Tag Archives: Q&A with J

Q&A with J: Sex Isn’t Just for Bunnies

I’m out this week at church camp, where I volunteer one week every summer and teach a writing class as well as Bible content to kids. With my time limited and the internet spotty at my location, I’m re-running a few favorite posts this week. Enjoy!

In my initial post inviting questions from readers (Q&A with J at HHH), I mentioned a few rules. Among them was the following:

No protesters will be allowed the microphone. Yes, that means you in the back there with the big sign that says, “SEX IS FOR BUNNIES ONLY.” I am tired of your Rabbit-Centered Group harassing me day and night. Security will now be escorting you out of the building. Thank you very much.

Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband, entertaining guy that he is, presented this question in the comments:

My bunny is single, but I think she is having inappropriate thoughts about her tennis ball. Any advice?

Blog post title + (tasteful) illustration of two rabbits mating

First, Paul, the secular world is likely to suggest that your bunny do one of two things: (1) find another bunny in short order and set up a rendezvous or (2) take care of business with that tennis ball. In fact, you might see articles in Bunny Babes Magazine such as “Finding Furry Friends with Benefits” or “10 Ways to Make a Buck’s Bunny Ears Curl.” Moreover, the people who brought you and your dog the Hot Doll would probably be happy to design a tennis-ball shaped sex toy for your randy rabbit. But you and your bunny shouldn’t settle for anything less than God’s design for intimacy.

Rabbits mate for reproduction, not to say that they aren’t having a good time. However, God designed your bunny to engage in intimate activity with someone who will be the father of her bunny babies. Don’t let her get talked into some romp in the woods with no possibility of a litter of floppy-eared cuties coming from this act.

That said, the tennis ball isn’t going to do it. It may provide a temporary release of sexual tension, but not the deep satisfying intimacy that a better bunny can have by holding out for the real thing.

The Bible is clear that we should “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). When Joseph found himself tempted by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39), he literally ran from her. In Matthew 18:9, Jesus says that “if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.” Indeed, that is what you need to do for your bunny.

No! Don’t gouge out her eye. It’s much easier in this case to simply remove the temptation. Get rid of that sultry tennis ball. Whatever is causing her mind to wander into dangerous territory needs to be tossed out the door.

That isn’t the end of it, though. The Apostle Paul gives advice about the unmarried in 1 Corinthians 7:9: “But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” It sounds like your bunny is indeed having a hard time controlling her passions. Maybe it’s time to think about getting another bunny? Your doe might need a buck in the house to establish a relationship, get her jollies, and spread their gene pool. Bunnies are particularly good at heeding God’s commandment to “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:22).

Be forewarned, however. You might want to know what to expect if you bring a handsome buck into the home to satisfy your tennis-ball-obsessed bunny doe. The mating ritual involves the male mounting the female and wig-wagging quite a bit. It’s not a loud affair; bunnies are quiet. But you will know the male is done when he suddenly stops and falls over. (I kid you not. I looked it up.)

Sounds a little like some human husbands. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

Unlike human hubbies, however, male bunnies only need a minute or so, and then they can go back at it. When the female bunny is “done,” I don’t know. I think she simply hops away.

I hope my answer helps you and your bunny in the quest for godly intimacy for all species. We could learn a little ourselves from this post, I think.

In short, for all the bunnies and non-bunnies out there:

  • If something is causing you sexual temptation, get some distance from it.
  • Your desire for sex is natural and God-given. It just needs to be in the right context — a committed marriage.
  • If you are married, get busy like a bunny. But try not to fall over when you’re done.

Sources: Successful Rabbit Breeding video on YouTube – be prepared to laugh; Bible Gateway – my go-to place for scripture searches; How Do Rabbits Mate? from ehow – where I learned about the falling phenomenon

Post first run May 3, 2012.

Q&A with J: Should You Just Swallow Already?

Today’s reader question is about giving oral sex to your husband:

Could you please send links to articles that specifically address wives who are averse to “finishing” when we give oral sex to our husbands. … his desire for me to do this comes up periodically and he has been very kind and patient about my aversion. I know it is a mental hangup and you have addressed the gag reflex, but [it] still seems repulsive, even though I love everything else about my husband’s body. Am I just selfish? He is so undemanding in every aspect of our marriage, so the fact that he still brings it up means it is a strong wish. I have managed a couple of times over the years, but I had to hide how unpleasant it was to me. And he stresses that he wants me to enjoy it, or we don’t do it. (He asked me to ask you.)

