Many of us gals were raised with the following messages, conveyed in one way or another:
“Sex drive” refers to one’s independent desire to have sex; that is, feeling “in the mood.”
Your sex drive is less than his.
But what if those two presumptions aren’t true.
Sadly, we women often don’t understand our sexuality. We may know how our own bodies work, but we still feel like something’s missing when our sex drive doesn’t look like our husband’s. I’m not even talking about low-drive vs high-drive wives, because our misconceptions span across that continuum.
Where can you get the truth?
As I have learned more, I’ve wanted to share what I know about female sexuality. And the same is true of my podcast partners, Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife, Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, and Gaye Christmas of Calm.Healthy.Sexy. We want to right the record, reform our perspective, and release women’s sexuality to be what God created it to be.
That’s why we’re thrilled to offer our first Sex Chat for Christan Wives webinar on the topic of Understanding Your Sex Drive! We’re inviting wives to pour a cup of java or tea, join us at our virtual kitchen table, and learn about God’s perfect design for a wife’s sex drive.
We know you busy ladies don’t have a lot of extra time on your calendar, so we’ll be meeting for less than 40 minutes, but that time will be packed with great insight. Plus, you’ll get to see us the way we get to see each other when we record our podcast episodes.
There will also be an opportunity to submit questions, which we’ll answer as time permits.
How can you join our webinar?
For right now, just mark your calendar for July 18, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Give your work or family a heads-up that you’ve set aside that time. Then sign up for our emails, so we can alert you when the sales page goes live in early July.
Of course, I’ll also continue to share about the webinar here, on my blog, and on Facebook.
What does the webinar cost?
For each webinar, we’re only charging a whopping $5!
Yep, for about the same as a Chick-Fil-A kid’s meal, you can hang out with us, gain a great perspective, and improve your sex life. And with four of us, our smiles outdo your typical Chick-Fil-A employee!
(I’ll even add “Have a blessed day” if you want. Though I might opt for “Have a blessed night…bow-chicka-wow-wow.”)
Is this the only webinar?
This is the first webinar in three we’re offering in 2019. In addition to Understanding Your Sex Drive, we’ll also be talking to wives about Foreplay and to husbands about Understanding Her Sex Drive. So put those dates in your calendar as well.
Today, she’s giving tips on creating the exciting sex life wives want! Take it away, Ruth.
Plenty of wives want sex more spicily than their husbands. Women are masters of creativity. We understand subtle variations in colors, textures, and creating different atmospheres.
Though women might not allow themselves to fully indulge yet, I see the sparkle of agreement when I talk about spice at Awaken Love classes. For women, embracing God’s design for sex, includes having the courage to create a sex life that excites us.
Many of the women attend Awaken Love classes because they don’t look forward to sex. I think one of the main reasons is because they are bored.
Cultural norms have trained wives to believe that their husband is the expert. He has the greater sexual need, and our job is simply to care for him. The truth is that we have sexual needs too. Our needs don’t just entail having an orgasm, but having fun, creative, spicy and connecting sex. Until a wife understands the mutual role that God portrays in the Song of Songs, the marriage bed misses out on the nuances a wife brings.
Jim and I were married almost 25 years before I embraced my role in the marriage bed. We’d had a good marriage and sex life, but it didn’t compare to what we have now. I believed lies like, “I need to do it for my husband” or “Sex is just a physical thing to satisfy hormonal urges.” Since Jim and I did not talk about sex, we figured out what worked and stuck with it.
Sometimes the lack of creativity and boredom drove me crazy. To compensate, I would fantasize about the two
of us having sex on a beach to help me orgasm. Because I had not embraced my
role in the marriage bed, we missed out on what I could bring to the table.
I not only have seen my marriage change, but I’ve witnessed hundreds of marriages transform when the wife embraces her sexuality. For the last seven years I’ve taught Awaken Love classes to help Christian wives. Not only do we learn about God’s design, but we learn tangible ways to start creating a fun, spicy, intimate sex life. Embracing sex is not just about having more sex; it is about having better sex.
Sex is a team sport. Even when the wife has embraced sex, she
might feel frustrated because of her husband’s lack of creativity, or
connection. Before we get started, let me share some tips to help your husband
stretch in these areas too.
