Monthly Archives: November 2013

Gobble Up the Good Lovin’: BOOK LAUNCH

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: a time with family and/or friends, good food on the table, and a heart full of gratitude for God’s blessings.

I hope that one of the things you’re grateful for today is the gift of sex in marriage, created and wrapped up by our Heavenly Father. But wives, if it’s not currently on your gratitude list or if you’d like to find even more to be grateful for, I write for you. My blog is a celebration of God’s gift of intimacy in marriage and an instruction manual for enjoying it. I am personally so thankful for what God has done in my own life regarding marital intimacy that I want every single wife to experience the fullness of that gift.

I want every wife to gobble up the good lovin’  in her marriage!

Female Wild Turkeys...looking for good' lovin!

Female Wild Turkeys…looking for good lovin’!
by D. Gordon E. Robertson (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

So why not make this, my favorite holiday and a day for gratitude, the day I launch my very first book? Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Wives is a collection of how-to posts and more from my blog, compiled by topic and freshly edited. It includes illustrations from the talented Matt Baxter, whom some of you may know as husband of Erin Baxter of the Mystery 32 marriage blog.

Here’s the blurb:

How’s your sex savvy?

Book cover for Sex SavvyDo you want to be a hottie in the bedroom without sacrificing holiness? Would you like someone to share real-life tips on making the most of God’s gift of sexual intimacy in marriage?

Put back the secular sources you flipped through in the bookstore, and pick up this biblically grounded handbook: Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives. Author J. Parker of Hot, Holy & Humorous gives candid advice for wives on everything from kissing to oral sex to orgasm to sexual positions—all from a Christian perspective.

Whether you’re a new bride finding her way around that king-sized mattress or an experienced wife who wants that mattress to sing, this book can boost your sex savvy and improve your marital intimacy.

The ebook is out TODAY and costs $4.99. The book will also be available in print in the near future. You can get your ebook copy — and copies for any other wife you know — from the following retailers:

Amazon: Kindle

Barnes & Noble: Nook

Smashwords (several formats available)

Happy Thanksgiving!

And blessings to you and your marriage!

Plastic Surgery: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

A few weeks ago, Paul Byerly of Generous Husband wrote a short series about breast augmentation. He asked the question, Is It Wrong to Augment? and reported the feedback from Women Who Have Augmented.

When I commented on the posts about my own experience, I received a couple of questions from readers there. I wanted to revisit the topic again on my own site and clarify a few thoughts about having plastic surgery.

First inward, then outward. I have a friend who lost 90+ pounds in a year and went from obese to oh-babe! How did she manage that? I think it’s because she got her inner self right first. She stopped looking at herself in the mirror and seeing a fat person. Instead, she saw the beautiful woman inside and decided she was worth something better. Once she believed in herself, willing to see herself as God saw her, she felt empowered to do the hard work of changing her diet and exercise routine so that she realized her goals.

That’s often how body image improves — not by fixing the external parts first, but rather by appreciating the unique way God knitted you together (Psalm 139:13). You are wonderfully made, beauty! If you’re looking for plastic surgery to resolve your inner self-image issues, you’ll likely be disappointed. Satisfaction with who you are must come first from within. It’s from an understanding of who God created you to be.

Woman + quote

Image from Microsoft Word Clip Art

Those poor women who have procedure after procedure after procedure never get this. They’re always looking for another outside fix for what really ails them inside. Get your priorities straight and work on your inner self first. It’s only from a position of inner, emotional health that you can make the right decision on what to do to improve your body for health or appearance.

Some things really are a matter of degree. Some Christians believe that it is wrong to have plastic surgery, that altering your appearance is going against God’s design.

Yet we do plenty of everyday things that involve aesthetic reasons, like bracing our kids’ teeth and wearing make-up and coloring our hair. Plus, we correct appearance that goes awry, like skin grafts after fire damage or breast implants after a mastectomy. Before announcing that all plastic surgery is off-limits, we might want to pause and ask what appearance-altering steps we’ve taken and what makes those okay and not others.

