Monthly Archives: June 2018

5 Answers to Emails Sitting in My Inbox

I have a lot of email sitting in my inbox that I still hope to address in one way or another. But whenever I hear people’s stories, there are some general answers that fit a lot of specific scenarios.

So today I’m covering broad responses that apply to a lot of situations. Ask yourself if any of these might apply to you.

1. Adjust your expectations.

You expected to have sex every day, but your spouse only wants it every two weeks. You thought your husband would be eager to have sex, but it turns out he’s the lower drive spouse. You anticipated your spouse understanding how your drive would diminish when you had kids, but they still seem you to think you can keep up the old schedule.

And so you’re disappointed, angry, or feeling lost. I understand all of that, and I’m not saying you should settle! I firmly believe that your marriage deserves an active, satisfying sex life. Which is what the Bible says as well.

But you do need to recognize that whatever you thought was going to happen, it didn’t. And so you are where you are. And that’s the point from which you need to make progress.

A lot of getting started is simply recognizing from where you’re beginning. Adjust your expectations, let go of the frustration, and get on the same team with your spouse to improve your intimacy in all areas.

2.  Read and research more.

You just found my blog, and I’m thrilled that you did! So you shot off a question at once, and I can answer it. But I also have over 800 posts about all kinds of topics, which you can search to find answers for your question.

In addition, there are books! There are my books, and other books I recommend that can help you sort out what is normal, what is good, and how to get there.

The beauty of living right now is that we have so much information at our fingertips, but we have to be willing to look for it. I’m happy to answer questions when I can, but realistically I simply cannot answer them all. Which means that if you’re struggling with something, you need to look around for answers on my blog, other blogs, books, and resources that I point you to.

3.  Connect with others.

Do you have friends or mentors whose marriages are admirable? Oftentimes, they have answers you can tap into. I know it can be awkward to bring something up in conversation, but you might be surprised how welcoming people are.

In fact, one of the best things I’ve learned in the course of my ministry is that the old ladies at church are the least judgmental about what I do. They’ve been around long enough to know that dealing with sexual intimacy issues is a worthwhile endeavor. Once you’ve reached about 70 years old, apparently, there’s not much that can shock you anymore. You might be surprised who could mentor you.

And one of the best places to get some answers now is my closed Facebook community. Members post questions and get answers from the group as a whole. I usually chime in as well, but the collective wisdom is really impressive.

4.  Get professional help.

I am not a physician, or a psychologist, or a sex therapist, or even a licensed counselor. I have a master’s degree in counseling, but I never got the opportunity to attain the license. Instead, I consider myself a teacher and adviser.

But while I have learned a lot, and truly enjoy doing research on these topics, professionals can possess specialty knowledge I don’t have. And if they’re local, they can personally see you, assess your specific situation, and deliver tailored advice.

If you’re having sexual problems, start with a visit to the doctor to check your physiology. If you’re struggling with your faith due to sexual intimacy, talk to a well-informed and wise pastor. If there are relational problems in your marriage, find a qualified therapist or lay counselor. And if you don’t have resources where you are locally, some counselors will now work with you online.

5.  Talk to your spouse about how you feel.

Many times, I receive an email where someone expresses their discontent with what’s going on in their sex life, but their spouse doesn’t really understand how they feel. That could be because the person hasn’t even discussed the issue with their mate, or it could be that they’ve spoken about it in a way that the message did not come across.

Many times I think that if one spouse only knew how important an issue was, then they would do something about it. For instance, someone reading this is so close to walking out the door because of a sexless marriage, and their spouse really cannot comprehend that. They just don’t grasp how emotionally painful that rejection has been.

You have to talk to your spouse about what what’s going on, and if they won’t listen, then you need to look into why. You may need a professional mediator with a counselor, you may have set up a situation where you are talking but not listening, or you may have expressed yourself in ways that are difficult or even confusing for your spouse to hear. Find a way to have that important conversation — or rather, conversations — in a positive way. (See also How to Talk about Sexual Problems with Your Spouse.)

Bonus answer

And there are a few messages I get for which the actual answer is this: stop being a jerk. Some of you qualify for Kevin A. Thomson’s great post titled “I Wouldn’t Sleep with You Either.”

Yes, truly. Some of you have such unrealistic demands, such selfish behavior, such anger and resentment — I’m not shocked at all that you’re not getting laid. Because no one wants to sleep with that.

