As anyone who’s been following me knows, I’ve had some health issues lately. So when my good friend Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage offered to send me a guest post, I jumped at the chance. With glee! Not only does that give me a break, but it’s excellent content for my audience. Read on and be blessed!
By Julie Sibert
Not long ago, after a particularly enjoyable and passionate sexual encounter with my husband, I reflected on what makes sex great. You don’t have to be married for more than about a month to realize that all sexual encounters are not created equal in a relationship.
We’ve been married 18 years, so I have a lot of practical “research” to draw upon.
Sometimes sex is quite profound, right? Other times, eh … not so much. And there are countless encounters that fall somewhere in between those two extremes. Being reflective is a bit of a baseline for me, and as a writer and speaker on sex in marriage, clearly this is my wheelhouse—pondering what makes sex authentic, intimate and great.
I know we can’t narrow something like this down to three things, but for the sake of brevity, I would say the below three would be at the top of my list. Before you read them, I encourage you to think about your own marriage. Maybe the three things I share will spark some motivation and reflection of your own.
Or maybe your list would be wildly different, yet equally invigorating. That’s cool too. The point is to be willing to unpack the question, “What would make sex great in our marriage?”
3 Things that Make Sex Great for Me
1. Showing Up
Who among us hasn’t had our mind wander during sex? You could be meandering down the path of foreplay, only to then find yourself thinking about the appointment you forgot to make or the fact you’re out of milk again.
And don’t even get me started about actual physical distractions, like your neighbor’s noisy backyard barbecue that has gone too late or the sound of your teens watching TV or the intermittent baby noises coming through the baby monitor.
What makes sex great for me is when my husband and I truly show up and engage without the mental and physical distractions that creep in to disrupt our connection. When I think of amazing sexual intimacy with the man I married, I think of moments when we were dialed into each other emotionally and physically in such an attentive and consuming way.
Of course, sometimes what this means is we have to intentionally limit the distractions. What are you doing to best prepare your heart, mind and physical surroundings for uninterrupted lovemaking? What are you doing to genuinely and fully show up emotionally and physically?
2. Being Mutual
I think men have disproportionately been stereotyped into this corner that simply because they are male, they intuitively know how to please a woman sexually.
A better approach is that a husband and wife humbly embrace what it means to teach and be teachable. Are you and your spouse intentional about building rapport in giving and receiving sexual pleasure? When my husband and I lean into this kind of mutual giving and receiving, it is sacred ground.
Arousal, pleasure and orgasm should be a place of mutuality in a marriage. Is your spouse’s pleasure as important as your own? Are you both growing in the touches and techniques that make pleasure deeply satisfying? Are you helping your spouse understand specifically what feels good for you sexually?3 Things that Make Sex Great for Me (and Might Just Work for You Too!) "Arousal, pleasure and orgasm should be a place of mutuality in a marriage. Is your spouse’s pleasure as important as your own?" Click To Tweet
Contrary to what society may tell us, a husband and wife climaxing at the same time is not the be-all end-all of sexual greatness. Being mutually attentive to each other’s arousal and pleasure throughout the experience is a better gauge. The moments of each spouse’s pleasure intermingle in such a beautiful ebb-and-flow way. No one is keeping score. No one is selfishly consumed by only their pleasure, but rather is as fascinated by their spouse’s pleasure as well.
I think a real lightbulb realization for my husband and me was when we recognized we were as turned on by turning each other on as we were by our own pleasure.
This kind of mutuality makes sex great for me.
3. Embracing Sexual Pursuit
I probably should have listed this one first, because it has to do with what’s happening before your clothes come off. I put it here at the end, though, because I think it carries the most transformative message regarding sex in marriage.
It is affirming when the person I love and married desires me. When my husband expresses his desire for me, maybe even hours before we actually have the time and space to have sex, that desire makes everything all that more amazing when we connect intimately.
Sadly, sexual pursuit can fall by the wayside in a marriage. Maybe it’s all those distractions and responsibilities that fill our waking hours day in and day out. Maybe healthy comfort drifts into taking each other for granted. Or maybe you’ve bought into this idea that the further a marriage goes along, the less sexual it has to become.
Certainly, a lot can sabotage sexual desire in a marriage, and we can lose sight of what it means to be intentional in the face of those things thwarting desire.
And yes, I know there are some circumstances that can make actual sexual intercourse difficult or impossible in a marriage, whether it be illness, injury, or some effects of aging. Even in these circumstances, though, a couple can still show affection and learn to be intimately close to each other emotionally and physically.
When was the last time you expressed desire for your spouse? When was the last time you showed affection while clothed—affection that lovingly conveyed how much you want to be naked with them later?
The caveat I would add here, too, is that nurturing your friendship in your marriage makes sexual pursuit not only more relevant, but also more likely. It is about pouring into your relationship in such a way that says, “Hey, I don’t just want sex. I want sex with YOU!”
So there are my three things that make sex great for me and possibly could make sex great for you, too. I could add to the above list for sure, but these three things definitely would top my list. I love it when my husband and I both truly show up, when we are mutual in valuing each other’s pleasure and when we intentionally pursue each other sexually.
What makes sex great for you? Reflect. Talk amongst yourselves. It is worth figuring out, not only for your own health and happiness, but also for the strength and endurance of your marriage.
Fabulous stuff, Julie! I so appreciate her being here. And please go check out her own content at her website and beyond.
Julie Sibert is an author, speaker, blogger and advocate for healthy sexual intimacy in marriage. You can find her at her website www.intimacyinmarriage.com. Be sure to check her out on Patreon at www.Patreon.com/intimacyinmarriage, where for the mere cost of one latte a month, you can get exclusive video content she doesn’t put out anywhere else. When she’s not writing and speaking on sex, she’s enjoying her husband and sons, deep conversation, a wide array of music and a ridiculous number of books.