Tag Archives: Intimacy Revealed

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

Stop Blaming God for Your Low Sex Drive

One of my most shared posts is 8 Things I’d Say About Sex If I Had No Filter (Heaven Help Us All). In the same vein, I’m telling it like it is today.

I get a bit weary of seeing email and posts in which people blame God for their way-too-low sex drive. It usually goes something like this: One spouse announces to the other that they need to get over their objections to their very-low libido with “God made me this way.”

Stop it. Just stop blaming God for a sex drive that isn’t in line with His design for sexual intimacy in marriage. If your sex drive is keeping you from engaging in healthy sexual intimacy in your marriage, that’s on you, not God.

Stop Blaming God for Your Low Sex Drive

Now I’m not saying that those who struggle with libido are terrible people and we should throw stones and blame at them. Of course not! Some have very good reasons why getting in the mood and engaging in sex with their spouses is a struggle. If you have a terrible sexual history, abuse in your background, hormonal deficits, absolute exhaustion, or other issues, it’s not surprising that your libido isn’t what it could be.

But God didn’t make you that way. He made you as a beautiful person, a sexual being, a person worth pursuing in the marital bedroom. He made you to experience pleasure and ecstasy and intimacy. He made you to enjoy the gift of sexual intimacy He provided for marriage.

If that’s not happening, the answer isn’t to blame His workmanship. Instead, consider what He desires for you to have instead.

Look for answers to why your body, your mind, and your spirit are not cooperating. Be intentional and persistent about finding out why sexual intimacy is a struggle for you. Be honest with your spouse about what you feel and enlist their help in figuring it out.

I’m not going to tell you to Just Do It every time — because I think that advice misses what God really intends. He isn’t solely concerned about your higher-drive spouse getting their sexual needs met. You also wants you to experience the physical pleasure and intimacy that He created for the marriage bed. He wants you to enjoy the full feast of delights in your marriage.

“Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!” Song of Songs 5:1 (ESV)

Some spouses find ways to remove the obstacles and awaken their latent libido. Others never experience an independent desire to make love but learn to awaken their love in the arms of their beloved. Regardless, please make it a goal to discover how your body can work in tandem with God’s design for intimacy in your marriage.

Don’t blame God — discover what He longs for your marriage to have. And then pursue it.

One place to start is my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage. Other low-drive resources for wives include Bonny’s Oyster Bed and The Forgiven Wife.

Vacationing with Hubby: How to Make It Better

I try to learn from my experiences. And my mistakes. My many, many mistakes.

But I’ve been evaluating my recent week-long trip to New York City and the last few days of it that I spent with my hubby. What could have made things even more smooth? How could we improve the limited time we get together, alone, out of town, without daily interruptions? What do I want to remember for the next time we take a couple vacation?

Let me share a few.

Vacationing with Hubby - How to Make It Better

Schedule rest into the itinerary. Travel is exhausting, and so is out-of-town business. I didn’t plan well for this and allow myself time to recharge between events. Next time, I want to leave more time between arriving from the airport and starting in on my itinerary. I also shifted quickly from work events to vacation days with hubby, and consequently I felt physically bad that whole first day of sightseeing. I only realized how much I needed downtime when I slipped into bed that night at 7:30 p.m. for a “quick nap” . . . and woke up the next morning at 7:30 a.m.

To get the most from your couple vacation time, allow a little breather between travel and vacation activities. Be willing to hang out in the hotel a little longer or linger over a relaxed breakfast. Let yourself sleep in. Yes, you might lose an hour or two in your day, but you’ll feel better and enjoy each other more. You don’t want your vacation to involve two overtired, grumpy spouses, so schedule rest into the itinerary.

Discuss expectations. If your husband thinks this is a “sexcation” and you think it’s a see-everything-you-can sightseeing tour, one of you — or really, both of you — will be disappointed.

Hubby and I do a pretty good job of this, but we can always improve. My one tweak would be to write down the must-do’s, the hope-we-do’s, and the if-we-have-time-do’s. Then we can make sure we knock out the activities we most want to engage in and not waste time on stuff we sorta, kinda, maybe want to do but that isn’t really a big deal.

And yes, I think it’s perfectly fine to write “have sex” on your must-do list. I’m in favor of spontaneous sex, but I’m also in favor of scheduling sex just like you schedule date night.

Pack lube. Calm.Healthy.Sexy. recently penned a great post on why hotel sex is particularly nice. I agree, but I was sort of kicking myself for not packing personal lubricant. Even if you don’t need it, it’s better to have it available, just in case.

My own favorite are the Sliquid travel-size packs so you can get single-use pouches and easily slip them into your luggage. (And no, Sliquid’s not paying me to say that…but they should. *wink wink*) Regardless of what you prefer, remember to pack personal lubricant so that you’ll have it if you need it.

By the way, that photo up there is me and the hubster at Central Park in New York City.

And now — as promised — I’m hosting a giveaway! The prize is an ebook of any one of my releases: Sex Savvy, Intimacy Revealed, or Behind Closed Doors. The winner can choose which book they want. How do you enter? By signing up for my monthly (or mostly monthly) newsletter! Or proving you already have.

To sign up for the newsletter, click HERE and submit the form.

To show you’re already a subscriber, simply leave a comment below and fill out the email address line. Your email will not show up on my blog, but I’ll be able to cross-check it with my subscriber list.

You’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for an ebook, with the winner chosen on Thursday, August 6, at 10:00 p.m.

Now what are your tips for vacationing with your spouse?

“Go Big” Valentine’s Gifts for Your Spouse

Well, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Thus, it’s the season to celebrate our romantic love, consider the depth of our commitment to our spouse . . . and then scratch our heads and wonder what on earth to get this year that communicates how we feel. Would flowers do it? A box of chocolate? A night of passionate sex?