Because honestly, some things are a matter of degree. Eating is perfectly fine, but the Bible certainly warns against gluttony. Jesus attended a wedding with wine, but drunkenness is always spoken against in scripture. A little spice in the bedroom is rather wonderful, but an obsession with more and more kink becomes unhealthy. Likewise, some enhancements of our appearance would seem just fine, while extreme changes can become problematic.

And the question is then: What constitutes “extreme”? Is it numerous procedures? Surgery itself? Any changes to your appearance?

I suspect most people would agree on where the ends of the continuum are, but it’s that middle section of what’s a-okay that we struggle with. And we should. We should struggle to answer that question. Because if we are considering something as invasive as surgery, we need to ask some hard questions of ourselves and ensure that our choices honor God.

But I also suspect that my answer of where to draw the line might be different from the answer of another Christian whom I love and respect. And that’s where our own soul-searching and conscience come to bear.

For you, not someone else. I did not get bigger breasts for my husband. In fact, my husband was originally opposed to me having breast augmentation, because he was concerned about me undergoing surgery of any kind that wasn’t absolutely necessary (that sweet man). We talked about the pros and cons for a while, and he agreed with my conclusion and supported my decision. But I didn’t do it for him. I did it for me.

I’m always taken aback by the number of women who have plastic surgery as a “gift” to their man. And the number of men who request that. Having plastic surgery because you don’t feel like enough for your lover isn’t a great reason. Indeed, it’s likely to make you feel that you don’t measure up generally — that you’re only acceptable if you can “correct” whatever external appearance issues you have. And love looks beyond that.

Of course I wanted my husband to have more to handle in the bedroom, but that wasn’t my ultimate reason. My husband had already chosen me — flat chest and all. Indeed, as Paul Byerly (Generous Husband) mentioned in his first article, one man put it this way: “The two things I require in breasts are 1) nipples, and 2) accessibility.” I suspect that’s a common perspective for husbands. And it’s probably true for our breasts, butts, wrinkles, etc. As long as we wives show up (especially naked), our husbands will likely be reasonably happy. We don’t have to look like magazine models or waste time and money fixing imagined flaws.

When considering plastic surgery, ask why. Is it for your own convenience and confidence or to feel like you measure up to an unrealistic standard for the sake of someone else? At the end of the day, you will be the one having surgery, you will be the one living with the results, you will be the one changed. So make sure it’s what you want.

Obviously, I wanted to have plastic surgery, I made the decision to do so, and I do not regret it. I’ve been open on my website about my own doubts about plastic surgery, my process and reasons for deciding to augment, and my concerns about jumping in too eagerly to solve body image issues. I’d like to hear your perspective on plastic surgery.

When do you believe Christians can and should have plastic surgery? Have you had any procedures? Why did you choose to do it and what was your experience?

My Blog, 3 Marriage Books, and an Upcoming Interview with “J”

Does it ever feel like there’s just a whole lot going on? If you’re more Christmas-inclined than I am (honestly, a rather low bar), perhaps you’re looking forward to a busy season. As long as what’s going on is positive and you’re not feeling overwhelmed, then it’s all good.

Well, it’s all good here.

For me, this has felt like a busy, busy month, and I want to share with you some current resources and upcoming releases to help you in your marriage.

Tips about my blog. Since moving over to a self-hosted site, I’ve been discovering small issues to address. For instance, a fabulous reader recently informed me that I didn’t have sharing buttons (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) below each post. To which I thought, Duh, J! Sharing buttons! I’ve remedied that oversight. So share away!

I asked my website designer to move the “Leave a reply” button from its default position at the top of a post to below the post, where it makes sense after you read. So it’s now a nice red button you can easily see and click.

I also want readers to know that the option to leave a comment as “Anonymous” is still available. When you click “Leave a reply,” you’re presented with blank boxes to input name, email address, and website. Simply type “Anonymous,” or your made-up moniker, into the name box, write your comment, and post.

