Tag Archives: sexual intimacy in marriage

Sex Is for You Too

Scott Means profile picFrom time to time, I invite a husband onto my blog to give his take on Christian sex in marriage. I’m rather particular about who these men are, and today I’m super-excited it’s Scott Means of Heaven Made Marriage.

Scott has been writing some stellar stuff about intimacy in marriage, and he also just released a book I want my readers to know about. Rather than take up any more space bragging about my fellow blogger and friend, I’ll just hand it over to Scott, who is talking to you wives today.

blog post title + two fingers with faces and arms drawn to resemble a couple hugging

God has hardwired us to desire intimacy, that deep feeling of closeness and connection.  I’ve often said that intimacy is the most important goal of marriage, and I’ve found that it is by far the number one longing of most couples.

Why then, do so many couples who desire deeper intimacy in their marriage find it so elusive?

In my new Kindle book, The Path of Intimacy, I explain how every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. There is no middle ground. You are either growing together or you are growing apart.

Every couple is on one of two paths: the Path of Intimacy or the Path of Separation. - Scott Means Click To Tweet

One reason couples grow apart is that they tend to have some misconceptions about intimacy. In my book I examine these misconceptions, exploring seven common lies that people believe about intimacy in marriage. Buying into these lies can keep couples stuck on the Path of Separation, feeling disconnected and disappointed, when what they desire most is to be together.

“Sex Is for Him”

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. It’s amazing to me how many women believe this lie, which ultimately steals the joy and beauty from God’s marvelous design of the sexual union between husband and wife. It robs her of the deep connection with her husband that she actually desires.

One of the biggest and most damaging lies a wife can believe is that sexual intimacy is primarily for her husband. Click To Tweet

The majority of women don’t have the same testosterone-laden sex drive as their husbands (though around 20% of wives have a higher drive than their husband). Many of these lower-drive wives think it’s no big deal to go without sex and can just dole it out as a wifely duty.

But it actually is a big deal.

Sex is the only form of intimacy that God strictly reserved to be shared between husbands and wives, which makes sex not only unique but also sacred. Sex is an essential part of the oneness between husband and wife.

In a Sexual Satisfaction Survey that I ran on my blog a few years back, I found that one in five marriages are essentially sexless (defined as having sex less than once a month). My findings are confirmed by a range of scientific studies over the past decade.

These are sad and tragic statistics that point to the damage being done in way too many marriages.

Sex Is for BOTH of You

Believing that sex is primarily for your husband will rob you of the sexual enjoyment and fulfillment that God intends for you. Additionally, a husband whose wife gives him only “duty sex” because she knows “he needs it” will rarely be sexually satisfied. Your husband longs for you to be fully engaged in the bedroom and likely has a strong desire to see you sexually fulfilled as well.

Sexual intimacy is an essential component of marital intimacy, which I define as “being fully known and completely loved.”  Because sex brings about the ultimate vulnerability in marriage, doing it only for your husband will cause you to miss out on the deep connection found in a mutually fulfilling sex life.

Keep in mind that sex is not primarily a physical act. It is deeply spiritual and builds a wide pathway to a strong emotional connection as well. Having regular, deeply satisfying sex strengthens your marriage, gives you a sense of well-being, and it can help you actually desire sex more.

Here’s the corresponding truth that you can use to defeat the lie that sex is only for your husband:  Even though you may have less physical drive than your husband, don’t allow yourself to miss out on the joy, pleasure and oneness that is rightfully yours.

Explore the other six lies that inhibit intimacy in marriage (and much more) in my book, The Path of Intimacy.

Path of Intimacy Book Cover

In The Path of Intimacy, Scott Means gives you a road map for your journey into deeper intimacy and greater passion in your marriage. Along with insight into God’s heart for marriage, he offers both invaluable wisdom and practical steps you can take immediately to get off The Path of Separation and to stay on the Path of Intimacy.

Buy the book: Amazon

Visit Scott’s website: Heaven Made Marriage

 

And for specific tips on how to make sexual intimacy more exciting for you, be sure to also check out my ebooks, currently on sale through Valentine’s Day!

E-book sale ad

Click to Buy

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?”