You can access past posts from me with specific gift ideas, as well as taking a look at Christmas stocking stuffer ideas that might work for Valentine’s, but I thought I’d share some of the best “Go Big” gifts I’ve personally heard about: Big-impact ideas people I know have successfully carried out. Maybe the rest of us (especially non-romantic types) can learn a thing or two.

Woman holding large red heart + blog post title

The Getaway Weekend.

“Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages” (Song of Songs 7:11).

Getting away from your daily demands and household stresses can be a lovely gift for your marriage. Having an entire date weekend can provide the opportunity to enjoy one another’s companionship and remind yourselves exactly why you two fell in love. (Hint: It wasn’t because he kills the spiders. The Orkin man does that too.)

Think about whether your spouse is one who likes surprises or wants time to prepare, and plan your weekend accordingly. You could scoop up your spouse, hand them already-packed luggage or give them a short time to pack, and then sweep them off to a surprise destination. Or you could have several possibilities picked out from which he can choose, or gift them with a certificate for a getaway weekend.

Make sure you also consider what kind of weekend you and your spouse would enjoy. You may think staying in a cute cottage inn near quaint shopping venues is marvelous, but if your guy is partial to hunting, fishing, and the Great Outdoors, only one of you will be happy. Plan a weekend that meets your mutual interests, or even leans in favor of your spouse’s desires. In fact, bless them with a generous offer to attend an event you wouldn’t prefer, but you’re willing to do to spend time with your spouse and give them greater joy.

The Vow Renewal.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (Song of Songs 8:6).

About 90% of wives I’ve polled said they would do their wedding differently if given a second chance. (Most would do something simpler, less costly, more intimate.) A few couples have done exactly that: Taken a second chance to say their wedding vows through a renewal ceremony. This can be a formal event or a casual experience. In fact, at one marriage retreat I attended, the speaker led all the couples through reciting their marriage vows again.

You can book a location and a minister and invite friends; make it a small ceremony with just you, your beloved, and an officiant; or merely create a romantic setting and repeat your vows in private. If your spouse would rather be part of the planning, provide a gift certificate for the renewal ceremony of her choice.

Also consider this opportunity to promise specific things you’ve learned you should work on, such as “I promise to kiss you every morning and hold you close every night” or “I promise to pray for you daily.” Tailor the vows to your particular marriage and recommit to however-many more years of pursuing marital bliss.

The Childhood Memory.

“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’ ” (Matthew 18:3).

One of the things you signed up for when you said “I Do” is hearing your spouse’s stories. Sometimes they even tell the same story from their childhood two, three, or fifty times. Hopefully some of those stories are wistful ones that reach back to a simpler time of childhood when fresh wonder and deep laughter came easily. Now how about a gift that lets your husband (or wife) know you listened and you value their good memories?

I know one husband who gifted a vintage board game his wife used to love playing as a child, and another wife who (rather competitively) bid to get a toy her husband had once owned and regretted giving away. Another couple took a trip to the wife’s childhood home and let her soak in the memories as they toured her old stomping grounds and she related even more detailed recollections.

What happy events does your spouse talk about from childhood? What possessions did they treasure, or what objects or experiences did they long to have? What created a sense of wonder and joy in their youth, and what gift could represent that? Perhaps you can give a childhood memory.

The Love Letter.

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

I’m partial to the written word. (Can you tell?) One of the couples I know who experienced a love letter as a gift was this one right here — me and my husband. Spock (logical hubby’s nickname) stepped way outside his comfort zone and wrote me a love poem one year. It remains my favorite gift from him, because of how heartfelt and meaningful it was.

The poetry wasn’t good, so don’t worry about your writing skills. Simply express your heart on the page. (By the way, I cover How to Write a Love Letter more in Sex Savvy.) Or if the page isn’t your thing, make a video love letter, serenade your beloved with a song, or put together a slide show expressing your beautiful memories and/or future dreams. However you wish to deliver your message is fine; simply make the effort to be personal and passionate with the love letter.

The Sensual Body Experience.

“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!” (Song of Songs 7:6)

How awesome would it be to come home to a candlelight dinner, or a trail of clothes leading to the bedroom, or rose petals on the bed? How nice would it be for your spouse to delay their own gratification to spend additional time plunging you into a feast of sensations through deep massage or a foamy bubble bath or feeding one another delicious fruits or chocolates? How about an extra-long, head-to-toe lovemaking session that focuses on exploring and arousing one another’s bodies as much as possible? Anyone like these ideas?

I’ve only heard hints from couples I know about this gift of the sensuous body experience, because we really don’t need to be sharing details. But I know some have gone to great lengths to prepare the atmosphere and create a romantic setting for their intimate time together.

What would bless your spouse in this regard? What activities stimulate their five senses and demonstrate your higher-and-deeper love? Remember to make this a gift for both of you. You can create not only a beautiful, intimate experience, but a memory that will bring smiles to both of you for years to come.

These are some of the best “go big” marriage gifts I personally heard about, but there are many more. What ideas do you have for Valentine’s Day or any other gift time in marriage?

* * * * *

Of course, you can add a marital intimacy book to your gift package! Like this one…Intimacy Revealed Cover

What does the Bible say about sexual intimacy?

Quite a lot actually. From marriage-specific scriptures to biblical principles, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage guides Christian wives through weekly devotions that shed light on God’s gift of marital sex.

Each week includes a Bible passage, application, questions, and a prayer. These short devotions will deepen your understanding of God’s design of sexuality and encourage you toward a holier, happier, and hotter marriage.

Purchase:
Amazon for Kindle
Barnes & Noble for Nook
Print book