Tag Archives: sex in marriage

5 Holidays to Celebrate with Your Spouse (Besides Valentine’s)

Valentine’s Day is over for 2018! Either you nailed it, or you have 364 days to show love in other ways to your spouse. Actually, how about we all express our appreciation and desire for our beloveds throughout the year!

However, if you like having a little nudge from a holiday, be assured that February 14 is not your only opportunity. On today’s High Five Saturday, let’s talk about five upcoming holidays on which married couples can celebrate their hot, holy, and humorous love!

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1. Steak & BJ Day

This year: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The theory behind this holiday, clearly concocted by men, is that Valentine’s Day is for women — what with the emphasis on greeting cards, flowers, candy, and romance. Meanwhile, what does a man really want to get from the love of his life? Two things: steak and a blow job.

However, I know plenty of husbands who enjoy Valentine’s…and plenty of wives who also enjoy steak and giving their husbands fellatio. So perhaps Steak & BJ Day would be a win-win in your marriage!

For tips on giving a great blow job, check out the chapter on oral sex in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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2. International Kissing Day

This Year: Friday, April 13, 2018

This holiday celebrates kissing for kissing’s sake, whether or not it leads to other affectionate activities. Why not devote extra time and focus on smooching with each other on this day?

For more on kissing, check out 5 Kisses You Need to Master and my more extensive tips in the Hot, Holy, and Humorous book.

3. National Sex Day

This Year: Saturday, June 9, 2018

It’s either impossible or a complete waste of my time to track who came up with this holiday. Yet it’s become a hashtag on social media and a goal for some couples to make love on this particular day. Although this year you have a whole Saturday to accomplish this challenge, the holiday actually occurs on June 9 every year. That’s 6/9. Get it?

If you want tips on having great sex…yeah, that’s pretty much my whole blog, as well as my books. But in case you want to know what qualifies as sex, check out this post: What Is Sex?

4. National Romance Awareness Day…oh wait, MONTH!

This Year: Wednesday, August 1, 2018, and beyond!

Apparently, a single day dedicated to romance is insufficient. We need an entire month! Now, research shows it takes about twice that long to really develop a new habit, but a full month of romance might convince you of its benefits so that you’ll keep it going for years to come.

How to do romance well? Three blogs I follow share quite a few romance tips. Check out The Romantic VineyardLove Hope Adventure, and The Generous Wife.

5. Your Anniversary

This year: _____________________, 2018/2019

If you couldn’t fill in that blank, you’d better figure it out quickly! Because of all the marriage holidays one can celebrate, your own anniversary is probably the one your beloved cares most about. It’s the day unique to the two of you and your marriage.

How should you celebrate? I suggest you ask the spouse who cares the most about this day and commemorate the way they want. Within reason, of course. I mean, I’d love to go to Australia for a full week to celebrate our upcoming 25th! But we’re going to Chicago for a few days, because that’s where I’m traveling already for a business trip and it’s what we can afford. Likewise, figure out how you can do your anniversary up big without breaking your back or the bank.

Of course you don’t need any of these holidays to celebrate the love in your marriage. But if you enjoy the special days, find one or more of these to mark on your calendar and start the joyous anticipation now.

Speaking of marriage (as if I do anything else), I had a wonderful opportunity last Saturday to chat with popular Canadian talk show host, Dr. Drew Marshall. I’d love for you to pop over and listen to the 20-minute interview! Click below to find our segment from February 20, 2018, the Valentine’s Day Special.

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Q&A with J: Imagery & Arousal, Tantra Sex, and Devotions

Last week, I covered three reader questions that didn’t warrant an entire post, and today I’m back at it with three more!

Blog post title + illustration of a bed with three question marks above

1. Imagery & Arousal

To say my husband and I have never viewed porn would be a lie, but we never have together. I’m ashamed that I ever did, but to be honest I think it has allowed me to be more open to things that I would’ve considered “taboo”. The question I have is a tricky one and I can’t tell if I’m trying to justify something or if it’s alright to do. I’m the low sex drive of the two and sometimes don’t want to even bother with sex and I’m trying not to be that way. I know that one of the fastest ways for me to be turned on is if I find a VERY up close picture of male-female penetration (no faces, hardly even a body, just the parts) and then imagine my husband doing that to me. It’s usually something we have done and I’m recalling it, but it’s something I didn’t see, shall we say, because of position. I’m never thinking of anyone else and in my mind that picture is us in the act, so much so I can practically feel when we’ve had sex like that. I had an epiphany that if we re-created it with actual pictures of us that it wouldn’t be an issues but so far it’s so sub-par in quality it’s not quite the same (maybe with time we can get it to be). Am I on a slippery slope?

