Tag Archives: Intimacy In Marriage

Pursuing 4-Dimensional Intimacy

When someone asks me where to get date night ideas, The Romantic Vineyard is the first place I send them. The authors, Tom and Debi Walter, have been blogging for many years with practical tips, biblical truths, and romantic ideas to help couples nurture companionship and intimacy, including 430 date night posts. Wow.

But when I think about Debi Walter, I can’t help but think about how she inspired a chapter in my book. When I took up her challenge to the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association to talk specifically about the gospel, I wrote “The Gospel in the Bedroom.” Not only did I feel that chapter was a special message about sex in marriage — but that God had used Debi to invite me into His calling. An angel in the true sense of God’s messenger.

Thus, I feel particularly privileged to have this angel here on my blog today with a wonderful message about intimacy. Here’s Debi Walter.

Blog post title + close-up of couple embracing in a vineyard

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely.”

“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”

Song of Solomon 2:14-15

This passage speaks of the precious gift a husband and wife share behind closed doors. He longs to see her form and to hear her voice. He compliments her, encouraging her into deeper intimacy with him. Such a picture of innocence and trust. It is precious and worth pursuing.

A man who has eyes only for his bride and a bride who lovingly allows him to have all of her without holding back is intimacy as God designed it. It is beautiful.

Our pastor shared a definition of intimacy that has helped us judge how we are doing in this regard. He says when we share intimacy with our spouse, we are inviting them “into me see.” We aren’t holding back in any area. Total disclosure and total trust.

Intimacy includes four areas where we must regularly invite our spouse in. We refer to it as 4-dimensional intimacy. If you’re not familiar with the term, 4-D is a fairly new way of viewing movies at the theater.

Definition: 4-D (adjective) describes a 3-D film experience that is supplemented with synchronized physical effects.

If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they were one of the first to showcase this effect. We went to a 3-D presentation of A Bug’s Life. While we were watching the ants march on the screen, we felt something crawl under our seat. It made everyone jump and scream. Laughter followed when we realized that we were experiencing the movie on a new level.

Imagine what 4-D intimacy could do for our marriages? Let’s consider these four dimensions:

Dimension 1 – The Mind (Intellectual intimacy)

Every day our minds are bombarded with thoughts about work, family, budgets, and schedules. They can be like a tidal wave, and we must spend time sharing what is on our mind with our each other. To stay on the same page, so to speak, in regards to priorities and responsibilities. We must help each other take each thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

This is where we are tempted to worry about the future. Being honest about all the temptations you are both facing will go a long way in building intellectual intimacy together. This intimacy also includes growing and learning new things like current events, science, and history.

Dimension 2 – The Heart (Spiritual intimacy)

Feeding our Spirit with the Word of God and sharing what we are hearing the Holy Spirit say to us is important for our growth in godliness. When we got married, we invited the Holy Spirit to unite us forever, and a miracle took place. No longer were we two, but now we are one flesh.

Spend regular time talking about what God is saying to you. Encourage each other to pursue the Lord. This is spiritual intimacy helping your spouse cultivate their personal relationship with the Lord. This intimacy also includes commitment to the local church and serving others together.

Dimension 3 – The Soul (Emotional intimacy)

Emotions can change like the tide of the ocean — up one day and down the next. They can be predictable in their unpredictability, knowing for certain they will change. We must be committed to not only share our emotions with each other, but also giving each other time to be heard.

When I am feeling the most emotional is when the ground is ripe for a conflict. It takes patience and kindness on my husband’s part, not to mention discernment, in knowing what to say or not say. Often times a hug is all that is needed to let me know that he cares and is there for me. This intimacy also includes having fun together and finding ways to laugh.

Dimension 4 – The Body (Physical intimacy)

This is the intimacy that is supported by all the other intimacies mentioned above. You can have physical intimacy without the first three, but it will be one-dimensional only and not what God intended. Adding this element to the three above is as ecstatic and exhilarating as we felt experiencing the 4-D movie effect for the first time. It caused all the other dimensions to come alive.

