31 Days to Great Sex–An Awesome Boost to Your Marriage

Want to make your marriage sizze? You’ve come to the right place for learning how to have great sex in marriage–and get those fireworks and that intimacy you’ve been longing for.

Do you yearn to feel truly intimate with your spouse? Do you wish that you enjoyed a sex life that was ALIVE, rather than one that was rather dull? Do you have this overwhelming feeling like you’re missing out on something–that God had so much more planned for your marriage, but you can’t quite figure out how to get there?

31 Days to Great Sex is for you!

Buy it in paperback (in the U.S.)
Buy it in paperback (Canada and everywhere else) (this one’s autographed!)
Buy it in .pdf form
(that you can read on a computer, ereader, or print out)
Buy it on Kindle
Buy on Nook


A year ago I finished my 29 Days to Great Sex series, leading up to the launch of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

Those posts were pinned a ton, and I’ve had so much traffic from them! And over and over again, people asked me, “when are you going to put this into a book?

I finally did. I expanded the series, took out the “time out” days, and changed it so that it’s geared for couples, not just talking to wives. And I know it will change your marriage.

Here’s what you get:

  • The first few days are devoted to seeing sex in a positive way, and talking through your baggage and insecurities.
  • Then we spend a few days on building emotional intimacy (your friendship),
  • a few days on building physical intimacy (the fireworks, making sex feel wonderful!),
  • a few days on spiritual intimacy (the oneness), and
  • a few days putting habits in place so that you can keep the momentum going once you’re done.

Sex is so important in a marriage, and yet often we lose hope. It becomes blah. We wonder if we can ever recapture that spark–or if we can ever light that spark in the first place.

This series takes you step by step in the process of building a fun and intimate sex life. It doesn’t only focus on the mechanics of sex–though there certainly are posts that will help you in that department. It also focuses on building friendship, experiencing real intimacy, and learning to have fun again.

Any two bodies can work together sexually. When we have problems in the bedroom, it’s often not because of our bodies. It’s usually because we aren’t communicating well, or we feel distant from each other, or we’re just nervous. The big benefit of this 31 days is that you’ll actually TALK and communicate about this important part of your life. Talking about it is difficult to do, but the prompts and the posts make it much easier. That’s often when breakthroughs happen!

This isn’t “31 Days of new Sex Tricks”–though there are days that will help you explore more! It’s 31 Days to Great Sex in every way. It will help you grow more intimate as you flirt, laugh, talk, and just revel in each other. Open up the door to real intimacy in your marriage.

Who will benefit from this book?

  • Newlyweds who want to start off well!
  • Couples for whom life has become blah and too routine
  • Couples who have almost given up hope that sex can become great
  • Couples in conflict because one spouse wants sex more frequently than the other

In other words–just about every married couple. In fact–true confession here–my husband made me promise this weekend that WE’D work the 31 days through starting after his next round of call at the hospital. It doesn’t matter where you are in your marriage, the 31 Days to Great Sex will help you talk about sex more, think about intimacy more, and feel much closer together.

How does it work?

Each day has a topic, like “Embracing the Skin She’s In”, “Hitting the Reset Button on your Sex Life”, or “How Do You Decide Your Sexual Boundaries?” There’s a short write-up you read together–about 1-3 pages–and then there’s a challenge for you to do, often containing some conversation prompts. And yes–there’s plenty in there about how to make sex feel great, too.

I get a lot of women writing to me saying,

My husband HATES to read books. Will he read this?

The thing is, it’s not like a regular book. You don’t have to sit down and read 30 pages and then discuss it. Each night you’re really only reading 1-3 pages. That’s it. Then there’s another page for the challenges. The reading is not time consuming, and it isn’t intimidating.

And most men will jump at the chance to make their sex life better!

If you’re looking for a fabulous but inexpensive gift to give your husband, the book contains a link to some coupons you can download to present to him, announcing what you have planned.

Buy it in paperback (in the U.S.)
Buy it in paperback (Canada and everywhere else) (this one’s autographed!)
Buy it in .pdf form (that you can read on a computer, ereader, or print out)
Buy it on Kindle
Buy on Nook

Can a Man Buy it for His Wife?

Absolutely! It’s a couple’s book, and if you’re male, and you want to work through it with your wife, here’s how I’d suggest talking about it:

  • Stress that it’s about reading and talking together. It’s not 31 days of sex tricks where you’ll ask her to do uncomfortable things.
  • Stress that you want to feel more intimate with her, and one of the weeks is on how to experience awesome intimacy.
  • If sex has really been a sore spot in your marriage, ask her to read this post first.

I Would Rather Buy the E-Book Edition to Have Access Right Away. But How Does an E-Book Work?

An ebook can be read on any device–a computer, an iPod, a phone, a tablet, an iPad–even an ereader! If you don’t have a particular e-reader (like a Kindle or a Nook or a Kobo), just buy the .pdf version from me. You’ll receive a link so you can download the book onto your computer or device, or you can even print it out if you’d like (it’s around 100 pages).

If you do have a specific ereader, you may prefer to buy it formatted for that reader. In that case,

Buy it on Kindle
Buy on Nook
Buy it on Kobo

Want to learn more about how to read an ebook? This post can help!

But remember–it’s available in paperback now, too!

Reader Response

I was simply overwhelmed last by the emails I had from you readers in response to this series. Here are just a taste:

I have been amazed at the transformation in myself over the last 29 days.  I can’t imagine a bigger sceptic than me going in…it was truly only my desire to walk in obedience that got me started and kept me going.  But now my husband and I “joke” that we had more sex in Feb 2012 than in all 2009.  Thank you for changing the way I think about sex.

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.

I just needed to tell you that your series has been a real eye opener for me. I don’t feel like I can post a public thank you yet because I’m a little embarrassed to say that it’s taken me 25 years to learn. And you were my teacher! This area of sex has had its issues throughout our marriage. I never understood about intimacy. No one ever took the time to teach me. It’s not something that’s talked about in “christian” circles. We’ve even been in counseling for the last two year–with a sex therapist who is a christian!!–and she’s never said these things to me.