Title with text over black hole graphic background

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

Blog post title + woman's hands writing a letter

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…

Intimacy Revealed $2.99 Ad

CLICK TO BUY!

Q&A with J: Sexual Release Without Sinfulness

Our question for today comes from a wife who is currently separated from her husband, fighting for her marriage, and trying to deal with her restless sex drive. Here it is:

Our sex life has been amazing from day one. I have a very high libido and I just enjoy sex and trying new things, etc. However, we are currently separated due to him falling into an international affair. I am fighting hard for my marriage and I’m praying the Lord will grab his heart and turn him from his sin…

My question is this: I’m 31 years old with a high libido and I feel trapped in how to how to honor the Lord with my sexuality right now. How can I get a release without indulging in anything sinful? I believe masturbation is okay, especially in my situation, but it has become really hard to climax without having a scenario in my head. I believe erotica can erode a marriage, but are there certain types of erotica that can help people people in my situation?

Blog post title + woman under bed covers with arms raised

First off, I’m praying for your marriage too, and I invite my readers to do the same. Obviously, the best answer is for this marriage to be not only restored but brought to a place of thriving.

Yet whatever happens, you have to deal with this high libido that was awakened in marriage and now has no place to be satisfied. I feel for you. Your sex drive doesn’t just go away when your spouse is gone; it can be a hungry little beast when not properly fed.

You essentially have three ways to deal with a restless sex drive.

1. Release it.

That’s where your question heads to: “How can I get a release without indulging in anything sinful?” You say that masturbation is okay, and I’ve laid out my own position on this blog before. A summary of my perspective would be that masturbation that brings you and your spouse closer together is okay and masturbation that draws sexual energy away from your spouse is not okay.

Long physical separation from your spouse could be one of those times when it’s beneficial to “take the edge off” so that you can remain focused on your husband and your intimacy with him and not be tempted by another’s man attention, get cranky with your husband because it’s been way too long, etc. But imagining a scenario in your mind that doesn’t involve your husband takes sexual energy away from him; it’s inherently detrimental to your relationship.

If you’re imagining anything other than your hubby in your mind, you’re in sinful territory. And that’s what erotica encourages you to do. Jesus said, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, NLT). Of course that also applies to a woman looking, or imagining, a man with lust.

Ideally, if you’re masturbating to be able to withstand a long physical separation from your spouse, you’re doing so with their knowledge, support, and even presence (yes, some married couples Skype and simultaneously pleasure themselves). In your case, however, that’s not possible. So you need to be careful about how you engage in this physical release.

Look at your motives, your heart and your mind, and what will best keep your sexual energy on your marriage. Prayerfully ask those questions and listen for God’s answers.

2. Channel it.

You don’t have to use sexual energy sexually. That pent-up feeling can be channeled toward other activities. For instance, physical exercise can help diffuse that tension. It’s another way to be active, experience body chemical highs, and end up with that level of fatigue you sometimes feel at the end of sex.

I’m sure you’re also missing that physical touch that comes with sexual connection. You can refocus your desire for sexual affection to other forms of affection and other relationships. Spend more time with family. Volunteer in your church’s nursery. Head to a convalescent home and hold hands with an old woman, who might also have some wise life advice to share while you’re there.

Check out these and other ideas on what to do with your sexual energy when you’re not attached in this post.

3. Ignore it.

You’re probably thinking, I can’t! It’s impossible to ignore. But hear me out. In psychology, there’s a principle called extinction. In behavioral therapy, we know that linking a stimulus and a consequence causes people to expect the latter when the former shows up. The classic experiment is Pavlov’s dogs who heard a bell before being fed and thereafter drooled for food whenever they heard the bell ring. But if you de-couple that stimulus and consequence (bell → food), eventually the conditioned response (drooling) goes away. That’s extinction.

Right now, your hungry little beast — aka, your sex drive — wants to be fed. But it doesn’t literally need to be fed. You don’t have to have sex for your heart to keep beating. So it’s possible to use a bit of extinction in dealing with your drive.

I don’t believe your libido will completely go away, because our sexuality is an integral, God-given part of our humanity. But if you constantly shove juicy morsels at that beast, it will keep coming and coming, demanding to be fed. If you ignore it, eventually your drive will diminish. Enough to be more manageable.

