Top 10 Tips for Initiating Sex with Your Husband

How to Initiate Sex with Your Husband--without feeling awkward Out of the last five times you’ve made love, how many have you initiated, and how many has your husband initiated?

If you say he’s initiated all 5, that could be a problem!

Now, I know sometimes you just start making love because you’re kissing and snuggling, and it’s not clear WHO initiated. It just happened (all the more reason to go to bed at the same time, so that things can “just happen”!). And sometimes he has a really low sex drive, and so the whole initiation pattern is thrown off. I’ve got a series for women in that situation here.

But quite often we get into this rut where he wants sex more than you do, and so he’s the one who always initiates. And you’re not even sure how to initiate sex, because you’ve never really done it!

When I was researching my book The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, I did surveys and interviewed both men and women. And here’s what one guy said about initiation:

Men don’t want to be placated; they want to be wanted.

Paul Byerly, who writes at the Generous Husband, puts it this way:

For men sex communicates love and acceptance, while a lack of sex communicates the opposite. I realise this is not usually what women are communicating with sex and saying no, but it is what men feel. Even when you convince a man this is not what she means, he will still feel it.

When a man feels a good sexual connection with his wife he starts to want other forms of intimacy. Not tolerate, want. The need was always there, but it is hard to hear over the much louder need for sexual intimacy.

So, ladies, it’s time to step up to the plate! But how do you initiate sex?

Top Ten TuesdayToday, on Top 10 Tuesday, I’d like to share 10 tips on how to initiate sex with your husband

–and help your husband feel like the most blessed man in the world!

1. DO Show Enthusiasm

Initiating sex requires enthusiasm. The following do NOT count as initiating sex:

(Lying in bed, arms crossed. Turning head towards him). We can if you wanna.

(Standing at the bottom of the stairs, heading up to bed). I’m heading to bed. If you come up within the next 10 minutes we may still have time, I guess.

(Lying in bed, looking at the ceiling). So, I shaved my legs today.

(Lying in bed, arms crossed). So…I guess we’re due, eh?

(Sorry, that’s the Canadian coming out in me in the last one).

If you’re going to initiate, the first step is NOT telling him “do you wanna?” The first step is getting in the right frame of mind for sex so that you’re enthusiastic about it, too!

2. DON’T Overthink It

Why don’t we initiate sex? Because often as soon as the thought pops into our heads we talk ourselves out of it.

Do I want to tonight? Well, I don’t know. It is kind of late, and I do need my sleep. And he wasn’t very nice to me tonight. He hardly hugged me when he came home from work. I just feel so distant right now. I can’t make love if we’re distant, can I? Wouldn’t that be deceptive? And what if the kids wake up? And what if….

Turn it off! Seriously. When you get the thought, pounce on it! You’ll be happier later–and you’ll likely sleep better, too!

3. DON’T Be Embarrassed

“Good girls don’t like sex.”

Did you grow up thinking that? If you grew up thinking that only boys wanted sex, and girls just acquiesced, then you may think that it’s your role to sit back and just respond to him. Anything else somehow upsets the apple cart.

But good girls DO want sex! God gave us sex drives, too. And inside marriage sex is supposed to be a wonderful thing for both of you!

Think about it this way: This is the only man on earth who can touch you like that. He’s the only man on earth who really truly knows you. You don’t need to be embarrassed around him.

I know that can be a hard transition to make. But practice little things, like saying to him the morning after you made love, “I had fun last night”, or “you made me feel great!” Practice talking about it afterwards, and it makes it easier to talk about it beforehand!

4. DON’T Beat Around the Bush

If you’re embarrassed about saying, “do you want to make love tonight?”, then you may not give clear signals.

My husband was leaving for a business trip for a week recently, and he was spending the morning before he was picked up sorting papers and paying bills and getting some tasks done around the house. I kept getting up from my computer whenever he got up from his and walking over and seeing if I could get him interested in something, but I never let him know what I was doing.

I thought he was just busy and wasn’t interested. But after following him around like a puppy dog for an hour, he finally turned to me and said, “are you okay?”, and I said, “I just thought we could go upstairs for some fun before you left.” He jumped on board immediately. I had thought he was busy and was rejecting me, but he just really didn’t know what I was getting at.

Men are usually afraid of getting rejected, and if he tends to have the higher sex drive in your marriage, he may have conditioned himself to never think about it, or to try not to assume you’re going somewhere, because he doesn’t want to get his hopes up. Subtlety, then, isn’t a good thing. Be obvious. It’s easier on everyone!

5. DO Use Your Hands

Don’t like talking about sex? You don’t have to. Come up behind him, wrap your arms around him, start nibbling his ear, and let your hands wander.

Or lead him to the bedroom–but not with HIS hand. You can get things going without saying any words, if the words make you shy. Just do it!

6. DO Be Creative

Initiating sex can start earlier in the day. You can text him at work (“You’re in for it tonight!”). You can get dressed in your “pretty” underwear (not your functional underwear), and let him see, and say something like, “so this is what I’ll be wearing all day today….” You can put a note in his lunchbox, like a Skor bar, and say, “Wanna Skor tonight?”

If a thought occurs to you, do it! Chances are it’s a good thought, and most guys won’t laugh at you. They’ll definitely go with it!

7. DO Laugh

It’s okay to smile, and chuckle, and be giggly. It’s okay to act like teenagers. It doesn’t have to be super serious. You can joke around. “Hey, Big Man, do you have anything to help Little Ole Me?” You can flirt with your husband! It really is okay. And the more laughter, the more fun all around.

8. DO Be Eye Candy (It’s Okay!)

Instead of wearing your flannel pyjamas, get into some silk ones. Or put on a matching bra and panty set, and as you get undressed, show him what you’re wearing. Try putting on a teddy!

Or go naked underneath a bathrobe and “flash” him while he’s downstairs. Then walk away, and see if he follows.

9. DO Follow Through

If you’ve been texting him all day, or you whispered in his ear when he walked in the door, then do follow through. It’s hard on a guy to get his engines revving and then stopping with no warning. Obviously if something comes up you may have to forego sex that evening, but if you’ve been hinting, then as much as possible, set the right conditions.

Don’t watch a chick flick if it’s likely to make you so tired that at the end of it you want to collapse into bed. It may seem romantic, but if it will push bedtime back too far, then make love FIRST, before the movie. Don’t get on the computer thinking, “after I’m done this we’ll head upstairs.” If sex is your plan, then make sure it happens early, when you’re still thinking about it, rather than giving other things–the news, the computer, the movies–a chance to distract you and make you change your mind.

10. DO Be Active

Once you’ve caught his attention, and you’re heading to the bedroom, don’t let the initiation end. Be active as you make love. Touch him. Guide his hand. Be the aggressor–at least a little bit. Find a good position yourself. When you’re active, it shows him, “I want to do this.” If you lie there on your back and don’t do much, he may think, “she’s just doing this for me.” Show him you are interested, and you do want this to happen–by making it happen!

Remember our Top 10 Tuesday strategy: Pick 1-3 things and then DO THEM. You don’t need to do all 10. Just find the 1-3 tips on how to initiate sex that resonate the most with you. Small changes now can add up to big changes in the long run. Now go and have a great time with your man!

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.

