Daily Archives: November 22, 2016

Q&A with J: How Can I Feel More Free Around His Naked Body?

Today’s question is from a wife who doesn’t struggle with her husband seeing her naked. But she struggles with seeing him naked.

hi, soon I’ll be celebrating fifth anniversary with the most amazing husband I could ever wish for…. When we got married, I was a virgin, but it wasn’t hard for me to let my husband see me, explore me and to make love in the daylight. It still isn’t. But it was hard to see him naked and to be brave enough to explore his body. I feel more awkward seeing him, than letting him see me. Although it’s getting easier (and I like and love my husband a lot), I still prefer him to have his underwear on until the last minute before intercourse. I would love to change that and get used to him touching me not only with his hands but his penis also while preparing for intercourse. As I told – he is awesome, so he is totally okay with it, but still I’d love to feel more free around his naked body. Any suggestions where to start? 🙂

Q&A with J: How Can I Feel More Free Around His Naked Body?

This is a truly serious subject, but I can’t help myself from imagining a wildlife program with the announcer saying: “And here we find the male form in its natural habitat, a wild and untamed thing. While some females of the species find this male ‘plumage’ attractive, a few females display a fear response when confronted with the daunting phallus. Our goal today is to help this one shy female successfully approach and interact with the male, using a process referred to in psychology as desensitization. Through repeated and escalating exposure, we’ll help the female learn to appreciate and engage with this rather impressive appendage.”

Look, while it’s unusual that this reader is perfectly fine with exposing her whole body to her husband yet has issues engaging with his genitalia, it’s not entirely surprising. Honestly, that wiggly thing in between his legs becomes a rather sizable, potent tool come intercourse-time.

Thinking back to the days of seeing my first penis, I do remember thinking that it was big. Like way bigger than I thought I was “down there.” And — holy space invaders — it was supposed to penetrate! Then there were testicles and, um, hair. It was just a whole other landscape.

All I’m saying is that I don’t know the reason why you, questioner, are resistant to seeing and touching your husband’s genitals, but there are understandable reasons why you might be nervous.

On the other hand, your comfort with him seeing you but discomfort with you seeing him might have something to do with a past experience. This response would make total sense for someone who had been molested as a child by an adult male flashing his genitals at her. Or even a child seeing a naked man in a context that felt disorienting (a glimpse of porn, walking on a particular movie scene, etc.). If you think this might be the case, I’d advise sitting down with a Christian counselor and delving into that issue.

Either way, let’s talk about addressing that nervousness.

Systematic desensitization is a process developed by psychologists to help persons suffering from phobias. The idea is to take what you’re afraid of, come up with a plan for exposing you to that stimulus through repeated and increasing presentation, and over time you learn to move past your fears.

For example, let’s say you’re like Indiana Jones and you fear snakes. Instead of throwing you into a pit of poisonous snakes with nothing more than a dying torchlight (which, by the way, is called flooding), we put you in a large room with a glass-caged snake at the far end. You sit there for a bit and go through relaxation techniques to get used to that exposure. The next time, the snake moves closer. Closer again the next time. Eventually, we take it out of the cage. And, if you want, the successful conclusion might be actually holding the snake.

Yes, this really works with people. And not merely for phobias, but simply situations in which you’re nervous. It’s the whole reason I’m an introvert who can function like an extrovert in social situations — I’ve learned to handle my belly butterflies through desensitization.

And this process could work well for your issue in getting used to your husband’s naked body and particularly his genitalia.

You can’t really cage that “beast” and set it across the room while you learn to relax, but you can do things that expose you slowly and let you relax when confronted with his nudity. Here are some practical ideas to explain what I mean:

  • Does he dress/undress in the bedroom when you’re there? Perhaps you could make a point to be in the room when he’s getting ready for work or at bedtimes so you can acclimate to his nakedness.
  • How about taking a shower or a bubble bath together? You can stay focused on the main goal — getting clean/taking it easy — but you’d also be close to him while he’s nude and get used to how things look and behave.
  • Have you ever played naked Twister? You don’t have to play that one, but grab a game and play in the buff. You can take nearly any board or card game and make it into Strip ___: Strip Battleship — sink their ship, they strip; Strip Monopoly — pass Go and collect $200 and a garment from your spouse; Strip Gin Rummy — loser of the hand also loses a piece of clothing. That atmosphere can make getting undressed more relaxed and flirtatious.
  • You know that front flap in most men’s underwear? Slide your hand in there and touch him. You can let your hands get used to the feel of him without adding visuals to the experience.
  • Do you use strategic lighting? Candlelight or low lights can go a long way toward creating a soothing atmosphere and allowing enough visuals to see one another without conveying a stark Here I am in all my glory!
  • Could you do an I’m exploring and you can’t interfere session? While your husband lies on the bed, slowly remove his items of clothing, touch him tentatively and then more intensely as you wish, and have the freedom to explore at your own pace. That opportunity to remain in control and take breaks when you need to pause, breathe, and relax can help you feel more confident about him being naked in your presence.
  • After having sex, can you remain naked together and talk or snuggle? That might be a less intimidating situation and would allow you to be close to him. Bonus points for stroking his penis or testicles post-lovemaking.

You can probably come up with your own ideas in line with these. But essentially, you’re looking to expose yourself to his genitals in ways that encourage you to relax, to feel good about the experience, and to become confident about your willingness to see and touch him.

Finally, add a component of self-talk that settles on the truth of your husband’s body: that it is “remarkably and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14, HCSB). Repeat this and other such verses to yourself before and during the unveiling of your husband’s body:

“How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant” (Song of Songs 1:16).

“My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand” (Song of Songs 5:10).

Ask God for His perspective of your husband — every inch a masterpiece. His genitals are also remarkably and wonderfully made. Once you see and believe that, you’ll be more motivated to look, touch, and enjoy this special part of his body.

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