It is what King Solomon was describing in our opening verse. Make love not because you have to, but because you get to. It is a gift. If it feels otherwise, I encourage you to seek help to find out why?

Make love not because you have to, but because you get to. Click To Tweet

This brings us to the last part of the verse in Song of Solomon that speaks of catching the foxes that spoil the vine.

Foxes were capable of completely destroying a healthy vineyard. They are known to not only eat the fruit, but also to chew on the trunk, killing the entire vine.

There can be many foxes after your intimacy, and only you know what they are. The question is, have you talked it over with your spouse? Do they know you well enough to know the foxes stalking your mind, heart, soul, and body? If they don’t I encourage you to open up and start the conversation. This is how you go after those little foxes and catch them before the damage is permanent.

Our new book, Cherishing Us: 365 Tips for a Healthy Marriage, can help you begin talking on a regular basis to help deepen your intimacy.

♥     ♥     ♥

Thanks so much, Debi! And to my readers, here’s more about the book:

CLICK TO LEARN MORE OR BUY

Cherishing Us is a compilation of advice shared the past several years on The Romantic Vineyard Facebook page. We brought them together in this handbook to allow you to keep the tips close for easy reference. Read one daily and use it as a springboard to assess your marriage. Let it be a constant reminder of the priority your marriage holds in your life as you seek to grow closer together for a lifetime. Includes monthly Contemplation Questions, Date Night suggestions, and ruminations on the importance of cherishing one another. Ideal for engaged couples, newlyweds, and enduring marriages. Give this as a wedding gift, or anniversary gift, or just because. Every marriage can benefit from daily reminders to honor the one you’ve promised to love and to cherish!

Q&A with J: Can Christians Get Sex Tips from Cosmo?

Today’s reader question is a practical one and worth covering.

I have a question that I would love to get your thoughts on: Is it “OK” for a Christian woman to go to secular websites (such as Cosmo) for sex tips? I do this every so often to find new positions/foreplay ideas/etc. Obviously, there is a ton of trashy/sinful stuff that goes against God’s Word (porn, threesomes, etc.) and I bypass this. As for sex positions, they are obscure drawings…..but is that considered “pornographic material?” I don’t feel like I’m going against my conscience in looking at these sites, but to be honest, I would feel awkward telling my girlfriends (or even my husband) that I do, I guess because Cosmo has a rep for being trashy. But, are there Cosmo-type Christian sites to get ideas?? Yours is the closest thing I’ve found (for which I’m grateful! As is my husband. ;). But it’s not as detailed as what I can find on secular sites. Anyways, I’m interested to hear your opinion!

Q&A with J Can Christians Get Sex Tips from Cosmo

While standing in the grocery store line, I sometimes pick up the latest issue of Cosmo magazine and flip over to an article titled something like “14 New Ways to Drive Your Lover Wild!” or “Do These 3 Things for a Stronger Orgasm!”  Am I looking for ideas? Not really. I’m just curious what they have to say.

But to gather ideas, I have looked through secular sources like books in used bookstores, articles from websites unaffiliated with Christianity, and studies conducted by state universities and research labs. Even if they don’t share my values, they can have useful information.

You can guess my general answer based on what I do, but the complete perspective requires some clarification. (Please read to the end, because the most important conclusions are at the bottom!)

Lay a strong foundation. At one point in my life looking at Cosmo magazine articles on sex would have been a very bad idea, because I didn’t have a godly view of sexuality. You need spiritual maturity to keep your Christian perspective intact while looking through secular sources — that is, a strong foundation.

In Ephesians, the apostle Paul speaks of the importance of God’s people being fully equipped so that “we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (4:14). But I suspect more Christians believe they’re mature enough than really are. 1 Corinthians 10:12 always warns: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” Apparently, people can think they’re standing firm, and still be susceptible to falling into temptation.

