Category Archives: Sexual Intimacy Encouragement

Can Men Really Understand Women's Sexuality?

We’re different—men and women.

That’s a controversial statement in some circles these days, but the more I’ve studied men and women, the more convinced I am that male-female goes much deeper than our external body parts, all the way into how our whole bodies are designed, as well as our brains.

God told us that from the beginning: ” 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).

It’s because we’re different that we’re attracted to one another, that we complement one another as life companions, and that we confuse one another for the next 50 or so years.

Perhaps never more than in the area of sexuality.

Deciphering the Differences

Marriage authors, bloggers, speakers, ministers, etc. have spent countless hours trying to explain men to women and women to men. Some go overboard with stereotypes and generalizations, and we must recognize that we are first humans made in God’s image, then specific individuals, and then man or woman. Plenty of overlapping and exceptions exist!

But God did make us male and female, and it can be helpful to hear how men and women generally think and behave—and then ask your own spouse if it’s true for them.

I’ve made plenty of attempts to explain male sexuality to wives. For example: A Wife’s Guide to Sexual Man Speak; Q&A with J: Is Sex Disconnected from Love for Men?; 4 Things Your Husband Wants from You in Bed.

Resources for Husbands

I’ve also provided posts for husbands like How to Help Your Wife Get Naked and Why Being a Good Father Turns Your Wife On. But this blog, and my resources, are still primarily for wives.

So I get asked: Where are books, websites, or other resources about sex directed specifically at men? Not about porn recovery or wooing your wife romantically or communicating better in marriage, but how to engage and please her sexually?

Well, there aren’t enough such resources. If you’ve been around the sex-in-marriage ministry world for a while, you’ve noticed a synergy with various ministries from women. That same synergy has not come into full focus with a group of husbands having the time, desire, and calling to speak into that need.

However, even if those resources existed, could those men speak definitively about women’s sexuality?

Although I explain men as much as I can on this blog, I often check in with husbands to make sure I’m representing them well, and sometimes I’m still stumped by you guys, because you’re just, well, different. (And by different, I mean weird. But let’s not hang out on that point.)

A New Ministry

Summarizing thus far: Men and women are different. We need resources to help explain male sexuality and female sexuality, with the caveat that we are individuals and generalizations should be checked with our own spouse. Husbands specifically could use more resources that explain women’s sexuality, and such insight may be best provided by women.

And that’s the purpose of KHS Ministry, a new resource coming your way from me and Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife.

KHS stands for Knowing Her Sexually, a name that conveys not only a husband’s need for knowledge about female sexuality, but his desire to have intimate knowledge of his wife. In fact, when the first man first makes love to the first woman, the Hebrew word used to express that means to know: “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord'” (Genesis 4:1, RSV).

KHS Ministry will deliver content in three ways:

Blog

Blog

Every other week, we’ll share posts to help husbands nurture sexual intimacy in their marriage.

Community

Community

Opening in January, this is where the bulk of the ministry will be, with insights from us and other husbands.

Podcast

Podcast

Starting next spring, we’ll have short episodes every other week with tips for husbands.

Why Us?

Chris’s website is aimed wholly at wives. Yet she has heard from so many husbands who say that her explanations of how women think and act sexually have helped them understand their own wives. Chris has a unique and profound way of describing the thoughts and emotions of women.

As for me, I hear from husbands who say that I “get” them—that is, I speak Conversational Male. No, I’m not fluent! But when I speak to men, I understand enough of their language to convey their wives’ view of sex in a way that makes sense to many men.

In addition, Chris and I have both been the lower drive spouse and the higher drive spouse in our marriages, so we know what those feel like. We each have two sons, so we’ve lived with a fair amount of testosterone in our households. And we both think men are pretty awesome, so we’re on your side when it comes to sexual intimacy.

Most importantly, as Chris and I talked through this idea and developed the ministry’s specifics, we felt in tune in a way I can only explain as having God’s hand on us. We have felt His Spirit present in this endeavor.

How to Get Connected

If you’re a husband reading this, keep reading for how to get connected. If you’re a wife reading this, share this post with your husband.

