Tag Archives: Hot Holy Humorous

Q&A with J: Top 5 Questions Readers Ask about Sex

Lately I’ve been giving interviews on Christian radio stations and podcasts about my recent release, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. One of the questions that has come up is about the most common questions I’ve received since writing about sex. I thought it would be interesting to let y’all know the top two queries I receive from husbands and wives each and then the top one I receive from all spouses.

This is by no means data I’ve collected and analyzed; rather, it’s my general feeling — though I think an accurate one — that the following five are the most prevalent queries I receive.

Top 5 Questions Readers Ask about SexHusbands

1. Why doesn’t she understand how important sexual intimacy is to me?

This one basically has three possible answers. She doesn’t get it because:

  • She doesn’t feel that way so she has a hard time imagining the sexual-emotional link you feel;
  • You haven’t explained it to her in terms she can understand; and/or
  • She’s been told most of her life that sex is a purely physical act.

Of course, within each of those categories are a myriad of possibilities. For instance, she might not feel the same way because of hormonal issues, pain or discomfort during sex, past sexual abuse, etc. So the specifics on what to do depend on your situation. Which is why I strongly suggest trying to get to the core of the issue and addressing the underlying problem.

That said, my second reason here is something you can control. So listen up, guys: Do not talk about your desire for sex in terms of physical needs or release. Don’t tell her you have “blue balls.” And certainly don’t threaten that if she doesn’t give you sex, it makes you more ripe for frequent masturbation, porn, or an affair. I completely understand that the longer you go without, the more physical and intense the need for sex feels. But your wife needs to know it’s about intimacy with her, not just a physical release. Whatever you can say to help her understand that you want her not just sex will go much farther toward getting you both.

2. Why doesn’t she believe me when I tell her she’s beautiful?

Another one with three possible answers:

  • She’s inundated with constant messaging that her beauty isn’t good enough;
  • She looks in the mirror and doesn’t see herself the way you see her; and/or
  • She doesn’t like how she looks because she knows she could do better.

Trust me on this one, hubbies: You don’t know how much pressure there is in our society for a woman to be beautiful. I absolutely believe men have their own challenges, areas in which society pressures men in unrealistic and even destructive ways. But if you look at advertising geared toward women, the model/celebrity industry, and how often we’re told that you guys are all visual, you’ll begin to understand how many messages are thrown at us gals every day to be more and more beautiful.

This tension can be exacerbated by my third point above, when a wife knows she could do better with the body she has. It can be a vicious cycle for a woman to watch her body lose some of its shape over time…and then you give up and wallow in a pint (or gallon) of Ben & Jerry’s, and then you’re disgusted with yourself all over again. Or you’ve looked and looked and looked and cannot figure out when in your busy work/house/mom schedule you can exercise.

Your reassurance, guys, can really help. It might feel like you’re fighting a losing battle when you tell your wife she’s beautiful to you and she dismisses your comments. But keep going and let her know that you are not a liar, but the man who adores her more than life itself. And you have really good taste, right?

You’re not responsible for her learning to feel beautiful. (Which is why I talk about this subject often on my blog primarily for wives.) But you can be supportive and encouraging.

Wives

3. How can I feel good about having sex?

My answers to this one are:

  • Adopt a godly perspective of sex;
  • Deal with the baggage from your past;
  • Learn more about your body, his body, and sexual pleasure; and/or
  • Become a more savvy lover.

If you want help with these, wives, I’ll direct you to Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design which has biblical and practical answers for all of these. Also, I’ve written about dealing with baggage from your past here and here.

And keep reading my blog and others (like Intimacy in Marriage; Awaken Love Class; To Love Honor and Vacuum; The Forgiven Wife and Bonny’s Oyster Bed, which are both for low-drive wives), which address these subjects. Most importantly, seek out what God has to say about sexuality in His Word.

4. Why doesn’t my husband want me?

More and more, I hear from higher-drive wives who struggle with husbands who don’t want sex as much as they’d expected. The wife would like to increase frequency, excitement, and intimacy. And the husband is the one dragging his feet to the marriage bed, if he gets there at all.