I can’t tell you when your foundation is strong enough. But I do know what it feels like. I can actually look at more now because I mentally blow off anything that falls short of the beautiful lovemaking I’ve experienced that matches God’s design. At the same time, I’m less interested in looking at anything that wanders from His truth, because it feels like a waste of time. Maybe that’s a paradox, but it’s one way I know that my foundation is solid. And I think that’s the place to start.

Exercise your filter. It’s impossible to avoid all stimuli that contrast with our worldview. Every day, we have to be able to sort through all the messages and choose what’s good and true … while discarding the lies and temptation that Satan wants to put in our path. It’s smart that the reader said, “Obviously, there is a ton of trashy/sinful stuff that goes against God’s Word (porn, threesomes, etc.) and I bypass this.”

Some secular sources have good information we can access and use, as long as we use discretion and wisdom. For some time, the best sexual position site I’d found was a secular, UK-based site that had some too-revealing images on certain pages but their positions section had tastefully drawn images and excellent descriptions. So I made the conscious effort to avoid anything untoward on their website while accessing the areas that met my moral standards.

In fact, my sharing an article or post on social media doesn’t mean I agree with everything on a website. I’m presuming my smart readers will check out the article or post, but filter through anything else on that site that might not agree with biblical teaching. As Proverbs 2:9-11 says, “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair — every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

Know your weaknesses. I don’t keep candy bars in my house. It’s just a very bad plan, because I know how quickly I can devour chocolate if it’s easily within reach. I don’t have a poor foundation of health, nor would I only eat chocolate and avoid broccoli. But it’s a weakness … so I’m better not to plant that temptation in my house.

I don’t know what, if any, weaknesses you have regarding sexuality. But if something appeals to or arouses you that you know isn’t good for you, you’d be far better to avoid it. Which might mean flipping past an article or images or simply putting the Cosmo back on the shelf.

So take stock and ask yourself honestly, deeply, mercilessly whether there’s something you shouldn’t expose yourself to. If something would turn your thoughts away from your husband or God’s design for your sexual intimacy, maybe you should pass over that resource. Just know your weaknesses going in.

Seek better resources. At one time there was a scarcity of quality sources regarding Christian sexuality. But that’s changed! Yes, we still have strides to take in discussing this topic more in churches and small groups and friend circles. But as for articles, books, podcasts, video classes, etc., I can name a lot of current sources. I have a books I recommend page you can check out. And HEY, I wrote a whole book with lots of how-tos, all from a Christian perspective, and you can find it online and in many Barnes & Noble bookstores: Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

Remember how I mentioned that secular website where I accessed a positions section? That was years ago, and now there’s Christian Friendly Sex Positions. So why go to a site with lots of stuff I don’t agree with when there’s another website that provides all that information from a biblical perspective? New Christian resources arrive all the time, including Awaken Love’s recent video class launch that gets pretty specific.

Also, you need to think about who you’re supporting. Cosmopolitan‘s cover price is $3.99. I personally don’t want to put that money into the pockets of people who shove cleavage and sensational headlines at me and everyone else every single month. Especially when $4.99 will get me an ebook of Sheila Gregoire’s 31 Days to Great Sex or some other Christian resource. So if you’re actually purchasing the magazine, think about whether that’s really where you want your hard-earned money to go.

So can you get sex tips from Cosmo? Yes, I think you can. But whether you should depends on several factors, and it’s best to make spiritually sound resources your initial go-tos. On that note, Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage has been doing a series highlighting marriage blogs and has a blogs and websites page listing quite a few resources.

5 Ways to Celebrate My 500th Post!

This post right here is my 500th post on Hot, Holy & Humorous. Thanks to all my regular readers and visitors who have kept this blog going, challenged and encouraged me, and shared their stories of personal pain and marital victory. You are why I continue to engage in this important ministry.

To celebrate my 500th, I wanted to share five special treats with y’all.

