Monthly Archives: December 2012

Slow Dancin’ for Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Grab your husband or wife for a slow dance and click play.

Steven Curtis Chapman, Christmas Kiss. Available for download from Amazon and iTunes

It’s not too late to stuff your spouse’s stocking with a Song of Songs themed gift certificate or, as a reader suggested, tuck one under his/her pillow. Click HERE for the link where you can print the certificate(s) you want.

Gift certificate intro

 

Love & Sex Coupons for Christmas

Why not add one more thing to the stocking or under the tree? Christmas is a time of love and joy, and God has blessed us with marriages in which we can experience a special kind of love and joy.

To print out, click HERE.

For a little more romantic inspiration, see last year’s Christmas card (also Song of Songs themed) by clicking HERE.

Merry Christmas!

A Wife’s Insecurities, A Husband’s Response

Justin

I’m thrilled to welcome another male marriage blogger to my site. Justin is the husband-half of the Do Not Disturb blog. I love how he and Megan address biblical aspects of sexuality and God’s blessing of intimacy for marriage. If you haven’t been over to their blog, check it out.

Without further ado, here’s Justin!

When J wrote and asked me what husbands would like wives to know about sexuality in marriage, the first thing that came to mind was . . .

Insecurities.

My guess is, just about every woman on the planet wrestles through insecurities at some level. When not dealt with, these insecurities have the ability to cause tremendous emotional pain. They cause doubts. Frustration. Self-pity. They may even cause financial ruin by trying to ‘cover them up.’ Give an insecurity time to root itself deep enough, and it has the potential to cause a great deal of harm within a marriage relationship.

What is it your husband wants you, his bride, to know? He wants you to know you don’t need to be insecure. He wants you to believe him when he tells you you’re beautiful. Most specifically, he wants you to know that even if he doesn’t always communicate it well, he loves everything about you!

While there may be dozens of insecurities women experience throughout their lifetime, my experience in marriage has led me to believe that there are three specific areas in which women struggle the most.

1)       Insecurities about personality

In my own marriage, I’ve discovered that women are . . . how do I say this nicely . . . emotional beings. By that, I mean women have different sensitivities than men. I distinctly remember an evening years ago where Megan came to me sometime after dinner and said, “I’m going to go into our room and cry for a while.”

“Have I done anything wrong?”
“No, no, I just need to cry.”
“Has anybody else hurt you in some way?”
“No. I just need some time alone. Some time to cry.”

I was confused. Maybe even a little distressed. It didn’t make any sense, whatsoever. Ten minutes later, I walked in to check on her. She asked for a few more minutes to be by herself. Suddenly, just like that, she was finished and back to ‘normal.’

This situation isn’t typical in our household. It only happened one time in twelve years. But that situation, as well as others, has shown me that women express their emotions much differently than men. When experiencing those moments, you may ask yourself questions such as:

“Does my husband really love me for who I am?”
“Can he really stand to be with me?”
“What in the world does he find attractive about me? I’m a mess!”

Well, your husband wants you to know that yes, he truly loves you despite how you feel about your personality. He may not always understand your emotions. He may not know how to respond or communicate in every situation. But he completely loves and accepts you for who you are. You can be the person God created you to be. Be yourself, and don’t second-guess your husband’s love.

Another area of insecurities women struggle with are . . .

2)     Insecurities about appearance

Make up. Diet. Exercise. Hair Color. Smooth legs. Maybe even Botox. And the ultimate clothing question: “Does this outfit make me look fat?”

You care a great deal about your appearance. And as you get a little bit older, you find that no matter how hard you exercise or how well you diet, some lines, wrinkles and other areas of personal image just don’t look the way they used to. You begin to wonder if your husband truly finds you beautiful. You see other women and think to yourself:

“I wish I could be as beautiful as her, she’s gorgeous.”
“Maybe this new make-up will help me look and feel young again.”
“No chance I’m ever wearing that outfit again. It definitely makes me look fat.”

If your husband could put it to words, he would respond to each of these statements by saying:

“You’ve grown more beautiful the longer we’ve been together.”
“Some of my favorite moments with you are when you’re not wearing any make-up.”
“I don’t care what you wear. I just like looking at and being with you.”

In short, your husband wishes to tell you that you don’t need to question your appearance. You don’t need to doubt your beauty. You don’t need to compare yourself to others. He loves you and he doesn’t ever want you to be insecure about how you look. Even more than this, your husband desires you to rid yourself of any . . .

3)     Insecurities about sex

Remember your first sexual experience with your husband? My guess is you were a bit anxious. Maybe even terrified. You were completely naked, 100% vulnerable for the very first time. You were going to avail everything about your body to him.

