Wifey Wednesday: Sex is Great!

A Christian marriage author shares how sex can be greatToday’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can link up your own marriage posts in the linky below!

This is a big week here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, because the book form of my blog series the 29 Days to Great Sex is coming out tomorrow–although this time it’s the 31 Days to Great Sex! I’ve completely rewritten it, addressing it to couples and not just women, taking out four of the days that worked on a blog, but not in a book, and condensing some other ones. The rewrite took longer than I thought it would because I had to change way more than I thought I would. But I am so pleased with the results! And you can get your hands on it tomorrow.

(Update: It’s available now!)

On Monday I put up two themes for potential book covers that I had to choose between. It turns out that I’m going to go with something different, after getting the feedback. Though it received the most votes, I didn’t like #1 (the one with the heart) because it didn’t say “sex” to me–and the couple wasn’t even touching.

The other one was my favourite (and pretty much every guy voted for that one, incidentally), but I decided that I didn’t want other people’s faces on the cover. My designer is looking at ways to make that one better, and I hope you like it!

But in the discussion about the covers reader Denise wrote this on Facebook:

1 and 2 is what you would see in a Christian bookstore, 3 and 4 is what you would normally see. I am leaning on 4 because God created sex and we as Christians should be having fun with our spouses.

Her comment was echoed by others. But some women did say that they wouldn’t purchase a book with #3 or #4 (the one with the flirty couple) because it was too raunchy. Now, I totally understand not wanting to purchase it if you share a Kindle account with your kids. I do get that. But I’m just a little uneasy that we’re still so hesitant about sex.

Ladies, let’s be honest here for a moment: sex is supposed to be fun! And what I have to say really needs to be said face to face, so here’s a video of me saying it:

This isn’t about which cover you liked; I think #1 was a lot brighter, and that’s the one I initially liked, too. Just after thinking about it for a bit I thought it gave the wrong impression. It could have been a book about conflict resolution, or romance. It didn’t say “sex”.

No, the problem that I’m having today is that we as Christian women are often so focused on being “proper” that we forget that Jesus wasn’t all that proper. He ate with sinners and prostitutes. He enjoyed life.

Are we so focused on modesty that we forget to have fun and enjoy our husbands? I hope not. And if we do fall into that category, then I really pray that my 31 Days to Great Sex can give us all a fun new attitude about our marriage.

Do you realize that the more that we clamp down and don’t talk about sex at all, the more we give the world the chance to decide what great sex is?

31 Days to Great SexWhat if we became evangelists for amazing sex as God intended? What if we started talking more about the fact that we aren’t ashamed of sex, and we do enjoy it–we just believe that it needs to be in its proper context.

Yes, sex is just supposed to be something between us. It isn’t supposed to be splashed on a movie screen or up on billboards. But let’s not forget that when it is between two married people, it is a very, very good thing, and nothing to be ashamed about. There’s a fine line there, and it’s hard to stay on the right side of it. But I hope that we don’t run so far from that line, in our fear of being improper, that we sacrifice an abundant marriage.

Okay, that’s my soap box for today. Let me know: do you think that the quest to be “proper” can go overboard? Do we give the wrong message? Or do we weaken our witness if we become too worldly? What do you think?

And woo hoo! Tomorrow you’ll be able to buy the 31 Days to Great Sex! (Update: Now available!)

Christian Marriage Advice

And if you have a marriage post you’d like to share with us, just link up the URL in the linky below.

31 Days to Great Sex
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Learn to talk more, flirt more, and even explore more! You'll work on how to connect emotionally, spiritually, AND physically.