I hate to say it so bluntly, but that’s just the truth. And as I say it, I realize the people who really are jerks probably won’t agree with what I said anyway, because they’re too selfish to see it. Alas, that’s how it goes. But at least I told it like it is.


I don’t know where you land, but many of your situations really are in those generalized responses. Rather than letting your frustration rule this moment, try to breathe easy, think clearly, and pray about where God wants to direct you. What is the next, or first, step you can take to improve sexual intimacy in your marriage?

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Do You Check Your Phone During Sex?

Stuart Tutt of Something to Stu Over recently shared a statistic with several of us marriage bloggers. He’d heard a report on the radio that “about 10 percent of couples actually check their phone during sex if they get a notification.”

This spawned an interesting conversation among several of us in which we posited why someone might do this, and what other aspects of our devices can be distracting — like the screen light flashing on or off.

Then I jokingly challenged the fabulous author of the site Christian Friendly Sex Positions, who also provides the illustrations for the Ultimate Intimacy app, to come up with device-friendly positions for those who just don’t think the notification can wait.

And wouldn’t you know it? He rose to the challenge! So peppered throughout this post are his illustrations, and you’ll just have to keep reading to see them all. (Yes, please read my words interspersed between his illustrations. Tempting as it may be to just scroll… 😉 )

Good reasons to check your phone

You can read more about the research Stu mentioned here, but I contend there actually are some good reasons to check your phone during sex. For instance:

  • Your driving-age child is on the road and is supposed to text when he arrives at his destination. A mama’s mind might relax and enjoy the sex more once she’s checked that notification and knows her family is safe.
  • You’re referencing the Christian Friendly Sex Positions website, Ultimate Intimacy App, or — best of all — your ebook copy of Hot, Holy & Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design for ideas and instructions.
  • You forgot to turn off the volume, so when it sounds at that inopportune moment, you reach over to mute any further notifications.

Not-so-good reasons to check your phone

Your team is playing.

This is your alma mater. Your fantasy football picks are riding on the outcome. C’mon, it’s the World Cup! The last time you ignored a game, the other team won — so clearly, you’re the lucky charm.

Checking the Score position — when he absolutely must see how his team is doing in the game.

I can just hear her saying, “Why did you pause? Is that clicking I hear? Wait, what are you doing back there!” Not your best move, guys.

That two to three-hour game can be put on hold for a period of time to give full attention to your spouse, showing your beloved that you value them ahead of all but God. Even ahead of … gasp! … sports.

Exception: Your team is the Astros playing in the World Series. At least, that’s an exception in my Houston area, in which case sex might look more like this:

Checking the Score Together Position

Your social media site pinged you.

Did you know that FOMO is an actual word? It’s an anagram that stands for Fear Of Missing Out and is described by Oxford Dictionaries as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”

Thankfully, very few are actually addicted to social media, but plenty of people have created habits whereby they check their social media sites so often that it disrupts other real-life activities. Like … for example … SEX.

12 More Likes Position — when she must check her social media site

I’ll let you in on a little secret about social media. It’s like a soap opera: You can miss a day, jump back in, and catch up really quick. If there’s a huge event, they’ll still be talking about it when your lovemaking session is done. And there’s this neat feature whereby you can scroll backward to see anything you missed!

Ignore the phone and instead give yourself and your spouse reasons to 👍 , ❤, and 😮 your sexual encounter.

A news story just popped up.

The news cycle is down to minute-by-minute, and if you don’t know what’s happening in the world, what kind of citizen are you? Not to mention that the universe yearns to hear your opinions on every latest political event — meaning you must stay on top of the news feed.

News You Can’t Use Position — when the news cycle won’t wait

Consider this a public service. I’ll summarize the news for you: The United States Congress thought about doing something, but didn’t. Your taxes are too high, and your services for that money are too low. The Middle East is in conflict. People in countries we cannot pronounce and/or locate on a map are engaged in war, famine, or hardship. Someone’s secret sins were discovered, and now they will either pay for it, use the shameful revelation to get a book deal, or both. A woman somewhere, somehow made a fashion faux pas that will give the media something to talk about for the hours they might otherwise use to cover something else just as trivial.

Okay, that’s not quite as detailed as you might like, but it should be enough to get you through your next sexual rendezvous without checking your phone. If you do decide to look at the screen, consider yourself unfair and imbalanced.

Family or close friends are trying to reach you.

“But if I don’t reply, she’ll just keep texting,” you say. After all, this is the person who:

  • nursed you back to health after your last surgery
  • was your best friend throughout college
  • shared a room with you throughout childhood
  • gave you life!

