Monthly Archives: February 2011

Verbal Self-Control in the Bedroom

I am loud.

In the first few years of our marriage, my husband and I lived in apartments — sharing Pringle-chip thin walls with some of our neighbors.  Our newlywed years were filled with unmitigated vocalization.  For all I know, the neighbors were thinking every time they saw me, “War is quieter than you.”  Then again, I was Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady.  Should I really be embarrassed?  Wasn’t I supposed to be enjoying God’s gift to matrimony?

Eventually, we moved into a house, with thicker walls!  Soon after, though, children came along, and that was a game-changer.  To the Quiet Game.

It was time to exert that Fruit of the Spirit called self-control.  I’m pretty sure that’s not what Galatians 5:22-23 is talking about, but no one wants her child knocking on the bedroom door late at night and yelling in a trembling voice, “Mommy! Mommy! Are you okay in there?” just as she’s attempting to conceive a sibling for said child.  So, self-control it is.

J’s Ways to Keep Quiet during Sex:

1.    Hold your breath. It fights off hiccups, unwanted sexual noises, and pool water flowing into your mouth after the perfect cannonball.

2.    Grit your teeth. While probably not advised by your dentist, he would likely allow it if his home shared a wall with yours.

3.    Bite your tongue. Not too hard, of course, or you’ll have to explain to others the gash in your fleshy taste-tester.

4.    Place your mouth against the mattress, pillow, or your spouse’s skin. Don’t think of it as self-smothering, merely effective orifice placement.

5.    Think about something completely unsexy. Like the gunk that congeals on your sink’s drain stopper, your spouse’s toenail clippings buried in the carpet, or your in-laws.

That’s all I’ve got.  My entire approach to verbal self-control in the bedroom.  Sometimes these methods work, sometimes they don’t.  My kids haven’t yet asked any redface-inducing questions of me–though perhaps they’re holding it all in until they can pay $200 an hour for professional therapy–so maybe I’m not as loud as I think.

On the other hand, my husband and I recently found blueprints for our house, which was custom built some years before we purchased.  The drawings show the master bedroom with extra insulation for sound-proofing.  I don’t know if noise buffers were installed as shown, but it gives me consolation to imagine that I could yell, “You rock my world!” at the top of my lungs and only my beloved husband would hear.

So maybe you should let go a little.  Then watch your neighbors’ expressions as they pass you in the hallway or on the street.  You might get a grin, a snicker, or even a high-five.  Who knows?  But your spouse will certainly delight in it!

“You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance,

let me hear your voice!”

Song of Songs 8:13

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Aiming for My Best Chest – Part 2

“We have a little sister, and her breasts are not yet grown” (Song of Songs 8:8).  I’ve hated that verse for a very long time.  No matter what my age, I’ve been the “little sister” in breast size, instead of that wonderful Beloved from the Song of Songs whose breasts are described as “two fawns,” “clusters of fruit,” and “towers.”

In my last post, I explained that I never thought I’d have breast augmentation.  I kept hoping to have actual breasts someday…but, despite waiting, wishing, and weeping, they never arrived.  So the surgery is scheduled.  Here’s more about how an otherwise modest Christian woman decided to upsize her mammaries.

I started researching the prospect online.  Thankfully, the Internet has unlimited information about this procedure, from explanations of the surgery, to before-after images, to chat-room Q&As, to extensive plastic surgeon and implant manufacturer websites.  As I researched breast augmentation, I saw that breasts come in all sizes and shapes, and many women are simply trying to achieve normalcy.

There are numerous reasons for breast surgery–small breasts, excessive sagging, differently-sized breasts, heavy or extremely large breasts, odd nipple placement, extra skin, etc.  Plenty of women who get breast surgery aren’t doing it to draw gaping looks from men or to grace the centerfold pages of a skin magazine.  Perhaps we just want to feel good about ourselves in a cotton tee, a swimsuit, or naked in front of our husbands.

I spoke candidly with my sisters, my mother, and my closest friends about breast augmentation.  They were supportive.  Knowing how long breast size had frustrated me, they recognized how important a normal-sized bosom could be.

My husband was the last to come around.  Thankfully, he couldn’t care less whether I am as flat as the Sahara or as mountainous as the Rockies.  And he was reluctant to risk my health for unnecessary surgery.  But he was persuaded after a shopping trip with me, in which I tried on much and left with little.  He realized that it took forever to find clothes that fit me, and even those that I owned would look better with more on top.  My husband saw the practical side of having bigger breasts and agreed that I should do it.

I set consultation appointments with plastic surgeons.  My husband accompanied me.   (Yes, it’s awkward to have a doctor give you a breast exam in front of your husband, but we both thought he should be present to aid the decision.)  The patient care consultants and the doctors explained the surgical process and my options, answered questions, and let me try out sizes.  I also looked at photos (with no name or face) of before-after breast augmentations the surgeons had performed.  I chose my doctor and my implants, scheduled the surgery, and paid my deposit.

A verse kept coming to mind as I contemplated my decision:  “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).  Some basic questions ran through my mind as I determined whether I could have plastic surgery and honor God through the process:

1.    Am I being a good financial steward?  Plenty of people spend the same amount of money on vacations, furniture, home renovations, etc.  That’s okay, as long as we are taking care of our families’ needs and giving generously to our local church and those in need.  I had to know that we had money to use for this event and weren’t taking it from another, essential area.

2.    Am I seeking a vain, unrealistic ideal?  God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).  If we believe that our worth is driven by external beauty, we’ve missed the point.  I get that.  I’m not determining my worth based on that.  You see, I don’t want to win a wet t-shirt contest, just shop in the women’s lingerie department.