Blog post title + illustrated women's mouth, biting her lip

Hmmm. I actually had an aversion myself to the word finishing. Using that word makes it sound like if you don’t swallow your husband’s ejaculate, he didn’t get to finish. But I presume he did, somehow or other. Oral sex without swallowing isn’t unfinished business.

That said, I know many husbands desire that their wives take their ejaculate into their mouths and even swallow. I’ve encouraged men who write me about this to make the request but let it go if she simply can’t stomach the idea. Having a great sex life in marriage doesn’t mean that your partner performs every sexual activity you desire. There should be mutuality in the marriage bed.

But the query is from a wife, at the request of her husband, so I’m going to address that side of the equation. And I do believe that a number of wives adverse to the idea could learn to accept semen into their mouth and even swallow, at least on occasion.

Let’s just address this question first: Is it hygienic? Yes, it’s perfectly fine to swallow semen. It even contains vitamins, sodium, and fructose, all of which you ingest in food. One study oddly showed that semen has antidepressant qualities, so there might even be a health benefit. The only caveat here is if he has a sexually transmitted disease, but then it’s not the semen that’s the problem, but rather contact with any outbreak on the skin. Otherwise, it’s totally fine.

What about the taste? It tends to be a bit salty, but can taste sweet — depending on what your husband eats and his specific taste. If you don’t like the taste of his semen, he can do several things to improve its flavor: wash thoroughly in the area beforehand, avoid smoking, incorporate more fruit and/or fruit juices into his diet, cut down on red meat and dairy consumption, drink plenty of water. You could also add a flavored personal lubricant to the experience, to sweeten the overall taste.

How about the texture? Some people have fewer issues with taste than texture. Semen is about the consistency of a beaten egg, so it’s a thick liquid that may not appeal to some wives. If this is the sole issue, then letting your husband ejaculate in the back of your mouth, closer to your throat, will keep you from dealing with the texture much, if at all.

How do you address the gag reflex? If you have a strong gag reflex, then you need to consider how to make fellatio work well for you. First things first: You don’t have to swallow him; that is, put his whole penis into your mouth or “deep-throat.” His sensitivity is mainly in the head of the penis, and you can concentrate there and stroke his shaft to provide additional pressure and pleasure. (See also What Does He Mean by “Oral Sex”? (It May Not Be What You Think).) Also, consider changing positions to find a comfortable angle for your mouth and throat.

If it’s the ejaculate itself causing you to gag, you can try a couple of things: (1) Train yourself ahead of time by putting your finger toward your throat until you feel a reaction, then breathe and relax through the sensation. Repeating this practice can help you overcome a gag reflex. (2) When you feel yourself starting to gag, tuck your left thumb into your left hand, as if making a first, and squeeze your thumb. I don’t know if this works, but I saw so many articles and testimonies online about this working, it seemed worth mentioning. If someone else has tried this, let us know in the comments.

What about the mental block? You might logically get over all these issues, but in the moment, some little part of your brain yells, Oh my gosh, that’s man-juice in my mouth. Yuck! Hey, we’re biologically and culturally primed to avoid ingesting things that are bad for us or even weird. So it’s understandable that you might have a negative visceral reaction to the idea of semen in there.

Honestly, getting over that is like getting over anything else you want to do but have an initial aversion to doing. You have to re-frame how you think about it, reminding yourself constantly that this is okay and even good; then take baby steps toward changing your behavior; and reward yourself for progress you make. It takes time and intentionality, but there really isn’t another magical formula. You can most likely break through the mental block, but only if you want to and if you adopt actions that help you shift your thinking about this practice.

Are you selfish for not wanting to? It doesn’t sound like you are, because (1) you’ve actually tried and (2) y’all seem to have great sexual intimacy otherwise. You’re not looking at your husband and telling him you don’t want sex to be pleasurable for him; rather, you’re wanting it to be mutually pleasurable and this particular area just happens to be unpleasant. Even if a sexual activity is entirely permissible and good in marriage, that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Sexual intercourse is the only activity commanded in the Bible, even though we have the freedom to do much more.