How can you ignore the people you love? And besides, it will only take a moment to type out: “Yes, I’m fine. TTYL.”

Hold On, It’s My Mom Position — when your family just can’t wait

Again, unless it’s a matter of life-or-death — like your driving-age child is on the road or your parent is dying — it really can wait. If your friends and family cannot be put on hold for the time it takes to give full intimate attention to your spouse, you need to reflect back on those vows you took to put your beloved ahead of all others. (Excepting God, of course.)

In short, leave and cleave, baby! Leave. And. Cleave.

Because Siri is secretly your best friend.

Or Alexa. Or Bixby. Whatever device you have, I understand feeling like it’s an extension of your right arm. My husband and I went on a date recently, and I forgot my phone. He was shocked: “You’re never without your phone.” Well, not never, I wanted to answer. But he had a point in that I now choose pants, shorts, skirts, and even robes that have pockets so I’ll have a spot to hold my phone while I walk around. And I wear headphones like a necklace.

But seriously, the following is not cool.

Siri Interruptus Position — when you need to put the phone down already!

Can you imagine the Song of Songs couple saying:

He
How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes are doves.

She
How handsome you are, my beloved!
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant.

He
Hold that thought — our phones are pinging!

(Song of Songs 1:15-16.)

Set the phone side, turn off the notifications, and focus on your beloved. Remember: I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for… his phone? No. It’s “I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10).

The good news about the 10% who check their phone during sex … is that 90% of us don’t. If you’ve interrupted sex for the sake of your mobile device or been tempted, however, you might want to consider how to keep that from happening again. Make a habit of setting the phone aside, turning of off the volume, and giving sex with your spouse your full attention.

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Q&A with J: “What If Neither of Us Desires Sex?”

Our reader question comes from a wife who doesn’t care about having sex, but neither does her husband. Here’s her query:

…the problem I am facing is that neither me or my spouse have any desire for sex at all, like, none. I think I may be asexual. What do you do if neither spouse has any sexual desire? I mean, we are both very happy and our marriage can’t be any better, but I’m just wondering if this is normal and should we be worried if neither of us have any desire to have sex yet are happy either way…. Is asexuality bad? I love romance and so does my husband, but I have no desire for sex and neither does my husband. I’m just wondering your opinion of married couples who are completely happy being sexless like we are because reading everything you have written makes me wonder if me and my spouse are broken even though we are both otherwise in a happy marriage.

If you asked a psychologist or sex therapist what they think, I suspect they’d say you should only have sex as often as the two of you agree to have it. Moreover, some Christian authors and counselors might agree.

But what does God have to say about this?

I mean, hey, He invented this whole put-the-puzzle-pieces-together act. He also created the institution of marriage, with its other benefits and blessings. Surely, as both Creator and Lord, we should hear what He has to say about whether sex in marriage is nice or essential.

The passage many might consider as definitive is this one:

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, NLT).

Except in your case, it could be argued that neither of you feels deprived or experiences self-control issues in the realm of sex. So are you really hurting one another to avoid it?

But everything I see in Scripture says that sexual intimacy is supposed to be happening in marriage. Genesis 2:24 says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” While this verse includes many aspects of marital intimacy, you won’t find any reputable biblical scholar who wouldn’t say that sex is among them. Even the word choice of one flesh connotes a physical connection.

Jesus affirmed this focus of marriage by citing the verse: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:7-9).

Married couples have sex in the Bible. It’s what they do. Indeed, if you didn’t fulfill your full sexual obligations, you could get in trouble (see Genesis 38).

Additionally, God told His people to “be fruitful and multiply” — which means they must have sex. Now I do not believe this means every marriage must produce children, but it does show that one reason for marriage is to provide the context for creating more made-in-His-image human beings.

God’s Word as a whole not only allows but encourages married couples to make love — for the sake of reproduction, yes, but also for pleasure and intimacy.

God's Word as a whole not only allows but encourages married couples to make love -- for the sake of reproduction, yes, but also for pleasure and intimacy. Click To Tweet

And here’s where the crux lies: intimacy.

If you live with someone and have a great friendship and partnership, wonderful! That’s a great relationship to experience in your life.

But it simply doesn’t have the same depth as one in which you are vulnerable at the most intimate levels with one another, literally joining your bodies together in the act of sex. Moreover, you increase intimacy by bringing one another to heights of pleasure that release body chemicals that bond you further together. This is how God made our bodies.

