Monthly Archives: March 2019

Should You Use a Dildo?

When the subject of wives who have difficulty orgasming comes up, oftentimes people suggest using a vibrator. That can be a good addition to a couple’s sexual intimacy, if it’s mutually engaged and doesn’t get in the way learning how to arouse one another well and enjoy skin-to-skin contact. You can see more about my thoughts on that here: Q&A with J: Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?

But what about penis-shaped vibrators, or dildos?

Women have long used dildos.

A dildo is defined as “an object resembling a penis used for sexual stimulation” (Merriam-Webster). And dildos have been around a loooong time. The first written use of the word dildo comes from a rather bawdy poem written by Thomas Nash in 1592-3, but given its use, the word was probably well-known before then.

Preshistoric Phallus
Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons, License
License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Go back further to ancient Greece, 411 B.C., to be precise, and Aristophanes presented the play Lysistrata, in which women go on a sex strike against their husbands to end a war and bring them home. In the wives’ original complaint, Lysistrata explains: “And not the slightest glitter of a lover! And since the Milesians betrayed us, I’ve not seen the image of a single upright man to be a marble consolation to us.” The Milesians manufactured those “marble consolations,” aka dildos, but they were no longer being imported because of the war.

Take your time machine back even further: Archaeologists have discovered penis-shaped objects dating back to prehistoric times. Although experts largely dodge the issue of whether they were used as sex toys, when you see them, it’s a little tough not to think that someone could have used these phalluses for stimulation.

Thus, whether or not to use a dildo is an age-old question. But these days, it’s far easier to get one—just click on an online store and in a few days it’s delivered to your door.

Click to listen to our podcast episode on sex toys!

Are there are concerns about dildo use?

Hygiene

If you looked at that museum photo up there, you might wonder about the hygiene involved in using a stone phallus like that. But today, we have cleaner materials, hot, running water, and cleansers that can help you keep sex toys safe for use.

So hygiene shouldn’t be a big concern, as long as you regularly and fully clean the item according to instructions.

Your expectations

We get used to things when we use them, whether it’s our favorite pair of broken-in jeans or the appliance we finally figured out how to use or the toy we incorporate into our sex life. Using a dildo sets up expectations within your body about size, stimulation, and satisfaction. If you grow to enjoy the sensations of a dildo, will you enjoy the other stuff as much?

Plenty of people argue they’re just expanding their repertoire, and this is a different sensation, not a better one. That’s a good point. Except I’ll be honest: I’ve heard too many wives say things like, “I don’t even need a man. My vibrator works does the job as well or better.”

A too-large number of women have grown used to the stimulation of a vibrating dildo and believe it’s as effective or more effective than their husband’s penis. So let’s ask the tough question of what expectations we’re setting up with the marital aids we use in our bedrooms. How do they change what our body expects and desires?

Your husband’s feelings

Let me share with you an email I received recently from a husband. He wrote about finding his wife’s dildo at their house. He didn’t know about its existence before he came across it, which is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. But he also says this:

It’s a dildo and the first thing that came to my mind was how inadequate I felt next to that thing. I could understand if the dildo was a little bit smaller, the same size, or even a bit bigger. But this thing is double my size. 9 or 10 inches and really wide. I’m not a very big guy 4.5 inch long and kind of thin. I can’t compete with that thing when it comes to intercourse.

Yep. Dildos can do things men can’t do. Because we can engineer them that way—longer, wider, differing temperatures, vibration, and so on.

I’m always mystified when a wife wonders aloud why her husband opposes the use of a vibrating dildo in their bedroom. Given that the average penis is 5.16 inches in length and 4.59 inches in girth (see Q&A with J: “Is My Penis Big Enough?”), and many dildos are 6-7 inches, how do you think that comes across to a husband? Not to mention that he can’t make motions like that. So is it really surprising to discover that a wife begging to use a dildo could make her husband feel inadequate?

Let’s turn the tables. Imagine if in the midst of lovemaking, your husband said, “I don’t want to penetrate your vagina. I’d rather use a penis sleeve.” (For those who don’t know, a penis sleeve is a hollow, cylindrical device, made with materials that mimic or “improve on” the vagina, into which a man can insert his penis and experience sexual stimulation.) That might be reasonable if your vagina is absolutely, under no circumstances whatever, an option. But to know that your husband prefers that would be hurtful for many wives.

So I get it when husbands object or secretly feel hurt.

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Are dildos really that bad?

Using or not using a dildo is not a salvation issue! And you are free to disagree and choose a different path for your marriage bed, because God gave us free will.