Lest you think I’m being completely unrealistic, my husband and I did not have sex for about four months when expecting our second child. I was right in that high-libido part of my pregnancy when my doctor announced that health risks precluded intercourse. I did a lot of ignoring my drive, and so did my husband. Over time, it got less demanding. So I believe it can be done.

(By the way, for those who are in a marriage where you should be having sex and one of you has been practicing extinction, this might help to explain why it’s hard to get going again. But you should, for the sake of your marriage.)

Which of the three options should you choose? Each of them — releasing your sex drive, channeling it, ignoring it — could be beneficial depending on the motives, circumstances, and goals. But ask serious questions about what would honor God and your marriage when deciding what to do.

Once again, I’m praying that your marriage will be saved.

Have You Ever Been Injured During Sex?

Once upon a time, I broke my right pinkie toe. When asked by a good friend how it happened, I blushed and told her about how my husband and I were making love. I was turned with my feet by the headboard, and things got heavy and heated. It was so amazing and out-of-control and earthshaking that I flung my foot out, caught the headboard with my toe, and broke the bone.

After I finished my explanation, she gasped and asked, “Really?”

To which I answered, “No. I was walking into our bathroom early one morning, couldn’t see where I was going, and slammed my foot on the door jamb. But doesn’t the first story sound more exciting?”

While I didn’t break my toe mid-sexual encounter, the sexual intimacy in my marriage has included some minor accidents and injuries. Stuff like hair getting accidentally pulled or legs cramping or my latest, which I shared on Facebook this morning:

Facebook post 6-13-16

In response, a few others shared their stories. And I bet y’all have more tales.

Have You Ever Been Injured During Sex?

While I’ve never read a novel or seen a movie with a romantic scene in which someone has an accident or injury during sex, I know it happens. If you’re making love as often as you should in your marriage, and you’ve been married for a while, you’ll likely have a story or two about the time you unintentionally kneed him in the nuts or he elbowed you in a bad place. You might have fallen off the bed, or even broken the bed. Or — like some friends of mine — you accidentally started a fire in your bedroom.

Not everything goes like clockwork every time. And that’s okay. The physical intimacy in your marriage is comprised of all those experiences bundled together, so a few oopses over the years don’t detract at all from the beauty of your one-flesh experience.

In fact, it might add to it. You get these shared memories of “that time when.” Remember when we dove naked onto your parents bed, broke the frame, and had to explain how we destroyed their furniture? Remember when we decided to make love on the kitchen table and ended up smacking our heads on the ceiling fan overhead? Remember when we set the mood by lighting all those candles and also set the pillow on fire?

And if you really do get injured making love, don’t be so embarrassed that you don’t tell the doctor what happened. You might be surprised how often such incidents occur. In fact, there’s a whole documentary series called Sex Sent Me to the ER. I haven’t watched the show (don’t really want to and don’t have cable anyway), but I’ve heard stories about the episodes.

The point is that it happens. Sex is something of a sport, and sports involve some risk. But they also involve scoring, winning, and celebrating. So it’s worth getting in the game.

Of course, remember your limits. For instance, the reason I pulled a muscle isn’t because I was going full-on Cirque de Soleil in my bedroom. Rather, my back is older than it used to be. Between age and turning it the wrong way, I’ve ended up with a slight injury. It will heal.

And avoid those sex acts, typically kinky, that are actually dangerous. Just because someone thought of a sexual act you haven’t done, doesn’t mean you have to do it. In fact, some are a really bad idea. Use your common sense.

But if it happens, it happens. Just like my sports analogy, sit on the sidelines for a bit if you need to and nurse your injury to healing. Then get back on the field (of loooove). After all, to your beloved spouse, you’re the MVP.*

Have you ever had an accident or injury during sex? You’re welcome to share your (not-too-graphic) story below.

*Most Valuable Player

Hot, Holy, and Humorous Book Footer

Get more details about Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design and information on where to buy by clicking HERE.

If the Sex is So Great, Why Aren’t You Satisfied?