I just wanted to tell you that I read your entire “29 Days To Great Sex” challenge last night. I know it is supposed to be a daily challenge but after the first couple of posts I started to feel… liberated. I am 23 and enjoy sex with my husband but also felt/feel incredibly embarrassed by my own sexual feelings. I love giving HIM pleasure but I struggle allowing him to give ME pleasure. I have always had an extremely crippling fear of “what if theres something wrong with me” and “what if I don’t do it right” and “what if hes just being nice but he thinks this is stupid/gross/annoying/taking too long”. When I was reading your posts I realized so many of my fears were unfounded. I realized that the way my body responds is completely normal and that in my fear, I have been preventing enjoyment in my husband. You kept saying that so many women just say “I guess my body just doesn’t work” THAT WAS ME and it really made me feel ashamed and embarrassed…..I know that as I learn about my body with my husband and as I learn to trust him in this way things will only get better and better for us. So… Thank you.

Buy it in paperback (in the U.S.)
Buy it in paperback (Canada and everywhere else) (this one’s autographed!)
Buy it in .pdf form (that you can read on a computer, ereader, or print out)
Buy it on Kindle
Buy on Nook

I hope this book puts the spark back in your marriage!

 

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.

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.



31 Days to Great Sex is Almost Here!

I’ve been working to get it ready before Christmas, and it really looks like I’ll have it out this week–probably Thursday.

It’s the 31 Days to Great Sex!

After so many of you participated in my 29 Days to Great Sex last winter, and asked for a book form of it, I thought I really should put one together. But it took longer than I thought because I didn’t realize what a major rewrite it would be. I decided to make it for couples, not just for women, so I had to change quite a bit. And then I took out four days that were really only relevant for the blog, added a few more to make it 31, and then condensed others. So it’s quite different (and a lot better, I think!).

It will be available as an ebook, either in a .pdf file which you can download and read on any book reader or on your computer, or for the Kindle (and eventually for the other readers, too).

Today I have to make the final decision on the cover, so I’m hoping you all will help me. What do you think?

If you start clockwise at the top left, and go around, which one do you like best? For instance, top left is 1, bottom left is 4. Vote in the poll, and then leave a comment saying that you voted, and then I’ll pick two random people and they’ll win a copy! Oh, and if you’re wondering, the difference between 1 &2 and 3&4 is really the fonts.

Want to make sure you don’t miss the launch or any offers with it? Just sign up here. But I’ll be writing about it a ton on this blog, too.

 

In the meantime, there’s been some great discussion around here lately. On this blog we’ve been talking about grandparents who don’t honour your authority with your kids. Chime in here. And over on Facebook we’ve been asking two questions: do you explode when you’re angry, or do you give the silent treatment? And what do you think about early marriages? Check those out, too!

I really appreciate all of our discussions, and the feedback on the cover from you all. Have a wonderful Monday!

UPDATE: I picked three winners using random.org! Congratulations to Mike, Kristi, and Rachel, who have all been contacted already.

And the book is now live! Yay! You can see it here.

Little Things That Humble Me…

Little Things That Humble Me

1. The Wimp Factor

I took my car in for an oil change yesterday. I’m driving to Pennsylvania for the Allume blogging conference next week, and I have several speaking engagements along the way, so my car needed to be in tip top shape. But lately my tires have been losing air really quickly. And no matter how many times I fill them up, they still leak. So I asked the guys to take a look at them.

Turns out the reason they leak is because I don’t put the valves on tightly enough.

Guess I’m wimpy!

2. The Prayer Factor

The other night my husband and I were having rather a heated disagreement, and it didn’t seem to matter what we said, we just kept hurting each other. Then, in the middle of it, my husband got down on his knees by the bed and said a simple prayer out loud.

We kept talking, but I was able to see his point of view. He was able to see mine. And we came to an agreement rather quickly.

Why do we try to do things without God so much?

3. The Amazement Factor

This comment came through the website the other day:

I am so thankful for this series! My husband and I have been…married 10 years. We had 2 children and lived together for 4 years before we married. Marriage was an after thought. I had many misconceptions about marriage, sex, and intimacy. I was raised that sex was dirty and disgusting…I am so thankful that the Lord found and saved my husband and I in September of 2005. He has done so many wonderful things including healing alot of the pain and bondage that held our marriage at arms length. My husband has recently been really pushy about asking me what I wanted in our sex life and I was so uncomfortable telling him. Even though I thoroughly enjoy making love with him I just couldn’t talk about it with him and I didn’t know that I could feel connected to him on a deeper level. Sex was purely physical. I knew that he needed it and that I was just going to have to deal with the fact that I would never connect with him that way. WHAT A LIE FROM THE ENEMY! I started praying (really praying!) that God would help me to be the wife my husband needed me to be and I happened across an article (it was totally God) about 16 ways to flirt with your husband. I started reading the rest of the articles and went through them all in 2 days! I have talked to my husband about things in the past few days that I never thought I would or even could. I realized that there is nothing wrong with me and that we can have that connection. Sex is NOT dirty and I am allowed to enjoy it! We have already had more intimacy in the past 2 days than we have in a long time! We have understood more about each other and have realized that things are worth talking about even though it’s uncomfortable. I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful God given gift that you have shared with us and how you have changed our lives forever! BTW we never really took the wedding seriously (even though we really loved each other and definitly wanted to be married) and we didn’t have a honeymoon but I have a feeling that this coming year that will change and we will renew our vows! Very excited about whats to come! :)

That comment, combined with the almost 400 (!) that you all left last weekend after I had my mini-breakdown online, meant so much to me. It has helped me to see that God is really using me online. That this is a ministry. And the thought that God could take my words and use them to actually help people is really humbling to me. And I did love the 29 Days to Great Sex! (The ebook the 31 Days to Great Sex is almost ready! I’ll be launching it in a few weeks).

So there you go: I’m wimpy. I need God. And sometimes He uses me anyway.

I think that’s a good place to be. And I’m just taking deep breaths right now, and trying to really FEEL that, because I’ve been awfully hard on myself lately for not living up to my own standards. Maybe I ought to just take a step back and let God set those standards, eh? (that’s the Canadian coming out in me!)

