Tag Archives: The Forgiven Wife

The Secret Sex Lives of Real Wives

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 design.

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 things:

  • Orgasm is reached after only a few minutes of sexual stimulation.
  • Even if you’re tired or stressed, sex should be easy.
  • Intercourse is the way to have an orgasm.

For most men (not all), this is pretty much the way sexual response works.

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.

It’s rare to find a woman who arrives at adulthood with information about female sexual response. – Chris Taylor via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

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 response.

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 more.

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 more.

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.

The secret is out: You are a woman.

To learn more about your sexual response, check out the upcoming Sex Chat for Christian Wives webinar series. Two of our webinars about your sexual response—one webinar for you and one for your husband.

If you’d like to talk with other women about women’s sexual desire and response, I’d love to have you join my new Honeycomb & Spice community for Christian wives.

Chris Taylor encourages women to enjoy sexual intimacy in their marriages at The Forgiven Wife, on the Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, and in the Honeycomb & Spice community for Christian wives.

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.

Last-Minute Invite to Sexual Intimacy Study

I have one word for my life lately: discombobulated. Lately, I don’t know which way I’m going, what’s next on my schedule, and how I can keep up. I even found myself waking up this week at 1:30 a.m. to meet an article deadline. (I returned to bed by 4:00 a.m., but still…)

Anyway, I didn’t get my blog post written this week. But that’s okay because it gives me an opportunity to extend a last-minute invitation to wives to join a study being run by my close friend and fellow marriage blogger, Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife.

Here’s what she says:

Join me as we go through Passion Pursuit, by Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery. #authenticintimacy

I am leading an online study of the book Passion Pursuit, by Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery.

Passion Pursuit is for Christian wives in generally healthy marriages. If you are in marriage that involves on-going unrepentant sin (such as abuse, porn addiction, or infidelity), you are better off seeking professional or pastoral counseling to address those issues.

If you are a Christian wife who wants to learn God’s truth about sex and pursue sexual passion in marriage, this study is for you! 

To read more about it and sign up (now because the deadline is tomorrow), head over to her post HERE.

Is He (Secretly) Unhappy with Your Body?

My blog schedule has been thrown off this week, but I’m thrilled to share with you today a post I wrote for The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor has been doing a series on healing from sexual brokenness, and I tackled body image.

I’ve talked about this topic quite a bit here! However, this time I got really personal. I talk about how I believed at one time that my husband couldn’t possibly be happy with my body. Maybe you’ve felt the same.

Following is a teaser, and I pray you’ll click Read More to finish the article on The Forgiven Wife site.

I remember lying naked in bed with my husband above me, and all I could think was how small my breasts were — how desperately I wished I had more to share with him.

But this wasn’t the only time when poor body image stole my healthy view of sexual intimacy.

I’ve spent most of my life as a small woman, size 4 or below. Wait! Don’t stop reading. Whatever your size, I promise there’s a message for you here.

Deep down, I knew I wasn’t pretty. I lacked the curves that seemed to distinguish a girl from woman and instead felt trapped in a pubescent 13-year-old body. People “complimented” me with statements like: “You’re so thin, one of these days a big wind might just up and blow you away” and “You’re so skinny, I can see your bones.” But seriously, what man wants to be with tumbleweed or a skeleton?

In fact, this is one of the reasons I fell into promiscuity before marriage. Believing I couldn’t measure up to the beauty of the bodies around me, I figured I could at least snag a guy by giving him the sex he wanted….

Click Here to Read More

Don’t Have Time to Read about Sex? Then Listen.

I recently posted something on my Facebook page about the Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, and one commenter responded: “Wait you have a podcast? I didn’t realize!!”

At first, I thought: Really? You didn’t know? Because this is the header on my Facebook page:

Facebook Banner with photo of my book and podcast logo: "Check out the Book and the Podcast"

Then I thought about how often I scan stuff or don’t recall what I’ve seen. Not to mention that I’ve heard about a gazillion times that people need to see something repeatedly to remember it. I admitted that my fairly new podcast could have easily gotten lost among the noise of life.

