Tag Archives: To Love Honor and Vacuum

Q&A with J: “I Can’t Really Seem to Get Into Sex”

Today’s question is from a wife who’s struggling with her pleasure in the marriage bed:

Hi, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. My husband and I have been happily married for 11 years…I love him more than ever…the problem is I can’t really seem to get into sex. I know it’s important and we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it. I do orgasm most of the time but I just want to desire sex…I want to really want sex!!! I want to have the wet “horny” feeling but only very occasionally does happen. We do have 4 kids aged from 3-9 years so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I’m kinda hoping one day this stage will pass and I’ll all of a sudden be back into sex? Anyway, any advice would be great!

Blog title + couple's feet in bed pointed away from each other

First off, yes, I think four children ages 3 to 9 years has something to do with it. Lots of wives report a decrease in their libido while their children are young, because that’s when we’re exhausted, distracted, and stressed. If you think that’s contributing, then check out my suggestions in When My Sex Life Sucked – Part 2.

But the libido and pleasure issues may run deeper, as they sometimes do for wives. I’ve talked recently about how in 15-30% of marriages wives are estimated to be the higher-drive spouse, but that still means that in 70-85% of marriages, he wants sex more than she does.

And many women have been sold the idea that they’re supposed to want sex like their husbands — with a burning need or intense desire to be experience sexual pleasure. They think the proper order of things is desire, arousal, sex, and then orgasm. But you know what? That’s not what the research shows. Rather, female sexual desire seems to kick in for many after the decision to engage and getting aroused.

Yet what concerns me is that you say, “we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it.” Yeah, your body should be more responsive to sexual sensations. That’s how God intended it to work.

So while I don’t want you to sweat not having that “horny” feeling before you start having sex, I do think you need to look into why you’re not enjoying the experience.

And for that, I’m actually going to turn you over to three trusted sources. Because while I’ve definitely addressed this topic (for instance, herehere, and here), these three ladies have gone above and beyond in reaching out to lower-desire wives. I believe they can help you get on track.

OysterBed7. Bonny Burns maintains the OysterBed7 blog where she says, “I blend science, scripture and stories of my own life to encourage and empower the low sex drive wife and her marriage. You write what you know and I know about low sex drive.”

Her honest, gentle approach is also biblically and practically based. While I suggest reading her blog, and listening to her on our joint podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, she has a specific resource you might want to check out: Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation.

The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor defines the mission of her blog as: “to encourage Christian wives as they work to grow in their approach to sexual intimacy in their marriages. After 20 years of restricting the sex life in my marriage, I have learned to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with my husband.”

I know you’re not restricting sex in your marriage, but Chris delves into reasons why a wife would feel disengaged in the bedroom and unable to experience full pleasure, and then she addresses them with practical suggestions. You can also hear Chris on our podcast.

Boost Your Libido Course. Sheila Gregoire recently launched a new product, and I had the pleasure of checking it out fully. Her Boost Your Libido course not only deals with a wife’s sex drive, but her pleasure in the bedroom. This course has 10 modules with videos of Sheila explaining the main points in a wife-to-wife chat format, along with a fact sheet, worksheet, brainstorming exercise, and additional resources.

Sheila deals with such issues as “What Is Libido?”, “Making Hormones Your Friend,” and yes, “When It Doesn’t Feel Good.” I’ve really enjoyed Sheila’s blog and resources over the years, but I found this course in particular to be a great approach for working through the issues of low libido and enjoyment of sexual intimacy.

You can view the videos in the privacy of your home, or perhaps with a friend or two so that you can discuss and support one another. (However, you should each pay for your own course, for ethical reasons and to get the additional materials you need to make progress.) She suggests taking your time through the homework, but it’s not hard to complete. You can easily see the big picture and how progress will be made by working on these modules.

And you know what? It’s $39. I know that’s more than a book, but $39 is a pair of shoes, one piano lesson for your child, a meal for two at a sit-down restaurant, and just 1/15th of an iPhone. Seriously, a total bargain. For more info, click on the pic below.

Let me assure you that I rarely do affiliate links. While looking into advertising some on my blog, I’ve been so reluctant to do so because I’m not willing to just throw products at my audience that I don’t entirely believe in. If I outright suggest something, I’ve viewed the entire resource myself and believe it’s a good deal for my audience.

