Tag Archives: body image

Do Average People Have Rock Star Sex? YES!

Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage and I have a lot in common. We both enjoy baseball, wine, the beach, sex, and writing about sex. (Plus, we share a name. Shh.)

Hopefully, you already follow her blog, where her posts are biblical, practical, and funny. But I’m more than thrilled to have her on the blog today. All I had to do was hold her bourbon hostage offer a nice invite, and she was eager to come on! Thanks, Julie. Take it away!

Julie Sibert

Several years ago, the book The Millionaire Next Door became a bestseller. The premise of the book is that many of the people who build financial stability and wealth do not look wealthy. They don’t have all the calling cards that we typically associate with wealth — extravagant houses, cars, and clothes.

The book came to my mind recently, but not for financial reasons. Just like we often have a narrow perspective on who is financially wealthy, we also can miss the mark on who we think is having great sex.

We likely can blame Hollywood for this. Storytellers are pros at making us believe that a perfectly proportioned body, stunning hair and make-up, and gorgeous eyes are the only pathways to truly great sex. But being physically beautiful by society’s standards isn’t what equates to phenomenal sex. There are a lot of average looking people experiencing indescribable passion and pleasure in their bedroom.

You don’t have to be strikingly beautiful physically to enjoy passionate lovemaking. If you struggle with body image and think you can’t have great sex because your abs aren’t flat, your arms are flabby and you have wrinkles around your eyes, consider the below three tips to gain a healthier perspective:

1. Start noticing how average most people are.

There’s that old adage that if you are thinking of buying a red car, you suddenly see red cars everywhere. It’s like you put an image in your mind, and your mind said, Check! I’m on it. Let me show you every red car I can find!”

If you feel sexually inhibited because you don’t feel your body looks stellar, it may be because you’ve kept an eagle eye out for people more attractive than yourself. You’ve let a self-fulfilling prophecy play out in your heart daily, and that perspective is glaringly biased toward seeing physically beautiful people. What a crappy comparison that always leads to the same place — you believing you are ill-equipped to have great sexual confidence and sexual passion.

But here’s the thing. If you stand back and take a broader, more objective look, you’ll see that the majority of people are not stunningly beautiful by society’s standards. Most people look average. They are real people; not a photoshopped or professionally-styled version of a real person, which is what we see on TV, in movies and on magazine covers.

Do some people have remarkable natural beauty? Well, sure. But they are the exception, not the rule. Start looking around and you’ll see what I mean.

Just like there are a lot of millionaires who don’t look like millionaires, there also are a lot of average people having great sex. Can you start to embrace that perspective? Doing so likely will boost your motivation to pursue more sexual passion with the person you married — you know, that person who also is fairly average looking.

2. Shed light (literally and figuratively).

I have a friend who told me once that she never has sex with the lights on because she is so self-conscious about her body. And yet her husband longed to enjoy the visual stimulation of enjoying not only her skin next to his, but also the freedom to see her.

If you can relate to this struggle, consider this. A little light in the room when you make love can help you grow in your sexual confidence. When we insist on making love in the dark or under the covers in an effort to hide, we are diminishing a passionate aspect of sex — visually enjoying each other. Literally shedding light on the situation can be as simple as having the closet light on, turning on a bedside lamp or lighting a few candles.

You can figuratively shed light as well by having a heart-to-heart conversation with your spouse. If you struggle with body image and you think it is why you are hesitant to fully lean in to sexual passion, then tell your spouse about your struggle. Express your desire to grow in sexual confidence. Ask for what you need. If you need more specific affirmation about your body, share this need with your spouse.

Getting comfortable in your own skin can be a joint endeavor, but it has to start with you shedding some light.

3. Agree with God about passionate sex.

God is so generous. He could have designed sex for only procreation, but instead, in all His creativity, He opened the floodgates on how amazing sex can be. He designed sexual intimacy as a treasure trove of arousal, pleasure, and oneness.

And nowhere does God tell us passionate hot sex is just for the pretty people. Nope.

He says, All you married folks, enjoy! Delight in your spouse sexually, even if they don’t have toned legs. Have sex as often as possible! Go for it! Don’t hold back in savoring your orgasm and your spouse’s orgasm. It doesn’t matter that neither of you will ever be photoshopped onto a magazine cover. I don’t care about any of that. I created sexual pleasure for all the married people, not just the ones who have mesmerizing eyes and big breasts and an uncanny ability to style their hair.”