Reader Question: My Husband Doesn’t Think I’m Adventurous Enough in Bed

Reader Question of the Week

Every Monday I like to post a question that a reader has sent in and try to take a stab at answering it! Here’s one that many of us may deal with: when your husband thinks you’re boring in bed:

We have been married for 3 years. Our sex life has never been very exciting, let’s just say it is almost satisfying. After having a bumpy sex talk tonight my husband told me that on a scale of 1 to 10 his pleasure is at 1…. I find that very discouraging and I don’ t know what to make of it since he always finishes when we have sex and so do I. I may not be very adventurous in bed and I always feel clumsy but I want to change things and this is why I tried talking to him. He says that if it doesn’t come naturally I shouldn’t try anything because he wouldn’t like it. Please give me some advice.

That’s so hard! Our sexuality is really tied up in our identity. It’s in our sexuality that we’re often the most vulnerable–that the “real me” comes out. If your spouse then tells you you’re boring in bed, that’s a big rejection.

So let’s try to work through some of this together.

When you're scared you're boring in bed: figuring out what's really going on.

1. Be Honest with Yourself: Are You Comfortable in the Bedroom?

When you’re the one where sex has short-circuited

Don’t worry; I’m going to deal with his issues in a minute, because I do see several red flags in this email. But it’s always good to begin with ourselves.

She’s admitting here that her sex life hasn’t been that exciting, though she does reach climax and so does he. That’s pretty good! Not a lot of couples can say that, so she’s already doing pretty well.

One of the big reasons that it may not feel super exciting, though, is because we tend to do the same things each time, or we hold ourselves back. Sex becomes stupendous when you stop holding yourself back and you jump in with both feet–and any other body parts you want!

If we’ve grown up a little ashamed of our sexuality, so that it’s hard for us to say what we want, or to try new things, then it could be that “boring in bed” pretty much describes your relationship.

If you want to try to make sex exciting, but you really don’t know where to start, I’ve written a post on spicing up your marriage that you may find quite helpful!

Remember that God created sex, and He really does want us to enjoy it. It isn’t something shameful. There is nothing particularly holy about the missionary position over any other position, and there is nothing wrong with exploring your bodies and feeling good. You may have to ease into that a bit–talking to him if you’re nervous and keeping the lights off. But do try! And see how good you can feel.

2. Be Real: Are You “Boring in Bed” or Is Your Husband Emphasizing the Wrong Things?

When he’s the one where sex has short-circuited

There’s something about this particular letter that is sending off some bad vibes to me. Many men wish that their sex life could be more exciting, and there honestly is nothing wrong with that.

But in this case he’s not looking for sex to be more exciting; he’s looking for her to be transformed into something else. “if it’s not natural, don’t try,” he says. That sounds to me like he isn’t willing to put in any effort; she’s just supposed to live up to some ideal of what he thinks sex should be. That’s not intimate; that’s not a partnership; that’s a distorted view of sexuality.

Also, she’s reaching climax, and he’s reaching climax, and he’s still rating their sex life a “1″. Believe me, many men would be ecstatic if their wives were enjoying sex that much, and for most men, that’s the majority of their pleasure–giving their wives pleasure. He’s not rating it a 5 or 6, though; he’s not even rating it a 4. He’s saying it’s a 1–the worst it can be.

Again, that says to me that there are some issues going on that have nothing to do with her.

He could be fixating on a particular thing he wants to try, and he’s so fixated on that that until he gets it he won’t be satisfied. Or he could be picturing what to him is a “good lover”, and quite often that image lines up with something someone has seen in pornography. Porn wreaks so much havoc with our expectations and with our libido, so that we’re no longer able to take pleasure in being together.

Often when a guy has a genuine sexual issue stemming from unrealistic demands, we women “own” the problem. We start to feel like the issue is with us, as if we aren’t beautiful enough or sexy enough or “nympho” enough. But the problem may not be with you at all. The problem may be that either our society’s warped view of sexuality or past porn use has put images in your husband’s head that make a marriage relationship seem boring.

I don’t know if that’s the case with our letter writer, and I don’t know if that’s the case with you, but I have seen this many times. A husband starts telling his wife she’s awful in bed or that she’s boring or that she’s frigid when really the issue is that he has used porn and robbed himself of the ability to enjoy a regular, healthy sexual relationship in marriage.

So examine yourself and ask, “am I being myself in the bedroom? Am I being vulnerable? Am I letting myself go and having fun?” And if you can say that you are, but he still isn’t satisfied, then perhaps it’s time for a conversation about where this is coming from. What exactly does he want you to be like? Why does he want you to be like that? If he can’t communicate it to you (as this husband seems unable to do), then it’s likely that he’s embarrassed to tell you what’s really going on. And in that case it’s probably good to start asking about past porn use or present porn use.

3. The Most Explosive Sex Happens When We Feel Truly Intimate

When your relationship has short-circuited sex

The best sex isn’t when we try 10 positions in one night, or when we use sex toys, or when we act out a weird scenario. It’s when you feel completely and utterly one, and when you are open and vulnerable with one another. Intimacy is the best aphrodisiac.

So if sex has become boring, maybe what you need to work on is your prayer life together. Or perhaps you need to start being more vulnerable and sharing more of your dreams and passions for your family. Or maybe you need to talk about some of your fears, and have him share some of his fears.

Kiss Me AgainBarbara Wilson wrote an amazing book called Kiss Me Again, where she talks about why sex often isn’t pleasurable, and what we can do to bring our libidos back in line. And she says that this is what often happens: when we date, we start having sex. That gives us this sense that we’re really intimate and close. But the problem is that often we weren’t that close yet. Here’s why:

There are 5 levels of emotional intimacy. With some people we talk about just the facts: it’s cold out today, eh? But with one or two people in our lives we should be able to share our deepest hurts and dreams and fears. We should be able to become completely vulnerable.

If you have sex when you’re only on level 3, where you share opinions and thoughts but not feelings, then sex becomes a substitute for emotional intimacy. And then, when you get married, it’s likely that you may never progress beyond level 3, because your emotional intimacy stalled. You felt close when you really weren’t. And now sex isn’t able to keep that close feeling anymore, so you’re both aware that you’re missing something. You feel like roommates rather than soulmates.

If that resonates with you, I really recommend picking up Kiss Me Again, because she goes through how to heal this in your marriage and get to those deeper levels of intimacy again. And when you do that, sex often starts to become really explosive–often for the first time!

Those, then, are my thoughts on this question. Perhaps you’ve short circuited sex because of shame or guilt; perhaps he has short-circuited sex because of porn; or perhaps you both need to delve into more intimacy. Ask God to show you where you need to concentrate, and then work through this together!

Let me know: have you ever had disagreements because you’re “boring in bed”? How did you handle it?

Wifey Wednesday: 9 Tips For Great Sex For HER This New Year

9 Great Sex Tips for Her: Make your marriage rock!

Happy New Year! Today’s a day of new beginnings. The old year has washed away, and the new year is upon us. Let’s start the new year by putting great sex at the top of the list! And here are 9 great sex tips for HER to help you do that!

Maybe last year was tough. You were busy. You were tired. Your libido wasn’t great. You got into a rut. Sex became boring.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and now’s the time to start fresh! Usually on this blog I give relationship advice, but today I’m going to steer more towards highly practical tips on how to make sex feel great for HER–the wife. We women sometimes have a more difficult time enjoying sex, so I’m going to give some specific tips on how to get those fireworks.

