See Live Science: Women Smell Better Than Men; Fatherly: The Science Behind Why Women Want to Smell Men.

Smell is related to attraction.

Smells trigger a part of the brain called the amygdala, which controls our instincts and visceral emotions. This is why walking into a room that smells like your mama’s roast can elicit an immediate feeling of comfort, as well as hunger. Likewise, scents we connect with our loved ones can trigger emotions. But, again, smells and their related emotions can be positive or negative.

Plenty of research has connected scent with romantic attraction. A few studies have linked a higher testosterone scent as being more appealing to women (though results are not entirely clear). But women do tend to rate as better smelling those men who are genetically dissimilar — perhaps as a way for us to choose a mate who can balance our genes in our offspring. 

Though perhaps one of the coolest studies is one in which women were asked to smell their own male partner’s shirt, a stranger’s shirt, and an unworn shirt. When exposed to their own man’s T-shirt (worn after good hygiene and diet, but no fragrance), women reported less stress and showed a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone. Moreover, those stress-relieving effects were highest in women who could identify their man’s scent and were thus aware of having been exposed to their beloved.

Point being: Your natural scent (unimpeded by body odor) can have a calming, and thus appealing, effect on your wife. Again, another reason why she might smell your shirt or your pillowcase when you’re gone.

See Men’s Journal: The Connection between Scent and Sexual Attraction; The New York Times: Studies Explore Love and the Sweaty T-Shirt; Time: Smelling Your Lover’s Shirt May Make You Less Stressed.

What does all this mean? Well, you need to shower regularly, probably every day, and you might need to shower again before having sex. You need to use deodorant or antiperspirant, and if you don’t like the commercial products, look for natural alternatives. Keep facial hair clean and groomed. And brush your teeth, because breath matters too.

Ask your wife to give you the smell test and make sure you pass, because she is smelling things you don’t. So while you might think you smell just fine, her extra-sensitive nose might be catching some not-so-attractive odor and she really just wants your special man-scent.

And if you think it’s really annoying that your wife is so attuned to her sense of smell? Consider a study that showed women with a better sense of smell also reported higher sexual satisfaction and increased frequency of orgasms. You have to admit that finding is certainly curious.

See Archives of Sexual Behavior: Olfactory Function Relates to Sexual Experience in Adults

Support our Sex Chat for Christian Wives Podcast 

What I Learned on My Sabbatical

I’m back!

Next time you feel like God is telling you do something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you, realize He sees stuff you don’t see. When I decided to take a month off blogging, I had no idea that my month would end up including family and health issues that would have made keeping up with my blogging schedule impossible.

But even with these additional challenges, I still managed to spend time thinking and praying about the direction of my ministry. And here’s what came from that experience.

Categorizing my content

I’ve written over 800 posts that cover a lot of topics regarding sexual intimacy in marriage, but they’re not sorted into topics in a drop-down menu so that you can easily see what I’ve said on issues like Oral Sex, Sexless Marriage, Higher-Drive Wives, etc. I want to remedy that. In fact, I believe it’s more important for my readers and visitors to find relevant articles I’ve already written than to produce new content. Because many people who come to my blog are looking for answers to specific issues in their marriage bed, and they need to be able to locate those more efficiently.

Blogging once then twice a week

I’ve been blogging three times a week, but I’ll be cutting back to once a week until I can get all those old posts categorized. Once the Great Sort is completed, I will bump it up to blogging twice weekly. Since the Q&A posts take the longest to write, that feature will appear every other week, so that can give each question sufficient attention and care.

Writing more books

Finding time to write outside of the blog has been a struggle. But God’s pushing me to prioritize two projects I’ve had on my plate for a while. Therefore, I’ll be finishing up Pillow Talk, a book that walks couples through communicating about sex, and then tackling my personal passion book for higher-drive wives.

Speaking at events

I had a wonderful experience speaking to women in Brookings, Oregon, and I’m looking forward to keynoting at a marriage conference in Utah in November. But I’d like to do a lot more speaking. I will be pursuing opportunities in the Houston area, MOPS groups in the region, and women’s and marriage events anywhere. I’ll also be extending my Speaker Fee Waived through June 2019. For more information about booking me, click over to my Speaking page.

