20 Even-You-Can-Do-It Ideas To Initiate Sex Tonight

Can you be a Hot Mama?

Today I’m part of Kathi Lipp’s amazing 5 Books in 5 Days Marriage Event! She’s featuring a different author everyday, and you can win all 5 books! Read to the bottom to find out how to enter. And today, Erin MacPherson, Kathi’s coauthor in her new book Hot Mama, joins us in return for Wifey Wednesday. You’ll love this:

20 Ideas to Initiate Sex Tonight-that even YOU can do! #marriage

My old German grandmother used to tell me that I was never going to catch any fish just lying by the pond under a shade tree looking pretty. I had to actually pull out a line, hook on some bait and fish.

Okay, she didn’t say that.

But I think she would have had she had the opportunity to see me when I first got married. I loved being a newlywed—really I did. But I was a little bit…shall we call it… lazy. And I figured that if I sat on the couch with all of my feminine charms, my husband would just want me.

And he did. For a while.

But then things got busy. Job, mortgage, puppy, baby, another baby, another mortgage, another puppy, another baby…and, well, you get the picture. Finding time (and energy and desire) for sex became downright impossible.

And sex became less frequent.

My feminine charms started to feel less-than-charming.

My husband and I had what I now (somewhat) lovingly refer to as “that talk in 2012.” The gist of it was this: He did love me. He did find me hot and charming and desirable and all that jazz. But he was getting a bit tired of reaching out and getting things started while I sat on the couch and batted my eyelashes.

I was…shocked.

Good girls aren’t supposed to ask for sex, are they?

Enter Sheila Wray Gregiore. I confess: The only reason I picked up her book is because I felt like she was going to take my side. I mean, the word “good girl” was right there in the title, so obviously she was going to tell me that I was right, my husband was wrong and that I could just keep on doing things my old and comfortable way.

But she didn’t.

She told me that it’s okay for girls—even good girls—to like sex.

And she also told me that it’s important—even necessary—for us good girls to initiate sex from time-to-time. Not only to tell our husbands that we want them just as much as they want us (which is important) but also because it empowers us to be the women and the wives that God called us to be.

I clearly had some learning to do.

And God clearly has a sense of humor, because right as I started learning (and okay, trying), I got a contract to write my own sex book. (Yes, me, the quintessential “good girl” writing a sex book. Imagine that.) And so I really had to up my game. To change my ways. And to show my husband that he is worth getting off the couch for. Every single time.

I’m still not done learning yet, but I have amended my ways somewhat. And I do manage to my share of initiating from time-to-time.

And you can too.

Here are twenty ways that you can pull it off (literally) tonight.

Hot Mama: 12 Secrets to a Sizzling Hot Marriage1. Walk up to him and kiss him on the lips. Like it counts. Then lean back, look into his eyes, raise your eyebrows and kiss him again. Works. Every. Time.
2. Grab his butt when he walks by.
3. Send him text messages throughout the day, telling him exactly what you are going to do when he gets home.
4. Take off your clothes, walk into whatever room he is in. 1-2-done.
5. Buy new lingerie. Leave the receipt on the counter with a note that says “this is already on.”
6. Say, “I’m going to bed. Want to come?” Simple, but effective.
7. Wake him up with a big, sloppy kiss.
8. Leave a Post-It note on his steering wheel.
9. Wear your hottest panties under your clothes. Slide down your jeans to let him catch a glimpse.
10. Let him tuck the kids in. Wait for him in bed with nothing on.
11. Write it on his calendar in red. (Just make sure it’s not a shared work calendar. That could be embarrassing.)
12. Just do it. Literally, just grab his hand, pull him into the bedroom and do it.
13. Come up with a code word that means sex. Use that word as often as possible throughout the day.
14. Flash him. (Just make sure to pull down your shades first.)
15. Buy new (red, satin) sheets. Ask him to give them a try.
16. Let him walk into the kitchen and find you cooking a la Garth Brooks—with nothing but an apron.
17. Offer to give him a massage.
18. Play a little game of strip Uno. Instead of having to draw four, make him take off four items of clothing.
19. Turn on a favorite song. Ask him to dance right there in your living room.
20. Next time he’s in the shower, hop in with him.

There you go, ladies! Have some fun!

Erin MacPherson and Kathi Lipp are authors of Hot Mama, an awesome book to show you how you can have a hot sex life–even if you’re a mom with mashed bananas on your sweatshirt.

Wifey Wednesday: Christian marriage postsAnd now–head on over to read my post on Kathi’s blog on why sex is for you, too–and then comment at the end for a chance to win all 5 marriage books!

Are you a marriage blogger? Don’t forget to link up a marriage post in today’s Wifey Wednesday! Just add the URL to the linky below. And then be sure to link back here so other people can read these awesome posts, 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.

My Heart for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex

Sheila Wray Gregoire shares why she wrote Good Girls Guide to Great Sex and her heart for marriage

We’re in the middle of our Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge for February, where I gave people the choice of three books: Pulling Back the Shades (about 50 Shades of Grey), the Passion Principles, and The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (by me!) I’ll be reviewing The Passion Principles next Thursday, but today I wanted to share my heart for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

February Books for The Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge

It’s hard to sum up my book in one blog post because basically this whole blog–all 1600 or so posts–are reflected in the book.

So what can I say? When it was released I tried to break it down into 29 bite sized chunks, doing the 29 days to Great Sex leading up to its launch date. I’ve since turned that series into its own book.

But if you like this blog, and if you’re looking for practical information on how to make sex great, along with a framework to understand sex better, The Good Girl’s Guide is for you!

And so today, rather than try to write about what’s in it I thought I’d share my heart for it.

Last week I spoke in Texas five times giving my Girl Talk, where I talked about what God meant for sex and marriage. And sometimes it’s easier to get passionate when I’m speaking than when I’m blogging.


Sheila Gregoire Girl Talk

Here’s how I begin my talk: sex for me has not always been good. Often when you listen to a speaker talk about sex (or read a blogger speaking about sex) you assume that she’s got it all figured it out. It’s always been easy for her. She’s the “expert”.

But trust me–usually people write and speak about the things that they have found challenging in their lives.

It’s the things that they’ve struggled with which are interesting. The things where God has made them grow, step outside of their comfort zone, and test their own faith.

And that’s what it was like for me. As I share in my book, I entered marriage with a ton of baggage. I had trust issues because of important men in my life leaving me, and my now-husband originally breaking off my engagement. That made sex uncomfortable–and it even hurt because I suffered from vaginismus. But I also was given this book before I was married that was written by a man, that was given to pretty much every engaged couple back in the 80s and 90s. I won’t mention its title here, but suffice it to say, it made me a nervous wreck.

It was basically all about how to make sex great the first time out. And it was so explicit! Do this for five minutes, then this for ten. Rub here, rub there, stretch there. I almost felt violated reading it. And since I was reading it while lying in the bathtub (that’s where I did most of my reading back then), I took it and drowned it. I held it under the water until I was sure the book was dead, and then I unceremoniously dumped it in the garbage.

