Monthly Archives: August 2015

Marriage: It Can Be Funny

I recently asked readers to answer 4 QUESTIONS for me. (They’re quick and your answers are very helpful, so if you haven’t done that, please head over to that post and give me your two cents.) From the feedback I’ve received so far, I decided we needed a humor day!

Marriage: It Can Be Funny

        WE LIKE TO LAUGH HERE!

After all, this is Hot, Holy & Humorous. Because I believe those are three things a healthy, godly marriage bed have — hot passion, holy purpose, and a great sense of humor.

So without further ado, here are three chances for you to laugh it up on your own . . . or grab your spouse and enjoy together!

  1. I recently discovered The Skitzy Chicks, through their hilarious Back to School video. But here’s a quick marriage tip from these funny ladies:

2. Comedian Jeff Allen has a story I can relate to — ten years in, his marriage was at the end, but they brought it back from the brink through the grace of God. Now he shares his testimony and sense of humor with others.

3. Here’s a couple I didn’t know about, but discovered while touring the Internet for funnies — Modern Marriage Moments with Brandon and Stephanie. Enjoy the Marriage Pick-Up Lines (but don’t use them)!

And the winner of last week’s giveaway is Tana, who shared my Avoiding Sex Because the Kids Can Hear post last week on Facebook. I’ll contact her about receiving a free ebook of Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives.

Based on your feedback, I am considering a switch from posting twice a week to three times a week, with one of those posts being an answer to a specific reader question. I don’t know how this would affect my work and personal schedule, so I’d appreciate your prayers as I thoughtfully consider adding another day to my blogging schedule.

Q&A with J: “Is My Penis Big Enough?”

I didn’t know how else to title this blog post! That’s right to the heart of what today’s question is about. Frankly, it’s not just one question. Rather, every once in a blue moon I get someone writing me through a comment or email and suggesting that penis size matters way more than I’ve suggested.

It might be a woman who swears she wants nothing to do with a man who isn’t extremely well-endowed or a husband complaining he can’t “fill her up.” Even to the point of a recent email in which a husband was considering a surrogate sexual partner for his wife because his penis wasn’t able to meet her desires.

In whatever form the question is worded, it comes down to this: Is my (or his) penis big enough to satisfy?

Q&A with J: "Is My Penis Big Enough?"

And my answer is: It depends.

Almost every man is big enough. From my research, it appears that the average erect penis is 5.16 inches in length and 4.59 inches in girth (from a study of over 15,000 men — that’s a big study sample).

When it comes to length, the range is perhaps from about 4.7 to 6.3 inches in length, with outliers representing a very small percentage of men. For instance, that 6.3-inch penis falls into the 95th percentile, and an erect penis less than 3.94 inches is in the 5th percentile (that is, 5 out of 100 men). But how much of your that can a wife feel? Because that’s the real issue when it comes to sexual satisfaction with his size.

There aren’t as many studies about the depth of the vagina, but it appears to be about 4.25 to 4.75 when aroused. Meaning the vast majority of penises will more than get the job done — especially when you consider that perhaps 90% of her nerve endings are in the outer third portion of the vagina. It’s not that she won’t feel you deeper inside, but she’ll feel it most at the opening and closer to her clitoris.

But while many guys are perfectly fine in size, they have this feeling that maybe they aren’t quite enough or maybe they’d be more satisfactory to their mate if they were bigger. One study showed that while 88% of men viewed themselves as average or large, 45% of men wanted to be bigger.

Why? I think it’s because of chatter and imagery that bigger is better. All those men exposed to porn have likely seen larger-than-average men and may get a wrong view of what’s normal (regarding sex, too, but that’s a subject for another day). It’s something men talk about, worry about, wonder about. Moreover, even if you’re average, don’t you want to be above average? In every way to your mate?

Relax. Unless you’re under 3 inches erect, the length of your penis should be able to satisfy your wife. If you are among the extremely small percentage of men who are less than that, talk to your mate and see what she thinks, and/or talk to your doctor.

And what about girth? Doesn’t that matter more? Women say it does (in one study, 33% of women). However, women are far more satisfied with their partner’s penis that the men themselves. Only 6% of women reported in one study reported that their partner had a small penis, and 85% of women total were quite happy with the length and girth of their men.

What about those 15% who weren’t? The study didn’t ask why are you dissatisfied. I have a feeling some of that is not the tool itself, but how the equipment is used. Or maybe the issue is on the woman’s side . . .