So, while I write some about low libido, I know that it’s not my niche like it is for these three women I’ve mentioned. And I trust them to give you good advice. I encourage you to check out their resources.

How Libido Works: For Women, That Is

If you follow me here or on social media, you’ll quickly discover that I share a lot of what Sheila Wray Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum writes. That’s because we have very similar views on sex in marriage, and her wisdom is well worth my readers’ time.

Not to mention that we’re friends. Which is one of major bonuses of doing what I do — getting to meet like-minded people who are smart, fun, and Christ-like.

It’s my pleasure to share her with you today! Sheila’s here to talk about how libido works — for women, that is. Because it’s not how many of us were taught that sex drive works. And now…Sheila.How Libido Works: For Women, That IsHave you ever noticed that movies and TV shows make women’s sex drives look just like men’s?

Here’s what happens, pretty much every time: the couple’s together, and they start to pant. So they fall into each other’s arms and they begin to kiss. Then the clothes come off. And then they end up in bed.

They pant, they kiss, they take off their clothes, and they end up in bed.

Pant. Kiss. Clothes. Bed.

Every time.

If this is what you see, over and over, you may begin to think that’s natural.

So there you are, at home with your husband, and you’re waiting to pant.

And nothing happens.

So you figure, “I guess I’m just not in the mood”, and you return to browsing Pinterest or you go and make another cup of tea.

But what if that whole portrayal of women’s and men’s sex drives is wrong?

Rosemary Abbott of the University of British Columbia did a study a while ago that found that while men tend to be aroused BEFORE they started to make love (that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?), most women are not aroused UNTIL they start. They’re not panting at all!

Instead, they make the decision to make love, and then once they start, they relax enough and tell themselves, “I am going to have FUN tonight!” It’s only then that their bodies kick in.

For women, our sex drives are primarily in our heads. If our heads aren’t engaged, our bodies won’t follow.

But that also means that we have a great deal of power when it comes to our libidos! Instead of waiting to feel in the mood, we can tell ourselves positive things about sex: “I am going to enjoy this tonight.” “I am going to sleep so well after this!” Or even, “I am going to rock my husband’s world!”

Unfortunately, many of us don’t quite understand this. We figure that our bodies should kick in if he does the right thing, romances us the right way, or touches just the right place. So we start making love, but while we’re doing that we’re also composing shopping lists in our heads, trying to figure out if there’s enough milk in the fridge to get us through breakfast, and planning our errands route for tomorrow. So sex feels lousy. And it must be his fault, because he’s just not doing it right!

Now, there’s no doubt that husbands often need to learn what makes wives feel good (because many husbands don’t understand foreplay, for instance!). But it’s also true that one night he could do something that has you in raptures, and three nights later he’s doing exactly the same thing, move for move, and you’re lying there thinking, “Will you just get over with because I want to get to sleep!” It’s not about what he’s doing; it’s about what you’re thinking!

That’s why great sex isn’t about panting beforehand and it isn’t JUST about him doing the right thing. It’s also about us concentrating and putting our brains to work for us!

When you make love, ask yourself, “What feels good right now?” That makes your brain cut off that shopping list and concentrate instead on your body. And you just may find that it does feel good, after all!

God made women so that our response isn’t as automatic as men’s sexual response tends to be.

We have to make the decision that we want to make love. We even have to make the decision that we’re going to have a good time! But I think there’s a logic behind that. Because we need to make that decision, then both husbands and wives have an incentive to work on feeling intimate outside of the bedroom, too. We have to build goodwill towards each other to even want to make love in the first place. If our sexual response was always automatic, then our relationships could be quite shallow.

Instead, when things work well, we get the best of both worlds. We feel close to our husbands, and we feel great in the bedroom. But ultimately it’s up to us: will we decide to jump in and take the initiative, or will we sit back and wait for the panting to happen?

Personally, I’d suggest jumping in. Sex helps you sleep better. Sex helps you feel closer. Plus great sex feels amazing! It’s too great a gift to leave to chance. So decide to have fun tonight, and see what happens!

Sheila WC 100Sheila is the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. She blogs everyday at To Love, Honor and Vacuum.

Come on over and download her free ebook, 36 Ways to Bring Sexy Back to The Bedroom!

