Tag Archives: Q&A with J

Q&A with J: He Doesn’t Want Regular Intercourse

Today’s reader question addresses a husband who prefers oral or anal sex over regular PIV (penis-in-vagina) intercourse. There’s more to the email that the wife sent me, but the pertinent parts are here:

Because of my husband’s past sexual experiences he tends to prefer sexual acts other than just vaginal intercourse to get aroused and to climax. For example, he seems to only get aroused if I give him oral sex and he likes anal sex. I have told him that anal sex is very painful for me and that I do not find it to be an appropriate sexual act for two Christians. He has since stopped trying to initiate anal which I feel is respectful to me and I appreciate his response.

However, when we do have sex I have to start out with oral to get him hard and sometimes he never even penetrates me, he just finishes by climaxing in my mouth. I do not mind giving him oral sex but the semen in my mouth makes me gag every time. Also, if he does penetrate I am grossed out when he wants his penis back in my mouth almost immediately (I do not like the taste of my own juices). He sometimes can’t even stay hard unless he puts it back in my mouth.

Is this normal for a man to not like or to not prefer his penis in a vagina and just like it in a mouth?

Blog post title + illustration of worried woman with thought bubble

I hate to break it to you, but no, this isn’t normal. Or at least, it’s not good and how God designed sexual intimacy in marriage.

It sounds to me like your husband’s view of sexuality is that it’s primarily physical and for his own pleasure. Additionally, I suspect his desire for edgier sexual practices could be based on previous partners or pornography.

Regardless, he’s missing the core goal of intimacy. Becoming “one flesh” can mean a number of things in marriage, but it certainly involves the physical connection of husband and wife in intercourse.

Becoming one flesh can mean a number of things in marriage, but it certainly involves the physical connection of husband and wife in intercourse. Click To Tweet

What about anal sex?

As for anal sex, I advise against it for a number of reasons. In fact, my podcast partners and I discussed a listener’s question on anal sex in our last episode. I shared my opinion that it’s not okay for Christians to misuse the bodies God gave them.

And I believe it is a misuse of our bodies since health professionals give clear warnings that anal sex:

  • Can lead to fecal incontinence, by stretching the sphincter muscle intended to hold in feces
  • Can increase the risk of anal cancer, by passing the HPV virus
  • Is the riskiest sexual behavior for contracting HIV, more  than 17 times higher than vaginal intercourse and twice as risky as needle-sharing during injection drug use
  • Is more likely to transmit other diseases and infections, such as gonorrhea, Hepatitis A, B, and C, parasites, and bacteria such as E.Coli

Why does anal sex pose greater risk? Because the anus lacks the natural lubrication of a vagina, such that penetration can tear the interior tissue, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream. Using lubricants alleviates, but does not eliminate, tearing. Moreover, the interior tissue lacks the protective barrier protection our outer tissue has, making it more vulnerable to fissures and the spread of infection.

Just looking at all this information convinces me that God did not intend for the penis to penetrate the anus, and your husband needs to know it’s a bad idea.

Not to mention that the vast majority of women report pain with anal sex. While some later report pleasure, after many penetrations, they might have merely loosened their sphincter muscle enough to not hurt in the moment—but clearly, there’s a price to pay for damaging your sphincter muscle this way.

“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24).

What about oral sex?

What’s more concerning right now is your husband’s seeming fixation on oral arousal. While I’m certainly not opposed to “blow jobs,” the crown jewel of sexual intimacy should be penis-in-vagina (PIV) intercourse.

And it’s not typical for a man to require oral manipulation to maintain an erection or reach climax. It sounds like this has become the way he gets aroused, probably because of past experiences that rewired his pleasure process.

As frustrating as it may be in the short term, I’d suggest you stop doing oral. Because your husband needs to rewire how he gets turned on, maintains an erection, and achieves orgasm.

Now I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to march in the bedroom and say, “That’s it, buddy; no more ____ for you!” That’s likely to devolve into an argument. And understandably so. Neither spouse should be the sole determinant of what happens in your marriage bed.