For this one, I’m just going to list all of my posts for high-drive wives:

She Wants, He Doesn’t Want
Wives Want Sex: Link Up
He Doesn’t Wanna, But I Do! Help for Higher Drive Wives
He Doesn’t Wanna, But I Do! Be the Brownie
One More & I’ll Go Insane!
I Am the Higher Drive Spouse (or Yes, Rejection Hurts)
Can Sex-Driven Wives Be Godly Wives? for Christian Wife University
Two Words Your Higher-Desire Spouse Needs You to Hear
Does Your Husband’s Rejection Make You Doubt Yourself?
Confessions of a Higher-Drive Spouse
3 Things Higher-Drive Spouses Long For
Q&A for J: How Can I Help My Husband Be More Adventurous In Bed?
Q&A with J: “I Feel Rejected All the Time”
Q&A with J: Why Doesn’t He Want Sex?
Q&A with J: When It Comes to Sex, My Husband Says I’m “Too Much”

And let me add that in my own marriage, we’ve been matched in our sex drives, then he was the higher-drive and I was the no-drive low-drive spouse, and now I’m the higher-drive spouse. So I’ve experienced all sides of this. I understand the feelings of a spouse who doesn’t want to engage sexually and the disappointment of your spouse not being eager or even willing to engage. I have compassion for your situation, and I believe there are answers.

In fact, one of my goals for 2017 is to write a book specifically for high-drive wives. If that’s something you’d like to see, please pray for me and that endeavor. If it’s God will that I write that book, it will come together.

All Spouses

5. How can make my spouse _________?

This is likely the number one question I get: How can I make my spouse _______? You can fill in that blank with anything from “have more sex” to “try new things” to “fulfill my sexual fantasy.” And I also get the periodic How can I make my spouse leave me alone sexually?

The answer to this question is simple: You can’t. You cannot make your spouse do anything. God gave him/her free will, and you need to honor that. Demanding or forcing sexual activity on your spouse, or trying to make him/her think exactly like you do, isn’t what God had in mind when He designed sex. You can’t have sexual intimacy without respecting the intimacy part of the equation. And there’s nothing intimate about “Gimme sex, woman, or else!”

You can, however, influence your spouse in many, many ways. Which almost always starts with changing yourself. If you change what you do, then his responses will likely change. If you stop playing your role in a dysfunctional dynamic, you will have changed the system, requiring him or her to adapt.

Because we’re creatures of habit, you might find that when you change what you do, you won’t see immediate results. Indeed, you’ll probably get push-back. But stick with doing the right thing, and you might find the dynamics changing after a while. As Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

And remember that God will bless you for doing the right thing. The blessing may not come in the way you expect, but I’m living proof that He works in our lives when we let Him. I believe that principle wholeheartedly.

So that’s it: The Top Five. And some general answers for each. I’ll be back next week with a specific question from a reader and my response. If you want to send me a question, head up to that Contact tab above and click Contact J. Then fill out the form, and I will receive your email. I am unlikely to respond right away, but I do read all messages and get to as many questions as I can.

Does Sex Wake You Up or Make You Sleepy?

Men have long been accused of falling asleep right after sex. Finish up the good stuff, and he’s rolling over and off to Snooze Land.

But is that really true?Does Sex Wake You Up or Make You Sleepy?It could be. Research is still trying to figure out who falls asleep after sex and why. But some evidence indicates that men might fall asleep quickly because they need a refractory period post-climax; several body chemicals released during orgasm — prolactin, vasopressin, oxytocin, and serotonin — are linked to sleepiness; and the prefrontal cortex, the information-processing and planning part of the brain, reduces in activity after sex. There’s also just the reality that men tend to do more of the “heavy lifting” in sex — all that thrusting, you know — which can wear a guy out.

But some of these factors exist with women too, particularly the body chemicals. In fact, one study showed no difference in how quickly men and women fall asleep post-intercourse.

What brought this topic up to my mind is that I’m almost never sleepy after sex. If anything, I get a burst of energy. I don’t know how many times I’ve lain down for a weekend nap, then my husband shows up and we have sex, and my nap time is just over. No way am I getting back to sleep.

Women don’t have the same refractory period as men, which is quite nice if you’re able to take advantage of that with multiple orgasms, but that may mean that you’re not quite so depleted post-climax. If you don’t climax, that exercise might just wake up your body rather than fatigue you. Also, blood flow increases after orgasm, which might stimulate your body. Finally, in my case and others, a case of the munchies can set in with you feeling hungry afterward.

