Category Archives: Sexual Intimacy Encouragement

How Sex Can Help Us Cope

My background is only relevant inasmuch as it has a bearing on my mission and ability to fulfill it. Which is why I’m totally transparent about my past sexual baggage and how God redeemed my marriage.

I’m also authentic about struggles I’ve had and the minor frustrations of life. Because I want people to recognize that a happy marriage doesn’t mean a perfect marriage. After all, we’re all sinners (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8), and that includes both husband and wife. We will let each other down, but we can continue to strive for the best and show agape love that covers over our sins when we fail (1 Peter 4:8).

But I’ve wrangled with whether to say anything about what I’ve been going through lately, because it doesn’t directly impact this ministry. Except I concluded there’s something worth learning from it.

A Foundation Shaken

Long story short: I recently learned that my mother perpetuated a 16-year deception on an issue of significance. Whatever trust we’d built before shattered, and the fallout has been difficult for my family of origin.

As a consequence, I’ve been distracted and distraught. Like someone grieving, I have good days and bad days. On good days, I cross off the to-dos on my list and interact with others with a genuine smile. On bad days, I end up on an hour-long phone call with a sibling, escape into writing fiction where the real world doesn’t exist, or simply cry a lot.

A Strange Way to Cope

Oddly enough, I’ve been having more sex in my marriage. Or perhaps it’s not odd at all, because that is also a way of providing balm to a weary soul. Those moments of connection with my husband and intense pleasure for myself have taken me away from the heaviness of my heart and allowed me to reset my mind and heart, even if for a short while.

There is a beautiful verse in the last chapter of Song of Songs, almost a summary of the marital love portrayed in the book: “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.”

When other parts of our life seem to have been swept away by a raging river, the covenant love between husband and wife—expressed in the sanctity of the marriage bed—can make us feel grounded, safe, solid.

When other parts of our life seem to have been swept away by a raging river, the covenant love between husband and wife—expressed in the sanctity of the #marriage bed—can make us feel grounded, safe, solid. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Sex That Soothes

Not all sexual encounters necessarily have this effect. Rather, you may need to cultivate the atmosphere or specifics that result in sex that soothes. And your emotional needs are specific to you.

Let’s look at what I mean with some examples:

  • Spouse A may desire slow, deliberate caresses that calm their nerves and comfort their soul.
  • Spouse B may want sex that’s hot, heavy, and even fast, thus taking their mind from what’s happening and engaging it in solely in passion.
  • Spouse C may want to focus on giving their mate sexual pleasure, as that provides them some sense of control when the rest of life feels out of control.
  • Spouse D may want to try something new, giving them the reminder that they can choose a new direction and find positivity from it.

Sex is not just sex, but often reflects where we are in life and/or reminds us what we can do and be in life. Many spouses, especially husbands, say that a satisfying sex life makes them feel like they can take on the world. When that world has been particularly shaken, sexual intimacy with your beloved can soothe your tender places and infuse you with courage to take on the struggles you’re facing.

When your world has been shaken, sexual intimacy with your beloved can soothe your tender places and infuse you with courage to take on the struggles you're facing. #marriage @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Getting What You Need

I do not have the magic formula to get you the sex you need/want for your whole life or marriage. That’s a process which my ministry certainly helps with, but it isn’t a quick fix. Moreover, this section presumes two good-willed spouses—imperfect, sure, but good-willed.

But let’s say you’re in the midst of a foundation-shaking life event, and you desire sex that could soothe your soul, how do you go about getting the specific kind of sex that would accomplish that goal? How can you communicate to your spouse what you desire in a way most likely to result in you getting just that?

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Well, you have a few choices, and you can pick which one you think will work.

  • Talk about it outside the bedroom. Tell him/her how you’re feeling, what sexual experience you believe would help, and then invite them to have that kind of intimacy with you.
  • As you’re starting a lovemaking session, be specific about your desires. Explain that you’d like to try X, Y, or Z because you long for the comfort that provides you in the midst of your current challenge.
  • Give ongoing feedback to guide your spouse. Using verbal encouragement or moving either your or their hands, mouth, body, etc. to where/how you want it, and then give positive reinforcement when it’s going the way you need/want.
  • Take charge and make it happen. Go directly for what you want, inviting him/her with your actions to go along with the lovemaking you desire.

If you’re both going through the same earth-shattering event, you may be on the same page with what you want, or you may need to take turns getting what you each need. Be willing to minister—yes, minister—to one another through sexual intimacy.

You’re Not Alone

One of the most beautiful aspects of sex in the midst of emotional pain is the sense that you are not alone. God created human sex such that it involves the penetration of one’s body part into the other’s body part—a physical connection that meets the “one flesh” description in the Bible. In that moment of intercourse, husband and wife are not separate, but joined…literally and relationally.