But you need to discuss the situation with your husband and explain that you want to experience better sexual intimacy, including more exploration of one another’s bodies, more romance and foreplay, and a focus on learning how to engage in PIV. To that end, you feel like you need to move away from oral for a while until his body can respond to other sensations involved in making love.

Encourage your husband to read Song of Songs with you and see how much they engage in flirtation, kissing, touching and appreciation of one another’s bodies, and lovemaking. It may inspire him to see how sensual and erotic the Word of God is regarding sex in marriage. We could learn a lot from those godly lovers!

Also, if he is struggling with his past or what he saw in porn, he should consider getting counseling to undo the damage of those experiences. If porn remains a draw, get internet filtering software to keep the temptation at bay, like Covenant Eyes. And work together for true physical intimacy in your marriage.

Sources: The Consequences of Heterosexual Anal Sex for Women – Medical Institute for Sexual HealthAnal Sex Safety and Health Concerns – Web MD

Q&A with J: “How Can I Orgasm with Penetration?”

Today’s reader question reflects a common goal for many wives: reaching orgasm through intercourse. Here’s what she asks:

I’m not really sure how to ask this in a way that makes sense, but how can my husband and I achieve bringing me to orgasm with his penis or with vaginal penetration? We’ve been married for a few years and have a wonderful love life, but it frustrates me so badly that I can’t seem to orgasm easily unless he uses his hand or mouth. I’m starting to think there is something wrong with me.

It feels amazing when he’s inside, but it doesn’t take too long and I get so sore down there. (not because he isn’t gentle or patient, either.) Do some people just not work they are supposed to? We’ve tried the whole getting me almost there manually before he goes in but by then usually he’s so close it doesn’t take very long before he goes and then it’s really hard to finish me off, although the dear man makes sure we do. What can we try?

Blog post title + fireworks

Let me start with this question: “Do some people just not work [how] they are supposed to?” There’s a myth in there that women are supposed to orgasm through penetration. But studies have reported that 70% or more of women cannot orgasm through intercourse alone.

I recently wrote about the “golden trio” of deep kissing, manual play, and oral sex that seems to best help women achieve climax. Missing from that list of three is intercourse. Why? Because the engagement of our minds and direct stimulation of the clitoris are the two factors more important in getting us to the pleasure peak.

So if you have difficulty getting there through intercourse, please realize that your body might be working just fine. It’s just that we have unrealistic expectations about attaining orgasm with intercourse, based on what we’ve heard, read in romance novels, or seen in TV or movies.

Now let’s go over some questions to consider and some options to try. Because you likely can, one way or another, have a wonderful orgasm during intercourse.

What’s your C-V distance?

The ability to orgasm just with penis-in-vagina (PIV) intercourse seems to be a function of anatomy, specifically the distance between your clitoris and vagina (“C-V distance”). The “magic number,” according to researchers is 2.5 centimeters.

I suppose you can pull out your measuring tape, even enlist your husband to help, and measure to see what your C-V distance is. But one researcher suggests you can get a good sense of your C-V by simply using the “rule of thumb.” The distance from the tip of your thumb to your first knuckle is about 2.5 centimeters. If you’re around or under that distance, you should be able to achieve climax with intercourse.

However, if your C-V is higher, say 3 centimeters or a bit longer than that first thumb joint, then it’s unlikely you’ll climax through intercourse alone. That doesn’t mean you’re broken (see 70% stat above), but that you’ll have to add some additional stimulation.

What positions and angles are you using?

The traditional missionary position is among the worst for a woman to climax. Since an intercourse orgasm relies on indirect stimulation of the clitoris with his penis, the angle at which he penetrates and thrusts determines how much clitoral contact she feels.

If you’re lying in the missionary position, you can move your hips and legs to bring your clitoral head closer to the action, thus making it more likely that his penis will make contact there. I talk about this stuff in more detail in chapters on positions, what to do with your hips, and what to do with your legs in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

But other positions might work very well for you. Some women report PIV entry from behind as being more stimulating or woman on top allowing her to “grind” against him more. Test out different positions and angles and see which ones give you the most pleasure.

Do you have enough lubrication?

