Category Archives: Marriage Blogging

Wives, Your Voice Matters (in the Bedroom & Beyond)

Last week, I asked wives to answer a simple question: Why don’t you comment more often? The answers I received were enlightening. And a little surprising.

The Results of My Survey

Among the reasons were lack of time, agreeing with what was said and having nothing to add, and a few issues with some male commenters. But what caught me off guard was how many women said they did not comment because they didn’t know who would want to hear what they had to say.

Consider these examples:

  • I often write a comment … and then don’t post it because I figure I’m not an expert so I doubt my two cents is actually worth anything.
  • I generally feel that my words could come across wrong or are not useful as I often speak bluntly.
  • I tend to not comment because I always catch myself with “why would my opinion matter?
  • Much like [another commenter] I often wonder why my opinion would even matter, which I know is a little weird considering I don’t have that thought about the comments of others.

While I don’t believe gender differences completely explain this viewpoint, research has shown women are less likely to exhibit boldness than men.

What the Research Shows

According to a commonly cited internal report from Hewlett Packard from the 2010s: “Women…applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 percent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60 percent of the job requirements.” Further studies showed that women didn’t lack confidence in themselves as much as confidence in the system being willing to hire them if they didn’t meet every qualification.

Men have also been shown to be bolder in dating apps, initiating more contacts than women, not by double but four times the number of messages. Certainly some of this is cultural, in that men tend to initiate relationships more often, but it still indicates a bias toward men just going for what they want.

And then there’s the study showing that at meetings where both men and women attend, women speak 25% less than men. Moreover: “Participants who held the floor for a greater percentage of the group’s deliberation were more likely to be seen as influential by the other members of the group. Thus the active use of voice translates into greater perceived influence, as we expected.” Even more discouraging, perhaps, was the researchers’ conclusion that women fare better in homogeneous groups, meaning all women.

So are we ladies really supposed to exist in a world where we only express ourselves fully when in the company of women?

What Are We Missing?

Look, I’m a big fan of gathering into all-female groups at times. I co-host a podcast with that framework, Sex Chat for Christian Wives. I also have a higher-drive wife group on Facebook, comprised exclusively of women whose libidos are higher than their husbands. And when I speak, I primarily teach women’s groups.

However, I’m really bothered that some of us gals don’t feel like our opinions, our beliefs, our desires are worth expressing, even in mixed company.

And I’ve seen this play out with wives in the bedroom, who have sadly absorbed the message that their sexuality and/or sexual pleasure doesn’t matter as much as their husbands’. When nothing could be further from the truth.

Yet, we have promoted this belief in our culture, both Christian and secular, by talking much more often about the male sex drive, by telling wives their role is to meet their husband’s sexual needs, by presuming that male sex arousal is the sexual cycle for all people (see our “Women’s Sexual Response” episode), and by using scriptures about the mutuality of sexual intimacy to argue that a wife can never say no.

Instead, I want to say unequivocally right now to all of you wives out there: You matter.

The Importance of Women and Their Words

What you feel, what you think, what you believe … is important. What you want, what you need, what you dream about … is valuable. Who you are … is precious.

Just ponder these verses:

  • Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
  • See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16a
  • Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
  • So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

And in a society that discounted a woman’s testimony as unreliable in court, our Lord Jesus appeared first to women, making them the initial eyewitnesses to His resurrection (Mark 16:1-8). What a message about how He values the words of women!

What This Means about Your Bedroom

I often feel in my ministry as if I’m balancing two disparate concepts I want wives to understand about their sexual intimacy:

  1. We must lovingly care for our spouse’s sexuality.
  2. We must speak up for what we need and desire.

Some might say it’s a weaving selflessness and selfishness in the marriage bed. But I think of it as other-focus and self-awareness—an approach that values both of you as equally worthwhile partners in intimacy.

Do you discount your sexual desires? Do you tend to believe his pleasure or climax matters more than your own? Do you hesitate to speak up for yourself and what you want? Do you lack boldness in your bedroom?