So here goes!

Great Sex Tips for Her #1: Try a New Position

Sometimes we get into a rut and we’re afraid to try something new. But new positions can make things feel more exciting.

I have one particular position I stick with for two main reasons: it tends to feel the best, and it’s really cold in the winter and I don’t like getting out of the covers! But there’s an easy way to deal with that. Get a space heater for your bedroom and turn it on when you’re getting ready to make love. Then the fear of being cold won’t hold you back as much.

And if you have an easier time reaching orgasm in one position (most women do), that’s no reason not to try other positions as foreplay. Moving around during sex, and changing positions, has several benefits: it helps him last longer; it helps increase the excitement factor; it helps you keep your mind on what’s going on (since we women are notorious for our minds drifting during sex).

A new position can honestly feel great! So try it. Get on top. Move your legs around and find a good angle. Or whatever works for you! Make it your goal this New Year’s that AT LEAST every third time you make love you’ll use at least 3 positions. So maybe two times are fun and simple, but the spice the third time up. Go 3 in 3!

Good Girls Guide to Great Sex--AmazonGreat Sex Tips for Her #2: Tilt Your Pelvis

Here’s something I talked at length about in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: for women to reach an orgasm, we have to have our the clitoris stimulated in some way. Normal missionary position sex doesn’t tend to do this. But with one simple trick you can make it so much better. Just tilt your pelvis up (like squeeze your butt muscles, and your pelvis will tilt forward). When you do this, you make the angle better, so that when he’s thrusting he will hit your clitoris. But you also “engage” that little bit of flesh yourself because the tilting actually squeezes the clitoris. Seriously. Just try it right now–tilt your pelvis. Feel the difference?

You can do this in any position and enhance the pleasure, but often you have to actually get the position to work first before you tilt, or he’ll have a hard time entering you.

Great Sex Tips for Her #3: Start with a Massage

Here’s one of course you’ll agree with: start sex with a massage. Keep some massage oil in the bedside table, or a massage candle, and start by massaging each other’s backs and legs. The benefits? It helps you relax first so that you can get rid of all the pinballs in your head of all the things you’re thinking about from the day. Also, if you massage naked, it’s very sensual, and it can get the libido going. It’s just a good transition time, and we’re more likely to get “warmed up” with a massage. It shows he cares, it helps our bodies relax, and it helps us calm down mentally, too.

Great Sex Tips for Her #4: Play Teacher

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you understand each other sexually. What feels good to one person does not necessarily feel good to another. And men tend to like being touched very differently than women do (men like things rougher and more deliberate; women tend to like things lighter). Also, just because something is an erotic zone does not mean that it wants to be touched all the time. For instance, many women don’t like their breasts touched roughly at all, or even handled that much, but when they’re highly aroused all of a sudden it’s exciting. So we’re different, and we like specific things.

Take a session or two where you play teacher. Tell him exactly what to do, like he is a pupil and he has to do everything you say. Pay attention to your body, and ask him to do anything you want. You can even be quite demanding! Then the next time turn the tables and let him be teacher. You just may learn a lot about each other.

It’s good to do this at least once a year, because hormonal changes will often affect what we want. We may think we’ve lost our libido when really our body has just changed and responds to different things now.

Great Sex Tips for Her #5: Think Pressure, not Friction

Men tend to feel aroused by friction–he likes the rubbing back and forth. That can be pleasurable for women, too, but what really tends to help us is pressure–pressure on the clitoris, but also the pressure of feeling “full”.

Instead of thrusting all the way out and all the way in, then, try for part of making love to get him as deep as possible and and thrust only a little bit, so that the pressure is quite intense all the time. To help this, try wrapping your legs around him, or even have him kneel while you lie down to help him go deeper. Other positions, like having you lie on your stomach while he lies on top of you, can help with pressure, too.

Note: for many women this is something which changes after childbirth. Before childbirth, pressure isn’t as great a turnon. After childbirth it is, because we’re a lot looser. So if you haven’t had any babies yet, this may not be as big a one for you.

Great Sex Tips for Her #6: Squeeze

To get that same feeling of pressure, try squeezing him while he’s inside you. That’s not as hard as it sounds. You use your Kegel muscles (the ones on the wall of vagina). They’re the same muscles that are engaged if you stop the flow of urine on the toilet. Do that a few times and you’ll feel what muscles I mean. Then try the same squeezing when you’re making love. This helps with that “pressure” feeling for you, and helps him feel great, too!

Great Sex Tips for Her #7: Use Lubricant

Seriously. It’s not a failure on your part if you need to use lubricant. It often enhances the pleasure right away. You may not need it all the time, but most women fluctuate through the month with their ability to get aroused quickly, and with the amount of lubrication we naturally produce. Some nights may be great, and others may not. Menopause or breastfeeding and pregnancy throw another wrench in the whole thing. Lubricant can help you get a leg up, so to speak, so that sex is arousing right away.

Great Sex Tips for Her #8: More Foreplay–And I’m Talking to You, Women!

Think of foreplay not as something that he does to you, but as something that you BOTH do. If you can become active BEFORE you start making love, you’ll find yourself much more aroused. Rub yourself against him. Climb on top of him and feel him. Take his hand and put it where you want it to go. Circle your hips and help him. If you’re lying there while he touches you, you can start to feel embarrassed, or bored, or nervous. If you’re engaged in the process, it’s more exciting for both of you.

Great Sex Tips for Her #9: No More Erotica or Porn

If you want sex to feel amazing, you need to be aroused by your husband ONLY, and not be fantasizing about something else in your head. The more you watch porn or read erotica, or the more he does, the more sex isn’t about any kind of spiritual intimacy, but it’s just about using each other. That ends up feeling cheap and impersonal.

And the best sex isn’t sex that’s “enhanced” by porn (one of the effects of porn is lower sexual pleasure); it’s sex when you feel very loved. Commitment is the best aphrodisiac. If you want more information about this, check out this ebook by Covenant Eyes about what sex does to your brain.

31 Days to Great SexSo let’s make a New Year’s Resolution for No More Boring Sex this year! Sex is so wonderful: it unites you not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Get rid of anything that robs you of that, and then decide that it’s going to be something fun that you both enjoy this year. It’s time for a new start; take it!

In fact, today’s a great day to launch into my book 31 Days to Great Sex. It’s January 1, and it’s the beginning of the year, so why not ask him if he’ll join you? It’s got exercises that will help you talk about what you want, help you flirt more, and help you connect. And, of course, there are days that help it feel great and spice things up, too. Pick it up today!

Christian Marriage Advice

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Leave the URL of a marriage blog post you’ve written in the linky below. Here’s something exciting for the new year! I’m going to start highlighting my regular Wifey Wednesday contributors. I’ll start a contributor page, and every month I’ll highlight a new blog. So please link up! It’s a great way to get traffic and more recognition for your blog.

31 Days to Great Sex
31 Days to Great Sex is here (only $4.99!) It's the best $5 you'll ever spend on your marriage!

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

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Wifey Wednesday: Spice Up Your Marriage!

Spice Up Your Marriage! Fun and Clean Ways to Make Marriage More ExcitingFor many of us sex has become kind of boring. We always do the same thing. He may enjoy it, but quite often we don’t. And so we wonder: is this all there is? Can we find passion again? So today on Wifey Wednesday let’s talk about how to reignite the fire and spice up your marriage!