But now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that God intends your marriage to include sexual intimacy, but the real question is:

Why don’t you two desire sex?

Because you can mentally believe it’s good for you and still not want to do it. (Same reason why I’m not jogging right at this moment.) And I’m not going to advise, “Just schlep yourself to the bedroom, do the hokey-pokey, and check mark that you fulfilled your duty.”

That’s also clearly not God’s plan!

But physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy adults respond well to the pleasure and intimacy that sex with a beloved mate can bring. Plenty of people don’t have an independent drive ahead of time to engage, but they do get into it once things get started. So if you’re not getting into it, why? What’s amiss?

  • Have you soaked in erroneous messages that sex is inherent impure or base?
  • Do you experience pain or discomfort during sexual activity?
  • Did you have past experiences that soured you on sex?
  • Do have physiological issues, like depression or hormonal imbalance, that cause you to be disinterested?
  • Are you overly self-conscious about your bodies or the act itself?
  • Do you have arousal issues, like an inability to lubricate for the wife or erection problems for the husband?
  • Is your relationship more like a friendship than a romance?

Those are just some of the possibilities. But I would suggest that if you don’t respond well to sex, then something really is off and needs to be addressed. Because God made us to be sexual beings, desiring physical pleasure and intimacy with our spouse.

I would start with a visit to the doctor, asking for a full check-up to make sure there are not physical obstacles. If the issue is more spiritual teaching on the subject sex, may I suggest grabbing a copy of my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage (ebook less than $5), that will walk you through getting a godly, healthy view of sexuality. You may also want to see your pastor or a counselor together to discuss this issue and how you can address it. (Albeit it needs to be one who actually understands God’s design for marriage includes regular sexual intimacy.)

A sexless marriage, over time, can and likely will take its toll on your relational connection. It’s worth pursuing answers now to awaken the love in your marriage.

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Why Abuse in the Church Makes Me Crazy

You want to know what breaks my heart and gets me angry at the same time? Abuse. That’s it: just abuse. Domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse.

My stomach turns at the stories of what people have endured at the hands of their fellow human being, whether it’s a prisoner of war tortured by his captors or a vulnerable child preyed upon by a family member.

It’s what poet Robert Burns referred to as “man’s humanity to man,” in his poem Man Was Made to Mourn. Here’s just that stanza:

Many and sharp the num’rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav’n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

Yep. Truth.

But just when I think my heart cannot break any more from the pain and heartache some of my fellow sisters and brothers have experienced, something even more awful occurs: Some in the Church—my beloved family—allow and even accommodate abuse.

This is on my mind today as the Southern Baptist Convention convenes in Dallas. I know a lot of Southern Baptists, and by and large, they are great people with whom I can easily fellowship. However, they have been plagued in the last few years with issues regarding leaders who overlooked or tacitly condoned abuse (e.g., here, here, and here).

So today as the SBC meets, they will be greeted with the For Such a Time as This Rally, a protest organized by people concerned about the way women and abuse survivors have been treated by church leadership.

But let’s face it: This isn’t just the Baptists. I’ve heard such stories from other denominations, and they include such actions from church leaders as:

  • Telling a victim they must forgive their rapist or abuser immediately after the crime
  • Stating or insinuating that a victim’s dress or behavior caused their rape or abuse
  • Counseling an abused spouse to stay in a marriage; in particular, telling wives their response should be to “submit to your husband”
  • Advising that abuse be kept quiet so that we won’t hurt the abuser’s family or dilute our witness to others
  • Not reporting abuse to authorities, which is against the law in the US
  • Explaining away abuse incidents in a leader’s past and allowing them to continue serving
  • Not fully investigating abuse accusations against a leader because “I know him, and he’s a good man”

God has a heart for the oppressed, and His people should take up their cause with fervor!

God has a heart for the oppressed, and His people should take up their cause with fervor! #ChurchToo Click To Tweet

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror” (Psalm 10:17-18).

Jesus quoted the book of Isaiah when He came into the synagogue:

“‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’

“Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.‘”

And as Psalm 9:9 says: “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” The Church should be the physical representation of that refuge.

This is a broken world, so evil people will continue to sin against their fellow humans. Man’s inhumanity to man will continue until Christ comes again and God delivers final judgment. Yet we have opportunities to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Man's inhumanity to man will continue until Christ comes again and God delivers final judgment. Yet we have opportunities to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Click To Tweet

We are not all church leaders, but at some point in our lives, we will be faced with seeing or learning about the abuse of someone in our midst. How will we respond?

