Tag Archives: Hot Holy Humorous

Should You Use a Dildo?

When the subject of wives who have difficulty orgasming comes up, oftentimes people suggest using a vibrator. That can be a good addition to a couple’s sexual intimacy, if it’s mutually engaged and doesn’t get in the way learning how to arouse one another well and enjoy skin-to-skin contact. You can see more about my thoughts on that here: Q&A with J: Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?

But what about penis-shaped vibrators, or dildos?

Women have long used dildos.

A dildo is defined as “an object resembling a penis used for sexual stimulation” (Merriam-Webster). And dildos have been around a loooong time. The first written use of the word dildo comes from a rather bawdy poem written by Thomas Nash in 1592-3, but given its use, the word was probably well-known before then.

Preshistoric Phallus
Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons, License
License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Go back further to ancient Greece, 411 B.C., to be precise, and Aristophanes presented the play Lysistrata, in which women go on a sex strike against their husbands to end a war and bring them home. In the wives’ original complaint, Lysistrata explains: “And not the slightest glitter of a lover! And since the Milesians betrayed us, I’ve not seen the image of a single upright man to be a marble consolation to us.” The Milesians manufactured those “marble consolations,” aka dildos, but they were no longer being imported because of the war.

Take your time machine back even further: Archaeologists have discovered penis-shaped objects dating back to prehistoric times. Although experts largely dodge the issue of whether they were used as sex toys, when you see them, it’s a little tough not to think that someone could have used these phalluses for stimulation.

Thus, whether or not to use a dildo is an age-old question. But these days, it’s far easier to get one—just click on an online store and in a few days it’s delivered to your door.

Click to listen to our podcast episode on sex toys!

Are there are concerns about dildo use?

Hygiene

If you looked at that museum photo up there, you might wonder about the hygiene involved in using a stone phallus like that. But today, we have cleaner materials, hot, running water, and cleansers that can help you keep sex toys safe for use.

So hygiene shouldn’t be a big concern, as long as you regularly and fully clean the item according to instructions.

Your expectations

We get used to things when we use them, whether it’s our favorite pair of broken-in jeans or the appliance we finally figured out how to use or the toy we incorporate into our sex life. Using a dildo sets up expectations within your body about size, stimulation, and satisfaction. If you grow to enjoy the sensations of a dildo, will you enjoy the other stuff as much?

Plenty of people argue they’re just expanding their repertoire, and this is a different sensation, not a better one. That’s a good point. Except I’ll be honest: I’ve heard too many wives say things like, “I don’t even need a man. My vibrator works does the job as well or better.”

A too-large number of women have grown used to the stimulation of a vibrating dildo and believe it’s as effective or more effective than their husband’s penis. So let’s ask the tough question of what expectations we’re setting up with the marital aids we use in our bedrooms. How do they change what our body expects and desires?

Your husband’s feelings

Let me share with you an email I received recently from a husband. He wrote about finding his wife’s dildo at their house. He didn’t know about its existence before he came across it, which is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. But he also says this:

It’s a dildo and the first thing that came to my mind was how inadequate I felt next to that thing. I could understand if the dildo was a little bit smaller, the same size, or even a bit bigger. But this thing is double my size. 9 or 10 inches and really wide. I’m not a very big guy 4.5 inch long and kind of thin. I can’t compete with that thing when it comes to intercourse.

Yep. Dildos can do things men can’t do. Because we can engineer them that way—longer, wider, differing temperatures, vibration, and so on.

I’m always mystified when a wife wonders aloud why her husband opposes the use of a vibrating dildo in their bedroom. Given that the average penis is 5.16 inches in length and 4.59 inches in girth (see Q&A with J: “Is My Penis Big Enough?”), and many dildos are 6-7 inches, how do you think that comes across to a husband? Not to mention that he can’t make motions like that. So is it really surprising to discover that a wife begging to use a dildo could make her husband feel inadequate?

Let’s turn the tables. Imagine if in the midst of lovemaking, your husband said, “I don’t want to penetrate your vagina. I’d rather use a penis sleeve.” (For those who don’t know, a penis sleeve is a hollow, cylindrical device, made with materials that mimic or “improve on” the vagina, into which a man can insert his penis and experience sexual stimulation.) That might be reasonable if your vagina is absolutely, under no circumstances whatever, an option. But to know that your husband prefers that would be hurtful for many wives.

So I get it when husbands object or secretly feel hurt.

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Are dildos really that bad?

Using or not using a dildo is not a salvation issue! And you are free to disagree and choose a different path for your marriage bed, because God gave us free will.