Spicing Up Your Marriage Usually Means Better Foreplay

Recently I was talking about foreplay–how important it is for a woman to get warmed up! Unless we’re aroused before we start intercourse, intercourse usually isn’t that great. Sure, quickies can be fun, but on the whole, we need some time and some attention.

But that time and attention can be, well, boring. Foreplay can sometimes feel too routine. He’s supposed to kiss us and touch us so that we’re turned on. But that doesn’t always do it for us. If we’ve got shopping lists running through our heads, or we’re finding it hard to relax, and then he starts touching us, it’s hard to get aroused.

So we need something to get us out of our heads so that we’re willing and able to concentrate on what’s going on! And that’s often where spicing things up, and doing things a little differently, can help. When we’re spicing things up,

Spicing Things Up Means Learning More About Your Body

Sometimes we get in a rut–we always make love the same way, in the same position, and it doesn’t necessarily feel that great. Spicing things up gives us a plan to help us try more things, and perhaps discover new things that feel good. And it gives us something new to look forward to!

Spicing Up Your Marriage Isn’t A Mandatory Thing

If you’re happy the way things are, that’s great! If things are always working well, and you’re both always having fun, then you don’t need to mess with a good thing. But sometimes it’s great to add a little different kind of fun to help you learn more about yourself. One of the things that makes sex really stupendous is when we truly open ourselves up to our spouse. When we become vulnerable, and we let him in (in all kinds of ways!), we feel even more intimate, and that makes the physical side better.

If we’re always doing the same thing, though, then some of that vulnerability may be lost, simply because you get comfortable. You can wall off part of yourself sexually. Now, like I said, if you are having fun, and he is having fun, then please, don’t feel like you need to do anything else! But often I do think couples can benefit from changing things up a little bit every now and then because you do learn more about yourself, and that does make you more intimate.

Spicing Things Up Can Be Scary

The problem is, though, that spicing things up in the bedroom can be scary because how exactly do you do it? Let’s face it–most of the stuff that’s out there to help you “spice things up” doesn’t really help at all. Sex toys have major down sides. They can make us reliant on the toy to feel good, can create parallel sexual experiences rather than enhance intimacy, and can focus too much on the body and not enough on intimacy.

And if you look online for ways to spice things up, you may find ideas which are totally a turn-off–and which can be dangerous for your relationship. Our culture is going crazy with things that warp sex rather than making it a beautiful thing. I’ve known of couples, for instance, who have decided to try reading erotica together, because at least that’s not looking at porn. But erotica almost always involves couples who aren’t married–or even sexual scenarios that are forced or in other ways wrong. Searching for that online can definitely take you down a bad path.

Many couples, then, would like to try different things, but they really don’t know where to start. You’re scared to look online (as you should be!), and yet coming up with new ideas seems overwhelming. So you’re it seems like you’re in this rut forever.

Clean and Fun Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

So today, then, I’d like to give you some great resources for spicing things up–resources that you can even use for Christmas!

Deck of Dares–I Dare You!

Deck of DaresHere it is–40 amazing ideas that will make your marriage soar to new heights of excitement! And they’re all clean. Nothing that will gross you out, involve a third party, or suggest porn. They’re written by Jennifer Degler, a Christian psychologist who specializes in sexuality–and who wants to help couples have a thriving and fun marriage.

You’ll get a .pdf version of her cards (I’m going to start selling the physical version, pictured here, when I speak!) so that you can download them right away, and start using them tonight.

Each card has a scenario that you’re going to act out–or complete–tonight. Maybe you’ll kidnap his iPhone and hold it for ransom–and you set the terms of what he has to do to get it back. Maybe you’ll play Beat the Timer. Maybe you’ll slip something into his briefcase (or lunchbox) that morning to tell him what he’ll be doing tonight.

They’re easy, they don’t cost very much (most don’t cost anything), and they’re fun! They’ll encourage you to be more active, to spend more time on foreplay, and to discover new things about yourself. And some of the dares even have to do with working on your spiritual intimacy and truly feeling like one, too.

The Deck of Dares is $6.99, and you can download them immediately. You can pull them up on your computer, read one on your iPhone or tablet, or print them all out, put them in a hat, and choose one every week!

Buy The Deck of Dares here.

How to Use this as a Christmas Present:

Print out a dare you know he’ll like, and put it in an envelope. Write on the bottom of the dare (or on the other side), in red pen, “there are 39 other ones just like this! Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year!) On the outside of the envelope, write “I Dare You”, and cover it with lipstick kisses.

5 Ways to Spice Things Up

Want some ideas for spicing things up to get you started? I’ve got a post on “5 Ways to Spice Things Up” with ideas for games you can play, and some suggestions for how to share some of the things you’d like to try or do more of, even if you’re embarrassed to talk about it.

31 Days to Great Sex

31 Days to Great SexIf you liked my suggestions, I’ve got more in 31 Days to Great Sex! And there are also several days which encourage you to talk about what your boundaries are during sex, and work out what to do if one spouse is more adventurous than the other (and where you should draw the line).

So there are lots of ideas to make things fun and spicy, and also conversation prompts and a chance to talk about why you may be uncomfortable with certain things, and rather that they not be part of your marriage. So it helps you expand your boundaries where you should, but also talk about what to do when you feel like perhaps you’re doing things you’d rather not. Let’s keep things fun, but also intimate!

It’s available as an ebook for $4.99, or as a paperback (on sale now for $12!). See all of the places you can purchase it here.

How to Use This as a Christmas Present:

I’ve got coupons you can print out and put in his stocking, telling him what you have planned! Find them here.

Christmas Stocking Stuffer 31 Days

Marriage is supposed to be fun, and if it isn’t that way for you, don’t just give up. Let’s throw ourselves into making marriage exciting again, because there’s little else that can give us so much energy, so much satisfaction, and so much love!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Leave the URL of a marriage post you’ve written in the linky below! And be sure to link back here so that other people can read these great marriage posts!

Reader Question: Is It Okay to Take Sexy Photos of Myself for My Husband?

Reader Question: Is it okay to take pics for my husband?On Mondays I like to try to answer a Reader Question, and today’s is one I get asked a lot, even in person, but often in whispers: Is it okay to take sexy photos for my husband?

After all, he’s allowed to see you naked, so there’s nothing actually wrong with it, right? And there are even “classy” places that will do boudoir photo shoots, with you in lingerie. That would be a good gift, wouldn’t it? Especially if he were going away for a time (like a military deployment)?

Well, let’s think this one through, because I don’t think it has a black and white answer. Like many things in marriage, I’m inclined to say, “it depends”. So here are just a few thoughts that I have, and then you can work it through in your own marriage.

The Practical: Private Photos Don’t Tend to Stay Private

We all know this; we see it all the time with celebrities. But it’s true for “real life”, as well. Photos that you intend to stay private often don’t. Kids may come across them (and who wants their kids seeing this?). If they’re on a phone, someone else may see it.

I’m reminded of this old Motorola ad (It showed on TV so it really doesn’t get that racy):

Seriously. You don’t want that happening!

If you’re going to take pictures, personally, I’d make sure they were erased right away. Let them be something to tease him with, not something he keeps with him.

