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).
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
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
Orgasm is reached after only a few minutes of
Even if you’re tired or stressed, sex should be
Intercourse is the way to have an orgasm.
For most men (not all), this is pretty much the way sexual
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Many of us gals were raised with the following messages, conveyed in one way or another:
“Sex drive” refers to one’s independent desire to have sex; that is, feeling “in the mood.”
Your sex drive is less than his.
But what if those two presumptions aren’t true.
Sadly, we women often don’t understand our sexuality. We may know how our own bodies work, but we still feel like something’s missing when our sex drive doesn’t look like our husband’s. I’m not even talking about low-drive vs high-drive wives, because our misconceptions span across that continuum.
Where can you get the truth?
As I have learned more, I’ve wanted to share what I know about female sexuality. And the same is true of my podcast partners, Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife, Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, and Gaye Christmas of Calm.Healthy.Sexy. We want to right the record, reform our perspective, and release women’s sexuality to be what God created it to be.
That’s why we’re thrilled to offer our first Sex Chat for Christan Wives webinar on the topic of Understanding Your Sex Drive! We’re inviting wives to pour a cup of java or tea, join us at our virtual kitchen table, and learn about God’s perfect design for a wife’s sex drive.
We know you busy ladies don’t have a lot of extra time on your calendar, so we’ll be meeting for less than 40 minutes, but that time will be packed with great insight. Plus, you’ll get to see us the way we get to see each other when we record our podcast episodes.
There will also be an opportunity to submit questions, which we’ll answer as time permits.
How can you join our webinar?
For right now, just mark your calendar for July 18, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Give your work or family a heads-up that you’ve set aside that time. Then sign up for our emails, so we can alert you when the sales page goes live in early July.
Of course, I’ll also continue to share about the webinar here, on my blog, and on Facebook.
What does the webinar cost?
For each webinar, we’re only charging a whopping $5!
Yep, for about the same as a Chick-Fil-A kid’s meal, you can hang out with us, gain a great perspective, and improve your sex life. And with four of us, our smiles outdo your typical Chick-Fil-A employee!
(I’ll even add “Have a blessed day” if you want. Though I might opt for “Have a blessed night…bow-chicka-wow-wow.”)
Is this the only webinar?
This is the first webinar in three we’re offering in 2019. In addition to Understanding Your Sex Drive, we’ll also be talking to wives about Foreplay and to husbands about Understanding Her Sex Drive. So put those dates in your calendar as well.
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!
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
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.
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.
Last week, I gave advice on How to Read a Marriage Book, which might be one of the more important posts I’ve written, since the points there can make a big difference in whether a resource helps or hurts your marriage.
One point I made is that most marriage books presume good-willed spouses. Yes, these spouses may have moments of high frustration, over-the-top words, or hard stonewalling. However, those are moments and usually arise from deep-seated emotional pain the spouse feels in the face of relational conflict they don’t know how to resolve.
That’s different from a pattern of abuse, in which a spouse exhibits behaviors intended to keep their partner under their thumb. Such behaviors include physical violence, direct threats, constant belittling, gaslighting, economic deprivation, sexual force, and emotional intimidation. And for those spouses in an abusive marriage, or with features of abuse in their marriage, the typical marriage advice isn’t going to work.
Let me first point out that I am not a clinical psychologist; licensed, professional counselor; psychiatric specialist; licensed social worker; law enforcement member; or domestic abuse expert. I do not have a background working with individuals or couples who have experienced domestic abuse. Thus, everything I advise here is based on Scripture, common sense, expert resources I’ve consulted, and personal contact I’ve had with victims of domestic abuse.
And that caveat is why my primary suggestion is you consult the expert you need, as soon as possible. What do I mean by “the expert you need”? Here are a few examples.
If you or your children experience physical or sexual violence from your spouse, call the police. It does not matter that you are married to the offender, you are still being assaulted and deserve protection and justice.
If you feel you or your children are at risk of physical or sexual violence, contact the domestic abuse hotline or a local shelter. You need to get to a place of safety.
If your spouse is denying you access to your home, personal belongings, or money to feed and care for yourself and children, you may need to speak to a lawyer to get what is legally and rightfully yours.
If the abuse is verbal or emotional in nature, you should see a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker, or professional counselor.
