Wifey Wednesday: 5 Reasons Women Need Help from a Tube!

It's okay to get help from a tube! Why lubricants can be helpful (it's a clean post!)

Living as a Northern Gal, never-ending winter isn’t just a source of annoyance. It’s a source of extreme itchiness. I get such dry skin! Every morning, after my shower, I take a few minutes to enjoy the luscious feeling of rubbing moisturizer onto my legs and my torso.

If my hubby wants to make me melt, all he has to do is pull the massage oil out of the drawer and start kneading my back. The oil, combined with the pressure, makes the tension float away–and makes me far more interested in other kinds of slippery pursuits!

Plenty of times I turn to “moisture” to give me a hand at relaxing and feeling wonderful.

And yet somehow we women feel like it would be cheating to turn to some helpful lubricants when it comes to the bedroom. Dry skin? Sure. Sore muscles? But of course! Yet we feel we should be able to defeat hormonal fluctuations or menopause or stress, all of which can cause “dryness” sexually, on our own.

Today, on Wifey Wednesday, I want to sound the freedom beacon to all you women:

It’s okay to grab the tube if you need some extra lube!

Women Naturally Fluctuate in the Amount of Lubrication Our Bodies Produce

Certain times of the month we’ll find that we get “wet” fairly easily–often right in the middle of our cycle (and for some women right after their periods). But other times of the month, especially right before the next period, our bodies don’t tend to cooperate as much.

What’s our reaction?

We often berate ourselves, thinking, “why am I not in the mood tonight?” Or we start getting mad at our husbands: “He’s just not doing it right!” Maybe it’s got nothing to do with either of you!

And don’t forget that nursing, pregnancy, menopause, or even perimenopause can often cause a woman to have trouble with lubrication. Just like once you hit 40 most of us start to need reading glasses, so once you hit menopause most of us have a harder time with natural lubrication. You could be perfectly “turned on”–mentally, emotionally, even physically–but you’re just not lubricated.

Lubrication Helps Us Get Aroused More Easily

My husband Keith can massage me without using massage oil, and it still feels fine. But when he uses oil it feels heavenly! It’s the difference between pressure and friction. Pressure is wonderful, but friction can be annoying.

Sexually, we women tend to work the same way. We like the pressure; but friction doesn’t feel as good. Lubrication helps us just feel the pressure, and not the friction. And when that happens, it’s often easier to get even more aroused. So lube jumpstarts you!

Lubrication Helps You Be More Adventurous

Let’s face it–quickies are fun! Sometimes you want to put those kids in front of a video and head upstairs and play beat the clock. But that’s easier if you don’t need a ton of foreplay to be ready.

And sometimes we just want to try something that’s a tad adventurous, but may not be as comfortable as what you usually do. Lubrication can help new positions feel much better.

Commercial Lubricants Have Gotten Much Better!


Remember the days of KY jelly, when everything felt like thick vaseline? Lubrication was more like a visit to the gynecologist than something fun.

But today’s lubes are much less vaseline-like. And they don’t need to be purchased at an “adult” shop at all! Most drug stores have a great selection. Astro-Glide works well; and many women swear by coconut oil.

So remember, ladies–you are not a failure if you need lube! If you want to have more fun tonight, don’t be afraid to reach for the tube!

Bringing Sexy Back smallEvery Wednesday we talk marriage here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum–and I don’t beat around the bush. But don’t forget that if you want more more marriage info, you can sign up for my marriage newsletter, and get my free ebook, 36 Ways to Bring Sexy Back to Your Marriage!

Christian Marriage Advice

Usually on Wifey Wednesday I provide links to other great blogs with posts on similar subjects. I was just running behind this week and didn’t have time to get some! I’ll be sure to next week. I used to run a linky party, but I found that, unfortunately, a small percentage of the posts being linked really weren’t things I wanted to send people to, and I don’t have time to screen everything. I’m sorry that I can’t run it anymore; I did like you all linking up. It just got too difficult to manage and weed through, and I didn’t want to send people to bad posts. I guess that’s the problem with running a Christian “sex” 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.

Find out more here.