Why was I so uncomfortable with that book? I’ve thought about that and wondered that a lot, and here’s what I came up with: That book made sex all about the physical. I’m sure that wasn’t the author’s intention, but that’s still what I took away from it. You had better do everything right or else it’s going to feel awful. And you’ll be a big failure.

It was a ton of pressure.

Then, when sex wasn’t great for me after I was married, I just felt like I had been sold a bill of goods. Here was this man writing a book about sex, and he made it seem so complicated. If men didn’t touch and rub here exactly like this for exactly this amount of time, she’ll never feel good. And the media was all saying that sex was great, but that sure wasn’t what I was experiencing. Why would God make sex so complicated? Why was it so difficult to reach orgasm? And surely I wasn’t the only one finding it difficult, was I?

I also didn’t grow up with a great view of sex. Like most teens, I heard incessantly “don’t do it, don’t do it” from youth groups and youth conferences, so the sex-positive messages I got were from movies that treated sex like a recreational drug. Sex was almost pornographic to me. It wasn’t something beautiful; it was something HOT.

When I got married and I didn’t feel particularly “hot”, but only rather uncomfortable, I had no framework for what to do. Sex was either to be avoided (don’t do it!) or made into almost an orgy (the media). And now I was at a crossroads.

I chose the “don’t do it” route. It all just seemed like so much work. My husband wanted it all the time; it didn’t feel good; and we were always fighting over it. Here’s a tongue in cheek video we made about this attitude to make the point; perhaps you’ll recognize yourself in it!

I spent so long turning him off I didn’t ask if I wanted to be turned on.

And the turning point came when I realized that perhaps what I was believing about sex was wrong. Yes, my experience with sex wasn’t great; but that didn’t mean that sex couldn‘t be great. I was judging sex based on my experience, rather than based on what I knew the truth to be. How did I find the truth? I slowly started to believe more about what God said about sex.

(I wrote an in-depth post about how to start thinking positively about sex here).

The missing piece for me was true intimacy. I thought that intimacy was about friendship and talking, and not about making love. When I started to understand that being intimate together–being emotionally and spiritually vulnerable, opening up to one another–that THAT is the best aphrodisiac, sex started working much better, even if it still took a few years to make it work more like clockwork. And it’s that spiritual intimacy during sex that we don’t really get.

So I tried to write a book that would help women relax about sex, help them calm down, help them laugh, and still point them in the direction of awesome sex. We don’t need the pornographic version. We don’t need to avoid it. We certainly shouldn’t lose hope. God created this to be great, and if it isn’t great right now, that’s okay. That’s why marriage is decades-long! You’ve got a while to get this right.

And you can make sex the most fun research project you’ll ever do!

I wrote The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex for everyone like me who ever wondered what they were missing. And I pray that it helps all new brides get started on a more solid footing, and more experienced wives enter into the awesomeness that God really intended for us!

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: Don’t Stay Pure Until You’re Married

When you read that title of the post, you probably thought I meant this:

Don’t stay PURE until you’re MARRIED.

But what if I actually meant this:

Don’t stay pure UNTIL you’re married.

The until makes all the difference.

In the church, that’s the message we’ve been giving young people: you stay pure UNTIL you’re married. But what does that mean? That once you tie the knot, your purity is somehow lost? That implies that sex once you’re married is somehow impure. That you are now tarnished. And that you have lost something you can never get back again.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

Last year a woman wrote a blog post about how she regretted being a virgin until her wedding night, and the post went completely viral. Her point was that growing up in the church she felt that sex was dirty, and by staying a virgin until her wedding it made sex awful. If she had been able to embrace sex earlier her sex life would have been much better.

But the problem is not virginity; the problem is the spin we put on it.

And the best rebuttal that I read to her piece is this one by Sarah, a single woman in her twenties, who made the point I made above: Christians, stop staying pure UNTIL you’re married. Go read it. It is awesome!

Here’s just part of what she wrote:

If your goal is staying pure UNTIL marriage, you’re going to walk into a marriage highly dissatisfied. That’s because you were never meant to lose your purity. In fact, it’s not something that CAN be lost. It’s a lifestyle, not a state of being. Something either you walk in or you don’t. In accepting the exchange of Jesus, you can’t separate yourself from it. It goes with you to both the grocery store AND to the sanctuary, to the doctor’s office AND to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

It also goes with you to your bedroom.

It goes with you, because you go with Christ.

Purity isn’t lost in the moment, it’s an essential key to a happy (and lasting) marriage. It’s what keeps you connected to both God and each other, it’s what helps you stay strong and faithful to one another, it’s what helps you to build trust and affection.

And yes, blushing elders. It’s one of the most important ingredients in having GREAT sex.

Read the rest here.

WifeyWednesday175Now, today is Wednesday, the first Wifey Wednesday of 2015. And on Wednesdays I always talk marriage. And so today I’d do a bit of a rah-rah post to get us ready for great sex in 2015!

One thing I love about all you, my readers, is that so many of you send me articles you think I may find interesting. That’s how I first found out about that viral post, and that’s how I first saw Sarah’s great rebuttal.

Kathy R sent me this note:

One of my friends posted this article [about not being a virgin on your wedding night] on facebook calling it “One Hell of a powerful article” so I wanted to share it with you. While I understand the reasons behind this person’s issues with sex, it still bothers me that she is basically saying “I wish I’d had sex a long time ago because then I wouldn’t have all these problems!” And now that I’m pregnant with a little girl, it scares me to death what to do to train her up in the way God sees sex and marriage, not the fear-mongering that some churches do, but how it was designed!

Elizabeth C and others sent notes that echoed Kathy’s, and several mentioned the same issue: how do we raise our daughters so they don’t think like that?

I think the easiest way to raise kids who have healthy views of sexuality is to have a healthy view of it yourself–and to not shy away from conversations. If we are not ashamed of sex, and if we enjoy sex, our kids will pick up on the fact that sex isn’t something to be ashamed about at all.

So the key to raising kids well is YOU.

Making the new year awesome in the bedroom--by dealing with our attitudes towards sex

We all have issues regarding sex.

All of us. And that’s truly okay. Don’t berate yourself about it; just know that it is universal.

Why wouldn’t we have issues? Sex is so interconnected with our identity and with our spirituality. It’s all tied up in our ideas of true intimacy, both with our husbands and with others, and even with God. And we live in a fallen world. So that means that the parts of us that are the most personal, the most intense, the most vulnerable, will be marred in some way. Some of us will be marred more than others, but we will all be touched.

And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with you if you have issues! Truly. I had issues with sex–I couldn’t relax during sex because I had such major trust issues and I didn’t feel that I could let my guard down. And if you can’t let your guard down, you can’t enjoy sex. I even developed full-blown vaginismus that took a few years to really get over. I didn’t even realize I had these issues until we got married! But being married helped me get over those trust issues, and they slowly went away. God used marriage as a vehicle to heal me.