I haven’t always responded the way I wish I had. In my younger years, I sometimes felt helpless and ignorant about what to do. Which is why I want to encourage all of us to do better — to think clearly about this issue before it happens, to know which side we will stand on, to vow in our hearts and before our God that we will defend the oppressed.

But why is a Christian sex author talking so vehemently about this subject? Well, abuse has always made me crazy. But since taking on this ministry, I’ve heard from many women, and a few men, who were abused. Some as children, some by a spouse, some by a stranger.

All of them were deeply hurt by their experience, but what seems to have really made the difference between those who still feel the wounds and those for whom the wounds became scars is the response to what happened. Were they surrounded by support?

Now, of course the victim has a part in recognizing and reporting the abuse — that is, getting help — but once they come forward, the reactions of others matter a great deal in whether they will be able to find healing and hope.

As Christians, we should be the best at embracing the hurting among us. Because that’s exactly what Christ would do!

I cannot in good faith come here and talk about how to have a great sex life in your marriage without addressing that some have abuse in their past, or their present, that makes this nearly impossible. How can you open up your body to someone in the most vulnerable way possible when your body was damaged and discarded by an abuser? Yes, you can get there, but you must first address the abuse.

So here we are: With an opportunity to reach out to hurting people, to mourn with those who mourn, to be a refuge in the storm. When it’s our turn to stand up for the oppressed or look the other way, what choice will we make?

Speaker Fee Waived for 2018!

5 Tips for Shower Sex

Have you ever had sex in the shower? It’s not the easiest sex move ever, but it can be very enjoyable.

While this is often a quickie, because it is a strange space, it’s a great option to have in your repertoire: good for vacations where you’re sharing space with kids in the bedroom, good at home when your kids won’t leave you alone except in the shower, and good to just get busy when you’re both naked and thinking, “Hey, you wanna?”

But since it is a strange space, how do you really make this work? Here are some quick tips for making shower sex not only work, but pleasurable and satisfying.

1. Safety first!

Make sure you have some anti-grip something on your shower floor, because you don’t want to enter the ER trying to explain that injury. Not that they haven’t seen such things, but I personally wouldn’t want to be the story relayed in the staff lounge later.

2. Recognize that “sex” isn’t just intercourse.

Sex is the whole kit-and-caboodle, including hand-jobs, manual play, oral sex, and intercourse. If you can’t seem to make intercourse work, no worries! Go for the other stuff and enjoy all the sexy sex you can have in that hot and steamy shower.

3. Add lubrication as needed.

Water can wash away some of your natural lubrication, so you may want to add silicone-based lube or coconut oil. Water-based is likely to wash away too quickly.

If shower sex is in your repertoire, keep some close by! Maybe tucked away behind the towels in the linen closet, or in an unmarked container (assuming you have kids who might ask what it is) alongside your hair and body products.

4. Get into a good position.

If you’re going for intercourse, the best position is probably standing with wife facing away and bracing the wall, and husband entering her vagina from behind. But you may have to adjust with squatting, tippy-toes, etc. Another option is sitting down in the bathtub/shower with wife on top. But you can get creative with other ideas too!

Some of it depends on whether you’re in a traditional bath/shower, a larger walk-in shower, or the shower I totally want to have someday where it’s like its own room.

But with permission from the fabulous Christian Friendly Sex Positions, here are examples of positions that might work for intercourse and foreplay:

For intercourse, bracing herself against the wall.

He sits, she squats, rocking motions more than thrusting.

Another seated position for intercourse.

For her performing fellatio on him.

For him performing cunnilingus on her.

Whatever you try — and you can plenty more options at the CFSPs website — I recommended you widen your stance on your feet or knees a bit to keep your balance and use the walls for bracing as needed.

5. Start in the shower, finish elsewhere.

Be willing to get started in the shower and finish elsewhere if needed. Nothing says you have to keep plugging along if you’re having difficulty finishing.

You might have a wonderful time of foreplay or intercourse in the shower, but you need to move to the bed or even the cushy mat just outside the shower to complete the act. I can be extra sexy to move, dripping wet, to another location and make love there too. Like, “We do it here, we do it there, we do it everywhere!” 😉

Those are my quick tips. What have you learned about having successful shower sex? Share your tips below!

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Lots more practical sex tips in my book!