1 Corinthians 7:3 says,“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”
A husband fulfilling his marital duty is not just about
bringing his wife to orgasm. He needs to learn to have sex in a way that
fulfills his wife’s desires. Change can feel scary, threatening, and even
impossible for a husband. With the right encouragement,
someday he may thank you for showing him a whole new world. Below are some tips
to encourage his growth.
Start by showing your husband what great sex
looks like to you.
Take the lead and create positive memorable experiences
that he won’t soon forget.
Always have an attitude of encouragement and
affirmation, even just for trying.
Break learning down into specific baby steps that
move towards the goal.
Remove the pressure by having fun and
disguising new steps of growth as games.
Be patient and extend the same loving grace that
you would want.
Now let’s dive into three important areas of sexuality for women to embrace: Creativity, Words, and Connection.
Creativity requires the freedom to explore without fear. If
either of you have baggage from your past that you haven’t dealt with, then
start going after healing in those areas. Be honest with each other, extend
grace and develop trust.
Most men think of sex in a linear progression going from low arousal to increased arousal to orgasm. Creativity multiplies when we understand that sex can follow whatever path we dream up. Think outside of the box on what it means to create anticipation, to tease, to change gears, to circle back around, to put on the brakes or step on the gas. Show your husband the most delicious, circuitous route to orgasm he has ever experienced. Remove the boundaries of expectations or norms.
Song of Songs 7:11-12:
Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom— there I will give you my love.
In Song of Songs, the wife takes the lead and plans a fun
adventure of having sex in the vineyard early in the morning. Don’t always expect
your husband to make your sex life creative. Planning the adventure is half the
One winter morning, I decided to bring my beach fantasy to life. I cranked up the heat and told Jim to change into his swimsuit. Wearing my bikini, I rubbed suntan lotion on him as he relaxed on a beach towel in our bedroom. That day we had amazing sex on the beach together.
Recently, a simple strand of pearls sparked my imagination. After applying red lipstick to complete the transformation, I slipped into a spicy version of myself. Get creative and have some fun going beyond your everyday safe self.
God made women brimming with creativity. Take the time to listen to your desires and have the courage to create them with your husband. Share your spiciness with the most important person in the world—your husband.
Using words can quickly transform your marriage bed from mundane to spicy hot—especially for women. If you don’t believe me, then think about what reading a sex scene in a romance novel does to a woman’s body or why sex chat rooms thrive. Words hold power that many couples still have not discovered. Most wives will need to take the lead in helping husbands with the art of seduction, teasing, and creating sexual tension through using words. With encouragement and practice, a husband will realize how much fun and passion words can create.
Song of Songs 4:9
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
One of the first ways I started using my words was to grab my husband and whisper in his ear before he left for work. Using explicit terms, I described what I wanted him to do to me that night. Powerful descriptors like juicy, ache, or throb added to the excitement. Later that night, Jim discovered the power of bringing words to life.
Another way to turn up the passion is to hear your spouse ask for what they want in the heat of the moment. In order for Jim and me to practice asking, I devised a game called 2-Minute Poker. Using any fast-paced game, the winner of each round gets to ask the other person to do something for 2 minutes. Then you play another round. The game tends to start out mild and then ramp up. It forces you to think about what you want and to get comfortable asking.
Using words during sex can feel hard for wives, but it can
feel even more challenging for our husband. Don’t miss out on this powerful way
to add spice to your marriage. Take the lead and help your husband discover
just how much spice words can add.
For years I showed up to sex nervous and tense. Even after I warmed up, sex sometimes felt lonely. It was as if we were both just doing our thing to get to the finish line. At times we weren’t really even aware of each other. We tuned each other out and focused on our own goals.
One of the largest areas of growth that made our sex life intimate and spicy has been to learn to stay connected during sex. Instead of each of us going our merry way, we go somewhere together, or I can go with Jim, or he can go with me. It doesn’t really matter which, but we go together.
Song of Songs 6:2-3
My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.
Staying connected during sex is all about staying in the moment. You simply “be,” instead of do … or worry, or plan, or anything else you can try. Rather than driven by purpose, you browse, linger, and savor. With practice, being present gets easier, but it requires letting go of expectations, removing pressure, not trying so hard, and learning to appreciate the journey more than the destination.