Now, at the same time, I’m not a military person, and so I’ve never had that six month or a year separation. But I’m not sure sexy photos would make that year easier. It would be great if some military wives could chime in on this one, because I really do feel out of my depth on that one, and especially with the date–November 11–I’m reminded again of the gratitude I have for those in the service. So I’ll let someone with more experience in that area make a more definitive statement.

The Worry: Are You Recreating Porn?

Men are visual, and we like to be thought of as “the beauty”, as the Eldredge’s say in their books. I think appreciating a woman’s beauty, and seeing her revealed, is something that is innate in us, and isn’t necessarily bad.

However, we live in an extremely pornographic society, and so many men are really struggling with porn.

I do not think that you defeat porn by becoming porn.

You don't defeat porn by taking sexy photos for your husband.

The problem with porn is not ONLY that you’re looking at someone other than your wife; the problem with porn is that it makes sex into something which is entirely about the physical and not about a relationship. It makes sex into “I’m going to lust and get my needs met”, rather than “we’re going to experience this together.” And that is a very, very difficult thing to break. In fact, in many ways that’s harder than the porn. A guy may find that he’s able to give up porn, but he may not find that his sex drive for his wife comes back. It may stay dormant. It doesn’t mean she’s not attractive; it’s just that he’s trained his body to respond to anonymous images, and not to a relationship. And that takes time to deal with (and I talk about how to recover from porn here).

It’s like this: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a glass of wine. But for an alcoholic, that’s a tremendously bad idea. Even just being at a place where people are drinking is hard. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with an Oreo cookie. But if you’re trying to change your eating habits and get your body to start craving food that’s real, then giving in all the time to that Oreo won’t complete that retraining process, and could disrupt it.

I received an email yesterday by a woman who is sick of having to initiate sex. I couldn’t really figure out what the problem is, but then she made a throw away comment in the middle of the email that sometimes she’s too cold to do a striptease. So I think tomorrow I’ll write about what initiating sex is (and it certainly does NOT have to involve a striptease or be that elaborate! Not that there’s anything wrong with elaborate). But it became that her husband wanted to put her in certain positions and do certain things that he liked watching in porn.

That’s not healthy. There’s nothing wrong with spicing things up in the bedroom and having fun.

But if you’re recreating porn, you end up objectifying yourself and pushing him back into this fantasy mode, not into relationship mode.

You’re not ever making love; you’re just using each other (or he’s using you). That’s not good.

This struggle pops up in a lot of ways and in a lot of questions I get, and not just about taking pictures. If your husband has used porn, recreating it will not ease his addiction to the porn and bring him back to you. Wearing more lingerie and acting sexier will not get rid of the porn; in some ways it just solidifies it. You become just what’s on the screen. Sure, it’s good that it’s you and not her, but the fundamental problem remains: you’ve warped what sex is supposed to be.

31 Days to Great SexIf you want to figure out a way to talk this through with your husband, that’s what 31 Days to Great Sex is for. I have a number of days when I talk about the dangers of depersonalizing sex, and how pornography can do this to us. And then we work through how to make sex intimate again. If you’ve tried to have this conversation with your husband, and it isn’t working, the book may really help.

And if you just don’t understand what I’m saying–like why can’t sex just be about being sexy?–then I’d really recommend working through The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, which explains how sex was supposed to be intimate and fun physically, of course, but it was also supposed to be a spiritual and emotional experience. If you don’t have those last two components, you’re really missing something! After all, it’s the spiritual, the feeling like one, that makes the physical even more intense.

So those would be my concerns. If you’ve read through those, and you don’t think they apply to you (because your sex life is both intimate and fun, and porn isn’t an issue), and you don’t intend to store the pictures, then I really don’t think there’s anything wrong. But please, heed the red flags, and really think it through first. If you feel like it’s wrong, then it very well may be for you, and that may be God’s way of prompting you to tread carefully!

Now, I’d love to hear what you think. Ever been in an awkward situation where you wish you hadn’t taken some pictures? Or, if you’re a  military spouse, I’d love to hear your unique take on this question!

Reader Question: Is it Okay to Schedule Sex?

Reader Question: My child saw porn!Every week I like to put up a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Today I’m tackling a question a lot of people have: is it a cop out to schedule sex?

One reader wrote:

My husband and I struggle with having sex frequently. We’ve been married a year and a half, and we have sex less than once a month – for whatever reason. We both have our excuses.

Recently I talked with my husband about scheduling sex. Or at least intimate time. We’ve started with once a week. And I’m already feeling better about it. I get so anxious about the unknown.

I’m a planner. And I have a one-track mind. With a schedule I know what I’m expected to do at a specific time and my anxiety evaporates.

Scheduled sex allows me to get in to the zone days before because I KNOW sexy time is coming. There’s no spontaneity or it sneaking up on me. (Spontaneity and I are NOT friends). If I feel cornered or surprised, I will almost always find a way to say no and reject my husband. I avoid this anxiety, scheduling works for me.

Is this weird? My husband thinks so. But he’s grateful we’ve done something to address my anxiety and he’s getting more sex.

Excellent question! To answer it, let’s look at the pros and cons of scheduling sex, and then I’ll try to sum up.

Scheduling Sex: Is it a good idea?

Pros of Scheduling Sex

You Make Sex a Priority

Let’s face it: often we don’t end up making love because it’s the last thing on our to-do list. IF the dishes are done and IF the kids go to bed at a decent time and IF my emails are all answered and IF I feel 100% and IF I’m not ticked at my husband and IF I don’t have to be up early, then, when I hit the pillow at 11, I may consider having sex.

That’s a lot working against sex!

And if you’re the one who would be eager to jump him, and your husband is the one who always has the excuses, then you probably would like sex to be more of a priority, too.

With the way many of our lives go, sex is the last thing that gets taken care of. It’s only if everything else gets done. And so often it’s put on the back burner, even though sex is so important to helping a marriage stay intimate and fun. I think we forget how much sex benefits us women!

If you schedule it, and say that “every Wednesday and every Saturday we’ll have sex”, or whatever you pick, then you know you’ll be connecting. You know that it will happen. And you know that you’ll feel intimate again. In most marriages sex isn’t frequent enough; here’s one way to overcome that!

You Let Yourself Get Your Head in the Game

For women, so much of our sex drive is in our heads. When our heads are in the game, our bodies often follow. But it’s really hard to get your head in the game if you’re just going about your normal routine with kids or your job or the housework. If, though, you know that tonight you’re going to have some fun, you can think more positively about it. You can flirt with your husband more! You can send secret texts, or even just smile at a Stop sign.

Then, when evening comes around, you don’t have to do the endless “Do I want to tonight?” routine we women often torture ourselves with, like I talk about here:

You know you’re going to tonight, so you don’t have to figure out, “am I in the mood?” It’s a lot less stress!

You Take More Care of Yourself

If you know you’re going to make love tomorrow night, and you get in the habit of making love a few times a week, it becomes more evident that you need to get more sleep! And you’re more likely to start treating your body better, and sleeping more, because you do want to enjoy what’s in store.

Cons of Scheduling Sex with Your Husband

Obligation Sex Isn’t Sexy

One of the reasons we do the “do I want to tonight?” routine is because when we REALLY don’t feel like it, sex can seem like a chore, or an imposition. Now, I’m a firm believer that if we start telling ourselves positive things about sex we can turn that around, but I’m sure most of us know what it’s like to have sex because you feel guilty. And if you agree to scheduling sex, and then the night comes around and you really don’t feel like it, you can end up resenting sex, and your husband, even more.