Your hubby rings all your bells and makes your girly places sing with delight. If someone shoved a survey at you asking the question “Are you satisfied with the sexual intimacy in your marriage bed?” you’d immediately think the answer has to be yes. After all, wasn’t that last lovemaking session pretty darn good? But your hand would hover over the paper or the keyboard for an extra few seconds, wondering if you’re really as satisfied as you should be.

If the Sex Is So Great, Why Aren't You Satisfied?

It’s entirely possible to have amazing sex and not be satisfied with your sexual intimacy. Maybe you long for more kisses, wish the foreplay would last longer, want more variety in your marriage bed, or your lovemaking just doesn’t feel loving. Maybe your relationship outside the bedroom is struggling, so those great moments of sexual intimacy are only a respite from the real-world situation with your husband.

Truly satisfying sexual intimacy includes several components, and the physical is just one of them. Now I’m all about tending to the physical, because it is important to know how to arouse your beloved and bring them to the peak of pleasure. It’s why I wrote Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design — with godly, practical how-tos for your marital bedroom.

But technique and orgasms aren’t everything. Sexual intimacy as God intended also includes relational, recreational, and spiritual aspects. And if one of those matters to you a great deal and isn’t being met, then the sex might be great, but your satisfaction isn’t all that it could be. What can you do about it?

Relational. If the marriage isn’t going well, it can be hard to feel as much as you want to during lovemaking. Satisfying sex requires vulnerability, and if you are struggling with trust outside the bedroom, it’s hard to trust inside the bedroom. Now I’ve written, “Don’t wait for everything in your relationship to be perfect before you commit to having the marital intimacy God intended for you two to enjoy.” (See Wifey Wednesday: What Comes First? Sex or Friendship?) In my own marriage, sexual intimacy was a glue that kept us together while working on relational stuff. And that’s been the experience of many other couples.

However, you can’t ignore the relationship. To have a long-lasting marriage and satisfying sexual intimacy for the long haul, you have to tackle your problems. That might involve you simply changing your perspective and habits, talking things out with your spouse, or seeking help from marriage mentors, your pastor, or a Christian counselor. I can’t give specific advice on what that looks like without knowing your story, but what I have found is that most wives know when something needs to change and have some ideas for supportive resources. If you don’t know, ask people you trust to point you in the right direction. By the way, the right direction will always include God walking with you on the path.

Recreational. Do you lack a feeling of playfulness and openness in your bedroom? Do you feel uncomfortable with your body and sharing your thoughts and even sense of humor? Your lovemaking isn’t a comedy revue, but I’ve often said that sex can be funny. From squeaky bed frames to getting your wires crossed to child interruptions, there’s plenty of smile-worthy entertainment in a healthy couple’s marital intimacy. But if you feel like it’s a supremely serious activity or that you can’t fully be yourself, you miss out on this recreational component.

Lighten up. Recognize that sex doesn’t always look like a perfectly choreographed romance novel. Recognize that our bodies are absolutely beautiful and sexy, but they can also sag in strange places and produce vaginal farts (queef, if you want to know the slang term). Recognize that God meant sex to be a fun activity, not merely a marital duty. And talk to your husband about these things, asking if you can both relax more and enjoy the moment. You might be surprised to find that he didn’t expect you to be a posed and poised lover at all times; he just wants you to be you.

Spiritual. Some wives struggle because their husbands are either nonbelievers or less committed to God. Deep down, we want to be equally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14) with our husbands; we want to share our faith and devotion to Christ. Other wives simply don’t feel that sense of the sacred when they enter the bedroom. It’s as if sex operates on a completely different plane from your spiritual life.

But if God says something is good, it’s good. (See Genesis 1:31 and Acts 10:15.)  The marriage bed has His blessing, and He resides there with you. So how can you bring the spiritual into your bedroom? Whether or not your husband engages in this with you, remind yourself that sex in marriage is a gift from your Father, thank God for your sexual intimacy, and pray for your husband and your sexual intimacy.

Tend to the area of your marriage that needs nurturing so that sexual intimacy, and your whole marriage, is a satisfying experience that honors your Heavenly Father.

HHH coverFor practical tips on the physical, as well as wisdom for relational, recreational, and spiritual aspects, be sure to check out Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. Available for order now.