In an abusive or destructive marriage, the dominant spouse has gained outsized control and an unfair advantage. The way to re-balance the scales is to bring in reinforcements. So get help from people who can actually help you.
Some marriages simply have abusive or destructive traits. That is, they don’t pose an immediate threat to your safety or survival, nor do you feel like you’re in an emotional war zone, but your spouse sometimes behaves horribly toward you. What can you do?
In dysfunctional relationships, we tend to take on a role that unwittingly keeps the dynamic going. For instance, you may play the role of caretaker, scapegoat, or clown/mascot—all in an effort to calm the storms caused your spouse. But if you want to stop a system, throw a wrench into the gears. That is, stop playing your part and choose a different role—a healthier role.
This is an underlying principle in programs for spouses of addicts, as well as a key part of Boundaries, a wonderful book from Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. These Christian clinical psychologists also wrote Boundaries in Marriage, in which they lay out how you can stand up for yourself in the face of mistreatment from a spouse. By changing your way of dealing with unacceptable behavior, you make it more difficult for the other person to continue their misconduct—at least not without real cost.
Are all abusers the same?
No, they’re not. Some abusers can be reformed, but even as Christians who believe that God can redeem any situation, we must face the reality that some abusers will not change.
It appears that there are two types of domestic violence: situational and characterological. Situational violence describes a conflict in which one or both partners escalate in their frustration and anger to the point of lashing out. These spouses tend to recognize the awfulness of what they’ve done, feel genuine remorse, and want to avoid repeating that experience. Experts say such abusers lack self-control and conflict resolution skills—but, with the right help, they can learn.
Meanwhile, characterological violence means what it sounds like—it’s a core feature of the person’s character to dominate, manipulate, and maltreat their partner. Such abusers tend to blame their victims, give halfhearted or just-for-show apologies (if they give them at all), and maintain their pattern of abuse. Moreover, their escalation isn’t tracked in a single incident of losing control, but over the course of the relationship, with the abuse slowly becoming worse and worse. This building of intensity can be compared to the frog placed in a pot of water and heat slowly rising until it reaches boiling point; by the time the frog (or abuse victim) realizes what’s happening, they’re stuck. Or at least feel stuck.
Sadly, the characterological abuser is unlikely to ever change.
He is like the man with a hardened heart whom God cannot change. Not because God lacks the ability to mold a sinful person into something beautiful, but because the clay will never admit it needs the Artist’s hands. If you are married to this kind of abuser, I’ll say it plainly: Get out.
If your abuser later decides to confess their sin, repent of their sin, and embrace God’s love instead, you can re-negotiate then. But you cannot have anything resembling the kind of marriage God desires with a characterological abuser. As author and speaker Gary Thomas said: “How does it honor the concept of ‘Christian marriage’ to enforce the continuance of an abusive, destructive relationship that is slowly squeezing all life and joy out of a woman’s soul?”
The Bible says that God knit you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:14), that He has numbered the hairs of your head (Luke 12:7), that He sacrificed His Son for you (Romans 5:8), and that, through Christ, you are God’s beloved child (1 John 3:1). As much as I believe in marriage, you are worth more than your marriage.
When it’s a matter of saving your life, your soul, your value, it’s okay to find the exit door. And then enter God’s welcoming, comforting arms.
Therapy for you, not us
If you are in a marriage with a characterological abuser or controller, couples’ therapy probably won’t work. Why? Because such abusers and controllers are unlikely to tell the truth, accept responsibility for their actions, respect a counselor, or even attend counseling. They don’t believe they’re the problem anyway. If they go, they want the counselor to say you are the problem.
Sadly, that’s what some counselors do. If that happened to you, let me assure you it shouldn’t have.
Other couples’ counselors can and will see what’s happening and encourage you toward positive steps to change the unhealthy dynamic.
But given the destructive nature of your marriage relationship, your best option is seeking therapy for yourself. Explain to a licensed, Christian counselor what you’re dealing with and ask for wisdom and help. Learn what you can do to care for yourself, your children, and yes, your marriage, if it can be healed.
You may be in for a long road, but the road will feel longer and harder if you continue the path you’re walking. Don’t simply reach for another resource that presumes two good-willed spouses. If you’re in an abusive or destructive marriage, get real help for your situation.