Vaginas stretch . . . and contract. The other part of the equation is how big is she? Some contend that the wife’s vagina has stretched, and she now desires a fuller penis size to satisfy her. Here’s the thing: It does stretch in childbirth and with sexual activity, but not all that much. Our vaginas are very adaptable, ladies. It’s like Elastigirl down there. it stretches a lot, but springs back. Pretty cool handiwork from God, if you ask me.

Still, you might be a little looser than you once were or bigger by design. So maybe you would like a little more girth? Actually, it will fabulously easier for you to tighten up your vagina muscles than for him to add an inch around his penis. Sheila Gregoire has written about what you can do When You’re Too Loose.

Essentially, it’s all about exercise. Of course, Kegels. But squats are also good. And just about any exercise can help, because you’re strengthening your muscles and becoming more toned throughout. Giving your sweet little vagina a work-out might be the best thing you can do to make sure you can feel all of your husband’s fullness.

Sexual satisfaction is more about performance and intimacy than size. Most of the people who write me arguing that penis size matters so very much have something in common: They come across as being all about the physical aspect of sex. Honestly, after one cutting email from a husband about this subject, I sorta wanted to respond, “It’s a poor musician who blames his instrument.” Most wives are not about the size of his penis, but what he does with it!

While sex is supposed to feel good, if it’s all about reaching some physical high, then you’re missing out on what God designed sex to be in marriage. Attend to the intimate part of the experience, making sure you spend time kissing, touching, arousing one another, and enjoying each other — whatever size your body or body parts are. Your husband’s penis is one part of his body, and there are plenty of other places to arouse and enjoy. It’s a total-body experience, so enjoy the whole enchilada, amigo!

And learn to use what you’ve got. Certain positions and angles can maximize the sensations for both of you — try different things. If he’s smaller-than-average, I’d bet oral sex is an easier activity for you two, so delight in that benefit. Use your hands, your mouth, your body, and your genitals to make this a fabulous experience.

And wives, make your husband feel good about his manhood. This is as sensitive a subject to many men as breast size (or waist size) to many women. Let him know he’s enough and help him learn how to pleasure you and make sex a physically, emotionally, and spiritually satisfying experience.

Is your/his penis big enough? It’s likely big enough to do everything it needs to do, because the focus is a loving sexual experience. Which doesn’t require a big penis — rather, a big heart.

Sources: Men’s Journal – Once and For All Defining the Average Penis Size; Women’s Health – Is Your Guy’s Penis Above or Below the Average Girth Size?; How Stuff Works: Vagina (Discovery Health); The Marriage Bed – The Male Genitals; Web MD – Does Vagina Size Matter?; Science Mag – How Big Is the Average Penis?; The Journal of Sexual Medicine – Penile size and penile enlargement surgery: a review; Psychology of Men & Masculinity: Does Size Matter? Men’s and Women’s Views on Penis Size Across the Lifespan; CNN – Is Your Penis Size ‘Normal’?; NHS/UK – Penis Size; Medical News Today – What Is the Average Penis Size? 

Q&A with J: Avoiding Sex Because the Kids Can Hear

Today’s question is about lovemaking sounds and the children who might hear them.

My husband and I are both believers but we are struggling in our intimate life. Night after night I sit in avoidance of having sex with my husband. We live in a very small and modest home, think old cottage style, the walls are paper thin and the wood floors do nothing to mask sound. I am avoiding sex with my husband for fear of the kids hearing us make love, i.e. bed squeaking, moaning, etc. My husband has no problem or worry if the kids overhear our love making but it bothers me greatly . . .

I enjoy sex with my husband very much but it has become a huge road block in our marriage since our children have gotten older. When they were small I did not worry as much because I knew if they heard us they would not understand what we were doing. Now that I have a teen and a preteen in the home along with a 6 year old it makes things awkward. I have tried fans in the room to create some white noise and the tv for me is a distraction from achieving orgasm, I just cant do it with the news or a sitcom in the background. I suppose maybe some music but even this has to be kept low as to not keep anyone awake since sound travels so easy in our home. Any advice is so much appreciated.

First, a word to the residential construction industry: Just how hard would it be for master bedrooms to be sound-proofed? If you could get on that right away, your married home buyers would thank you.