Maybe it’s time, or well past time, to value your opinions, express yourself, and create more mutual conversation and sexual intimacy in your marriage.

And hey, comment more here! I’d love to hear what you gals think.

Ad for Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples

Sources: Harvard Business Review – Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified; Forbes – Act Now To Shrink The Confidence Gap; Forbes – The Confidence Gap In Men And Women: Why It Matters And How To Overcome It; The Daily Free Press – Men’s online dating habits more bold than women’s, study finds; Enterpreneur – Head Into Your Next Male-Dominated Meeting Ready to Contribute by Following These Tips; American Political Science Review – Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation

Wives, Why Aren’t You Commenting?

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in my comments section—more men, fewer women. By a rather substantial ratio.

When I began this blog in December 2010, I intended to reach wives who wanted more information and guidance about sex in marriage from a Christian perspective. But I’ve also posted plenty of times with husbands and couples in mind. Still, my readership reflects about a 60/40 split of women to men, so the majority of readers are still wives.

So why aren’t wives commenting as much anymore?

I genuinely want to know. Because I’d like to hear more from wives, to take in and consider their perspective, to speak to their concerns, and to involve them fully in conversations about intimacy in marriage.

Rather than write a post on sex today, I’m asking you to write to me. Wives, please tell me why you don’t comment or why you stopped commenting.

And gentlemen, please let this comment thread be dedicated to the ladies. Today is our day to simply listen, and I suspect you could learn as well from what these wives say.

What is my comments policy?

And in case you’re wondering, not long ago I updated my comments policy, and it’s reprinted below.

Hot, Holy, and Humorous was started as a site geared toward wives, though I have written many posts for couples and husbands as well. While I welcome all readers, I prioritize wives, so my comment policy reflects that focus.

All comments are reviewed by the administrator before they are posted. Some common reasons a comment may not appear:

Too revealing, graphic, or inappropriate.

I’m pretty liberal here, given the subject matter, but examples of TMI might be crass terminology or detailed descriptions of sexual acts.

Personal attacks.

Feel free to agree, disagree, or add your own knowledge, opinions, and insight to the subject matter. However, refrain from personal insults. They don’t further the conversation or persuade anyone.

Continuing the discussion past its usefulness.

So you disagreed with me, I responded, you replied, I answered, and so on. And really, 3-4 comments into that discussion, if you’re still trying to make your point or have the last word, I may just move on. Both of us would be better served to use our time elsewhere.

Monopolizing the conversation.

This may sound stereotypical, but I’ve had eight years running this blog to know that some men will comment in such a way that monopolizes the conversation, dismisses women wanting to add their say, and generally takes over the comment thread. After years of trying to smoothly manage that, I will be using the delete button more. Because ultimately, this is a site I want geared toward wives. (And yes, if a woman monopolizes the conversation, of course I’ll treat that the same.)

A question or comment that has nothing to do with the subject of the post.

So I wrote about oral sex, and you asked about positions. Or maybe I dealt with ways wives can be more engaged, and you think I should have covered how men should be more engaged. I get it: You want your situation addressed, maybe even need your situation addressed. But that’s not the point of the post, and I have over 850 posts you can search, one of which might have your answer. If you want to suggest a post topic, head over to my contact page.

Links to other sites.

While I regularly recommend resources and products I am familiar with and trust, Hot, Holy, and Humorous is not an aggregator of sites or links related to sex in marriage. If a commenter adds a link to a comment that I’m not familiar with, I may delete the comment rather than investigate, since detouring to check out those links takes away time I’d rather spend writing blog posts and books. Also, if a link goes to a site I strongly disagree with, obviously that will end up in the discard pile.

Sales promotions.

This blog will not facilitate sales for other sites. From time to time, I may suggest a book or product, and there may be an affiliate link on my site; such recommendations are my own discretion. But vendors should use their own sites to promote their products.

False/dangerous teaching.