5 Ways to Celebrate My 500th Post!

#1 – MY TOP 5 POSTS

So what has attracted the most attention on Hot, Holy & Humorous? Here are the most-read blog posts of all time:

5. Showering and Bathing Together: Why You Should Try It. What?! This is number five? (A part of me wanted this post to shimmy down a little to make room for 4 Great Bible Stories About Sex that came in right behind it.) But this is indeed one of my most popular.

4. Getting Comfortable Being Naked with Your Husband. The number who’ve read this post is another reminder of the struggle many wives have with body insecurities and shyness about sex. Baring yourself before your husband, however, is a beautiful gift — to him and to yourself.

3. Oral Sex: How To. For a long time, this was top of the list. It’s moved down a little, but it’s still a very popular post with practical tips for giving fellatio (aka “blow jobs”).

2. Penis Size: From the Wife’s Point of View. If I had to bet, I’d say more husbands visit this post than wives. Because yeah, many men worry. And for the vast majority of them, they needn’t worry a bit.

1. What I Wish I’d Known before the Wedding Night. This was nice to see, because I like being among the biblically based resources out there for those getting started with sexual intimacy in marriage.

#2 – FREE 5-DAY DEVOTIONAL

Written in the same format as Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Your Marriage, here’s a free five-day devotional for wives on Sex in Marriage.

Sex in Marriage Final CoverCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

#3 – 5 GOALS FOR HOT, HOLY & HUMOROUS

Where do I go from here? Here are five goals I have for the future of this marriage ministry.

  1. Speaking events. I’d planned to start speaking this fall, but it turns out I’ll be launching my speaking ministry in early 2016. I’m preparing my talks and materials now, so that any church that books me will get a quality presentation. Watch for news on that front!
  2. Q&A with J. The last two summers, I’ve hosted a Q&A with J. I extended that feature into the fall, and it’s been so well-received, I’ll be keeping it up. I have a queue of questions to cover, but if you have another one you want me to tackle, head over to Contact J and shoot me an email.
  3. Website update. I love the look of my website, so don’t expect the background or header to change. But this site functions entirely like a blog, and I want the website to be more interactive and navigable. Look for an update reflecting my movement from a personal blog to a marriage ministry.
  4. Another book. I have two more book ideas that have been rolling around in my head. In case anyone was wondering, yes, I will continue to write books as I feel called. I’ve started one of these books and plan to finish in 2016. Please pray I have enough time and godly wisdom so I can keep presenting positive resources for Christian marriages.
  5. More humor. This has felt like such a serious year since I added a Q&A post, in which many spouses are in heartbreaking situations. I believe in mourning with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) and trying to provide biblical answers. Yet I also believe there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and that “a cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Having a good sense humor helps us get through life, and I’ll be looking for more ways to keep the humorous of Hot, Holy & Humorous a major part of my blog.

#4 – 5-BOOK GIVEAWAY

One lucky commenter will win not one, not two, but all three of my ebooks!
Intimacy Revealed Book CoverSex Savvy 300 x 450Final Book Cover - smaller

Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives
Behind Closed Doors: 5 Marriage Stories
Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage

But wait! I said a 5-book giveaway. What are the other two? Well, two of the marriage blogging wives who helped me so much from the beginning and through the years have donated copies of their ebooks to this giveaway! A big shout-out to Sheila Wray Gregoire and Julie Sibert. If you haven’t followed their blogs or checked out their resources, I encourage you to do so. They have wonderful wisdom on Christian marriage and sex. So here are the fourth and fifth books:

31 Days to Great Sex book cover

Pursuit of Passion larger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire
Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage by Jeffrey Murphy and Julie Sibert

Leave a comment at the end of this post, and you’ll be automatically entered. (Be sure to provide your email address, which will not appear on the site.) I’ll draw a winner on Friday, November 20, 10:00 p.m. CST.