Scheduling sex, then, really only works if you’re willing to say those positive things to yourself. When you schedule sex, you don’t just commit to HAVING sex; you commit to having a good attitude about it and to throwing yourself into it, like I talked about in that video.

Now I do believe those are important things for every married woman to do. But if you just can’t, and you’re scheduling sex so that “at least he’ll only bug me on Wednesdays and Saturdays and not all the other days, too,” it likely won’t work well for you, and you’re not being fair to your husband or yourself. Your issue is bigger than just how often you have sex, and I’d really recommend working through the 31 Days to Great Sex with him to help you see sex as something positive, and to help him make sex something that you really will enjoy.

Spontaneity Can Suffer

One of the wonderful things about making love with my husband is that sometimes we’re not planning on it. We fall into bed, and we’re both tired, and we just hug for a bit and talk. And in the process something happens, and it’s great to connect that way.

If you start scheduling sex, then you may limit those moments. Especially for men, it’s important to feel as if your spouse wants you, not just wants to placate you. Eliminate those times when you turn to each other JUST BECAUSE, and your spouse can start to feel as if it’s not something you really want to do; it’s just something you feel that you have to do.

Let’s Put It All Together

For many women who find it difficult to get motivated for sex, scheduling sex can be a great idea. And here’s the neat thing: once you start to make love with relative frequency, you start to yearn for it. You start to enjoy it. And then it may become more frequent all on its own! You see the difference it makes in your relationship when you do connect regularly.

If you’re in that camp, and it seems as if my reader is, then go for it! If you’re in a rut, and you don’t know how to get out of it, scheduling sex may be a very good thing to try.

So let me leave you with just a few warnings:

1. Think of the schedule as the minimum, not the maximum

If you decide on Wednesday and Saturday, and you feel a little frisky on a Monday, then do something on the Monday! Don’t “turn off” those feelings because “I don’t have to tonight”. Feel free to explore them, too! Scheduling sex should not eliminate spontaneity; it should just make sure you connect regularly, at a minimum. Don’t limit yourself to the days you’ve set!

2. Decide to Jump In Wholeheartedly

If you decide to go this route, pledge it in your heart, too. Decide that you will put everything into it. Make those nights the best you can. Plan fun things! Flirt. You put effort into other parts of your life; put it in here, too.

If you do those two things, then scheduling sex might give your marriage the jumpstart it needs! But making a schedule can never make up for a lack of enthusiasm, or for the feeling “at least I’m off the hook now”. I know that’s a really sad place to be, and if that’s where you are, I’d just encourage you to take steps not to stand for it. You were created to live an abundant life, and that includes an abundant marriage and an abundant life in the bedroom. If it’s not like that for you, commit to working on your friendship with your husband, and commit to learning how to make sex feel good (31 Days to Great Sex can help with that!).

Now it’s your turn: Have you ever tried to schedule sex? How did it work for you?

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Wifey Wednesday: How Being a Control Freak Can Wreck Your Sex Life

Christian Marriage Advice
It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and you all write on it on your own blogs and then put your link in here, or leave a comment in the comment section!

When I speak, I often ask women, “how many of you are control freaks?” About 2/3 of the women raise their hands. We are control freaks, because we have very definite ideas of how life should go. We have high expectations of ourselves. And we want to seem like we have it all together.

There’s a ton of other reasons, too–fear of failure, fear that something will happen to those we love, fear of rejection–but today I want to talk about how the control freak tendency can really wreak havoc in the bedroom.

I received an email from a reader recently which said,

I have had an epiphany about my sex life with my hubby. I am a control-freak. So, I think, that spills over to our sex life. While expressing this to him, this is what I told him, “when we are intimate, it makes me feel out-of-control. A lack of control, if you will. It’s like I don’t have control over my body, sensuality, emotions, etc. ..but in a good way. I almost feel nervous and silly, especially initiating sex.” He loves for me to initiate but I do not do it very often. Because of the above-mentioned.

She’s so right, and she’s not alone!

When it comes to the bedroom, the problem is not so much that we’re trying to control other people as it is that we’re trying to stay in control of ourselves. That doesn’t work. So, ladies, here’s why being a control freak CAN’T work in the bedroom:

Great Sex Means You Need to Lose Control

What does it mean to be in control? It means that you have full control of all of your thoughts. You know what’s happening. You’re aware of your surroundings. You’re standing on guard. Nothing will take you by surprise.

But sex doesn’t work well that way. For you to actually enjoy yourself, you have to be able to stop concentrating on what’s going on and just start FEELING. Sex is about FEELING, not so much about THINKING. If you overthink things, sex won’t work well.

Often one of the biggest roadblocks to actually reaching orgasm, for instance, is that we’re so worried about it. In order to really achieve an orgasm (as I talked about here, and as I go into much more depth, with more tips, in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex), you have to just let the waves take over you. If you’re constantly thinking, “am I there yet? Will I? Will it happen?”, it won’t. The waves can’t take over if you’re thinking too much.

So great sex means you need to turn off the constant dialogue in your head. And that’s hard.

Great Sex Means You Aren’t Really, Well, Proper

A proper woman is someone who is fully buttoned up, with the tea kettle on, not a hair out of place, and very gentle speech.
Great sex is the opposite of all of that. You can’t be worried about what you look like, or what you sound like, or even what you’re doing if you’re going to be able to enjoy yourself. Why is that we try so hard to be proper in our everyday life? We care what others think of us. So it’s as if we’re walking around outside of ourselves, watching ourselves, making sure we’re doing everything right. We train ourselves to be conscious of our every move.

Great sex means throwing caution to the wind and letting yourself be primitive, not proper. This isn’t, by the way, because there’s anything “improper” with sex in marriage; on the contrary, God created us so that our most basic and instinctual need to be connected to another human being mimics the deep need we have for intimacy with God. And that intimacy isn’t quite proper, either.

Remember how in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the Beavers are trying to explain Aslan to the children, and they keep saying, “he’s not a tame lion, you know.” That’s what sex is like. It isn’t tame. It isn’t something you can put a lid on and keep it unmessy and organized. It spills over. It revels. It even screams.

Good Sex Requires Trust

The opposite of control is trust. When we’re in control, we have no need to trust anyone. We’re safe. We’ve got everything under our fingers.

But in order to really enjoy sex you have to be able to trust the other person. What makes sex stupendous is that feeling as if you’re truly one. That feeling of spiritual intimacy feeds the feelings of physical pleasure and makes the latter so much stronger. But you can’t feel like you’re one if you’re in control of everything you do, and he’s in control of everything he does, and you just move together in bed. That’s two people, not one person.

When you trust, though, you can become “improper”. You can really let yourself feel and you can turn your mind off just a little bit. You can stop worrying about what he thinks, or whether he really loves you. You know you’re able to trust (if you can’t trust him because of porn, or because of adultery, that’s such a tough place to be. Before you can truly rebuild your sex life, you likely have to rebuild trust).

Good Sex Requires Embracing Your Sexual Side

Sex and feeling in control are really polar opposites. Someone in control is ruled by their thoughts, while someone enjoying sex is giving in to feelings. And what are those feelings? They’re sexual.

That’s scary to a lot of people, because it feels shameful. But there is absolutely nothing shameful about making love to your husband.