3.    Am I choosing a size consistent with the body God gave me?  Women do lots of things to enhance their beauty–from make-up to Botox to liposuction.  Where’s the line?  I don’t know!  But I’m pretty sure that a woman slapping in implants big enough to don an F-cup results in the wrong kind of attention.  So I’ve done what I can to keep myself in check–choosing an implant that will take me to a reasonable bra size.

4.    Am I able to help others in the future with this issue?  I think so.  Sure, there are times we’d all like an extreme makeover, but my experience might help others sort through the actual issues involved.  You gotta ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Is it pure vanity or something else?

I took my sweet time considering this operation–making sure that I was sure.  But my time has arrived.  And I’m looking forward to my chest bulging forward very soon.

Aiming for My Best Chest

I never imagined I’d get a breast augmentation.

In sixth grade, I purchased a training bra. I didn’t need one; it was like getting a hope chest, with the plan of someday filling it with something of value.   I waited for my treasure to arrive.

In my teen years, a close family friend assured me that I was simply a “late bloomer.”  After all, she hadn’t gotten her own full breasts until around age 18.  I waited for my buds to blossom.

In my college years, I rebelled against the whole idea of big breasts–throwing aside my padded bras and donning camisoles instead, as if to say, “I’m flat. So what!”  But deep down, I waited for natural hills (even molehills) to form.

When I got pregnant, I was sure this was it!  My mother claimed that she grew two cup sizes post-childbirth, and she had the bras to prove it. My breasts filled with milk, nursed my children, and shrunk back down like shriveled raisins that had once known the glory of grapehood.  I finally realized that I was waiting fruitlessly.

Still, I never considered breast augmentation.  Plastic surgery was for the Pamela Sue Andersons and Anne Nicole Smiths of the world.  I didn’t want a stripper look, a Playboy contract, or cleavage big enough to spill out of a turtleneck.

Plastic surgery was vanity on overdrive, right? Sure, it’s one thing to purchase cosmetics, skin care products, stylish clothes, or even straighten your teeth.   But cutting up your body to achieve some elusive ideal perpetuated by airbrushed magazine covers and runway models seemed like succumbing to the appearance-is-everything hype.

Moreover, plastic surgery was drastic.  Anytime you undergo surgery, you have to fill out that paperwork that essentially says, “Sign this as an acknowledgement that anything or anybody could kill you while you’re out.”  Going “under the knife” is inherently risky.  Why chance that for the sake of big knockers?

After living with a pubescent chest for almost thirty years, watching my breast disappear every time I raise my arm above my head, and putting 19 of every 20 outfits I try on back on the rack because they don’t fit my bodice, I started thinking the unthinkable.  What if plastic surgery isn’t about how I appear to others or vanity? What if it’s about how I feel about myself? About feeling normal?

What would it be like to purchase a dress with darts? To shop for bras in the women’s department instead of the girls’?  To have my husband use more than a couple of fingers to cup my breast?  To feel that I was in the body of the woman that I am, instead of feeling trapped in the body of the 13-year-old girl I used to be?  How would that change the way I look at and feel about myself?

Most importantly, though, I wondered about that verse, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” ( Colossians 3:17).  Can I have breast augmentation and honor God at the same time?

I know that not everyone will agree with or understand my decision.  But I have decided yes, I can.  The surgery date is on the calendar.  I’m feeling confident and relaxed about my decision.

In my next post, I’ll explain how I made my decision–what factors I considered and the process of researching the surgery.

Would Polygamy Be All That Bad?

Sometimes, when I’m truly exhausted, tired of being tugged on by children’s paws, and wishing I could sleep until next Tuesday, my husband approaches me with a mischievous grin, a certain look in his eye, a set of grabby hands, and I start to wonder:  Would polygamy be all that bad?

I mean, really, did those Old Testament women ever look at their husbands and say, “Not tonight, buddy.  Try the next tent”?

Many of my girlfriends–especially when their children were small and physically demanding – brushed away that stray thought from time to time.  I know that we’re supposed to be horrified at the idea of sharing our husbands with anyone, and we are…sort of…mostly.

But there is something appealing at times about having another woman in the house.  She could help with the cleaning, cooking and child care; converse with you when you need to talk more than touch; be your carpool partner to drive kids around to various activities; empathize with how you put up with your husbands’ idiosyncrasies; and take turns in the bedroom so you’d only have to keep up with half of your husband’s sex drive.

She could be the crucial tiebreaker in the debate of ESPN or HGTV.  She would support you instead of chuckling when you ask your kids not to burp at the dinner table.  She would have the proper response to “Does this make me look fat?”  If the two of you could share clothes, your wardrobe would double.  The other wife could be a fun roomie!  The bonus would be her substituting for you when you feel more Sleepy Mama than Sexy Mama.

Think I’m living in a fantasy world?  I agree!  Polygamy never works well.  It caused enormous problems for people in the Bible (remember Sara and Hagar, Leah and Rachel, Peninnah and Hannah, Solomon and his quadrillion wives).

We are hard-wired to have a jealous heart for our husbands, to desire only for ourselves what is truly ours.  As much as I sometimes feel too pooped to pop, if my husband was with someone else, I’d lie in bed with the fingers of jealousy mercilessly poking at my heart and mind. 

Scripture is clear on the one man/one woman plan.  “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  Despite the variations on that theme in the Old Testament, God designed marriage to involve one husband and one wife.  So it appears that I’ll have to find a way to juggle the laundry, the kids, the sleep, and the husband.

And the woman in the next tent will have to get her own guy.  This one’s mine. 

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

Song of Songs 6:3

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