Category Archives: How To Tips

5 Tips for Choosing a Personal Lubricant

There’s a line in “Jungle Love” by the Steve Miller Band: “Everything’s better when wet.” Well, I don’t know about everything, but that’s certainly true for sex!

However, things don’t always get as lubricated down there as they need to for sexual activity to feel as good as it could. For instance, certain times of the month, perimenopause / menopause, and other issues can throw off the natural system of lubrication.

Thank goodness we have the ability to add personal lubricant to the mix in our marriage beds! And today I want to give five quick tips on choosing a personal lubricant for the sexual intimacy in your marriage.

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1. Figure out your goal.

If you asked me for a lube recommendation, I’d first ask why you want a personal lubricant. Because which one works best depends on the goal.

If your hormones are making lubrication difficult, I’d steer you toward a silicone lube rather than a water-based one, because water-based absorbs more quickly. If you’re looking to add a perk to oral sex, of course I’d say to get a flavored lube. If you’ve had issues with infections, I’d advise you to check ingredients and find an organic, all-natural option.

Thinking about why you want lubricant will help you decide which alternatives are best.

2. Pick a type of lube.

Once you know your goal, you can better choose a type. Types of personal lubricant include water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. I break down each in this post: Q&A with J: A Guide to Using Personal Lubricant.

When deciding type, you’ll want to look at issues like these:

  • Water-based lube is easy to apply and clean up, but doesn’t last as long.
  • Silicone-based lasts longer and is especially good for sexual activity in water, but sticks longer and is harder to clean up.
  • Coconut oil is all-natural, but has a tendency to break down the latex in condoms.
  • Lubes that purport to warm or stimulate could be exciting or discomforting, depending on your skin.
  • Check ingredients carefully if you have allergies or sensitivities to certain substances.

Figure out the type of lube, and then you can start shopping.

3. Find a quality brand.

Like you, I don’t want to spend money on a product that costs $10 when the $5 one is just as good. That said, there’s a distinct difference between the budget lubricants and middle-to-higher priced brands. Look for a quality brand because:

  1. You’re only using a little bit each time, so even a small bottle lasts a while.
  2. You’ll end up using more with a budget brand anyway because it won’t do its job well and you’ll have to apply extra, and then you’re not actually saving money.
  3. Girlfriend, this is your va-jay-jay. Don’t you think you can spend as much on it as you would a restaurant meal?

Now, despite writing about sex as much as I do, I have not tried every brand of lubricant. (Unless they all send me samples, that would get expensive.) But of those I’ve tried, I consistently recommend Sliquid and Good Clean Love. I’ve also heard good things about Swiss Navy and Slippery Stuff. But do a little research, and you can figure out what’s worth trying.

4. Decide where to shop.

Part of what brand you buy depends on where you shop. Admittedly, if you go to Amazon, you’ll find nearly every option there. But if you head to your grocery store, you won’t find Sliquid but you might find Good Clean Love. Then again, you might rather purchase online so you don’t run into your child’s Sunday school teacher while standing in line with your tube of lube. Regardless, your actual choices will depend on where you buy.

Now I’m a fan of purchasing from Christian-based online retailers, because (1) they specifically carry products that promote the marriage bed, (2) they are picky about what they stock so what you find there is typically high quality, and (3) they affiliate with websites like mine so you can bless a ministry while you’re at it. Two options I endorse are:

Honoring Intimates sells lingerie, as well as lubricants and other intimacy aids.

Honoring Intimates Logo

Affiliate Link for Hot, Holy & Humorous

Marriage Spice carries a range of marital aids and intimacy products, including lube.

Marriage Spice Logo

Affiliate Link for Sex Chat for Christian Wives Podcast

5. Try different lubes.

If you use a lube and don’t love it, try something else. Or simply try something else to branch out and have options. For example, you might use coconut oil most of the time but keep one flavored lubricant around just for those times when oral is on the menu. Or you might prefer water-based but want a silicone-based lube on hand if you decide to go for shower sex.

Honestly, you probably won’t find your favorite personal lubricant on the first try. It may take trial-and-error. That said, I bet you and you spouse can think of plenty of ways to conduct this personal research!

Now go do something that requires you pull out some lube. You might find your weekend really is better when wet!

Q&A with J: Engaging Your Mind in Lovemaking

A while ago, I talked about having over 300 emails in my inbox. Through various efforts, I’m now down to 69 messages. (And yes, I do see the humor in that.)