And there is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed in the moment and screaming. There’s nothing wrong with desperately wanting to touch something–or to be touched. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like you’re on fire.

But when we grow up feeling that these things are wrong–that only “bad girls” feel that way–then when we start to have those feelings we often work hard to turn them off.

A great sex life means that you give in to those feelings. You embrace your sexual side. You realize that this is who you were made to be–with your husband. And this is a good thing! You can fuel those feelings with some texts to him during the day, or some nibbles on his ear after dinner, or whispers to him. You can flirt. You can tease him. You can even initiate!

Good Sex Means You’re Naked

Finally, here’s the hardest one for some of us control freaks: good sex means you’re naked. You can’t hide. He sees all of you–and he still accepts you and wants you.

So often it’s we who hate our bodies, not our husbands (if your husband has put your body down, read this post). If you can let yourself see yourself as your husband does–full of desire and acceptance–that can be intoxicating.

If you sum all of this up, isn’t this what we truly want? We don’t have to worry about what other people thinking. We don’t want to worry about our performance. We don’t want to feel ashamed. We don’t want to feel judged. We want to be able to turn off these constant voices and accusations in our heads, and just relax and enjoy in the moment. We want to feel one. We want to feel connected.
31DaysCover 120These are all truly beautiful things, and they are a gift from God for marriage. You really can have them. It just means giving up control.

Can you do it? Your sex life will never be the same.

If you’re having trouble giving up control in the bedroom, 31 Days to Great Sex can take you on a step-by-step journey that will help! It’s non-threatening, and many of the challenges help you to talk more and learn to flirt more, not just have sex more. Check it out!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Link up the URL of a marriage post in the Linky below! And be sure to link back here so other people can read these marriage posts and be encouraged, too.

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.

Reader Question of the Week: My Husband Wants Something in Bed I Think is Gross

Reader Question of the Week Every week I try to answer a Reader Question. I’ll give my own thoughts, and then you all can comment, too!

Here’s a really common question I get:

My husband wants something in the bedroom that I think is just gross. (editor’s note: she spelled out what it is; I want to leave this vague so that my answer applies to more people’s situations! So if you’re struggling with this, insert your own idea here). Do I have to do it?

Great question!

My quick answer would be, “No.” Sex is supposed to be mutual. It isn’t supposed to be selfish. But that being said, here are just a few thoughts to help you figure this out in your particular situation:

My Husband Wants Something I Think is Gross1. Dare Yourself to Make What You Do Enjoy Awesome

It’s honestly okay to say no to some things in the bedroom. Vaginal intercourse–no, you can’t say not to that. That’s the height of intimacy. But other things? Absolutely. No one has to do everything.

But if you do say no, I just dare you to make the things you are comfortable with awesome for your husband! Really throw yourself into it. Dedicate yourself to having a fulfilling sex life–which means getting yourself in the right frame of mind so you can enjoy it, too. If you’re really struggling with this, pick up the 31 Days to Great Sex. It’s only $5. And seriously, it will help. This is what it was written for!

2. Ask Yourself, “Is it Sinful?”

If your husband wants something you don’t, ask yourself, “is it sinful?” Now be careful here, because we often assume that because we don’t like something it must be sinful. But I don’t think the Bible calls very many things sinful in marriage. Anything involving a third party (porn, affairs, fantasizing about a football team): sinful. Enjoying each other’s bodies: nope. (now I think there are things which are definitely a bad idea that don’t involve a third party; but I’m still not sure they’re sinful. I think they’re more in the “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” category).

Why is this important to determine? Because sometimes we’re quick to label things sinful and then we cut things out of the bedroom entirely. And we also start to think of our husbands as perverts. It honestly is okay to say “no”. But just be honest and if it ISN’T sinful, realize that you’re saying no because you don’t find it appealing, not because he’s a pervert. That’s an important distinction!

And sometimes by realizing it isn’t sinful (if it’s something that isn’t), it does help us stretch ourselves a bit. And for many couples, that can be a good thing!

3. Be Careful of Porn’s Influence

Maybe the answer to “is it sinful” honestly is yes, though. Then what?

Then you just need to talk about this. And I think it’s a really good idea to ensure that he’s not using porn. Porn fuels the desire for things that are sinful, and lessens the appeal of being truly intimate. If your husband is using porn, start here and read on about what to do about it.

4. Be Careful of Substituting Other Things for Intercourse

One thing I’ve found with couples who explore a little more is that sometimes that thing that one of you wants to do starts taking over. Let’s say he enjoys something else more than he does intercourse, and he starts asking for that. In fact, he’d prefer it. This is really dangerous.

I’m all for play! I think play is great–hence the term foreplay. But it is FOREplay. It shouldn’t be the whole thing.

That doesn’t mean it can NEVER be the whole thing, but if another sexual act becomes your regular sexual encounter, rather than vaginal intercourse, there’s a real danger and a problem. Now sometimes, when health concerns arise, that’s necessary, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But intercourse was designed to unite us spiritually as well as physically; we’re supposed to be feel one. Sex isn’t supposed to be about getting the greatest orgasm; it’s supposed to be about feeling close. Now, when we feel close the physical ALSO tends to feel better. But our pornographic culture has really infiltrated the bedroom so much that we almost use each other more than we make love to each other. I don’t think that’s a good dynamic.

So if you want to explore, that’s great! But make it about play, not about replacing intimacy.

5. Have His Nights/Her Nights

If there’s something he likes that you’re willing to do, but you really don’t like it, consider once a month having his nights/her nights. Once a month you’ll make love totally for him, and once a month for her. And then the other times you’ll just do it as you prefer to together.

That way he doesn’t feel deprived, but you both get what you want. Maybe your night starts with a long back massage. That’s totally fair!

If, of course, you absolutely CAN’T do it, see #1. That’s totally fine. But if you just dislike it, here’s another way to handle it.

6. Open Up to Him Yourself

The hardest thing for many women is telling their husbands what they’d like in the bedroom. Sometimes it’s because we just don’t know. Sometimes it’s because we’re shy. Sometimes we’re ashamed.

And so we clam up, and we don’t tell him what feels good, or what we like, or what gets our engines going. And so then the only way he has of spicing things up is going with his own fantasies.

But what often really arouses a man is understanding what arouses his wife. If you can become more in touch with yourself, and more open with him, you might find that this “thing” he wants diminishes in importance because he feels closer to you and you are being more exciting in the bedroom. Again, that’s what the 31 Days to Great Sex is for. It gets you talking about this stuff! But I’d really urge you to try and open up. You really do feel incredibly close when you do that, and that’s part of what makes sex so intimate!

So there you go. Six points to hopefully provide some balance to this issue, from very different points of view. I hope you can glean something from that that’s helpful! And now you all can comment.

By the way, it’s my birthday today! I’m heading out with hubby tonight overnight, and we’re going to do some major nature walks/bird watching tonight and tomorrow. If you want to give me a birthday present, can you like my Facebook Page (if you don’t already?) I’d love to get to 10,000 fans today! And tell your friends about it, too!

Wifey Wednesday: I Have No Libido!

It’s Wednesday, the day that we talk marriage! I post on the topic, and then you all can link up your own marriage posts in the linky below. Ever say to yourself, “I have no libido”? You’re not alone! Let’s spend today’s post looking at how to boost your sex drive.