That said, we often ask this question: Where’s the line? That is, what can I include in my bedroom that won’t cross some invisible boundary?

And it’s the wrong question. That approach is about how much you can selfishly pursue rather than what leads to mutual pleasure, marital intimacy, and mature faith. Instead, we should ask: How can we best honor God in our sexual intimacy?

So should you use a dildo? Will that honor God in your sexual intimacy?

I can imagine a situation where the answer would be yes. For instance, a man who is physically, medically incapable of becoming erect could find it intimate to pleasure his wife with a penis-shaped object while touching her in other ways as well. And she might enjoy that experience as well. Even then, I’d consider which dildo to get, but I can see such a choice honoring God’s design for physical intimacy in a marriage.

But most of us aren’t in that situation. Rather, the desire to include a dildo in sexual activity comes from several possibilities, including:

  • Lack of sufficient sexual frequency for her
  • Frustration at not having an orgasm yet, either ever or during penetration
  • Husband not spending enough time or knowing how to help her become aroused and/or reach orgasm
  • Desire to “spice things up” by adding a sex toy

And there are ways to address these issues without the drawbacks dildos often bring. In fact, this blog and my books are chock-full of ideas. I suggest starting with Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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For more great tips on how to have sizzling sex, check out this book for wives!

4 Things Your Husband Wants from You in Bed

What does your husband want in bed? I can’t say exactly, since I don’t know your husband. However, I have interacted with so many husbands now that I feel confident about what many want from their wives.

Mind you, this is not all men. For example, if you’re a higher-drive wife, your husband may have less interest in one or all of these. If you’re in an abusive marriage, physically or emotionally, these may not apply either (and you should seek help immediately). But for oh-so-many marriages, here are four things your husband wants from you in bed.

Access

Obviously, your husband wants access to you to have sex. The issue of gatekeeping comes up a lot when speaking to hubbies. Gatekeeping is defined as “the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something” (Oxford Dictionary). Plenty of wives are the gatekeepers of sexual intimacy in their marriage—controlling and limiting it denying access to their husbands.

Now let’s not swing this pendulum too far on the other side, because of course you have say in when and how sex happens. It’s also not okay for a husband to demand access whenever he feels like having a good romp!

But access to you and your body shouldn’t be so limited that it feels like the gate is chained and padlocked most of the time. You got married, sex is supposed to be part of marriage, and access is part of that. If access has been seriously limited, I’m not telling you to shut up and go do it with your hubby. Rather, you need to ask why you’ve been gatekeeping and address that underlying issue. (See Leaving the Path of Refusal from The Forgiven Wife.)

Another part of access comes into play after you’ve decided to have sex. Do you hide yourself from him? For instance, insisting on making love in the dark so he cannot see your body? Keeping your legs more closed than open because you worry about what’s down there? Avoiding certain activities because they make you feel more sexual than you’re comfortable with?

If so, it’s time to address those issues too. Why are you hiding, and what steps do you need to take to start giving more access to your husband in the bedroom?

Confidence

The first time I heard this, I was in college. A male friend told me that, when it came to a woman being sexy, confidence mattered more than looks. Of course I doubted that.

But it’s been mentioned so many times now by men I’ve come across that I just have to accept they mean it. I’m not saying men don’t notice a pretty woman, but confidence is a real key to having sex appeal. And hubbies are invested in the one woman they want to be with—the one they want to see strut into the bedroom with confidence.

How can you, wife, feel confident about your body and your sexuality? Well, if you’re struggling with your looks, I had a whole feeling beautiful series you can check out. Our podcast also did an episode on Body Image, as well as one with husbands giving the male perspective on Guy Talk – A Wife’s Beauty.

As for your sexuality, my best recommendation is to get my book, Intimacy Revealed, which will walk you through how God created you to be a sexual being who can and should experience pleasure and intimacy in the marriage bed.

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There’s also the principle of fake it till you make it. Now before you tell me that’s deceptive, I’m not suggesting you lie. You should be honest about how you feel, but acting as if something is true has been shown to be a very effective way of changing your attitude. Too often, we think a mental shift must occur before our behavior can change, but transformation can happen the other way around as well.

So try these little tips to feel more confident about your body and your sexuality:

  • Wear lingerie that flatters your figure
  • Use soft, low lighting or a colored bulb in your lamp (some light, but not too much)
  • Display confidence with your body language, such as open posturing, eye contact, and initiating touch
  • Memorize scriptures that remind you of your worth and rehearse them as you enter the bedroom or begin sexual activity (e.g., Psalm 139:14, Song of Songs 4:7, Song of Songs 7:10)

Confidence is also naturally increased when you feel like you know what you’re doing. That’s one of the reasons I started my ministry—to give wives specific sex tips from a Christian point of view. You can find lots of them in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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For more great tips on how to have sizzling sex, check out this book for wives!