Q&A with J: Avoiding Sex Because the Kids Can Hear

For those of us without studio-level soundproofing for our bedrooms (99.999% of us), here are a few things to consider.

Be creative about when you make love. At night when everyone else is trying to go to sleep may not be the best time for you and your husband to have sex. With older kids in my house, we’ve become far more likely to make love during the day than at night — taking advantage of those times when both kids are gone to youth group events, when they’re plugged into their headphones or watching a movie, when they’re sleeping in on a Saturday morning.

If you’re sharing thin walls with your children, look for times when they’re not in the bedroom. Even plan for it! Good parenting could involve ordering up pizza for the kids, plopping them in front of a Disney movie, and then retiring to your bedroom for marital intimacy. Sometimes we worry so much about covering the noise in our bedroom when the best answer is to put some noise in our kids’ ears so they can’t hear what we’re doing!

You might even consider introducing sound makers into their bedrooms. Many children sleep better with white noise machines or a fan running. We bought one of my kids a bluetooth speaker, and while his phone recharges in another room overnight, it also plays sleep-timed music on the speaker for him to fall asleep.

One last thought here: Consider bartering with other couples for child care. My church hosted a babysitting co-op that was marvelous! We would have anywhere from 4 to 12 couples participate, and we’d trade turns taking care of the kids while the other couples had date night. Which sometimes might be going back home, eating dinner, and making love. If it was four couples, we’d babysit once and have three date nights. When it was up to 12, two couples could take the duty and you’d get even more date nights. Couples can also simply barter back and forth to get this alone time.

Teach your kids to respect your privacy. Your older kids will likely get this more than the youngest, because tweens and teens will want their own privacy, like in the bathroom or when they’re changing in the bedroom. (And no, I’m not saying they get the privacy of locking you out of their bedroom whenever they want — you paid for that bedroom and they’re a minor! But I digress.)

Let your children know that your bedroom is a private space, and when the door is closed, that could mean that someone is changing clothes or doing intimate things husbands and wives do. If you don’t want to reference sex, you can simply say “hugging and kissing.” I guarantee you those teens do not want to see their parents “making out.”

Also, let them know when you’re retiring to the bedroom for alone time, and you are not to be disturbed. You might ask them to stay in the living areas of your home for a while, so they aren’t privy to the sounds of your bedroom antics. I’ve actually said to my kids before, “Interrupt us only if someone is vomiting, bleeding, or unconscious. And the vomit and blood better be a lot.”

Some might cringe at that. Yet I’ve come to believe that many of us married folks need to take back our homes. Our children are not the center of the universe and can learn to wait their turn. Besides, you bought the house, you pay the mortgage, you own the space they’re in. So they don’t get to determine what happens in every room and when — especially your bedroom. When I personally made this mental shift, it freed me up to protect my own space in my home and to put my kids first when I needed to, but not every time. In the long run, I think it’s a good lesson for children to know that others have needs they need to respect.

What’s the worst that could happen? I relaxed quite a bit when I imagined what would happen if our children heard us making love — with all the noises that might go along with that. Could I handle that experience? Was I prepared to have that conversation with my kids?

Let me assure you: You got this. If your children did hear your intimate noises and worried what was happening / felt enormous embarrassment / questioned you about your bedroom activities . . . you can explain it in terms they’ll understand that respects your marital privacy. The 6 year old would likely need assurance that everyone’s okay, while the 14 year old may need to understand that lovemaking is a verbal activity.

Having just ridden another roller coaster this weekend (love them!), I might explain it like this: “You know how people make noises on amusement park rides that might sound frightening if you didn’t know what they were doing. But once you know they’re expressing excitement and emotion, it makes sense. Lovemaking as God intended, pleasurable and in a covenant marriage, involves expressing excitement and emotion, and sometimes that means noise. We’re just having a good time.”

At the point that your children are teenagers, they should know that good marriages include sexual intimacy. So if younger children are asleep, but the older chooses to stay awake long after you told them to go bed . . . then it’s too bad if they hear something they didn’t want to. I didn’t start out feeling this way, but over time I decided that’s the way it had to be. If we told a teen four times to go to bed by 11:30, and they were awake and heard us getting busy at midnight? Well, kid, I TOLD you to go to bed for a reason. Now do you believe me?

Here are a couple of other posts that might help: Yes, Kid, Your Mommy and Daddy Have Sex and Making Love When You Have Teens in the Home.

