Tag Archives: Hot Holy Humorous

High Five Resources for the New Year

In Monday’s post, I explained that I’m not choosing a theme this year to write about on Saturdays, as I have done before. Instead, I’m going to use those Saturdays to provide five resources and/or tips to encourage you in your marriage and sexual intimacy. Because I like word play, I’m calling this my High Five for the week!

Since we often start January with resolutions or goals or hopes for what we can accomplish in the new year, today I’m sharing five resources to help you improve sex in your marriage in 2018.

blog post title + caricature of me high-fiving the air

1. Listen to Our Latest Podcast Episode.

My three podcast partners and I chat about the importance of health for yourself and for improving sexual intimacy in your marriage. We go beyond exercise into other areas that impact your health and lovemaking.

Or I could just call this The Episode in Which a Bedroom Pole Is Mentioned. (See, that’s click bait, right?)

Sex Chat for Christian Wives logo + episode title

CLICK TO LISTEN

2. Get Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage Now!

The ebook is currently priced at $2.99 through Amazon or Barnes & NobleIntimacy Revealed provides 52 devotions, one for each week — or whatever you pace you want — focused on applying God’s Word to your view of sexuality and the marriage bed. I provide thoughts on each passage, as well as questions you can answer and a prayer.

While I wrote the book for wives, I’ve had couples say they went through the devotions together and found it very helpful in opening up conversations about sex in their marriage.

CLICK TO BUY

3. Join my Facebook community!

A few months ago, I launched a closed group on Facebook where spouses can interact about my posts and general marriage questions. It’s been really nice to see people post questions and get insight from others. And I hear that it’s nice for people to be able to comment on my posts without their parents or siblings or kid’s preschool teacher seeing what they say about sex.

You can request to join the group HERE. I do moderate incoming members, and due to the interactive approach of the page, I’m only approving married, or engaged, people. By the way, it’s not always easy to know that someone is married, and I suggest some of y’all take a look at your Facebook profile with that in mind. Could a visitor or old friend easily see that you are currently married?

Group description image

CLICK TO JOIN

4. Sign Up for My Newsletter.

Confession: I was really spotty sending out my monthly newsletter last year. But I’m getting back on track. The newsletter shares my favorite posts of the prior month and must-reads from other blogs, some marriage humor, and a scripture for the month, as well as keeping you updated on the ministry.

You can sign up HERE.

5. Boost Your Libido This Year.

This last resource isn’t mine; it’s put together by Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor and Vacuum. But some wives really do struggle with a lower libido, and I really like this online video course she launched last year. She addresses several different factors that come into play and gives you practical tips to increase your sexual response and desire.

This is an affiliate link, but I don’t ever promote something on my blog that I don’t believe in. And I believe Boost Your Libido is an excellent resource that can help you have a better year in the libido department.

CLICK TO BUY

That concludes this week’s High Five. I’ll be back next Saturday with more resources and/or tips for your marriage bed!

Intimacy Revealed Ad - $2.99

 

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

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

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

blog post title + arrow pointing backward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. His rejection and lies.

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

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

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

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

2. She has a low libido.

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

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

Chris Taylor at The Forgiven Wife

Sheila Gregoire’s excellent Boost Your Libido course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intimacy Revealed Sale Ad

What Do You Need to Let Go to Have a Better Sex Life?

For the past three years, I’ve chosen a theme of sorts for the year and published posts that encourage us toward the goal. They’ve been:

Feeling Beautiful (2015)
Knowing Scripture (2016)
Praying More (2017)

I’ve given a lot of thought over the past several weeks to my theme for 2018. When I didn’t feel that God was clearly speaking to me on what it should be, I consulted trusted advisors who had provided me godly counsel in the past. Their answers weren’t clear either.

The only thing that kept coming to mind were vague phrases like:

Let go
Step back
Surrender

Hmm, tough words for a gal who likes to be passionately proactive. But after a lot of mulling over those phrases, I feel like God wants me to let go of the theme this year. Not because it isn’t a good idea, and I might return to it in 2019, but keeping that up takes time that might be better spent right now on finishing books, tending to my email inbox, and pursuing speaking in a more focused way.

As usual, I asked myself how this lesson I’m learning in life applies to marriage and the marriage bed. And here it is: Oftentimes improving the intimacy in our marriage doesn’t start with doing more stuff, but rather choosing to let go.