Podcasting

Sex Chat for Christian Wives is one of my proudest accomplishments. In large part because it’s not mine: This podcast has the synergy of four Christian women committed to helping other wives experience God’s design for sex in their marriages. I’ve been blessed so many times over by my three co-hosts as well as our listeners, and I know it’s making a real difference. Consequently, I felt God telling me very clearly that we need to continue and even look for ways to expand our reach.

Facebook Communities

One of the coolest things that has happened this past year is the two closed Facebook groups I’ve been managing. A lot of great interaction happens there. I’d like to be spend more time investing in interaction, but moderating has taken more time than I expected. Consequently, I’m putting together a moderator application and training for helpers! If you’re in the group, I’ll be posting information soon on how that will be developing.

What else is coming my way is a bit fuzzy. But I feel confident that these core goals are the ones I need to be working on.

I suspect that I’ll get even more clarity when I attend the Declare Conference for Christian women communicators in October, where I’ll finally get to meet Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife in person. (I’ve already met Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, who is also coming.) I look forward to that time of refocusing and refreshment. I genuinely appreciate the financial assistance readers have provided to make this happen by donating through our GoFundMe account. (Which, yes, you can still donate to, because all of our expenses are not yet covered.)

I’ll be back next week with more content with the goal of helping couples, especially wives, experience God’s design for sex in their marriage — hot, holy, and humorous as always!

When You Need a Sabbatical

This may be the least sexy post I’ve ever put up. But if you’ve been a long-time reader, I hope you’ll stick with me.

The rest of you might want to go read something more entertaining, like this post: Q&A with J: Sex Isn’t Just for Bunnies.

I’ve wondered lately if I’m facing burnout.

After all, my typically consistent, three-day-a-week blogging schedule has crumbled in recent months — with some Mondays, Thursdays, or Saturdays arriving and me running out of time or energy to get a post written and published.

Moreover, I have too many comments in my queue to moderate, primarily ones that require longer responses than I could provide when they came in. My email inbox is overflowing with everything from off-topic marketers offering to write articles for my blog to heartrending stories of couples whose sex lives are bruised or broken.

It all just seems overwhelming at times, as I plug away here on my blog, write books alone in the quiet of my office (which take me far too long to pen, but that’s how writing goes), and sift through reader emails and comments. All while invoices arrive in my inbox for website and podcast hosting, stock photos, and post and newsletter distribution.

Yet I’m still just as passionate about passion.

When I look at the challenges facing marital intimacy all around us, when I’m writing or speaking about God’s design for sex in marriage, and when I interact with readers who have benefited from my words, I still feel that same surge of longing and energy to make a difference. I still feel God’s hand nudging me forward.

Then I hear from couples who have turnaround stories like mine, only in their retelling, Hot, Holy & Humorous has made some difference. And I’m blown away by that! Just blown away. Lord, who am I for You to use me that way?

Plus, I have projects I’m eager to get to — more books, the possibility of another podcast, speaking engagements, etc. — all about sexual intimacy in marriage as God created it to be.

So maybe I’m not facing burnout, but reality.

My ministry consists of me and a virtual assistant who works on my stuff about 10-15 hours a month. And I’m not even full-time. I have another part-time job I have to keep up, as well as copy editing jobs I take on the side to help with our family income. With the amount of time and money I have, there’s just only so much I can do. And I think I’ve hit my mortal limits.

As I type this, I want to curl under my desk and weep for all the people who took their time and courage to write and explain their difficult situation and ask for my advice … whom I likely will never be able to give a full answer to. Because I want to. I want so much to help every single wife and husband who writes me. But my own husband, being more of a mathematician than I, recently calculated how many hours I would need to respond properly to all those messages … and let’s just say I’d need God to freeze everything around me for about three weeks while I catch up. I consider that an unlikely event.

I also would love to blog here five days a week, but the three I committed to are already not happening. Then those books I want to write — or rather, feel God’s calling to write — are not getting done while I manage all the other things. So what’s a mere mortal to do?

I’m not quitting.

Lest you think this is my way of saying: I am outta here! Nope. You can’t get rid of me that easily! You did read that whole section about my passion, right?

But I am going to be taking a hiatus in July.

Because I really feel like I need to reset, see where I am and what is most important about this ministry, and dedicate the time I would spend here to time with God to discern His will for me going forward. I already have a very good sense that it will involve me continuing to blog (though how much, I don’t know), podcasting with Sex Chat for Christian Wives, and writing more books. However, I haven’t been still enough lately to listen to His voice.