Slowly but surely, I’m trying to get to the remaining questions either directly or through posts. And today’s question is from (gasp!) May 2017. But it’s such a good one, I wanted to cover it today. Here’s what the reader asks:

I have a question about “engaging your mind.” I’ve read from various Christian intimacy bloggers that many women need to engage their minds in order to be aroused. I feel like this is true for me, but I’m uncertain how to do it in the holiest way. I often feel guilty if I visualize anything because it usually involves other people (not specific people just general other people), or other situations, think anything that doesn’t necessarily involve being happily married. I know it’s a flesh desire, and I have learned, whether I meant to or not, that the arousal from that thinking is very fleeting and doesn’t help me feel close to my husband. So I don’t allow it, but then I feel like I can’t let loose. So what does it mean to engage your mind without turning to something sinful?

Blog post title + silhouette of woman with colored lines swirling through her head

I periodically talk about all the myths that romance novels perpetuate, and I’m no fan whatsoever of erotica, but there are some things the romance genre gets right. And here’s one: Not once have I ever read a love scene where the woman was mentally going through her to-do list, fantasizing about some random guy she saw in a movie or a magazine, or thinking yeah, that feels okay, but I’d rather be watching Netflix.

Oh no — if you’re going to write a romantic, passionate, or even sexy scene, your main character is going to be into it. Seriously into it. Sure, she might think about how she wishes she hadn’t worn the granny panties tonight, but most of her thoughts are about what she’s seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and touching. She’s sinking deeply into her senses, as well as her emotions about the man with whom she’s making love.

Much as I hate to grab any wisdom from the pages of a bodice-ripper, I think they’re onto something here.

But wait a minute… God was way ahead of the romance section of your bookstore! Thousands of years ago, He made sure we have examples of what it means to engage in your mind in lovemaking with your spouse. Together let’s visit a book I’ve mentioned quite a bit on my blog (and in my books): Song of Songs, a poetic exchange between husband and wife, lover to lover.

God was way ahead of the romance section of your bookstore! Click To Tweet

It begins like this:

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.

What’s her mind doing here? She’s thinking about the sensations and taste of her husband’s kiss and his oh-so-appealing scent. Also, how much she loves him, and even how his stellar reputation is alluring. She imagines getting whisked away by this particular man to make mad, passionate love!

Whew. Wipe off your brow, y’all — that was sexy.

Now as much as I’d like to go through the remaining 7¾ chapters, breaking down all the amazing takeaways, that would be an insanely long blog post. Instead, I encourage you to go read it for yourself. And notice where and how these lovers engage their minds.

Focus on your five senses.

Instead of fantasizing about someone or something that’s not in the bed with you, how about paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of lovemaking. There’s a bounty of all that going on, and you can train yourself to tune in to it.

While making love, ask yourself what your senses are experiencing, and revel in those sensations. This practice is really what people now call “mindfulness,” where you increase your awareness of what’s right around you and learn to attend to it more fully.

Here’s an example from the husband in Song of Songs attending to the senses:

Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon” (4:1).

Open your eyes.

It’s harder to think about someone or something else when you’re looking your spouse in the eye. Or really, anywhere on their body. Oftentimes, we find it uncomfortable to keep our eyes open, because there’s vulnerability in that — especially given that our facial expressions during sex can be rather curious, shall we say.

But looking into one another’s eyes, taking in the sight of our beloved, and even watching intently where and how your bodies connect can also be beautifully intimate. And it can help your focus remain right there, on the wonderful husband with whom you are making love.

Here’s one example of how the Song of Songs wife gazed at her husband:

His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.
His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.
His arms are rods of gold set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli.
His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars (5:12-16).

Use your voice.

It’s also hard not to concentrate on what’s happening right here and right now if you have to describe it. So speak up and talk about what you’re seeing, what you’re sensing, what you desire. Express the depth of your feelings for your husband through everything from “I love you” to “You rock my world, baby!”

All of that can keep your mind preoccupied on coming up with relevant thoughts and translating that into words. Besides, verbal expression can also increase the arousal factor in your marriage bed.

Consider this was something the husband in Song of Songs requested:

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (2:14).

Keep on trying.

One reason we fail when we try to engage our minds is we give up too soon. Distractions invade, and we push away the first one or two, but then others come and it feels hopeless. How can we ever stop getting sidetracked? And especially if those rabbit trails lead to greater arousal?

But retraining your mind isn’t a one-day workout program. You’re in a marathon, girlfriend. When that first stray thought comes in the middle of lovemaking, push it aside. Then push aside the next one, and the next, and the next…and so on. Replace each with the kind of engagement discussed in previous points — for instance, shifting your thoughts from that one general guy to gazing into your husband’s eyes. Do this again and again, and you’ll build a new habit. And your pleasure will be even better because it will be all you and all him engaging intimately in the marriage bed.