Not all Christians interpret every verse in the Bible the same way. I am absolutely open to healthy, respectful debate. However, teachings that could cause harm to my readers may be passed over, as I have some responsibility for what appears on my site.

My comments policy can be summed up by Luke 6:31 (NASB): Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

Commenter Identity.

You may comment using your name, a nickname, or Anonymous. (Anonymous is by far my most frequent commenter. *smile*)

I read all comments and reply to as many as I can; yet time is limited. Please know that I appreciate your feedback, whether I am able to respond or not. If you ask me a question in your comments, I try to answer within a day or two. If I take longer, it’s usually because I’m praying and deeply considering my answer to your scenario. I appreciate your patience.

I welcome input. I enjoy conversation. I appreciate all readers.

May God bless your marriage and your sex life!

Let the feedback begin!

How Your Comments Unintentionally Hurt Women

Guys, I’m talking to you today. I had a whole other post ready to go, but after hearing from various women about comments here on my blog and in my Facebook community, I need to address this:

I’ve lost female followers due to male commenters exhibiting little empathy for the experience of women.

I've lost female followers due to male commenters exhibiting little empathy for the experience of women.  via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

I am not blaming all men here. Believe me, I often feel like the champion for men. I get along well with most men. I find male biology and viewpoints fascinating. More of my friends in college were guys than girls. And I have lived with three guys for most of my adult life, whom I treasure thoroughly. I like men.

But while I make real efforts to consider the side of men in various situations, some of you struggle to put yourselves in the place of women. You love your wife and your sisters and your daughters, but you don’t really try to understand them. Or you consider them exceptions and feel the world out there—women generally, or those frustrating feminists—is against you.

What comments are problematic? Let me share some types, so you know that I’m talking about. And before you ask, yes, these issues occur with women too, but believe me, they’re far more common with men.

You don’t understand yourself like I do.

Sometimes a man comments with 100% certainty that he understands how a woman works more than she does. Whether that’s her thoughts, her feelings, or her sexuality, it takes some real chutzpah to have no credentialed expertise and tell a woman what she’s experiencing.

I’m not talking about those times when wonderful husbands offer their own experiences with their wives, what they’ve learned in the course of personal study, or biblical wisdom itself. Those can all be very helpful. Obviously I talk on this blog about how men work, because my position requires me to learn and study and know.

But there’s a tendency among some men to confidently instruct others in something they probably don’t know enough about. Some of this is just differences in gender communication (see my guest post for Generous Husband), but we should still pay attention to how we’re being heard. The type of commenting I’m talking about has been called “male pattern lecturing.” And you know what? It’s annoying to women. Especially when the subject is us.

In Stephen Covey’s wonderful book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he lays out this principle that we could all benefit from adopting in our lives: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” If you have an opinion, you can certainly express it, but first be open to hearing what others are saying and try to understand where they are coming from. If you’re talking about women, recognize that women themselves know more than you do about that subject because they are the subject.

Look, I will never pretend to fully understand the penis, because I don’t own the equipment. Likewise, please accept what women say about themselves, their bodies, and their sexuality.

My sin struggle is your fault.

It’s a poor strategy to blame others for your sin. God will not be impressed with that defense on judgment day. Consequently, these formulations just don’t work:

I lusted because women weren’t dressed modestly enough.

I watched porn because my wife turned me down.

I engaged in adultery because I was in a sexless marriage.

I speak up against women because they’ve spoken up against us.

Consider these verses instead:

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7).

The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

God’s not looking at the person to your right or left when He determines your righteousness. He’s looking at you (and hopefully Jesus, whom I pray you’ve embraced).

And if that isn’t convincing, remember what your mama told you: Two wrongs don’t make a right. If a woman is misbehaving in some way, that does not give you license to mistreat her or others. So those of you who’ve tried to argue otherwise, please stop. Consider what you’re saying! And be responsible for yourself.

Yes, but what about my issue?