I’ll get right to the point: “Am I on a slippery slope?” Yes. Yes, you are.

Studies actually show that viewing pornography or reading erotica can have benefits in the short-term by arousing you and releasing inhibitions. But in the long term, it’s damaging because it’s false intimacy. (See It’s True: Porn Can Kill Your Sex Life.)

While I can’t say it’s wrong to take a picture of yourselves to get aroused, it’s unwise to attach your arousal to an image rather than your spouse. And it’s definitely not okay to expect another couple to snap a picture of themselves (paid or not) for you to get turned on. That’s using people and their sexuality, which doesn’t comport with God’s commands on how we treat others.

Really, I think your question should be how can I get turned on? That’s what you ultimately need to figure out. Not with shortcuts, but really figuring out how to tap in your sensuality, your stimulation, your sexuality, and your satisfaction. Honestly, I give a lot of ideas in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

It’s possible to find your “inner sex kitten,” so to speak, with Christian-based resources like mine and others (check out our podcast too!). I pray that you’ll go there first and find what you need to make your marriage bed an exciting and fulfilling place.

2. Tantra Sex

Minus the Hindu aspects would it be possible to write a post or a series of posts on “tantra”. Also would it be possible either on your blog or on the sex chat podcast to talk about “energy orgasms” (if thats “beneficial “)

For those who don’t know, tantra is broadly methods and practices developed in Hinduism and Buddhism that attempt to tap into the divine through the tangible. Tantra sex has an underlying notion of the partners being embodiments of deity; thus, through breathing techniques, prolonged touch, and various rituals, you connect more deeply to one another and your divinity beyond the oft-prioritized orgasm.

Meanwhile, energy orgasms are presumably whole-body orgasms that release sexual energy throughout the body. These are achieved through a series of deep breathing techniques and clenching of specific muscle groups. This “orgasm” can be had with your clothes off or on. Knowing what I know about physiology and psychology, I believe these are not orgasms, but reactions to an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide and to tension release in the body. Think of it like when you’ve overexerted yourself for a long time and feel both happy, light-headed, and shaky. Of course, you can feel this way with regular, or real, orgasms too.

Although I’ve had requests to write about tantra sex, I haven’t written about it or energy orgasms, because neither really appeal to me. Prolonged lovemaking certainly has its place, but the goals of these approaches don’t line up with how I view godly sexuality in marriage.

For one thing, sex is a piece of marriage — a very important piece — but some couples who regularly practice tantra sex seem to put too much weight on the sexual aspect of their relationship. Moreover, it strikes me as chasing a high in the same way that couples adding more and more kink to their bedroom seem to do.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to have tantra sex or to aim for energy orgasms. But I’m not compelled or motivated to talk about it on my blog, so that’s probably about all you’ll hear from me on the subject.

3. Sex Devotions

After my husband and I are intimate, we often spend time cuddling and just chatting. Do you know of any “365 days a year marriage life sex meditation” books that could increase intimacy and sex relations? If not, ever consider writing one?

Actually, I don’t know of any that have 365 meditations. But I have two recommendations for devotional books that revolve around sex in marriage:

  1. Songs in the Key of Solomon by John & Anita Renfroe has devotions with action items for you to do as a couple. There are 60 of them, and they don’t all revolve about sex. But they are about physical closeness and intimacy, and some are sexual.
  2. My book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions for Sex in Marriage, was written for wives. However, I’ve had spouses write and tell me they went through the devotions together and it spurred both great conversation and increased intimacy. These chapters include a Bible verse, thoughts on the passage, questions (which you could ask each other), and then a prayer.

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As for whether I’ve considered writing one, I haven’t thought about a 365-day meditation book, but I have considered writing a book with discussion prompts for couples.

I receive a fair number of emails and comments from spouses who need to communicate better about the sex in their marriage but don’t know how to get that conversation going. I’d be curious to hear from readers whether they believe such a book would be helpful.

Next week: Three more Q&As!

Q&A with J: Oral Sex, Good Habits, and “Ladies First” Orgasm

At the end of last year, my email inbox had 336 emails I needed to address. Through a concerted effort in the last month, I have gotten my inbox down to 120 emails!