Oftentimes improving the intimacy in our marriage doesn't start with doing more stuff, but rather choosing to let go. Click To Tweet

Although I enjoy giving advice on actions you can take to help your marriage enjoy greater sexual intimacy, sometimes the right answer for a spouse’s situation is to just let something go. Here are some ways in which spouses may need to step back or surrender:

  • Let go of that sexual fantasy your spouse doesn’t want to engage in and appreciate all the activities you do enjoy in your marriage bed
  • Let go anger about your spouse’s past sins and focus on the present and the future
  • Let go of your inhibitions and learn how to absorb pleasure in the moment
  • Let go of the worry about what you might discover or what others will think and visit the doctor or counselor already
  • Let go of unrealized expectations and create new dreams for your marriage bed
  • Let go of the anxiety you feel about confessing sin and come clean to your spouse and/or your Christian community
  • Let go of your tension over the kids knowing that you have sex and embrace lovemaking for your marriage’s sake (and theirs)

What do you need to let go to create a better, more intimate marriage in 2018?

What do you need to let go to create a better, more intimate marriage in 2018? Click To Tweet

I’m sure your answer and mine are not the same. But it’s a question we should ask ourselves. The best goal for the sexual intimacy in your marriage this coming year could be letting go of something you’ve been holding onto that keeps you from experiencing the deep intimacy God wants you to have in your marriage.


Speaking of goals, the Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage ebook is on sale for the month of January for ONLY $2.99! This book is for new marriages, old marriages, and everything in between—because the brief devotions are focused on God’s Word, “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), speaking to us wherever we are.

The New Year is a great time to start, and at $2.99 the ebook is less than a latte at Starbucks! Your marriage is worth more than your next cup of coffee, so head over now and purchase your ebook.

Merry Christmas from J

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given... And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Praying that you and yours have a lovely Christmas. If you have any spare time, you might want to check out some of the following gifts I’ve offered readers in the past.

2011 – A Christmas Card to My Readers

2012 – Love & Sex Coupons for Christmas

2013 – My Gift to You: Christmas Intimacy Playlist

Under the Mistletoe short story cover - Title + sprig of mistletoe2016 – A Free Christmas Short Story for You!

And if you don’t have access to Amazon or the Kindle app, you can get a PDF of the story HERE.

I will be taking a holiday break this week to spend time with family, but I’ll be back on New Year’s Day with more encouragement for your marriage and your marriage bed. Many blessings for the remainder of 2017!

Q&A with J: How Can My Groom Turn His Sex Drive Back On?

Today’s question comes from two different readers who contacted me with similar situations. Both are newlywed wives who haven’t had the sexual intimacy they expected to have after they tied the knot. Here’s the first one:

It has been one month since we got married and we still haven’t had sex. He told me last night that he was nervous almost to the point of tears because we have always been taught not to have sex before marriage, and now it’s all of a sudden okay. He said it’s like a Wall is there that he can’t get through. What should we do? How do i help him? He feels bad because i want to and he can’t, and i feel bad because i don’t want him to feel pressured. I just don’t know what to do.

And the second:

I recently got married and waited until marriage. My now husband wasn’t a virgin before but waited with me. The sex has been less frequent and passionate than I had expected and last night he revealed to me that because he had to ”turn it off” for the last 2 years to stay strong for me that he has a hard time turning it back on. I feel really sad about it and kind of mad too. I’m trying to not take it personally but I never thought I’d have to ask for sex or even be turned down in the first month of marriage. I’m trying to be patient and pray about it. Any suggestions on what to do?

Blog post title + photo of bride & groom sitting on bed

There are differences, in that one groom has never had sex, while the other had it previously but waited with his bride until they got married. But both gentlemen are having a terrible time awakening their libido after keeping their sexual feelings in check for so long.

It’s admirable that they waited, just as we are commanded to do, but sometimes our message about premarital purity encourages people to simply repress their sexual feelings. Repression here is “a process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious” (Merriam-Webster). Our libidos aren’t really gone, but we stamp them down so hard, it’s difficult for them to get back up when the right time arrives. (See also When Your Groom Is Anxious about Sex).

But I don’t see where the Bible teaches repression of our sexuality. Rather, we can acknowledge our sexuality and exert self-control: “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled” (Titus 2:6). Look at Jacob, who worked for seven years to marry Rachel. He kept his behavior in check, but he didn’t deny what he eventually desired, even saying to his father-in-law at the end of those long years: “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her” (Genesis 29:21). Can’t get much clearer than that.

