Wifey Wednesday: 6 Questions to Ask about Your Marital Intimacy

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I write a post, and then you all chime in by linking up your own marriage posts to the Linky below!

Today we have a guest post from J from Hot, Holy and Humorous.

6 Questions to Ask About Your Marital Intimacy
It’s beneficial from time to time to take stock of your life and ask if there’s anything you could improve. (Hint: There is.) Today, I hope you’ll join me in asking six questions about your marital intimacy.

1. Do we have sex often enough?

Frequency is the first order of business for many spouses. They either feel that sex is not happening often enough or their spouse is expecting sex too often. In a healthy marriage, sex is not a rare event. It’s a regular activity that expresses love and builds relationship, not to mention that it relieves stress, helps you sleep, and improves mood. So how often should you have sex?

I’ve asserted that couples should have sex at least once a week, but more often is better. If you look up and it’s been over a week, check your priorities and devote more time for physical closeness. If you’re having sex almost every day, that’s normal and healthy. Indeed, when you consider how often to have sex, just consider that it doesn’t require that much time, feels good once you get going, and should be approached not with the question “Why?” but “Why not?”

2. Does our sex life include variety?

Some couples have four positions, a location or two, and a couple of times during the day they enjoy having sex. Other couples have a vast repertoire of locations, positions, activities, times, etc. And they all might be very happy with their sexual intimacy. There are plenty of ways to spice up your sex life if you wish, but you don’t have to do something different every time.

What’s not okay is to do the same thing every time. If sex the last time is the same as this time is the same as the next time, then the whole shebang can start to feel predictable and lackluster. Branch out a little. Try a different location.Try a new position. Wear something that makes you feel especially beautiful. Introduce mutual massage with lotion or oil. Have a quickie one time and drawn-out lovemaking the next. Include variety in your sexual intimacy. You’ll likely find that you enjoy trying new things together and discovering the different physical sensations they produce.

3. Are we both enjoying our sexual encounters?

What’s the point if only one of you is having fun? Indeed, I regularly hear from husbands who say their favorite part of sex is…watching their wives experience sexual pleasure.

God intended for sex in marriage to be pleasurable. If you don’t enjoy sex, address the issue. If you have physical pain or discomfort, talk to a medical professional. If you have a bad sexual history, get counseling and work through your past. If you have a mental block from false teaching that good girls don’t enjoy sex, pick up Sheila’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Having Great Sex. If you have relational problems with your husband, communicate with him and seek couples counseling or mentoring if needed. You should be enjoying sex with your spouse and, if you aren’t, there’s an issue you need to confront. God desires that you both experience pleasure (Song of Songs 5:1).

4. Does our sexual intimacy express and foster other forms of intimacy?

Sex in marriage isn’t merely about physical sensations. In a committed and God-honoring marriage, sex should be an outgrowth of emotional, mental, recreational, and spiritual intimacy. It should include those aspects as well.

Ask whether you experience other forms of intimacy in the bedroom? Do you talk and laugh as good friends do? Do you play as recreational partners would? Do you feel more connected and loved through this experience? Do you sense that God blesses your union?

Sex should go much deeper than the brief physical joining of bodies. It represents the unique marital relationship and fosters intimacy of every kind. Ask how your marriage fares in meeting this ideal. If it’s sagging in one area or another, what can you do to foster intimacy in your relationship and/or in the bedroom?

5. Have we prayed about our sexual intimacy?

If your sexual intimacy isn’t everything you want it to be, it’s likely not what God wants it to be either. When you two are functioning according to His plan, it is downright delightful. If it falls short, take your concerns to the One who created sexual intimacy.

Yes, I know it can feel weird to pray about sex. But God’s not ashamed of what He designed for married couples. And prayer can heal. It can heal a relationship. It can heal a hurting heart. It can heal faulty thinking. Talking to God could be the most important step in figuring out how to handle your specific scenario. Let Him guide you.

6. Do we invite positive sex messages into our lives?

I’ve come to believe that an important factor in having a healthy sex life is having the support of others. Yes, the intimate act is private—between two spouses and behind closed doors. However, false messages around us can destroy marital intimacy. False messages like porn is okay, sex is only for men, sexual intimacy dies after the honeymoon, and more.

Positive messages do the opposite: They fortify the couple and give them freedom to delight in sexual intimacy. Seek out positive messaging—like girlfriends who applaud your desire to honor your husband; books, blogs, and classes that teach how to be a good and godly lover; couples or relatives who’ll care for your kids and give you couple time when you need it; church resources that nurture marriage and sexual intimacy. These days, it requires intentional action to seek out positive messages to encourage your sexual intimacy. But it’s well worth the effort.

Evaluate where your marital intimacy is and make the changes you need to make.


J is a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, and a work in progress. She writes anonymously at Hot, Holy & Humorous, where she uses a biblical perspective and a blunt sense of humor to foster Christian sexuality in marriage.

