Category Archives: Sexual Intimacy Encouragement

10 Takeaways from the Spark Marriage Conference

Whether your marriage is on the brink of divorce or humming along pretty well, it’s worth reading books, taking classes, or attending conferences and retreats on marriage. In the years when things were terrible in my marriage, such resources kept my head above water and my commitment firm. Now, they help us fine-tune our marriage machine.

Last Friday evening and Saturday, Spock and I attended the Spark Marriage Conference hosted by Lakewood Church.* I was particularly interested in this one because Emerson Eggerichs was a keynote speaker, and I had recently reviewed and written about his Love & Respect book.

Since I doubt you were there, here are my top ten takeaways from the Spark Marriage Conference.

1. People are hungry for marriage education and encouragement.

Lakewood’s a big church, so a large attendance isn’t surprising. But as I looked over the crowd, I realized I’ve never been to a poorly attended marriage class or event, as long it was publicized enough for couples to know about it. Marriage books do well in bookstores, marriage ministries are popular, and online marriage advice is voraciously consumed.

People want to know how make their marriages stay together and be better. But instead of letting them wander around grasping at advice here and there, let’s introduce all those hungering people to God, the ultimate relationship expert. And those of us who know Him, let’s learn His design, study His ways, ask for His guidance.

People want to know how make their marriages stay together and be better. Christians, let's introduce all those hungering people to God, the ultimate relationship expert. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

2. Yes, Christians can publicly talk about sex.

Of course, if I didn’t believe that, my ministry would be over tomorrow. But I’ve heard from a lot of people through the years saying church leaders never mention sex. Yet with all those people in attendance, author and speaker DeVon Franklin addressed conflict over sexual intimacy in marriage: “In my experience, sometimes there’s a difference in sex drive.” No one freaked out; in fact, they clearly agreed.

Then DeVon shared what he learned about how his behavior contributed to the mismatch of desire in his marriage. As he said, “if I’m not transparent, we can’t get transformed.” That’s what I believe so many Christian couples ache for: transparency about sexual intimacy challenges and how we can best address them in godly and realistic ways.

So many Christian couples ache for transparency about sexual intimacy challenges and how we can best address them in godly and realistic ways. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

3. Our marriages don’t always turn out as expected.

Sometimes I think I’m a strong person, and then I come across people like Jay and Katherine Wolf. They told their compelling story of heartache, loss, and struggle, as well as God’s presence in their darkest moments. Here’s just a snippet of what they went through:

Katherine Wolf’s vivacity was palpable, despite telling her story from a wheelchair that her husband had pushed onto the stage. But she was authentic in reminding us that our marriages can face trials we never anticipated and can only get through with the strength of Christ.

4. Let’s get real: Lots of us screwed up.

It was refreshing to hear comedy team Richard and Sheri Bright talk about their sordid past and coming to Christ. They did so in a humorous way, like admitting they’d been married for 40 years…if you count all their marriages together. The Brights were not Christians when they met and married, but came to Jesus two years after “shacking up” and fighting so much that he once screwed the front door shut so she couldn’t get in. They showed courage in sharing their past sin and what they went through to build a better relationship.

Likewise, a few years ago, I started to raise my hand in Bible class and confess that sometimes this Christian life ain’t so easy-peasy. Rather than getting flak for admitting I’m not a squeaky-clean church member, others acknowledged their own baggage and current struggles. We’ve got to let people in our midst confess we haven’t arrived, we all need a Savior, and sometimes our marriages are a mess.

5. God can reshape our lives into something beautiful.

Piggybacking on the last two points, my marriage and my life took detours from where I should have been or wanted to be. But I was reminded that whatever we go through, wherever we are, God can bring goodness into our lives…if we surrender to the Potter’s hands.

Illustrating this point, DeVon Franklin referenced Jeremiah 18:1-6, which reads:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.

So your marriage didn’t turn out like you thought. God can still mold it into something beautiful. How is God wanting to reshape your marriage? How is He longing to reshape you as a spouse?

How is God wanting to reshape your marriage? How is He longing to reshape you as a spouse? @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet
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6. We’re all still a work in progress.

Speaking of confessions, Spock and I argued…on the way to a marriage conference. Oh, the irony! Saturday morning, we drove from our side of town through busy Houston traffic to reach the event’s location. For most of the way, Google Maps was our guide. But the app didn’t tell us where the right parking garage was. I instructed my husband to turn right, he turned at the wrong right, and the next thing I knew we were blaming each other for the mistake. *facepalm*

If you’ve got marriage all figured out and never have any conflict, fantastic for you! And also, why are you here reading my blog? Or any marriage blog? Why aren’t writing The Definitive Marriage Guide, or How I Got My Spouse to Accept How Perfect I Am? For the rest of us, yeah, we’re going to mess up. We know it, our Father knows it. We just have to be willing to admit it when it happens. Sure enough, Spock and I apologized to one another and made up. It’s all good now.