You say it feels amazing when he’s inside, but then you struggle with quickly getting sore. This could happen because you’re going at it for so long, chasing that elusive climax. But it could also be that your body runs out of lubrication. In which case, you should consider what you can do to remedy that.

Lack of lubrication is often a function of hormones, which is why it’s a struggle for many menopausal women. But it’s also a challenge at certain times in a woman’s cycle, meaning you might have an easier time climaxing through intercourse when you are ovulating. Also, if you’re taking oral contraception or on certain medications, they could affect your body’s ability to lubricate sufficiently.

If this is part of the issue, keep personal lubricant handy, apply it liberally, and add it as needed. He can always pull out, add some lubrication to his penis, and then thrust back in. Even if you do this a few times, it could help you go long enough to get to the climax without discomfort.

Why not add manual stimulation?

There is zero wrong with adding stimulation to get you over the edge. Likely, the best way to do this is to get you close to climax, or even have one climax already, and then have your husband penetrate. After that, he can add his hand, or you can add your own, to directly stimulate the clitoral head (the part of your clitoris that sticks out under the clitoral hood).

Get in a position that allows access to the clitoral head. Just a few choices include:

  • “Doggy style” (which fellow blogger Chris Taylor recently suggested we rename “stallion style,” a definite improvement), with your legs far enough apart for him to wrap his hand around or you to reach
  • Adapted missionary with your legs spread far apart, even like a butterfly yoga pose, so that your clitoral head is exposed for touching
  • “Cowgirl” (woman on top) with your hips tilted forward so he can view and reach your clitoral head

Christian Friendly Sex Positions even has an entire section on positions that allow access for manual clitoral stimulation you can check for ideas.

And those who are screaming at me right now, “A vibrator! You can use a vibrator!” Yes, you can use a bullet style vibrator as well to stimulate your clitoral head. I’m personally a fan of first seeing what magic you can work with your hands, but this is a good option for wives who have tried various options and still struggle to reach climax.

Is adding additional stimulation “cheating”? Or somehow less fulfilling than having a climax through intercourse alone? No. It’s engaging in sexual intimacy that is mutually arousing and satisfying to both of you.

You might be able to someday orgasm through intercourse alone … and you might not. Either way, you can orgasm with your husband inside you. And that produces the same wonderful sensations of your vagina spasming around his penis. That’s pretty great stuff, however it happens.

Honoring Intimates online ad - click to shop

Great place to purchase personal lubricant! (Affiliate Link)

Q&A with J: Engaging Your Mind in Lovemaking

A while ago, I talked about having over 300 emails in my inbox. Through various efforts, I’m now down to 69 messages. (And yes, I do see the humor in that.)

Slowly but surely, I’m trying to get to the remaining questions either directly or through posts. And today’s question is from (gasp!) May 2017. But it’s such a good one, I wanted to cover it today. Here’s what the reader asks:

I have a question about “engaging your mind.” I’ve read from various Christian intimacy bloggers that many women need to engage their minds in order to be aroused. I feel like this is true for me, but I’m uncertain how to do it in the holiest way. I often feel guilty if I visualize anything because it usually involves other people (not specific people just general other people), or other situations, think anything that doesn’t necessarily involve being happily married. I know it’s a flesh desire, and I have learned, whether I meant to or not, that the arousal from that thinking is very fleeting and doesn’t help me feel close to my husband. So I don’t allow it, but then I feel like I can’t let loose. So what does it mean to engage your mind without turning to something sinful?

Blog post title + silhouette of woman with colored lines swirling through her head

I periodically talk about all the myths that romance novels perpetuate, and I’m no fan whatsoever of erotica, but there are some things the romance genre gets right. And here’s one: Not once have I ever read a love scene where the woman was mentally going through her to-do list, fantasizing about some random guy she saw in a movie or a magazine, or thinking yeah, that feels okay, but I’d rather be watching Netflix.

Oh no — if you’re going to write a romantic, passionate, or even sexy scene, your main character is going to be into it. Seriously into it. Sure, she might think about how she wishes she hadn’t worn the granny panties tonight, but most of her thoughts are about what she’s seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and touching. She’s sinking deeply into her senses, as well as her emotions about the man with whom she’s making love.