Wifey Wednesday: Confessions of a Tired Wife

Confessions of a Tired WifeToday’s guest post is from Abigail Allemann. Abigail tells how she found Sheila’s book, 31 Days to Great Sex, and how it transformed her marriage in her confessions of a tired wife.


Missionary Life Snapshot –Why I Was Tired

My husband and I are missionaries who have been serving overseas in Budapest, Hungary for the last two years.  I have only recently started to take offense at the classic boring sexual position named for people like us, because, well, if the shoe fits…

You see, I feel like I can re-phrase a portion of Paul’s letter to the Philippians like this:

If anyone else thinks they have reason to be tired, I have more: Two years of living with in-laws while raising missionary support; five years and three babies born in Pennsylvania, Florida and Hungary respectively; 24 hour drives through blizzards while using a nebulizer for a three month-old with RSV; two summers of overseas travel with babies and toddlers; three months with 5000 miles in cross-country travel, 3 hotels and 3 more homes for overnights, 5 different places to call home (i.e. contained our family and all unpacked wordly goods); full-time language-learning, cultural adjustment and a baby born a few months after moving overseas…

You get the point. (Actually my tired is one many missionary wives can claim!)

I have lived tired.  And, in the times when I was pretending I wasn’t between babies, moves and languages, a simple conversation chronicling our lives over the past 7 years could take me right back.

By the Grace of God, my husband and I survived all of this craziness. More than survived. We thrived in faith and service to one another, our kids and God and knew a love that was warm, honest and exciting as we lived the adventure of God’s calling on our lives in a way few are privileged to experience.

Something Was Missing –Searching for Hope

But something was desperately missing.

I think you know where this is going.

Like so many women, sex had become duty for me. My husband has always been patient, sacrificial and desires to give me pleasure. Yet, this too, had become predictable and just not very fun.  We had our moments, but, the sad truth was we were living the adventure in big ways and yet it was missing from the most intimate space between us.

I knew things would have been different as far as frequency in our sex life if I could get over my tiredness which, of course, made me feel more guilty and, in turn, more tired. Why couldn’t I give more? Why didn’t I want to? What was wrong with me?

It was an evening last fall when I somehow (can you say divine inspiration?) found Sheila’s book 31 Days to Great Sex. Much to my husband’s delight we began to read it together that night. The next morning I woke up with a profound sense of hope in my spirit.

It was a strange thought to me, yet I knew it was from God. You see, I had been meditating on hope and seeking answers through His Word. But I just couldn’t grasp it. I was body, mind, soul weary. That fall was full of intense spiritual warfare as the Enemy of souls, marriage and ministry was gunning hard for me to give up.

So many things were coming together in our new life, but I was dying inside. And at the depth of my struggle, I was crying out for hope.

God’s Surprising AnswerHoly Sex Embodies Hope

So, just how does spicing up my sex life give me hope?

The Bible calls hope an anchor of our soul. The hope in which we are saved is the redemption of our bodies as we bear the firstfruits of the Spirit, groaning with all of creation, yet set apart as image-bearers.

Through sex, as God’s very good gift in marriage, we experience tangible hope.

When my husband and I come together as one flesh, as a loving sacrifice of ourselves for the other, our minds, hearts and souls are bound and sealed in hope through our physical joining, and it is beautiful. We grasp the promise of Heaven; the restoration of all that was lost in the fall as together we restore God’s perfect design for sex.

Essentially, we see the redemption of our bodies in the most vulnerable way possible as we experience the truth of all that Jesus bought back; taking away our shame that puts all kinds of walls around us. We look into each other’s eyes, speak words of love, touch and taste our bodies given to one another. It all says, “Thank You Jesus.  It is all because of what you have done that we are naked, unashamed and full of love for one another.”

I may have believed words like these before I purposed to see my sex life renewed, but now I live them.

I also experienced the freedom of hope.

My faith says that, no matter what comes, God is bringing me Home.  It will happen One Day and all of my hopes are bound up in this promised consummation.

But that can all be hard to know while I struggle in the here and now.

In the thick of my overseas adjustment, I was grieving the loss of friends, family, basic competency, heart language and it was blinding me to everything else. I have learned to practice thanks yet the cathedral of my life was small, filled with the stale air of the forgetful. I just couldn’t get to the hope that is Christ in me–glory.