That said, we often ask this question: Where’s the line? That is, what can I include in my bedroom that won’t cross some invisible boundary?

And it’s the wrong question. That approach is about how much you can selfishly pursue rather than what leads to mutual pleasure, marital intimacy, and mature faith. Instead, we should ask: How can we best honor God in our sexual intimacy?

So should you use a dildo? Will that honor God in your sexual intimacy?

I can imagine a situation where the answer would be yes. For instance, a man who is physically, medically incapable of becoming erect could find it intimate to pleasure his wife with a penis-shaped object while touching her in other ways as well. And she might enjoy that experience as well. Even then, I’d consider which dildo to get, but I can see such a choice honoring God’s design for physical intimacy in a marriage.

But most of us aren’t in that situation. Rather, the desire to include a dildo in sexual activity comes from several possibilities, including:

  • Lack of sufficient sexual frequency for her
  • Frustration at not having an orgasm yet, either ever or during penetration
  • Husband not spending enough time or knowing how to help her become aroused and/or reach orgasm
  • Desire to “spice things up” by adding a sex toy

And there are ways to address these issues without the drawbacks dildos often bring. In fact, this blog and my books are chock-full of ideas. I suggest starting with Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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Does Your Husband Prioritize Your Orgasm?

Now and then, I get a question that goes something like this:

My husband always climaxes during sex, but I often don’t. I leave feeling unsatisfied and even frustrated that I didn’t get to have my orgasm, when he always gets to have his. He wishes I could get there too, but doesn’t really put in the effort to get me there.

Sometimes there’s a caveat, like: I take a long time to reach orgasm, so I know it’s hard for him to keep going.

Regardless, this inquiry comes up often enough that I can say without doubt: Some husbands don’t prioritize their wife’s orgasm nearly enough.

Why doesn’t he prioritize her orgasm?

Sure, a husband could be a selfish lover who goes after his own satisfaction without taking full consideration of his wife’s sexual desires. But oftentimes, it’s something else.

Plenty of men don’t really understand how a woman’s arousal and orgasm work.

They haven’t been taught what it’s like for a woman. And without more to go on, they figure your orgasm should work like theirs. Meaning you get aroused, you have sex, you climax, and that’s that. It’s a fairly straightforward.

If your husband was exposed to pornography, or simply paid attention to movie and TV sex scenes, he may have also swallowed the ideas that a woman can be ready for intercourse quickly, that penetration will bring her to climax, and that if she isn’t orgasming, it’s a problem with her. Erroneous information, of course, but if this is what you’ve seen/heard all your life, it’s confusing when your wife doesn’t behave like that in bed.

If your husband doesn’t seem to understand how your arousal and climax work, ask if he’d be willing to listen to a podcast with you. It’s less than 26 minutes long, and if you use a podcast app and change the settings, you can listen to it even faster. (I often put mine on 1.2x speed.) Meaning it’s not much to ask! But it might help for your husband to hear four seasoned wives talking about how women’s sexual response works.

You can also get my book, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples, which has several chapters in which you can explain what things are like for you and listen to what it’s like for him. By learning more about each other, without criticism or judgment, you can develop a healthier view of what you should be pursuing together for your sexual intimacy. Which involves climax.

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But there could be another good reason.

Women aren’t the only ones taught that sex is for him.

One of the biggest myths perpetuated both in secular and religious culture is that sex is primary for the husband. (Listen to Lies Woman Believe episode.) Except that’s not at all what God said. The passage often used to urge wives to have more sex with their husband, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, doesn’t say, “Wives, give it up for your husband, whether you wanna or not.”

Although the passage talks about an obligation to have sex in marriage, that’s not the point! Paul’s main point is that there must be mutuality in the marriage bed! And if anything, the verse begins with her “marital rights,” not his: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”

Yet men have heard this passage and others used—as well as common advice given here, there, and everywhere—to say that the husband’s part is needing sex and the wife’s part is owing her husband sex. It’s total malarkey, but if this is the bad teaching your husband received, he may have come into marriage not expecting you to enjoy it as much as he does or believing your climax doesn’t matter as much as his.

Stinks, I know. But when we realize that our husbands also received wrong messages, we can see that it’s not malice that keeps him from aiming for your orgasm. He simply needs to learn the truth about what God desires for both of you in your marriage—a sizzling, satisfying sex life.

But how can you actually address the issue with him?