UPDATE: Okay, so I wrote about the tire incident on my Facebook page and learned that there is a difference between VALVES and CAPS. It turns out that when you fill up a tire you screw the caps back on, but the valves are different. So it wasn’t my fault! I’m not wimpy! All I am is ignorant. :)

So I’ll have to change my conclusion to this: I don’t know everything. I need God. And sometimes He uses me anyway.

29 Days to Great Sex Day 29: Party for Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex!

It’s our grand finale for the 29 Days to Great Sex, and I’m going to throw a little party today! (If you’re just joining us now, you can go back to Day One right here). I hope it’s been a great series for all of you, and that you’ve had time to reconnect and communicate as a couple. I’ve had a great time writing it (and my husband really appreciated the post on how to spice things up :) ). And it’s been wonderful to meet so many new readers, especially all of you who found me through Pinterest.

My prayer for this series was that I could help both men and women get a new and exciting view of sex–one that sees it not just as physical release, but as a beautiful, exciting part of a marriage that connects you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Why would people choose to live without passion?

Many of you in the comments have said that your sex life had been virtually non-existent, but you’re starting to rebuild. That’s so exciting! Others of you have had your first orgasms. And still others have even conceived babies! So it’s been a great month.

But some of you are still struggling. You wanted to do the challenges, but your spouse just didn’t stick with it. I’m sorry about that. Unfortunately, there is no magic thing that you can do to make your spouse want to be intimate in this way. All you can do is what you were called to do: love your spouse. Even when it’s difficult. And know that God never asks us to do something that He doesn’t also give us the strength to do.

Some of you still have a lot of work to do, and you’re wondering where to go now. Well, I had over 1,000 posts on this blog before I started the series, and if you just joined me during the series, rest assured that I likely have 1000 more. I’m not going anywhere! So here’s what’s coming on To Love, Honor and Vacuum in the very near future:

1. Tomorrow is our contest launch–where you could win money towards a first–or second–honeymoon! Come back for the details.
2. Next week I’ll be hosting a live Facebook Q&A where you can ask me any question you want, and I’ll try to answer it. I’ll have a place where you can submit questions anonymously.
3. We have our mini-series coming on what to do when your husband isn’t interested in sex! Many women asked, and I’ll deliver.
4. I’ve had a ton of questions come through my email that I want to deal with, everything from finding a balance between mom & wife to how to have sex when you’re pregnant or how to find your libido when you’re breastfeeding.
5. My column will be back! I write a syndicated column every Thursday, but I haven’t been posting them this month because of the sex series.
6. And I’m still here to answer more questions! If you have a post topic you want to see, just send it my way.

But before we do all that, today I want to have a bit of a party! And what’s a party without gifts?

Still 30% off at Amazon until it’s released March 6!

So first, here’s something you can do for me. If you have enjoyed this series, would you help me by buying The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex? It’s filled with information just like in the series, but it takes things deeper onto the threefold nature of sex–physical, spiritual, and emotional–and looks at how we can make sex stupendous in each of those areas. It also covers what to do when things aren’t working in those areas. And I share a lot of personal stories that I haven’t shared on this blog.

If you’ve had issues with sex in your marriage, this book can help you see it in a new way. But would you also consider purchasing one for someone who is about to marry–or who has recently walked down the aisle? I firmly believe that if more women received good information early in their marriages, we wouldn’t have all the problems in families that so permeate our churches today.

World Magazine called me “a funny big sister” when they read my book, which I kinda like. FamilyLife Canada’s executive director called me “The Christian Dr. Ruth“, which mortified my kids (and I love anything that mortifies my kids). I know you’ll like the book!

'100_8953' photo (c) 2007, Neeta Lind - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

And here’s what I’d like to do for you! If you buy it today, I’m going to throw a bunch of gifts your way, too! I have a goodie bag of downloadable gifts I’d like to give you, including:

  • ” A Godly Home ” 5-week couples’ devotional by PromiseKeepers , filled with devotions you can read with your spouse at night from Bill and Pam Farrel (authors of Red Hot Monogamy and Men are Life Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti), Sheila Wray Gregoire (me!) and more. A great way to work on your spiritual connection!
  • Love coupons to spice up your marriage!
  • “A Surrendered Marriage ” workbook by Leigh Anne Dutton from Intentional by Grace . Great conversation starters to work on communication and vision in your marriage!
  • “The Praying Parent” devotionals by writer Carey Scott –inspires you to pray effectively for your kids. Carey also operates Christian Work at Home Moms community, and Moms Together on Facebook!
  • Printable Lunch Box Notes to put in your child’s lunchbox–from mom extraordinaire Amy Bayliss, author of Pursuit of Proverbs 31 , an entirely new way of looking at the chapter–without the mountains of guilt!
  • Make Date Night Fabulous –an e-report by Amy Bayliss on how to keep romance alive.
  • Step Away from that Diet ebook by Sundi Jo Graham , Ten Steps to Lose that Weight and Gain the Confidence You’ve been Searching For
  • How to Bless Your Children –an e-report by me, Sheila Wray Gregoire, on how to “call out” God’s purpose in their lives.
  • Which birth control method is best? A video presentation by The Christian Family Planning Network.
  • How to Have Really Great Sex TONIGHT Even if You’re NEVER in the Mood, a report from Gina Parris from Winning at Romance.

So will you buy it today? All you have to do to claim your gifts is toemail me (sheila at

sheila wray gregoire period com) and just forward me a copy of your receipt, or a picture of it on your Nook or Kindle, or just something to show that you’ve bought it.

And if you’ve already pre-ordered it, I’d love to thank you with the gifts, too! So just forward me your receipt, and I’ll send you the links to the gifts, as well.

Here’s one more thing you could do for me (and for the others reading this blog): share in the comments something that you’ve discovered this month, or that you’ve found encouraging, or a breakthrough you’ve had. Many people reading this blog really are struggling, and if you’ve been there, but now you can see hope, tell us! It makes people feel so much better to hear that healing and passion and fun are all possible! (and it encourages me, too). And if you’re the one who needs a hug, or a gift of encouragement, share that in the comments, too. Tell us how we can pray for you, or ask a question, and then all of us here will try to help. So let’s have a party of encouragement in the comments!