Whataboutism is alive and well when it comes to discussions about gender! And it happens from time to time in the comment thread. It goes something like this:

Woman: I’m concerned about the sexual harassment so prevalent among men in the workplace!

Man: Yes, but what about the women who harass men. There are at least as many women as harass men, and we never talk about them. It’s women who are getting away with the worst infractions because men don’t report their harassment. Meanwhile, the #MeToo moment is taking down men everywhere, whether or not they’re guilty, and…

You get the point. I’m not saying this is how the conversation would go exactly, because the woman might say something that should be answered with appropriate information. But my-oh-my, some of you in the male species are quick to flip the tables and make your case for how men are mistreated.

Here’s the truth: In this broken world, no one makes it through this life unscathed by the mistreatment of others. Instead of coming to the comment thread with that chip on your shoulder, how about first asking whether the other person made a good point? Better yet, try to put yourself in their shoes. (Hopefully, she’s not wearing heels…)

Engage in real conversation, as if the person who wrote the post (usually me) or another commenter is sitting across from you at a table in the coffee shop. You are just discussing an important topic and hope to learn more about each other and the subject as you converse.

I’m just here to promote my cause.

Finally, some men simply tour marriage blogs and comment with long complaints about what they’re going through in their personal lives or their passionate position on XYZ.

For instance, a while back I had a nudist who wanted to argue with me on various posts that showing off your goodies in public was a wonderful idea for Christians. (It’s not.) I entertained several comments, then moved on. Because really, dude, you weren’t here to discuss the idea but merely advocate for your cause. See you later, and don’t let the door hit your bare butt on the way out.

I’ve gotten better at spotting these, but not always. Sometimes it can take several comments to realize that someone is just here to stir up controversy and use my platform to promote their ideas. If you’re here for any reason other than improving sexual intimacy in marriage, I suggest you find another place to go. Even better, a different hobby.

It’s Mostly Unintentional

With the exception of that last issue, most of these missteps are unintentional. You guys who’ve done this, I don’t think you know how you’re coming across. Not fully at least.

So I’m asking you to ask yourselves: Have I done any of these?

  • You don’t understand yourself like I do.
  • My sin struggle is your fault.
  • Yes, but what about my issue?
  • I’m just here to promote my cause.

Have I unintentionally made it more difficult for others to engage here because of my comments? In particular, have I made women feel they must in turn defend themselves or simply be quiet?

Hot, Holy & Humorous should be a place where men and women find common ground, ways to approach struggles we face, and strategies to support one another. We won’t always understand what the other gender is dealing with, but we can listen, support, and encourage one another. THAT is what I want my comment thread to be — for both husbands and wives.

Hot, Holy & Humorous should be a place where men and women find common ground, ways to approach struggles we face, and strategies to support one another. via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Ephesians 4:29.

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What I Learned on My Sabbatical

I’m back!

Next time you feel like God is telling you do something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you, realize He sees stuff you don’t see. When I decided to take a month off blogging, I had no idea that my month would end up including family and health issues that would have made keeping up with my blogging schedule impossible.

But even with these additional challenges, I still managed to spend time thinking and praying about the direction of my ministry. And here’s what came from that experience.

Categorizing my content

I’ve written over 800 posts that cover a lot of topics regarding sexual intimacy in marriage, but they’re not sorted into topics in a drop-down menu so that you can easily see what I’ve said on issues like Oral Sex, Sexless Marriage, Higher-Drive Wives, etc. I want to remedy that. In fact, I believe it’s more important for my readers and visitors to find relevant articles I’ve already written than to produce new content. Because many people who come to my blog are looking for answers to specific issues in their marriage bed, and they need to be able to locate those more efficiently.

Blogging once then twice a week

I’ve been blogging three times a week, but I’ll be cutting back to once a week until I can get all those old posts categorized. Once the Great Sort is completed, I will bump it up to blogging twice weekly. Since the Q&A posts take the longest to write, that feature will appear every other week, so that can give each question sufficient attention and care.