So whatever your issues, know that you are not alone, but also know:

God can handle your sexual issues.

Just like there’s healing for other issues in our lives, like perfectionism or rejection or grief, there is also healing for whatever sexual issues you have. Really. If you’re struggling, it honestly doesn’t always have to be like this!

Sex reveals our insecurities, and here are a few posts that may help you:

Getting over your own sexual baggage

Getting over your husband’s sexual baggage
Getting over the effects of sexual abuse
Developing a healthy view of sexuality

If you never had a healthy view of sex because of the same issues as the original blog poster, here’s my take:

Has our purity culture gone overboard?
Why we should stop using the term virgin

I echo a lot of Sarah’s points there with my own spin on them.

Good Girls Guide My SiteIf you enjoyed those posts, and if you’ve really struggled to get a healthy view of sexuality, you really need to pick up The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex. In it, I explain in detail (and with a lot of humor) why God created sex the way He did, and how we can see it as a fun, low stress, intimate thing. When you read this blog, you get bits and pieces. If you want it all in one place, get that book! It will help. (and give it to girls who are about to get married so they don’t have the same regrets as that blog poster!)

But sex also reveals our sin, and lays it bare. Here are some posts that can help with that:

4 things you must do if your husband uses porn
Discovering your husband is having an affair
What to do if he’s texting other women
When YOU’RE the one who needs forgiveness

Practice makes perfect–even when it comes to sex!

Sometimes it just takes time to figure out what you like, and to figure out how to make sex feel good.

And the more you do it, the better at it you’ll get! That doesn’t mean that sex will be an awesome trajectory, where you start out lousy and you continue getting better all the time, so that each encounter is better than the last. Hormones may interfere for a few months (or years), little kids may make you tired, you may go through a stressful period. But if you stand back at the end of several decades and take a look at your marriage, most women do see that it gets better over time. Indeed, in my surveys for The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, I found that the best years for sex in marriage are around the two decade mark.

Here are some posts that can help you with that:

How to have an orgasm
9 Great Sex tips to make it feel even better!

31 Days to Great SexAnd, of course, my book 31 Days to Great Sex has challenges that build on each other. It starts with the first week addressing how we feel about sex. Then we do a week on feeling more comfortable and flirty with each other–emotional intimacy. Then we turn to a week of challenges on embracing physical intimacy and making sex feel great. And then we end with challenges on how to feel more intimate–that spiritual intimacy. It’s okay if the book takes more than a month to get through! You’ll find that you talk more about sex, and you learn more about each other and yourself.

Sex really is a journey in marriage.

Sometimes you’ll have months where everything is amazing and you work like clockwork and you both have libidos that are through the roof. And sometimes you’ll have months that are a bit of a struggle.

But those struggling months help you to pull together. They point out the problems that need to be dealt with. Maybe one (or both) of you is too stressed or overworked. Maybe you’re going through a depression or hormonal changes and you need to see a doctor. Maybe you’re grieving something and you need to be able to lean on each other. Problems in the bedroom can be a sign of other things, and when we deal with these other things together, it ultimately brings us closer.

I think sex shows us why we need the vow. Without that marriage vow, when things got tough in the bedroom many may throw in the towel. But because of the vow, if sex isn’t working well we can figure it out. We can weather the storm.

Think about that woman who wrote that article. If she had had sex before she was married, would things have been better? No. She still would have had the same sexual hangups. And sex wouldn’t have worked well. But because they weren’t married, they would have wondered: should we even be getting married if we don’t work in the bedroom? Are we sexually incompatible?

I know if my husband and I had had sex before our wedding that wedding may not have happened. It was so disastrous that we both likely would have had second thoughts. But instead we were able to work through it. It’s a journey.

And I think that’s a wonderful thing.

I don’t know where you’re at in your marriage. I don’t know if you’re in crisis, or if you’re in blahdom, or if  you’re in ecstasy. But wherever you are, know that 2015 will have its ups and its downs. It will be rocky. But regardless, it can also be very good. Sex can be one of the vehicles where God does great healing in our lives. It can be a vehicle where God helps us embrace more freedom and helps heal some of our perfectionism and control freak tendencies. It can be a vehicle that God uses to bring you and your husband closer together.

And let’s not forget–sex can be a great stress reliever! :)

So embrace it this year. Don’t despair if you have issues–just work on them and take them to God. Don’t despair if it’s never felt very good. Just consider it a great research project for the year ahead. Don’t despair if you’ve been going through a rough patch. It’s a new year–and new beginnings!

And I wish you a very great new year, even in the bedroom. We’re going to talk a lot more this year about what real intimacy is, and about how to deal with more of the common problems we have in the bedroom. So stick around! But whatever you do, don’t give up on sex. Don’t believe it’s hopeless. It can be awesome–and it will be for you, too. Just give it time.

Now, do you all have any advice for us today? Just enter the URL of your own blog post in the linky below. And be sure to link back here so that other people can read these great posts!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

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

Christian Sex Toy Parties: Are They a Good Idea?

Christian Sex Toy Parties: Are they a good idea?

What do you do if you’re invited to one of those “fun” sex toy parties–Passion Parties or PureRomance?

Reader Question of the Week: Are Sex Toy Parties Okay for Christians?It’s Monday, the day when I post a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Today I want to tackle these sex toy parties–especially the “Christian” sex toy parties. Here’s a reader’s question:

I love to read your blog and when I was wrestling with this in my head I was curious what you would do. A good friend of mine has a direct sales business with “girls’ nights in” to explore sex toys, lubes, lingerie, other “fun” things for couples that her company sells. She’s asked me to do parties for her before and I’m skeptical only because we don’t like sex toys, and I just feel like this area of my life is more private (like I don’t share w/ anyone except for my BFF, not a room full of guests in my home). So what are your thoughts on this? Am I too uptight? Is there such a thing as Christian sex toys? Thanks!

Great question, and I’ve got a bit of a multifaceted answer. So here we go!

There’s a Difference Between Sex Aids and Sex Replacements

I’m all for using lube–It’s indispensable when you’re just married and you’re nervous about sex, and it becomes indispensable again when you’re in perimenopause/menopause and you aren’t quite as well lubricated as you used to be. It makes quickies easier, and it often makes arousal easier.

Similarly, I’m a big fan of lingerie. I think most women feel a lot more confident with a little bit of material on, and most men really appreciate us in lingerie! It also shows that we’re making an effort.

Massage CandleMassage candles, massage oil, even feathers–awesome! Some of the things that you use to make intercourse easier or more pleasurable–I’m fine with that. Really (though I’m not going to spell them all out). But there is a difference between something that makes enhances sex and something that basically replaces a partner during sex. For instance, I know there are times when vibrators are important–I’ve talked to some readers with health issues who have found that a husband using a vibrator on his wife is one of the only ways that he can give her pleasure, and I do understand that.

It’s just that, in general, the more you use a vibrator, the less likely you are to orgasm during intercourse because the feeling is so much more intense. No guy can vibrate like that. And I could say similar things about some other sex toys.