To stay on top of what’s coming, follow our Facebook page and subscribe to our newsletter and blog! (Yes, wives can follow on Facebook to see what’s up with our ministry.)

We’re also on Twitter, if you get info there. And check out our website!

6 Sex-Themed Gift Baskets for Christmas

Every year, I try to give you fresh ideas on what to buy your beloved for Christmas that promotes sexual intimacy!

For something different this year, how about pre-planned gift baskets, themed around sexual intimacy? You can give any of these to a spouse or a close friend.

Links below are affiliate links, and purchasing through this site helps me to cover basic operating expenses. Thank you!

Wet & Wild

The shower is both a fun and a challenging place to have sex. And by sex, I mean the whole enchilada—not just intercourse, but sexual activities that work well in the shower. Here are some items you can throw into a shower sex basket:

Sex On-the-Go

Planning a trip over the holidays? Or having guests come to your home? How about a basket with items for sex while traveling?

Oral Delights

Our mouths can kiss, lick, suck, and nibble, so why not a gift basket devoted to their sensual delights!

Melt Me Massage

There’s nothing quite like a massage from your honey. But you need the right stuff to get going. Try these:

Santa Baby

No need for your baby to “slip a sable under the tree.” Instead, try these sexy Santa items for a holiday night of intimacy.

Song of Songs Sensuality

And from the book of the Bible that encourages us to be more romantic, more intimate, more passionate…here’s some Song of Songs inspiration:

And don’t forget, I have other resources, including my books!

Make Your Home Sex-Friendly for Holiday Guests

Our sons’ bedrooms have never had locks on the doors—until last week.

Although we respected their privacy as they grew up, we wanted easy access to our children’s rooms. Even the possibility of your parents walking in at any time can keep a kid from doing something he/she shouldn’t.

But our older son got married last summer, and Thanksgiving weekend was his and his wife’s first visit since the wedding. I pulled my son aside soon after they arrived and pointed out the new door lock, letting him know that we honor their full and complete privacy. And whatever they do in their room is between the two of them.

I don’t know if they did or didn’t, and it’s none of my business. But it’s surprising how many couples report having zero opportunity to make love while visiting relatives, even during extended visits.

So let’s look at how you can make your own home more sex-friendly for married couples who visit this season.

Sleeping Arrangements

When planning for guests, we can unintentionally create sleeping arrangements that preclude any possibility of physical contact between spouses. Well, unless the couple has sex ninja skills whereby they can do it in a cramped bathroom at 3:00 a.m. without making a sound.

Most of us do not live in palatial residences, so we have to do some rearranging to make space. If you have options, place the couple in a room:

Separate from your bedroom and/or the main living areas. Spouses often worry about making noise and thus being “found out.” Give them a buffer, so sounds won’t easily travel to where you or other guests are.

With a full-size or larger bed. If the room has twin beds, consider pushing them together, just like a cruise line does in anticipation of a couple sharing a room. You then convey your recognition that most married couples want to be close while in bed.

With a lock on the door. It took little time and effort for my husband to install a new doorknob with a lock, and it’s easy to switch out after your guests are gone. But it’s a nice gesture to provide the certainty of privacy.

Without children. It’s tempting to give the whole family one room, but if possible, let the couple have their own space. Many people fondly remember visits to see grandparents, where the grownups had their own rooms while the grandkids spread out in sleeping bags in the living room, game room, or screened-in porch. Keep the kids safe, of course, but it’s okay for Mom and Dad to have their own room.

What if none of this possible? What if your house precludes such sleeping arrangements?

Schedule

Consider the holiday schedule. Have you plotted out every day with the precision of an event planner? Is everyone expected to be at everything? Are couples given any opportunity for alone time?

Even if you give a couple their own space, if their schedule is full, they won’t have a chance to engage. But with no space of their own, it’s even more important that they have time to duck out on their own for a bit. If the couple has kids, offer to watch their kids one night while the parents go on a date or take the kids out for a treat while parents stay back at the house.