Thanks, Sheila! I love this wise advice.

5 Ways to Celebrate My 500th Post!

This post right here is my 500th post on Hot, Holy & Humorous. Thanks to all my regular readers and visitors who have kept this blog going, challenged and encouraged me, and shared their stories of personal pain and marital victory. You are why I continue to engage in this important ministry.

To celebrate my 500th, I wanted to share five special treats with y’all.

5 Ways to Celebrate My 500th Post!

#1 – MY TOP 5 POSTS

So what has attracted the most attention on Hot, Holy & Humorous? Here are the most-read blog posts of all time:

5. Showering and Bathing Together: Why You Should Try It. What?! This is number five? (A part of me wanted this post to shimmy down a little to make room for 4 Great Bible Stories About Sex that came in right behind it.) But this is indeed one of my most popular.

4. Getting Comfortable Being Naked with Your Husband. The number who’ve read this post is another reminder of the struggle many wives have with body insecurities and shyness about sex. Baring yourself before your husband, however, is a beautiful gift — to him and to yourself.

3. Oral Sex: How To. For a long time, this was top of the list. It’s moved down a little, but it’s still a very popular post with practical tips for giving fellatio (aka “blow jobs”).

2. Penis Size: From the Wife’s Point of View. If I had to bet, I’d say more husbands visit this post than wives. Because yeah, many men worry. And for the vast majority of them, they needn’t worry a bit.

1. What I Wish I’d Known before the Wedding Night. This was nice to see, because I like being among the biblically based resources out there for those getting started with sexual intimacy in marriage.

#2 – FREE 5-DAY DEVOTIONAL

Written in the same format as Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Your Marriage, here’s a free five-day devotional for wives on Sex in Marriage.

Sex in Marriage Final CoverCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

#3 – 5 GOALS FOR HOT, HOLY & HUMOROUS

Where do I go from here? Here are five goals I have for the future of this marriage ministry.

  1. Speaking events. I’d planned to start speaking this fall, but it turns out I’ll be launching my speaking ministry in early 2016. I’m preparing my talks and materials now, so that any church that books me will get a quality presentation. Watch for news on that front!
  2. Q&A with J. The last two summers, I’ve hosted a Q&A with J. I extended that feature into the fall, and it’s been so well-received, I’ll be keeping it up. I have a queue of questions to cover, but if you have another one you want me to tackle, head over to Contact J and shoot me an email.
  3. Website update. I love the look of my website, so don’t expect the background or header to change. But this site functions entirely like a blog, and I want the website to be more interactive and navigable. Look for an update reflecting my movement from a personal blog to a marriage ministry.
  4. Another book. I have two more book ideas that have been rolling around in my head. In case anyone was wondering, yes, I will continue to write books as I feel called. I’ve started one of these books and plan to finish in 2016. Please pray I have enough time and godly wisdom so I can keep presenting positive resources for Christian marriages.
  5. More humor. This has felt like such a serious year since I added a Q&A post, in which many spouses are in heartbreaking situations. I believe in mourning with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) and trying to provide biblical answers. Yet I also believe there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and that “a cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Having a good sense humor helps us get through life, and I’ll be looking for more ways to keep the humorous of Hot, Holy & Humorous a major part of my blog.

#4 – 5-BOOK GIVEAWAY

One lucky commenter will win not one, not two, but all three of my ebooks!
Intimacy Revealed Book CoverSex Savvy 300 x 450Final Book Cover - smaller

Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives
Behind Closed Doors: 5 Marriage Stories
Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage

But wait! I said a 5-book giveaway. What are the other two? Well, two of the marriage blogging wives who helped me so much from the beginning and through the years have donated copies of their ebooks to this giveaway! A big shout-out to Sheila Wray Gregoire and Julie Sibert. If you haven’t followed their blogs or checked out their resources, I encourage you to do so. They have wonderful wisdom on Christian marriage and sex. So here are the fourth and fifth books:

31 Days to Great Sex book cover

Pursuit of Passion larger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire
Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage by Jeffrey Murphy and Julie Sibert

Leave a comment at the end of this post, and you’ll be automatically entered. (Be sure to provide your email address, which will not appear on the site.) I’ll draw a winner on Friday, November 20, 10:00 p.m. CST.