Neither spouse gets to demand a specific sex act, and we should feel secure and confident enough in the marital bedroom to say something like, “I will happily do A, B, and C, but I’m just not comfortable with X.” At the end of the day, you may decide you flat-out don’t want to do this. And really, you and your husband can have a great sex life without it.

But since it’s important to him, and he has not demanded it but rather requested, is there a way you can make it happen? I love that your husband said he wants you to give him fellatio all the way to ejaculation only if it can be enjoyable for you too. So the final question really is: How can you make this an enjoyable experience?

Many wives do enjoy giving a “blow job” and swallowing. How do they do it? Here are some final tips:

  • Think about fellatio positively. Shed the worry about your mouth touching that area of his body, because it’s also just skin — albeit rather erogenous skin.
  • Keep your mouth from being overwhelmed. Try different angles and actions to see what feels reasonably comfortable while still being arousing to him, and ask him to be gentle in his movements and let you have more control. Also, check out the chapter on oral sex in Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design where I explain how to perform fellatio in a way that works for both of you.
  • Focus on the pleasure you’re providing. You know how awesome it feels when your husband concentrates on giving you incredible pleasure and even a mind-blowing orgasm? That’s how this feels to him, and you are making it happen. High-five yourself, girlfriend!
  • Anticipate when he’s coming. It can be a shock for him to suddenly gush into your mouth. If you can’t read his body signals, unlikely until you’ve done this a number of times, ask him to tell you when he’s about to ejaculate so you’ll know it’s coming.
  • Relax your mouth and throat. If you can anticipate, you can relax your mouth and throat even more in that moment. You might want to slow or stop your mouth motion and focus on your relaxation and his release.
  • Take control of where the ejaculate lands. If you have an issue with swallowing, try having him release closer to your throat so his fluid isn’t hanging around in your mouth for long. It’s just in, swallow, done. Literally takes seconds. Some wives would rather taste and savor semen, and they can shift their mouths accordingly. But get yourself into a position that works for you.
  • Clear out your mouth if you need to. If you feel the need, jump up when it’s over and go swish some mouthwash around in your mouth. Gurgle with it, so that your throat gets cleared too. Keep a drink, a breath mint, or gum nearby if you want to replace the taste lingering in your mouth.

Do you have to perform this act? No. But if it’s really important to your husband and you are willing to try, then take some time and effort and see if you can make it happen. A lot of wives who used to balk about swallowing learned how to enjoy it. You might too.

Q&A with J: Abstaining from Sex to Pray

Ever since I got this question, I’ve been mulling over my treatment of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, which I’ve cited a lot on this blog. Here’s the question, and I’ll share the passage soon after:

Have you ever written a blog post on I Corinthians 7:5? In particular about abstaining from sex for the purposes of fasting and praying? … what that would look like (and if you your husband have ever done this) and of course the benefits of doing so….

Couple sitting on a couch, holding hands, and praying together

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NIV) says:

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.

You’ll notice in this translation that fasting isn’t included. Among major Bible translations, the only one that includes fasting is the King James Version. Why is that? Have we just chucked out fasting as an unimportant spiritual discipline? Nope.

Between the time that the KJV was published in 1611 and current day, our access to Greek manuscripts of the New Testament has increased. Manuscripts earlier than the one used by the King James Version translators do not have the word fasting. So later translators, wanting to reflect the original text, removed the word.

Thus, what the Apostle Paul likely said is that married couples can abstain from sex for the sake of prayer.

Now a great deal of my focus in using this passage has been on the words Do not deprive each other! Because that’s where a lot of marriages are failing: One spouse withholds sex for any and all kinds of reasons, effectively becoming the gatekeeper or, in some marriages, fortress guard of physical intimacy. Which is clearly not God’s intention in giving us the gift of sex.

So I and other bloggers spend time talking about how we have a command to fulfill our marital duty of having sex with our spouse. Of course it’s far more than a duty; rather it’s a mutual privilege. I could easily point you to a whole bunch of other verses showing that God wants this to be a pleasure for both spouses.