Think through the calendar and make sure everyone has a bit of down time. Maybe suggest a nap or set an example by heading off for a nap yourself, showing that time in bed in the middle of the day is a-okay in your house.

Also, allow guests to pass on an activity. As introverts, I can tell you how welcome that is, even if hubby and I do nothing during that time but lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling.

Atmosphere

How’s the intimacy atmosphere in your home? You can create small touches in the room where a couple is staying to help. Here are a few ideas:

  • Decent bedding. Nothing scratchy, and avoid a Strawberry Shortcake or Spiderman comforter. You can find cheap but nice bedding sets during the holidays to keep on hand for guests.
  • Low-light lamp or candle (battery-operated, if you’re concerned about a flame).
  • Bedside radio or sound machine, to mask noises if needed.
  • Extra blanket(s) and a fan, so the couple can adjust temperature to what they want.

See? It doesn’t have to be fancy, just conducive to lovemaking without panic.

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Another part of the atmosphere is how comfortable your guests feel displaying affection in your home. Now of course they shouldn’t be sitting on your couch groping each other. However, if you treat small gestures of affection, like hand-holding or hugs, as inappropriate, you’re sending an unspoken message that nooky in the home would be intolerable.

The easiest way to establish the standard is to display it yourselves. Pull your own beloved in for a hug and a peck, sit close together on the couch and hold hands, even flirt a little. Don’t go out of your way to make your guests uncomfortable, but let them know your home welcomes marital affection.

Confidentiality

Finally, respect their privacy by keeping your mouth shut. If you do hear them or find other evidence of their lovemaking, don’t comment about it. You might embarrass them enough that they’ll never do that again.

Just be hospitable, thank them for coming (no pun intended), and wash the sheets when they’re gone. In other words, treat them the way you’d want to be treated (Luke 6:31).

What other suggestions do you have for making your home more sex-friendly for married guests?

And if you’re the ones doing the visiting, see 7 Tips for Having Sex at the Parents’ House.

4 Research-Based Tips for Better Sex

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been clearing out emails (ever so slowly), including ones I’d received from Google alerts on sex research. I shared a few findings recently with What Research Says You Need for Better Sex), and I’m sharing more today!

Here are four more tips for improving your married sex life.

Clean the House

Last time, I addressed making your bed. But a survey of 1,000 people looked at how the state of their whole home affects their sex life. Apparently, “choreplay” is a real thing. According to researchers: “Over 50 percent of people said they’re more likely to have sex with their partner after they’ve completed household chores, and just over 60 percent said a clean, organized bedroom makes them more likely to have sex.”

How does that work? A good while ago, I wrote a post titled Is Vacuuming Foreplay?, in which I said my husband performing household chores turned me on. I’ve gotten pushback on that idea at times, but the point is not that his cleaning is itself arousing or that I’m “rewarding” my husband with sex like a bartering program.

Rather, hubby cleaning up clears that task to-do off my list, thus reducing my stress levels and making me more likely to get in the mood. Plus, both of us taking care of the house reminds me we’re a team in life — and make a good team in the bedroom too. That perspective is what I’ve heard from many other wives as well. And a few husbands.

Perhaps you should clean up and see how things go.

Source: MBG Relationships – The Surprising Thing That Gets Couples Turned On At Home

Talk (or Make Noise) During Sex

It’s crucial that you and your spouse be able to discuss your sex life away from the bedroom so that you can voice your desires, navigate obstacles, and troubleshoot problems together. However, a study of 398 people also linked sexual satisfaction to verbal and non-verbal communication during sexual activity. Which all boils down to: speak up or make some noise!

One caveat: The study also showed that your partner’s response to your communication style — non-verbal, verbal, moaning like a hyena in heat, whatever — impacts sexual satisfaction. “Given that individuals may be especially vulnerable when engaging in partnered sexual activity, the consequences of a negative partner reaction may have more impact than a negative reaction in a less vulnerable situation.”

We need acceptance and encouragement to express ourselves fully. So make sure you also reassure your spouse and let them demonstrate their pleasure vocally in their own way.