In addition to the ideas above, I suggest having a conversation away from the bedroom. Tell him what you desire and why. Explain to him how your body works. And ask how he would feel if he was super turned on but didn’t get his climax. I suspect he wouldn’t like that, and neither do you.

Now, not every wife feels the need to climax every time. But if climax isn’t a regular part of your lovemaking, you need to work toward that goal. God created women’s bodies to experience orgasm through the wonderful organ called the clitoris. Yep, that clitoris has one job and one job only—to make sex feel good. And when it gets to the peak of pleasure, you experience muscle spasms that should at least provide a sense of relief if not real excitement.

As to how to prioritize your orgasm, here are a few ideas:

1. Go for your orgasm before intercourse.

It’s a phrase you often hear: she goes first. And it’s not a bad idea. Especially since the average time he can last in intercourse is far less than the average time it takes for a woman to reach the level of arousal she needs to climax. Moreover, a lot of women don’t, or even can’t, climax during intercourse!

Read up on what really helps a woman climax here:

2. Try various positions to see if any/some of them result in climax for you.

They may not (see above), but it could be worth a shot.

For some wives, it’s better to be on top, so she can have more control with the thrusting and tilt her hips in a way that provides pressure against her clitoris. For other wives, a rear-entry position could result in the husband getting deeper and better friction. And for others, face-to-face is the key, but maybe angling your hips upward or putting your feet on his stomach or your knees over his shoulders (assuming that works with your size/height). A sex pillow might help you achieve better angling too.

I also have a chapter about positions in my Hot, Holy, and Humorous book that can walk you through ways to shift your bodies around and find something that might work for both of you.

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3. He stimulates your clitoris during intercourse.

You might combine intercourse and clitoral stimulation to achieve nice results. Get into a position in which he can reach your clitoral hood (that’s the knobby part of your clitoris that sticks out and swells when aroused). Make sure you have adequate lubrication, and add some personal lubricant if needed.

Give him tips on the level of pressure and amount of movement you desire. You may not know yourself until you try it out, but once he hits a good place, let him know. And since one thing doesn’t work for the whole time with most wives, let your husband know when you need him to slow down, increase speed, press harder, etc.

If you’re looking for which positions will work best, check out this page from Christian Friendly Sex Positions and choose “clitoral stimulation” in the search parameters:

4. Stimulate your own clitoris during intercourse.

It can be challenging for your husband to focus on his thrusting and your clitoral stimulation at the same time, so an alternative is for him to focus on the intercourse while you use your own fingers to bring yourself to climax.

Most husbands would be fine with this—and may find that enthusiasm arousing—but make sure your particular husband understands why you want to do this and that it isn’t taking away from the wonderful experience of having him inside you. If anything, having your husband inside when it happens can make a clitoral orgasm better.

5. Get your orgasm after intercourse.

Let him know the intercourse was great, but you’re not really done and would like to finish with an orgasm yourself. Suggest what you’d like for him to do to help you. Do you want him to manually stimulate you to climax? Do you want him to simply caress, kiss, fondle, etc. while you bring yourself to climax?

Your orgasm is still a mutual experience this way, with both of you focused on connection and pleasure.

Yes, I’m sure some husbands are exhausted post-intercourse and aren’t sure they have it in them to keep going. But if you can prevail a few times, I suspect he’ll see the benefit and realize it’s not much more to ask.

What if after all this, he still doesn’t prioritize your orgasm?

If you did all of this, and he still ignored your climax? Then I’d suspect the problem runs deeper than the bedroom, and I’d ask for marriage counseling.

But hopefully, one or more of the suggestions above will get the point across and help you both prioritize your pleasure—as God intended sex to be in your marriage.

7 Ideas to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Your Spouse

I’m not Catholic, so I didn’t grow up learning much of anything about St. Patrick. As far as I knew, his holiday was about drinking, leprechauns, and getting pinched if you didn’t wear green. Which made a young child wonder why this guy was a saint.

However, I’ve since learned that St. Patrick was captured by Irish Pirates at age 16 and taken from his home in Britain to be a slave in Ireland. He spent six years there before returning to his family. Afterward, he dug deeply into his faith and later returned to Ireland as a missionary, spreading Christianity and, as legend has it, using the three-leafed shamrock to explain the trinity.

While we usually think of St. Valentine’s Day as the holiday that gets attention with our spouse, a Facebook community member recently posted: “St. Patrick’s Day is coming up in a few weeks. Any fun ideas that you are planning with your spouse?

Challenge accepted!

And because this is the holiday of luck, here are seven suggestions for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with your spouse, from romantic to sexy.