And the problem is that most of these parties don’t distinguish between the two, and that makes me uncomfortable. Many of them ask to advertise on this site, and I always say no. It’s not that I think sex toys are a sin–I don’t. It’s just that I think that many fall into the category of “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” that we read in 1 Corinthians 10:23.

You don’t want to stress the physical aspect of sex over the spiritual/emotional aspect

Good Girls Guide My SiteHere’s an argument I’ve made before, so I won’t dwell on it much here. But those who tend to enjoy sex the most are also those who are the most intimate–who have been married for about a decade and a half, and who rate their spiritual intimacy as quite high. In the surveys that I did for my book The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, where I explained this point in great detail, I said that the best way to make sex better was to feel more intimate already. In fact, prayer actually makes a woman more orgasmic (which I know seems weird, but it’s true!)

I firmly believe that you can be both hot and holy–and indeed, the two tend to go hand in hand (as the holy-meter increases, so does the hot-meter!) But because of that, if we ignore the holy part entirely and simply look at the mechanics of sex, we often lose out on the beauty.

Those who feel closer will also feel more vulnerable and will be more adventurous in bed. Sex will be awesome. But if you only look at the increasing the physical aspect without the other, then you often lose something. And especially in this culture where I’ve found the biggest sexual problem most couples have is that they’ve made sex completely physical–because of porn, or the way they were brought up, etc–then doing something else which reinforces that doesn’t end up helping sex.

You can read more about this in the Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, or in my post on Christians and sex toys.

Bondage is a slippery slope

Here’s another issue–many, if not most, of today’s sex toys are bondage oriented, especially after the success of books like 50 Shades of Grey. And bondage humiliates and degrades, and treats a woman as if she were an impersonal object.

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's HeartLook–tying someone up playfully can definitely enhance sensation. When you can’t move, you feel everything more. Tying them up with the intention of hurting them in some way (like spanking and whipping) or humiliating them is an entirely different thing. And as I wrote before, I just don’t see how that correlates with treating someone in a loving way.

For more about this argument, see the book Pulling Back the Shades.

Remember the “weaker brother” argument when it comes to sex toy parties

In Romans 14, Paul makes a long argument about how we have to be careful not to put a stumbling block in another person’s way. We may not have an issue with something, but if another Christian does, and we pursue it anyway, it could cause them to stumble.

The classic example here is alcohol: you and your husband may enjoy a glass of wine, but if you serve alcohol to someone who is a former alcoholic, you’re causing them to stumble. Better to leave the wine somewhere else and serve orange juice.

So let’s say that you have a friend whose marriage has been under strain because of porn issues, or because her husband wants her to do things she doesn’t want to do, or because she’s wanted to push some sexual boundaries a little too far. And then you invite her to one of these parties, thinking it’s just a “fun” way to spice up your life.

Her conscience may have been working on her lately: I need to confront my husband and tell him we’re not watching porn together anymore. I need to confront my husband and tell him that I want our marriage bed to be pure.

You then invite her to a party, and she thinks,

“Maybe I’ve been hearing God wrong! Maybe I’ve just been too uptight. I mean, here’s my friend who is an awesome Christian and she’s advertising dildos and vibrators and lots of things, so obviously I’ve been wrong thinking that our sex life has become too impersonal. Anything goes, because there’s freedom in marriage!”

And she’s now silenced the Holy Spirit who has been working on her in this area.

Look, for some people using all of these things may not affect their intimacy or marriage in the slightest. But for some it really might. And in the same way that you wouldn’t host a wine tasting or shots party for the College & Career group in your church–even if you drink wine or the occasional mixer–why would you host a sex toy party for people when you really don’t know their back story?

Spread the word about how great sex is–without a sex toy party

The church has been really sex-negative in the past, and we do need to become more sex-positive and start talking about sex more. We need to tell our friends, “I enjoy sex, and if you’re not having sex in your marriage, that’s bad and I want to help you”. We need to stop making this a secret.

I totally agree. I just don’t think that these sex toy parties are the way to do that.

So I’d love to know in the comments: How can we become more vocal and sex positive WITHOUT going to the extreme? And if you think I’m wrong about Passion Parties or PureRomance, leave a comment, too! Let’s start a discussion.

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.




Sexual Dysfunction in Marriage: Dealing with Premature Ejaculation and Delayed Ejaculation

Sexual Dysfunction in Marriage: When things just aren't working for him

We’re in the middle of a 3-part series on sexual dysfunction in marriage, and today we’re going to tackle two thorny problems: premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation.

In movies everything always works so well! He’s attracted to her, she’s attracted to him, and they fall into bed together and everything goes like clockwork. But what if the CLOCK is part of the problem? Either he seems like he’s playing “beat the clock”, and he ejaculates too quickly to make sex satisfying for her (or even really for him), or he the clock goes on–and on–and on. And it never seems to end!

Both these problems can make sex so stressful, and we’re never warned about that. We’re told sex is going to be this great thing that is natural, and easy, and it doesn’t take much to get it right. But what if, for you as a married couple, it does?

Yesterday we looked at some of the issues with erectile dysfunction, and while they’re related, premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation are a little bit different. So let’s turn to those today.

Good Girls Guide My SiteSexual Dysfunction #1: Premature Ejaculation

In The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, when I was writing about the problems in the bedroom that guys can have, I said that premature ejaculation is a really unfortunate term. Because how do we define it? The most basic definition is a husband who ejaculates before his wife has a chance to experience pleasure. But by that definition a guy who lasts fifteen minutes could be labelled having a problem if his wife lasts 30 minutes!

Other definitions have focused on the time it takes to reach orgasm. If it’s under two minutes, for instance, many people call that premature ejaculation. But most men can reach orgasm in that short an amount of time–if they’re not trying to wait for longer. So let’s for the sake of our discussion today define premature ejaculation as a man who reaches climax very early during intercourse–say in the first three minutes–and is unable to last any longer.

Sexual Dysfunction in Marriage

Who Has Premature Ejaculation?

Some men, from their first sexual encounter, have premature ejaculation. Indeed, it’s not that uncommon for a guy’s first encounter to be awfully short. Most men, after that initial episode, though, can start stretching out the encounters. Some men, however, never really are able to do that.

Men who have used porn, or who have masturbated extensively in the formative years, also often suffer from premature ejaculation. Not all cases of PE are caused by porn; but many porn users do report experiencing PE. Because they have trained the brain to respond to stimulus very quickly, rather than enjoying the experience of arousal, they have a difficult time lasting.

How Can We Cure PE?

If porn use is the root cause:

Like I said yesterday, quit the porn. If your husband is using porn, nothing else you do will help with the problem. You have to deal with the root first, and that means quitting porn and masturbation. Many men once they quit find that their brains reset and that the problem starts to fix itself.