Whether sex makes you sleepy or more energetic, the issue oftentimes is coordinating this with your mate. Who might not — okay, probably doesn’t — react the same way you do in the afterglow. He might want to talk and cuddle, while you want to raid your secret drawer of dark chocolate or skip the talking and just melt into the mattress. He might fall asleep immediately, making you feel neglected and even abandoned just as soon as the physical release is done.

Rarely are our reactions personal. They’re a function of our bodies experiencing different sensations and chemicals during intercourse and orgasm.

Your best way of dealing with the differences is to talk it out. If having sex right at bedtime gives you a boost of energy you don’t need, ask your hubby if you can make love a little earlier in the day or even in the morning. If he’s falling asleep immediately after and you need more cuddle time, ask for a few minutes of pillow talk before he succumbs. (But then stick to your few minutes, so you both get what you need.) If you’re the one who wants to head to Dream World right after sex, let him know that’s how your body feels and then see what he needs that you can provide before you drift off completely.

One personal example is that my husband has shown up at nap time wanting sex, and, while I usually oblige, I have asked for a rain check if I’m beyond fatigued and desperately need the rest. Then we curl up in each other’s arms and fall asleep, and I wake up later feeling refreshed enough to make good on that promise.

What about you? Does sex make you sleepy or wake you up? And how do you and your spouse differ?

Sources: No Sleepless Nights: Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?; Live Science: Why Do Guys Get Sleepy After Sex?; Shape: Your Brain On an Orgasm

Hot, Holy, and Humorous Book Footer

The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: The Meek

Lately, I’ve been taking on the Beatitudes and how they relate to our marriages, specifically our marriage beds. You see, I believe that whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom.

Let’s review the full passage of the Beatitudes found at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3-10

I’ve covered Poor in Spirit and Those Who Mourn. This week, let’s talk about the Meek.

The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: The MeekI think the word meek is a bit like the word submit in the Bible — hard to define and often misunderstood. Merriam Webster says it means, “having or showing a quiet and gentle nature : not wanting to fight or argue with other people,” and Oxford Dictionaries defines it as, “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.” Well, that sounds awful — “easily imposed on.”

But the original Greek word, praus, doesn’t mean being a weakling, a pushover, a doormat. Some have explained it as gentleness or strength under control. But apparently, the word was used secularly to refer to a wild horse that eventually gives in to the bridle. That is, tamed and controlled.

Unbridled sexuality isn’t really the point of God’s design for sexual intimacy. Rather, He wants us to exert some control over our passions. And by “exert some control,” I mean “surrender to His bridle.”

Wild animals can resist bridling by rambunctiously trying to go off in their direction or they stay put like a mule that refuses to budge. I’ve definitely seen both of these scenarios in marriages struggling with sexual intimacy.

Some spouses want to pursue their own pleasures without regard to their mate, or pursue activities that God frowns upon. Others are sexual refusers or gatekeepers, trying to keep control by being the one in charge of the marriage bed.

And both attitudes are not meekness.

Rather, the meek give in to God’s will for their marriage, to His superior plan for intimacy with our spouse, to His gift of sexual delight in the marital bedroom. Maybe they are indeed quiet, gentle, submissive, and easily imposed on — but only by opening themselves up fully to God’s taming. Letting the Creator of sex show us the way.

Meekness is what Christ Himself possessed, as spoken in Matthew 21:5 about Him riding into Jerusalem on a donkey: ” ‘Say to Daughter Zion, “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ‘ ” Jesus was definitely within the will of God, surrendering Himself to His Heavenly Father.

I also find it fascinating that Matthew 5:5 mirrors a scripture from the Old Testament: Psalm 37:11 says, “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” And this is the very chapter in which the psalmist David tells us to “Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart” (verse 4). We begin with taking delight in the Lord and His vision for our marital intimacy, and once we understand how good He is, it’s far easier to become meek in the marital bedroom. To let God guide our decisions and our attitude toward our husband, or wife.

Have I mastered this? Let’s just confess that no one fully has. We are constantly fighting our own selfishness. Which is why we need to think intentionally about the quality of meekness.

