Tag Archives: Intimacy In Marriage

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!

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.


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.