29 Days to Great Sex Day 5: Reawaken Your Body

ReawakenYourBodyIt’s Day 5 of the 29 Days to Great Sex here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, a series leading up to the launch of my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex! (now available)

So far we’ve looked at the purpose of sex and the lies we sometimes believe about sex, because we can’t have great sex if our heads aren’t in the game! If we’re feeling lousy about sex, that will overflow into how we experience sex.

Friday was an interesting day for me personally, because it was about loving the skin you’re in! And I decided that if I was going to challenge you all to name 5 things you like about your body, I should play along, too. So I sat in bed with my husband and tried to come up with 5. And it was surprisingly hard! Naming 5 things I hate is easy. But what are we actually proud of?

Many of us just don’t like our bodies, and because of that we’re often disconnected from them. And if you’re disconnected from your body, you aren’t going to feel a whole lot of pleasure! That could be due to a number of factors:

1. You’re embarrassed about your body (see day 3)
2. You’re embarrassed about sex in general (see day 2)
3. Your husband has never figured out how to make you feel good (more on this in a moment)
4. You’re really not sure what feels good yourself, and you’re doubting whether you actually can feel good. (see day 2)

In fact, some of the commenters on day 2 said exactly that:

“I was created to feel pleasure.”
I have to admit that was difficult for me to say. But I’m getting there!

That’s probably why scenes like this in movies seem so wonderful, but make us hate ourselves anyway:

For those of you who have seen The Notebook, you’ll know that Allie, who’s a virgin, immediately after this scene makes mad passionate love with Noah, and everything goes so amazingly wonderfully. She orgasms. She feels great.

And we watch that sort of thing, and we think: That’s what sex is like for everyone but me. I’m a freak. I have to work so hard to feel aroused, and I’m not even sure that I can get aroused. It will never work for me.

'Stop Sign' photo (c) 2010, Kt Ann - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Hold it right there.

Remember Day 2, when we talked about some of the lies we women believe? And one of those lies often is, “I will never feel pleasure”. It’s not true.

You were made with body parts specifically designed to feel pleasure–and we’re going to talk about the clitoris more throughout the month. But here’s what happens with so many couples:

  • He fumbles a bit trying to make her feel good, but he does it wrong, because men and women like to be touched differently. Men like a firm touch; women like it much more lightly. If a man touches a woman the way he wants to be touched, it’s not going to be pleasurable.
  • So he does that, and she’s too embarrassed to speak up. She thinks, “I guess I just don’t like my breasts touched,” or “I guess I’m just not sensitive.”
  • She gets increasingly anxious about why she’s not feeling pleasure, and so she tries to force herself.
  • That makes it even worse, because when we’re anxious, we can’t relax, and when we can’t relax, we won’t feel very good.

Are you on that vicious circle? Maybe you’re not, and you’re here for tips on how to make sex even more great. It’s OKAY right now, but you’d like to ramp it up. That’s wonderful, and I think you’ll get a lot out of this month!

But some of you women I know are having some serious problems in the bedroom, and going through these 29 days is a difficult process for you. I received one email that said this:

Sex has long been a really really hard part of my marriage since we got married. No matter what we’ve tried – it’s not getting better. It’s worse. Yesterday’s blog post about lies was painful. It felt like you’d listened in on my internal monologue and aired it to everyone. I was really upset – and thankful.
I might have to make cue cards to remind me of the truths you shared.
I asked hubby to do this 29 days with me. He jumped at the chance – because he knows how much of a struggle this is with me. And tonight we started.
Wow – we haven’t talked like that in so long. It was amazing. Although we have a long way to go, thank you for making it possible for us to open the lines of communication.
Tonight, I want to cry because I feel like maybe, just maybe, there’s hope I’ll become the woman that God intends me to be, the woman that my DH prayed for, the woman I should be.
BTW, I couldn’t think of 5. DH suggested some of his top parts, but I had a hard time accepting them. I really did. I could only come up with one. And that was a hard one to think of. It’s much easier to like the inside me. The outside me – I don’t know how. But thank you for making me think of it – to start looking at myself.