One of the things that has helped Jim and I connect during sex is to practice stillness. For me, intercourse used to feel like a blur of motion—basically nothing. Now before we start moving, I enjoy moments of stillness with him inside me. Once connected, we tune into each other and go somewhere together.
How do you know that your spouse is there with you? When you smile, does he smile back? Does a gentle “hey” foster a return gesture, or does it suddenly jolt them out of their own agenda? Do they notice when you feel tense or relaxed?
Few things create more excitement than a spouse vulnerably opening themselves up and sharing their arousal. Are you catching it or are you too busy in your own world? Learn how to stay connected during sex and savor some of the sweetest spice that God created—intimacy.
Don’t buy into the lie that sex is for your husband, and you are just along for the ride.
God created women different than men, and we have important things to bring to the table. Embrace your creativity. Instead of imagining hot sex, make it happen. Learn how to use your words, and you will create a powerful way to get out of your head and nurture excitement. Learn how to stay connected during sex, and you will help your husband move beyond mechanics toward intimate connection. Embrace your role as the sexy, spicy wife that God intended.
In 2012 Ruth invited eight friends onto her porch to share what she had discovered about sex. Since that time almost 1500 women and 300 men have taken Awaken Love either in person or using video classes. Her heart is to open up the conversation of sex in small groups in order to change the culture of sex in the church. She also blogs, speaks, and published her first book, Awaken Love. You can find more information at www.awaken-love.net.
Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage and I have a lot in common. We both enjoy baseball, wine, the beach, sex, and writing about sex. (Plus, we share a name. Shh.)
Hopefully, you already follow her blog, where her posts are biblical, practical, and funny. But I’m more than thrilled to have her on the blog today. All I had to do was hold her bourbon hostage offer a nice invite, and she was eager to come on! Thanks, Julie. Take it away!
Several years ago, the book The Millionaire Next Door became a bestseller. The premise of the book is that many of the people who build financial stability and wealth do not look wealthy. They don’t have all the calling cards that we typically associate with wealth — extravagant houses, cars, and clothes.
The book came to my mind recently, but not for financial
reasons. Just like we often have a narrow perspective on who is financially
wealthy, we also can miss the mark on who we think is having great sex.
We likely can blame Hollywood for this. Storytellers are pros at making us believe that a perfectly proportioned body, stunning hair and make-up, and gorgeous eyes are the only pathways to truly great sex. But being physically beautiful by society’s standards isn’t what equates to phenomenal sex. There are a lot of average looking people experiencing indescribable passion and pleasure in their bedroom.
You don’t have to be strikingly beautiful physically to
enjoy passionate lovemaking. If you struggle with body image and think you
can’t have great sex because your abs aren’t flat, your arms are flabby and you
have wrinkles around your eyes, consider the below three tips to gain a
1. Start noticing how average most people are.
There’s that old adage that if you are thinking of buying a red car, you suddenly see red cars everywhere. It’s like you put an image in your mind, and your mind said, “Check! I’m on it. Let me show you every red car I can find!”
If you feel sexually inhibited because you don’t feel your body looks stellar, it may be because you’ve kept an eagle eye out for people more attractive than yourself. You’ve let a self-fulfilling prophecy play out in your heart daily, and that perspective is glaringly biased toward seeing physically beautiful people. What a crappy comparison that always leads to the same place — you believing you are ill-equipped to have great sexual confidence and sexual passion.
But here’s the thing. If you stand back and take a broader, more objective look, you’ll see that the majority of people are not stunningly beautiful by society’s standards. Most people look average. They are real people; not a photoshopped or professionally-styled version of a real person, which is what we see on TV, in movies and on magazine covers.
Do some people have remarkable natural beauty? Well, sure.
But they are the exception, not the rule. Start looking around and you’ll see
what I mean.
Just like there are a lot of millionaires who don’t look like millionaires, there also are a lot of average people having great sex. Can you start to embrace that perspective? Doing so likely will boost your motivation to pursue more sexual passion with the person you married — you know, that person who also is fairly average looking.
2. Shed light (literally and figuratively).
I have a friend who told me once that she never has sex with
the lights on because she is so self-conscious about her body. And yet her
husband longed to enjoy the visual stimulation of enjoying not only her skin
next to his, but also the freedom to see her.