So I wanted to make it easy for y’all, in case you haven’t listened yet. Below are links to all the episodes we’ve done. And by we, I mean this group of ladies:

Sex Chat for Christian Wives Facebook Banner: showing J, Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, Gaye Christmus of Calm.Healthy.Sexy, and Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife

It’s not my podcast. It’s a podcast in which four marriage and sex bloggers — me, Bonny Burns of OysterBed7, Gaye Christmus of Calm.Healthy.Sexy., and Chris Taylor of The Forgiven Wife — sit around a virtual kitchen table and discuss various topics. You’ll see the span of stuff we’ve covered so far below.

  1. Episode 1: Getting in the Mood – We launch our podcast with a conversation about getting your mind and body ready for sexual intimacy
  2. Episode 2: Sex Positions – Going beyond the missionary position, we talk about how and why to try new positions
  3. Episode 3: 50 Shades of Here-We-Go-Again – With the release of the second movie in the Fifty Shades series, we talk about this phenomenon and what wives should know
  4. Episode 4: Stress & Sex – Stress impacts our ability to engage in sex in marriage, so we discuss realistic ways of dealing with this obstacle
  5. Episode 5: Sex Scheduling – We talk about putting sex on your calendar, whether and how you should do it, and what benefits it might have
  6. Episode 6: Women’s Sexual Response – Discussing how our sexual response really works and what many people misunderstand about female arousal
  7. Episode 7: Exercise and Sex – Talking about why exercising is important for your sex life, not to mention your health and wellbeing
  8. Episode 8: Sex Toys – Covering what benefits, drawbacks, and concerns are involved with the use of sex toys
  9. Episode 9: Listener Questions –  Chris, Bonny, and Gaye answer questions about honoring feelings, multiple orgasms, and erectile dysfunction
  10. Episode 10: Tending Your Garden – We talk about taking care of your “garden,” aka your lady parts; hygiene, grooming, and decorating
  11. Episode 11: Introducing the Podcast Team – Digging deeper into who we are and why we do what we do
  12. Episode 12: Guy Talk – The Importance of Sex – Chris interviews men from the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association core team, and we comment afterward about their male perspective
  13. Episode 13: Mismatched Sex Drives – We chat about the challenge of differences in sex drives and how to handle the mismatch

And tomorrow, look for a new episode with more Guy Talk.

I’m planning to add a fourth day to my blog every other week, in which I share the new episode so that you won’t miss it! But the best way to make sure you are plugged into our (fabulous) podcast is to subscribe to new posts through our RSS feed, and/or find us on your favorite podcast provider. We’re on iTunesiHeart, Stitcher, and more. I personally listen to podcasts on the Pocket Casts app, and I had no trouble finding Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

Now and then, we encounter some audio issues, because (1) we’re recording the episode via Skype phone call and (2) we are not audio engineers. But we have purchased better equipment, continue working on our editing skills, and try to provide the best episodes we can. Regardless, we believe our content is absolutely worth your time.

We’d love for you to listen, leave a review on iTunes or other podcast provider sites, and share our podcast with others. We want to spread the message about God’s gift of sexual intimacy in marriage and address the challenges we wives face in embracing that gift fully.

Also, as someone recently said to us, “it sounds like y’all have fun.” We really do. We enjoy one another, our conversations, and the experience of inviting other wives to slide their own chair up to the virtual kitchen table and listen in.

Screenshot of Skype phone call, with all four of us smiling

Having fun on the podcast!

Q&A with J: “I Can’t Really Seem to Get Into Sex”

Today’s question is from a wife who’s struggling with her pleasure in the marriage bed:

Hi, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. My husband and I have been happily married for 11 years…I love him more than ever…the problem is I can’t really seem to get into sex. I know it’s important and we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it. I do orgasm most of the time but I just want to desire sex…I want to really want sex!!! I want to have the wet “horny” feeling but only very occasionally does happen. We do have 4 kids aged from 3-9 years so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I’m kinda hoping one day this stage will pass and I’ll all of a sudden be back into sex? Anyway, any advice would be great!