Even 1 Corinthians 7:9 says to singles: “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” In other words, control your sexual desires outside of marriage, and if you can’t do that, get hitched. It’s a nod that God made us as sexual beings, a fact we cannot and should not ignore.

God made us as sexual beings, a fact we cannot and should not ignore. Click To Tweet

Teaching repression of our sexuality can result in situations like these where it’s hard to turn your libido back on, even when you’re in the right framework for sexual intimacy (marriage).

But to the question: How can you awaken his libido after it’s lain dormant for a while? How can he get past that hump of repressing his sexuality?

Give yourselves grace.

It stinks not to get to make love on your wedding night. Many couples look forward to that experience. But plenty of couples actually don’t have sex right away, due to physical issues, time constraints, or even Aunt Flo visiting at the most inopportune time. But one of the perks of sex in marriage is you have a lifetime to get to know one another physically and experience all kinds of sexual pleasure and intimacy.

Let’s imagine that you make love once a week (it should be more, but go with me here), and you’re married for forty years (more than reasonable, given the average age of marriage and life span in the U.S.). At that rate, you’ll have sex 2,080 times. Two thousand eighty times. So even if you miss out some at the beginning, you’ve got plenty of time to figure this out and still have lots and lots of sex. Point being: Relax. Give yourselves some grace and time to work things out.

Talk about the baggage.

We all bring baggage into our marriages—some toting in a toiletries bag of issues and others dragging a massive trunk behind them. But make no mistake: We’ve all absorbed bad ideas about sexual intimacy. Erroneous messages surround us, both in the secular world and, sadly, the Church. All kinds of messages soak in, and we can find them hard to shake once married.

So talk about it with each other. Be honest about your expectations and concerns, and then listen to his. Let him know that whatever he says, you won’t judge it harshly. Once you’ve admitted what’s going on, challenge each of your internal beliefs and see which ones hold up to God’s Word. For example:

  • “Sex is dirty.” No, sex can be twisted and misused, but sex itself was created by God and “everything God created is good” (1 Timothy 4:4).
  • “Enjoying sex too much is ‘indulging the flesh.'” No, that’s not what “the flesh” means. Rather, Galatians 5:19-21 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” Those are all sins, but sex with your wife is not a sin and thus not on the list.
  • “Men are supposed to have the higher libido.” No, you can’t find that in the Bible either. Read through Song of Songs, and you’ll see that sexual feelings abound in both husband and wife. Sometimes one more than the other, but it shifts from her to him, him to her.

Bringing your anxiety from the subconscious to the conscious level and then challenging those beliefs can help you work through the barriers preventing you from experiencing sexual intimacy.

Focus on romance and foreplay.

In three different places, Song of Songs says, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). That presumes that you can arouse or awaken love when it’s time—that is, in marriage.

Focus on that word arouse, and make that your goal for now. Not orgasm, not penetration, not even erection necessarily, but arousing the sensations that eventually lead to all of those things. I firmly believe that couples don’t spend enough time exploring one another’s bodies and discovering what arouses them. But the knowledge you gain through this process will be beneficial throughout your marriage.

Get a great book with ideas on what to do, so you can try out different activities. You know, like this one, which I highly recommend:

Click to buy or find out more!

Take the pressure off, and give yourselves, and especially him, permission to enjoy touch, exploration, and romance. Let your husband know that he doesn’t have to “perform”—that this can be an opportunity to get to know one another and experience pleasurable feelings.

Use self-talk and encouragement.

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

Let’s say you’re going through the foreplay mentioned above, and your husband becomes tense. You two can pause, and he can remind himself that sex is a gift from God, meant to provide intimacy in his marriage. You can encourage him as well, helping him relax. You two could even stop to pray for God’s comfort and courage to continue. When the tension has released enough—it may not release completely—you can get back into your groove.

Using desensitization techniques, he can likely progress a little farther each time, until intercourse is possible…and enjoyable. Another way to think of this is baby steps. Nothing says you must leap into intercourse on your wedding night, but marriage is the time when you get to build all kind of intimacy, including physical intimacy. Be willing to build slow, feeling good about each stage of progress.

If problems persist, see a doctor and/or a counselor. There’s nothing wrong with this taking some time, but you do want to be moving in the right direction—toward God-honoring, mutually satisfying sexual intimacy in your marriage.