If you can relate to this struggle, consider this. A little light in the room when you make love can help you grow in your sexual confidence. When we insist on making love in the dark or under the covers in an effort to hide, we are diminishing a passionate aspect of sex — visually enjoying each other. Literally shedding light on the situation can be as simple as having the closet light on, turning on a bedside lamp or lighting a few candles.
You can figuratively shed light as well by having a
heart-to-heart conversation with your spouse. If you struggle with body image
and you think it is why you are hesitant to fully lean in to sexual passion,
then tell your spouse about your struggle. Express your desire to grow in
sexual confidence. Ask for what you need. If you need more specific affirmation
about your body, share this need with your spouse.
Getting comfortable in your own skin can be a joint
endeavor, but it has to start with you shedding some light.
3. Agree with God about passionate sex.
God is so generous. He could have designed sex for only procreation, but instead, in all His creativity, He opened the floodgates on how amazing sex can be. He designed sexual intimacy as a treasure trove of arousal, pleasure, and oneness.
And nowhere does God tell us passionate hot sex is just for
the pretty people. Nope.
He says, “All you married folks, enjoy! Delight in your spouse sexually, even if they don’t have toned legs. Have sex as often as possible! Go for it! Don’t hold back in savoring your orgasm and your spouse’s orgasm. It doesn’t matter that neither of you will ever be photoshopped onto a magazine cover. I don’t care about any of that. I created sexual pleasure for all the married people, not just the ones who have mesmerizing eyes and big breasts and an uncanny ability to style their hair.”
Okay, I’m paraphrasing a bit, but you get the idea. God is a huge fan of sex because it was His gift for married people. He wants you to enjoy the gift now, rather than hold off until you lose the weight or clear up the acne or get a new wardrobe. He gave you the gift of sex to savor throughout your married journey — all the seasons and all the messy moments that are inherent to marriage.
Letting body image sabotage intimacy with the person you adore does nothing more than downplay God’s truths for your marriage. Who among us wants to say to God, “Nah, Lord, I think you must have meant the gift for someone else.” Um, not me. And I’m guessing not you either.
To come full circle, I will say this. The millionaires I personally know — they don’t look like millionaires. And all the people I know who say sex in their marriage is great? They don’t look like movie stars. They look average. They look like you and me.
You also have a few more days to get in on an opportunity I have for you to Build Better Sex in Your Marriage. You can find it at this link. The offer is available until June 14 and includes awesome bonuses, so I encourage you to take a look. Could be a great investment in your relationship!
Julie Sibert speaks and writes out of her own journey about sexual intimacy in marriage. You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Nebraska with her husband, two sons and a rambunctious dog named Stella who is trying to destroy the yard.
Last week, I gave advice on How to Read a Marriage Book, which might be one of the more important posts I’ve written, since the points there can make a big difference in whether a resource helps or hurts your marriage.
One point I made is that most marriage books presume good-willed spouses. Yes, these spouses may have moments of high frustration, over-the-top words, or hard stonewalling. However, those are moments and usually arise from deep-seated emotional pain the spouse feels in the face of relational conflict they don’t know how to resolve.
That’s different from a pattern of abuse, in which a spouse exhibits behaviors intended to keep their partner under their thumb. Such behaviors include physical violence, direct threats, constant belittling, gaslighting, economic deprivation, sexual force, and emotional intimidation. And for those spouses in an abusive marriage, or with features of abuse in their marriage, the typical marriage advice isn’t going to work.
Let me first point out that I am not a clinical psychologist; licensed, professional counselor; psychiatric specialist; licensed social worker; law enforcement member; or domestic abuse expert. I do not have a background working with individuals or couples who have experienced domestic abuse. Thus, everything I advise here is based on Scripture, common sense, expert resources I’ve consulted, and personal contact I’ve had with victims of domestic abuse.
And that caveat is why my primary suggestion is you consult the expert you need, as soon as possible. What do I mean by “the expert you need”? Here are a few examples.
If you or your children experience physical or sexual violence from your spouse, call the police. It does not matter that you are married to the offender, you are still being assaulted and deserve protection and justice.
If you feel you or your children are at risk of physical or sexual violence, contact the domestic abuse hotline or a local shelter. You need to get to a place of safety.
If your spouse is denying you access to your home, personal belongings, or money to feed and care for yourself and children, you may need to speak to a lawyer to get what is legally and rightfully yours.
If the abuse is verbal or emotional in nature, you should see a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker, or professional counselor.
