Tag Archives: sex in marriage

Godly Sources of Intimacy with Guest Daniel Purcell

I haven’t had many men write for my blog — not that I don’t think they have a lot to say on the subject of God’s design for sex in marriage, but my primary goal has always been reaching wives. But when I came into contact with the creator of a neat little marriage app called Ultimate Intimacy, he told me a bit of his story and I asked him to share his perspective with my readers.

Hope y’all enjoy this as much as I did and that you’ll check out the Ultimate Intimacy app! (More into at the bottom.)

I’ve been married to my sweetheart for 14 years. We’re both active in our faith and church. We avoid R-rated movies, and definitely anything pornographic or salacious.  We have an Internet filter to help protect us and our six kids. We’ve seen friends marriages disintegrate because of pornography and a view of sex that’s more like what you read in grocery store checkout-line magazines.

Although my wife and I had what we thought was a good intimate relationship, there were many things we didn’t know we didn’t know because we didn’t feel safe looking for answers. We were too afraid that reading or watching something wouldn’t be appropriate, so we avoided it altogether. It appeared that it was easier than to navigate what appeared to be a moral minefield.

A Friend Tells Me…

One day a friend told my wife and me that his marriage changed dramatically in the last few months after he and his wife got a few things working really well in the bedroom. He mentioned a community of Christian bloggers that discuss sex in positive and wholesome ways. Let’s just say it was an exciting conversation I don’t usually have on a regular basis!

I was intrigued, but skeptical. I didn’t want to compromise my values, and going online  searching for information about sex seemed scary. However, I was yearning for what my friend had in his marriage. He just seemed so sincere! My wife and I jumped in together and decided to see what my friend was so excited about. This is how we found the blog and book, Hot, Holy & Humorous.

…But Is It Okay?

Besides unanswered questions we’ve always had about sex, we were now introduced to new ideas we hadn’t considered (I guess you don’t know what you don’t know, right?). In addition, we weren’t sure if it was right to be reading tips from other couples of what they enjoy their lovemaking (in general terms). This became our moral dilemma — if reading material like this was right with God. I believe that we can receive answers to prayers and guidance from a loving Heavenly Father, but He expects us to do our homework too.

The answers didn’t come all at once, but little bits at a time. Here were some of our guiding principles that helped us along the way:

  • “Seek and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7). I believe that God is the source of all truth, including truths about sex. We could rely on him to teach us if we put in the effort.
God is the source of all truth, including truths about sex. We could rely on him to teach us if we put in the effort. ~ Daniel Purcell Click To Tweet
  • God is a giver of good gifts (Matthew 7:11). Although I knew God approved of sex (multiply and replenish the earth!), for the first time I came to realize deep in my heart that God actually loves sex. He invented it! He designed it not only for procreation but for husbands and wives to express love and strengthen marital bonds. As the creator of it, He made it amazing and wants His children to partake fully of this special gift He’s set apart for his children.
  • By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16). To me, this meant I could experiment a little with what we read and observe the outcome. The fruits I was looking for were a strengthened connection with my wife and things that would encourage me to be a faithful and devoted husband. If the fruits are good, then the tree the fruits come from must also be good.

With the above in mind, my wife and I spent a lot of time over the next few weeks talking, reading, and … ahem … doing our “homework.”  

The Fruits of a Healthy & Happy Sex Life

All of the sudden our marriage started to change! The first “fruit” we noticed is we started communicating better about everything, including the sensitive and the sacred. Another “fruit” was those twitterpated feelings from early on came back. We felt like newlyweds all over again, but better! I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop thinking of my wife during the day, just like back in the earlier dating days.

As for our physical intimacy, our frequency doubled, quality quadrupled, and overall marital satisfaction increased by an order of a magnitude. A weekly date night became a real set-in-stone thing. We were sleeping better and our stress levels went down. As a result, there was more peace in the home; it seemed like the kids started getting along better too.

My desire to be the best person I could be for my precious wife increased dramatically too. This meant I had some personal changes to make. Changing one’s habits aren’t easy, and it took some sacrifice on my part but have been well worth it for my dear, sweet angel wife Emily. I could go on further about the blessings we’ve enjoyed, but I think you get the picture.