When life is not just giving you lemons but lobbing them at you like a game of fruit dodgeball, you can feel very alone. Sexual intimacy can remind us that we’re not alone. Not only is God in our corner, always beside us, but He has provided a partner in life who will be there too.

It’s true: sex can help you cope.

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101 Words for Your Private Parts (But No Curse Words)

Periodically, I’ve come across lists of words people use for erogenous zones and genitalia. From what I recall, all of those had both good ideas and icky ideas.

In an effort to equip Christians with a lot of sexy ideas, I’ve compiled a list of 101 words for private areas, none of which are curse words or generally considered vulgar. Still, make sure your choices are okay with your specific mate!

Some words are scientific, some straightforward, some poetic, some funny. But the intent of this list is to inspire you to speak positively and creatively about your body and your spouse’s body.

I have a feeling this post will bring readers who don’t usually come to Hot, Holy & Humorous. If you’re one of those, you should know that I write for married couples and encourage you to check out what God says about sexual intimacy!

Breasts

A woman’s breasts includes fatty tissue, areolas, and nipples. Breasts come in various sizes and shapes, including athletic, bell-shaped, east-west, and round.

Whatever they look like, though, a woman’s breasts tend to be an erogenous zone for one or both spouses. As Proverbs 5:19 says to a husband about his wife: “May her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”

Here’s a variety of ways to refer to a wife’s breasts:

  1. bon bons
  2. boobs
  3. bosom
  4. bust
  5. chest
  6. chesticles / breasticles
  7. chi chis
  8. coconuts
  9. cookies
  10. cupcakes
  11. fawns
  12. fruit
  13. the girls
  14. Grand Tetons (or another mountain reference)
  15. lady humps
  16. lovelies
  17. mangoes (from Bend It Like Beckham)
  18. nipples
  19. pillows
  20. rack
  21. second base
  22. tatas
  23. taters
  24. twins
  25. yabos (from Hocus Pocus)

Vulva

Vulva refers to all the external female genitalia, including the pubic mound, labia majora, labia minora, clitoral bulb, vaginal opening, and Bartholin’s gland ducts (pea-sized openings where secretions emerge).

Song of Songs seems to prefer the word “garden” in reference to the wife’s vulva, but below are many options.

  1. bajingo
  2. bud
  3. cave of mysteries
  4. clitoris
  5. cookie
  6. core
  7. flower (also rose, tulip)
  8. folds
  9. garden
  10. honey pot
  11. hooha
  12. kitty
  13. lady bits
  14. (vaginal) lips
  15. magician’s hat (his part disappears inside)
  16. muffin
  17. nub
  18. papaya
  19. petals
  20. sheath
  21. sweet spot
  22. tunnel of love / love tunnel
  23. vagina
  24. vajayjay
  25. velvet glove
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Penis

The penis is a fascinating body part. The more one learns about it, the more one appreciates God’s creation. (See Are You a Fan of Your Husband’s Man-Part?)

Given how many labels men have come up with for this (favorite) body part they own, this probably could have been a post with 101 words for penis. But we’ll stick to the ones below.

  1. boner
  2. erection
  3. Excalibur (yes, like King Arthur’s legendary sword)
  4. fire hose
  5. hard-on
  6. head
  7. hot dog
  8. johnson
  9. joystick
  10. love muscle
  11. love pistol
  12. man-part
  13. member
  14. Mr. Happy
  15. mushroom (especially for a circumcised penis)
  16. pecker
  17. peter
  18. phallus
  19. popsicle (see my own post on this!)
  20. rocket
  21. rod
  22. sausage
  23. snake
  24. soldier (or hey, general!)
  25. stiffy
  26. tool
  27. trouser monkey
  28. wand
  29. weenie / wiener
  30. willy
  31. wood
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Testicles

Having raised two sons, I’ve also heard a lot of names for testicles. (You moms of boys know what I’m talking about!) These delicate semen factories get lots of labels as well.

Here are some options for what to call hubby’s testicles:

  1. balls
  2. berries
  3. cojones
  4. dangling participles
  5. fruit basket
  6. gonads
  7. huevos (Spanish for “eggs”)
  8. jewels (or family jewels)
  9. junk
  10. marbles
  11. nards
  12. nuts
  13. package
  14. pearls
  15. rocks
  16. sack
  17. scrotum
  18. stones
  19. testes
  20. wonkas (apparently because they’re between a willy and a chocolate factory)

Okay, that wraps it up! Be sure to check these out with your spouse! We should show respect for one another in the bedroom.

If you want, you can download a checklist. Fill out one checklist together or print two copies, fill them out separately, and then share your results.