Due to some insecurities about your body and how well you may ‘perform,’ you may have asked for some ground rules. You wanted the lights out, or at least very dim. You didn’t want to be too adventurous, because you didn’t want him to truly ‘see’ everything.

In time, he grew in his desire to know you even more intimately. He wasn’t afraid to have more light. He wasn’t afraid to shed the covers and see all of you. He may have grown in his desire to see (maybe even taste!) your body in the most intimate ways. Suddenly, you’re left having to make a decision:

“Am I really ready to avail all of myself?”
“Am I ready to trust that I am not just pleasing my husband, but that I myself am pleasing to him?”
“Am I really ready to be fully known in this way?”

For those who don’t know me, the tagline on our blog is, “Freedom may be found behind closed doors.” Think about that for just a minute. Freedom-may-be-found-behind-closed-doors.

Are there any insecurities, any at all that are preventing you from full freedom in the bedroom?

If so, it’s your husband’s desire that you let them go. He wants to be free to love and embrace and know you in the deepest possible way between two human beings. And even though he may not say it, he wants to be loved, embraced and known in the deepest possible way as well.

It’s difficult to fully let-go of all insecurities. I know it is. But when you throw off any insecurities you have about how well you may ‘perform’ and just take the opportunity to know him and let yourself be fully known, the result is something no sex blog, book, or counselor can describe in words. It’s more than pleasure. More than orgasm. It’s intimacy in its purest form. It’s the closest thing to relational perfection you’ll ever experience this side of heaven.

This week, make the decision to let-go of any insecurities you may have. Trust that your husband loves you and your personality. Trust that he finds you breathtakingly beautiful. Trust that he wants to know and experience sheer intimacy with you. As a result, take the opportunity this week to know him and to be fully known.

Be friends.
Be fun.
Be aroused.
Be spontaneous.
Be secure.
Be hot.
Be holy.
Be humorous.
Be intimate.
Be free.

Do Not Disturb logo

Justin and his wife Megan write about marriage and intimacy over at Do Not Disturb. Outside of writing, Justin co-pastors a growing church in North-Central West Virginia. His doctor tells him not to eat cheese, chocolate, sugar, or anything else that tastes good. But he’s still allowed to drink coffee. And that’s wonderful.

My heartfelt thanks to Justin for speaking to wives today!

Female Ejaculation: Is It Real?

Female illustration

Female what?!
Photo from Microsoft Word Clip Art

If I say the word “ejaculation” in reference to sex, the vast majority of you will think that it applies to the husband. However, many women have reported experiencing something like ejaculation themselves, where a “shot” of fluid comes out that is distinctly different from the vaginal lubrication that facilitates intercourse.

Is it real? Is there truly female ejaculation?

In books about sexuality that I’ve read in past decades, most doctors presumed that the ejaculate females had was actually a leaking of urine. Even when I read that sometime ago, I thought, “How stupid do these male doctors think we are? Surely we gals know the difference between vaginal flow and pee, right?” But then I began to doubt myself and take their word for it instead.

It take it back. I was right in the first place!

More research indicates that some women do indeed “ejaculate.” That is, they experience a flow of fluid that can be anywhere from a teaspoon to a half-cupful. In fact, some women report that their bodies squirt fluid out more forcefully and generously than that. It appears that the burst of lubricant occurs when that elusive G-spot is tangled with.

Now I’m not a huge fan of sitting around trying to find your G-spot. I’ve known too many women and couples obsessed with finding this place like it’s the Buried Treasure of Orgasms. You can become frustrated and unsatisfied with your current, rather wonderful sex life if you go on a hunt for something you may or may not find right away. However, I do believe that the G-spot exists, that stimulating it can feel quite good, and that most couples can eventually find it by trying different positions. Some wives love their husband thrusting straight into that spot, and other wives find it too jolting. It’s up to the couple to decide.

Does ejaculate come out each time the G-spot is stimulated to climax? No. The information we have thus far is that female ejaculation is by no means a given. Some women are unlikely to ejaculate, others may gush quite often, and a large majority in between may experience this phenomenon a handful of times.

“Shejaculating” is not necessarily linked to climax anyway. Wives can orgasm many times and never spurt, and some wives may ejaculate at other times. Pleasurable stimulation to the area around the G-spot seems to be the key.