When sex is how God intended it to be, having sex with your spouse doesn’t feel like a duty. Rather, it’s a privilege that promotes intimacy for the whole relationship.

Sex in marriage is a privilege that promotes intimacy for the whole relationship. Click To Tweet

My favorite post, however, about this duty to one another isn’t one I wrote. It’s Sheila Gregoire’s excellent What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean? She makes it clear that depriving your spouse isn’t about saying no at times, or rather not now, but mutually pursuing healthy sexual intimacy in your marriage as a whole.

That said, in an effort to focus on the part of this passage most directly tied to issues I see in marriage, I really have glossed over the part this questioner asked about, because the whole verse is “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.”

Okay, so you can stop having sex for a while to pray.

Two important caveats are these:

1. It has to be mutual.

The verse says by mutual consent. So a spouse who isn’t as into sex can’t say, “Hey, I’ve decided to go without sex this month so I can grow closer to God. See you in thirty days!” You don’t get to use God as an excuse for withholding sex.

But maybe you’d really like to take a break from more physical concerns for the pure motives of devoting yourself to spiritual growth, yet your husband isn’t on board. Shouldn’t you get to do that? Sorry, but the Bible says no. That might make you feel cheated, but God prioritizes how we treat each other — “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21) — and He takes delight in us loving each other. Moreover, there’s nothing in the Bible that says you cannot pursue God and a great sex life at the same time. That’s pretty much my whole mission — to convince you that those two go together just fine.

2. It has to be time-limited.

The verse also says for a time. How long? I don’t know. But in the next sentence, Paul warns against going too long: “Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” You shouldn’t go so long that one or both of you feels like you’re losing your self-control.

Sex gets compared to food so often (because it often works), and I’m going to do it again: It’s fine to be hungry; it’s not good to be so starved that your libido is a ravenous beast that cannot be contained. Hyperbole maybe, but you get the point. And yeah, that happens for some people after a month and others after four days. Respect your spouse’s true makeup on that one; see point above on mutuality.

But those of you with higher drives, you don’t get to claim you’re actually starved when you’re just a bit peckish. Get over it. Got that? Good.

Now have I done it in my marriage? Have Spock and I abstained from sex for prayer? Not in a formal way, though we have certainly postponed lovemaking to finish a Bible study we were doing together or attend a prayer service at church. In such moments, we felt inclined to have sex and mutually chose to wait until we finished our focused time with God.

But yeah, I admit that’s not likely what this scripture is talking about. And now I’m wondering if we should be doing this. It’s in there, right after do not deprive. Prayer is certainly a worthy priority for your marriage.

What would that look like?

First, you have to talk about it. Are you both on board with the idea overall? If so, how long will you go without sex — a few days? a week? When do you each believe you need to come back together so that your prayer time is focused and effective, and not undermined by a pestering hunger for physical intimacy?

Second, what will your prayer time involve? I’d suggest both individual times of prayer and time praying together. And while you’re focused covering all kinds of topics in prayer, how about praying for your sexual intimacy? You might find that by stepping away from the bedroom, you gain some clarity about the sexual challenges you have in your marriage. Do you need to pray for less busyness in your life? physical ailments? unity in pursuing intimacy? Use this time to pray together and share your heart openly with both your Heavenly Father and your spouse.

Third, pursuing other forms of intimacy. Abstaining from sex doesn’t mean abstaining from time together, nonsexual affection, and communication. Indeed, you might focus this time growing your emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy (as you discuss what you’re learning), and spiritual intimacy.

Fourth, encourage one another. I can see this exercise being more difficult for one spouse than the other. So be there for each other with positive words of encouragement.

Finally, when the agreed-upon time has expired, have sex. But don’t just tell yourselves that’s going to happen. Set aside the time and clear out the obstacles that might interfere. Schedule the babysitter, plan a date night, even take time off work if you need to. Come back together in the marriage bed and celebrate that God, your gracious Heavenly Father, has gifted you with this intimate act in covenant marriage.

I’m motivated to give this a shot. How about you?

And if anyone has formally abstained from sex in marriage for the sake of prayer, tell us about your experience. What did you gain from it?