Sources: Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy: Show or Tell? Does Verbal and/or Nonverbal Sexual Communication Matter for Sexual Satisfaction?; MBG Relationships – Why Couples Should Talk More During Sex, According To Science; Explore Health – The One Thing That Leads to More Satisfying Sex, According to Science

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

Eat Chocolate

Ooh, aren’t you glad this one made the list?! Though specifically, it’s dark chocolate, not milk chocolate bars.

Dark chocolate has been shown to promote the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin, two body chemicals that improve mood. In addition, chocolate with 70% or more cacao may lower stress levels and inflammation—thus raising sexual interest and performance.

So why not invest in your sex life with a few nibbles of dark chocolate? Even better, feed each other as part of your sexual encounter! Dark-chocolate-dipped strawberries, anyone?

Sources: Medical Daily – Chocolates For Enhanced Libido: Why And How It Works; Express UK – Low libido: Eating this one thing can help increase your sex drive – what is it?

Run, Cycle, or Swim

Exercise leads to better sex? No shocker there. But a good reminder nonetheless.

Researchers surveyed 3,906 men and 2,264 women who were cyclists, swimmers, runners, and/or multisport athletes about their exercise habits and sexual function. Men who exercised more had less erectile dysfunction, while women who exercised more reported increases in arousal and orgasm.

How much is enough? Well, the biggest gains came with more than I plan to do — 10 hours a week of cycling. But improvements were significant in lesser amounts, particularly at the point of 6-7 hours of moderate cycling per week for men and 5.5 hours per week for women. The likely reason is simple: Exercise yields healthier arteries and better circulation, and that makes for your parts working as they should.

You don’t have to cycle, of course. The study also looked at swimming and running. Though if you see me running, you should run too — because we’re being chased by something we don’t want to catch us. I’d prefer to dust off our bikes and get back to riding together again.

Sources: Bicycling – How You Can Ride Your Way to Better Sex; The Journal of Sexual Medicine – Exercise Improves Self-Reported Sexual Function Among Physically Active Adults

A Quick Word on Research

If you see a sex study reported on a blog, website, or news source, don’t just go by the headline. Believe me, sex studies are not all equal. It’s important to look into who they studied, how the study was conducted, and what cautions are given as part of the results.

Who sponsored the study can also be important information, as commercial entities will sometimes finance research that benefits their bottom line. That doesn’t mean all results from such studies are wrong, but they should be more carefully scrutinized.

All to say: Be cautious. “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:26).

Wrapping It Up

Here are the four tips in a nutshell:

  • Clean the house
  • Talk (or make noise) during sex
  • Eat dark chocolate
  • Run, cycle, or swim

Pick as many as you’d like and see how it goes!

And gentlemen, don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming webinar. Hosted by four female marriage and sex bloggers, you’ll get the inside scoop on Understanding Her Sex Drive for only $5! If you can’t make that time, no worries — replay is available.

What Research Says You Need for Better Sex

Long ago, I installed Google alerts, a service that culls content for the user according to given parameters. In my case, I asked for phrases like “sex research” and “higher drive wife.” And for nearly two years, I’ve gotten daily emails with links to relevant articles—as well as a lot of irrelevant articles because false positives happen a lot.

As I’ve been going through them, I decided to summarize some of the more interesting ones; particularly those that don’t warrant a full blog post. So here we go!

Embrace New Experiences

This isn’t about new sexual experiences, though you can have those too. Rather, a study of long-term couples published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when each partner had an opportunity to have novel experiences or develop new skills/perspectives, they had more sex and reported greater satisfaction with sexual intimacy.

The researchers called these “self-expanding activities” and noted the benefits continue. “The benefits of self-expansion for relationship satisfaction are sustained over time, and…effects cannot be attributed solely to increases in positive affect, time spent interacting with the partner or closeness during the activity.”

So go out on the town. Take that trip. Enroll in a class. Explore local nature. Do a Bible study together. Read my Pillow Talk book. Find something where you can learn together and embrace new experiences!