Writing more books

Finding time to write outside of the blog has been a struggle. But God’s pushing me to prioritize two projects I’ve had on my plate for a while. Therefore, I’ll be finishing up Pillow Talk, a book that walks couples through communicating about sex, and then tackling my personal passion book for higher-drive wives.

Speaking at events

I had a wonderful experience speaking to women in Brookings, Oregon, and I’m looking forward to keynoting at a marriage conference in Utah in November. But I’d like to do a lot more speaking. I will be pursuing opportunities in the Houston area, MOPS groups in the region, and women’s and marriage events anywhere. I’ll also be extending my Speaker Fee Waived through June 2019. For more information about booking me, click over to my Speaking page.

Podcasting

Sex Chat for Christian Wives is one of my proudest accomplishments. In large part because it’s not mine: This podcast has the synergy of four Christian women committed to helping other wives experience God’s design for sex in their marriages. I’ve been blessed so many times over by my three co-hosts as well as our listeners, and I know it’s making a real difference. Consequently, I felt God telling me very clearly that we need to continue and even look for ways to expand our reach.

Facebook Communities

One of the coolest things that has happened this past year is the two closed Facebook groups I’ve been managing. A lot of great interaction happens there. I’d like to be spend more time investing in interaction, but moderating has taken more time than I expected. Consequently, I’m putting together a moderator application and training for helpers! If you’re in the group, I’ll be posting information soon on how that will be developing.

What else is coming my way is a bit fuzzy. But I feel confident that these core goals are the ones I need to be working on.

I suspect that I’ll get even more clarity when I attend the Declare Conference for Christian women communicators in October, where I’ll finally get to meet Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife in person. (I’ve already met Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, who is also coming.) I look forward to that time of refocusing and refreshment. I genuinely appreciate the financial assistance readers have provided to make this happen by donating through our GoFundMe account. (Which, yes, you can still donate to, because all of our expenses are not yet covered.)

I’ll be back next week with more content with the goal of helping couples, especially wives, experience God’s design for sex in their marriage — hot, holy, and humorous as always!

When You Need a Sabbatical

This may be the least sexy post I’ve ever put up. But if you’ve been a long-time reader, I hope you’ll stick with me.

The rest of you might want to go read something more entertaining, like this post: Q&A with J: Sex Isn’t Just for Bunnies.

I’ve wondered lately if I’m facing burnout.

After all, my typically consistent, three-day-a-week blogging schedule has crumbled in recent months — with some Mondays, Thursdays, or Saturdays arriving and me running out of time or energy to get a post written and published.

Moreover, I have too many comments in my queue to moderate, primarily ones that require longer responses than I could provide when they came in. My email inbox is overflowing with everything from off-topic marketers offering to write articles for my blog to heartrending stories of couples whose sex lives are bruised or broken.

It all just seems overwhelming at times, as I plug away here on my blog, write books alone in the quiet of my office (which take me far too long to pen, but that’s how writing goes), and sift through reader emails and comments. All while invoices arrive in my inbox for website and podcast hosting, stock photos, and post and newsletter distribution.

Yet I’m still just as passionate about passion.

When I look at the challenges facing marital intimacy all around us, when I’m writing or speaking about God’s design for sex in marriage, and when I interact with readers who have benefited from my words, I still feel that same surge of longing and energy to make a difference. I still feel God’s hand nudging me forward.

Then I hear from couples who have turnaround stories like mine, only in their retelling, Hot, Holy & Humorous has made some difference. And I’m blown away by that! Just blown away. Lord, who am I for You to use me that way?

Plus, I have projects I’m eager to get to — more books, the possibility of another podcast, speaking engagements, etc. — all about sexual intimacy in marriage as God created it to be.

So maybe I’m not facing burnout, but reality.

My ministry consists of me and a virtual assistant who works on my stuff about 10-15 hours a month. And I’m not even full-time. I have another part-time job I have to keep up, as well as copy editing jobs I take on the side to help with our family income. With the amount of time and money I have, there’s just only so much I can do. And I think I’ve hit my mortal limits.