Research: Bible.org – Sex and the Spiritual Christian (1 Cor. 7:1-7); GeorgePWood.com – Sex, Prayer, and Holiness (1 Corinthians 7:5-6); Bill Mounce – Prayer and Fasting (1 Cor 7:5); Bible.org – A Touchy Issue (1 Corinthians 7:1-5); Bible Study Tools – 1 Corinthians 7:5; To Love Honor and Vacuum – What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean?

Q&A with J: Is Animated Porn a Problem?

I recently talked about seeing porn, and I thought this was a great follow-up question from a reader:

I’ve been reading your blog posts for a while now, but the one you recently did on your first experience with porn stirred me to email you with a question. Does animated porn, featuring not-real people, affect people like traditional porn does (and if so, how?). Whenever I read blogs on the effects of porn and similar topics, I feel that none of the topics they cover apply to animated porn. This leads me to believe the two are significantly different at least in terms of their effects. In short, I was hoping to hear your opinion on the subject.

Blog post title with ANIMATED word 3D against a bunch of 2D letters

I hadn’t actually seen any animated porn before this question. This is always a tough thing for a Christian sex blogger: How much do I go look up to be fully informed on the issue? And how much “research” is crossing a line?

Typing in “animated porn” in Google, the top hits were videos on porn sites. I knew I didn’t want to see any of that. I figured a few still images instead would give me the sense of what’s out there so I could speak to the issue as a whole. Clicking over to images, I saw maybe a page of stuff, and clicked right off. Don’t run this search! Rather, let me tell you what animated porn is like, so you’ll know and then we can all move on.

It’s not typically sketches or the stuff of comic strips. It’s three-dimensional animation that features highly unrealistic body parts and sexual acts. Think about it: Even things that can’t exist with real humans can exist with the tools of computer-generated imagery.

Animated porn is not artistic, but rather salacious.

So yeah, it’s porn. It’s an image generated to sexually titillate you in a way removed from God’s design for sex in marriage. Perhaps you’d put this more in the category of erotica than porn, because it’s pure fantasy, but it shares several problematic features:

 1. It’s inherently selfish. This stuff is designed to stimulate and satisfy solo sexual desires. The interaction is you and a screen. Now I know some argue that if you watch porn, even animated porn, together, it can arouse you and then you act out your sexuality with each other. To which some small part of me always wants to say, “Jeez, are you so lame at turning on your mate that you have to feed them porn? Up your game!”

Okay, maybe that’s a little too unfiltered. But the point is merely that you are using someone else (albeit a computer-drawn character) to get you turned on, rather than making the effort to connect with your spouse. But getting aroused by your spouse is always the model for sexual intimacy in the Bible.

Getting aroused by your spouse is always the model for sexual intimacy in the Bible. Click To Tweet

2. It’s lusting. Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Since you’re using those animated characters specifically for the purpose of sexual arousal and satisfaction, you have to be lusting while you’re watching it.

In the Book of Job, the grief-stricken Job defends his innocence in this way:

If my heart has been seduced by a woman,
  or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife,
then let my wife serve another man;
  let other men sleep with her.
For lust is a shameful sin,
  a crime that should be punished.
It is a fire that burns all the way to hell.
  It would wipe out everything I own” (31:9-12, NLT)

He doesn’t say, “If I cheated on my wife…” He says if I was seduced by another woman or lusting after another’s wife, and he proclaims lust “a shameful sin.” I know that a real woman and an animated one are not the exact same thing, but can you really see Job saying, “Hey God, I only lusted after the three-dimensional CGI babes with the big knockers, so cut me a break!” Nope, it’s all lusting.

3. It’s objectifying. Trust me on this one. These are not normal people. Their sexual features are incredibly pronounced, so the obvious goal is viewing these characters as a collection of body parts. You are not looking at animated porn and coming away with, “Gee, he had nice green eyes and a kind demeanor.”

Yes, of course we linger on our mate’s body parts at times. Song of Songs has passages like these:

Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies” (4:5).

His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli” (5:14).

But making love with your spouse involves an appreciation of the whole person, not just the “goodies.” And it’s not okay to treat others as body parts there for your entertainment. Yes, these are pretend characters, but you’re training your mind to see others and sex itself as a body part showcase, rather than focusing on the intimacy God desires a married couple to have.