I’m so glad that she feels like they’re finally able to communicate, and that there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Today I want to give you a challenge that will hopefully give you even more confidence and encouragement. Here’s how:

Light some candles, get a space heater to make sure your bedroom is comfortable, and put some massage oil on the bed. Now take a timer and set it for 15 minutes. For the next 15 minutes, while you lie still, ask your husband to explore your body, without any anticipation that you will actually orgasm. And you can’t make love! This isn’t foreplay. This is just play. He can touch you where he wants. But here are the rules:

  • If he’s doing it too roughly, tell him gently (or take his hand and show him how to do it better).
  • If it honestly is giving you the willies (if you have anxiety from previous abuse, for instance) you can ask him to move on to a different body part–but you must let him keep touching you!

Do your utmost to concentrate on what he’s doing. Don’t worry about the timer. Don’t worry that he’s grossed out, or that he doesn’t want to do this, or that he thinks this is silly. Instead, I want you to think specifically about what he’s doing. Pay attention to your body. And start asking yourself, “what wants to be touched now?” That may sound silly, but it’s not because you’re judging him or wondering if he’s doing it right. It’s because if you ask yourself the question, “where does my body want to be touched?”, then you’re actually paying attention to what your body is feeling. And you may just realize you do want to be touched!

Warning: Don’t worry about having an orgasm! Honestly. Sometimes the reason we can’t experience pleasure is that we get too goal oriented. Just relax and treat it like a gift. And if  you’re worried your husband will be bothered by this request, say something like this to him:

Honey, I want to learn how to really love sex so that we can have an amazing time together. But I’m worried that I don’t always know what my body likes. So can we take 15 minutes where you just explore my body? And I’m not supposed to tell you to stop? I don’t want to have to orgasm; I just want you to touch me and see what feels nice. Can we try?

I guarantee the vast majority of husbands will love the chance to enjoy seeing you naked and exploring your body. Really.

And then, since he’s probably going to be pretty worked up afterwards, you can always make love “for him”, if you’d like. Get on top and give him a gift where he doesn’t have to worry about you feeling good. The purpose here is to get away from anything goal oriented, and just learn that your body can, indeed, feel something. And that’s easier to do when there’s no pressure and when you’re relaxed!

Now it could be that you’re really nervous, and you have a hard time relaxing during that 15 minutes. Try it in the bathtub if that’s easier. And if this first time doesn’t go well, don’t fret. Sometimes we need to repeat this exercise a few times before we start feeling good. Use lots of massage oil and encourage your husband to concentrate on your legs and back, too, only slowly working his way to your more traditional erogenous zones, if you’re really nervous. The goal is to learn to relax and to learn to just FEEL. And if that takes a couple of sessions, that really is okay.

So to sum up, here’s your challenge:

Great Sex Challenge 5: Let your husband explore your body for 15 minutes straight, while you just savour it. Light candles, close your eyes, and just FEEL. Concentrate on his touch, without forcing your body to respond. And you just may realize that some things actually do feel good!

Sheila is the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

31 Days to Great Sex
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29 Days to Great Sex:

Day 1: The Act of Marriage
Day 2: Starting Fresh
Day 3: Loving the Skin You’re In
Day 4: Pucker Up!

Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

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Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: Playing with Your Hubby!
Day 9: Preparing For Sex Throughout the Day
Day 10: 16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: Appreciating Your Husband’s Body
Day 12:
If you’re Having a Hard Time with these Challenges
Day 13: Getting Your Head in the Game
Day 14: What if You’re Not “In the Mood”?
Day 15: What is Foreplay?
Day 16: How to Orgasm
Day 17: The Pleasure Center
Day 18: Foreplay Can Be for Him, Too!
Day 19: How to Come Alive Again
Day 20: Deciding Your Boundaries
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!
Day 24: Initiate, Baby!
Day 25: Sex When You Have Children
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when you Make Love
Day 28: Overcoming Selfishness in your Sexual Life
Day 29: A Round-Up and a Party!