1. Snuggle up and watch a movie set in Ireland.

Maureen O’Hara & John Wayne in The Quiet Man

I’m partial to the classic The Quiet Man, that film being my favorite John Wayne flick, but you can find a list of possibilities here: 43 Of The Best Irish Movies To Watch Before You Visit Ireland.

I do not vouch for those movies being good or even okay to watch! Do your homework, y’all. (Common Sense Media and/or Focus on the Family’s Plugged In will often have a movie review that tells you exactly what to expect.)

2. Dance together to Irish music.

Pick an Irish/Celtic playlist on Spotify or Pandora, grab your partner, and dance to the the rhythm! Or try one of these options:

3. Wear undies that say on the front, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.”

Found these on Amazon.com – click the image to see

4. Check out the St. Patrick’s Day Resources from The Dating Divas.

The Dating Divas is a website dedicated to dating your sweetheart after you get married! They have hundreds of ideas, including holiday-themed dates. And yes, they have St. Patrick’s Day.

5. Dye your down-there hair green.

Yes, it’s really a trend. One I don’t understand, but hey, if you feel so moved, WikiHow even has instructions.

(Gives a whole new meaning to “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”)

6. Leave notes around the house, leading your spouse to the bedroom.

  • “Feeling lucky? Head to the bedroom.”
  • “Don’t kiss the blarney stone. Come kiss me!”
  • “You can rub me for luck!”
  • “I don’t need Irish whiskey to make me frisky!”
  • “I want to taste your lucky charms!”
  • “Irish you were inside me!”
  • “Let’s rock, baby. Let’s sham-rock!” (I don’t even know what that one means.)

7. Make Love.

What? You don’t think that’s Irish? I beg to differ. Ireland’s fertility rate is 1.92 children per woman, so some couples on that big island are having sex. Follow suit, and go have fun!

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When Women and Men Struggle to Communicate

Mansplaining.

I know from experience that just seeing that word caused different reactions among readers who believe it exists or doesn’t exist, who find the term accurate or insulting, who now feel understood or irritated. And while this doesn’t capture the whole picture, the line of who reacted how can be drawn between female and male.

If you’re a woman, you’re far more likely to agree “mansplaining” happens, to say you’ve experienced it, and to object to its use. If you’re a man, you’re far more likely to disagree that it happens, to say you haven’t seen or done it, and to object to the use of that word.

But what if I told you that women tend toward a communication style that really irritates men? Have you ever heard a husband say, “I wish she’d just get to the point”?

Well, he’s got a point.

Women are more likely to meander in conversation, sharing personal stories, including details, and checking for understanding as they speak. We often do this because it’s not the point that matters as much as the connection we feel from interacting with the person we’re talking to.

But that’s not how many men approach communication. So it’s understandably annoying for him when figuring out the takeaway feels like an impossible game of Where’s Waldo?

Yes, we’re different.

I’m not highlighting “mansplaining” and “womeandering”—yes, I made that up, and it should totally become a word—to get us upset about the opposite gender’s real or perceived communication flaws. Rather, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how men and women discuss sensitive topics.

From blog comment threads to Facebook post replies to my own interactions with my husband, I’m reminded how much our distinct perspectives play into conversational conflict.

Men tend to be more to the point, even gruff at times, to offer direct advice, and to feel disrespected when their feelings or points are not acknowledged. Meanwhile, women tend to tell stories as a way to convey that someone isn’t alone, to offer more detailed advice, and to feel personally hurt when their feelings or points are not acknowledged.

What’s your communication style?

Does this describe all men and women? Of course not. As I often say, stereotypes exist for a reason, but they’re not all-encompassing. The gender continuum really looks more like this:

So you may identify strongly with what I said above (the ends), more in the middle, or in that overlapping part where you’re more like the other gender. Okay, fine. And just to be clear—not identifying with something labeled as men/women doesn’t make you any less masculine or feminine. God just made a variety of us. Still, it’s helpful to understand some generalities to communicate well with the opposite gender on social media and in face-to-face conversation.

And be sure not to take the stereotype for granted with your own spouse. Rather, ask your beloved which, if any, of the following common gender differences apply to them.

MENWOMEN
Converse for informationConverse for connection
Wants to get to the pointWants to share how she gets to the point
Talks more easily shoulder-to-shoulderTalks more easily with eye contact
Responds by offering solutionsResponds by offering sympathy/empathy
Display less tone variation and gesturesDisplay more tone variation and gestures
Views strong challenges as disrespectfulViews strong challenges as insensitive

How does this apply to real life?