Much as I hate to grab any wisdom from the pages of a bodice-ripper, I think they’re onto something here.

But wait a minute… God was way ahead of the romance section of your bookstore! Thousands of years ago, He made sure we have examples of what it means to engage in your mind in lovemaking with your spouse. Together let’s visit a book I’ve mentioned quite a bit on my blog (and in my books): Song of Songs, a poetic exchange between husband and wife, lover to lover.

God was way ahead of the romance section of your bookstore! Click To Tweet

It begins like this:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.

What’s her mind doing here? She’s thinking about the sensations and taste of her husband’s kiss and his oh-so-appealing scent. Also, how much she loves him, and even how his stellar reputation is alluring. She imagines getting whisked away by this particular man to make mad, passionate love!

Whew. Wipe off your brow, y’all — that was sexy.

Now as much as I’d like to go through the remaining 7¾ chapters, breaking down all the amazing takeaways, that would be an insanely long blog post. Instead, I encourage you to go read it for yourself. And notice where and how these lovers engage their minds.

Focus on your five senses.

Instead of fantasizing about someone or something that’s not in the bed with you, how about paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of lovemaking. There’s a bounty of all that going on, and you can train yourself to tune in to it.

While making love, ask yourself what your senses are experiencing, and revel in those sensations. This practice is really what people now call “mindfulness,” where you increase your awareness of what’s right around you and learn to attend to it more fully.

Here’s an example from the husband in Song of Songs attending to the senses:

Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon” (4:1).

Open your eyes.

It’s harder to think about someone or something else when you’re looking your spouse in the eye. Or really, anywhere on their body. Oftentimes, we find it uncomfortable to keep our eyes open, because there’s vulnerability in that — especially given that our facial expressions during sex can be rather curious, shall we say.

But looking into one another’s eyes, taking in the sight of our beloved, and even watching intently where and how your bodies connect can also be beautifully intimate. And it can help your focus remain right there, on the wonderful husband with whom you are making love.

Here’s one example of how the Song of Songs wife gazed at her husband:

His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.
His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.
His arms are rods of gold set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli.
His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars (5:12-16).

Use your voice.

It’s also hard not to concentrate on what’s happening right here and right now if you have to describe it. So speak up and talk about what you’re seeing, what you’re sensing, what you desire. Express the depth of your feelings for your husband through everything from “I love you” to “You rock my world, baby!”

All of that can keep your mind preoccupied on coming up with relevant thoughts and translating that into words. Besides, verbal expression can also increase the arousal factor in your marriage bed.

Consider this was something the husband in Song of Songs requested:

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (2:14).

Keep on trying.

One reason we fail when we try to engage our minds is we give up too soon. Distractions invade, and we push away the first one or two, but then others come and it feels hopeless. How can we ever stop getting sidetracked? And especially if those rabbit trails lead to greater arousal?

But retraining your mind isn’t a one-day workout program. You’re in a marathon, girlfriend. When that first stray thought comes in the middle of lovemaking, push it aside. Then push aside the next one, and the next, and the next…and so on. Replace each with the kind of engagement discussed in previous points — for instance, shifting your thoughts from that one general guy to gazing into your husband’s eyes. Do this again and again, and you’ll build a new habit. And your pleasure will be even better because it will be all you and all him engaging intimately in the marriage bed.

Remember this verse from Song of Songs:

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.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away (8:6-7).

Your marital love is unyielding. Lean into that — mind, heart, body, and soul.

Ad for Hot Holy & Humorous - click to learn more / buy

Q&A with J: I Just Found Out My Husband Cheated

Among the fears some spouses have about marriage is the worry that their mate will cheat on them. It seems like one of the worst things you could learn. But it’s happened to couples out there who have come through, found healing, and even nurtured their relationship to a better place than it was in before. Still, no one wants to get that news.

And today’s question addresses just that — finding out your husband cheated. What now?

If you had asked me last week how I felt about my marriage, I would have said with confidence that we have a great marriage, one that was far stronger than most.