Several of the questions I received didn’t warrant a full post, but I answered the individuals in briefer return emails. Today, I want to share three of those with you, and next week I’ll share more.

Blog post title + illustration of bed with three question marks above

1. “Blow Jobs” and Lockjaw

Not sure if you’ve addressed something like this question before but what would you do if your husband loves a good blow job, and would like it often, but it quite literally pains you — I have a really bad lockjaw issue that I go to the chiropractor for to help manage it and I’ve noticed that after I’ve given him head I get pretty bad flare up. I’ve mentioned this to him, but it doesn’t seem to phase him much I guess. I start to get irritated while doing it because I’m in pain and I don’t want to feel like that because I love pleasing him, as he is very good to me, but I don’t love being in pain everyday because of it either…What would you do?!

Since you asked the straightforward question, “What would you do?!” I’ll answer just as directly: not give blow jobs.

If you literally have a physical condition that prevents you from performing a certain sexual activity in your marriage bed, and especially if that activity gives you pain, you shouldn’t have to do that. Not giving your husband fellatio doesn’t count under the “do not deprive” clause of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.

If your husband doesn’t understand, then he probably doesn’t realize how much it hurts you. Sometimes we think we’re being clear about something, but we’re really not or our spouse has a blind spot — so their lack of responsiveness isn’t because they don’t care, but rather how they’re receiving the information.

That said, you can still give him oral sex. Without giving him the full blow job. I talked about that in each of these posts:

What Does He Mean by “Oral Sex”? (It May Not Be What You Think)
5 Things You Should Know about Oral Sex

Now I don’t know a whole lot about lockjaw, but I suspect you could still attend to the head of his penis. And you could add other things to your repertoire. Hey, maybe you become the Hand Job Master! (I have tips for that in my book.)

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2. Making Sex a Habit

Our sex life is good, not great and we both want to improve it. Have you written about making sex a habit? We’re constantly amazed that if we go a week or a bit more and we make love, how wonderful it is and we inevitably say to each other “why don’t we do this more??” LOL. So curious on your thoughts of helping making love to become a routine habit (we both generally agree 2-3x a week would be ideal.

Yes, I talk about scheduling sex in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous (see above), and I’ve answered the question “How Often Should You Have Sex?

Within a lot of posts, I’ve talked about making sex a regular, routine part of your marriage (e.g., see Be Your Husband’s Sure Thing). As for how, one idea I covered was tracking the frequency of sex in marriage (and the comments on that post were interesting), and this is an oft-covered topic on the podcast I co-host with three other marriage bloggers, Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

But yeah, I dare say that most couples should make love more often! It’s a great, God-given perk of marriage.

3. “Ladies First” Orgasm

How can I reconcile my need to orgasm with his inclination to sleep? Once he comes he gets super relaxed and if I am not quick to catch up, I will find myself with a snoring hubby, sometimes still inside me! This isn’t always a big problem, but if I am getting close to that point, it frustrates the heck out of me, and I even feel like crying. Which is not the way I want to finish off a good romp. I would rather not let myself enjoy it too much than to really enjoy it and then get left in the lurch like that.

My immediate thought was Why isn’t she orgasming first? It seems like that would resolve a lot if he just adopted a “ladies first” policy. This could mean that your husband brings you to orgasm before penetration, or it could mean that you add direct clitoral stimulation (his hand or yours) during intercourse to get you to climax more quickly.

However, if none of that works, I’d wake him up, gently but firmly, and say, “Hey, can we finish me off?” Let him know that you enjoyed the experience, but he got his peak and you’d like to see yours, thank you very much.

I’ll be back with more Q&A next week. If you want to ask me something, head over the contact form and send me your question. It’s slow going at times, but I really am making my way through the inbox!

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High 5 Favorite Blog Posts of 2017

It’s time for my High Five, which is what I’m calling my Saturday posts in which I share five things I want my readers to know about—whether resources, Hot, Holy & Humorous happenings, or quick takeaways for your marriage bed.

One of my favorite fellow sex bloggers, Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage, recently asked about a favorite blog post from last year. Oh my goodness! Seeing as I had 145 posts in 2017, it’s a really tall order to pick one.

But perusing my content, I fairly quickly came up with five favorite blog posts from last year.

blog post title + illustration of computer screen with male/female symbols insideIn case you missed them, or want to go back and re-read, here are those posts and why they make my favorites list:

 1. Q&A with J: “What Should We Call Persistent Porn Use?”

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There’s been a bit of an argument over whether watching a lot of porn should be called an addiction or a habit. In this post, I tackle that question with my own thoughts, research on the issue, and other bloggers’ posts that are worth reading on the subject.