I’ll admit that yes, animated porn is less horrifying to me, just like erotica, for this one reason: Real people are not involved on the other end.

Having read quite a bit about the porn industry, my heart genuinely aches for those who engage in the making of porn. I’ve heard the whole “they’re consenting…they’re emotionally healthy…they’re providing a service” arguments. But I don’t buy that treating your own body like an object for display is a good thing. It’s disrespectful to yourself and to God’s creation.

No good parent would say, “Hey, I can’t wait for my daughter to grow up and show off her private parts to the world.” Why on earth would we think God wants that for any of his daughters? Or sons?

So yeah, I’ll give you that one, that animated porn isn’t quite the same as real-life porn. But it’s still wrong, because it’s selfish, it’s lusting, and it’s objectifying.

Focus on your spouse and arousing one another. That’s far more worth your time and honoring to the One who created sex.

Q&A with J: When Your Groom Is Anxious about Sex

Today’s question comes from a lovely woman on the brink of new marriage. With just weeks until the vows, here’s what she wrote:

hi, im getting married in [a few] weeks, my husband to be has usually been a little reluctant to talk about sex which we always said was good to keep us from going too far before married. we did some sessions of premarital counseling a while ago and our pastor suggested looking at the site the marriage bed shortly before our wedding. I have read quite a bit on their site as well as yours which has helped me be less scared about sex, but now that he has read some things on their site he says he is super weird about the idea of sex. I asked if there was anything in particular that scared him and he said “putting my hands and face where they don’t belong.” I told him that I will never make him do anything he isn’t comfortable with but just the idea of sex is still scaring him. he is a very very logic driven person so has a hard time understanding why anyone would want to do any of the things he read about (even just normal sex). …

I don’t want him to be scared of sex and both of us have a really good understanding that sex is a good thing from God and its not dirty, it just is best within marriage. do you have any suggestions on ways I could make him less scared? I have told him its ok if we don’t have sex right away, we can spend time just becoming comfortable with each other and I will wait until he feels ready. I want to know how to love him best.

Blog post title + midsection of groom looking at his watch

I love that last line: “I want to know how to love him best.” Isn’t that a great way to approach your spouse, no matter how long you’ve been married?

But I wanted to tackle this question because it gets at a few issues that people often don’t consider.

Men also absorb the purity message.

Last year, Sheila Gregoire wrote 10 Things That Scare Me About the “Purity” Culture. One of those ten was “The Purity Culture can make women afraid of sex.” Now Sheila was writing specifically to women, but her point is valid for both genders: Well-intentioned Christians can preach sex as such a huge no-no that they create fear about engaging in the act even when married.

Here are clues that suggest this young man has been exposed to, and absorbed, some purity culture messages:

1. He’s highly uncomfortable talking about sex, but then they decide that’s a good thing so that they won’t go too far.

Except that talking about sex generally and talking about sex specifically are very different. As Christians, we need to be able to comfortably talk about our sexuality, our temptations and challenges, our longings for the future, etc. Silence isn’t always golden. Indeed, teens that have parents and mentors willing to discuss sexuality honestly and in the context of values tend to wait longer to have sex. 

When and how should much should you talk about sex before marriage? Check out this guest post from Eric and Heather Viets of Preengaged.comHow Much Should You Learn about Sex before the Wedding Night? Also, Lauren Hanna also guested here with Let’s Talk About Sex, Shall We?

2. He’s worried about “putting my hands and face where they don’t belong.”

Who said they belong there? I’ll deal with this issue more thoroughly below, but suffice it to say that I wonder if he’s absorbed the sense that godly sex involves a pretty narrow repertoire. It’s a message you get in some Christian circles, but it’s not what God’s Word says.

3. The questioner insists that they don’t believe sex is dirty, just best within marriage. That might be a completely innocent comment, or it could be that this young man is still trying to convince himself.

You know how we do that — tell ourselves something over and over so that we’ll eventually believe it. But if the belief is embedded deep, it can be harder to genuinely feel something is true, even when you know logically it is.

Men are simply not immune to the messages many Christian singles received about sex — that it’s dangerous territory. As being such an off-limits activity or even discussion before marriage, it’s hard to flip the switch after the vows.