Remember to hit the Share buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! (or any other buttons below :). Let’s spread the word about the series, and help other marriages thrive!

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  1. Interesting…ya know what I thought immediatly? I don’t know if I have time for this. After all, it is a school night and husband is on day shift meaning we won’t eat dinner until 7. But I am goin to try! Early bathtimes. Early everything. But then again it is the superbowl. I will have to ask him to choose… 😉
    Theresa recently posted…Marriage and FairytalesMy Profile

    • Oh, Theresa, that’s funny! That’s a tough one for many men. :) But hey, if it doesn’t work today, I’ll give you permission to try to do both challenges tomorrow (they work well together, anyway). And it is the Superbowl! :) But you go, girl. See if you can get him to say yes tonight!

  2. Hubby’s working an overnight shift tonight so this is a challenge that will have to wait – along with the others as this is the third night in a row he’s been gone. But I’m sure he’ll be glad to do some make-up work in this department! Although I don’t know about me. I just don’t know if I can remain still for 15 minutes. Now if it was just a back rub, I could most definitely be still and enjoy! I will do my best :)
    Heather recently posted…2012 in 2012 – Week 5My Profile

  3. Oh, man. I can tell you right now, this will be hard for me. Just the though of this has me cringing.:-( But, I know through prayer and talking, I will try!
    Danielle Jones recently posted…Fresh perspectiveMy Profile

    • The Wife says:

      I know this post and your response is over two years old, but my goodness, I am glad I’m not the only one who had this reaction to this challenge!

  4. :-( Yet again, I just can’t get my head around this. What happens if you DO have an orgasm but it still doesn’t do anything for you? I have them the majority of the time we have sex but it’s still not something I desire and it’s certainly something I can and prefer to live without. I just don’t think it’s that great. Then what seriously overshadows the orgasm is the major headache and nausea that I get after? Who wants that? If the orgasm is the only thing that is supposed to make it better by producing ‘pleasure’ or what have you….then I am just at a loss because I don’t really even care about them. They just don’t feel that great that I want to do it again.

  5. My husband is one of the nonexistent men who doesn’t want sex. We’ve been married 6 years, and we’re only 30, but we have sex maybe 2-5 times a year. If it was up to me, it would be every day, but he just doesn’t want it. It makes me feel terrible about myself. I wish I had the ”problem” all the women I know have- a husband who constantly wants sex.

    • Carise, about 25% of marriages are like yours, where the husband has the lower sex drive. I’m so sorry, because that’s so awful. I’ve written about this before, and I plan on doing a mini-series after this one on what to do in your case. But it sounds like you really need to work on your friendship and communication so that he understands what a need this is for you. Even if he’s not “in the mood”, he can try and be there for you. The big post where I wrote about that before is here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/09/posts-3/. But it sounds like this is more than just a libido issue if he withholds sex to just 2-5 times a year. It sounds like it’s something that’s more serious that really should get looked into.

  6. What if you have a husband who likes to totally skip foreplay and go straight to asking ” Hey babe, wanna have sex?” It makes me laugh at times because he is such a guy but it is hard for me to get in the mood with that and I don’t know if I can actually get him to do that for 15min. Any suggestions?

    • Try some of the later posts that address this a little more! Go for this one, on how to make foreplay something that’s fun for him too: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/02/29-days-to-great-sex-day-18-foreplay-can-be-for-him-too/, or this one, on how to spice things up (if you play some of the games you’ll likely get a lot more foreplay :) : http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/02/29-days-to-great-sex-day-21-ways-to-spice-things-up/.