A big thank you to the ladies in my higher drive wife group who made great suggestions, many of which are included here.

What’s So Great About Men?

Honestly, I didn’t get to writing a post on Hot, Holy & Humorous post this week. BUT I did write one for our new site for husbands, KHS Ministry. Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife and I recently launched this site and even recorded a podcast episode that will be coming soon.

Here’s an excerpt of the KHS Ministry post:

Two women writing about sex to men. By this point in our ministries, we already know what some husbands will think: Women are always blaming men. Women don’t appreciate how men are built. Women don’t even like men all that much.

However, these two wives — J and Chris — actually think men are pretty awesome!

Moreover, lots of wives find men to be rather wonderful, especially their own particular guy. Though what women appreciate about men may be slightly different from what you might think.

So from a female frame of mind, let me share what we wives think is so great about men.

His Strength

Cliché, right? But there is truth to it — strength is attractive to women. Yet it may not be the kind of strength you’re thinking of, the hard-muscled, manly-man stuff. Strength isn’t appealing unless it’s paired with tenderness.

Want to read more? Click below!

Also be sure not to miss this limited time offer from our Sex Chat for Christian Wives Podcast!

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Flip the Switch from Initiation to Availability

Today’s post is aimed at higher drive spouses—wives and husbands—who feel frustrated by the gap in sexual interest.

If you’re the lower drive spouse, you may appreciate this post and want to share it with your higher drive mate. If you’re the higher drive spouse, but you’re not frustrated, you may still like this tip. And if you’re equally matched, my advice here will also serve you during the busy seasons of your lives.

This is not for sexless marriages, which have greater challenges. (See instead this post for a rundown of my series on sexless marriages.)

But assuming a higher drive spouse and a willing but less interested mate, let’s get on with it.

How Often Do You Initiate?

What percentage of sex initiation attempts in your marriage come from you?

That’s the question I recently asked of my higher drive wife community, but I also answered it for myself—80%.

Yep. In my marriage, I’d guess 4 out of 5 times someone suggests a sexual encounter, that someone is me. One to 3 of those 4 times, I get a favorable answer. One to 3 of those times, I get a pass. But most of Spock’s passes come with rain checks, so I certainly don’t feel deprived.

In fact, by happenstance, I made a discovery about initiating that has made the current libido gap between my husband and me much less distressing. I flipped the switch from initiation to availability.

Initiation and Hope Deferred

Initiation simply means getting something started. That can happen in all kinds of ways—some obvious, some less so. But at some point, there’s a word, a look, an action that indicates one spouse wants to make love.

The bid for sexual attention is made, and the other spouse must decide whether to match that bid and go for it.

As the higher drive spouse, you may already start from the perspective of not initiating every single time you’d like to have sex. Or you may go ahead and give it a shot each time, figuring you definitely won’t get a yes if you don’t even ask.

Regardless, if you’re frustrated about the frequency of sex in your marriage, you likely initiate, get turned down, and then feel hurt. Because somewhere between the ask and the no is hope — hope that this time, your beloved will say yes! And as the Bible so aptly tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

What if you could feel hope without being hurt when it doesn’t work out the way you want?

Availability and Desire Fulfilled

Hailing back to my 4 out of 5 times that I initiate sex in my marriage, 2 of those are straightforward initiation. I say what I want, he can say yes or “another time.”

But the other 2 times—half of the time, that is—I just make myself available. No strings, no expectations. Hope, yes. But without real initiation, I’m not caught up as much in the outcome. I haven’t really put out a bid.

It’s the difference, I suppose, between saying, “Hey, if you want to play a board game, I’m up for it,” and saying, “Let’s play a board game!” while you’re setting up game pieces on the kitchen table. If your potential partner says no, in which version have you invested more and will thus feel more hurt?

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“I’m Available” Statements

If you go this route, you can’t be ambiguous. You have to be explicit that you are available for sex from X time to Y time. But don’t wait around. If your spouse doesn’t jump on the notion right away, go busy yourself with other stuff. You’ve made it clear, they know the deal, and they can take you up on it or not.

What does that explicit statement look like? Here are a few ideas:

  • “I’m headed to bed. I’d love for you to come join me so we could have some intimate time before I fall asleep.”
  • “If you want, I can give you a massage. If that sounds good to you, take off your clothes and lie down.”
  • “Just so you know, I’m feeling particularly interested in sex tonight. If you’re up for it, let me know.”
  • As you’re headed out for work or elsewhere: “It’s been a while, so sex today would be great. Text me if you’re interested.”

In all of these cases, you’re making it clear what you want, but you’re not setting an expectation that it will happen.

Paradoxically, some lower drive spouses are more willing to say yes to an if you wanna invitation than a let’s do it suggestion. It’s a softer startup and feels less insistent.