And now, here’s your last challenge:

Great Sex Challenge 29: It’s time to evaluate. Talk together about the challenges, and think of one that you couldn’t–or wouldn’t–do. Resolve to make an attempt within the next two weeks! And now share with each other what the perfect night would look like to each of you–where you would feel connected on all three levels. It’s okay (and perfectly normal) for your “perfect nights” to not resemble each others’. But make a commitment to give each other that night, in the next two weeks, as a gift.

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

31 Days to Great Sex

New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex! It’s expanded, it’s written for couples (not just women), and it’s easy to use! Find out more here.

 

Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Still 30% off at Amazon!

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!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
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 on 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 Once Kids Come
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when you Make Love
Day 28: Is Selfishness Robbing You of Intimacy?

29 Days to Great Sex Day 28: Is Selfishness Undermining Intimacy?

Is Selfishness Robbing Your Marriage of IntimacyWe’re winding up our 29 Days of Great Sex, leading up to the release of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (update: Now Available!)

Throughout the month we’ve been looking at how to make sex great physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yesterday we were looking at how to experience true spiritual intimacy while making love: that deep knowing, that mutual experience, and that bonding. Most of our posts this month have been on that vein: ways to see sex more positively, to make it more fun, and to create greater intimacy.

But I can’t do the series justice if I don’t also have a post giving a warning. And there is one particular attitude that will make true intimacy virtually impossible to experience, and that’s selfishness. Two kinds of selfishness predominate in the sexual realm to rob sex of its spiritual intimacy: withholding sex and demanding unreasonable things.

Please, if you’re reading this with your spouse, read with an open mind and honestly ask yourself, “am I in one of these categories“? Often we don’t think we are. We think our spouse is to blame if we’re having problems in the bedroom. But don’t look at your spouse; truly look at your own attitude and ask yourself, am I being truly loving and giving with sex?

1. Withholding Sex

Many spouses are just heartbroken and at their wits’ end because they are married to people who think sex is a chore, and it is somehow wrong or dirty to desire it very much.

I’ve received so many emails this month from spouses of both genders who truly want a great sex life, but their spouse rarely consents to making love, and when they do, it often is with a “let’s get this over with” attitude. Or else they tell their spouse to go “take care of it yourself.”

Are you like that? Is sex a chore? Do you wish your spouse would just leave you alone?

Now, if you have a genuine problem, like sex is uncomfortable because you’re too tight, or you’re still getting over past sexual trauma, obviously sex is going to be difficult. And as long as you are actively working towards healing, I don’t think most spouses would be upset. But if you are saying, “this is the way I’ll always be, and he or she should just get used to it“, then you’re not being fair.

It is not God’s will for you that you have a rotten sex life. God created you to have a vibrant, intimate, passionate, sex life. If you do not have that in your marriage, then ask yourself, “what can I do to create one?”, because robbing your spouse of that kind of intimacy is not fair.

Maybe you have low testosterone, and you have an abnormally low sex drive (both men and women can suffer from this). That’s okay. Just get your testosterone levels checked. Maybe you have some sexual issues, like erectile dysfunction. That’s okay, too. Just get it looked at. It is not fair to your spouse to ignore a problem when that problem is robbing you both of intimacy.

And that’s really what I want you to understand. You are not just robbing your spouse of sex–though you are doing that. You are not just robbing your spouse of sexual release–though you are doing that, too. You are first and foremost robbing your spouse of that true spiritual intimacy that sex was designed to forge between you. You are robbing your spouse of that connection, and that’s something that is such a deep need for all of us. And you are robbing yourself of that, too.

So stop seeing it in terms of simple sexual release, and start seeing it in terms of intimacy. Are you doing everything you can to experience real intimacy in your marriage? If you aren’t, then perhaps you need to commit more to embracing all that God designed sex to be, and to figuring out how it can actually be  wonderful in your marriage.

2. Demanding Unreasonable Things

The other group that is diminishing spiritual intimacy are those who see sex mostly in terms of how they can get the most sexual release.

Sex is supposed to be a mutual, shared experience. That’s what part of the spiritual connection is. That doesn’t mean that you never do anything “just for him” or that he never does something “just for her”; those can all be part of play. But these things should never take over, or eclipse, vaginal intercouse, or else you lose that spiritual intimacy because it is not a mutual experience.

I’ve received a ton of emails this month, and one of the more common themes is along the lines of “my husband would prefer that I just help him to climax another way”. That really is quite selfish. One of the reasons that people prefer other kind of release is because they can concentrate on their own pleasure and don’t have to think of anyone else at all. But then you’re not “getting lost” in another person. You’re not “connecting”; you’re just using. And it’s not right.

Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with play every now and then; but that play should be part of a healthy relationship where you’re both also experiencing pleasure through intercourse. If the play is taking over, then sex isn’t mutual; it’s almost like you’re having parallel experiences.

If there are health reasons, of course, where this must be the case, that’s an entirely different story, and you can both make an effort to involve the other person by telling them that you love them, by trying to pleasure them at the same time, or whatever. But in general these emails are coming from two healthy people, where one just prefers a shortcut rather than intercourse. That needs to stop.

If you are insisting that your spouse bring you to sexual release without vaginal intercourse on a regular basis, then you are not looking for spiritual intimacy through sex. You are seeing sex solely through the physical prism, and you are diminishing what sex is supposed to be. Again, there’s nothing wrong with occasional play, but the focus should always be on a shared experience. If you are insisting on things which bring your spouse no real pleasure, then you are being selfish.

Similarly, though we have freedom in bed to do many things, that does not mean that couples MUST do those things. Changing positions is great. Really becoming intimate with all of your spouse’s body is wonderful. Insisting on *n*l sex is a horrible violation of marriage. (sorry about the asterisks, but I’m trying to get around the search engine labelling me as something that I’m not). I’m not saying that it’s necessarily sinful, since I personally don’t believe the Bible addresses it in marriage. But it is painful. It does have medical repercussions. And it is not pleasurable to the woman.

Why in the world would anyone risk losing the beautiful intimacy that can come from sex by insisting that his wife give him this–and being bitter and disappointed when he doesn’t get it?