      I also think just talking to him is so important. Most men really don’t get the fact that women need foreplay, because our strongest erogenous zone is not the vagina (whereas his is the penis). So he gets maximum stimulation while having intercourse; we really don’t (unless the angle is right). So talk to him about it, and tell him that you want to make sex as passionate as possible so you can lose yourself in it, but for you that means it needs to be drawn out more. If you have him read some of the posts about the importance of foreplay, maybe he’ll understand! But communication here really is so key.

      Most men do want to give their wives pleasure; they just honestly don’t understand that we don’t experience intercourse as pleasurable the way they do unless we warm up first. They really just don’t get it. So we have to tell them!

  7. I think what I’ve read so far is great, not just the advice but the Christian perspective. The only thing so far that I don’t agree with is that Christians should be watching sex scenes in movies. I don’t think that Jesus would do that, do you?

    • I agree with you, Jenni. Though I don’t feel that she was encouraging us to go out and watch sex scenes but the notebook is a pretty popular chick flick that is pretty safe to feel that a lot of women have watched. I am sure many women fast forward through that scene but still see the passion in the previous scene and think, “why don’t I have that?”. I feel as Christians we should watch what is uplifting which leaves not much towatch nowadays. but that doesn’t really excuse watching it for we are to be careful what we allow to enter our minds. Good thought Jenni. :)

  8. Hi there. I’m a newlywed at 44 years old and saved myself for marriage. I had no idea that sex was going to be so painful. I keep hoping it will get better but it doesn’t. Yes, we are using a lubricant. I’m thinking this might be due to peri-menopause and the effects of low estrogen. I wish I knew what to do. My husband is so gentle and understanding so I’m grateful.

  9. I don’t want to ask him to do this, because I’m afraid he will tell me, once again, that he is too tired, or just leave it hanging. I’m tired of being rejected. It’s been ten years, and I just don’t know. I want sex and he doesn’t.

  10. I’ve found that when I struggle to relax, if I focus on him and making him feel good, things seem to work out and it makes me closer to him and I find it easier to relax and enjoy

  11. anonymous says:

    Sheila, you have such great information, but this is all very scary. My husband and I have been married for 26 years I am a lights off under the covers girl, which doesn’t seem to bother my husband. We don’t do the whole look into each other’s eyes thing. I was very thin when we first got married but progressively gained quite a bit of weight. I had lost 58 this past year which is a good thing, but from a sexual standpoint I was very uncomfortable at that weight. I felt like my husband was able to get much too physically close to me during intercourse. While I’m not happy that I’ve gained 10 lbs back, sex is less intimidating. Though my husband has always been good with foreplay, it’s very hard for me to receive. I’m much more comfortable touching him and making him feel good. And I hate the term making love. It’s like fingernails against a chalk board. Self hate? Past issues coming more to the surface from what was probably date rape 30 years ago? I don’t know. Just tired of being scared more often than not. Have had a little counseling on this. Will get you book, though no lie–just reading these posts make me very nervous. Thank you for your being so open and for your willingness to minister to couples in this area where not much really helpful is being said. You don’t have to try to answer this. Really just venting.:) Blessings to you!

  12. Crafty Mama says:

    This is great advice. For so many years, I just didn’t feel much when we had sex. Now I’ve gotten to the point where I focus on the feeling and sensation of our bodies together, from the way his hand caresses me to how our legs rub together when we make love. It’s amazing how allowing yourself to relax and be completely aware can much so much of a difference sensuality-wise. But yes, it DID take a long time for me!! And I am still a work in process. :)

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  1. […] spend some time tracing his body, but encourage him to trace yours, too. Let him figure out how you work (and maybe you need to figure that out yourself). Because if he […]

  2. […] my 29 Days to Great Sex, if you worked through it from beginning to end, you did some exercises to discover what you actually like, and to show your husband the benefits of taking some time to touch you. But if you haven’t […]

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