Begin by aligning your desires with His, throwing off anything that is clearly against God’s plan, and letting Him guide you to something better. The Bible says the meek will “inherit the earth.” I won’t try to break down exactly what that means, but the attitude of meekness in the marriage bed can also help to bring an inheritance of healthy sexuality and intimacy.

What other applications for the marriage bed do you see from this verse?

Hot, Holy, and Humorous Book Footer

Why Some Optimism about Marriage Disturbs Me

Perhaps this is an odd topic for me to tackle. But I promise I’ll get to marital intimacy in a bit.

In the recent past, I’ve been exposed to several optimistic statements about good marriages. While I’m generally optimistic about marriage myself, I’ve always bristled a little when I hear certain insights that should be inspirational, but discourage me instead. Let me share what I mean.

Why Some Optimism about Marriage Disturbs MeWe’ve never had a single fight in our marriage. Now and then, a happily married couple suggests that the key to their buoyant joy is a lack of conflict in their relationship. It sounds marvelous, right? Except that it’s so unrealistic for the average marriage.

If a lack of conflict is necessary for a great marriage, many of us would have waved a white surrender flag and walked away years ago. The truth is that happy couples vary in their level of arguments, and the important issue is that they treat one another fairly and respectfully throughout (see The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work). Moreover, some couples who never fight may merely be stonewalling each other or, as Sheila Gregoire has said, peacekeeping rather than peacemaking.

If you and your spouse come from very different backgrounds and/or arrive with some degree of brokenness, you may have more to work out in your marriage. You may have some conflict. Don’t lose hope if you’re not like that cute old couple at church who swears they’ve never raised their voice a single time. Good for them! But good for you too. You can still have a wonderful marriage.

Marriage isn’t supposed to be work. For me, marriage has included a truckload of work! At times, it’s been grueling, frustrating, and exhausting. But I’d work this marriage twelve times over to have what I have.

Some of that work was harder than it needed to be, because I was working hard not smart. But some couples just have more issues, more rough edges, maybe even more selfishness to tamp down and humility to build up. If marriage currently feels like work, that might be okay. This might well be the season you need to invest some real effort into the relationship to gain the health and happiness you can have.

It is, however, true that a happy, mature marriage won’t feel like nearly so much work. I think it’s a bit like a house. Some marriages start like brand-new homes, with two happy individuals joined in a healthy relationship, but they still need have to take care of that home with regular maintenance or things will go awry. But it’s not back-breaking work, unless something breaks.

Other marriages feel like fixer-uppers, with two floundering individuals who desire a healthy relationship, and they need to put in some extra effort to make their marriage a home. A lot of work is needed from the get-go, but once the home is renovated, only that regular maintenance — which is far less work — is required.

Wherever your marriage is, it is. Put forth the effort, make the investment, do the work, or simply do the regular maintenance. And you can have a great marriage.

Marriage is wonderful when you find your soul mate. Let me be clear: I don’t believe in soul mates, because there is nothing biblical or logical about that concept. In the Bible, marriages came together through various means — including family arrangement, political alliance, and romantic attraction. Yet, God seems to believe that our marriages can be successful if we both attend to his godly principles (you know, like kindness, gentleness, patience, love…).

What disturbs me about this concept of soul mates is that it can lead to believing you may have married the wrong person and then fantasizing about another life — instead of getting down to the business of investing in your own marriage. Assuming your husband is not abusive or adulterous in nature, you can likely make this marriage work and become a blessing.

Stop worrying that this guy isn’t the right one. He’s the guy you fell in love with, chose to marry, and you’re still with. Take today and make it the best you can, then do that with tomorrow, and so on and so on. Maybe he’s not your soul mate, but he is your sole mate, so focus your efforts on making your marriage the best it can be.

Just spice things up in the bedroom and your sexual intimacy will be good. Hey, I’m not opposed to spicing things up. I wrote a whole book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, with lots of ideas on spicing things up. But the idea that this is a one-size-fits-all, easy fix for marriages struggling with sexual intimacy? It just doesn’t take into account how complex we human beings are.

Some marriages are struggling with sexual baggage, others are plagued with porn, certain wives experience pain or an abnormally low sex drive, and plenty of women have poor body image that makes getting naked a real challenge. And none of those issues will be solved with 10 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Sex Kitten!