 

Now it’s your turn! Have a marriage post you’d like to share with us? Just enter the URL of the individual post in the linky below! And make sure to link back here, too, so that other people can read all these great marriage posts!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!


Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.



Comments

  1. Pregnant and Huge says:

    What do you do when you are 9 months pregnant, huge and sex is very uncomfortable, to say the least? We don’t have sex nearly as often as I think we should, but right now it’s so awkward and can be painful for me. Another month of pregnancy and another month after baby is born is not fair to my husband. What do I do?

  2. Coconut oil is a natural lubricant that would help things be less painful and spooning or woman on top should help with the belly in the way. The end of my second pregnancy was that way. And there are pregnancy benefits to sex – per my Dr. It helps to thin the cervix. Many blessing as you finish this amazing journey.

  3. Great questions! Here’s where I think we are.
    #1. We’re at about 2x per week. I’d like a bit more, but he seems content so I’m good with that.
    #2 Not a ton of variety, but not a,b,c.. done either. I actually feel that our best sex is when we are in the familiar positions. Trying new things is great, but it doesn’t always yield the most satisfying results.. probably because we’re distracted by trying to figure things out.
    #3. yes. definitely, yes.
    #4. I think so. It seems that we are more playful and flirtatious when our sex life is in a good place. When things start to slide, so does our friendship.
    #5. Not a ton, but sometimes if we pray before going to sleep, we thank God for our intimacy. A while back when things weren’t the greatest in this area, I made a point of praying over our bed whenever I’d make it in the morning or change the sheets. I guess I shouldn’t stop that practice just because things are in a better place.
    #6. hmmm, have to think on that one. We don’t together seek out books or classes or conversations. I read blogs, but my husband doesn’t. Our own communication between ourselves is good though regarding sex. And at least once a day we have a kid yelling at us to “stop!… that’s inappropriate!…. ” haha… (mostly regarding comments we throw at each other or kitchen kissing :-)

  4. I am new to this blog and found it through looking for resources on renewing passion in my marriage. I TOTALLY agree with #6 – I know in my own life, growing up with very conservative Christian values on sex, that I have almost had to reprogram my mind now that I am married. So many years of hearing “wait until marriage” that even flirting sometimes felt wrong. It’s been helpful to have positive messages in the past 2 weeks of my own personal renewal – it’s freeing, and given me context and vocabulary to talk more openly with my husband, as well as try a variety of new ideas. Sufficed to say, he’s thrilled. :)

  5. Sheila, I just love this post. Sex and intimacy is so important in a marriage. If this area of your marriage is working well, it makes the other areas so much easier sometimes. I always pray for the Lord to sustain our intimacy and I thank Him for our love and intimacy. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain as life gets busy. You have to work at it.
    Kim Adams Morgan recently posted…Do You Struggle With Codependency?My Profile

  6. I do not agree that variety is essential. We always use the same position but each and every time it is a thrilling and fulfilling experience.

  7. This comment is going to be anonymous because I don’t like discussing intimate stuff too much.

    I feel that getting too specific with “your sex life should be like this” advice isn’t helpful. How often a couple has sex and how much variety they have only matters to two people in the entire world: the husband and the wife. If their sex life is great doing the same position all the time or having sex less than once a week, who can tell them they’re doing it wrong and not having the best sex life they can have? Only the couple knows what’s best for them. I really appreciated this blog post from Tim Challies on not advising couples on how often they should have sex: http://www.challies.com/christian-living/keeping-intimate-details-intimate

    Reading posts advising that you need to have sex AT LEAST once a week (but implying that people with REALLY good marriages do it much more often) always made me feel horrible and like my marriage must not be that great since there are seasons when we don’t have sex very often. But when I examine my marriage, I know that it’s great and both of us are really happy with our sex life. So apparently not having sex very often (according to J’s definition of “often”) does not doom your marriage to failure if both of you are happy with it.

    • Anonymous, on the whole I would agree with you–IF two people are happy, then that’s fine. However, a big caution here: in the surveys that I did for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, what I found on the whole was that one person may be happy with the frequency, but the other really wasn’t. It usually was the wife who wanted less and the husband who wanted more, though it at times was the other way around. But the survey found that about two thirds of men were really, really unhappy, and felt that they could do nothing about it.

      Also, surveys do find that couples who make love more frequently do also tend to be happier. The more frequent the sex, the happier the couple, though this effect wears off around the 3-4 times a week amount. Couples who make love daily do not tend to be happier than those who make love 2-3 times a week, but couples who make love 2-3 times a week are happier than those who make love once a week, and vastly happier than those who make love once a month. Again, these are statistics; that does not mean they are true for EVERY couple, but the trend is definitely in that direction.