My Soapbox

Improving the sexual dimension was just a part of our renewed enthusiasm for each other in our marriage. It seems though that a healthy, happy sexual relationship brings out the best in us. It leads people to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and to do good. It gives us strength to endure all things and fills our days with hope and excitement for our future. It leads us to honor our vows and be fully committed to each other.

It seems though that a healthy, happy sexual relationship brings out the best in us. ~ Daniel Purcell #marriage Click To Tweet

In our situation, it was knowhow, techniques, and new things to explore to keep things fresh that made the initial difference. Then, like a virtuous cycle, other areas of our marriage improved. When other areas improved, our sexually intimate area improved too.

I learned how important it is to make lovemaking fun and mutually fulfilling. None of this would be possible without feeling safe to explore helpful resources that we could apply in the bedroom. We’re grateful for the brave souls out there that are willing to share what they’ve learned in a healthy, positive, and constructive way. They’re blessing many lives, probably more than they’d ever know.

If there are readers with a spouse who’s unsure about this blog, podcast, books, or Facebook group, I hope they’ll at least read about our experience and reconsider. I want to tell them to be brave and realize there’s a lot of good people out there sharing real experiences based on true principles. I hope they find that learning more about God’s design for intimacy is uplifting, wholesome, and encouraging. And can be really, really fun too!

J again: Be sure to check out Daniel’s app! Trust me—go ahead and pay for the premium. (It’s about the same cost as a Chick-fil-A meal, y’all.) You can thank me later.

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The Lamest Excuse for Your Sexual Problems

Blog post title + illustration of rubber stamp that says "NO EXCUSES"

I love the movie “Say Anything.” It came out when I was in college, and I remember being so struck by its story and characters. Looking back, I think what I liked most about this film was how the main character, Lloyd Dobbler, was what we often call an alpha guy — that is, he was 100% masculine — but he changed how he did things and upped his game in the sensitivity and caring department to woo and win the girl he loved.

But as he’s contemplating his own struggles to be the kind of guy who can get the girl he longs for, he has this a conversation with his angsty fabulous best friend, Corey Flood, and this exchange between Lloyd and his friend Corey has stuck with me for nearly 30 years:

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: ‘Cause I’m a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You’re not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

Corey Flood & friend talking to Lloyd Dobler

The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

I think of that every time I hear someone say, “That’s just the way I am.”

Especially since I believe it’s the lamest excuse for not improving your marriage and sexual intimacy. Although it’s one I hear all the time.

  • “I just don’t need sex, so I’m done having it.”
  • “I need sex almost every day. It’s how I’m made.”
  • “He wants me to talk during sex, but I’m just not like that.”
  • “I’m inherently visual, so if she doesn’t show me her body, I can’t help but look elsewhere.”
  • “I can’t do without sex. So if intercourse can’t happen for a season, my spouse still owes me sexual release.”
  • “I can’t just flip a switch, and if I’m not in the mood, it’s not happening.”

Maybe you see yourself in one of those, maybe you don’t. But I think a lot of spouses, even ones with minor issues in the marriage bed, fall back on the excuse of “That’s just the way I am.”

Well, Corey Flood and I have some advice for you. Yes, you may be that. But if it’s not working for your life, you can make a different choice. You can choose to be something better.

You don’t have to surrender to your natural tendency. Good gravy, the Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus. #marriage Click To Tweet

For Lloyd Dobbler, it was Don’t be a guy. Be a man. But for spouses with marriage bed struggles, it’s about not being the person who’s causing or contributing to your spouse feeling terrible about sex in your marriage or to your marriage itself becoming a place of conflict or despair.

Is it really so important to hold on to some aspect of yourself that you believe to be inborn if it costs you your marriage?

Honestly, all of my examples hit on real issues that would need to be dealt with if they are in your marriage. I’m not saying that you just sweep that problem under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is that it’s a lame excuse for keeping the status quo to say, “That’s just the way I am.”