Since starting to blog in 2010, I’ve never taken this long a break, and it’s a scary proposition for me. What if my readers go away? What if I miss the opportunity to help someone? What if I find out that I’m not really missed?

But I also feel enormous peace about stepping away for a bit and this strong sense that it’s what I need to do — for recharging, for spending time with my family, for trusting my Heavenly Father.

What can you do in the meantime?

Well, there are a great blogs out there! I have some recommended ones on the sidebar (or scroll down, if you’re on a mobile device). But in case you haven’t noticed, I also wrote some books!

CLICK ON A BOOK COVER TO CHECK IT OUT!

  Hot, Holy, and Humorous book cover  Final Book Cover - smaller

And I have more than 800 posts on my blog that you can search for content relevant to whatever you’re going through. The search bar is at the top. (And yes, I really want to categorize all my posts so you can more easily find what you want, but that’s another hours-upon-hours job I haven’t had the time or money to get to.)

You can tune into our wonderful Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, where I’m still talking about sex in marriage by God’s design. I also did an interview with Dr. Corey Allan of the marvelous Sexy Marriage Radio, which will be aired sometime in July, and I will post that here on the site for you to go listen to.

Oh, and one last thing you can do in the meantime: Pursue hot, holy, and humorous sex with your spouse — today, this week, this month, and for the rest of your lives.

How can you help my ministry?

Buy those books. I hate to be pushy about it, but if you’ve been thinking of purchasing one of those books, it would nice for you to go ahead and do it. Because the way this works is that my book sales help me to continue what I’m doing, and publishers look at the numbers when deciding whether to give another contract to an author.

But it’s not about me. I really believe in what I write and that it can help your marriage. So don’t just do it for me — do it for your marriage!

Consider a donation. I don’t donate to every cause I believe in, nor do you. But if I have touched your marriage in a special way, or you also feel passionate about getting the word about God’s design for sex in marriage, perhaps you’d consider giving Hot, Holy & Humorous some financial support. You can learn more by visiting my Patreon page. Below is the video is from my welcome page on the site!

Become a Patron!

Pray for my ministry. Because, again, it’s just little ol’ me here typing away in a corner of an extra bedroom in our house, with periodic interruptions from family, our overly vocal cat, and Amazon deliveries (my husband has an online ordering problem). I continue to be surprised by how much I have gotten done. I feel I should “raise my Ebenezer” (See 1 Samuel 7:12, “Thus far the LORD has helped us“) and also thank all of you for your part.

Okay, that’s it. I’m out for the rest of July. My virtual assistant will be moderating comments when I’m not around (waving at the marvelous Heather, whom you should also have your prayers). And I’ll be interacting here and there as time allows. Many blessings, and I’ll see you in August!

Do You Check Your Phone During Sex?

Stuart Tutt of Something to Stu Over recently shared a statistic with several of us marriage bloggers. He’d heard a report on the radio that “about 10 percent of couples actually check their phone during sex if they get a notification.”

This spawned an interesting conversation among several of us in which we posited why someone might do this, and what other aspects of our devices can be distracting — like the screen light flashing on or off.

Then I jokingly challenged the fabulous author of the site Christian Friendly Sex Positions, who also provides the illustrations for the Ultimate Intimacy app, to come up with device-friendly positions for those who just don’t think the notification can wait.

And wouldn’t you know it? He rose to the challenge! So peppered throughout this post are his illustrations, and you’ll just have to keep reading to see them all. (Yes, please read my words interspersed between his illustrations. Tempting as it may be to just scroll… 😉 )

Good reasons to check your phone

You can read more about the research Stu mentioned here, but I contend there actually are some good reasons to check your phone during sex. For instance:

  • Your driving-age child is on the road and is supposed to text when he arrives at his destination. A mama’s mind might relax and enjoy the sex more once she’s checked that notification and knows her family is safe.
  • You’re referencing the Christian Friendly Sex Positions website, Ultimate Intimacy App, or — best of all — your ebook copy of Hot, Holy & Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design for ideas and instructions.
  • You forgot to turn off the volume, so when it sounds at that inopportune moment, you reach over to mute any further notifications.

Not-so-good reasons to check your phone

Your team is playing.