Do you want intimacy, or do you want sex to be solely about the physical? If your spouse is making love frequently and with passion, be grateful. Don’t fixate on certain sexual acts, and how you would prefer them. If you do that, you’re making sex into something which is not mutual, but which is instead about self-gratification. That is totally the opposite of what God designed sex to be.

Let me end on this: God made sex to connect us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When I conducted the research for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found (as other surveys have found before me) that Christians are the most likely to really enjoy sex, and it’s because we experience this threefold intimacy. It isn’t just about the physical, the way it is in our culture, because we have the commitment and the relationship, too. And we understand that it’s a beautiful gift from God. When all three go together, sex is stupendous.

Do you want stupendous sex, or do you want pornographic sex? God is calling us to make sex holy–and that means that sex will be passionate, and beautiful, and exciting, because God is passionate, and beautiful, and exciting. Are you going to embrace that, or are you going to be selfish? If you do the latter, you virtually guarantee that you will never experience the true intensity of beautiful sex.

Great Sex Challenge 28: If you believe that you might fall into one of these categories–either withholding or demanding–please pray about it. Talk to your spouse about it. Apologize to your spouse. And share with them your dream of achieving a truly intimate and exciting sex life.

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

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.



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!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
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 on 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 Once Kids Come
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when you Make Love

If you’ve enjoyed this series, please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google Plus below! Thank you!

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.

29 Days to Great Sex Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy While You Make Love

Spiritual Intimacy in Marriage: Making Love, Not Just Having SexSpiritual intimacy in marriage is a beautiful thing. When we have it, we can truly make love, not just have sex. If you’re longing for that kind of intimate connection with your husband, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re in the final few days of our 29 Days to Great Sex, leading up to the release of The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex (update: It’s now everywhere!)

We’ve been leading up in this series to today’s post, which in many ways I think is the most important of the series. Let’s learn how making love is supposed to be a true spiritual union–it’s so much more than just having sex. Let me explain.

If you grew up in the church, chances are you grew up with the King James Version. And do you remember hearing Genesis read out loud?

And Adam knew his wife Eve, and they conceived unto them a son…

And we’d sit there and giggle and elbow our friends, because we thought it was so funny. Instead of saying a word that meant “sex“, the Bible said “knew“. Because obviously God was embarrassed.

But hold on a second. What if there was something else going on?

You see, in Psalm 139, David says, “search me and know me“. In fact, that theme, begging God to dig deep inside our hearts and really “know” us, is throughout Scripture. And the same Hebrew word is used to represent our deep longing for a union with God and the sexual union between a husband and a wife.

What if there’s actually a connection? What if sex isn’t just supposed to be a physical union, but is supposed to also encompass this deep longing to be known, the way that David yearns for God?

I think that’s actually part of God’s plan for sex. Think about it: in sex we bare ourselves physically. But for sex to really work well, we also have to bare ourselves emotionally. We have to be able to be vulnerable. We have be willing to “let go”. We have to emotionally let him in for us to even get aroused. And men have to let their guard down, too, in order to experience the kind of love they long for.

God created people with first and foremost a desperate longing for relationship. We long to know and be known, and in that knowing to be accepted. It’s our deepest need. God gave us this drive to know Him and be known by Him, but He also gave us these sexual longings which mirror how we long to be truly united with our husbands and with God–to be truly and wonderfully KNOWN.

I talk about this at great length in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and look at how we can make this spiritual longing and spiritual intimacy part of the sexual experience, because I truly believe that it’s the spiritual intimacy that people actually crave the most. When we focus only on the physical, sex too often can seem shallow. When we combine the physical with the emotional and the spiritual, sex is stupendous, because it encompasses all that we are. One of the reasons that our culture has become more pornographic–and why things that were once considered sexually taboo are now pretty much mainstream–is that our culture has made sex into something only physical because they don’t have anything else. And yet they know they’re missing something, so they try more and more extreme things.

We, who are married, have the real deal. We have the ingredients for an amazing sexual relationship, because it’s real intimacy, not just orgasm. (And, by the way, that makes orgasm even greater!). In fact, the women who were the most likely to orgasm in the surveys I took were Christian women. When you’re in a lifetime committed relationship, you’re more likely to experience all the great aspects of sex–and not just the physical.

That spiritual union that is part of sex isn’t something out of the Kama Sutra or some eastern thing. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that deep hunger to connect that is part of sex–not just a desire for orgasm, but a desire to be joined. And to me, that’s actually more profound, and more of an aphrodisiac, than the thought of something specifically physical.

But how, practically, can we experience “spiritual intimacy” while making love? Here are some thoughts:

1. To experience spiritual intimacy, take time being naked.

I don’t just mean taking your clothes off to make love. I mean actually be naked together. Hold each other. Take a bath together. Even pray naked together! Redo that exercise where you just take time touching each others’ bodies. Really feel as if you completely know the other person. It’s actually more vulnerable to be naked while someone touches you than just to be naked while you “have sex”. And so take that time to explore!

2. Take time to be spiritually naked.

This may sound weird, but trust me on it: pray before sex. Or at least read a Psalm or something! When we unite together spiritually first, it’s as if our souls are drawn together. And when our souls are drawn together, we want to draw together in a deeper way. So keep a Bible by the bed and just read passages at nighttime together. Try to pray together. If you’re uncomfortable with freeform prayer, buy a book of prayers, or use the Anglican prayer book. The words don’t matter; the heart does. When you mean it, and you bow before God together, you really are drawn towards each other in a much more intense way.

3. Look into each others’ eyes

The eyes are windows, and yet how often do we close our eyes, as if we’re trying to shut the other person out, and concentrate on ourselves? I know sometimes you have to close your eyes to feel everything, but sometimes open up and look into his eyes. To actually see him–and to let him see into you–is very intimate, especially at the height of passion.

Make Love, Don't Just Have Sex--how to feel truly spiritually intimate together

4. Say “I love you”

It’s such a little thing, but while you’re making love–or even when you orgasm, say “I love you”. Make sex about not just feeling good, but expressing love. Say his name. Show him that you’re thinking of him in particular.

