To me, New Year = Fresh Start. Yes, I know it’s just a date on the calendar, but it feels like a new beginning is on the horizon.
You don’t need the New Year, though. Whenever you want, you can press the reset button and do things differently from how you did them before. That’s what I want to talk about today, on the last day of Resolution Week—just doing something different with the sexual intimacy in your marriage.
Why do something different?
Readers come to my blog for two main reasons: (1) to figure out how to address a problem with the sex in their marriage, or (2) to get ideas on how to maintain and nurture the sex in their marriage.
(There’s a third group, a very small one, who read to find out what “the other side” is saying and pipe up from time to time to debate. But let’s not worry about them.)
For those in either of the two main groups, you’ve been doing X, but doing Y could make things better. If you have sexual struggles, you can receive:
- encouragement to pursue better sexual intimacy
- insight about how your spouse might be thinking or feeling about the situation
- summaries of medical, scientific, and common-sense approaches to resolving physiological obstacles
- biblical perspectives on God’s design for sex in marriage
- suggestions for meeting your spouse’s emotional and sexual needs, or getting your own met
- how-to tips for making sex better for you and for your beloved
If you have healthy physical intimacy in your marriage, you can receive:
- how-to tips for specific sexual activities
- inspiration to have more frequent and/or more intimate sex
- regular reminders to keep doing what makes your spouse feel loved
- biblical insight about how your marital intimacy reflects God’s goodness
- updates on sex research that can improve your pleasure or connection
- ways to expand your sexual repertoire
But let’s face it: Hot, Holy & Humorous is about persuading you to do something even a little different from what you did before. If every reader remains in absolute stasis, what’s the point of me writing another word?
Yet, I do write. I do hear from readers. I do know this site, along with other marriage ministries, has a positive impact.
Is different automatically better?
In case you didn’t get the reference in this post’s title, “And now for something completely different” was a catchphrase from the British show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It was inserted in between comedy sketches, some of which were really great and some of which were what were they thinking?
Likewise, just doing something different in or regarding your marriage bed could be a what were you thinking? moment. But it could also be really great.
How do you know your idea is different-great?
1. It aligns with God’s design for sex in marriage.
Whatever you do in the marriage bed should be God-approved, mutually acceptable, and spouse-honoring. It should align with God’s will.
2. It benefits both of you.
It should be something that not only serves your ends, but also meets your spouse’s longings. Marriage isn’t about you or me, but rather us. You don’t want one spouse thinking the new thing is great while the other responds, “What on earth were you thinking?”
3. It is pursued in love.
You can have wonderful intentions, but if your tactics stink, you won’t get far. Your spouse will likely, and understandably, become defensive. So the different thing you go after should be pursued in a loving way, without pressure or manipulation.
To Leap or to Toddle?
If I had a dollar for every time I or one of my podcast partners said the phrase “baby steps,” we’d be retreating on a Caribbean beach somewhere right now. Working, of course—wink, wink—but with our toes in the sand and the water lapping at our ankles.
Truth is, when one spouse wants to do something different, the other spouse can get worried. What do you mean “different”? Am I not enough? Are you going to want that weird thing again? I refuse to dress up as a gorilla no matter how turned on it might make you! ~snicker~
Now some of you should leap into something different. You’ve been in a pit for far too long, and you need to jump into a marriage class or counseling. Or perhaps you two are mutually on board with trying something sexual that’s a little “out there”—not outside God’s design, but pretty creative.
For most spouses, however, baby steps are the way to go.
Just do something a little extra or different next time, then expand a little from there, then to the next thing and the next thing… Until your baby steps have gotten you down the path a ways and you’re both happy with where you are.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
So what are some “different but great” ideas? Let me help!
Below are more than 20 suggestions. Each item is not for every couple. Find something that would benefit your particular marriage or brainstorm your own ideas.
- Try new sexual positions (check out Position Cards)
- Have sex in the shower
- Change marriage counselors
- See a doctor for a specific problem and/or get an overall physical (for wives, see Finding a Good Gynecologist)
- Read a Christian marriage book
- Read a Christian sex book
- Revamp your lingerie, or just buy one new thing
- Institute a weekly date night (see The Dating Divas for ideas)
- Schedule regular sex
- Learn more about your wife’s sexuality
- Increase time spent in foreplay
- Give oral sex a shot
- Commit to breaking your porn habit, once and for all
- Seek trauma counseling for sexual abuse you endured
- Get more exercise, and work out together if possible
- Play a bedroom game
- Consult a Christian sex therapist
- Share a sexual fantasy with your spouse (but read these first: Should You Share Your Sexual Fantasy? and Should You Go Along with His Sexual Fantasy?)
- Find a fun phrase to use when you want to make love
- Give each other a new nickname
- Guys: Join a community for husbands that helps you better understand your wife
- Go through Pillow Talk together, a book that isn’t just conversation starters with an in-depth guide for talking about sex effectively
Just choose something, or several somethings, different to do this year and see how it can improve your sexual intimacy. If it doesn’t work, you can always chuck it and try something else.
Note: Remember that when it’s something God specifically calls us to do, it may take a while to see the positive results. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 ESV).