#5 – 5 QUESTIONS WITH J & “SPOCK”

For a long time, I’ve been calling my ever-logical husband “Spock” on this site. Believe me, it fits. And here’s a treat in which we sat down and answered five questions about our relationship and marriage.


And that’s it for POST #500! Woo-hoo!!! Thanks for being part of my celebration and this ministry. May God bless you and your marriage!

Q&A with J: Contraception without Condoms?

Today’s question is about contraception — specifically condoms. I take no responsibility, however, for Mark Gungor’s shockingly funny description of condom usage. See below:

“My question to you, however, is related to contraception. We have been discussing this on and off for a long time, and even after lots of research and reasoning, we’re still unsettled on what kind, or even whether or not contraception should be used (esp. condoms). What particularly got me was how Mark Gungor described using a condom (paraphrased): “trying to eat an ice cream cone with a sock on your tongue.” But neither of us want a baby any soon than AT LEAST a year of being married. Could you speak on how to enjoy marital sex while sacrificing the least amount of pleasure? I just wanna find a way to use a condom as little as possible…XD”

Contraception without Condoms

When it comes to condoms, I always think, “I’m the wrong person to ask!” Because if I’m being completely honest (and I have a history of that on this blog), I hated the feel of condoms. Logically, I know they are a good choice, but that barrier between skin simply didn’t feel good to me or my hubby. That said, I know a couple married something like 30 years who have always used condoms with no problems; they love ’em.

So after admitting my own personal aversion to condoms, what can I say about contraception? Here’s what I think:

There’s no one perfect contraceptive. You have to find what works for the both of you.
Condoms do limit skin contact, but they are easy to use, make clean-up a breeze, and many options are available. If one condom doesn’t feel good, you can try several others — test drive and find the kind you like.

Hormonal approaches can cause problems for some women. Not all, but some. For instance, oral contraceptives have been known to reduce sex drive or sensitivity in some women. For myself, I experienced a contraception-related bout of depression — but that was after years of using the little white pill successfully. If your wife wants to try a hormonal approach, just pay attention to her reactions and make sure everything is going smoothly.

Many people avoid barrier methods, but they work just fine once you know how to use them. After getting off oral contraceptives, I fell in love with the diaphragm. It was easy-peasy to use, and it worked. If you want to know more about that, you can read Want to Rave about Your Birth Control Method?

When you consult with your doctor, ask how the contraceptive works. Some contraceptives are abortifacients, meaning that they actually work after fertilization of the egg; they get rid of the embryo. As a devout Christian, I’d be looking for birth control that worked before fertilization. Just make sure you know what the process is for the form of birth control you’re considering and that you’re comfortable with it.

There’s always Family Planning. I’d be remiss not mentioning the planning method some believer couples use very effectively and happily. Engaged Marriage has written well about this method.

Nothing is 100% guaranteed and user error is the most common reason a birth control method doesn’t work. So finding what you will successfully use is most important.

Make this decision together as a couple and be willing to try different methods. Don’t let your doctor immediately talk you into one or the other, but ask questions about the relative advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.

See also: Which Birth Control Method is Best? from Sheila Gregoire

Feel Beautiful in 2015: “Fight The Frump”!

I still remember it — two years ago — when Sheila Gregoire launched her Fight the Frump! week. She kicked it off with a post I much admired, in which she showed before and after poses of herself getting ready for the day. With a little effort, she “unfrumped” — thus looking and feeling better about herself.

Even then, I remember thinking that someday, when I revealed myself, I’d present my own version of before-after photos. Why? Because not only do such photos show what a little effort can do, I’ve learned how quickly and easily you can pay a little attention to your appearance and feel more beautiful.

But I don’t have time!!! you say.

And believe me, I remember the days of lugging the infant bouncy seat into the bathroom and my ever-so-colicky baby crying while I tried to get a rushed shower. Then when you were sure baby was going to spit-up on it anyway, why bother wearing something nice? And didn’t frump-wear make more sense if you were just doing laundry and cleaning toilets that day? And the irony is that as I sit here writing this, I’m in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, though I promise they are properly fitted, I did my hair and put on make-up today, and after all, I took a nap this afternoon so I needed something I could snooze in.