5. Be Mentally Present

This is a tough one for some people, but don’t let your mind wander. Sometimes our minds wander because we’re multi-taskers, and we start creating shopping lists in our heads. But I’m not just talking about that. Other times we let our minds wander in order to get aroused. We fantasize.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with remembering something wonderful that you did together that was stupendous, or imaging being on a beach, or whatever it may be for you. But to fantasize about someone who isn’t your husband, or to bring up pornographic images to get aroused, isn’t right. And it hinders your ability to really bond with your spouse. If you’re having trouble with that, my book can help! And here’s a post that offers a little bit of insight into how to stop doing that.

Guys often struggle with this, too, especially guys who have used porn. Images often come into their heads. If either of  you is short-cutting the arousal cycle by pulling up pornographic images, ask God to help you stop, and then practice just being present. Think about your body. Think about your spouse. Trace your fingers along your spouse’s body. Think specifically about what is feeling good and what you love about your spouse, and say some of these things out loud. Keep your mind focused on the here and now, and you’ll find it a much more intimate, and intense, experience.

6. Desire Your Spouse

Spiritual intimacy during sex ultimately depends on that desire to be united with your spouse. And that desire is fed throughout the day–by concentrating on what you love about him, by thinking about him, by flirting and playing with him, by saying positive things about him to others. It isn’t something that “just happens”. It’s something that is the culmination of a relationship that you already have.

I truly believe that for many couples this is THE major roadblock to sex being everything it can be. Tomorrow we’ll be dissecting some of the problems with spiritual intimacy and sex a little more, but I think many people have bought into this idea that sex is only physical, when really sex is the physical expression of a deep drive we have to be connected to one another.

I received a comment on yesterday’s post from a woman who said this:

I always thought “Oh sex is just something that HE needs, I can do fine without it”. So not true. I need it too! We have connected in amazing ways, in and out of the bedroom and I am so excited to have my old husband back!

For you women who are reading this, sex ISN’T something that he needs just for physical release; it’s that he needs to feel really intimate. And we need that, too! Many of us push sex out of the way because it seems like a chore, but what we’re really doing, then, is denying ourselves one of the most powerful tools we have to feel truly connected and accepted by another individual.

If sex makes you feel dirty, or is a constant source of conflict, then wait until tomorrow’s post. But if it’s simply that you’ve never experienced sex this way, then try those steps. Concentrate on what you love about each other. Pray together. Memorize each others’ bodies. Say I love you. Look into each others’ eyes. Truly be joined. There really is nothing else like it.

Great Sex Challenge Day 27: Make love, don’t just have sex. Tonight, while you’re together, do your best to show your spouse how much you love them. Be passionate about it! And see what happens.

Sheila is the author of The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex.

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.



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!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
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 on 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 Once Kids Come
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life

Next:
Day 28: Is Selfishness Undermining Intimacy?

This is an important post that many people need to understand! Can you help by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Google Plus below? Thank you!

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.

29 Days to Great Sex Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life

Rebuilding Your Sex LifeWe’re in the home stretch of the 29 Days to Great Sex, a series leading up to the launch of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (update: Now Available!) I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts! I’ve so enjoyed your encouragement on Facebook, in the comments, and on Twitter, and your emails. Apparently we’ve already had one 29 Days to Great Sex baby conceived, so I’m honoured. I think :).

A number of you have read this series just because you want things to be better. They’re going okay, but you know you’re not experiencing all you want to in your sex life, and you long for that greater intimacy and greater fun.

But there are also a number of you who are coming from difficult places. Adultery. Porn addiction. Sexual abuse. Or basically a sexless marriage, and now you want things to be different. You want to turn it around. But when there’s so much water under the bridge, when there’s been hurt, when there’s been negative patterns, how do you forge ahead?

So today I want to talk about how to have a new start. You’ve read the series and you’re ready to go. You have all these ideas, and a new outlook, and you want it to become a reality, but your old relationship patterns are holding you back, and you’re scared you’re going to go back into them. Or you’re embarrassed to start the conversation with your spouse about where you want to go from here. Here, then, are some strategies for mapping out a new sex life, and getting off to a new start:

1. Talk to Your Spouse

Have you really talked to your spouse yet, and told him what you dream of for your marriage? Have you talked to your wife and told her how you want to feel more intimate? If you want to start fresh, you have to take this step of opening up communication.

Sometimes we’re really embarrassed to talk about sex, and sometimes we just are afraid to because it’s been such a source of conflict in the past that we’re worried our spouse won’t take us seriously, or will assume we have bad motives.

You can’t control what your spouse thinks or how your spouse reacts. But you can start the conversation and tell the truth. If your spouse doesn’t react well, resist the urge to defend yourself. Let your spouse talk, especially if there’s been hurt in the past. But share your own heart, too.

2. Apologize for Your Part in the Hurt

It’s so crucial to acknowledge when we have actually caused hurt. When my husband and I were first married, we each hurt each other. I hurt him by withholding sex, or by blaming him for wanting it so much. He hurt me by not considering my feelings and not taking things more slowly. But at the time, when we were in the middle of the conflict, neither of us could see that we were doing anything wrong at all. All we could feel was how much the other person hurt us.

Examine yourself and see if you are in the wrong at all. Even if your spouse did something big, like have an affair or use pornography, ask yourself honestly: was I withholding sex from him? Was I being fair to him beforehand? I’m not saying you’re to blame for your spouse’s sin; not at all. But it’s important that we truly look and see if we have anything to apologize for, and then be upfront about it.

3. Forgive Your Spouse

If your spouse has hurt you sexually, by demanding things you didn’t want to do, by not being patient, by withholding sex, or whatever it may be, choose to forgive. Tell your spouse how they hurt you, but then confess to what you have done.

And now choose to put it behind you, once and for all. We had to do that in our marriage; I had to say, “I no longer have the right to hold this against you”, or else we could never really move forward. Any time we had another conflict about sex, we’d drag up all the stuff that had already happened, and then we couldn’t solve it. So we had to say, once and for all, this is forgiven, this is taken care of, this is in the past.

4. See Your Spouse with New Eyes

Now that it is in the past, commit to seeing your spouse differently. Perhaps you’ve always doubted whether or not your wife really wants you. Perhaps you’ve always doubted whether or not she actually can have an orgasm. You have to put these things behind you. If your spouse says they want a new start, believe it! Try to not doubt their motives, and try to act as if you’re beginning again, and rediscovering each other.