I wanted to include this in my favorites list because I think we should question our terminology sometimes to make sure we are speaking in ways that actually help people overcome sinful behavior and challenges to their marriage bed. I’m willing to be challenged and consider how to talk more effectively as well.

2. Do Our Yoga Pants Make Men Sin?

Title with 5 pairs of yoga pants

At the risk of setting off another round of comments, I’m still adding this one to the list. Because it shows the ongoing debate about who is responsible in the modesty/lust conundrum.

I deal with this issue a lot as a Christian sex blogger, because it’s often on people’s minds. But as a middle-aged woman, I can also tell you we gals receive hundreds of admonitions to dress modestly over the years. And by golly, some ladies are just exhausted from it all—as if our yoga pants will cause “the downfall of otherwise good Christian husbands.”

3. How Did You and Your Spouse Meet? Here’s My Story.

Blog post title + picture of J and her husband in the park

This was just fun to write about my meet-to-marry story and share photos of me and “Spock” through the years. I have always felt like God had a firm hand in our coming together, and maybe you’ll agree after you read our tale.

Also fun was reading your stories in the comments!

4. A Letter to the Low Drive Husband

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I have a lot of high-drive wives reading my blog, and I’m so glad you ladies are here! Because while you represent somewhere from 15% to 30% of marriages, your type of marriage is underrepresented in Christian books and teaching about sexual intimacy. I want you to feel at home here on my blog, free to be who God made you to be and—at the same time—to struggle for something better in your marriage bed.

Even more underrepresented than high-drive wives, though, are low-drive husbands. I honestly do not know of a single blog or ministry reaching out to these men. That’s why I believe this post is so important, and it’s one that higher-drive wives might want to share with their low-libido husband.

5. On “Pigs,” Good Men, and the Difference

Blog post title + four pigs mucking about in a muddy spot within a field

Ask me what I’ve been really passionate about this past year, and one topic that will come up is the #MeToo movement. Why? Because I know from the stories that wives share with me that sexual misconduct against women can damage how they view men and sex in their marriage. Thus, in my pursuit of sex in marriage by God’s design, I’m highly motivated for our society to see a substantially decrease in sexual abuse and harassment.

This particular post felt like the culmination of my thoughts, because when I went looking for biblical answers, the simple and straightforward words of Jesus illuminated the subject so clearly. As usual, our Lord has the answers.

And that’s it! My five favorites of 2017. Do you have a favorite I didn’t mention? If so, I’d love to know which post reached out to you this past year.

And remember…

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Q&A with J: “He Won’t Touch My Clitoris”

I’m getting control of my email inbox, slowly but surely. (I’d lost control in 2017.) But this means that I’m re-reading old messages, so some questions I’ll be answering on Thursdays were posed to me months before. However, I considered this one worth addressing, because I suspect it happens in other marriages too. Here’s the reader’s question:

What does a wife do when her husband is afraid or uncomfortable touching her clitoris? I used to feel so resentful and bitter he wouldn’t but I have had more peace about this issue as of late and the last time my husband and I had intercourse, I ended up taking care of myself but he had already gotten up and was in the bathroom and don’t think he noticed me or cared that I took care of my own needs at the end. I don’t know why touching my body below the waist makes him so uncomfortable. I have tried talking to him and he said it’s the way it feels and he seems rather OCD about body fluids… We were making some progress where he felt more comfortable with a glove on even though that felt a bit “clinical’ like I was at the dr or something but I didn’t care that he had a glove on if that was the only way he would touch me but it still felt a bit awkward…. I know I can’t change his feelings about touching me, but I’d sure like him to help me experience orgasm with him. I would like to feel more “mutual” pleasure in our marriage as I know God created it to be a mutually satisfying experience. 

Blog post title + illustrated hand with pointer finger extended, touching heartLet me start with this sentence: “I have tried talking to him and he said it’s the way it feels and he seems rather OCD about body fluids…” Yeah, that might well be it.

I hear from spouses now and then who wonder why sex has to be so, well, messy. I mean, usually it’s a bad sign when something is leaking or oozing out of your body, so it’s a strange twist for some minds to embrace that fluids coming out are a good thing in the case of sexual intimacy.