Okay, I’m paraphrasing a bit, but you get the idea. God is a huge fan of sex because it was His gift for married people. He wants you to enjoy the gift now, rather than hold off until you lose the weight or clear up the acne or get a new wardrobe. He gave you the gift of sex to savor throughout your married journey — all the seasons and all the messy moments that are inherent to marriage.

Letting body image sabotage intimacy with the person you adore does nothing more than downplay God’s truths for your marriage. Who among us wants to say to God, “Nah, Lord, I think you must have meant the gift for someone else.” Um, not me. And I’m guessing not you either.

To come full circle, I will say this. The millionaires I personally know — they don’t look like millionaires. And all the people I know who say sex in their marriage is great? They don’t look like movie stars. They look average. They look like you and me.

For more reading, I have this post on sexual confidence and whole page with posts on body image.

You also have a few more days to get in on an opportunity I have for you to Build Better Sex in Your Marriage. You can find it at this link. The offer is available until June 14 and includes awesome bonuses, so I encourage you to take a look. Could be a great investment in your relationship!

Julie Sibert speaks and writes out of her own journey about sexual intimacy in marriage. You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Nebraska with her husband, two sons and a rambunctious dog named Stella who is trying to destroy the yard.

J here – If you missed it, be sure to check out our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast episode on orgasm, where Julie Sibert joined our “virtual kitchen table” conversation!

Is He (Secretly) Unhappy with Your Body?

My blog schedule has been thrown off this week, but I’m thrilled to share with you today a post I wrote for The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor has been doing a series on healing from sexual brokenness, and I tackled body image.

I’ve talked about this topic quite a bit here! However, this time I got really personal. I talk about how I believed at one time that my husband couldn’t possibly be happy with my body. Maybe you’ve felt the same.

Following is a teaser, and I pray you’ll click Read More to finish the article on The Forgiven Wife site.

I remember lying naked in bed with my husband above me, and all I could think was how small my breasts were — how desperately I wished I had more to share with him.

But this wasn’t the only time when poor body image stole my healthy view of sexual intimacy.

I’ve spent most of my life as a small woman, size 4 or below. Wait! Don’t stop reading. Whatever your size, I promise there’s a message for you here.

Deep down, I knew I wasn’t pretty. I lacked the curves that seemed to distinguish a girl from woman and instead felt trapped in a pubescent 13-year-old body. People “complimented” me with statements like: “You’re so thin, one of these days a big wind might just up and blow you away” and “You’re so skinny, I can see your bones.” But seriously, what man wants to be with tumbleweed or a skeleton?

In fact, this is one of the reasons I fell into promiscuity before marriage. Believing I couldn’t measure up to the beauty of the bodies around me, I figured I could at least snag a guy by giving him the sex he wanted….

Click Here to Read More

Are You His Type?

I’m too short for my husband. Our nine-inch different in height means I must stand on tiptoes and he must lean down for us to kiss one another’s lips. When we dance, our bodies don’t quite line up, which I try to compensate for with higher-heels (or higher-heeled cowboy boots). When I ask him to reach stuff on the top shelf, he sometimes looks at me like, “How short are you?” Answer? Not tall. And quite possibly shorter than any of the girls he dated before me.

It would be more convenient if I were a few inches taller. And I think he’d like not bending his neck down so far. But, despite repeated prayers to God when I was a teenager, I stopped growing at some point and that was that.

Am I his type? Not when it comes to height.

Are You His Type?

I’ve heard from wives who believe that their husbands dating women previously with different appearances or noticing other women now who differ greatly from how they look…means hubby doesn’t really like their body or beauty type.

From talking to men, reading their comments and emails, and studying research and information about their “species,” I have some thoughts on that.

He wouldn’t have asked you out, dated you all that time, and married you if he wasn’t attracted to you. By and large, this is truth. A guy might have a brief encounter with a woman he doesn’t find all that physically appealing, but he wouldn’t invest all that time and effort with his eventual wife if he didn’t think she was worth eyeballing, touching, and becoming intimate with. As visual as many men are (and yes, I know not all, and women can be visual too), they are motivated to find a woman who is visually pleasing.

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. What appeals to one person won’t necessarily appeal to another. If your body type is not the typical definition of gorgeous in our (twisted) society, that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. You, my dear, have your own physical, and even sexual, appeal. What matters most is you believing the truth that God created you as a beautiful woman and that you are beautiful in your husband’s eye.