Imagine this scenario: a wife realizes that she hasn’t been generous sexually with her husband, and has been withholding sex. She wants things to be different. At the same time, he’s been withholding affection because he doesn’t feel loved. They both confess this to each other and resolve to go forward together. They’re excited about it!

And for a few nights things go great. But then one night she’s extra tired and she has a headache. She wants to just go to sleep. He thinks to himself, “Oh, great, here we go again. She said she wanted to change, but she won’t. It will never last.” And he gets angry. She knows he’s angry, and she thinks to herself, “he doesn’t care what I’ve done all week. That really is all he thinks about!” And they’re back to old patterns.

If your spouse has said they want to change, then from that time forward, see them through those lenses, not your old ones. If she’s said she wants to change, and she is changing, then a few nights when she has a headache shouldn’t really be a big deal. But if you’re obsessing on the past, they will be. So see your spouse differently, and believe the best.

5. Change Things Up

The latter is easier to do if you actually change what you do. Remember way back at the beginning of the 29 Days when I suggested learning how to reawaken your body by spending 15 minutes just letting him touch you? And then I advised you to do the same for him? That’s actually a wonderful exercise to do every so often, and when you’re starting again, do it VERY often! It helps you to discover new things about both of you, but it also prevents you from doing the “typical”–either rushing through sex, or touching each other in ways that perhaps you thought were pleasurable but which really aren’t. Starting in a new way, and reacquainting yourselves with each others’ bodies as if you’re doing so for the first time helps you to trust each other that you are trying something new.

And then do new things! If you have tended to make love in a certain way, try something else. Use a different position, a different room, even a different time of day. Just change things up for a while so that it feels different, and you don’t start assuming bad motives of the other. When there has been hurt, or distrust, it’s difficult to put that behind you. Change things so that you’re saying to each other: this is a new beginning. We’re walking forward in a different way now, with a different outlook. And that’s good!

I received one email from a woman recently who basically had not had sex since her last baby was born quite a while ago. She now realizes this is wrong, and she wants to create an intimate marriage. But how does she jump in? And how often should you make love now, especially if you haven’t made love in quite a while?

I guess the way I’d answer that is don’t judge anything by what has been done in the past. Don’t even look at the past. Think of what an intimate life should look like. Think of how you want to be together. And then do that! It may feel strange, especially if sex hasn’t been a big part of your life. Yet concentrate on what’s ahead, not what’s behind. Look to God and ask Him to give you a new vision for your love life, and walk towards that vision. Don’t let yourself be held back by what’s been in the past.

6. Give Grace To Each Other

If your spouse says they’re committed to change, and that they want to grow in this area, it’s not going to change overnight. They may still have old thought patterns they need to get over. If there’s healing that needs to come, it may not be instantaneous. But don’t let the fact that things aren’t 100% better make you believe that your spouse isn’t trying. Give him or her the benefit of the doubt, keep loving your spouse, and forge ahead!

And one more thing: really, really work on your friendship. If you can keep laughing together, sex will be so much easier. If you can keep having fun together, you’ll be able to talk about things, and when you get worried about this aspect of your relationship, you can bring it up more easily because there’s goodwill between you.

Tomorrow and Tuesday we’ll be talking about something really important that will actually help this whole process: learning how to connect spiritually during sex!

Great Sex Challenge Day 26: Make things right between you. Over the past month we’ve talked about sharing visions for your sex life. I want you to do that again tonight, with one major change. Really examine yourselves and see if you have things you need to confess to each other. Then do that. Apologize. Grant forgiveness, if necessary. And then commit to moving forward together!

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

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.



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!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
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 on 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 Once Kids Come

Next:
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when you Make Love

Please spread the word about this series by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr below! Thank you!

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.

29 Days to Great Sex Day 25: Sex when you have Kids

We’re in the final stretch of our 29 Days to Great Sex series! I hope you’ve been enjoying it. And as we near the end of the series, we simultaneously near the date when The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex will be released (update: Available now!)

We’ve focused on how to get more enthusiastic about sex, how to have fun as a couple, how to make it feel great, and how to negotiate some of the more contentious issues, like frequency or what you do. But there’s one other thing that is likely to come in the way of a great sex life. I’ll let this video speak for itself:

Do you like it? Zondervan’s making a series of them for me to promote my book, and this is the first one! (Please hit the Facebook share buttons and Pinterest share buttons below to tell other people about the video!)

Anyway, my husband’s a pediatrician, and he often talks to parents who co-sleep with their babies, and often much older children. The interesting thing about these conversations is that almost unanimously it is the woman’s idea. The man would rather that the kids go elsewhere, but the mom is insisting on the kids being in the bed. That may not be the case in your marriage, but it’s very common.

When you’re a parent, your marriage is now even more important because others are depending on you. Do not allow children to come between you and your husband! Babies in the bed while you’re nursing? I can see that (though my husband would insist that I point out that the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages it because of the increased incidence of SIDS). But at a certain point the best thing for the children is to learn how to go to sleep on their own, in their own bed, so you can have couple time.

I know a substantial number of couples let their kids sleep in bed with them. I am not saying that this always wrong. But I have had those same women tell me “we just have to be more creative about sex.” That’s fine, but as a woman, I know that if I had to be more creative about it, I’d make love less frequently. I just would. Some nights we make love when we’re both tired simply because we’re lying in bed together talking and then stuff happens. If we had to go to a different room, or try not to wake the kids, it wouldn’t happen.

If the kids are putting a damper on your sex life, you owe it to your spouse to have an honest discussion about how he or she feels about it.  Many spouses, especially many men, let kids sleep in the bed because they feel as if they don’t have much of a choice. She wants them there, and the kids won’t go to sleep elsewhere.

If bedtime routines are nightmares, because the kids won’t settle to sleep, then get the Ferber book (or just watch any episode of Supernanny on YouTube. She does tons on bedtime routines!) You do not have to live with that kind of chaos forever! And once children learn how to settle themselves and sleep on their own, they are often much more settled children. It is not fun to be a child and to not be able to settle yourself to sleep. It leaves a child very nervous and agitated. Learning to sleep on one’s own is a skill that we give kids, and once they have that, they are much more peaceful.