7. Repentance and forgiveness go hand in hand.

Spock and I were both sorry for the spat we had on the way to the marriage conference. So it was easy to forgive. But something did happen at the conference that bugged me, and my disagreement with it is one of the takeaways. During one prayer, the leader prayed for those who had experienced affairs. I didn’t record what was said, but this is a loose rendering: “For those in marriages impacted by adultery, we pray that the spouse who did not participate in the affair will forgive. Help them, Father, to forgive and not let that fester in their marriage.”

Look, I’m in favor of forgiveness! But too often, we have shifted the burden of an affair or other betrayal in marriage to the other spouse needing to forgive. As if that is The Thing that creates a barrier to healing. Why wasn’t more time dedicated to praying the adulterer would come completely clean, ask for forgiveness, seek reconciliation, avoid temptation, find accountability? When we own where we’ve gone wrong in our marriage, that paves the way for forgiveness and restoration. Let’s pray for that.

8. Check generalizations about marriage with your own spouse.

I’ve talked about the trouble of stereotypes in marriage books, and I was thrilled to hear Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, the authors of For Women Only and For Men Only, begin their talk with a caveat: Whenever they report what men and women said, you should ask your own spouse, “Is this true?” The Feldhahns pointed out if they say 75% of men feel X, by definition that means 25% of men didn’t feel X. And the same for their research on women.

We’ve found this to be so true in our own marriage. For instance, we fit some stereotypes—like I’m more auditory, he’s more visual; I’m more emotional, he’s more logical; I’m more talkative, he’s on a restrictive word diet. But we go against generalizations in other ways, like I’m the higher-drive spouse and, if I had to choose, I’d rather be respected than loved. Whatever you learn about gender and marriage, even here on my blog, don’t just assume it represents your spouse perfectly. Ask if it’s true for them.

Whatever you learn about gender and marriage, even here on my blog, don't just assume it represents your spouse perfectly. Ask if it's true for them. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

9. Marriage insight should never be used to force your way.

Yep, one of the reasons I attended the Spark Marriage Conference was to hear what Emerson Eggerichs is saying in person these days. While I still have a couple of issues with things he said, it was rather balanced in addressing both men and women (reinforcing my belief that Eggerichs should update Love & Respect with a new edition). It was particularly refreshing, however, to hear him state very clearly that the perspective he shares about men and women should never be used as a club against your spouse.

Eggerichs reiterated that if you stomp all over your spouse’s need (love or respect) to get your need met (respect or love), you’ve missed the whole point. The goal should be not getting what you deserve from your spouse but discovering what you can give them—how you can meet your mate’s emotional need. Yes, you can explain yourself, but demands and abuse are not in line with God’s view of marriage.

Side note: I cringe when a husband writes me and says he keeps forwarding my articles to his wife in a forceful attempt to get more sex. Please don’t use my materials as a cattle prod to push your spouse into giving you what you want. Invite them into the conversation and then listen and love.

10. Shaunti Feldhahn agreed to be on our podcast!

I really enjoyed hearing from Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, who presented their research findings and marriage insight with authenticity and encouragement. What they shared was great for launching Is this true for you? conversations with your mate. But before yesterday, I was already a fan, having read many of Shaunti’s books. In fact, the book table only had one book I hadn’t read, so I bought it to be signed by her.

And while I had the chance, I mentioned our podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, and she joyously agreed to come on sometime! I don’t know when that will be, but make sure you’re subscribed to us on iTunes, Stitcher, or whatever podcast app you use (I use Pocket Casts) and/or follow our blog.

Got any questions for me about the conference?

*Lakewood Church is the home of Joel Osteen ministries. I’m not a fan of Osteen and disagree with his prosperity gospel, but I was impressed by how much Scripture and prayer were shared during the conference and the church seems to have an active marriage ministry.

Extra Hot, Holy & Humorous

From time to time, I’ll be putting up Extra Hot, Holy & Humorous posts, with other places where you can find me addressing God’s design for sex in marriage.

The XY Code

I guest posted this week on The XY Code, a blog run by Paul Bylerly of Generous Husband. Here’s a sample, along with the link at the bottom to read the rest.