      So I think that frequency, in general, IS a very important issue when it comes to marital happiness, and we do need to talk about it, because from what I’ve found, many, many women are perfectly happy with once a month, while very, very few men are. I think women really need to be told this, and just saying, “have sex more frequently” doesn’t do that, because they could be thinking, “we DO have sex frequently!”, since frequency is entirely relative.

      Again, if a couple is happy the way things are, that’s perfectly fine. But I would caution spouses to make sure that this is really the case. Sometimes people just don’t speak up and say that they aren’t happy, even when they’re hurting. So a frank discussion about this is always a good thing, to make sure you are on the same page.

      • I, for one, appreciate the specific frequency discussion because somehow I came into womanhood and married life under the impression that sex was something couples did a couple of times a month. And I thought my husband was awful for wanting it more. LOTS more. ;) Just adjusting my mindset to the idea that “regular sex” is 2-3 times a week, not twice a month has helped us immensely (but I didn’t hear that from anyone but my “sex-crazed” husband until about yr 7 of our marriage.. wish someone had been more specific early in my marriage! We DO need to talk about it!

        • Another Megan here to ditto what the first Megan said. ;-) Shelia, I really appreciated the specific frequency discussion too. I have been married 11 years, and you are the first person I’ve encountered who would actually get into specifics in this area. I think it’s so helpful! In my case, my husband and I have a wonderful relationship, but our frequency is fairly low. Although our marriage is doing great now (we have the friendship part nailed :-) ), our frequency is something both of us want to improve. We are both happy with the current state, but we also understand that sex is very important to our marriage and neglecting it can be harmful down the road. While I’m not going to stress about it, the goal of once a week will now be in the back of my mind. I like your idea of asking “why not?” instead of “why?”

  8. 5. Have we prayed about our sexual intimacy?

    I think we should popularize the phrase “Have sex with God.”

    He sees all and knows all, anyway. We might as well invite him into the bedroom with us.

    XD

  9. Prayer truly is the answer to everything. Isn’t it funny that praying to the Creator of Sex feels so funny?
    Christie Martin @ Garden of Holiness recently posted…40 Days and 3 Ways to Improve Your MarriageMy Profile

  10. We are married for 2 years and this is the only time that we’re starting our lives to be TOGETHER as married couple. Due to migration process, it’s hard to see each other often and it took us ONLY twice a year to see one another. I could say that we are happy and contented with all the aspects of our lives cuz of the closeness and intimacy we had now that we’re finlly together (we are now 2 weeks being together in US). :D Life is Good! God is GREAT!
    Mai recently posted…3 Ways to Love Your Man When You Don’t Have 3 Minutes to SpareMy Profile

  11. I say sex should be more than once a week! It’s way too much fun! :)
    Cassie recently posted…What it Takes to be an IronmanMy Profile

  12. We have been married @ 7 years – in 40’s –
    Blended family. We have sex MAYBE 2 times a month ( average 7 percent a year! ) I’m not happy and I’ve talked and talked to my husband about this. He says ok … He says he wants it more… But a quickie is what he wants. Do I continue living unhappily or..?

  13. Jeannie Sims says:

    Thank you for this great post! My husband and me just read this together and ended up having a great discussion. I pray about our marital intimacy often. In the 10 years together, I’ve never achieved orgasm…not through any means. It has nothing to do with me not enjoying sex…I totally do…but for some reason, I just can’t. We we talked about this and prayed about it, but I always feel that I’m missing out on something–and that it’s never as fun for me as it could be. Do you have any advice on how to help with this or these feelings?

    • Jeannie – I deal with this same problem. I firmly believe that for women (or in my case, anyway), achieving orgasm is 99.9% mental. Of the HANDFUL of times I’ve been able to do so, I was holding onto a very certain thought (fantasy) and there had to be just the right repetitive motion, for a good five minutes. TMI, I know, sorry. But even knowing this, it is still hard for me to get into that frame of mind and make it happen. For a while I would mentally tell myself “I’m going to have one tonight” and the positiveness and certainty of that thought really helped me to get there. And I should mention, I have NO problem getting there on my own, when I’m alone. Knowing this, there can’t be anything physically wrong with my ability to have them, and it must be mental. Maybe yours is mental too? I know a lot of my inability comes from me being self-conscious about my body and a lot of “how do I look from this angle?”. Stuff like that doesn’t help! Anyway, hope that random mind-dump helps somehow. :)

  14. Broken Heart says:

    2comments:
    To Anon posting 27 October 2013 – this was my situation and I’m sorry no-one has replied to you. Is your husband using porn? Sheila has also posted some useful blogs on this so keep trawling her site :)
    To Jeannie and Kendall, this will be heart-breaking for your husband. Thanks for your honesty and I would urge you to work out where your mental blocks are. Again, I’m sure Sheila had some posts on this, so read up, pray, on your own and with your husband and get moving towards pleasure, which will be for both of you!

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

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