That’s what’s actually happened in my own marriage. Perhaps it was that my tone and facial expression were less tense, which made the prospect of sex even more appealing to my husband. I’m not sure. I just know that since flipping this switch, I’ve felt less tense, more accepted, and happier with our sex life.

Have you tried availability instead of direct initiation. If so, how has that gone? If not, could flipping this switch help?

Also check out 40 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband here on Hot, Holy & Humorous and and Why Doesn’t She Initiate? from our new blog for husbands, KHS Ministry!

Resolution Week: "And Now for Something Completely Different…"

To me, New Year = Fresh Start. Yes, I know it’s just a date on the calendar, but it feels like a new beginning is on the horizon.

You don’t need the New Year, though. Whenever you want, you can press the reset button and do things differently from how you did them before. That’s what I want to talk about today, on the last day of Resolution Week—just doing something different with the sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Why do something different?

Readers come to my blog for two main reasons: (1) to figure out how to address a problem with the sex in their marriage, or (2) to get ideas on how to maintain and nurture the sex in their marriage.

(There’s a third group, a very small one, who read to find out what “the other side” is saying and pipe up from time to time to debate. But let’s not worry about them.)

For those in either of the two main groups, you’ve been doing X, but doing Y could make things better. If you have sexual struggles, you can receive:

  • encouragement to pursue better sexual intimacy
  • insight about how your spouse might be thinking or feeling about the situation
  • summaries of medical, scientific, and common-sense approaches to resolving physiological obstacles
  • biblical perspectives on God’s design for sex in marriage
  • suggestions for meeting your spouse’s emotional and sexual needs, or getting your own met
  • how-to tips for making sex better for you and for your beloved

If you have healthy physical intimacy in your marriage, you can receive:

  • how-to tips for specific sexual activities
  • inspiration to have more frequent and/or more intimate sex
  • regular reminders to keep doing what makes your spouse feel loved
  • biblical insight about how your marital intimacy reflects God’s goodness
  • updates on sex research that can improve your pleasure or connection
  • ways to expand your sexual repertoire

But let’s face it: Hot, Holy & Humorous is about persuading you to do something even a little different from what you did before. If every reader remains in absolute stasis, what’s the point of me writing another word?

Yet, I do write. I do hear from readers. I do know this site, along with other marriage ministries, has a positive impact.

Is different automatically better?

In case you didn’t get the reference in this post’s title, “And now for something completely different” was a catchphrase from the British show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It was inserted in between comedy sketches, some of which were really great and some of which were what were they thinking?

Likewise, just doing something different in or regarding your marriage bed could be a what were you thinking? moment. But it could also be really great.

How do you know your idea is different-great?

1. It aligns with God’s design for sex in marriage.

Whatever you do in the marriage bed should be God-approved, mutually acceptable, and spouse-honoring. It should align with God’s will.

2. It benefits both of you.

It should be something that not only serves your ends, but also meets your spouse’s longings. Marriage isn’t about you or me, but rather us. You don’t want one spouse thinking the new thing is great while the other responds, “What on earth were you thinking?”

3. It is pursued in love.

You can have wonderful intentions, but if your tactics stink, you won’t get far. Your spouse will likely, and understandably, become defensive. So the different thing you go after should be pursued in a loving way, without pressure or manipulation.

To Leap or to Toddle?

If I had a dollar for every time I or one of my podcast partners said the phrase “baby steps,” we’d be retreating on a Caribbean beach somewhere right now. Working, of course—wink, wink—but with our toes in the sand and the water lapping at our ankles.

Truth is, when one spouse wants to do something different, the other spouse can get worried. What do you mean “different”? Am I not enough? Are you going to want that weird thing again? I refuse to dress up as a gorilla no matter how turned on it might make you! ~snicker~

Now some of you should leap into something different. You’ve been in a pit for far too long, and you need to jump into a marriage class or counseling. Or perhaps you two are mutually on board with trying something sexual that’s a little “out there”—not outside God’s design, but pretty creative.

For most spouses, however, baby steps are the way to go.

Just do something a little extra or different next time, then expand a little from there, then to the next thing and the next thing… Until your baby steps have gotten you down the path a ways and you’re both happy with where you are.

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Different Strokes for Different Folks

So what are some “different but great” ideas? Let me help!

Below are more than 20 suggestions. Each item is not for every couple. Find something that would benefit your particular marriage or brainstorm your own ideas.

Just choose something, or several somethings, different to do this year and see how it can improve your sexual intimacy. If it doesn’t work, you can always chuck it and try something else.

Note: Remember that when it’s something God specifically calls us to do, it may take a while to see the positive results. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 ESV).