Blog title + couple's feet in bed pointed away from each other

First off, yes, I think four children ages 3 to 9 years has something to do with it. Lots of wives report a decrease in their libido while their children are young, because that’s when we’re exhausted, distracted, and stressed. If you think that’s contributing, then check out my suggestions in When My Sex Life Sucked – Part 2.

But the libido and pleasure issues may run deeper, as they sometimes do for wives. I’ve talked recently about how in 15-30% of marriages wives are estimated to be the higher-drive spouse, but that still means that in 70-85% of marriages, he wants sex more than she does.

And many women have been sold the idea that they’re supposed to want sex like their husbands — with a burning need or intense desire to be experience sexual pleasure. They think the proper order of things is desire, arousal, sex, and then orgasm. But you know what? That’s not what the research shows. Rather, female sexual desire seems to kick in for many after the decision to engage and getting aroused.

Yet what concerns me is that you say, “we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it.” Yeah, your body should be more responsive to sexual sensations. That’s how God intended it to work.

So while I don’t want you to sweat not having that “horny” feeling before you start having sex, I do think you need to look into why you’re not enjoying the experience.

And for that, I’m actually going to turn you over to three trusted sources. Because while I’ve definitely addressed this topic (for instance, herehere, and here), these three ladies have gone above and beyond in reaching out to lower-desire wives. I believe they can help you get on track.

OysterBed7. Bonny Burns maintains the OysterBed7 blog where she says, “I blend science, scripture and stories of my own life to encourage and empower the low sex drive wife and her marriage. You write what you know and I know about low sex drive.”

Her honest, gentle approach is also biblically and practically based. While I suggest reading her blog, and listening to her on our joint podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, she has a specific resource you might want to check out: Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation.

The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor defines the mission of her blog as: “to encourage Christian wives as they work to grow in their approach to sexual intimacy in their marriages. After 20 years of restricting the sex life in my marriage, I have learned to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with my husband.”

I know you’re not restricting sex in your marriage, but Chris delves into reasons why a wife would feel disengaged in the bedroom and unable to experience full pleasure, and then she addresses them with practical suggestions. You can also hear Chris on our podcast.

Boost Your Libido Course. Sheila Gregoire recently launched a new product, and I had the pleasure of checking it out fully. Her Boost Your Libido course not only deals with a wife’s sex drive, but her pleasure in the bedroom. This course has 10 modules with videos of Sheila explaining the main points in a wife-to-wife chat format, along with a fact sheet, worksheet, brainstorming exercise, and additional resources.

Sheila deals with such issues as “What Is Libido?”, “Making Hormones Your Friend,” and yes, “When It Doesn’t Feel Good.” I’ve really enjoyed Sheila’s blog and resources over the years, but I found this course in particular to be a great approach for working through the issues of low libido and enjoyment of sexual intimacy.

You can view the videos in the privacy of your home, or perhaps with a friend or two so that you can discuss and support one another. (However, you should each pay for your own course, for ethical reasons and to get the additional materials you need to make progress.) She suggests taking your time through the homework, but it’s not hard to complete. You can easily see the big picture and how progress will be made by working on these modules.

And you know what? It’s $39. I know that’s more than a book, but $39 is a pair of shoes, one piano lesson for your child, a meal for two at a sit-down restaurant, and just 1/15th of an iPhone. Seriously, a total bargain. For more info, click on the pic below.

Let me assure you that I rarely do affiliate links. While looking into advertising some on my blog, I’ve been so reluctant to do so because I’m not willing to just throw products at my audience that I don’t entirely believe in. If I outright suggest something, I’ve viewed the entire resource myself and believe it’s a good deal for my audience.

So, while I write some about low libido, I know that it’s not my niche like it is for these three women I’ve mentioned. And I trust them to give you good advice. I encourage you to check out their resources.