Real problems call for real solutions. Which is why I try to share as much as I can about what God’s Word says about sex, because the Creator of sex knows more about this gift than anyone else. He‘s got answers. (Which I also share in Hot, Holy, and Humorous.)

But, of course, God’s answers as standard and as varied as the many ways in which Jesus dealt with people. Jesus pointed everyone to His Heavenly Father, but not all traveled the same exact path to get there. Don’t give up hope for your sexual intimacy if a bid to “spice things up” didn’t resolve your issues. Sometimes that’s exactly what your marriage needs, but it’s no cure-all. It’s a piece of the puzzle, but not the whole thing. Look at your own situation and reason out what’s going on. This is also why I devote one day a week to answer reader questions, so that you can see how to approach specific situations.

Am I an optimist about marriage? Yes, of course I am! I’ve seen too many redeemed situations to not believe that marriages can become happy and marriage beds a place of great pleasure and intimacy. I just want to provide real answers, rather than platitudes. Be optimistic about what you can achieve, and realistic about how to get there.

The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Those Who Mourn

Last week, I explained that I’d recently gone to church camp where we studied the Beatitudes. Since I believe that whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom, I wondered if these principles had any application to the marriage bed. I then covered my take on “poor in spirit.”

Here’s the passage of the Beatitudes found at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3-10

Marriage Memory Verse 7-30-16

Remembering that the Greek word for blessed, makarios, carries the connotation of being happy, fortunate, or favored, it seems odd that the second Beatitude talks about mourning. Isn’t that the opposite of being happy?

Perhaps in this case, blessed or fortunate really is a better perspective. Because mourning is bad enough, but doing so without comfort?

I’ve often thought what a struggle it must be for atheists to lose a loved one, believing that’s the last time they’ll ever see that person. But I have the comfort of believing that this isn’t the end — so despite my sadness, I’m blessed to have this confidence in God.

I’m not sure how mourning could apply to our marital intimacy, but I’ll take a stab about some options in which divine comfort could play a role.

For those who mourn that sex in marriage has not produced the children they desired. One of the reasons for sexual intimacy in marriage is procreation, and those who’ve had the challenge of infertility know how that pain affects their marriage bed. What was once viewed as an act of intimacy can begin to feel like a chore and the bedroom a reminder of unfulfilled dreams.

I truly believe that God is there with you in those times, and that husband and wife can do so much to comfort one another. Including through sexual intimacy, just for the sake of that connection and closeness. I haven’t been through this, so I’m not going to pretend to know what it feels like. But it’s important to find comfort, in God and in your spouse. Continue to remember that sexual intimacy blesses you in other ways.

And I sincerely pray that the child you long for becomes part of your family someday. As Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

For those who mourn that sex isn’t all they expected it to be. It’s okay to grieve that things didn’t go the way you anticipated. Perhaps you have pain during intercourse or your husband turned out to be the lower-drive spouse or simply finding time to engage is a challenge. Let’s get past the anger and frustration that we sometimes show outwardly and realize that we’re actually mourning the loss of the smooth sex life we desired and expected.

But there is comfort. Many of us authors and speakers do what we do in hopes of giving you answers and practical advice on how to proceed. Christian support organizations and counselors can help you work through issues. Mentors and friends can provide a private ear, a warm hug, and a heartfelt prayer for you as you struggle forward.

There’s also comfort in knowing that God wants so much more for you. He is in your corner and longs for you to take hold of His blessings in the marriage bed. Let His tenderness and hope infuse you with the comfort you need.

For those who mourn their sexual sin. If you’ve committed sexual sin in the past, or you’re engaging currently in practices you know are against God’s will, you need to fess up and admit your wrongdoing. When you really feel the depth of your sin, there is mourning.

Just read Psalm 51, written by David after his sexual sin with Bathsheba. Here are the first four verses:

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.

That’s a guy mourning about what he did, feeling true remorse.

But indeed, there is comfort. When David and Bathsheba’s son died, 2 Samuel 12:24 says, “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her.” And the rest of the verse says, “She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him.” God did not hold that sin against David forever. By no means! Mourn the past, repent in the present, and let God give you comfort.

 “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”

What other applications for the marriage bed do you see from this verse?

Hot, Holy, and Humorous Book Footer