Your attractiveness is strongly affected by your inner beauty. When men are surveyed on which character is more appealing from the TV series Gilligan’s Island, the sexy bombshell Ginger typically loses to the sweet, bubbly, and personable Mary Ann. Sure, the actress who played Mary Ann was pretty, but if you’d switched those actresses’ roles, I think the Mary Ann character would still win out. Because who she is makes her more attractive. Likewise, I remember a conversation with several girls in college about a guy who wasn’t objectively good-looking, but he was so nice, funny, and engaging that every one of us agreed he was highly attractive. Who you are impacts how you appear to those around you, especially your husband. If you’re a happy wife who fights the frump and makes him feel loved, odds are you’re hot in his heart.

Confidence is appealing. Let me be frank, ladies: Wives who constantly complain about their appearance, demand heaps of reassurance, and argue with their husband’s opinion can wear a guy out. Wives who own their beauty, present themselves with confidence, and yes, ask for reassurance when they need it are more appealing. Of course, you won’t immediately flip a switch and have a shot of confidence wash over you. You must intentionally work toward dealing with your self-consciousness, self-doubt, self-flagellation to become more comfortable with your body and your beauty.

Back to my height-challenged existence…

I used to think that my husband got cheated by not getting the tall woman he, I assumed, wanted. I wished God would grant me a belated wish, a medical miracle, and make me grow a few more inches.

But honestly, I’ve learned that my husband doesn’t see it that way. And I no longer view myself negatively either. For him, it’s just a little bending to kiss the woman he loves, a slight adjustment for us to dance in tandem, and appreciation of a physical characteristic that defines me. Even as my body changes – spreading a bit in the middle – he’s in love with the woman he sees, knows, touches, chose.

And why wouldn’t he feel that way? I feel that about him. My husband is not objectively as physically attractive as he was twenty years ago, but to me, he’s absolutely the best looking guy in every room I enter. He’s my type and I’m his type, because our love for each other means: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:7).

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What I Thought About Swimsuits in 1993

I’m a magnet for clutter. Paperwork seeks me out like a missile locating its target. On any given day, I feel that I must apologize for the state of my desk. And let’s not even discuss how badly I need to go through my files.

But as I was (finally) attacking some of the clutter, I came upon a couple of notebook pages of a journal-like entry dated May 1993. I was shocked to find I’d written almost 300 words about body image, modesty, and swimsuits. I decided to share it [with minor editing] here.

What I Thought About Swimsuits in 1993

I struggle with the fashion industry’s view of what clothes are to do. I thought clothes were to cover and enhance. Try shopping for a swimsuit with that in mind. Most swimsuits either look like they should be worn by your grandmother or a Sports Illustrated model.

So forget the grandma thing.

Everything else unveils rather than covers. I’d be afraid to jump into the water for fear that I’ll lose my modesty to the nearest wave.

Modesty is not big in the fashion industry. Suppose I wear an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini. Does this actually enhance? I will now have to shave my “bikini area,” which always brings on a painful red rash hanging past my immodest bikini bottoms for all to see. I guess I could opt for electrolysis…yeah, right! Who said beauty was worth that kind of pain?! Who said a naked bikini area equals beauty?

Let’s go back to the modesty thing. Even if I solve the bikini area dilemma, I’m stuck with the constant game of tug and pull. I take a couple of laps in the pool, and as I’m leaving I’m pulling down the back of those bottoms, the bottom of my top, and up on the top of my bottoms. Makes you not even want to enter the pool.

If some other woman wishes to inflict self-torture, fine. But I quarrel with the fashion industry for not offering options.

I want swim shorts, like men. Speedos have been on the market for years, but most men opt for trunks. They won’t fall for that skimpy look thing. They demand comfort. Women demand tug and pull.

Well, they have swim shorts now. And swim skirts. Maybe someone in the fashion industry actually paid attention to what some of us wanted.

However, I still see the majority of women’s swimsuit departments inundated with swimsuits that neither cover nor enhance. Thankfully, I’ve learned a thing or two about shopping for swimsuits. Since it’s mid-June — and absolutely beach weather where I live — I wanted to once again share what I’ve written about modesty and swimsuit shopping:

What Does Modesty Look Like?

6 Questions to Ask about Your Swimsuit

Swimsuit Shopping (without Weeping and Wailing)

What about you? How do you approach modesty and swimsuits? Have you found a good solution? And has your opinion changed since 1993?