This is your alma mater. Your fantasy football picks are riding on the outcome. C’mon, it’s the World Cup! The last time you ignored a game, the other team won — so clearly, you’re the lucky charm.

Checking the Score position — when he absolutely must see how his team is doing in the game.

I can just hear her saying, “Why did you pause? Is that clicking I hear? Wait, what are you doing back there!” Not your best move, guys.

That two to three-hour game can be put on hold for a period of time to give full attention to your spouse, showing your beloved that you value them ahead of all but God. Even ahead of … gasp! … sports.

Exception: Your team is the Astros playing in the World Series. At least, that’s an exception in my Houston area, in which case sex might look more like this:

Checking the Score Together Position

Your social media site pinged you.

Did you know that FOMO is an actual word? It’s an anagram that stands for Fear Of Missing Out and is described by Oxford Dictionaries as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”

Thankfully, very few are actually addicted to social media, but plenty of people have created habits whereby they check their social media sites so often that it disrupts other real-life activities. Like … for example … SEX.

12 More Likes Position — when she must check her social media site

I’ll let you in on a little secret about social media. It’s like a soap opera: You can miss a day, jump back in, and catch up really quick. If there’s a huge event, they’ll still be talking about it when your lovemaking session is done. And there’s this neat feature whereby you can scroll backward to see anything you missed!

Ignore the phone and instead give yourself and your spouse reasons to 👍 , ❤, and 😮 your sexual encounter.

A news story just popped up.

The news cycle is down to minute-by-minute, and if you don’t know what’s happening in the world, what kind of citizen are you? Not to mention that the universe yearns to hear your opinions on every latest political event — meaning you must stay on top of the news feed.

News You Can’t Use Position — when the news cycle won’t wait

Consider this a public service. I’ll summarize the news for you: The United States Congress thought about doing something, but didn’t. Your taxes are too high, and your services for that money are too low. The Middle East is in conflict. People in countries we cannot pronounce and/or locate on a map are engaged in war, famine, or hardship. Someone’s secret sins were discovered, and now they will either pay for it, use the shameful revelation to get a book deal, or both. A woman somewhere, somehow made a fashion faux pas that will give the media something to talk about for the hours they might otherwise use to cover something else just as trivial.

Okay, that’s not quite as detailed as you might like, but it should be enough to get you through your next sexual rendezvous without checking your phone. If you do decide to look at the screen, consider yourself unfair and imbalanced.

Family or close friends are trying to reach you.

“But if I don’t reply, she’ll just keep texting,” you say. After all, this is the person who:

  • nursed you back to health after your last surgery
  • was your best friend throughout college
  • shared a room with you throughout childhood
  • gave you life!

How can you ignore the people you love? And besides, it will only take a moment to type out: “Yes, I’m fine. TTYL.”

Hold On, It’s My Mom Position — when your family just can’t wait

Again, unless it’s a matter of life-or-death — like your driving-age child is on the road or your parent is dying — it really can wait. If your friends and family cannot be put on hold for the time it takes to give full intimate attention to your spouse, you need to reflect back on those vows you took to put your beloved ahead of all others. (Excepting God, of course.)

In short, leave and cleave, baby! Leave. And. Cleave.

Because Siri is secretly your best friend.

Or Alexa. Or Bixby. Whatever device you have, I understand feeling like it’s an extension of your right arm. My husband and I went on a date recently, and I forgot my phone. He was shocked: “You’re never without your phone.” Well, not never, I wanted to answer. But he had a point in that I now choose pants, shorts, skirts, and even robes that have pockets so I’ll have a spot to hold my phone while I walk around. And I wear headphones like a necklace.

But seriously, the following is not cool.

Siri Interruptus Position — when you need to put the phone down already!

Can you imagine the Song of Songs couple saying:

He
How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes are doves.

She
How handsome you are, my beloved!
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant.

He
Hold that thought — our phones are pinging!

(Song of Songs 1:15-16.)

Set the phone side, turn off the notifications, and focus on your beloved. Remember: I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for… his phone? No. It’s “I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10).

The good news about the 10% who check their phone during sex … is that 90% of us don’t. If you’ve interrupted sex for the sake of your mobile device or been tempted, however, you might want to consider how to keep that from happening again. Make a habit of setting the phone aside, turning of off the volume, and giving sex with your spouse your full attention.

Ultimate Intimacy App Banner