If this is a longstanding problem not due to porn:

His body needs to learn to enjoy the sensation of arousal, and learn to delay ejaculation. Several techniques can help with this:

1. Play the Stop and Start Game

Start making love, but have him keep track of his arousal levels, on a scale of 1-10. Men who suffer from premature ejaculation often will go from a 6 to a 10 almost immediately. Once he reaches a 6, for instance, stop for a few minutes and have him stimulate you, and you alone. Then start again. Spend a lot of time on foreplay and not as much on intercourse as you start to use this technique, because starting and stopping intercourse can be a little frustrating for both of you. Once you’re able to drag out arousal using other kinds of stimulation, then begin introducing intercourse to the mix.  A good idea is to do the stop-and-start by using different positions, so that you’re moving from one to the other and the stimulation isn’t regular.

It can take quite a bit of time to master this technique, and it doesn’t work for all. But it is a good thing to try, and many people just find it fun anyway (and it often is more satisfying for her if he’s spending more time making her feel good!)

2. Start and Stop Just with Stimulating Him

Similar to above, but this time just stimulate him. When he starts to get really aroused, stop and make him control his breathing. Do this once or twice a week and drag out the experience for longer each time.

3. Bring him to Orgasm Earlier in the Day

Sometimes men have an easier time lasting if they’ve already reached orgasm. So a “quickie” earlier in the day can help him last later.

4. Get Some Help

A reader recommends the book Coping with Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please your Partner and Have Great Sex. It isn’t a Christian book, but it has been one of the few things that has helped in her marriage. So you can look at that as well!

Sexual Dysfunction #2: Delayed Ejaculation

If you’ve been making love for quite a while, and your husband just can’t seem to reach climax, or you often stop before he’s finished, then he could have delayed ejaculation. The causes of delayed ejaculation are quite similar to those of erectile dysfunction: there’s a problem in that not enough blood goes to the penis to make it hard enough, and then not enough arousal is present to achieve climax.

When Delayed Ejaculation Has Physical Causes

In some cases, like in erectile dysfunction, it could be a sign of physical issues: circulation problems; heart problems; obesity; diabetes; medication side effects; or excessive alcohol or tobacco use.

It’s always a good idea to have your husband see a doctor if this is a persistent problem to rule out any kind of health problem.

To help with delayed ejaculation, your husband needs to learn to concentrate on his own arousal, because he isn’t able to experience it as arousing enough to send him over the edge. So spend some time just touching him and pleasuring him without actual intercourse. Once he’s able to reach orgasm that way, get him very excited and only then start intercourse. Help him to close his eyes and just think about the sensation–not about anything else.

When Delayed Ejaculation Has Relationship Causes

If you have had your own share of sexual problems early in your marriage, your husband may feel guilty about enjoying sex, or may feel guilty about finishing. Sex is such a complex thing; a guy can start a marriage being completely excited about sex, but if he feels as if you don’t want it, or you feel uncomfortable or painful during sex, then that can affect his own ability to feel pleasure, even if you’ve overcome your own issues.

Allowing him to experience real pleasure and to concentrate on himself can jumpstart this and help you reboot.

Taking the initiative to start sex, too, can show him “I want this. This isn’t something I’m doing just for you.” That can change the dynamic and can help him feel free to enjoy it, and not guilty, thinking “she doesn’t really want to be doing this.” So take a deep breath, try to put the past behind you, and just enjoy being together. Show him that this is something you want, and that you do love being with him.

When Delayed Ejaculation is Caused by an Arousal Addiction–like Porn or Video Games

In other cases, though, it could be a problem not with the circulation system, or with the relationship, but with the arousal process in the brain.

Philip Zimbardo is a Ph.D. psychologist studying men, and in his TED Talk, The Demise of Guys (and I’m paraphrasing because he was talking really fast), he said this:
Arousal Addictions
We’ve become so desensitized because of porn use that what is “normal” is no longer arousing, and people need more and weirder and different to achieve the same level of stimulation.

This is why erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation are often two sides of the same coin; with erectile dysfunction the man isn’t able to stay stimulated; with delayed ejaculation the man isn’t able to get stimulated enough. In both cases they need something MORE, and that more was fed to them by porn when the arousal mechanisms in the brain went haywire.

There’s a community of porn addicts on the internet at Your Brain on Porn, who have congregated together to abstain from porn and masturbation and “reset” their brains. It’s not a Christian site, and so I certainly don’t agree with everything that’s said, but there is a wealth of information there and it’s one of the best resources I’ve found on the internet to “see inside” what these guys go through. And what many of them say is that, when they’re using porn, they stop being able to get aroused naturally. Even when they’re having sex, they can’t climax unless they’re watching porn at the same time. Without the porn, they just aren’t aroused enough.

And here’s what’s interesting about what Zimbardo said: this effect is true not only with porn, but also with other arousal addictions. An addiction to video games, for instance, mimics the effects of porn on the brain, where the dopamine receptors are looking for more and more intense stimulation to reach the same high. And so video games become more graphic and more fast-paced. So even if the arousal addiction is not with pornography it can still affect the arousal processes in the brain.

How Do We Deal with Arousal Addictions?

If a guy is suffering from some sort of arousal addiction he just simply has to stop. The community at Your Brain on Porn finds that 90 days seems to be the amount of time it takes most people to rewire the arousal process.

So 90 days with no sex, no masturbation, no porn–and, if necessary, no video games.

Here’s what I like about that: it allows you to work on your relationship, and it allows the man to start experiencing life again instead of constantly feeling like he has to get back to the computer or video game.

Here’s what I don’t like about it: I don’t believe that true healing can come without a spiritual dimension to the problem. We have to acknowledge that we have sinned against God and against our spouse, and we have to ask God to fill us with His Spirit so that we can have self-control. I don’t think will power alone can fix most people; in fact, Romans 7 is all about Paul showing how will power isn’t enough. We need the Holy Spirit.

I think the 90 day reset if this is a real problem due to some sort of an addiction is a great idea. But I think that 90 days also needs to be filled with some prayer sessions, some counseling with a pastor and mentor, and some accountability. A guy has let some sort of an addiction steal his time and his focus away from his wife–and away from the rest of his life. Think about the emotional and mental energy he has wasted on other pursuits! This needs to be a time of real repentance if real change is going to be made.

Porn is not harmlessI know it sounds like I’m blaming it all on porn…

And I absolutely know that in many cases sexual dysfunction is a physical issue, or it’s something that a guy only realized he suffered from once he was married, and there wasn’t an arousal addiction reason. In those cases, trying some of the techniques here can really help. But sexologists, urologists, and marriage counselors are seeing such a huge spike in sexual dysfunction in the last decade due mostly to porn (and to some extent video games). This can’t be ignored. So spread the word about the Top 10 Effects of Porn, and let’s help people to see that porn is not harmless, and that it really can wreck marriages–and your sex life!

The problem is similar to diabetes, really. We call all diabetes “diabetes”. But it’s really two completely different causes. One usually shows up in childhood, and there’s very little you can do about it. The other usually shows up in adulthood, and is highly correlated with lifestyle issues. We may call them the same thing, and they may have similar symptoms, but they’re really two very distinct causes, and that’s what’s going on here, too. Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and delayed ejaculation can all have physical causes, but they can also be caused by porn.