A Wife’s Guide to Sexual Man Speak

Last Thursday, I wrote a post that got some flak. Because I explained how my husband tried to initiate sex in the middle of the night. In our conversation later, he’d said something like, “I woke up and felt turned on.” Which makes it sound like he just had an urge and expected my body to meet his “need.” Not at all what happened, because I know how loving and gentle his advances were, how he views sex in our marriage generally, and how to translate man-speak.

A Wife's Guide to Sexual Man Speak

Oh, if only our men would express their heartfelt desire for closeness and connection the way heroes do in the pages of romantic novels! Novels almost all written by women.

I’m not knocking all romance novels. I actually enjoy some of them. But many do a poor job of illuminating the mind of a man. We can come to expect that a man’s mind works much like ours does, and then when we find out otherwise we’re offended that “men are pigs.”

But they’re not. They’re just a different side of the same human coin. So let’s give our husbands some grace, remember that — by and large — husbands truly love their wives, and translate some common hubby phrases when it comes to sex.

“I’m turned on.”

It sounds like he flipped a switch and expects you to be ready to go just as fast, right? But really, this translates to “You turn me on.”

I’m not saying a man never gets turned on by other stuff, or just it being that time of the day. (Even with all the research I’ve done, I still find their equipment to be a bit of a mystery.) But the consistent message I hear from husbands is that they get most turned on by being with the wife they love.

And it can happen slowly or quickly. It could build from intimate actions and deep feelings throughout the day, or she can just walk through the room naked. Maybe that’s why it feels so weird to hear “I’m turned on” for some wives. Because the pattern for women is more often getting turned on after romantic and sexual activity begin, while hubby can get turned on by you and then seek a sexual encounter.

Just be assured it’s most likely about you. Not simply a burning need in his pants.

(Note: Men do get turned on by porn, and that’s a whole different issue. God definitely intended the turn-on stimulus to be one another, not third parties or images of third parties. If porn is a struggle in your marriage, it needs to be addressed immediately, lovingly, and firmly.)

“I need sex.” 

Speaking of need, here’s another phrase you might hear in your marriage: “I need sex.” This rarely means “I have a purely biological need to have sex, and you’ll do.” Yes, God did make us sexual beings, with reproductive biology and sex drives. Most husbands feel sex as a need. But husbands tell me again and again that their need for emotional connection to their wives is even stronger.

Yes, he “needs” sex in the sense that he has a biological drive to sate the desire he feels in his gut, his brain, and, oh yeah, his groin. (It’s all connected.) But “I need sex” is more about “I long to experience the love and intimacy I feel when I have sex my beloved wife.”

“I want you.”

In too many wives’ minds, we complete that sentence with extra stuff. Like “I want you to do me a sexual favor,” “I want you to be at my beck-and-call,” “I want you to sate my desire.” Yeah, I get it. To some extent, those are all in the fantasy wheelhouse for plenty of husbands. Not all — yes, I see you, higher-drive wives! — but some.

We wives often put the emphasis on want when, once again, it should be on the you. And very often, it means that he wants all of you. Not just your body. He wants you to be fully involved in the experience, giving yourself 100% to the physical intimacy that binds you together as one flesh. He wants all of you engaged in the marriage bed.

I suspect most of us know the difference between letting your body show up for sex and engaging your whole self in sexual intimacy. When your husband says he wants you, consider that he wants all of you — your heart, your body, your pleasure, your connection.

“You’re beautiful.”

To husbands, this means: “You’re beautiful.” Yep, they’re actually saying what they mean. Unfortunately, we ladies often read their words as “he’s just saying that,” “he only wants sex,” “he knows I’m not as beautiful as ____.”

But for the most part, hubbies think their wives are hot. Not because we’re all objectively Helens of Troy, but our guys love us, they have history with us, they like our curves, they think our smile is cute, they know that bodies don’t stay 20 years old forever, etc. Basically, your husband’s love for you gives him special vision that helps him see past the pounds, wrinkles, and self-doubt to the beautiful you that you truly are.

For the men.

And guys, do you see how you come off sometimes to women? I get that many of you are straight-to-the-point, as-few-words-as-possible men. Believe me, I’m married to one. But use your words to express what you really mean and what your wife really means to you.

If you want sex with your wife, express that you want her, not just the sex. Your wife is worth the extra effort to consider your words carefully and be a little more of a romantic hero in her life.

Also worth reading: Ten Lies Wives Believe about Sex (And Ten Truths Husbands Want You To Know)