Q&A with J: 4 Questions I Want to Ask You

Today’s question is from me. Or rather, questions. For two reasons:

  1. It takes a loooong time to write my responses to certain questions, because I don’t believe in pat answers. Sometimes I do research, Bible study, and a whole lot of thinking as part of my blog posts here. Since I had my annual mammogram this morning (check your breasts regularly, ladies!) and it took longer than expected, I didn’t have all the time I wanted to properly answer my queued-up question.
  2. I’ve been thinking about my blog, my newsletter, my ministry. I’d like my readers’ feedback on a few things. Now seems like a good time to ask.

Q&A with J: 4 Questions I Want to Ask You

What would you like me to blog about?

I’m not talking about specific subjects per se — I have plenty of ideas in my email inbox for a while! — but rather the focus. At the end of August, I’d planned to move away from questions from readers and back to posting on this, that, and the other. However, I have quite a few questions still left. Would you like me to continue answering reader questions as a regular part of my blog?

Also, what general areas do you want me to give more attention to? For instance, do you want more how-to posts? More inspirational posts? More emphasis on Bible study or Christian theology and marriage/sex? More about higher-drive wives? More about sex in various stages of life? Anything else?

What would you like to see on the Hot, Holy & Humorous website?

My website is essentially a blog, but I hope to move into providing broader information.

What would you like to see as part of that? Do you want recommended reads? A list of specific scriptures that relate to marriage and sex? Excerpts from my books? Downloadable resources? Printables? What would help you in your marital intimacy that I could (somewhat easily) offer?

How about information about me coming to speak? Is that something you want on the website?

What do you want to see in my monthly(ish) newsletter?

What features would be helpful in a monthly newsletter? Do you want a list of previous posts to make sure you didn’t miss anything? Posts from other blogs or resources I recommend? Tips for your sexual intimacy? Interviews with others? Scriptures? Something else?

How has Hot, Holy & Humorous helped you?

I’m not looking AT ALL for “J. Parker, you’re fabulous!” God and I know otherwise, and I’m really doing okay on the self-confidence front. What I want is, if this blog has helped you in some way, please share how it’s made a difference — that is, your brief, no-need-to-blow-sunshine-my-way testimony.

Your stories will help me better discern how to prioritize goals for my ministry and what to take on next.

Of course, I could have devised a really nice looking survey and embedded it here or something, but I’m not all that tech-savvy and I like open-ended questions where y’all can express pretty much whatever you want.

Remember that if you want to remain anonymous in your answers, just type Anonymous / Anon / Beautiful Lady / Etc. in the name field. When the comment section asks for your email, that part is only seen my me — no one else.

I do have a Comments Policy too, so if you’re planning to bash me personally, rag on all my readers, and generally tell off the world, that comment won’t go through. But that’s rarely a problem here. If you want to know more specifically about my guidelines, go check out the policy first.

If you’d rather email me, head over to my contact form and fill it out.

That’s it. Four questions:

  1. What do you want me to blog about?
  2. What do you want to see on the website?
  3. What do you want in the newsletter?
  4. How has HHH helped you specifically?

It’s your turn to answer. Ready . . . set . . . go!

Q&A with J: “We Exist Like Roommates”

Today’s question fills me with a heavy sadness. Yet I know this wife isn’t the only one with this kind of marriage.

I’ve been married for almost 10 years. It’s been rocky for 8. We have two beautiful children and love Jesus and we both want things to be better but almost don’t know where to start. We are at a place where we exist like roommates. It makes me so sad. I can’t remember the last time we had sex or even kissed. I still have hope though. As dumb as it sounds I don’t even know how to get “us” back. Please help. Or give me tips. I know we can’t be the only couple who has been stuck like this.

Q&A with J: "We Exist Like Roommates"

How does a marriage reach this point? Some marriages simply drift, as spouses pursue different paths and their romance and relationship are neglected. Others experience deep conflict for years, until the spouses are so weary they stop fighting and move to a silent stalemate.

But when we vow to love, cherish, and honor our spouse “till death do us part,” we don’t imagine a lifetime of sharing quarters like roommates. We want more.

How do you turn things around? How can you discover, or rediscover, that passion and intimacy you desire?