In an abusive or destructive marriage, the dominant spouse has gained outsized control and an unfair advantage. The way to re-balance the scales is to bring in reinforcements. So get help from people who can actually help you.
Some marriages simply have abusive or destructive traits. That is, they don’t pose an immediate threat to your safety or survival, nor do you feel like you’re in an emotional war zone, but your spouse sometimes behaves horribly toward you. What can you do?
In dysfunctional relationships, we tend to take on a role that unwittingly keeps the dynamic going. For instance, you may play the role of caretaker, scapegoat, or clown/mascot—all in an effort to calm the storms caused your spouse. But if you want to stop a system, throw a wrench into the gears. That is, stop playing your part and choose a different role—a healthier role.
This is an underlying principle in programs for spouses of addicts, as well as a key part of Boundaries, a wonderful book from Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. These Christian clinical psychologists also wrote Boundaries in Marriage, in which they lay out how you can stand up for yourself in the face of mistreatment from a spouse. By changing your way of dealing with unacceptable behavior, you make it more difficult for the other person to continue their misconduct—at least not without real cost.
Are all abusers the same?
No, they’re not. Some abusers can be reformed, but even as Christians who believe that God can redeem any situation, we must face the reality that some abusers will not change.
It appears that there are two types of domestic violence: situational and characterological. Situational violence describes a conflict in which one or both partners escalate in their frustration and anger to the point of lashing out. These spouses tend to recognize the awfulness of what they’ve done, feel genuine remorse, and want to avoid repeating that experience. Experts say such abusers lack self-control and conflict resolution skills—but, with the right help, they can learn.
Meanwhile, characterological violence means what it sounds like—it’s a core feature of the person’s character to dominate, manipulate, and maltreat their partner. Such abusers tend to blame their victims, give halfhearted or just-for-show apologies (if they give them at all), and maintain their pattern of abuse. Moreover, their escalation isn’t tracked in a single incident of losing control, but over the course of the relationship, with the abuse slowly becoming worse and worse. This building of intensity can be compared to the frog placed in a pot of water and heat slowly rising until it reaches boiling point; by the time the frog (or abuse victim) realizes what’s happening, they’re stuck. Or at least feel stuck.
Sadly, the characterological abuser is unlikely to ever change.
He is like the man with a hardened heart whom God cannot change. Not because God lacks the ability to mold a sinful person into something beautiful, but because the clay will never admit it needs the Artist’s hands. If you are married to this kind of abuser, I’ll say it plainly: Get out.
If your abuser later decides to confess their sin, repent of their sin, and embrace God’s love instead, you can re-negotiate then. But you cannot have anything resembling the kind of marriage God desires with a characterological abuser. As author and speaker Gary Thomas said: “How does it honor the concept of ‘Christian marriage’ to enforce the continuance of an abusive, destructive relationship that is slowly squeezing all life and joy out of a woman’s soul?”
The Bible says that God knit you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:14), that He has numbered the hairs of your head (Luke 12:7), that He sacrificed His Son for you (Romans 5:8), and that, through Christ, you are God’s beloved child (1 John 3:1). As much as I believe in marriage, you are worth more than your marriage.
When it’s a matter of saving your life, your soul, your value, it’s okay to find the exit door. And then enter God’s welcoming, comforting arms.
Therapy for you, not us
If you are in a marriage with a characterological abuser or controller, couples’ therapy probably won’t work. Why? Because such abusers and controllers are unlikely to tell the truth, accept responsibility for their actions, respect a counselor, or even attend counseling. They don’t believe they’re the problem anyway. If they go, they want the counselor to say you are the problem.
Sadly, that’s what some counselors do. If that happened to you, let me assure you it shouldn’t have.
Other couples’ counselors can and will see what’s happening and encourage you toward positive steps to change the unhealthy dynamic.
But given the destructive nature of your marriage relationship, your best option is seeking therapy for yourself. Explain to a licensed, Christian counselor what you’re dealing with and ask for wisdom and help. Learn what you can do to care for yourself, your children, and yes, your marriage, if it can be healed.
You may be in for a long road, but the road will feel longer and harder if you continue the path you’re walking. Don’t simply reach for another resource that presumes two good-willed spouses. If you’re in an abusive or destructive marriage, get real help for your situation.