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 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.
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!