Given the subject matter here, all comments are approved before they appear. You can find my policy by clicking the Comments button on the menu bar above. A summary of the policy is “Treat others the way you want to be treated” (Matthew 7:12).

31 Days to a Better Marriage. Jolene Engle of the Alabaster Jar coordinated and hosted a series of marriage posts for wives all throughout October. I was thrilled to contribute my own post on “Can Sexy Wives Be Godly Wives Too?” But if you missed the series or any posts in the series, don’t worry. You can get the whole thing in a free downloadable ebook! Sweet deal, right? To get your copy, click the pic below! 31 Days to a Better Marriage ebook

The Pursuit of Passion. Fellow Christian sex blogger, Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage, has co-authored a book titled The Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage, which was released just this past week. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my e-reader. And since I agree with almost everything that gal says on her blog, I feel very comfortable recommending her book.

Pursuit of Passion book cover

CLICK TO BUY
(affiliate link)

Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives. Doesn’t that title alone make you want to get my upcoming book? It’s a handbook for Christian wives to learn the ins and outs of sexuality in marriage, to become savvy women in the bedroom.

When can you get your hands on copy? Thanksgiving Day. (‘Cause nothing says sex like eating turkey and cranberry sauce, right?) For those of you not in the United States and not celebrating turkey day, that would be next Thursday, November 28.

For those wives in the United States, just make sure to finish the cooking and serve the bird at Thanksgiving before you buy and start reading Sex Savvy. I’d hate to be responsible for your family having to hungrily wait an extra hour because you got distracted by the chapter on orgasm.

Sex Savvy will be available first by ebook and then by print. But first, here’s the cover reveal. You ready?

1…

2…

3…Awesome book cover for Sex Savvy

Besides thinking ooh and aah, I know what you’re asking yourself: What’s that?!!! Is that a last name? Is that her real last name?! Why yes, yes, it is. After much consideration, prayer, and consultation of close friends (also known as relentless prodding from close friends), I decided to forgo the pen name I’d considered and use my married name instead.

Upcoming Interview. I love listening to podcasts and audio books. In my opinion, it’s really the only way to clean a toilet.

One of my favorites is The Stupendous Marriage Show with Stu and Lisa Gray. If you’re not subscribed to their podcast, check them out. There’s such an authenticity to their Christianity, their marriage, and their answers for couples seeking help. I’ll be appearing in the next few weeks on their podcast when they interview me about the book, Sex Savvy, and sex in general. (Although I also hope Stu and I can chat about Batman for a little bit. If Lisa will let us.)

So that’s it! All of my announcements for today. If you have any questions about anything, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer as soon as I can. Blessings!

How Much Should You Share about Your Sex Life?

I’ve heard that Toronto is a wonderful city. Unfortunately, its current mayor just crossed a line.

When accused of engaging with prostitutes, specifically an oral sex act, he answered by proclaiming, “I . . . — well, I can’t use his words here. I’m too classy for that. But he intimated that he performs said act plenty with his wife at home.

And later, he apologized for his lewd remarks.

In the video of this apology, his wife stands off to the side, and her expression is heartbreaking. Not only is her husband the subject of attacks on his character (and I’m not commenting about which ones are true and which aren’t), but her personal sex life was laid bare before the public, a detail was recorded and widely shared, and the infraction came from the person who is charged most with protecting her — her husband.

This incident brought to mind the question: How much should you share about your sex life?

Movie still

Have you said too much?
Greer Garson/Clark Gable, Adventure (1945)

I’m sure some think I share quite a lot here at Hot, Holy, and Humorous. But honestly, my readers don’t know all that much. I don’t describe specific moments of my marital intimacy in detail, and everything I say here is cleared with the hubs (aka “Spock”). If I have any concern that a post could make him uncomfortable, we go over it and discuss the wording together.

It’s fine to discuss sex publicly in general (God certainly never shies away from the subject in scripture), but our personal sex lives need to remain private. How private? Here are a few things to consider:

What you’ve learned vs. what you did. I provide a lot of how-to posts here, and specific advice is the subject of my upcoming book (Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives). Helping others discover all that God intends for their marital intimacy may include talking about the sexual responses of our bodies, options for increasing pleasure, and/or how to navigate a specific act. Indeed, I’m in favor of some outside coaching.