Today I dealt more with the porn side. Tomorrow we’re going to look at how to reboot your sex life when porn is NOT the cause of sexual dysfunction, but your husband has another cause for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation.

This post contains some affiliate links, and was partially sponsored. The opinions in it are entirely my own.


Wifey Wednesday: Should Christians Have Amazing Sex?

Should Christians Have Amazing Sex in their Marriage?It’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can comment or link  up your own marriage post below.

Last week Rachel Pietka took the Christian internet community by storm when she wrote a column in Relevant online magazine called, “Christians are not called to have amazing sex“. She claimed that Christians had bought into the world’s view of the importance of sex too much, and were writing all these books on how to have amazing sex, and in the meantime we’d lost the real purpose of marriage, which is a commitment, whether or not the sex was great.

As the author of a book on how Christians can have “great sex“, I’d like to comment on her article, because I think it’s important, and I also think it’s dangerous.

She’s Right: Christians do not have great sex off the bat if they stayed virgins before they were married

Sometimes we give kids the message “wait, it’s so worth it” a little bit too much. They think that sex will be this amazing thing as soon as they get married, and most likely it won’t be. And she gave the example of a couple who married at twenty, not realizing they would be sexually incompatible. And they ended up divorcing. The reason? Because Christians never talked about the fact that you could be sexually incompatible, and that you shouldn’t get married just to have sex.

Okay, perhaps I should have said she’s MOSTLY right. I completely agree that too often we give people the message, “sex will be great right off the bat if you wait!” That’s one of the reasons I wrote The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex–to show young women that often the honeymoon isn’t the best, but in the end, it makes absolutely no difference. After a decade, whether your honeymoon was great or not, you experience roughly the same levels of sexual satisfaction. Sex is a learning curve, and the best thing to do is just relax and be happy that you can truly be intimate. Don’t worry too much. Things will happen and will get great with time.

My book is meant to help people think of sex as a journey, not as just the honeymoon. And that’s one of the things new brides thank me for the most.

She’s Wrong: People aren’t “sexually incompatible”

She claimed that Christians that talk up amazing sex are buying into the world’s view, but I think she gives far too much credence to the idea of sexual incompatibility. She says that because Christians aren’t to have sex before we’re married, we never know whether we’re compatible or not. Thus, sexual pleasure, or compatibility, is not the main purpose of marriage.

This gives the impression that in a marriage SHE by herself is a static sexual being, and HE by himself is a static sexual being, and the two may not match. Not true. God designed sex to be a relational thing; it’s not two individuals coming together as much as it is a couple experiencing something together.

Personally, I hate the word “incompatible”. I simply say that people have differences in the bedroom, or problems in the bedroom, because that’s the truth. You’re not incompatible; you just have things you need to work out. It’s an entirely different emphasis. Incompatible makes it sound like you will never meet in the middle. Problems are just obstacles that need to be overcome. And that’s the more biblical view. Where in the Bible does it ever say that two people can’t be compatible, in any aspect of their relationship? When people are chasing after God, they will be transformed to look like Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). And that makes us compatible on pretty much any level.

Not compatible? Then you’re simply having problems that need to be worked out. They’re not insurmountable; they’re not static. They’re just issues, that’s all. The world talks up “compatibility” as a way to say that we should try each other first. Nothing can be farther from the truth, because it emphasizes the physical aspect of sex over all else, and leads to tons of heartache. Let’s not go down that road.

She’s Wrong: Sex is not only physical

She also gave absolutely no credence to the fact that God made sex to unite us on more than just a physical level. It’s also a spiritual intimacy and an emotional intimacy, not just a physical intimacy.

And because of that, Christians SHOULD have amazing sex, and indeed DO have much better sex than the general public, according to my research and others. Why is that? Because we understand the power of commitment. Because we are also already spiritually intimate. And when you truly are one, sex is something far more powerful. The spiritual intimacy feeds the physical side, and sex can be much more stupendous.

But it’s not just this: God created sex for a reason, and it wasn’t just so that we could have children, and it wasn’t just so that we could enjoy ourselves. It was also so that we could get a glimpse into the deep passion that He has for us. He uses sexual imagery to discuss how He feels about his children. And He put this sexual drive “to know” each other inside of us, so that we would get a taste of true intimacy.

If we deny that, or say that it’s really unimportant, and people should just live with lousy sex, then we’re not just missing out on marriage. We’re missing out on understanding the whole nature of intimacy and passion that God has for us.

I’m not saying that only married people can understand this. Single people can certainly understand intimacy and passion, too. But when we married people have access to the most intimate experience people can have this side of heaven, and then we say “it doesn’t matter”, I think we’re closing ourselves off to intimacy and passion in general, and that can be dangerous.

She’s Wrong: We shouldn’t put up with a marred sinful nature

Ms. Pietka attributes bad sex to our sinful nature, which is true. But she seems to think that this is inevitable, or at least something that is not worth doing very much about. If people find themselves married, with sexual problems, they should realize it’s just part of their sinful nature, and work on other aspects of their marriage.

I find this extremely strange. On the one hand: yes, the problems we have in the bedroom are all caused by our sinful nature. If one spouse wants to make love much more than another, and this causes hurt, it’s sin, because one (or both) are not loving each other as Christ did. If one is being selfish in bed, demanding unreasonable things, or refusing to learn how to pleasure the other, it’s sin. If one is using porn or erotica to get aroused, it’s sin. If one is feeling ashamed of sex, that, too, is sin, though it may not be theirs. Perhaps they grew up in a house where their parents made them feel ashamed of the fact that they were sexual, and now they need healing. Or perhaps they were abused (someone else’s sin) and that, too, has impacted their ability to enjoy sex.

All of our problems stem from either from our own sin (selfishness) or from being sinned against (brokenness). And so we need to go to God for healing and restoration.

And that last part is so important. She seems to be saying we should be content to live with the marred sinful nature. In what other area of our lives do we do this?

Take Christian community, for example. We, as Christians, are notoriously bad at finding unity. But did Jesus say, “you’ll find it really difficult to act as one body, because of the marred sinful nature, and you just need to realize that”? No, he said, “they will know you by your love for one another.” Paul wrote a whole book (1 Corinthians) on how Christians should get along with each other.

Is getting along difficult? You betcha. Does that mean that we should give up and say, “on this side of heaven, we won’t achieve unity”? Nope, God doesn’t give us that escape clause. He wants us to keep working towards unity.

And He wants us to do that in our marriages, too. Will our marriages ever be perfect? No. Will all of us have amazing sex? No. But on this earth, we are to seek Jesus in everything. We are to seek restoration, and renewal, and healing. We are to aim to be more selfless and more understanding. And all of these things apply just as much to sex as anything else. In fact, perhaps they apply more so because our sexual identity is so close to our personal identity. Everything is really intertwined. If we start to deny our sexual being, we tend to cut ourselves off from true passion.