Then this weekend, my husband admitted to me that he had cheated on me several times during the first 5 years of our marriage. He made out with and/or received oral sex from several different women…. I’m just at a loss. I feel curiously numb, but my mind is spinning with thoughts of every kind.

My husband is extremely remorseful. I know all this happened before he got serious about his faith, and I still love him and I want to forgive him and find a way to work this out. He admitted his sins to our pastor and to his men’s bible study group a couple years ago. It seems it took him a long time to work up the courage to confess to me. He also said that for awhile he worried if telling me was actually a selfish thing for him to do, because it would make him feel better while inflicting serious pain on me. He said he wanted to protect me from that, but after continuing to pray he felt God saying he needed to tell me. So he did. Now that burden is off his shoulders, and I’m glad, but the hard part for me is only just beginning.

I know that if we’re going to have any chance at repairing our marriage we need to commit to doing it right. I am so overwhelmed though that I don’t even know where to start. 

blog post title + illustration of woman burying her face in her hands

When I receive messages like this, where someone shares their personal heartbreak, I try to imagine how I would feel in their situation. Of course I can’t say for sure, but I imagine this news like a wall falling and crushing me under—something I thought had kept me secure suddenly becoming a weight on my chest that makes it hard for me to breathe. While I wouldn’t want to demolish the whole house, because so many beautiful memories and good things happened there, it would feel overwhelming, like there’s so much to repair.

All that said, I want to point out some positives (which don’t exist with everyone who gets news of their spouse’s infidelity):

  • You say this happened before your husband got serious about his faith. Meaning that the deepening of his faith has had the effect of convicting and changing him.
  • You learned about this from him, meaning he was willing (though delayed) to come clean.
  • The infidelity has stopped. (I’m assuming that’s true based on his statements, but see point number two below.)
  • Your husband is extremely remorseful.
  • You believed you had a great marriage — which likely means you have a lot to build on.
  • Your husband was very concerned about the effect this information would have on you.
  • He listened to God’s nudging him toward honesty, even though there might be a personal price to pay.

But now what do you do? Well, those who recover from infidelity report similar processes for healing.

1. You need time and space to grieve.

Something has been lost, and it’s entirely understandable for you to grieve this betrayal.

Sometimes when an unfaithful spouse confesses, they feel like it’s over. They’ve finally dumped the weight of their guilt by fully confessing and can feel a sense of closure in that moment, but, as you point out, the road has only just begun for the wounded spouse.

Be clear with your husband that you are grieving and need to be given the opportunity to do so, even if it means that you are sad, angry, or withdrawn. It may be painful for him to feel shut out, but you need that own that grief and work through it unheeded.

2. If he wants your marriage to heal, his life is now an open book.

You get to ask questions, and he should answer them. If you want to know where he is, when he’ll be home, and who he’s with, he needs to tell you. If you ask to see his phone, he needs to hand it over. If you want his passwords to social media, that should be shared information.

To some unfaithful spouses, that feels unfair. But the wounded spouse feels thrown off-kilter, and they need to see evidence that the relationship is exclusive and secure. They need to know that no other inappropriate contact is happening and that the marriage takes priority.

That said, the wounded spouse shouldn’t make unfounded accusations and should be thoughtful in which questions to ask about the infidelity. If you ask your husband for specifics about someone he was with, and he complies and tells you, that’s in your brain now and isn’t likely to go away. Ask what you need to know to re-establish trust, but don’t ask questions you don’t need or want the answer to — hearing the sordid details isn’t likely to help you understand more and may make you, and him, simply feel worse.

3. You need to find out what was absent during those times.

Typically a spouse cheats because they feel something is missing. Now, to be clear, what could be missing is a compass of personal morality that has zero to do with the spouse cheated on. It could also be that he felt something missing in your relationship and failed to resolve it with you, instead selfishly choosing an extramarital outlet for those feelings.

Answering the question, “Why did you cheat?” can illuminate any areas of your relationship that you might want to work on to make sure your marriage is on solid ground. Maybe your marriage has already grown to the point that this would never happen again, but it’s worth asking.