You don’t have to look ah-mazing every day and I’m not opposed to comfort wear, but you won’t feel good about yourself if you don’t put your best foot forward more days than not. Let me show you want I mean.

This is me at the beginning of a day — in my PJ’s. Truth be told, I stay in my jammies and work for a while as everyone else in the family gets out the door before I even begin my morning routine.

J in jammies

Even if I looked okay, during the day, pajamas are what preschoolers, hospital patients, and unemployed slackers channel-surfing for conspiracy theories wear. Since I want to feel good about myself, I don’t stay this way for long.

Through the magic of motherhood, I’ve learned how to shower in record time, but for this experiment I went at a steady, purposeful pace. And 8 1/2 MINUTES LATER, I was showered and dressed:

J in jeans and shirt

If it was summer, I could have gone faster. But it was cold (okay, cold for Texas — like 40-50° F), so I put on a turtleneck and overshirt. Both of these are cotton, and I’m just wearing jeans. Although I make sure to buy clothes that are both comfortable and flattering.

(And yeah, if you don’t have a good pair of cowboy boots, you are missing out. Easy on, easy off; comfortable; and stylin’. And when my hubby gets home, we can even do a little two-steppin’ across the kitchen floor if the mood so moves us. 😉 )

But my hair’s still wet and my face still . . . well, there’s no closeup, but trust me . . . plain and blah. So 4 1/2 MINUTES LATER, I had my makeup on.

J with makeup applied

YES, you can put on makeup in less than five minutes. I remember when I first started wearing cosmetics, it seemed like I’d need a half-hour to get it all just so. But I now have my repertoire down pat, and I know what I want to apply if I only have two minutes, if I have five minutes, if I have ten minutes, etc. Sure, with more time, I can do better. But I’m simply looking to enhance my features, not pose for Vogue magazine.

Also, one of the best things I’ve done is visit a makeup counter and get tips from a few pros. Once I had a better idea how to apply the cosmetics, it was easier to do. And I’ve learned what to focus on and what’s no big deal for my particular face. (I love you, eyeliner!)

What’s next? Well, my hair is still damp. So 2 1/2 MINUTES LATER:

J with hair styled

I admit my hair is easier to wrangle than some others’. But a couple of things to remember: (1) My hair is very fine and I live in a super-humid climate, so I wash my hair almost every day — which adds to my shower time. I think that’s sort of true with everyone; you may have it easier in one area of getting ready, and harder in another. (2) I’ve learned to stop trying to do things my hair won’t do. That is, once I realized my hair is straight and will always be straight and doesn’t like to do anything much but straight, I stopped wasting time perming and curling and whatever else every day. I learned to style the hair I have.

Also, get good hair products. Find out what the shape and texture of your hair requires. For me, it’s a bang-up can of hair spray. Give me a brush, a hair dryer, and hair spray and just over two minutes later, I’m good to go.

What’s left? Accessorize! For me and this outfit, it’s pretty simple — a necklace and earrings. I also spritzed myself with body mist spray (extremely light perfume) from Bath Junkie. So 30 SECONDS LATER:

IMG_0979

By the way, those are not actually earrings. I can no longer wear earrings, and instead wear dangling ear cuffs I buy from Etsy. (If anyone wants vendor information, I can answer in the comments section.)

TOTAL TIME TO GET READY: 16 MINUTES.

Do I look ready to walk a runway? Of course not. If my husband called and invited me to spontaneously join him for lunch, could I go? Absolutely.

Moreover, I feel good about myself because I took a few extra steps by:

  • Making sure to shower and get dressed every day.
  • Wearing clothes that fit and flatter my body.
  • Styling my hair and putting on cosmetics.
  • Adding a few extra touches to make me feel feminine and special.
  • Smiling in the mirror!

And in case anyone’s wondering what that piece of paper is at the top left corner of my full-length mirror, it’s a scripture. Your mirror is a wonderful place to put a scripture to remind you of whatever you need to work on in your life. If you’re struggling to feel beautiful, click on the following image, print it out, and slap it on your mirror!

Mirror verse - color

click for full size

black & white, click for full size

black & white, click for full size

Then go get ready, and as Sheila says, “fight the frump”!

Now let me know your secrets to “fighting the frump” and taking a few steps to feel better about yourself and ready to greet your husband when you come together again.