Remember this verse from Song of Songs:

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away (8:6-7).

Your marital love is unyielding. Lean into that — mind, heart, body, and soul.

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Are You a Fan of Your Husband’s Man-Part?

I asked my husband for his permission to tell the following story from our marriage bed:

Neither of us is a big talker during lovemaking. Even so, I’ve been known to lose control of my tongue and blurt out something that may or may not be all that coherent. Anyway, several months ago, we were in the middle of a particularly passionate sexual encounter. As I approached climax, my brain shot a single focused thought to my mouth and it burst out of my mouth: “I love your penis!”

Oh yes, I did.

After we finished that part of our intimacy, my husband and I laughed heartily about what I’d said. I turned pink about my comment, feeling so embarrassed for saying such a thing. But although Spock was amused (if you’re new, Spock is what I call my husband), he was also rather complimented. I’d shown genuine, unfiltered appreciation for his manhood.

Blog post title + image of large foam hand saying "Fan"

Now I haven’t always been at the point in my marriage that I’d say such a thing while in the throes of passion. Perhaps you can’t imagine saying, or even thinking, something like that.

But it’s important to appreciate your husband’s penis — to be its biggest fan.

It's important to appreciate your husband's penis — to be its biggest fan. Click To Tweet

Before you run away and decide your time would be better spent searching Pinterest for yet another amazing cupcake recipe you’ll never actually make, give me a few more minutes to make my case. Because I was also hesitant to adore the soldier at first.

I didn’t go all Fan Girl and blurt out that above statement in year one of our marriage, or even year ten. It took a while for me to fully embrace the astounding creation that is The Penis. Why have I become a fan?

1. Familiarity

I’m well aware of the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” But what a lot of hogwash! For anyone who’s ever had a favorite something — favorite blanket, favorite pair of jeans, favorite coffee cup — you know that hanging out with something you like doesn’t diminish how you feel about it. In fact, it makes your experience better.

My favorite pair of jeans doesn’t become my favorite pair of jeans until I’ve worn them several times over, the material has softened up a bit, and they’ve stretched out just right fit to my body. Likewise, hanging out more often with your husband’s penis means that you get used to its shape and size, its movements and responses, its function and beauty.

Take time to look at and touch his penis. Explore the area with your eyes and hands, becoming familiar with this body part that is “yours, mine, and ours.”

2. Physiology

As I learned more about how male anatomy and the penis work, my appreciation for God’s creation deepened. Male anatomy is designed in a rather remarkable way, so that the penis can become erect yet sufficiently flexible, the systems work together to produce sperm and semen, and the muscles and nerves produce both pleasure and ejaculation.

Learning more about how God created his body can have a positive and even awe-inducing effect. It can also help a wife know where and how to touch him, further increasing her appreciation as his man-part happily responds. This is when the classroom physiology becomes in-the-field experience. As anyone who’s taken biology knows, reading the textbook isn’t nearly as fun as experimenting in the lab.

But of course, it helps to have some head knowledge before you go encounter the, well, head up-close. To that end, this TED Talk was illuminating for me on how amazing God’s creation really is.

You can also learn more about penis size here: Penis Size – From a Wife’s Point of View.

3. Pleasure

You know why I like chocolate? Chocolate has been good to me. It’s provided many wonderful moments of pleasure, when my taste buds awakened and savored that rich delight. Likewise, a husband’s penis receives greater admiration when it provides his wife rich pleasure.

Becoming more assertive in saying and showing what you need can help you find greater pleasure in his penis. Use his penis to stroke your body where you like to be touched. Use ample lubrication, adding personal lubricant if you don’t have enough, so that his penis slicks against your skin. Ask for sexual positions that make penetration feel even better to you. Give a shot at finding more sensitive spots with his penis. Add direct clitoral stimulation to intercourse, so that the spasms of a clitoral orgasm still happen around his penis.

When you’ve experienced a lot of pleasure that involves Mr. Happy, you’ll be happy he’s there too. If he’s helped you “win” a lot, you’ll become a big fan.

And a message for the hubbies…

If your wife isn’t immediately your man-part’s biggest fan, please don’t take it personally. I know it’s very personal to you, but I’ve met many women through the years who didn’t know much of anything about male anatomy, excepting what they learned in biology class and pop culture references. And some women have encountered awful men who used the existence of that body part as an excuse for sexual harassment or even assault.