Engagement

Imagine you went on a date with your husband, but he complained about having to go, he looked bored or distracted much of the time, and he intimated that he wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. Does that sound like a good date?

Obviously not. And yet, sometimes wives approach sex that way. They can be frustrated by the time it takes, aren’t really into it when it’s happening, and show with words or actions that they want it to be over quickly. Understandably, that makes sex a far lesser experience—for both of you.

In contrast, hubbies tell me they love, love, love when their wives are really engaged. Whether it’s her initiating sex, her speaking up for what she desires, her taking charge of some aspect of lovemaking (like choosing the position), or her showing her excitement through sounds, words, and expressions, knowing she’s deeply engaged in sex is both arousing and satisfying to him. Even better, watching her orgasm.

Remember, ladies, that our sexual response is often different from a man’s, meaning we may not arrive as excited about the prospect of sex as he is, but if we decide to show up and engage, we can reach those heights of arousal and enjoy the experience. The pleasure can indeed be mutual.

Appreciation

Men are a wonderful paradox—on one hand, so strong and masculine, and on the other, fragile in their egos at times. I hope I’m not offending any guys here, but I’ve repeatedly heard this from the male species. (Also, see For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn.) They long to know they’re desired and appreciated for who they are, including their sexuality.

It’s a deeply meaningful thing for your husband to hear that you appreciate his body, his sexuality, and the way he makes you feel in the bedroom. For some hubbies, his penis in particular is important, in that he wants to know you like and value it too. (Check out Are You a Fan of Your Husband’s Man-Part?)

You can show appreciation by speaking positively about his body and his sexuality, by touching his body and specifically his penis, by vocalizing your pleasure and enjoyment, by thanking him or reminiscing fondly about a good sexual experience you’ve had together. Just let him know you appreciate who he is in your marriage bed.

There you go! Four things your husband, most likely, wants in bed.

Can you show up tomorrow and give him all of those? Maybe not. It may take some time to get there. And that’s okay. Just take the first step in the right direction, then another, and another. Eventually, you will find that you are indeed accessible to him, confident, engaged, and appreciative.

Does Your Husband Prioritize Your Orgasm?

Now and then, I get a question that goes something like this:

My husband always climaxes during sex, but I often don’t. I leave feeling unsatisfied and even frustrated that I didn’t get to have my orgasm, when he always gets to have his. He wishes I could get there too, but doesn’t really put in the effort to get me there.

Sometimes there’s a caveat, like: I take a long time to reach orgasm, so I know it’s hard for him to keep going.

Regardless, this inquiry comes up often enough that I can say without doubt: Some husbands don’t prioritize their wife’s orgasm nearly enough.

Why doesn’t he prioritize her orgasm?

Sure, a husband could be a selfish lover who goes after his own satisfaction without taking full consideration of his wife’s sexual desires. But oftentimes, it’s something else.

Plenty of men don’t really understand how a woman’s arousal and orgasm work.

They haven’t been taught what it’s like for a woman. And without more to go on, they figure your orgasm should work like theirs. Meaning you get aroused, you have sex, you climax, and that’s that. It’s a fairly straightforward.

If your husband was exposed to pornography, or simply paid attention to movie and TV sex scenes, he may have also swallowed the ideas that a woman can be ready for intercourse quickly, that penetration will bring her to climax, and that if she isn’t orgasming, it’s a problem with her. Erroneous information, of course, but if this is what you’ve seen/heard all your life, it’s confusing when your wife doesn’t behave like that in bed.

If your husband doesn’t seem to understand how your arousal and climax work, ask if he’d be willing to listen to a podcast with you. It’s less than 26 minutes long, and if you use a podcast app and change the settings, you can listen to it even faster. (I often put mine on 1.2x speed.) Meaning it’s not much to ask! But it might help for your husband to hear four seasoned wives talking about how women’s sexual response works.

You can also get my book, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples, which has several chapters in which you can explain what things are like for you and listen to what it’s like for him. By learning more about each other, without criticism or judgment, you can develop a healthier view of what you should be pursuing together for your sexual intimacy. Which involves climax.

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But there could be another good reason.

Women aren’t the only ones taught that sex is for him.

One of the biggest myths perpetuated both in secular and religious culture is that sex is primary for the husband. (Listen to Lies Woman Believe episode.) Except that’s not at all what God said. The passage often used to urge wives to have more sex with their husband, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, doesn’t say, “Wives, give it up for your husband, whether you wanna or not.”