If you went back and read blog posts I wrote specifically to women and others specifically to men, you’d see a difference in how I communicate. I also change my approach in the comments section depending on who I’m dealing with, which includes what I can glean about their background and personality as well as their gender. Because men and women tend to respond differently to different approaches.

But too often, we forget this in regular conversation—here on my blog and in my Facebook group, but most especially in our marriages.

Indeed, I was flummoxed this past weekend when I said something I thought was helping my husband and he felt challenged and disrespected. I didn’t intend that, but looking back, I can see how it came across to him that way. The gap in perception was mostly about gender communication differences.

What’s the solution? Well, we each need to give a little. But the burden to adapt seems to lie more with the speaker. That’s what you see over and over and over in Scripture: commands and advice about how we speak to one another. Here’s a sampling:

  • Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23).
  • Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
  • Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
  • Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:19). 

We won’t get it right every time. It really is hard to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. But it’s worth trying, because by making that effort we show love and respect to others, avoid some unnecessary conflict, and experience our own personal growth as we become more other-focused and simply kinder in how we communicate.

What it all means when talking to your spouse.

Now scroll back up and look at the table on what men and women tend to do. This time, instead of seeing whether you identify with the gender you are, ask what your spouse is like and how you could change your speech to cater to their needs. What if you both did that? Wouldn’t your discussions immediately become more productive?

I’m working on this, and I hope you will too.

And if you’re looking for ways to have more productive conversations about sexual intimacy, check out my recent release, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations about Sex for Married Couples.

Now available in both ebook and paperback!

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Related post: Why She Communicates the Way She Does (and It May Not Be What You Think) at Generous Husband

This Valentine’s Day, Give Extravagant Love

What makes the real difference on Valentine's Day and in your marriage? It's extravagant love, which comes first from God.

If you’d known me in high school or college, you could have heard my rant about how Valentine’s Day was a ploy used by greeting card companies, florists, and candy makers to guilt people into purchasing things they didn’t need, all to express the love they could have been expressing 364 other days of the year. I gave versions of this same rant my first several years of marriage as well.

And then I became a marriage and sex blogger.

Valentine’s Day is huuuuge in this world. So many couples celebrate this day and want fresh or practical suggestions on how to commemorate their special love. It’s a great time to speak about how to romance and honor your spouse, because people are listening.

Not to mention that sales of marriage and sex books, affiliate-linked products, and more increase this time of year. That’s just a fact. And on that note…hey, look, a great place to buy lingerie! (And they’re offering 25% off on lingerie and boxers through Valentine’s Day with the code LOVE25.)

Honoring Intimates Logo

Anyway, over the years, I’ve dug myself out of my cynicism, written many posts about Valentine’s Day, and learned to appreciate it as a holiday with origins in a lovely tale about a priest who continued to perform wedding ceremonies despite a ban by the king—because he believed in marriage. Here are those (many) past posts:

Here’s some simple advice.

But today, just a few days before Valentine’s Day, I want to offer simple advice about how to treat this holiday. Actually, it’s not even my advice. It’s ancient advice, with great wisdom. Here it is:

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans, chapter 12, verse 10

That’s from the New Living Translation, and here are some other translations of that same verse:

  • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (NIV).
  • Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor” (CSB).
  • Be devoted to each other with mutual affection. Excel at showing respect for each other” (ISV).

What is extravagant love?

People often talk about unconditional love, but I prefer the phrase extravagant love. To me that connotes going above and beyond, the same prescription here translated in words like “take delight” and “outdo” and “above yourselves” and “excel.”

On this holiday that focuses on romantic love, maybe it’s a good time to take stock and ask how we’re doing on this one with our spouse. Are we showing them extravagant love? Love that goes above and beyond what we’ve done before, what we think we’re capable or, what we believe they even deserve.

On this holiday that focuses on romantic love, maybe it's a good time to take stock and ask how we're doing on this one with our spouse. Are we showing them extravagant love? via @hotholyhumorous #Valentines #marriage Click To Tweet

But here’s the real core of the matter: You can’t do extravagant love on your own.

You can do extravagant gestures, extravagant gifts, extravagant romance. But day-in, day-out, through-all-life’s-challenges, trying to show extravagant love to your spouse in your power can wear you out.

If you want a really great Valentine’s Day, and marriage, ask yourself what it means to show genuine affection to your spouse and to take delight in honoring them. What would extravagant love look like? And then ask God to pour His love into you so that you can pour it back out to your beloved.

I don’t think I can give better advice than that. Happy Valentine’s to you all!

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