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  1. I love what you said–if we don’t talk about sex, then we give the world a chance to decide what great sex is. Good stuff. Be blessed:)

  2. My favorite photo was #3. I thought either 3 or 4 would be a hit! I was suprised to see the poll results. Ahh yes, modesty – we can go overboard. And we can also go overboard on the side of immodesty too. The thing is balance. Which is tricky cos everyone is so different! Overall , i tend to think that we’d rather err on the side of modesty (too much of it) than immodesty :) Congrats in the book finish. I know its going to help so many. I enjoyed the series and learned so so much. Blessings!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…How To Love When You Don’t Feel LovingMy Profile

  3. The more GODLY the wife,the more staggerring the gulf between her moments of intimacy with her husband and her behavior in any other context. What she would gladly do when alone with her beloved would horrify her in the presence of any other person. Such an immense discrepency can be unsettling. A wife can almost feel as if two different people dwell inside of her. What it really means ,however,is that she is a princess of GOD,captivated by the holiness of marriage. She is a devoted wife who delights in the divine blessing that rests on marriage. She honors the wonder,uniqueness,and the exclusiveness of the marriage bond. And honors and glorifies and amazing GOD in her body. This also is the role of the husband who would craw on his belly through glass and barbed wire for the queen of his universe. SEX IS GREAT. ALL MIGHTY GOD CREATED IT TO BE SO. Love your post and your forthright to shatter the perception of a CHRISTIAN marriage. CHISTIAN marriages are GODS advertisement and there is no plan B.

  4. Well stated Sheila. Personally I just voted on what grabbed me as a consumer. I like the cover of your original book. But I’m not ashamed to talk to my friends about sex and important things in marriage. Love your blog, love the way you quote scripture in everything. Not a big fan of the kids these days using the term “hot” for anything. But if they are going to be using it why not talk about their parents’ love for each other in that way too. Thanks for all you post!

  5. Couldn’t agree more. Now I understand that not everyone is as comfortable talking as openly as some of us are but I came to understand a long time ago that God’s Word has A LOT to say about sex. Why then would we live our lives not ever talking about it? Beyond that, there are parts of the scriptures that are completely scandalous, are they any less inspired than those that denounce sex outside of God’s design? Keep up the good work of exposing the enemies lies and the Creator’s glorious design for married sex. Nothing but applause from me. (Of course my husband doesn’t complain either!)

    Megan @DoNotDisturb recently posted…Read With Us: The Meaning of Marriage – Week #8My Profile

  6. Like Ngina shared, it’s definitely a biblical balance, because neither extreme is the truth. We need to be appropriately bold, and positively focused (offering hope and healing through Christ) about sexual intimacy within marriage as God intended!

  7. If sex is so great, why aren’t more of us trying to jump on this wagon? Why is it so difficult to enjoy and want sex?

    • Because while it’s great, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it’s so wrapped up in our feelings of self-worth and identity that it’s easy to go off the rails. That’s why I write; I hope that through my books and this blog I can give women and couples new hope that they can really experience the abundant life God promised. But no, it isn’t easy. That doesn’t mean it’s not great, though! I know for me personally it certainly wasn’t great for years into my marriage, and I kept wondering what all the fuss was about. I get it now. But I also understand why so many people struggle with it. I just don’t want women to give up when there’s so much more planned for them.

    • I echo what Sheila said in her reply to you, Dawn. I was also feeling really awful about sex with my husband, and it was because of severe marriage issues and my own self-worth. When I began to pray about sex specifically, some old wounds were opened up at first, which was horribly painful. But that allowed the two of us to really begin to work on things. I prayed for good counselors, and God opened those doors. Things began to feel better in so many ways. The patience and prayer paid off–never giving up. Sex with my husband is getting better and better, and I find myself desiring it more and more. Please pray about it and wait on God’s timing. He can work miracles. We are proof.