But that’s rather different from “Let me describe our lovemaking last night. First, he ripped off my blouse with his teeth, and then we stumbled onto the elevator floor, and then . . . ” Yeah, you get the point. (And no, this isn’t anything that happened to me. Just an example!)

There’s a difference between sharing with someone what you’ve learned about sex and describing the specific act with your own spouse like you’re writing an erotic scene in a romance novel. The latter potentially invites others to visualize you two going at it and may violate the privacy of your marital bedroom. Keep that stuff to yourself.

Speak respectfully about your spouse and his/her body. One of the most disturbing things about what the Toronto mayor said is that he used rather crass language in referring to a sex act with his wife. We need to watch how we speak about our spouse and his/her body when it comes to the sexual arena.

Don’t talk about your spouse as if he is or she is a porn star. Even if you as a couple choose to “talk dirty” in the bedroom (though I don’t condone that), it’s not an appropriate way to refer to your spouse with others. You should be building up, not tearing down, your spouse. So don’t speak about her the way you would if she’d been a drunken one-night stand from your premarital bad-boy days.

Also, don’t share extensive personal information about his body or sexual problems with anyone you’re not consulting for help. Sure, you can tell a doctor about your husband’s erectile dysfunction, ask a mentor about a conflict you’re having in the bedroom, share with a friend your hurt about rejection, or ask a question here to address a specific issue — because you’re seeking help for what ails you. But sharing widely with your friends that “he can’t get it up”? No, no, no, no, no. (Is that enough nos?) Just check to whom you’re talking and what your motives are before getting personal about your spouse.

Know what your spouse is comfortable revealing. One of the few reasons I’ve rejected comments on my blog is a spouse oversharing. Usually it’s a husband who describes his wife’s sexual parts or responses in graphic detail. I read it and think, I wonder if the wife has any idea he’s sharing this publicly. Of course, my decision whether to approve or disapprove is subjective, but I’d call it the shudder-up-my-spine test. If the comment seriously creeps me out (and thankfully, this has only applied a few times), it simply doesn’t make the cut.

There’s a line past which most sane people could agree is a “bridge too far.” However, the most important thing is knowing what makes your own spouse uncomfortable. How much is too much for him or her? Some spouses are very private and would be horrified for anyone to even know that you got “lucky” last night. Others are fine with everything up to the most revealing details. Most spouses are somewhere in between.

Consider whether your bride blushes easily or whether your husband is naturally private before revealing information about your sex life to others. I guarantee there are Christian couples with fabulous sexual wisdom who would never ever have a blog like this one . . . because that’s simply not who they are. It would be too uncomfortable for one or both of them. And even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, if your words could injure your spouse, why go there? The honoring thing to do is to simply shut your mouth.

What boundaries or guidelines do you use in knowing how much you should share about your sex life? Do you and your spouse see eye-to-eye, or does one of you need to defer to the other?

3 Tips for More Intimate Lovemaking

Did you know that I’m a monthly contributor to Unveiled Wife? Jennifer Smith hosts a wonderful marriage blog directed toward Christian Wives that includes everything from practical tips to inspiration to, yeah, sexual intimacy.

You can also sign up for her daily prayers for your husband and get guidance on how to pray for your man.

I’ve decided to start linking here to these guest posts. (They’re shorter than I usually write at Hot, Holy & Humorous, so you won’t lose time being here first and then clicking over there.) So here’s the sample and link to this month’s offering: 3 Tips for More Intimate Lovemaking.

Sex according to God’s design includes great physical pleasure, but also involves your emotions and your soul. You connect deeply and intimately with your husband as you share something unique to your relationship: the sexual joining of your bodies that represents and nurtures your covenant love.

But perhaps you and your husband aren’t feeling that deep connection. Here are three quick tips for more intimate lovemaking in your marriage:

Read More.