#5 – 5 QUESTIONS WITH J & “SPOCK”

For a long time, I’ve been calling my ever-logical husband “Spock” on this site. Believe me, it fits. And here’s a treat in which we sat down and answered five questions about our relationship and marriage.

https://youtu.be/8FD_8wsW_k4
And that’s it for POST #500! Woo-hoo!!! Thanks for being part of my celebration and this ministry. May God bless you and your marriage!

Feeling Beautiful Beneath the Sheets with Julie Sibert

I consider Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage my blogger twin. In addition to writing about sex from a Christian perspective, we share several things in common: raising sons, a love of baseball, an appreciation of a nice glass of wine, a similar sense of humor, and a desire to vacation on the beach together.

We’ve shared several phone conversations, and I’m extra-eager to meet her in person someday. In the meantime, I just love getting to read her posts in which she encourages women toward healthy, godly sexuality in their marriages.

For my Feel Beautiful series, she’s letting us in on tips for how to feel beautiful beneath the sheets. Read on…

Feeling Beautiful Beneath the Sheets with Julie Sibert

Entertainment and social media and Photoshop have schemed us, haven’t they? At least when it comes to what qualifies as “beautiful.”

And what’s ironic, if we are being honest, is that we know we are being schemed. Few people look at the covers of magazines as they’re schlepping their Diet Coke through the supermarket checkout and think, “Those photos are totally real.”

Nope.

We know that the endless stream of images and video clips vying for our attention are a pale representation of accuracy. (I mean, seriously, these people spend literally hours in hair and make-up, even before digital trickery has had its final say).

And yet.

Even though we logically know that all those “beautiful” people likely look much more average without the professional manipulation, we still struggle.

We struggle with feeling less than beautiful, less than attractive, less than sexy in our own skin, in our own real lives. You know, the place where we live every day, hopefully with the people who genuinely do love us for who we truly are, not who we wish we could be.

So what’s a gal to do, especially when it comes to feeling beautiful beneath the sheets?

Sexual intimacy is a huge roadblock for many women. Can you relate? Are you beyond self-conscious about the wrinkles, loose flabs of skin, extra pounds, lack of muscle tone, and evidence of years gone by?

I get that.

But…

Because I love sex, I’ve learned a few things along the way about feeling beautiful beneath the sheets. Maybe I’ve even learned some things that could help you in your real life in your real body:

1. Stop looking at your sexual encounters through the filter of every romantic movie love scene.

See how I did that? I circled back to my previous observations about how we are schemed into believing that for something to qualify as amazing, it has to look like what is depicted on the screen.

The next time you see a love scene in a romantic comedy, imagine a crew of 30 people standing on a chaotic set 10 feet away from those two “lovers.”

Imagine Joe the camera guy asking that the lights be adjusted. Imagine Dee the make-up artist putting concealing powder across the actress’s chest to dull the natural shine of her skin. Then imagine all the other people, from the props assistants to the set designer to the script person to the sound tech using every ounce of professional mastery to make you believe this scene is totally natural — totally like how things happen in real life.

Feeling beautiful beneath the sheets has a lot to do with recognizing — embracing — that real sex is not movie sex. Real sex is better.

When you and your husband make love, it is astoundingly beautiful and holy and right. Because it is real.

2. Shed a little light on the situation.

Usually when a woman feels conscious about her body, she wants complete darkness when she and her husband have sex. For some women, even complete darkness in the room isn’t enough. She wants the two of them completely under the sheets as well.

Her theory, of course, is “If he can’t see me, then I won’t feel so self-conscious.”

I’m going to challenge this conventional line of wisdom.

I’m not saying you need the overhead light on, but consider turning on a closet light and cracking the door to let some of that light peek into the room. Consider lighting a candle on the nightstand. Or turning a small lamp on.

If your husband is like most husbands, he wants to not only touch your body, but also see it. Sure, you may not feel comfortable with the lights on full blast, but some light on your body allows him to see your curves and softness — and allows you to feel good about the way such visual stimulation brings him pleasure.

These are all confidence boosters. Pleasure and sexual excitement are powerful distractions that keep us focused on what matters, rather than on what we don’t like about our bodies.