As I type this, I want to curl under my desk and weep for all the people who took their time and courage to write and explain their difficult situation and ask for my advice … whom I likely will never be able to give a full answer to. Because I want to. I want so much to help every single wife and husband who writes me. But my own husband, being more of a mathematician than I, recently calculated how many hours I would need to respond properly to all those messages … and let’s just say I’d need God to freeze everything around me for about three weeks while I catch up. I consider that an unlikely event.

I also would love to blog here five days a week, but the three I committed to are already not happening. Then those books I want to write — or rather, feel God’s calling to write — are not getting done while I manage all the other things. So what’s a mere mortal to do?

I’m not quitting.

Lest you think this is my way of saying: I am outta here! Nope. You can’t get rid of me that easily! You did read that whole section about my passion, right?

But I am going to be taking a hiatus in July.

Because I really feel like I need to reset, see where I am and what is most important about this ministry, and dedicate the time I would spend here to time with God to discern His will for me going forward. I already have a very good sense that it will involve me continuing to blog (though how much, I don’t know), podcasting with Sex Chat for Christian Wives, and writing more books. However, I haven’t been still enough lately to listen to His voice.

Since starting to blog in 2010, I’ve never taken this long a break, and it’s a scary proposition for me. What if my readers go away? What if I miss the opportunity to help someone? What if I find out that I’m not really missed?

But I also feel enormous peace about stepping away for a bit and this strong sense that it’s what I need to do — for recharging, for spending time with my family, for trusting my Heavenly Father.

What can you do in the meantime?

Well, there are a great blogs out there! I have some recommended ones on the sidebar (or scroll down, if you’re on a mobile device). But in case you haven’t noticed, I also wrote some books!

CLICK ON A BOOK COVER TO CHECK IT OUT!

  Hot, Holy, and Humorous book cover  Final Book Cover - smaller

And I have more than 800 posts on my blog that you can search for content relevant to whatever you’re going through. The search bar is at the top. (And yes, I really want to categorize all my posts so you can more easily find what you want, but that’s another hours-upon-hours job I haven’t had the time or money to get to.)

You can tune into our wonderful Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, where I’m still talking about sex in marriage by God’s design. I also did an interview with Dr. Corey Allan of the marvelous Sexy Marriage Radio, which will be aired sometime in July, and I will post that here on the site for you to go listen to.

Oh, and one last thing you can do in the meantime: Pursue hot, holy, and humorous sex with your spouse — today, this week, this month, and for the rest of your lives.

How can you help my ministry?

Buy those books. I hate to be pushy about it, but if you’ve been thinking of purchasing one of those books, it would nice for you to go ahead and do it. Because the way this works is that my book sales help me to continue what I’m doing, and publishers look at the numbers when deciding whether to give another contract to an author.

But it’s not about me. I really believe in what I write and that it can help your marriage. So don’t just do it for me — do it for your marriage!

Consider a donation. I don’t donate to every cause I believe in, nor do you. But if I have touched your marriage in a special way, or you also feel passionate about getting the word about God’s design for sex in marriage, perhaps you’d consider giving Hot, Holy & Humorous some financial support. You can learn more by visiting my Patreon page. Below is the video is from my welcome page on the site!

Become a Patron!

Pray for my ministry. Because, again, it’s just little ol’ me here typing away in a corner of an extra bedroom in our house, with periodic interruptions from family, our overly vocal cat, and Amazon deliveries (my husband has an online ordering problem). I continue to be surprised by how much I have gotten done. I feel I should “raise my Ebenezer” (See 1 Samuel 7:12, “Thus far the LORD has helped us“) and also thank all of you for your part.

Okay, that’s it. I’m out for the rest of July. My virtual assistant will be moderating comments when I’m not around (waving at the marvelous Heather, whom you should also have your prayers). And I’ll be interacting here and there as time allows. Many blessings, and I’ll see you in August!