Some researchers have suggested that the fluid comes from the Skene’s glands, which rest on the anterior wall of the vagina. (Scientific diagram of female anatomy below to show where Skene’s glands are.) These glands are surrounded by tissue, including the portion of the clitoris that reaches up inside the vagina and swells with blood during sexual arousal. This is a reasonable suggestion given the glands’ proximity to the G-spot and connection with sexual stimulation. In addition, the size of the glands vary from woman to woman, which could explain why some women are more likely to ejaculate than others. However, this theory has not been proved. We don’t know exactly where the fluid comes from.

Illustration of glands

What has been tested is the substance itself. Female ejaculate seems to have properties similar to male semen (minus the sperm, of course). PSA, an antigen manufactured in the prostate, and glucose, a form of sugar in the body, have shown up in the liquid. Those properties demonstrate that it is not urine.

Summary: What we seem to know now is that female ejaculation exists, that it is linked to the stimulation of the front wall of the vagina, and that it is unpredictable at best.

As you might imagine, this issue hasn’t been studied much because (1) research tends to go toward assisting sexual dysfunction rather than figuring out how to use your vagina like a hose; and (2) how do you research this? Would you participate in such a study?!! No, thanks.

Instead, most of what we know has come from self-report. If a wife says she ejaculates, I believe her. And she might want to keep a towel nearby.

To the hubbies out there, whether your wife “shejaculates” is not a reflection of your sexual prowess, the level of her pleasure, or her ability to orgasm. I suspect it’s a function of how big her Skene’s glands are.

Just keep plugging away (pun intended) and enjoy your marital intimacy. If a burst of liquid appears, so be it. Sex is pretty messy anyway, so what’s a little more fluid added to the event?

Sources: Love & Sex with Dr. Laura Berman; Net Doctor UK; Princeton University; News Scientist

Sexual Desire Differences: What If There’s Nothing Going Wrong?

Corey Allan

Corey Allan, Ph.D.
Simple Marriage

Today I am launching a series of guest posts from the male perspective with Corey Allan of Simple Marriage. I’ve followed Corey’s blog for several months and listened to his Sexy Marriage podcast with another marriage and sexuality blogger, Gina Parris. Here is Corey’s take on sexual desire differences.

Are you the high desire or the low desire spouse when it comes to sex?

Have desire differences created problems in your marriage?

Sooner or later, most couples experience problems in this area. Desire problems are the most common sexual complaint for couples.

But what about (cue the dramatic music) if you’re the wife who has higher desire for sex than your husband?!?

It’s natural to feel bad about having sexual desire differences, especially if you believe that sex is a natural function. Most people believe that love automatically creates sexual desire in healthy people. And at first glance, this makes a lot of sense.

But if you buy into the belief that sexual desire comes “naturally,” you’re in for a load of problems. You’ll feel pressured to create something that just isn’t there. You’ll get defensive and despondent when problems surface in your sex life. You may even begin to feel defective or screwed up. In turn, it’s less likely that you’ll address these sexual desire problems and even less likely you’ll succeed if you do. Add to this the seemingly taboo-ness of a man with low sexual desire (not as uncommon as you’d think).

When you believe that sex is a natural function, it sucks to be the low desire spouse. You may see yourself as the one with the problem . . . plus it’s likely that your spouse (the high desire spouse) sees you that way too.

The other big problem with approaching sexual desire as a natural biological function is it actually helps create low sexual desire because it makes sexual desire impersonal. It’s hard to desire sex when it feels like your spouse just wants to relieve their physical or emotional needs.

Know this: There’s always a low desire spouse and there’s always a high desire spouse — and there’s one of each in every marriage.

Arrows - up and down

There’s a low desire spouse and a high desire spouse on virtually every issue and decision in marriage. One of you wants to do something the other doesn’t, or wants to less than you. And even if you both want the same thing, one of you will want it more than the other. Plus, no one is the low desire, or high desire on everything. Positions shift on different issues throughout the marriage.

Desire differences are going to happen. And the positions you take (low or high desire) are simply points on a continuum.

The most freeing point of this view, neither the high desire position or the low desire position is right or wrong. They’re simply differences.

Let’s say you want to have sex every day, you’d likely think that would make you the high desire spouse. But if you’re married to a person that wants sex two times per day, you’re the low desire spouse. Desire isn’t either high or low due to biological drive, past history, or even how much you like sex — it results from some standard of comparison, usually this is your spouse.

If you buy into this idea it will help you stop the arguments over how much sexual desire is normal or healthy.

Let me state it this way — I really like sex.

I also really like chocolate — but not every day.

When my wife and I have attempted to have sex every day for a certain number of days in a row, it becomes burdensome and impersonal. But does that mean the couples who have sex more often than us are better or healthier than us? Nope.