Although the passage talks about an obligation to have sex in marriage, that’s not the point! Paul’s main point is that there must be mutuality in the marriage bed! And if anything, the verse begins with her “marital rights,” not his: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”

Yet men have heard this passage and others used—as well as common advice given here, there, and everywhere—to say that the husband’s part is needing sex and the wife’s part is owing her husband sex. It’s total malarkey, but if this is the bad teaching your husband received, he may have come into marriage not expecting you to enjoy it as much as he does or believing your climax doesn’t matter as much as his.

Stinks, I know. But when we realize that our husbands also received wrong messages, we can see that it’s not malice that keeps him from aiming for your orgasm. He simply needs to learn the truth about what God desires for both of you in your marriage—a sizzling, satisfying sex life.

But how can you actually address the issue with him?

In addition to the ideas above, I suggest having a conversation away from the bedroom. Tell him what you desire and why. Explain to him how your body works. And ask how he would feel if he was super turned on but didn’t get his climax. I suspect he wouldn’t like that, and neither do you.

Now, not every wife feels the need to climax every time. But if climax isn’t a regular part of your lovemaking, you need to work toward that goal. God created women’s bodies to experience orgasm through the wonderful organ called the clitoris. Yep, that clitoris has one job and one job only—to make sex feel good. And when it gets to the peak of pleasure, you experience muscle spasms that should at least provide a sense of relief if not real excitement.

As to how to prioritize your orgasm, here are a few ideas:

1. Go for your orgasm before intercourse.

It’s a phrase you often hear: she goes first. And it’s not a bad idea. Especially since the average time he can last in intercourse is far less than the average time it takes for a woman to reach the level of arousal she needs to climax. Moreover, a lot of women don’t, or even can’t, climax during intercourse!

Read up on what really helps a woman climax here:

2. Try various positions to see if any/some of them result in climax for you.

They may not (see above), but it could be worth a shot.

For some wives, it’s better to be on top, so she can have more control with the thrusting and tilt her hips in a way that provides pressure against her clitoris. For other wives, a rear-entry position could result in the husband getting deeper and better friction. And for others, face-to-face is the key, but maybe angling your hips upward or putting your feet on his stomach or your knees over his shoulders (assuming that works with your size/height). A sex pillow might help you achieve better angling too.

I also have a chapter about positions in my Hot, Holy, and Humorous book that can walk you through ways to shift your bodies around and find something that might work for both of you.

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For more great tips on how to have sizzling sex, check out this book for wives!

3. He stimulates your clitoris during intercourse.

You might combine intercourse and clitoral stimulation to achieve nice results. Get into a position in which he can reach your clitoral hood (that’s the knobby part of your clitoris that sticks out and swells when aroused). Make sure you have adequate lubrication, and add some personal lubricant if needed.

Give him tips on the level of pressure and amount of movement you desire. You may not know yourself until you try it out, but once he hits a good place, let him know. And since one thing doesn’t work for the whole time with most wives, let your husband know when you need him to slow down, increase speed, press harder, etc.

If you’re looking for which positions will work best, check out this page from Christian Friendly Sex Positions and choose “clitoral stimulation” in the search parameters:

4. Stimulate your own clitoris during intercourse.

It can be challenging for your husband to focus on his thrusting and your clitoral stimulation at the same time, so an alternative is for him to focus on the intercourse while you use your own fingers to bring yourself to climax.

Most husbands would be fine with this—and may find that enthusiasm arousing—but make sure your particular husband understands why you want to do this and that it isn’t taking away from the wonderful experience of having him inside you. If anything, having your husband inside when it happens can make a clitoral orgasm better.

5. Get your orgasm after intercourse.

Let him know the intercourse was great, but you’re not really done and would like to finish with an orgasm yourself. Suggest what you’d like for him to do to help you. Do you want him to manually stimulate you to climax? Do you want him to simply caress, kiss, fondle, etc. while you bring yourself to climax?

Your orgasm is still a mutual experience this way, with both of you focused on connection and pleasure.

Yes, I’m sure some husbands are exhausted post-intercourse and aren’t sure they have it in them to keep going. But if you can prevail a few times, I suspect he’ll see the benefit and realize it’s not much more to ask.

What if after all this, he still doesn’t prioritize your orgasm?

If you did all of this, and he still ignored your climax? Then I’d suspect the problem runs deeper than the bedroom, and I’d ask for marriage counseling.

But hopefully, one or more of the suggestions above will get the point across and help you both prioritize your pleasure—as God intended sex to be in your marriage.