Do you both want to work on it? What happens next depends somewhat on whether you’re both on board with the plan. If you sit down with your husband, explain how you want greater closeness and passion in your relationship, and he agrees that things need to change, you have more to work with. The two of you can then talk about what you both want, what would make each of you feel more loved and happier in the relationship, and even pursue marriage counseling if needed.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Please don’t make conversations like this a complaint-fest about the past. Just trust me based on my hard-learned lessons: This is a sure way to escalate unhappiness, defensiveness, and conflict.

You can appeal to the past for things that worked well and ask about reintroducing them. You can talk about how you see your future. You can point out what the Bible says about marriage and how God wants His dear children to have loving relationships and deep intimacy. Lay out what you long to have for your marriage and the benefits you, your children, your church, and your community will reap when you nurture that covenant bond.

Whether he’s on board or less eager, make an effort to . . . 

Renew your courtship. Remember when you first met and flirted and spent time together and anticipated seeing one another and shared those initial kisses? You started at zero and revved things all the way up to marriage before — why not do it again?

I recently listened to a replay of an interview with Willard Harley, author of His Needs, Her Needs on Homeword with Jim Burns, and he made the point that four of the top ten needs in marriage are most important to continue throughout he marriage:  Conversation, Recreational Companionship, Affection, and Sexual Fulfillment. With the exception of sex, you get all of the others when you simply date your spouse.

That’s a great place to start: Asking your spouse out on a date. You don’t need to announce it like that. Consider what you used to do together or what your hubby loves doing, and then make plans to do just that. Be willing to try new things — some marriages have been strengthened by her learning to fish or him going to a craft convention. It’s not only about the activity, but finding ways to spend more time with your spouse and remember what you enjoy about one another.

Renewing that courtship brings positivity to the relationship and makes the little things around the house or even some big things around the house fade to the background while you get to know one another again. This isn’t the time to discuss big issues between you, but rather court one another and enjoy time together to refresh your romantic feelings.

One more thing about this: If some habit of your spouse drives you nuts while you’re out together, plan around it to making the date experience work for you. For instance, my husband holds the World Record for how long it takes to pick out a light bulb at Lowe’s. True(ish) story. Point being that he is a super-slow shopper, and this impatient wife used to get a bit unnerved during our shopping excursions — until I downloaded a crossword puzzle app onto my phone, and now while he’s taking his sweet time I step off the side and enjoy a word game. Everyone leaves happier.

Even if he’s not on board . . . 

Shower him with love. We live in a culture that promotes falling into passionate, can’t-live-with-you love before even considering marriage. But having spent quite a bit of time in Scripture studying the topic, that’s not what the Bible says about good marriages. Couples came together in marriage for all kinds of reasons, but God’s prescription for a healthy relationship is showering one another with love — the sort of love described in 1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 5:21-33, and Song of Songs.

Head to the Bible for inspiration on what active love looks like. Memorize some of the “one another” scriptures and pray for help in living those out. Remember the “Golden Rule”: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Learn how to speak your husband’s love language. Many talk about “unconditional love,” but the phrase I’ve adopted that helps me to know what this looks like is extravagant love. When you feel that extravagant love from someone else (the kind of love Jesus showed for us), it draws you in.

Honestly, of everything I tried, the daily work of extravagant love made the biggest difference in restoring my own marriage.

A lot has been made recently about husbands needing respect more than love, and I agree. To many men, they flat-out won’t feel your love if they don’t feel your respect, your admiration, your support. So make sure that “love” you show includes respect for the man God made him to be — whether he’s there yet or not.

Initiate sexual intimacy. If you’ve been physically disconnected, start slow — with small touches, hand-holding, hugs, soft kisses. But at some point, you want the whole dance of marriage — including some mattress mambo.

I could give you all kinds of ways to make hints and set up your bedroom and work yourself slowly back into lovemaking. However, if you and your husband invest more in your friendship, your courtship, and extravagant love, you’ll likely both have interest in getting back into that groove. Guys are notoriously in favor of straight talk, so just tell him: I want to make love.

You can say it in all kinds of ways — using euphemisms, body language, etc. — but make sure you’re straightforward so he can’t play does-she-or-doesn’t-she in his mind. Odds are he’s missed that aspect of your marriage too, but if that remains a problem, check out a bunch of my other posts or sit down with a Christian marriage counselor to work on deepening your intimacy.

It’s ambitious to hope that a 1200-word post will help you move from roommate status to that thrilling so-in-love feeling you long to have with your husband. Yet I believe this is a start. Blessings to your marriage and other struggling with this situation.