Tag Archives: christian sex

Mindfulness & Meditation During Sex

For many years, I was horrible at meditation. I would try to be still, but I’m naturally fidgety. I would try to relax, but my muscles were tense. I would try to focus, but my mind would get distracted.

If there was someone leading the meditation, they would say something like, “Imagine a placid lake, calm and flat as glass.” So I’d do that…and two seconds in, a jet ski would go by. Followed by a motor boat, a pontoon, and a few fish leaping around. In more imaginative moments, the Loch Ness monster would raise its head. #MeditationFail

And yet, Psalms often mentions the benefit of meditating on God’s Word, like this passage:

Blessed is the one
  who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
  or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
  and who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

Learning to Meditate

Given that I reached “Amen” on maybe 9 of 10 prayers I said, I became determined to learn to meditate. I needed that focus to pray and consider God’s Word.

I downloaded a meditation app. There are several, but I happened to use HeadSpace. The early meditations are really good, but at some point it does get more into Eastern spirituality views. I disregarded that and chose a Scripture or praise to focus on instead. It worked! I learned how to be still, relax, and focus.

Only, I also realized I’d been doing that already—for years and years. Not in my everyday activities, but my sexual intimacy. Much of what I was learning was consistent with what I’d practiced and taught about experiencing pleasure and reaching orgasm in the marriage bed.

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The Role of Mindfulness

Meditation is a practice used to achieve mindfulness; that is, “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” (Mindful.org). Yes, the concept is tied to Buddhist traditions, but they hardly hold the market on being mindful (see Psalm 26:2-3).

Keying in on that notion of being fully present and aware, isn’t that what we hope to have in our sex lives? Don’t we want to feel mindful of what’s happening, so we can savor the affection and pleasure of being with our husband in such an intimate way?

And yet, we struggle. Both external stimuli and internal monologues compete for our attention. We are fidgety, tense, distracted. An inability to relax and focus contributes to many wives being unable to enjoy sex or achieve orgasm.

An inability to relax and focus contributes to many wives being unable to enjoy sex or achieve orgasm. @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Meditating During Sex

How then can we use the concept of mindfulness and the practice of meditation to increase our awareness and enjoyment during sex? Here are several techniques you can use in the bedroom:

Breathing. Before you begin, take a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you exhale, feel your tension release. Then let your breathing return to normal, but attend to those breaths for a little while longer. Just savor the sense of breathing in and out, in and out.

Acceptance of distractions. One of things I previously had wrong was trying to push away distractions. Instead, it’s important to simply accept the stimuli that could pull us away. Take note of what you see or hear (the mess around you, the noise down the hall), accept its existence, and then turn your focus back to where you are and what you’re doing.

The same is true for unrelated self-talk—don’t fight it, but rather recognize it and then turn your attention and mind back to where you want it.

Distractions somehow lose their power when you admit they’re there but just don’t play their game. (Note: I’m not talking about a crying child who really needs your attention, but general distractions.)

Body scan. One meditation technique involves “checking in” with your body by scanning from head to toe. That is, begin at the top of your head, check in with that body part, and move your focus slowly down through your face, your neck, your shoulders, and so on.

You can pair this practice with our view of God’s beautiful creation. That is, as you check in with your body parts, consider how God knit you together (Psalm 139:13-14), think about the form and function of each body part, revel in those places sensitive to touch and sensuality. Again, this can help you get your body ready for arousal and connection.

Mantras. A mantra is a word or sound you repeat to maintain concentration. Yes, I know its Hindu origins, but we’re not using it that way. I’m not suggesting you om your way through sex. (Please don’t.)

Rather, repeating phrases to bring home a message was used in the Bible as well (see Psalm 136 and “His love endures forever”). You can use that same concept to maintain your focus or increase your positivity during lovemaking. Examples:

  • You struggle with body image, so you repeat in your mind, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 136:14) to remember the beauty God imparted to you or simply “His desire is for me” (Song of Songs 7:10) to remember that you are beautiful to your husband.
  • You were taught that sex is dirty or less-than-spiritual, so you repeat in your mind, “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:7-9) to recognize that God Himself created this act to nurture and express our intimacy.
  • You feel selfish at times enjoying sex as much as you do, especially if/when the activity mostly involves your pleasure, so you repeat in your mind, “drink your fill of love” (Song of Songs 5:1), to remind yourself that God encourages us to drink deeply of sexual delight in the marriage bed.

Focal point. Sometimes in meditation, you’re asked to choose a focal point, a place to center your attention. During sex, your focal point will likely change, but it should follow your sense of arousal so that it feels fluid.

For instance, instead of thinking about everything that’s happening during sex, focus on where your husband hand is stroking, how his fingers feel, what your skin underneath senses, what physiological responses you feel inside, etc. As his hand moves, let your focal point follow.

Be fully present in experiencing the sensations his hand, mouth, or penis provide your body. As you near orgasm, focus your attention entirely on that part of your body, just leaning into that focal point.

Prayer. The whole reason I started learning meditation was so I could focus long enough to get all the way through a prayer to “Amen.” Interestingly enough, I’m not sure I reach “Amen” all that more often, but I am more focused in my prayer time.

You can use that same focus to pray in the midst of sex. Yes, you can! (See Praying Before, During, and After Sex.) It probably won’t be a full prayer, but even “Thank you, God” or “Be with me, Lord” is a prayer. You may be surprised to find that calling on God in the midst of lovemaking settles your heart and increases your delight.

Techniques of meditation and mindfulness can help you become more fully present in the moment of lovemaking, so that you can experience arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction as God intended.

Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Sign Up for Our Webinar

Just a quick post to remind you that This Is It. Our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast is hosting its first webinar for wives on Understanding Your Sex Drive tomorrow at 7:30 pm eastern. You must register, so that we can provide you the link to attend.

What Will We Cover?

We’ll address sexual interest generally, woman’s anatomy, external factors that impact sex drive, and actions to employ during sex. Be assured that we will speak to both wives with lower sexual interest and greater sexual interest than their husbands!

Beyond that, it’s a chance to see the podcast hosts in action—the way we see each other when we record our podcast episodes. Four faces on the screen, sharing in turn, conversing about ideas, and making each other laugh.

How Much Does It Cost?

It’s only $5 to join us! Just think of all the things that cost you more than five dollars—a Chick-Fil-A meal, a tube of lipstick, a pair of socks. Why not make a small investment that could pay big dividends for the sexual intimacy in your marriage?

What If You Can’t Attend on Thursday?

Sign up anyway, and we’ll provide you a link to watch the webinar later.

Can You Submit a Question?

Yes. Once you’ve signed up for the webinar, we’ll provide instructions on how to submit a question. We’ll have a Q&A section to address as many questions as we can.

How Do I Sign Up?

Click the image above or the button below, and you’ll be taken to the registration page for our webinar. While you’re there, check out the other two webinars we’ll be offering. You can sign up for one, two, or all three (with the third one for husbands).


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.

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!