But what about sex when teens are in the home? That’s even more difficult! And you’ll have to buy the book for my advice on that… (I can’t give you everything here, you know :) ).

Great Sex Challenge 25: Have an honest talk with each other about how much the kids are hampering your sex life. Commit together that your marriage comes first, and figure out ways to find some alone time, no matter what the ages of the kids! If you’re the one who wants the kids in the bed, or who insists on putting the kids to sleep yourself, then honestly ask your spouse if he or she is on board. If not, listen to their side, and plot a course together which will help all of you get more sleep, and both of you get more intimacy!

Tomorrow: Rekindling Sex After a Drought

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

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.



Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Still 30% off at Amazon!

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!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
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 on Boundaries
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!
Day 24: Initiate, Baby!

Next:
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy When You Make Love
Day 28:
Overcoming Selfishness in the Bedroom

Please spread the word about this series by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr below! Thank you!

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.

29 Days to Great Sex Day 24: Initiate, Baby!

WhyYouveGottoInitiateIf you’ve been joining me for this 29 Days to Great Sex series, leading up to the release of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (available NOW!), you’ll know that I firmly believe that sex begins in the brain: when you have the right attitude, your body will tend to follow (as long as you understand how to make it feel good!). If you don’t have the right attitude, sex will seem like a chore.

And I’ve also been saying that sex is a beautiful way to feel close to each other (more on that later in this series).

If you haven’t been following the 29 Days to Great Sex, don’t worry! You’re welcome anyway. Read on, and then you can always go back and catch up on posts that you’ve missed.

Today I want to continue our discussion of how to make sex something that unites you, rather than something that drives a wedge between you. And so let’s talk about an issue that I’ve touched on a number of times in this series:

What really matters in a marriage is not so much the frequency of sex (though that is important) as the enthusiasm and the passion.

So much of a man’s self-esteem especially is tied into whether or not his wife desires him sexually. It’s not just that she’ll acquiesce to have sex with him; it’s that she actually wants to. And, in fact, if a woman decides to placate her husband and “lie there and think of England”, so to speak, he’ll experience that as rejection, even though she’s “letting him”. And for many men, that actually leads to erectile dysfunction. They have a difficult time “completing the deed” if they feel like she isn’t really there for it.

Now, women who are married to men who don’t have very high sex drives have problems in this area, too, though it often manifests itself in slightly different ways. But the message to take home is this: your spouse needs to feel like you actually desire and want sex, and not just that you are willing to go through the motions.

In fact, many women (and I’m going to talk about women here, because the opposite isn’t quite true since men can’t do the deed if they’re not interested) complain that when they start “letting” him make love more frequently, he gets even more demanding. So they just give up. They think, “I’ll never satisfy him, so why bother?” But the problem is that you haven’t met his basic need, which is to feel desired. In fact, if you just lie there and don’t really participate, you’ve reinforced the idea that you don’t enjoy sex and really don’t want to do it. That’s going to cause him to desperately want to make sure that you do desire him, and so he will actually become more urgent about wanting sex. His most basic need, you see, is not to actually have sex. It’s to feel as if he’s wanted.

At this point some women are just about ready to give up. So it’s not enough that I have sex? You ask. I actually have to want it? How can I force myself to want it?

Allow me to give you an idea: Initiate it. Really. You be the one to give him a big kiss and say, “let’s go upstairs.” Take him by the hand after you watch a movie together and lead him to the bedroom. You start the whole process, rather than waiting to see if he’s “going to want to tonight”. What’s in it for you, you ask? Here are just a few benefits:

1. If you initiate, you control more what you do

We talked earlier about how important angle and foreplay is to women. If you initiate, you can take more care that you get the right position and the attention you need.

Also, if you’re uncomfortable about certain things (or even uncomfortable about certain parts of your body), then you can steer things in a more comfortable direction for you.

2. If you initiate, you throw yourself into it more

You’re automatically more active, and that often means that your body will follow more readily because your mind is more engaged.

3. You create a goodwill circle

When you initiate, you show your spouse that you really love do desire him. That makes him feel better about you and about the relationship, and is going to make both of you feel closer to each other

In a marriage, if one person is doing all the initiating, you have a problem. That person, whether male or female, will feel as if the other spouse doesn’t really desire that kind of intimacy, and that’s a very lonely feeling.

If you know you’re likely going to make love anyway tonight, why not make the extra effort–and it really takes so little effort–to be the one to suggest it, or to try to seduce your spouse? When it’s a two-way street, you each feel desired, you each feel loved, and you each feel close to one another. When one is always doing the asking, it’s a little humiliating. You feel as if your spouse doesn’t really love you or value being close to you. You feel as if you’re constantly begging. And eventually, what some survey respondents told me, is that they stop asking, and sex comes to a standstill.

If you have sexual issues where you just feel badly about sex, then tackle them! Don’t put up with them, because that is not God’s will for you. God wants you to feel pleasure, and He wants you to feel deep intimacy with your spouse. Start cultivating a positive attitude about sex. Tell yourself the truth, and don’t believe the lies.

And then take a deep breath, take your spouse’s hand, and say, “let’s do it!” That one little change can make such a tremendous difference in your marriage.

Great Sex Challenge 24: Initiate! If you’re working through this series together, as a couple, have an honest talk about who tends to initiate, and talk about how that makes each of you feel. Then commit, together, to both trying to make the other feel desired and loved. And here’s a fun game: talk through some great ideas on “how would you best like me to initiate sex? What would be fun for you?” See how many you can each come up with! If you’re working through this alone, and you’re the one who doesn’t initiate very often, then go for it tonight! Go up to him and say, “Hey, baby, I want you NOW!” And see what response you get!

Tomorrow: Sex with Kids in the House

Sheila is the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, which has a chapter on initiation–how to get yourself in the mood when you don’t feel like it, and the benefits of jumping in, for both of you.

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.



Day 1: The Act of Marriage
Day 2: Starting Fresh
Day 3: Loving the Skin You’re In
Day 4: Pucker Up!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
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 on Boundaries
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!

Next:
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
Day 29: A Contest & a Party!

Please spread the word about this series by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr below! Thank you!

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.