A while back there was some discussion in the comments both here and over on TGH about women who had multiple partners before marriage. Some men suggested such a woman was irreparably damaged and would never want or enjoy sex with her husband. Not being a woman, I could not challenge this from personal experience. So, I phoned a friend! The result is this guest post by J Parker.

—————–

Part of my redemption story involves moving from a premarital promiscuous past to a marital monogamous present. While I wish the change had happened like “Beam me up, Scotty”—one moment here, one moment there—I actually walked a long road to arrive at the sexual intimacy God wanted me to have.

Premarital Pleasure

I’ve analysed my past enough to understand all the reasons I chose to have sex before marriage with multiple partners, but one reason is that it felt great.

God created us as sexual beings, and being touched, turned on, and brought to orgasm are good sensations. To say I didn’t enjoy the physical experience of sexual activity with past lovers would be a lie. But that’s not the same as saying that it was good for me. Or that I didn’t have serious regrets.

This post also appeared on The Generous Husband.

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Sex Chat for Christian Wives

Our latest podcast episode is “Healing from Sexual Abuse, with Mary DeMuth.” Mary DeMuth is an advocate, author, and survivor herself. Her newest book is We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis.

And don’t forget to sign up for our podcast’s webinars!

Launching the Conversation About Sex in Your Marriage (with Downloadable Sample Chapter of Pillow Talk)

A wife recently wrote to me saying that she’d had my book, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples, on her list of things to check out for a while. But she thought it was just a book of topics to talk about and getting over the weirdness of saying words like “sex” and “naked,” whereas she wanted to go deeper.

Once she downloaded the sample, this wife was amazed how much information and communication the book included. She purchased her copy right away and thanked me several times over.

Yep, notes like those are really awesome! But her statement also gave me a V8 moment. (And those of you who don’t know that a V8 moment is suddenly realizing something you should have thought of before, you’re making me feel old.)

Why had I never shared a sample chapter on my blog?!

You can download a sample through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with a few chapters to try it, but I wanted to give my fabulous subscribers and readers a freebie here!

Ground Rules

The introduction to Pillow Talk is a guide on how to use the book. But right after that comes a chapter titled Ground Rules. Since it begins, “Whatever you do, don’t skip this chapter,” let me at least summarize what I said there.

Each conversation chapter consists five sections:

  • Introduction—a single paragraph introducing the topic.
  • Ask and Listen—three questions to ask of your spouse and then listen to their answers.
  • Read and Consider—scripture to read together and thoughts on that passage.
  • Touch and Pray—an invitation to hold hands or embrace and pray over what you’ve discussed and learned.
  • Go and Do—two activity options to help you apply what you’ve learned.

That second section, Ask and Listen, is where we can fall prey to misunderstanding our spouse, insisting on our perspective, and wading into arguments. To avoid that happening, follow some ground rules.

First, choose a good time and place. Pick a time when both of you can focus and don’t feel too tense, as well as a location that seems neutral and isn’t loaded with distractions.

When it’s your turn to answer.

  • Be honest and vulnerable. “There is no great gain in intimacy without vulnerability and authenticity.”
  • Consider how you express your concerns. How you express something matters as much as what you express.
  • Keep your requests reasonable. For example, don’t demand a strip tease if your wife won’t undress until it’s dark. Ask for progress that can reasonably happen.

When it’s your spouse’s turn to answer.

  • Listen. “Do not interrupt, do not correct, do not contradict, do not defend, do not criticize.” (See Are You Listening to What Your Spouse Says About Sex?)
  • Stay calm. Easier said than done, but the book has more tips on how to maintain a cool head.
  • Seek clarification. If you don’t understand or something feels like an attack, probe a little. Your spouse may not be saying what you think.
  • Accept their feelings. Just because you don’t or wouldn’t feel the same way doesn’t make your spouse’s feelings invalid. Even if their feelings are based on error, that doesn’t make them illegitimate.
  • Think through their answers. It’s tempting to react quickly, but let your spouse’s words sink in and mull over your response before you speak.

Each of these points is further explained in the book, but those are the basic guidelines.

Sample Chapter

The first chapter of Pillow Talk is about praying for your sex life. While I believe in the importance of starting there, I’m actually sharing chapter two below, because I think it’s more representative of the book as a whole. Also, this conversation could really help some couples open their eyes to their similarities and differences regarding sexual intimacy in their marriage.

Below is Chapter Two: What We Learned About Sex. Or click the button for a downloadable version you can print out.

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How we grew up hearing and thinking about sex can make a big imprint on our perspective later in life. Unfortunately, few Christians report having received thorough, positive, Scripture-based instruction about sexuality. How has what you learned impacted your sexual intimacy?