  8. workinprogress says:

    I agree with you 100% Sheila. I was baffled at the comments about how inappropriate covers 3 and 4 were. I mean, a book about sex should give some indication that physical contact is okay. Now, panties laying on the floor next to the bed might have given me pause, I admit, but high heels and a dress might have been fun 😉
    I think part of the problem is that we rightly understand that sex is supposed to be a very private affair between a husband and wife, but as Christians we have taken that to the extreme of taking great pains to assure that nobody ever suspects that we even have sex.
    I am also a wife who spent many years wondering what all the fuss was about. Nobody had ever described a great orgasm to me… even at Christian conferences we went to years ago… so I didn’t realize that I was selling myself short. Nobody ever explained what it meant when they said ” things get better with age”. Now I know that it takes work for those things to get better, but they do get better.
    I’m wondering though how one talks candidly about sex while still keeping it an intimate, private matter between a couple. I don’t really need my girlfriends looking at my husband and knowing what he does to me, or what I do with him, but just hearing “sex is great” isn’t very helpful.
    Didn’t mean to ramble, just trying to envision what a balance between privacy and openness looks like here.

    • That is an excellent question! I think it’s worth exploring in another post, so let me give some thought to it and then I’ll try to write it out. I certainly don’t recommend saying to friends “guess what we did last night!”, for instance, but telling newlyweds that sex is awesome and giving it a positive spin is necessary. So how do you do that practically? Let me think on that.

      I loved this sentence that you wrote:

      I think part of the problem is that we rightly understand that sex is supposed to be a very private affair between a husband and wife, but as Christians we have taken that to the extreme of taking great pains to assure that nobody ever suspects that we even have sex.

      So true! And that’s what I was talking about exactly.

      Have you ever seen that Amish-based movie starring Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley? It was a ton of years ago, but there’s this hilarious scene when they’re led to their bedroom, and it’s made clear that everyone is expecting to hear squeaking springs that night. They weren’t uptight; we are. I wonder why?

      • workinprogress says:

        ha- I remember that scene. Funny!
        You know, I think we do a pretty good job encouraging newlyweds that sex is great, but we assume that they are figuring out how to make it great. Yes, there are books on the subject. I think the only book out when I was a newlywed was “The Act of Marriage” which I never read for some reason. I think where we fall short is in mentoring that bride after 10 or 20 years of marriage when she has figured that what she is experiencing during sex is about as good as it’s going to get, when that is the furthest thing from the truth. And unless her husband is seeking out information, he doesn’t know either that sex could be better for them. That is where I was. And do you know what my turning point was? We were staying at a bed and breakfast (with very thin walls) a few years ago and the lady in the room next to ours was making noises that I knew had never come from my mouth during intimacy. I could tell that she was experiencing something that I was not. I determined then and there that I was missing out on something and I was going to figure it out if it killed me. I couldn’t very well approach her at breakfast and inquire, so I started searching the internet, but not really finding anything written from a Christian perspective… or anything helpful at all for that matter. Over the course of time, I have found more information and have figured out a lot… and things are much better. I just wish I had known some of what I know now 10, 15, and 20 years ago.
        Anyway, I look forward to seeing you post about this. I do think it is really important, and too many couples are missing out on an integral part of their marriage because they don’t know any better.

        • Okay, you have the most awesome stories and lines. I’m going to have to include that!

        • What have you figured out?? You gotta share it with the rest of us. 😀

          • workinprogress says:

            anon~ I’ve figured out how to enjoy sex more completely… specifically experiencing more intense, complete orgasm. Sheila’s posts on the subject actually were very helpful. Days 16 and 17 of the “29 days to great sex” series was where she shared about this. I’m guessing that this will be covered in “31 Days to Great Sex” as well. I’d say the most helpful tips for me were about not trying too hard, and relaxing and not tensing in the moment. Both of those tips were really helpful.

          • Yep, they’re covered in the book! (and, in fact, I’ve got a few more posts like that that I couldn’t put up on the blog because it’s, well, a blog. :) ).