3. Try something new sexually.

Do you feel apprehensive about being naked with your man, to the point that you always play it safe sexually? Do you always follow the same repertoire when you make love, never venturing into new touches, techniques, and positions?

Well, it’s easier to feel beautiful beneath the sheets if we remember that sex is supposed to be fun! Yes, it’s also passionate and romantic and “gaze into my eyes” longingly. But more than anything, it’s supposed to be freedom for a husband and a wife to thoroughly figure out what brings each other intense sexual ecstasy.

And here’s the thing.

When we begin to appreciate the freedom to explore each other’s bodies within the exclusivity of our marriage, we find there is thrilling beauty in being the one who does it for him.

Be the one who leaves no doubt in his mind and heart about how much you hunger to feel his skin against yours. Be the one who makes him climax hard through your intentional presence and sexual playfulness.

If that’s not beautiful, I don’t know what is.

For more reading, check out two of my all-time must-read favorite posts on body image and sexual confidence: A Body that Never Quits and Extraordinary Sex in Your Ordinary Life.

Julie Sibert Bio Photo 2015Julie Sibert writes and speaks out of her own story, encouraging couples to nurture authentic sexual intimacy in marriage. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two sons, and a dog named Stella who is busy destroying the yard. You can follow Julie’s blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com.

8 Things I’d Say about Sex If I Had NO Filter (Heaven Help Us All)

Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage started it, by posting 9 Things I’d Say about Sex If I Had No Filter. A few others (like Generous Husband) joined in on this concept, and I’ve decided to give it a go as well.

This was a real challenge, though, because I kind of don’t have a filter. (My husband laughed unnecessarily loud when I told him that.) I pretty much say what I think, although I give deep thought to how I say it. So maybe that’s my filter after all.

Anyway, here are eight things I’d say about sex if I said them exactly how they run through my brain — before I pretty them up for my blog.

woman with hand over mouth + blog post title

FOR BOTH WIVES AND HUSBANDS

1. Oh, for heaven’s sake, sex is all over the Bible! When naysayers are critical or appalled at the honest talk on my blog, I wonder if we’re even reading the same Bible. Because I remember trying to read through the Bible with my young children, and I couldn’t get far without a story about sex cropping up here and there. Everything from “Adam knew Eve” to Lot and his lunatic daughters and on and on, the Bible is filled with God telling stories and giving commands about His gift of sexual intimacy and its horrible abuses.

Yes, we need to be kind and gentle and respectful in how we talk about sex, but for heaven’s sake, it’s all over the Bible! Responsible Christian sex authors aren’t addressing anything God didn’t address in His Word.

2. Stop withholding or stop demanding, and stop acting like the other one is the whole problem. Withholders and demanders always have reasons why they’re doing it: “If he would only, then I would __.” “As my wife, she owes me __.” Or whatever. But as long as you are arrogantly certain the problem lies with the other person, nothing will improve.

If you’re demanding, stop that. Even if your spouse is supposed to give you sex, and I agree (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), you’re not thus relieved of God’s calling for you to be patient, kind, selfless, etc. See 1 Corinthians 13 — a few chapters later!

And to the withholders — even if your spouse doesn’t understand how tired you are or needy of romance you are or whatever (and yes, they likely should treat you better), that doesn’t mean that you get to erect a wall, post guards, and deny entrance to the garden. When you said I do, part of that was I do sex. (Look it up! It’s in the Bible.)

Yep, if you’re on one of these extremes, you can rationalize all day long but it won’t negate that you are not in line with God’s intention for your marriage and things won’t get better until one of you changes. Since you can’t force your spouse to change, how about you start?

3. Talk to your children about sex — yesterday, today, tomorrow, and on and on until they are good and raised. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, you feel unqualified. Yes, your children might buck you at times. But the world will be sending erroneous messages to your child almost 24/7 from the moment they can read the magazine cover in the grocery store line. It’s your God-given responsibility to get over the awkwardness and give your child the truth about sexual intimacy.