Same for those that are less frequent. This is that comparison devil rearing its head again.

Differences are going to happen in marriage.

Especially when it comes to sexual desire.

Why?

Because this is how relationships are designed to operate. There’s more going on than “happily ever after.”

When it comes to marriage, the relationship is driven by more than just feelings, and it helps to realize that feelings aren’t always accurate. Feelings are open to interpretations. And our feelings can lead us to believe that when your spouse isn’t interested in sex like you are there must be something wrong.

Well, things going wrong and things not going the way you want are two different things.

And, if you can see that there’s actually nothing going wrong, it’s more likely you can turn things around and make them more to your liking.

The beauty of seeing desire differences (regardless of gender) as points on a continuum is it reframes the “problem.” Couples have often sought ways around this problem. Or more aptly stated, high desire spouses have sought ways to increase their spouse’s desire.

But, inevitably, the low desire spouse will control sex.

Here’s how this works:

The high desire spouse makes most, if not all, of the overtures and initiations for sex.

The low desire spouse decides which of the sexual overtures he or she will respond to.

Which determines when sex happens. Giving the low desire spouse de facto control of sex — whether he or she wants it or not.

When you look at it this way it seems simple.

The key is — how you experience this, and handle this, will say a lot about you regardless whether you’re the high or the low desire spouse.

The fact that you experience desire differences doesn’t necessarily mean there is something going wrong — and shifting your perspective could change everything.

It could open the door to you both using your sexual desire differences more productively. Desire problems can be useful to people and relationships — they push you to become more solid within yourself.

Being in a committed relationship brings two life forces front and center. The drive for togetherness and the drive for separateness. The desire to connect and share experiences with another person and the refusal to submit to another person’s tyranny.

When it comes to sexual desire, the low desire spouse understands tyranny. He or she feels oppressed, pressured to want sex and have sex, thanks to the badgering by their spouse’s higher desire. BUT, the high desire spouse understands tyranny too. He or she will feel the pressure to have sex when and how it’s available since opportunities may be few and far between. They must settle for “getting lucky” rather than feeling wanted. And on top of all this, they usually must act grateful for mediocre sex.

Sex is a common gridlock issue. And gridlock in marriage is inevitable . . . but also resolvable.

When it comes to sex, sure, the low desire spouse can stop having it, but there’s usually a limit to how far you can play that card if you want to stay married — particularly happily married.

So what can you do?

"You must realize..." pull-out quote

You must realize that what we’re talking about here is not just sex. There’s a whole lot more going on.

Most of the time, sex is approached from an other-validation stance (also called a reflected sense of self).

Take intimacy for example. Other-validated intimacy involves one spouse disclosing feelings, perceptions, doubts, fears, and inner truths and the other spouse 1)accepting, validating, and empathizing, and/or 2) disclosing in kind.

Other-validation hinges on reciprocity.

In sex this plays out as I’ll do you then you do me.

What this actually does is boosts or shores up your reflected sense of self.

Here’s something you must get straight in your mind: Being intimate with your spouse doesn’t mean you get the response you want.

Marriage is an interdependent relationship — its resilience lies in both spouse’s ability to function independently.

The balance between your reflected sense of self and your solid flexible self has a dramatic effect on your level of sexual desire and passion — and whether or not you miss it when they’re non-existent.

You may be a good person with fine values and good intent, but if your anxieties drive you to avoid things or act impulsively, you’ll do things that violate your integrity, ideals and goals, and diminish your self-worth. You’ll react harshly to other family members when your anxiety is high, which may go against your ideal of being a good solid parent, which then makes you feel guilty, thus your self-worth takes another hit.

When it comes to sex, like I stated before, there’s more going on than just sex.

Look at it this way — I’m the high desire spouse in my marriage and I’ve learned there are many things I can do to get my wife to have sex with me. I can woo her, set up a romantic date, get her several drinks, manipulate, beg, persuade, plus many other things that may work. But, none of these tactics make her want me.

That’s something I can’t control.

When it comes to being wanted . . . all I can do is present something worth wanting.

And something worth wanting develops best when you confront yourself, challenge yourself to do what’s right, and earn your own self respect.

A scary proposition, yes. But it’s the way a marriage fully alive really works.

Source: Schnarch, D. (2009) Intimacy and desire. Beaufort Books: New York

Dr. Corey Allan is a really smart guy who writes at Simple Marriage and counsels people on how to have better relationships. He’ll teach you how to get along with others, play nice, get more of what you want and enjoy giving back. He might even help you get more sex out of the deal, too!

Thanks so much to Corey for enlightening us on sexual desire differences!