Enter sex. It wasn’t just that my hubby and I started having sex more, it was that it went from a duty to a beauty in my life. I started to let go and have fun. I lived like my eternity is secure and there’s an amazing way to bring Heaven here, right now. Because there is.

I have become a Proverbs 31 woman who laughs at the days to come. I live vibrantly, sure of who and whose I am and where I am ultimately going—so I can have fun and enjoy today. I can let go of to-do lists and send my husband a ‘come hither’ look. I’m not looking for the adventure on the screen or in the book, when there is hot, holy, hilarity with a best friend who is my one and only lover.

It is living free in hope when the kid in me plays with my husband and is re-charged to have fun with my kids. It is embracing true hope to know I am someone’s prize and to share the secret smile and wink of behind-the-bedroom-door love.  And it feels so good, right, true, lovely and honorable to know that God smiles on our unashamed, wild, free love.

I am still very much in process with all of this. We are finishing up two months of travel in the States on furlough. This is something that still greatly tires me and makes finding time to connect hard for my husband and me. BUT I have pushed through the weary to hope and vision and I won’t go back. This makes working through the hard and tired so much easier and so much more fun! My prayer is that you are uplifted, not weighed down, through what I shared today. We are in this together!

AbigailI am wife to a wonderful man, mama to three precious now-little-but-soon-will-not-be loves. Each born in a different place–two states {Pennsylvania & Florida} and two countries {U.S. & Hungary}. I can now claim fluency in 3 languages :: English;) Spanish & Hungarian. This combined with the all-too-true ‘mommy brain’ explains much regarding my mental state most days. I am a sojourner longing for Home. Yet, in my messy and broken, I embrace the moments given with all I have. For the past 2 months I have been writing about my journey in understanding sex and sexuality in a series called Pure Passion. You can check it out here!

 

31 Days to Great SexIf you long to make sex a positive thing in your marriage, check out Sheila’s book 31 Days to Great Sex, that Abigail talks about. It’s not 31 Days OF Great Sex (don’t worry!); it’s 31 Days of short challenges that can help you rediscover intimacy and fun in the bedroom!


WifeyWednesday175Want some other great links to help you if you’re a tired wife? Here are other marriage bloggers chiming in for our Wifey Wednesday round up:

Intentional Today: Productivity Apps that Help My Marriage!

Calm Healthy Sexy: 4 Reasons to Take a Summer Vacation (Where you don’t even have to leave home!)

Women Living Well: When You’ve Lost Your Joy for Marriage and Motherhood

Women Living Well: How Important is Date Night to your Marriage?

Club 31 Women: 9 Classy Reasons to Go on a Cheap Date

Intimacy in Marriage: 5 Ways to Find More Time for Sex

Wifey Wednesday: Reaching Your Sexual Prime–The Right Way

Reaching Your Sexual Prime--the Right Way!

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you can all link up in the Linky below. Today I want to start with a basic question:

Who has the best sex?

Good Girls Guide My SiteIt isn’t the starlets that grace our magazine covers. It’s the married women who have put in over a decade with their men, who had borne children and balanced checkbooks and navigated mother-in-law issues. When I did my surveys for the Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, I found that it was those married 16-20 years who report the best sex. That’s when we hit our sexual prime–when women peak, so to speak.

Now, society has long known that women often feel “sexier” in their late thirties and early forties than they did in their early twenties.

We’re more confident. We often have more money–and time–to spend on taking care of ourselves. We’re more at peace with our bodies.

But just because society gets the timing right doesn’t mean that it understands women well.

Instead of showing women that have hit their sexual stride in marriage, they turn to the Sex and the City phenomenon, or the “cougar” stereotype: in both cases, older, more mature women on the hunt for anyone to go to bed with. Reaching one’s sexual prime, where one is the most confident and the most “in the mood”, is seen as synonymous with throwing off the shackles of convention and having fun!

Their idea of fun, though, is just about the same as what we are constantly advising our teens not to do. What do we tell our kids?

Sex is better when you’re married, because sex is a real bond between two people. You can’t have sex lightly. Making love and lust are not the same thing.