Then there’s the texture of the fluids themselves. For instance, semen has been described as having the consistency of a beaten egg. Really? Who wants to handle or swallow a raw, beaten egg? Maybe we should come up with a different analogy…

Now take a person with cleanliness issues, and you’ve got a real challenge. And I understand how difficult it can be to try to convince someone with OCD traits that everything will be okay if they’ll just do the thing they feel they must avoid. I don’t have that Help! Sex Is Messy issue, but all the presidents on my currency must face the same way in my wallet, and telling me the world won’t crater if a five-dollar-bill is upside down doesn’t stop me from turning it the “right way.”

Thus, telling your husband that his aversion isn’t logical or to just get over it isn’t likely to work. So what can you do? Here are some suggestions. (And a big thank you to those in my Facebook community who chimed in with their thoughts.)

1. Talk about your concerns and desires.

I know you’ve tried talking to him. But keep the conversation lines open. Let him know that you’ll support him, even if he says something that wouldn’t seem logical to others. Be a safe place for him to express his concerns, and be willing to share your desires as well and why addressing this issue is important to you. You might find some helpful tips in this post: How to Talk about Sexual Problems with Your Spouse.

2. Study female lubrication.

If something seems dirty, we might assume it is. But we’re not always right about which substances in nature are harmful or harmless. So what is all that lubrication made of? You can find a bit of a breakdown here on the LiveStrong website. But after reading so much about female fluids that my eyes were starting to cross, it comes down to this: very little sweat or oils are involved in the lubrication that happens with sexual arousal. Instead it’s mostly a mucus — which doesn’t mean ick, mucus! but rather a slippery substance that moistens and protects — secreted through the vaginal walls and Bartholin’s glands. That mucus contains some starch, chemicals that make the substance slick, healthy bacteria, a bit of acid that kills off bacteria that could harm the vagina, and — believe it or not — alcohol.

Point being that the fluid is harmless, unless there is an infection of some kind — which you would probably sense based on feel, smell, consistency, etc. Otherwise, it’s not can hurt anything whatsoever to touch it, it’s actually very useful in making sex comfortable and enjoying for both of you, and it even has its own bacteria-fighting properties.

3. Get clean together.

Since one of the concerns might be cleanliness of the area, take a shower or bath together. Let your husband be in charge of washing you down there; that way he’ll know the area has been thoroughly cleaned. I recommend using cleanser pH-balanced for that area, like the Sliquid Balanced Series (link goes to Christian marital aid store, Marriage Spice).

4. Wear a glove or finger cot.

You mentioned this, and it’s certainly an option for your husband to wear a glove. To make it a comfortable experience, try a thin latex glove and make sure it’s powder-less. Another option is a finger cot, which is basically a latex covering just for a finger. You can find gloves and finger cots at a medical supply store or your local grocery or discount store.

If you go this route, find a personal lubricant that can help make the glove slick as well so that it feels good to you. A silicone lubricant might be a good choice for this particular kind of manual play. You can also try different kinds of gloves made from various fabrics or substances to see if a particular texture feels better to you than another.

5. Use systematic desensitization.

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

In this case, hubby’s a little freaked out about touching your clitoris (or, really, the whole vulva). Essentially, the steps above could be part of a systematic sensitization program, where he talks about his worries, then gets used to the idea of your female anatomy, then touches you with a washcloth, then moves to sexually stimulating you with a finger cot…

Perhaps the next step is touching your vulva through your panties, feeling some of the wetness on the fabric but not making direct contact. You could also insert steps among the ones I mentioned here: like having him watching you stimulate yourself to climax so that he can clearly see what happens and become more comfortable with the fluids there, or him stimulating your clitoris with a vibrator (see Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”).

Regardless, the key is him intentionally relaxing at each step, reassuring himself that this act is beautiful and holy and good for your marriage. Indeed, God’s perfect design makes this natural lubrication the perfect substance for sensitivity, slipperiness, and protection. You can encourage him with your words as well.

What if he never gets to the point of touching your bare vulva? It’s likely he can make real progress, especially if he is personally motivated, but there are no guarantees. If he just cannot get there all the way, then you can ask how he feels about you touching yourself while he stimulates you in other ways. You can stroke that knobby bit of flesh while he kisses the rests of your body or gives full attention to your breasts, or while you two are engaged in intercourse. That way the self-touching still adds to mutual intimacy.

Any other ideas from readers on how to address this particular scenario?