What if you could be something else? What if you could view sex in its right perspective for your marriage? Neither the be-all-end-all, nor an optional experience in your relationship. What if sex in your marriage could be mutually pleasurable? Intimacy-building? Emotionally and spiritually satisfying?

Let’s figure out how to be that, starting simply with the first step toward growth.

5 Reasons to Love a Quickie

Quickie (n). a brief or spontaneous episode of sexual activity.

Quickies should not comprise the majority of your lovemaking. If they do, you’re not giving your sex life enough time and attention. Because the ultimate goal of sex in marriage is intimacy. And you can’t get super-intimate with your spouse in 5-10 minutes.

That said, when you’ve invested a lot of time with someone, those brief encounters can be great touch-base moments. I’ve seen this with texting my best friend in between seeing one another, quick greetings at church with people I later sit down and talk to at length, and quickies with my husband when we also have longer lovemaking times.

With all that in mind, let me tell you why you should embrace—even love—the quickie!

Stopwatch illustration + blog post title

1. You can take the edge off.

One of the primary reasons to have a quickie is because one or both of you is feeling edgy about not having had sex in a while. A while could be a few days or a week, but for higher interest spouses, the longer they go without, the more the desire translates to physical tension.

Some spouses report getting antsy or cranky without both the physical release and intimate connection sex in marriage provides. Having a quickie can sate that hunger until you have more time for a longer lovemaking encounter.

2. You can avoid little-people detection.

When you have young children in your home, it can be difficult to find time to eat a decent meal or take a shower, much less have extended nookie time. Sometimes, 5-10 minutes is all you have, so you make the best of what you’ve got.

Nearly all kids can be left alone for the time it takes to have a quickie. Yes, you might need to put the baby in the playpen, turn on a kids’ show, or drag out the craft supplies and hope glue doesn’t end up on your walls, but you can figure out how to safely make it happen. And then you can figure out how to make the quickie happen.

3. You can bless your spouse.

Quickies don’t necessarily mean sexual intercourse — any brief sexual activity counts. That means you can take a short period of time and use it to bless your spouse by taking care of their sexual/emotional needs or by just making this time all about them.

Specifically speaking, give him a blow job or a hand job. Give her cunnilingus (aka oral sex) or manually bring her to orgasm. You may need to bring out your best plays and a bit of lube to accomplish what you want, but you might well be able to get in a sweet blessing in only a few minutes.

4. You can have it in places other than the bed.

Quickies are great for the shower, the closet, the car… Wherever space is limited, quickies are wonderful option. You may need to get creative enough with positions to make your bodies come together, but check out Christian Friendly Sex Positions or the Ultimate Intimacy app for ideas. CFSP even has the best sex positions for in a car!

By the way, couples often ask how they can still have sex while on a family vacation, and this might be your best bet. You may not be able to get the hotel room all to yourselves, but even a small hotel bathroom could work for a quickie.

5. You can express true familiarity.

Yes, a long, lazy time of kissing, caressing, and lovemaking is an absolutely beautiful, and crucial, experience in marriage. But the quick, playful moments of a quickie also express how well you’ve come to know each other and your bodies. By cutting to the chase of what he/she really likes, you express the familiarity you’ve come to have.

You know just where to touch her. You know just how to stroke him. Even if it’s not that easy to get revved up yourself, you know how to bless your spouse. We’re better at quickies now than when we were younger, because we’re just better with each other.

What do you like about quickies? And what tips do you have to make quickies go well?

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

Yes, quickies are covered more in the book!

The Biggest Challenge to My Sex Life (That I Never Told You About)

I’ve been writing about sex in marriage for over seven years, with over 800 posts and three books. I also have a podcast with three other Christian sex bloggers and two Facebook communities. But in all that time, I’ve never told my readers the biggest ongoing challenge to my sex life. What is it?

Blog post title + heart-shaped labyrinth

My husband is a Type 1 diabetic. Has been for 38 years.

For those who don’t know the particulars of Type 1 diabetes, this means his body produces no insulin. Insulin is what breaks food down into sugar energy for the body’s use, so without his own supply, he must regulate the level of sugar in his bloodstream by managing the timing and levels of carbohydrates (sugars), injected insulin, and physical exercise.