And yet often women in their thirties and forties forget the reason that all of these things are true for teenagers is the exact same reason that they’re true for us: God made sex to be between two married people. He made it to connect us on three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It isn’t just a physical act.

We don’t tell teens that sex is supposed to be for marriage, and that they shouldn’t “hook up”, because they’re too young to handle that kind of behaviour. We tell teens that because it’s true regardless of age.

And that means it’s true for us, too.

Yet many moms aren’t getting that message. Sure, we may not be sleeping with new guys, but we’re still looking to “throw off those shackles”. Why else would 50 Shades of Grey, a mommy porn book that depicts a bondage relationship as something that is loving and erotic, become such a huge bestseller? Because women equate it with sexual freedom. You don’t have to be bored with your husband! You can read some steamy stuff to get you in the mood! Explore your boundaries! Set yourself free!

I understand the pull.

I really do. So many of us have spent years in sexually unfulfilling marriages. We put up with it, and said little, because we were embarrassed, or we just figured that there was something wrong with us.

And then the kids get older, and we gain some confidence, and we think, “I don’t need to put up with this anymore! I’m missing out on so much, and I am going to have some FUN!”

But that’s the wrong prescription. Getting yourself aroused by reading erotica, and then having sex with your husband, means that you’re treating him like a sex toy. You’re having sex, but you’re fantasizing about a novel. And it’s not real intimacy.

What makes sex so great for those married for two decades is that we know each other well enough that we can be truly vulnerable. We can let our guard down. We can be totally open. That makes for amazing sex. Fantasizing about something else just causes us to lose the intimacy.

Sex can be hot, and most women find that it does get amazing once they’ve put in a decade and a half of marriage.

But the best way to have more fun isn’t to look to “throw off the shackles”; it’s to work on more communication, spicing things up, having more fun, and initiating more with your spouse, within your marriage. That’s the recipe for real sexual fun.

So if you’re hitting your late thirties and early forties, and you’re finally feeling like you’re “coming in to yourself”, and figuring out who you really are, that’s great. Maybe your libido is finally hiking, and you really do want to start having some real fun in the bedroom. You want to feel alive. You want to feel absolute passion. That’s all good stuff, and you were made to feel that way!

But remember not to buy in to our world’s idea of what freedom is, and what passion is.

True freedom is being with one person that you can become vulnerable with and share with and explore with. True freedom is having fun with your spouse to explore. It isn’t buying in to everything our world tells us is sexy; it’s finding that sexual freedom that you were always meant to have with your spouse.

Sex should be hot, and that’s totally possible in your marriage. But if you try to spice things up with erotica, or porn, or weird sex toys, it isn’t going to give you the passion you want, because real passion is paired with true intimacy.

What do you think? Have you seen the pressure to “explore” in weirder and weirder ways? How do you respond?

Christian Marriage Advice

Have some marriage advice you want to share with us? Enter your URL into the linky below! Every Wednesday I feature two posts on my Facebook Page, so don’t miss the chance to get some real traffic!

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.

Find out more here.




 

Kissing in Marriage: Top 10 Kisses Every Marriage Needs

Top TenIt’s our Top 10 Tuesday day, and I thought I’d run a fun post today on kissing in marriage.

Frankly, I’m afraid that kissing often becomes a lost art in marriage. Most of us kiss before we’re married, but once we’re married we often stop, because kissing is supposed to lead to something else, right? And if we’re not sure we want to go there, then we don’t want to kiss. We wouldn’t want to give him the wrong idea.

But when we stop kissing, we lose one of our greatest ways to boost our own libidos–and we lose out on a lot of intimacy and fun! So today I thought I’d share ten different kisses every marriage needs.

Top 10 Kisses Every Marriage Needs--because kissing in marriage is FUN!

1. The “Hello” Kiss

He walks in the door–and you stop whatever you’re doing and make sure you get to him first–before the dog, before the kids, before anything. And you tell him, “I missed you today, and I’m glad you’re home!” Or if you’re the one who walks in the door, you seek him out first, and you plant one right on him. It’s usually light, it’s happy, and you’re smiling all the way through it.

I think this one’s my favourite–just because I look forward to whenever my husband comes home.