"I have no libido". Help if you never seem to want to say yes!One of the most frequent questions I get is:

I really WANT to want sex, but the truth is I just don’t. It’s not something I naturally think about, and it’s always something that I tack on at the end of the day. I have no libido. It’s as simple as that. And I don’t know what to do about it!

Of course this may be a testosterone issue, and if you really feel like something is just WRONG (as in different from the way you used to feel), then it’s good to get a doctor to check your levels.

But it is quite common to go through LONG periods where you feel like you have no libido, and your levels AREN’T out of whack. I’ve gone through periods of months, or even years, like that, and then I’ll have some periods of the exact opposite. So much about a woman’s libido depends on our kids, and our energy levels, and our stress, and our relationships. We’re very complex beings. And because, for women, sex is almost entirely in our heads (as in our heads have to be in the game or our bodies won’t follow), if we’re stressed, our bodies often sit dormant.

So what would I do? In no particular order, here are some thoughts on how to boost a low libido:

Have no Libido? Make sex great FOR YOU.

You may not have much of a libido that makes you want sex, but that doesn’t mean that sex can’t feel good. And if you decide, “tonight, I want to feel GREAT”, you’re more likely to. When your brain is engaged, your body tends to follow.

So that means making sure that you actually DO feel great. Of course it’s easier to reach orgasm if you actually are “in the mood” frequently, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. And if you take steps to make it your goal and make sure it does, you’re more likely to find that libido again. If sex has just never felt good, my book The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex goes over all kinds of ways to make it feel stupendous–and to understand how things work.

Remember that making sure it feels good for you DOESN’T mean that you have to be craving sex before you start. In fact, most women don’t. According to research, for men, desire PRECEDES making love. For women, desire comes after you start making love. So it’s not like you need to be panting first.

But, if, when you start kissing him, you’re thinking in your head, “tonight I’m going to feel GOOD”, then you can jumpstart your body.

The problem is that making sex great for you requires that you’re more ACTIVE–that you’re telling him what you want, and that you’re actually trying to get it. That’s hard if you’re not really “in the mood”. But think of it like exercise: you don’t really want to do it, but you’re looking forward to the reward afterwards, so you put your all into it.

If you can put your all into it, you’ll get the reward. If you let your feelings stop you from putting your all into it, you won’t.

I’m not trying to minimize how hard it is; just saying that if you decide “I actually want to feel GOOD tonight”, it really does make it more appealing.

Concentrate on the good stuff about making love.

So how do you tell yourself “I’m going to feel good tonight”? Think about the benefits of making love. You’ll sleep better. It does feel good. Keep imagining that throughout the day–how well you’ll sleep, how good you’ll feel. Actually pick deliberate times of the day to picture the rewards. Not to try to feel sexy–you may honestly not be able to do that. But to picture the rewards.


The combination of low libido and exhaustion is a recipe for disaster. The only thing that helps is not being tired. So turn in right when the kids do, if you have to, and make love FIRST. Then curl up and watch a movie together, or get on your iPads and check Twitter, or whatever else you may normally do. But try to get sex in earlier in the night.

Make sex really RELAXING.

Ask him to massage you a lot (massage candles work great for that). Turn it into a sensual experience so that you can enjoy the whole package. That way it’s not so much a SEXUAL thing as it is a SENSUAL thing. And that often makes the sexual easier. (but again, that only works if you’re not exhausted). Talk to him about how you want sex to be drawn out experience, and you’re more likely to feel good if he gives you a massage first. Be open about it, and then, as he’s touching you, pay attention to your body. Tune in, and ask yourself, “what would my body like now”?

I can’t emphasize enough how important a step this is. When we start to see sex as totally a sexual thing, and we’re not sexually aroused, it can be a chore. But when the whole evening is about spending time together, and relaxing, and feeling close, we can start to desire it even if we’re not particularly in the mood. So explain to your husband how important it is that you have that “transition time” or massage and touching each other. It helps prep your body, but it also preps your mind.

Get jelly.

Really. Astroglide works best. (And some women swear by coconut oil!). But if you’re well lubricated, arousal is much easier. In fact, you’ll get more aroused if you start out lubricated than if you don’t. So if this is a real struggle for you, get some help.

I hope that helps! I honestly do know how hard it is. But if we turn off the voice that says, “I have no libido”, and turn on the voice that says, “I am going to have fun tonight, absolutely,” your body will often follow. But you have to set your mind to it and anticipate the rewards, even if you don’t feel sexy and even if you still wonder if your sex drive works. And that positive attitude can often jumpstart a low libido.

Now, what advice do you have for us? Leave the URL of one of your marriage posts in the linky below! And be sure to link back here so other people can see these great marriage resources. Just grab the code at the right.

Christian Marriage Advice

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Wifey Wednesday: Understanding the Higher Drive Spouse: Bread or Tomatoes?

Christian Marriage Advice
It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can comment or link up your own post below.

Today’s Wifey Wednesday is a Guest Post is from The Mrs. over at Spice and Love, who writes from the perspective of a higher-sex-drive wife. I thought some of  you may appreciate her perspective!

A few nights ago my husband I were lying in bed falling asleep when he suddenly said, “You know, sex in marriage, for me, is like tomatoes on sandwiches.”

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My mouth literally fell open there in the dark.

See, here is the thing. I consider myself a sort of amateur foodie. I like to eat it, I like to make it, I like to read about it, I like to savor it. I will almost always go the extra step in making my food go from just okay to amazing. My husband enjoys good food too, but not enough to go out of his way to make something amazing. Like tomatoes, for instance. He really, really enjoys them on his sandwich. But not enough to do the work of getting them out of the fridge and slicing them to put on his sandwich. If they are sitting there sliced he will always get them. Or if I am making a sandwich and ask him if he wants tomatoes, he will always say yes. But if there are no tomatoes on his sandwich, he is okay. He can still enjoy it.

As I lay in bed I felt like a huge lightbulb had gone off. I finally understood exactly how he approaches our marriage bed. I began to laugh. “Babe”, I said, “Sex for me is like the bread. Without the bread, it’s not a sandwich.”

I am pretty sure his mouth fell open then.

Because here is the deal. I think he thought that sex was like tomatoes to me, too. I like them enough to always want them on my sandwich, and I will always do the work to get them and slice them. I don’t understand how he can eat a sandwich without them if they are available. But the truth is that sex to me is NOT like a tomato. Because a sandwich without a tomato is still a sandwich. But marriage without sex? Not marriage.

It was such a helpful conversation. I realized that he does enjoy sex when it is offered and available, but feels like our marriage can still be acceptable without it (not completely without it, but just not as often as me). He realized that sex for me is crucial to our marriage – as in, if we aren’t having it often, I struggle to feel married.

Being a “spicy wife” in a culture that screams out I am abnormal is so challenging. And it’s challenging for my husband too. But, thank God, we are learning after almost seven years of marriage how to finally start communicating about it. So what about you? How do you see sex?

Praying today that God gives you and yours the perfect way to communicate, so you can see through each other’s eyes.

Annabel has been married to the love of her life since 2006. She blogs about love, marriage and sex from the perspective of a higher-drive wife at Annabel loves all warm drinks, well-written books, and being a foodie. 

Do you have any marriage thoughts to share with us today? Like up the URL of your own marriage post in the Linky below!