And know there likely isn’t a simple answer to this question—there could be layers of reasons you have to work through, such as a poor misunderstanding of sex in marriage coupled with a porn background and work stress and this, that, and the other.

4. You should both foster your friendship and romance.

In the midst of dealing with all of these issues, you can begin to feel like all of your discussions with your husband are tense and painful. Clear away moments and evenings and outings when you just spend time with each other.

Take the issue of infidelity off the table for those times—not that it will go away completely, but save your expressions of hurt and problem-solving on that issue for other times. Commit to dating again, reminding yourselves why you fell in love and why your marriage is worth investing in.

5. You should aim for a return of intimacy.

Some wounded spouses don’t want to have sex for a long time after discovering infidelity, while others plunge into sexual intimacy in a longing to remind themselves of this physical bond. Neither way is unreasonable, but it seems to me that the wounded spouse should take the lead.

Yes, this can go on too long where it becomes a spiteful gatekeeping exercise that can tear the marriage down further, but most of the time it’s just that the wounded spouse needs to re-establish a sense of security to become vulnerable again in the marriage bed.

Take steps to move in that direction at the pace you need, knowing that the end goal is to become one in your marriage, including physically.

For many couples, all of these suggestions proceed more smoothly when overseen by a Christian counselor who can help you address your feelings, your relationship’s weaknesses, and your goals for the marriage.

You might need to visit a counselor alone at first, to work through your emotional pain. But conversations with your husband might also flow better with someone there to mediate and interpret and make wise suggestions on how to nurture your marriage.

Finally, although the following post doesn’t address your scenario, it includes links to relevant resources: Q&A with J: Can God Heal Any Marriage after Infidelity?

As for where to start, start in prayer. Then, if I were in your shoes, I’d make a phone call to a counselor and set up an appointment. I’d peruse the resources in that post. I’d ask my husband for certain promises and access to information. I’d do some self-care. I’d schedule a date night. I’d see the counselor. I’d keep praying.

The road isn’t easy, but you can reach a destination of healing, trust, and intimacy. Not simply again, but deeper than before.

Sex Chat for Christian Wives logo + forchristianwives.com

Q&A with J: No Interest in Sex & Meeting Emotional Needs

It’s Q&A day again! Today, I’m tackling two questions: one about a lack of interest in sex and the second about meeting emotional needs in marriage. Let’s get to it!

Blog post title + illustration of bed with question marks above

1. No Interest in Sex

I’m in a strange predicament. I relate to the term “demisexual”, which basically means someone better be my best friend if they want a prayer of me thinking they’re attractive. I lovingly refer to this as “the most convenient orientation”, but it has had its inconveniences as well.

Growing up, I was unable to relate to my friends who seemed to fall in love so quickly. I rarely thought about sex until I got serious (staying pure till marriage- no worries!) with my fiancé. Sex seems like fun! I’m looking forward to it and I want to be as experimental (now that I know you can be! Lol)

The hardest part, though, is that both my fiancé and I have a mutual concern. I don’t think much about sex. I am not interested in it as much as the normal person. I don’t understand why sex sells and I am a businesswoman and a performer. I am mortified that my wiring is going to ruin my marriage. Heck, it took me two years to kiss the poor boy. He is the most respectful and patient and loving man I have ever met, but I feel so guilty and like this aspect of me is going to be a curse on our relationship.

What advice do you have to give to women who just don’t have much active interest in sex? Or couples with different libidos?

Let me first say that I don’t think all those terms (“demisexual,” “asexual,” etc.) are all that helpful. It’s a label that makes it seems like you’re different in a way that doesn’t seem all that weird to me. A lot of people aren’t that interested in sex with someone unless and until they feel deep companionship and connection.

A lot of people aren't that interested in sex with someone unless and until they feel deep companionship and connection. Click To Tweet

In addition, not being interested in sex isn’t the kiss of death to your intimacy either. Many — really, the majority of — women have libidos that are more responsive than proactive. Such wives can have wonderful sexual intimacy if they prioritize sex in their marriage, decide to engage, and then surrender to the pleasure of the experience. They may not ever have an independent urge to have sex, but from memories of how good it made them feel before and how sex keeps them connected to their husband, they continue to enjoy ongoing affection and sexual pleasure throughout their marriage.