How does this affect our sex life?

Too much sugar in the bloodstream, and one’s body and sex drive become lethargic. Too little sugar in the bloodstream, and one becomes anxious and sleepy. Neither condition supports a good, strenuous round of sexercise.

When faced with these circumstances, we have to put off sex until he can re-balance his blood sugar. The postponement could be only a few minutes, later in the day, or the next day. We miss out on spontaneity and frequency as we address his diabetes together.

So when someone writes me about their spouse having a chronic condition that impairs their sexual intimacy, I don’t just have sympathy for their situation — I have empathy.

No, I have never been through a spouse having cancer, or healing from a severe injury, or experiencing any number of other health issues that create obstacles to physical intimacy. But I know what it’s like to work your sex life around the complications of a chronic condition.

I know what it's like to work your sex life around the complications of a chronic condition. Click To Tweet

I know how it feels to wish you didn’t have to deal with that challenge. I know what it is to long that your sexual intimacy could be free of the condition’s constraints.

What advice can I offer, based on our experience? Every situation is different, but here’s how we have handled it so that we still enjoy healthy and satisfying sexual intimacy in our marriage.

1. Maintain health as much as possible.

My husband is a champ about managing his diabetes as much as possible, including diet choices that conform to his condition and regular exercise. I also make sure to help him when and wherever I can.

If you’re the spouse with a chronic condition, there are likely symptoms or consequences you cannot control, but also positive steps you can take to pursue health as much as possible. For the sake of yourself and your marriage, manage what you can. For women, I encourage to follow Calm.Healthy.Sexy., a blog from fellow podcaster Gaye Christmus which provides a lot of practical tips and positive encouragement for taking care of the body God gave you.

If you’re the supporting spouse, ask how you can help. Do you need to eat differently yourself or keep better choices in your pantry and fridge? Would it help to exercise with your spouse or support them in getting physical therapy or a gym membership? Does your spouse need help with ongoing treatments or medications? Please remember you’re married to an adult, but be a positive influence.

2. Adjust your expectations.

Am I disappointed sometimes when we have to forgo lovemaking? Yeah, I am. Maybe we don’t have the sex life we might if diabetes wasn’t the ever-present elephant in the room. But that’s okay — our sexual intimacy is still really awesome.

What expectations do you need to adjust? Is it how many times you’ll make love each week? Is it what counts as a sexual encounter? Is it dropping expectations that a climax will happen every time? Is it adjusting to the length of time it will take to get there?

Take into account the challenges you face with the chronic condition, and then ask what a great sex life will look like with that factor involved. It’s still a great sex life, and there is deep intimacy in taking care of one another as you make decisions together about your health and marriage bed.

3. Encourage one another.

Chronic diseases and conditions invade every aspect of your life and can be awfully discouraging. Which is one reason, among many, we should encourage one another.

And this should extend all the way to how the condition affects our marriage bed. If you’re the chronic condition spouse, encourage your beloved that you still find them attractive and desirable. Make sure they understand that when you struggle or cannot engage, “it’s not you” but the chronic condition getting in the way.

If you’re the supporting spouse, let them know you understand their challenges and you’re willing to coordinate with them for intimacy. Make sure you don’t transfer your discouragement onto your spouse, but rather be a voice of optimism and understanding.

4. Strike while the iron’s hot.

When my husband feels great and wants to have sex, I make an effort to be available. Those aren’t the only times we engage, but when all the train cars line up, so to speak, we want to jump on that engine quickly, before something could send it off track.

For you, this could mean engaging at different times of day, encouraging the chronic condition spouse to initiate when they feel good, helping the supporting spouse find ways to flip their ready-for-sex switch more easily. Perhaps even figure out what tried-and-true warm-up gets you both going, and be willing to use that agenda when opportunity arrives.

This isn’t just “take what you can get.” But rather, make the most of these moments. When they come, be grateful and enjoy your sexual intimacy as thoroughly as possible.