  9. I just bought a copy of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex! Excited to start reading it, and really hoping it will help our sex life, which doesn’t exist right now. :(

  10. Yes, Sheila! We, as Christians, need to take back sex! It was GOD’S idea, not man’s. We need to not “flaunt” our sexuality to the world, but by golly, we need to flaunt it with our spouse! I am a woman who is proud to talk about sex and the importance of it in marriage. A couple months ago our Sunday school teacher asked our class (of 70 people) to name things that were essential to a good marriage. There were all the “Sunday School” answers: prayer, communication, mercy, forgiveness, etc. Finally I spoke up and said, “Sex. Great sex.” The class LOVED it! Another man approached my husband later and said, “It must be awesome to be married to a woman who so openly talks about sex.” He agreed….because if I speak of it so openly in public, imagine how much fun I am in the bedroom! :)

    • Awesome :)

    • “There were all the “Sunday School” answers: prayer, communication, mercy, forgiveness, etc. Finally I spoke up and said, “Sex. Great sex.” The class LOVED it!”

      Love that!! It took a huge amount of courage to do it, especially in a class that big!! You said what everyone else was afraid to! There needs to be a _whole lot_ more people like yourself with the courage to speak the truth!

  11. It is your book Sheila! Thanks for being willing to help those of us who are hesitant. Finally have your book! :)

  12. I was one of the ones who didn’t like #3 or #4, but I have a great and awesome view of sex when it is inside marriage. I guess my issue was that there was nothing on the cover that told me that the man and woman shown were married.

    • Yes, Nina, I see what you’re saying. I’m going to include the words “For Married Couples” on the cover so that there’s no question who it’s for. I was a little concerned about that, too.

  13. Sheila – Love this post! As a “spicy” wife, I think that I am often saddened by how our Christian culture seems ashamed of sex. And, honestly, it has made me feel so strange, foreign and “unacceptable” to the church to want to talk about sex, or admit that I like it…A LOT. Even more than my husband. I totally agree that modesty is a huge part of our example to the world, but I also think that Christians should be known for having the greatest sex lives. I mean, how cool would it be to see a newspaper title saying, “Christians couples have the best sex?” – full of surveys that show that our marriages are grounded in Song of Solomon :)

    Thanks for letting us link up on Wednesdays as well – I always get a new visitors who connect with my “side of the story” and it’s a blessing.
    themrs recently posted…Bread or tomatoes?My Profile

    • Thanks for that encouragement. And I shot you an email a minute ago–I loved your post!

    • It also makes me feel out of place. My parents didn’t have the greatest relationship while I was growing up and I always felt like something was wrong with me for being interested. My mom used to say “good girls don’t like it TOO much.” It’s good to know that there are plenty of Christian women who enjoy sex as much as I do!

  14. Sex in a Christian marriage is supposed to be cloaked from outside view. It is not supposed to be flaunted or hinted at publically – it is private. It is like a secret garden that only the husband and wife enter. I do not by secular books or entertainment that have suggestive pictures on it and will not buy “christian” books that lower themselves to that level. It is one thing to see non-christians degrade marriage and the marital act. It is another to see a supposedly christian author doing the same thing.

    • So, what do you think about the Song of Solomon then? I mean, that’s in the Bible, so that relationship certainly wasn’t cloaked from outside view. And isn’t the Bible divinely inspired by God himself? He obviously has no problem with it, so why should you?

    • E.D., you are certainly entitled to that viewpoint, although I’d point out that Song of Solomon had spectators–the Daughters of Jerusalem and the Companions, and so the conversation was not just between the two lovers. It was shared, and that’s why it’s in the Bible.

      I just want to caution you about your last sentence. You used the words “supposedly Christian author”, as if to insinuate that I am not a real Christian. That’s a hurtful thing to say. If you meant it, then please, just say it outright. But if you didn’t mean to suggest that (and I’d encourage you to look through this blog and then tell me that I’m not a Christian), then I’d suggest a rewording or an apology may be in order.