What can you do? Here’s my go-to on this one: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). To me that means that we get what we want when we want what God designed for us to have (see Aligning Your Sexual Desires with God’s Plan). You, as a couple, must learn to delight in God’s design for sex. That can take some time, but it’s worth the study, communication, prayer, and perhaps even counseling you may need.

Sex IS weird.

Let’s just be honest: The act of sex is a strange thing. You get naked, put yourselves in all kinds of positions you wouldn’t get into otherwise, and you match up body parts in unusual ways. I’ve often wondered what God was thinking when He created this act. Wasn’t there an easier alternative?

But if you think we‘re weird, go look at the animal kingdom. I’m fascinated at all the ways reproduction happens among creatures, like the female praying mantis that sometimes eats the head of her mate after copulation or the argonaut octopus that has a detachable penis. You can really get lost in articles about the strange mating rituals out there. I don’t know why God made it that way for some species, but it sure makes me grateful He chose our way of doing things for the creatures made in His image.

It might make your fiancé feel better to just accept that sex IS weird. But just because something is strange doesn’t mean it isn’t also natural and enjoyable. There’s a lot of strange stuff in nature that’s pretty cool. (See Travel & Leisure’s World’s Strangest Natural Wonders.)

So yeah, sex is weird, but give it a fair shot … because it’s also quite wonderful.

Where do your hands and face “belong”?

I grew up on the rural side of Corpus Christi, Texas, where my high school let out for the local livestock show and rodeo because too many students were involved to continue holding class. Those of us not involved still attended to check things out and cheer on friends.

After one livestock show ended, a friend shared how she’d been walking past the hog stalls where two hogs lay head to toe. A romantically involved couple just ahead said something like, “Hey, those pigs look just like us!” (referring to the 69 position). My friend was way creeped out and ranted for a while about oral sex, wondering why anything would do such a thing … right up until a married woman nearby calmly responded, “You’d be surprised what you’d do.” You could have heard a pen drop … or maybe me snicker — one or the other.

Anyway, it’s not unusual for sexual acts to seem really strange as well and even off-putting before you do them. Hey, I remember wondering when I was young why people would touch tongues together and how that could be enjoyable. Turns out, French kissing is quite enjoyable, but I didn’t know until I tried.

Of course not every sexual act is a good idea. So how do you know where your hands and face really belong — from a Christian viewpoint? Here’s the upshot:

  • God clearly wanted penis-in-vagina intercourse to be part of sexual intimacy in marriage. Just think of the number of times something like “he knew her, and she became pregnant” occurs in the Bible.
  • The vast majority of our bodies is hygienically clean enough for hands and mouths. One exception is the anus, but our skin and genitalia are pretty much fair game. It’s a wide, wide playground God gave us to work with.
  • If oral sex is among the concerns, I — and quite a few others — believe it’s specifically referenced in Song of Songs: “In his shade I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (2:3) and “Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (4:16). Check out Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design for more in-depth treatment of oral sex and other sexual activities.

Essentially, your hands and your mouth belong on your spouse’s body where God says it’s okay, where your spouse says it’s okay, and where you want to go. God gave us a lot of freedom in the marriage bed.

God gave us a lot of freedom in the marriage bed. Click To Tweet

How do you deal with your mate’s genuine anxiety in the bedroom?

Actually, I think you’re on the right track. You need to nudge, but not pressure; communicate, but not nag; request, but not demand. The beauty of sex in marriage is that you get a lifetime to figure this whole thing out.

Unfortunately, some people think their first few experiences of sex together represent the destiny of their married sex life. And they don’t.

Just because of how life works, you’ll have seasons when things are better and when things are more challenging. But you also have the opportunity to grow together in intimacy in all areas, including the physical.

However, you need to be intentional in pursuing a good sex life together.

You need to be intentional in pursuing a good sex life together. Click To Tweet

In addition to what you’re already doing, I’d suggest that you read a few books together, which you can probably do now since you’re so close to the wedding. For couples, here are a few recommendations:

While I wrote it for wives, it could also be very beneficial for you two to go through my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage. Each devotion is brief, steeped in a biblical perspective, and includes questions that can help you communicate better and find out where you need to grow.

Take it slow, but don’t stop progressing. And many blessings for your upcoming nuptials!