Ms. Pietka said that by emphasizing amazing sex we’re emphasizing the wrong thing. We should be emphasizing a marriage based not on sex but on commitment. I agree that commitment is vitally important. But to deny the importance of sex, or to downplay our responsibility, once we’re married, of making it the best it can be for both of us, is also to distort God’s plan for marriage.

She’s Wrong: She gives people an excuse to say, “you shouldn’t expect more”

Here’s my real concern. Let’s say that you’re a woman with a low sex drive. You find sex a hassle. Your husband is always saying he needs it more, and you’re sick of it. Then you read her article. And now you have an excuse to go to him and say, “see, Christians emphasize sex too much, and you just should just live with it.

That is not biblical. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 7, “do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time….” (I’ve written a three part series on what that verse really means here). There’s a whole book in the Bible (Song of Solomon) celebrating sex.

So what I want to say to Ms. Pietka is that I agree that Christians perhaps sound too glib about how easy it is to have amazing sex. But the simple fact is that we SHOULD have better sex than others because we know the author of sex. We know a level of intimacy that others don’t, and that should already make sex better. And if we still have a ways to go (and don’t we all?), then we should be working towards that, not settling for less. Jesus called us to an abundant life. If something is not abundant, why would you not want more of God–selflessness, passion, intimacy–in that area of your life? Why would you settle for less?

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.

Christian Marriage Advice

What advice do you have for us today? Link up your own marriage post in the linky below! Just leave the URL of your post, and be sure to link back here so other people can read all these amazing marriage posts.

"Christian Sex Book Walks Away with Top Literary Prize…"

Good Girl's Guide to Great SexSo last night my mother and I headed 2 hours west on the highway to attend the Canadian Christian Writing Awards (the Word Gala) in Mississauga, ON. The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex had been nominated for Best Christian Book in the Christian Living category.

That category came and went, and I didn’t win. I wasn’t surprised at all; I’ve been nominated about 10 times for different awards, and I think I won for a column once a few years back. I don’t normally win. And this is a weird book, after all.

But the last award given was the Grace Irwin Prize. Here’s how the program described it:

“The Grace Irwin Prize is Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian. It celebrates the best book published in 2012 by a Canadian author who writes from a Christian worldview.”

I assumed I wasn’t even eligible, because I hadn’t won in my category. But they take all books in all categories that had been shortlisted, and then a new panel of judges looks at them and chooses.

They announced the five finalists and put the covers on the screen; there was mine. I was floored. And then they started a reading from it. Wow. I hadn’t even prepared a speech!

I’ll let the press release take it from here…

Christian Sex Book Walks Away With Top Writing Award

Twenty-five years of awards celebrated at black-tie Gala


Mississauga, Ont. – The Word Awards, the 25th annual writing awards for Canadian writers and editors who are Christian, was a celebration of words, but also a celebration of the gifts God has given to Christian writers and editors, said Denise Rumble, Managing Director, The Word Guild.

The Word Awards, held on June 12, honoured the work of 28 writers in book and article categories for work published in 2012.

It was a book about Christian sex that walked away with a $5000 literary award. Sheila Wray Gregoire of Belleville, Ont. won the Grace Irwin Prize for The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex (Zondervan), a book written for married women.

Ray Wiseman, who headed the Grace Irwin judging team, said “An intimate and often detailed guide for young women, but a must-read for all married persons and those planning marriage. Well done, Sheila, for daring to write a ‘how-to’ book that ministers to a crying need in the church.”

“Do you know how strange it is to be the Christian sex lady?” laughed Gregoire, as she accepted the award – Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian, given in honour of the late author, classics scholar and ordained minister Grace Lilian Irwin.

Winners for all awards of the gala evening were chosen from among 285 competing entries from across Canada and beyond – 146 books and 139 shorter pieces, primarily articles that ranged from longer features to book reviews…

The Word Guild is a national association of writers and editors who are Christian. (www.thewordguild.com)


Grace Irwin Winner 2013
Surprised winner Sheila Wray Gregoire with Mr. & Mrs. Irwin




The Grace Irwin Prize


Sponsor: John and Eleanor Irwin

The Grace Irwin Prize is Canada’s largest literary prize for writers who are Christian. It celebrates the best book published in 2012 by a Canadian author who writes from a Christian worldview.

Winner: Sheila Wray Gregoire of Belleville, Ont. for The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex (Zondervan)

I’m still flying high today! I’m really thrilled.

So celebrate with me, but do keep praying for my assistant Holly, whose house is in the path of the Colorado wildfires. Let’s rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Girl Talk–Coming Near You!

Girl Talk backdrop

Last week I flew to Minneapolis for two events: a Girl Talk night in Willmar, MN (where I give my signature talk on sex), and then a Saturday event in Hastings where I spoke first on To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and then repeated the Girl Talk talks.

Girl Talk women's event--coming near you!

(Look at the AMAZING setup they did on the stage! It looks just like my book cover):

Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Still 30% off at Amazon!

It was very physically stressful–I caught a horrendous stomach bug the night before I was supposed to start, and let’s just say I felt quite terrible. But a ton of people prayed and by the evening I was well enough to go on and nobody noticed (more about that in my column that’s coming out on Friday).

Sheila Wray Gregoire gives her Girl Talk event

Sheila Wray Gregoire gives her Girl Talk event

But it was really satisfying in lots of other ways, because it was just so much FUN! I love speaking on sex because it’s something that women honestly really want to talk about, and most churches don’t do a good job of covering it. I’m not shy, either; I don’t stay away from the “taboo” words that we don’t say in Christian circles (though I do it very tastefully, and not rudely). And in the second half I do a Q&A where I read through everyone’s anonymous questions and then answer them, before finishing with the rest of my talk.

The talk is divided into two parts. In the first half I talk about how God designed sex and why He made men and women so differently. We also cover how society has messed sex up, and how our culture invades our own sexuality and often messes US up.

In the second half I focus on how to improve our marriages in the three areas of intimacy in the bedroom: emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, and spiritual intimacy. And then we look at how to put it all together.

Girl Talk women's event--coming near you!


I use a lot of humor, and yet I also tell some touching stories about what it really means to make love and not just have sex.



In Willmar, when the women’s ministry committee first went to the leadership at their church, the leadership was a little hesitant. They weren’t sure they would get women out to an event like this. But the committee pressed on, certain that women really did want to talk about this. And sure enough, they had 320 women out (125 is the norm for a women’s event). And they had tons of community women, not just church women, because it’s a really easy event to bring friends to. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be “churchy” (and it isn’t), and seekers want to hear about sex.

Girl Talk women's event--coming near you!

In Hastings, one of the organizers, who brought along a 30-something friend, said that it was just so great how I could deal with real issues and still bring it right back to God, without sounding preachy.

That was the biggest compliment anyone could give me.

I’d love to bring a Girl Talk event to your church! I get questions all the time–can you come to Ohio? Can you come to Sioux Falls? Can you come to Atlanta?