All that said, a nonexistent libido or inability to respond sexually could be a problem. One question I’d have is whether you experience physiological arousal at any time. That is, do you experience lubrication and swelling in the genital area at any time when you’re with your fiancé? Women often aren’t as aware of their arousal, but if their bodies are physiologically responding, it’s a good sign for future sexual engagement. If that’s not happening, you should visit a doctor to check on hormone levels and any other factors that could influence your sexual physiology.

I also highly recommend a video course recently released by fellow marriage and sex author Sheila Gregoire titled Boost Your Libido, which you can find HERE.

If you get married and continue to have problems, I’d suggest seeing a counselor to determine what else might be going on. God really did create us to be a sexual beings, and while our libidos can run the spectrum, having zero sexual interest or response isn’t likely without some underlying reason.

Related post: What Is Sexual Interest? Why Should I Care? from OysterBed7

2. Meeting Your Spouse’s Emotional Needs

This has less to do with sex and more with maintaining a healthy marriage.

My husband and I are similar in many ways but words of affirmation is an area where we are not. He is a tender, humble, hilarious husband! I have nothing but good things to say about him—to others. But when it comes to expressing appreciation and love, in a deeper, heart-to-heart way, to HIM, I stink! I feel so uncomfortable!

My husband is an ESFJ, if that means anything to you, so feeling valued and appreciated is very important to him. He truly NEEDS to hear affirmation–a LOT. For me, as an ESTJ, I can go without words of affirmation for a long time and be totally fine. Sometimes his constant need for praise feels like insecurity and can be annoying to me. At the same time, I hit the jackpot in regards to husbands and am overwhelmingly grateful most days.

Any insight on how I can become more comfortable in being verbally affirming?

For those who might not recognize the label, that’s a four-letter personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a test I’ve taken, administered, and interpreted. I’m a big fan of the MBTI.

But emotional needs have also been identified through other resources like The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr.  Regardless of which approach you use, you’re likely to discover that you and your spouse are not the same person. Surprise! You express and experience love in different ways.

You're likely to discover that you and your spouse are not the same person. Surprise! You express and experience love in different ways. Click To Tweet

Now most of us expressed love in just about every way possible while courting, because the experience of falling in love does that to a person — makes you gush out your feelings through every pore they can find. Once married, or past the honeymoon phase, we tend to fall back into the habits our personality type is comfortable with. That’s a good thing, because it means we’re maturing in our love. But it’s also a bad thing if we let go of an action that was particularly meaningful to our spouse.

What’s the answer? Well, you can keep your personality type and still meet your spouse’s emotional needs. You will have to do some changing, but it won’t be that painful. Really. Here are my suggestions for meeting the emotional need of verbal affirmation, but the principles can apply to meeting any emotional need for your beloved spouse.

Recognize it will be awkward at first. Whenever we’re setting up a new habit, it feels unnatural at first — because it is. But over time, it will become more natural if you keep at it and let the new habit sink in.

Set up a routine. Make a point of saying something affirming when you wake up, when you leave, when you get home, or whatever triggers work for you. Even set up reminders on your phone to share something positive with your husband.

Write it, if that’s easier. Some people feel weird saying compliments aloud, but find it easier to write them down. If that’s you, then buy some cute post-in notes or stationery and make it a habit to write a word of affirmation and plant it where you husband will see it (e.g., in his lunch bag, on his computer screen, on the bathroom mirror).

Be genuine. Don’t say stuff you don’t believe or “fluff” that you think he wants to hear. Look for something positive in your hubby that you really believe, even if it’s something small, and then comment on that.

Pray. Yeah, pray for the right words and the right attitude and the right reception from your husband. It seems to me that your desire to bless your husband in this way is entirely in line with God’s will, so surely He will bless you in this endeavor if you invite His guidance.

That’s it for today’s questions. More Q&A next week!