Ask and Listen

  1. What’s your earliest memory of sex? When did you learn about it, and what did you learn?
  2. What messages about sex did you get from your parents, mentors, and the church as you grew up?
  3. What, if anything, that you learned about sex as a child has negatively affected your view of physical intimacy now?

Read and Consider

Read together Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

God’s pronouncement to the Israelites in this passage involved teaching the children who God was, what He had done for His people, and how they should honor Him by living according to His commands. This foundational education was to be an ongoing practice, saturating their daily existence.

Within the law of Moses, they were expected to follow commands about sex which showed God’s desire for it to remain holy and mutually satisfying in marriage. But many of us weren’t taught what God’s design for sex really was. Instead, our parents and church leaders were silent, ignorant, or negative. Often they hadn’t received godly instruction themselves and didn’t know how to teach us.

It’s not too late to learn. God’s Word can still teach you what it means to experience intimate, meaningful, and pleasurable sex as God intended in the covenant bond of marriage.

Touch and Pray

Holy Father, You are the creator of sex, the designer of pleasure and intimacy in the marriage bed. But we have struggled with messages that make it difficult for us to fully embrace the gift You long for us to enjoy. Help us to align our understanding with Yours.
[Pray specifically for the issues you brought up in your conversation.]
In Jesus’ blessed name, Amen.

Go and Do

1. Take a sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write down underlying messages about sex that you got from the teaching you received. Those can be anything from “sex is good in marriage” to “only bad girls want sex” or “sex is for the man.” In the right-hand column, counter any negative messages with your growing understanding of what God says about sexual intimacy. You don’t have to believe these yet, but record what you think is the right answer. Finally, put a star by those erroneous messages you struggle with most.

2. Trade lists. Yes, this is a vulnerable exercise. But let your spouse see where you’re struggling, so they can help and pray for you. In turn, promise to help and pray for your spouse.

The Secret Sex Lives of Real Wives

I shouldn’t be surprised that one of my closest friends lives over a thousand miles away and I’ve only spent a few days face-to-face with her. After all, my own grandmother married her pen pal, whom she’d only met once before they got engaged.

But it’s a bit different in the internet age, in that I met Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife through blogging channels and got to know her through comments and Facebook messages. Together, we then hatched the idea of a roundtable podcast, invited Gaye of Calm.Healthy.Sexy. and Bonny of OysterBed7 to join us, and deepened our connection through Skype chats and podcast recordings. We finally got together in person last fall and did it again this past April.

What really seals our friendship is our similar personalities and shared mission to promote godly, intimate, and satisfying sex in marriages. So what a pleasure today to have my good friend Chris with us to share her thoughts on the secret sex lives of real wives. Take it away, Chris!

The Bible very clearly tells us that God created men and women differently.

“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).

Not only do men’s and women’s bodies look different, their sexual response is different too.

I’m going to let you in on a secret about that.

This is God’s design.

A Male Paradigm

Our differences are part of God’s design—yet we seem to think our sexuality and sexual response should work the same way in either sex. More often than not, we look at male sexuality and assume it should be like that for all of us, women included.

This male paradigm of sexual response tells us several things:

  • Orgasm is reached after only a few minutes of sexual stimulation.
  • Even if you’re tired or stressed, sex should be easy.
  • Intercourse is the way to have an orgasm.

For most men (not all), this is pretty much the way sexual response works.

For women? Not so much.

What About Women?

For most women, sexuality looks very different from what we see in men—but far too often this is such a secret that we ourselves don’t know how our sexual response works.

We learn about sex from our parents, our schools, our churches, and popular culture.

We’re taught about how our bodies will change during puberty. We may learn the basics of sexual mechanics (although even that instruction presumes that arousal has already taken place). Some of us have learned from our churches that boys think about sex a lot.

It’s rare to find a woman who arrives at adulthood with information about female sexual response.

It’s rare to find a woman who arrives at adulthood with information about female sexual response. – Chris Taylor via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Without accurate information about women’s sexuality, we assume that our sexual response should look like a man’s—and when it doesn’t, we easily can feel defective or broken or think it means we have a low sex drive or sexual dysfunction.

A woman’s sexual response has nothing to do with whether she has more or less sexual interest than her husband does. A wife with a higher drive than her husband has a female sexual response, just as a lower-drive woman does.

On our podcast, we’ve often talked about how sad it is that we were married and sexual for so long without understanding our own sexual response. I’ve heard from many women who’ve read my blog and say how relieved they are to learn that they are completely normal.