Sources: APA PsychNET – Broadening your horizons: Self-expanding activities promote desire and satisfaction in established romantic relationships; MBG Relationships – Couples Who Do THIS Together Have A Better Sex Life, Study Shows

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

Be a Conscientious Lover

Ruhr University researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 couples about their personalities and their sex lives. For personality, they used the Big Five Framework that measures extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. One trait in particular was correlated to fewer sexual problems and higher sexual satisfaction: Conscientiousness.

The correlation was even higher for women whose male partners were conscientious. “Men who are thorough and dutiful may feel the need to satisfy their partner sexually, which may in turn lead to better sexual function of their partners.” Gotta love that word thorough!

Conscientiousness people are described as organized, reliable, and ambitious. They tend to be intentional and to plan, as in scheduling sex. They take time to get it right. How are you faring on conscientiousness? Need to up your game?

Sources: Inverse – “Big 5” Personality Trait Predicts How Good Sex Is for Couples in New Study; Quartzy – Turns out the best sex actually doesn’t come from hot-blooded passion

Use Cannabis…No, Don’t!

Hey, I want to be honest about the research out there, and if I’ve seen one article, I’ve seen 12 saying mild cannabis use is linked to higher sexual frequency. But notice first the word mild and then ask why this result occurred. Hmm, let’s see… What a shocker that studies showed a substance that relaxes you relates to more willingness to have sex! (And every frat party attendee ever says, “No duh.”)

I included this point because because I want to accurately represent current research, while also showing how we must ask good questions about the results. If cannabis usage is related to more sex, you still have to ask: Should I do cannabis? My recommendation is no, because we have other ways to get that relaxing effect that don’t have some of the drawbacks of cannabis. For example, cannabis may well lower sperm count and affect embryos fertilized from that sperm.

As Christians we need to ask about what we put in our bodies and whether it’s good for us. I plan to stay away from the cannabis. Although I enjoy a glass of wine sometimes—something I figure Jesus would be okay with, given that wedding miracle He performed.

Sources: My SA: Is Marijuana Good for Sex, Bad for Sperm? (I read plenty of others but didn’t keep their links.)

Note: CBD oil is not the same. These cannabis studies are essentially about marijuana.

Believe in Your Body

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of a positive body image, both for women and for men. We should embrace our inherent beauty for our own’s sake and to honor the Creator who crafted it. But research also shows it’s good for your sex life.

In a review of research literature, a study’s authors concluded that “women who are more satisfied with their appearance tend to initiate sex more often and report more orgasms during sex, while both men and women with a better body image tend to be more comfortable discussing sexual topics with a partner.” We also know that communication with your partner about physical intimacy increases sexual satisfaction. So for both genders, body image matters.

I know, I know—easier said than done. But if you’re not feeling great about your body today, take a step in the right direction. Find one thing about your body you’re grateful for—appearance, function, or health-wise. Write it down and read it several times over the next week. Then choose a relevant memory verse to meditate over. I’m a fan of Psalm 149:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Next week, do the same thing but with a different trait. And on and on. Begin to believe in the body you have and share with your spouse.

Sources: PsyPost: Positive body image linked to better — and safer — sex; Science Direct: A review of research linking body image and sexual well-being

Make Your Bed

In a study commissioned by a mattress company of 2,000 couples, researchers found those who made their bed had more sex per week (3 times/week) than those who didn’t (2 times/week). And even if you’re not a bed-maker yourself, if your spouse is, it’s a good idea to go with flow on this one. Why? Because 42% of bed-makers consider it a turn-off for their partner to leave the sheets untucked.

Mind you, the bed-makers were also found to be high-maintenance, but if you already married that person, too late. You’re in for a penny, in for a pound. Make that bed and maybe you can add another sexual encounter to your week!

Sources: Toronto Sun – Making your bed can boost your sex life: Study; Happy National Make Your Bed Day! See Our Survey Results

Summing It Up

There you go! Four things to improve your sexual intimacy:

  • Embrace New Experiences
  • Be a Conscientious Lover
  • Believe in Your Body
  • Make Your Bed

Do all of them or pick one to work on, and see how your sex life improves!