  15. Oh Sheila, I agree with so many of these posts. I have really tried to have frank discussions with friends about sex. I am the one with higher libido and I think when my friends hear me talk they feel like I am on their (the husbands) side.
    I have read a lot of the christian blogs on the internet about sex and I find it surprising that so many of the christian men blogs talk about bringing toys into the bedroom, or watching porn together or figuring things out on your own first. You and some of the women christian sex blogs really truly speak to the woman’s heart of wanting to be heard and listened to and taking our feelings, connections and preferences in mind.

  16. I’m surprised that some people found #3 and #4 to be offensive. I thought they represented the book’s content better than #1 and #2. They looked fun to me, not in any way inappropriate. I am very much in favor of portraying married sex in a fun, positive light. Look forward to reading the book.
    Gaye @ Calm.Healthy.Sexy. recently posted…Can You “Lean Forward” into Better Sex and Increased Intimacy?My Profile

  17. As for a cover option that maintains the modesty some folks expressed a desire for, but conveys the message of intimate closeness and playfulness that you described, how about something like this:


    Plus….the two feets at the end of white sheets/bed coverings works nicely as a complete branding concept and spin off from the cover of your first book.

    • D, I know what you’re saying, but the feet at the end of the bed have been used quite a bit in Christian books on sex in the last decade. In fact, I had an original cover like that, but then discarded it because it looked too much like other ones. But thanks for the thought!

  18. I could not agree with you more! It’s not like people don’t know you’re having sex; on the contrary, they assume that if you’re married then of course there is sex. So many people have hang-ups about things that are so silly when there is plenty of it in the Bible. Take alcohol. So many Christians are against any kind of alcohol. Wasn’t that Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana? And yet, especially here in the southeastern US, it is almost taboo to have people know you drink a glass of wine with dinner. I don’t get it! The same thing goes with sex. I am not ashamed to say that my husband and I enjoy sex with each other immensely, and, thankfully, the majority of my friends are of the same mindset, so we have had some great discussions. I’m 29, though, and I think my generation is a little more open about the subject.

  19. I am a senior (male) and just to encourage you younger men and women I can say that making love is much more fun now than ever. I use ‘making love’ rather than ‘sex’ because in a Christian marriage the whole act is about becoming ‘one flesh’ with your spouse and that is much much more than just ‘sex’

  20. I also find it hard to balance openly sharing how fantastic sex can be while maintaining privacy for myself and my husband – I can’t wait to read your post on this!

    I actually voted for #1, not because I thought #3 and #4 were too graphic, but because I thought it might lead the reader to think that the book was only about the physical aspect of sex. And I know from being a long-time reader that that your focus is on much more than that :)

    • I know what you’re saying, Kari. I asked the designer to add the words: “Love, Friendship, Fun” to the cover to show that it’s the threefold aspect. I hope that gets the message across! Because everything’s intertwined. You’ll get more physical fireworks if you first have that deep intimacy and friendship.

  21. Well spoken – couldn’t agre more!

  22. I became friends with an older woman in my church and we sat down to tea once and after some conversation the topic turned to sex and I was pleasantly surprised when she blurted out how much she LOVES sex. She’s a high-drive wife like me and it was such a breath of fresh air to be able to have a trusted friend who is open to loving sex with her spouse and being able to discuss the issues of being higher drive.

    I was surprised when my older brothers were talking about driving down the road and their children seeing dogs “making puppies.” They were relieved when their children didn’t understand what was going on and just made up some child-like reason for their behavior. “I didn’t want to have to explain THAT to them.” I was like, “What?! My 6 year old and 4 year old recently explained to our dinner hosts about how our farm animals wrestle and that’s how they make babies.” They know the proper names for their body parts. They know the basics of how babies are made (they’re at the age of daddy gives mommy his seed…nothing about the actual act of sex yet). They know how and where babies come out of mommy.

    I grew up in a “proper” household and it did not serve me well.

    Ha! Recently, my dad asked my mom if she wanted to make it. She gave him a curt, “no.” I said, “if my husband asked me to make out right now, I’d be telling you, ‘you’re babysitting, I’ll see you in a couple hours!'”