More often, we gals just aren’t all that familiar with the equipment in a way that makes us feel confident. And that takes some time and intentionality.

Help her feel free to explore at a slower pace than you might like, and show her where you like to be touched and how. Explain to her what it means to you for her to appreciate your penis, because it’s something a lot of women don’t fully understand.

And make sure you use your penis to provide her pleasure, not just you. Once you’re married, it really is a case of yours, mine, and ours. (And yes, I would say that to your wife about her body too.) Prioritize her pleasure so that she can appreciate all of you, the way you appreciate all of her.

Honestly, we should each be one another’s biggest body fans. But today, I’ve been focused on the ladies. So let’s do this, gals — let’s show our husbands that we are indeed his man-part’s biggest fan.

Be sure to listen to our recent Sex Chat for Christian Wives episode on male anatomy!

These 3 Actions Could Bring You to Orgasm

One of the questions I receive most is from wives asking how to achieve orgasm. That’s understandable, since a really great orgasm is one of the few things that lives up to its billing.

I have a full chapter on orgasm in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, and that remains my best advice on how to get there. But although I incorporated the following information into what I said based on personal experience and hearsay, I didn’t have the study I want to share about what researchers call the “Golden Trio.”

Triangle with starburst fireworks + blog post title

It starts with 52,000 participants in an online survey, which is obviously a huge sample. Admittedly, it’s not a perfect sample, because this survey was hosted on the NBC News website, so there was self-selection in who participated. Still, given that number, there should be some interesting insights.

Among the many questions about sex that they asked, they queried about orgasm. And while 95% of heterosexual men reported usually or always reaching orgasm during sexually intimate encounters, only 65% of heterosexual women reported the same. That’s a good-sized gap of 30%.

Now one question that I don’t believe was there was whether there was a concerted effort to reach orgasm and the woman was unable to do so. Because, for reasons that men sometimes don’t understand, some wives don’t always feel the need to orgasm (see Why I Sometimes Don’t Care about the Orgasm).

However, it’s pretty clear based on God’s design for sex — our sexual responsiveness, our physiology (thank You for that clitoris!), and the importance of mutual pleasure in the marriage bed — that wives should be achieving orgasm regularly in their lovemaking. Meaning that 30% gap is way too big.

How do you close that gap?

Researchers found that vaginal penetration alone (as I and others have said) is not likely to get to get most women to climax. A PIV orgasm can be great, but it often follows on the heels of an orgasm achieved in a different way. Specifically, according to this study, through the combination of three actions — that is, the “golden trio.”

1. Genital Stimulation

In basic terms, stimulation of the clitoris is what brings a wife to climax. Since vaginal penetration is indirect stimulation of the clitoris, it’s more difficult to get the right angle, pressure, and intensity to bring her to the peak.

More effective is hubby taking his hand and touching the clitoral hood directly. Remember that hood is just the part of the clitoris that protrudes from the body, while more of the clitoris can be aroused by massage of the vulva. Regardless, make sure there’s sufficient lubrication, find the touching that she likes, and directly touch her in that sensitive spot.

2. Deep Kissing

Are you surprised to see that one? I’m not. But I do think we overlook this important activity after we get married and in the midst of making love. All the other bits seem so fun and sexy and only-in-marriage that we forget how fabulous kissing can be. It’s why I wrote You’re Not Kissing Enough.

But this was reported by women in the study as so significant to reaching orgasm that it got equal time with genital contact. Actually, long before that, in the one book of the Bible devoted to marital, sexual intimacy, God shared this wisdom. Song of Songs opens with this line: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine” (1:2). Are you spending enough time delighting in your spouse’s better-than-wine lips? Maybe you should spend more.

3. Oral Sex

That’s oral sex for her, by the way. It’s the same principle as genital stimulation above, in that hubby can directly stimulate the clitoris, helping her to edge up the slope to orgasm and reach that peak with a cry of victory. Why is oral sex (aka cunnilingus) so helpful in this regard? Well, she’s getting lubrication with his mouth, he can cover a larger area with his mouth and tongue, and the tongue can do more delicate things than a man’s finger. It’s a pretty cool pleasure tool.

There are yet some wives who are reluctant to give this activity a green flag, and some husbands who hesitate as well, but oral sex really is a good way for many wives to finally achieve orgasm. Whatever mental barriers you have to this practice, I’ve answered a lot of those in my blog and my book. And let me direct you to this verse from Song of Songs: “Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (4:16b).