Secrets of Female Sexuality (and Tips for Husbands)

Female sexuality is shrouded in mystery—and it shouldn’t be. Today I’m going to lift the veil and reveal some things that shouldn’t be secret at all.

Unfortunately, our husbands might be even more in the dark as we are about our sexuality. So for each of the secrets below, I want to include a tip to help husbands make the most of that aspect of female sexual response.

1. Orgasm requires time.

Women require an average of 20 minutes to reach climax, which means that although some women need less time, some will need quite a bit more.

Instead of thinking it is taking you a long time, tell yourself that it takes how much time it takes—and that your sexual pleasure is worthy of both your time and your husband’s.

Tip for husbands

In Song of Songs 6:2-3, we see a husband who takes his time browsing in his wife’s garden. So guys? Take your time to browse. Slow waaaaaaayyyyyyy down. (See J’s The One Sex Tip I Give Husbands Over and Over.) Don’t be in a rush to get to a happy ending. Enjoy the journey of your wife’s body.

2. Sexuality is contextual.

Research into women’s sexual desire and response* shows that women are influenced by many factors that seem to have nothing to do with sex: their emotional state, current life stresses, dysfunction in her family of origin, physical and mental health, self-image, general level of intimacy and connection in non-sexual aspects of her relationship with her husband, and more.

So ladies? Take care of that context. Tend to your health. Learn to deal with stress. Work on intimacy outside the bedroom. Taking care of yourself helps your sex life.

Tip for husbands

Make it easier for your wife to take care of herself. Take on some of the mental and physical responsibilities of caring for your home and children. Create space for her to do things that help her feel good about herself. Encourage her to seek healing of old emotional wounds. Be intentional about fostering non-sexual intimacy in your marriage. The Bible tells you in 1 Peter 3:7 to live with your wife in an understanding way. Let that understanding come with support and encouragement.

3. Intercourse is not the most effective means to reach orgasm.

Only about 30% of women achieve climax through intercourse. Most women find that manual or oral stimulation have the best chance for leading to orgasm.

Many couples find that it works best for her to experience orgasm in some way first. Then they proceed to intercourse and his orgasm. Talk with your husband about what kinds of touching and kissing you like, and when. If you like to be aroused through kissing and your husband’s hands first and then proceed to oral sex, be sure to communicate that to your husband.

Tip for husbands

Learn the kinds of touch that are most helpful and pleasurable for your wife. Be sure to check out this great post at Awaken Love about how to touch your wife.

No More Secrets

Women, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our sexuality works the way it does because God created us in this way.

If it takes you a while to achieve climax, if you find that you are easily affected by other things in your life, or if you need something other than intercourse to help you experience an orgasm, know this:

You are not broken. You are not lesser than. You are not defective or dysfunctional.

The secret is out: You are a woman.

To learn more about your sexual response, check out the upcoming Sex Chat for Christian Wives webinar series. Two of our webinars about your sexual response—one webinar for you and one for your husband.

If you’d like to talk with other women about women’s sexual desire and response, I’d love to have you join my new Honeycomb & Spice community for Christian wives.

Chris Taylor encourages women to enjoy sexual intimacy in their marriages at The Forgiven Wife, on the Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, and in the Honeycomb & Spice community for Christian wives.

She lives with her husband in southeastern Wisconsin where she enjoys Wisconsin weather even in the winter.

Sources:
*Basson, R., et al. (2003). Definitions of women’s sexual dysfunction reconsidered: advocating expansion and revision. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 24, 221-229.
Basson, R. (2002). Women’s sexual desire—disordered or misunderstood? Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 28, 17-28.
Brotto., L., Heiman, J., & Tolman, D. (2009). Narratives of desire in mid-age women with and without arousal difficulties. Journal of Sex Research, 46 (5), 387-398.
Goldhammer, D., & McCabe, M. (2011). A qualititative exploration of the meaning and experience of sexual desire among partnered women. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 20 (1-2), 19-29.

Create the Exciting Sex Life That Wives Want

Some years ago, an up-and-coming blogger was developing a course for wives on godly sexuality, and she asked me to take a look at the curriculum. That is how I met the lovely Ruth Buezis, who now offers her Awaken Love classes for both wives and husbands through her website. She has also put out a book by that same name: Awaken Love: The Truth About Sex that will Transform Your Marriage.

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.

For women, embracing God’s design for sex, includes having the courage to create a sex life that excites us. – Ruth Buezis, via @HotHolyHumorous Click To Tweet

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.

My Story

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.

Husbands

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

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 fun.

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.

Words

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.

If you want to learn more about using your words, check out one of my articles Using Your Words During Sex.

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.

Connection

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.

Final Thoughts

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.