By toddlerhood, we parents have been peed on, vomited on, and who knows what else. Face it: We signed up for difficult and awkward! Come on, I believe in you. Step up and talk to your children about sex — now, and again and again.

FOR THE WIVES

4. Relax already! Think of sex like a spa day for your girly parts. If you tense every time like you’re getting a pelvic exam, it’s no wonder you don’t like sex. You’ve got to relax to enjoy this intimate experience with your husband! Think of sex like a spa day for your girly parts, where your most arouse-able areas get extra-stimulated and pampered. Lean into the interesting sensations like you would a fabulous massage or a relaxing pedicure.

If you practice relaxing and focusing on how you feel in those moments, you might find your body is capable of some super-neat sensations. And your husband has nice skills — especially once you hint or tell him where you like to be touched. Stop thinking about how you look, or what someone else would think, or if the kids will walk in (you locked the door, right?), or whatever. Relax!

5. Get into it. Flirt. Tease. Move. Moan. Wouldn’t it stink to go out dancing and have your husband merely shuffle his feet through the tango (or Texas two-step where I live)? Likewise, it ain’t enough to show up and offer your body like it’s a big sacrificial gesture. Don’t merely go through the motions. It doesn’t make you embarrassing or sleazy to really get into it.

Own your sexuality! Flirt with your husband. Tease and touch him. Move around as you make love. Moan and scream. Let loose and you might find you enjoy it more! He’ll really like it too. Trust me on that.

6. So what if the kids hear! You think that‘s what will cause them to seek therapy? Sure, I’ve probably done something as a mom for which my kids could seek therapy someday — some mistake on my part a few counseling sessions would help. But I’m fairly certain that moment your kids realize their parents have sex won’t ruin them or cause Freud to sit up in his coffin and shout, “Told you so!” Kids are more resilient than that!

Even if your children do hear or (heaven forbid) walk in, They. Will. Be. Okay. It’s actually good for children to know their parents make love and that sexual intimacy is a gift from God to marriage. So stop worrying so much. Of course you should lock the door, tuck away your intimacy aids, and hold off having naked Twister in the living room until they’re gone, but if they hear? Hey, that’s just what loving mommies and daddies do.

FOR THE HUSBANDS

7. She’s never had an orgasm? What are you doing wrong?! To be fair, there is a percentage of wives who have major issues reaching orgasm, and it has nothing to do with their husbands. But honestly, there’s a contingent of men out there who haven’t made this the patient priority they should.

Look, I know it’s annoying you can get there in five minutes and she takes forty. But she will like sex more when you help her find that real climax. And orgasms beget orgasms, so even if you have to spend a lot of time at first helping her figure out what gets her aroused and learning what you can do to stimulate her, it will pay off in the long run. That first orgasm is often the hardest to reach.

Now don’t worry if she doesn’t orgasm every single time (sometimes, some wives don’t even want to that much), but please make it a priority for her to reach climax fairly regularly. You’ll both be happier if you can figure this out.

8. Were you raised by wolves? You can’t just sniff her out, honk a breast, and think you’re getting some tonight. You are not an animal, you’re a real man. That means you woo your woman. You didn’t just catch her and drag her back to your den years ago and now the chase is over. Nope. You’ll be pursuing her for the rest of your life.

Tuck that away in your brain and figure out how to make her feel so loved and desired and valued and appreciated and beautiful . . . that making love to you sounds like a dream come true. Take your time: Show her your romantic side, touch and kiss just for the sake of it, pay attention to the areas of her body that are not erogenous zones, and treat her like the “weaker sex” (1 Peter 3:7). That verse doesn’t mean she’s actually weak, but rather Handle With Care.

Oh, and help her deal with those distractions that keep her from focusing on the two of you. In summation, no honking a breast and make her feel blessed.

That’s it! Eight things I’d say if I had no filter. Which, heaven help us all, I’ve now said.