Actually, all three of these actions get their own treatment in my book too — a whole chapter each on kissing and oral sex, and a section in the hands-on chapter about manual play for her (genital stimulation, that is).

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What else helps a woman reach orgasm? The survey concluded something else interesting: Women who played music, changed sexual positions, or exchanged I love yous during their last sexual encounter were about 20% more likely to report usually or always orgasming. Atmosphere and adaptability matter too.

Also, women who orgasm more frequently tended to have a longer duration of sex and higher relationship satisfaction. Smaller but significant factors that also influenced orgasm were asking for particular behaviors in bed and flirting with your partner throughout the day.

Good gravy, it’s almost like they’ve been reading my blog and my book. 😉

Seriously, though, if you’re pre-orgasmic (haven’t gotten there yet), want to have more orgasms, or just want to give this “golden trio” a go, why not try genital stimulation, deep kissing, and oral sex with your next lovemaking encounter? Of course, you can have intercourse too. In fact, many wives who experience this level of pleasure will desire intercourse even more after hitting that high note.

They say that good things come in threes. Maybe “this golden trio” will bring a very good thing to your sexual intimacy.

Sources: The Guardian – ‘Golden trio’ of moves boosts chances of female orgasm, say researchers; Archives of Sexual Behavior – Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample

5 Places to Hear Me Talk about Sex

I’ve been talking about sex a lot lately. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that what you always do? Actually, I write a lot about sex, but in the last few weeks, I’ve gotten to chat about this fabulous subject as well.

These conversations ran the gamut on what we covered, but each is well worth a listen. If you have time, listen to them all. If not, choose what suits your fancy based on the descriptions I’ve provided. But please check out at least one of them, because it’s always interesting what emerges when I’m not writing by myself but discussing sexual intimacy with someone else.

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Without further ado, here are five places to listen to me talk about sex.

1. The Drew Marshall Show

Drew Marshall has a radio show in Canada that boasts 100k listeners, so I was excited to have the opportunity to chat with him and share what “Jesus people” (as he called Christians) say about sex — or should be saying about sex.

But having y’all listen would be a marvelous and meaningful bonus. It’s a quick 20-minute interview, and he asked some great questions. Check it out by clicking below.

2. Live In Peace Ministries Facebook Live

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Yolanda and Billy Jackson of Live in Peace Ministries. We got to chat about why sex can be a taboo topic in Christian marriage, two things husbands should know about their wives, and two things wives should know about their husbands when it comes to sex.

I think you’ll enjoy not only the information and insight we shared, but also the fun we had chatting with each other. Click below to listen and view the video!

3. Halfway There Podcast

Eric Nevins of Halfway There interviewed me for almost an hour and gave me a chance to tell many stories about my life, my faith, and my ministry here. I share all kinds of things, from my drag racing disaster, to Real vs Flannel Board Jesus, to how my prayers and actions needed to change so God could save our marriage — as well as common myths and questions about sex in marriage.

You can find this episode on your podcast carrier or click below to get to the website and listen.

4. Be Fully Well Webinar

Dr. Jessica McCleese is a blogger and certified Christian sex therapist. Yep, you heard me right: Christian. Sex. Therapist. Isn’t that cool? She recently invited me to join her for a webinar in which we discussed how sex is different from the movies, tips about how husbands and wives can work out their differences, and some of what we each encounter in our different roles of helping couples with sexual intimacy in their marriage.

Make sure you check out her website at Be Fully Well, and then you can head to her YouTube channel to watch the webinar.

5. Wherever You Are

I’ve talked here before about wanting to set up some speaking engagements, but I haven’t really pursued that well. And lately, I’ve been feeling as if God is nudging me to take that on more intently.

So for the rest of 2018, I’m waiving my speaker fee. That’s right, I want to come speak wherever you are — at your women’s event in the U.S. or Canada — for just the following:

  • Transportation (airfare or mileage per federal rates)
  • Private lodging (hotel, AirBnB, etc.)
  • Meals (provided at the event and/or standard per diem rates)
  • A book table and volunteer for book sales before and after the event and/or a book purchased for each attendee

What can I talk about? To see my topics, download my speaker sheet / flyer HERE.

If you’re interested, shoot me an email at j@hotholyhumorous.com. (Subject to calendar availability and the type of event.)

Bonus

It hasn’t released yet, but I was also recently interviewed by Rebecca Lemke, author of The Scarlet Virgins, a book about growing up in the Purity Culture and breaking away to a more biblical view of sexuality. She has a podcast by the same name, and we had a wonderful time talking. Why not check out her podcast now, and I’ll let y’all know when our episode goes live!

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