And what if it’s hello after a longer absence? Then all bets are off! You can end up on the floor, you can end up rolling around, you can end up all tangled. And tears are often involved.

2. The “Whooppee! I’m So Excited!” Kiss

You just got a promotion! He just got a raise. You just signed on the house! The little stick was pink. Whatever it may be–this one involves him picking you up and spinning you around, and lots of passion, and lots of laughter, all at the same time.

Because when we’re excited, we want to share it!

3. The “It’s Going to Be All Right” Kiss

Tears are falling silently. The miscarriage is over and you’re lying down in bed. You’re back from your mom’s funeral. You’re recovering from a fight with your teenage daughter, and you’re not sure if the relationship can be repaired.

And you lie down next to each other, hearts breaking, and you reach out and kiss. Sometimes it’s gentle, and sometimes it’s for dear life, but with this salty kiss you’re saying the same thing–I’m here with you. I’m not going anywhere. We’re going to get through this. And I want to share your pain.

Turn to each other when you hurt. It’s very healing.

4. The “I Love You So Much” Kiss

You’ve just prayed together and you’re overwhelmed by how amazing this man is. He’s just come back inside from throwing the ball around with your son. He stood up for you when your mom tried to manipulate you again.

And you’re so thrilled that this man is in your corner.

This kiss is heartfelt, it’s long, it’s drawn out–and you can feel it in your toes.

5. The “I’m Sorry” Kiss

One of your messed up–big time. You’ve confessed. You’ve forgiven. And now you’re rebuilding.

This one often starts out tentatively–but often ends up much more passionately. And often in bed! (Make up sex is a real thing, you know :) ).

6. The “I’m Going to Ravish You Now” Kiss

Here’s where the excitement is overwhelming, and the kiss takes on a life of its own.

This one almost always leads somewhere fun–and is almost always very memorable. Don’t be afraid to drag this one out. It’s more fun that way!

Kiss him Like you mean It

7. The “Silly” Kiss

You’re teasing each other. You’re tickling each other. You’re trying to gross the kids out. You’re dancing in the kitchen and he dramatically dips you–and then doesn’t let you get up.

We all need times just to be silly in our marriages. Throw in some silly kisses, too!

8. The “I Think You’re Hot” Kiss

This isn’t the passionate one–because you don’t have time. You’re stealing a kiss, and giving him a message for what’s coming later. Here’s where  you grab him, give him a long-drawn out, deep kiss that leaves him breathless–and then you smile and walk away, whispering, “later.” Because everyone needs some teasing in a marriage–as long as it’s going somewhere, of course!

9. The “You’re Just So Darn Cute” Kiss

You’re out for a walk and he’s telling a funny story. He’s imitating a weird accent and acting out a scene from work. He’s making you laugh, and he’s just so cute that you reach over and give him a little peck, laughing all the way.

Throw in some laughter into your marriage–it’s good for the soul!

10. The “Good-Bye” Kiss

Finally, it’s the most important one. Whether it’s just an affectionate peck when you say good-bye in the morning, or a tear-laced drawn out kiss when you’re parting for a while, make sure that every time you part, you part with a kiss. Make it a habit–let that always be the last thing you do, and you’ll hold on to him the whole time he’s gone.

Kissing in marriage is so important to express all kinds of different emotions. It’s our own special way of connecting. If your marriage regularly uses one or two of these–but rarely all ten, maybe it’s time to expand your repertoire! Laugh more. Be silly more. When you’re resolving conflict, end it well. Comfort him more. Be more vulnerable. Open up more.

Kissing can do all of that. So let’s rediscover the lost art of kissing–and have a wonderful time doing it!

Haven’t kissed passionately in a while? Just start with some little pecks to say good-bye and hello, and build from there. But don’t let kissing die. It’s too important–and too fun!

31 Days to Great SexIn my book, 31 Days to Great Sex, kissing is one of my 31 challenges! I encourage couples to share a 15-second kiss every day. It can totally transform your marriage. If your romance is stuck in the duldrums, check out 31 Days to Great Sex, and rediscover your passion for each other again.

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!

Initiating Sex--Say Yes!

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.

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.



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?

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.

Find out more here.