Our sex life would be easier if diabetes wasn’t a factor. But is it possible to create and nurture great physical intimacy despite the difficulties of a chronic condition? Most of the time, it is.

Still, it takes intention, grace, and perseverance. Though, really, those are traits every marriage bed should have anyway.

Is it possible to create and nurture great physical intimacy despite the difficulties of a chronic condition? Most of the time, it is. Click To Tweet

5 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Spouse

It’s Saturday, which is the day I give y’all a high-five — that is, a high-five list of practical tips or resources to nurture your marriage bed. And today, I want you to get lucky.

So let’s talk about five ways to initiate sex.

Blog post title + illustration of man and woman kissing and hearts above them

1. Plan a special date.

I don’t know what “special” means to your spouse, but you do (or should). If what turns your honey on is romance, line up the babysitter, plan a romantic dinner out, and return home to a bedroom you’ve set up with candles, rose petals, music, and anything else needed for a night of lovemaking.

If you want to go bigger, book a hotel room. If you have kids, also take care of who’ll be watching the children overnight, so your spouse can relax and know that’s handled. Ask your honey to “dress up” (again, whatever that means to you), and take them out for an evening of dinner, dancing, or a scenic walk. Order room service if you want, and spend the night enjoying one another.

And If you’re on the cheap, make a wonderful meal at home, put on something sexy or lay out something sexy for your spouse to wear, and then snuggle up together for a movie and make-out session. See where it leads.

Just be the one to set things up and show that you long to spend time, in and out of the bedroom, with your spouse.

2. Build anticipation with flirtation.

Send a sexy text telling your beloved what you’re looking forward to. Or share a photo of what you plan to wear that evening (like a string of pearls and a pair of lace undies). Leave a note in your sweetheart’s car or work bag telling them what you want to do later. Whisper in their ear what you’ve got on your mind.

Tease by running your finger along your spouse’s skin at the edge of the fabric they’re wearing or using feather-light touches over the fabric at their erogenous zones. Wives, wear a skirt, nix the underwear, and then tell him you’re going commando. 

Just flirt with your spouse in romantic, affectionate, and sexy ways. Express your longing not only to have sex but to give them sexual pleasure to their heart’s delight.

Whatever sexy flirtation you can come up could help you both anticipate lovemaking.

3. Get an inspiring resource.

Buy something for your marriage bed and then tell your spouse you want to try it out. That can anything from a flavored lube, to a bedroom game, to the Ultimate Intimacy app — which has both conversations and games to play. It can involve getting new lingerie to show off and take off.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous 3D CoverOr hey, I hear there’s this fabulous book with all kinds of ideas you can try: Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. Bookmark a page or chapter to read together and then experiment to your heart’s delight.

A new item for your marriage bed could be just the inspiration needed to get things revving.

4. Grab the goods.

I probably shouldn’t use the word “grab,” since I don’t want you to injure important jewels by being too rough. However, there’s really no doubting what you have in mind when you just reach over and cup his package. Likewise, some wives enjoy having sudden attention given to their erogenous zones, especially breasts.

Now this doesn’t work for all spouses, because some don’t enjoy being “grabbed” out of nowhere. This can especially be an issue for someone has experienced sexual harassment or assault or a young mom who has had kids hands on her body all day long.

But if you both enjoy it, then touching the goodies could give your spouse that clear signal — it’s go time.

5. Just ask.

This may seem like the least sexy option, but it could be the most effective. The straightforward approach might be just what you need, saying something like: “I love and desire you so much. Could we make love tonight?” It could even be as simple as a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, “Do you wanna?” And if you get turned down, ask when would be a better time and then follow through.

A tip for those with lower-drive spouses: Don’t ask, “Are you in the mood?” because the answer is probably no, even if they would enjoy a session of lovemaking. Instead, ask if they’re willing to have sex and how you can help them get in the mood.

“Just ask” may not sound romantic enough, but it worked for the poetic wife in Song of Songs : “Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages” (7:11). Spoiler alert: He said yes.

Pick your pleasure among these five tips or check out my other post on 40 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband, and get things going in your marriage bed!