    • Love. it. all. :) So awesome that you were able to be such an example to your parents!! I try to be with mine, but you’ve given me courage to be a bit bolder! Ha-ha.

      And so happy you have an older woman to talk with! They are invaluable. I have “one” as well, but isn’t high-drive like me…but she’s still a great, Biblical sounding board!

      It’s also a good to aim at become an “older woman” in years down the road…remembering how wonderful it is to have someone ahead of you to talk frankly with you.

  23. I actually voted for #1 because it was more bold and graphic (artistically speaking) but after I read some of the comments I did find myself wondering whether #3 or #4 would have been better because of the playfulness. I think I just gravitate more toward the graphic design look.

  24. I love hearing you speak! Great video! Great thoughts!

  25. Hi Sheila! I own a copy of “The Good Girl’s Guide To Great Sex” and I love reading your posts everyday! In response to the cover for your upcoming e-book “31 Days To Great Sex” I love the idea of a bed with lingerie draped to suggest sexual activity. If you choose the cover with the couple I think you might limit the amount of people that choose to read your book because of the color of their skin. I’m black and I love your writing BUT I think other people may pass on your book after seeing a white couple on the front thinking the information within doesn’t apply to them. I agree that sex is GREAT and was created by God for all married couples – no matter what your skin color, nationality, country of origin, etc.. I don’t want you to miss potential readers!! I share your book “The Good Girls Guide To Great Sex” with all my friends getting married or already married. I’ll be reading whatever you decide to choose. God bless you!!

    • Oh, Quierra, I already picked a different cover! We tried a few with just a bed and it seemed, well, kinda boring.

      But how about this? I’m having some coupons made that you can give to your spouse, and I’ll include some different races on some of those pictures. I certainly don’t want anyone to feel excluded, so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  26. Thanks Sheila!

  27. I can’t believe people had a problem with the last 2 covers. What are they? Prudes? I mean I am just as concerned about modesty as anybody else, but the covers of your books were not offensive in the least. I could say more, but as it is I have already insulted some of your readers. Sorry, but that is my thoughts on it.

  28. I bought your E-Book on Amazon.com and left you a review! Hope you like what I said! Love your blog!!

  29. Great article Sheila!! You are doing an amazing job! I think its quite sad and disgusting how uptight people can be about the whole topic. Come on people, its God approved and beautiful! Not something to be ashamed of.
    Thanks again, Sheila. :-)

  30. I did comment about covers #3 and #4, but didn’t think that they were too raunchy…not at all! I just thought the couple was too young and “perfect” looking! 😉 How about someone slightly older, or a mixed color couple? To me it made the book look like it was for young people, young, cute “beautiful” people….not “real” people. I had voted for the first cover, but I totally see what you are saying, that it could be about almost anything….
    can’t wait to see the cover that you come up with!! :)
    Denna recently posted…The GraverobberMy Profile

    • obviously from my post you can pick up that I am no longer young, and that my husband and I are not “the same color”!!! 😉 hee hee!
      Denna recently posted…The GraverobberMy Profile

    • You may not like it then! I kept the flirty couple, but cut off part of their faces. But you can still kinda tell they’re young. I tried a bunch of covers with just beds, or piles of clothes, but they weren’t “fun”. I’ll try to make some awesome mixed-race or other-race coupons, though, because I CERTAINLY don’t want anyone to feel left out!

  31. This made me laugh because I often have these moments when choosing a picture to go with a blog post. Will a sexy picture cause someone to misread my intent about sexuality? Because I always want to be clear that sex is for married couples to have in God-honoring ways. But you know…SEX IS SEXY! I err on the side of caution with my visuals, but certainly not with my words.

    I love the cover you chose. It was the runner-up for me, and I think it’s totally fine. :) So thrilled your book is coming out!
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…One More & I’ll Go Insane!My Profile

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