And the answer is, YES! I would gladly try to arrange a tour near you.


But I need to start somewhere, and the place that I’m mostly likely to start is a place where a church has hired me. So if you want me to come to your area, why not ask for a package of info to send to your church? I can send it directly to you, but if you’re not the women’s ministry leader, and you know the women’s ministry leader’s email address (or the marriage pastor’s email, or whomever would be the right one in your church), let me know that, too, and I can send it to them, saying that you requested it.

I’m looking at booking two tours next fall, and potentially one this June if I can arrange it in time, so I have three potential states/provinces I can get to. But it’s really whoever responds first and actually books me that determines where I go.

Finally, if you’re in NASHVILLE–I’m COMING in April (my husband’s at a conference, so I’m tagging along) and my days are quite free. I’d love to stop by your Bible study group, or MOPS group, or maybe even set up an impromptu night event. Let me know, because you wouldn’t have to pay travel expenses or my usual fee since I’m already there.

I’d love to join you.

And remember–if you want to go even DEEPER than a Girl Talk night, you can sign up for my 6-week, indepth online class on The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, where we’ll cover even more!

The School of Intimacy–Take Your Marriage to the Next Level

The School of Intimacy

I am so excited to announce to you the launch of The School of Intimacy!

I mentioned it briefly during Fight the Frump week, but I’m so excited about it I wanted to take a post and explain what it’s all about in the hopes that you will join me.

I’ve teamed up with a woman named Susan, who has launched courses for other authors and has a vision to provide in-depth online training in the area of families and relationships. We women are so busy that going to a conference is often out of reach. We don’t have time, and we don’t have the money. But, Susan says, that shouldn’t mean that those doors are closed. With new technology, we can bring all the information you’d get at an in-depth conference to you, right in your own home. And I love that vision!

She’s done other online courses, but she wanted me to be the first one to offer a course in her School of Intimacy. And so we’re all set to start on April 8.

For six weeks, on Monday nights, I’ll be speaking for about an hour and 15 minutes on The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex. We’ll cover what God designed sex for; how God made men and women differently; how to increase our physical intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and emotional intimacy in the bedroom, and how to deal with a lot of the struggles we face, whether it’s low libido, husbands with low libido, overcoming negative views of sex, defeating porn’s influence, etc.

The difference is I won’t JUST be lecturing. There will be an interactive component where we can have discussion (with the opportunity to be anonymous if you wish), and you can shoot me questions. And then after each night’s presentation, we’ll have an even longer Q&A. If you can’t make the class live, you’ll always have access to the recordings, but it is more fun if you can be there and participate.

Throughout the week there will be “homework” (which no one will take up :) ) that you complete–spiritual exercises to help you focus on how God wants you to see sex and how to make this part of an abundant life; and practical exercises to make it real in your life.

We’ll also have a private members’ area on the website for discussions, and a private Facebook group where you can talk about your homework, etc.

I get so many emails from readers who have some real difficulties, and I don’t have time to answer them all or do justice to them all. But here’s a chance for you to get over 9 hours of intense teaching, and a chance to get your questions answered.

When we were getting this course ready, Susan wrote a survey that several hundred of you graciously took (thank you very much!), and from that survey we figured out what type of class most people wanted, the length of the class, and the price point. We thought we’d launch with a six-week course at $99 (that’s the early bird rate), which is right in line with what most people said.

Nothing will change on this blog–I’ll still be blogging, and coming up with new ideas (I was thrilled at the response to Fight the Frump last week! I may do something like that again). But I know some of you want to go deeper, and this is your chance to do so.

When you enroll, you’ll also get sent a copy of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (which makes a great wedding gift if you’ve already got one!), and a place where you can send in your questions for me to make sure that I cover them.

Reading through the survey results, I was encouraged by how people described my teaching.

It’s honest, real, and in line with God’s word. Instead of blaming outside issues that you can’t
control in marriages, she tells you how you can work on yourself.

It’s real. It’s helpful. It’s simple. It’s funny.

The idea of sex being about emotional and spiritual intimacy not just physical. Also, how a “bad girl” can still become a “good girl.”

I love that Sheila is open and honest about so many different issues that the church is often too scared to bring up.

Her candor and her ability to love through words.

It is honest, real, wise and godly.

Real true issues and answers. She isn’t afraid to say what needs to be discussed.

If you want “real” teaching about marriage–and not just the sugar coated stuff we often get–this course will satisfy.

Will you join me? I’d love to get to know you all better, and to actually have a chance to talk with you.

Enrol now! And do so soon, because the class size will be limited to help with discusssion. So secure your place early.

Thanks, all! I look forward to seeing you many of you there.

Wifey Wednesday: Does Everything Really Come Down to Sex?

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

Can sex really heal a marriage? Yes--and no.

Today I want to tell you about an email I received from a guy who reads my blog. In summary, he said:

I really am quite simple: when my wife has regular sex with me, I feel like I can take on the world. It’s easier for me to resist temptation. I’m happy. I love being with her. I love being with the kids. But when she doesn’t, everything feels like a chore. It’s not that I don’t love her; it’s just that it’s much harder. I don’t find that you talk about that on your blog anymore. You give all these excuses for women not to have sex, but honestly, I wish women understood that for men, it really is that simple. Make love, and we’re putty in your hands.

31 Days to Great SexI agree with him. In fact, that really was the main focus of this blog until about a year ago, and it certainly is the focus of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex (although I include other challenges couples have as well).

But here’s what started to happen: I have written several posts on what to do when your husband doesn’t want to make love, and these have become some of the most popular posts on this site. Many, many women who come here would LOVE to have husbands who want to make love, but they don’t. Their husbands have rejected them. Or perhaps their husbands watch porn so much that they can’t have a real relationship.

And so for the last few months my posts have been slanting in that direction and trying to minister to these women.

But I have to admit: on the whole, that commenter is right.

God made men and women very differently, and for men, sex is a huge need.

The fact that so many men reject sex in marriage is just a sign that our world is getting more and more messed up. And if you’re in that camp, then please head on over to my Marriage FAQ post and find some answers that will work in your situation.

Today, though, I do want to talk to the rest of the women: the ones married to men who do want sex. And what I want to say to you today is, yes, it really is that simple.

But if he wants sex all the time, that means he’s really shallow! I can feel so many of you thinking that right now.

You see, when we women think about whether or not a relationship is good, we ask whether we’re talking enough. We wonder if we’re affectionate. Have we done anything together lately? Do I feel as if I can share my heart? Do I know what’s going on in his heart? Has he reached out to me lately? Has he asked me for help with something? Has he talked through a problem? Has he helped me around the house or with the kids? Has he shown me love?

We have all these data points that tell us whether or not we’re connecting.

For him, those data points can all be combined into one simple thing: sex.

That doesn’t mean he’s pathetic, or that we’re somehow more sophisticated than he is. It simply means we’re made differently. When he makes love, he feels as if our hearts are connecting. It’s his way of checking in on the relationship.

And I don’t mean when we lie there and say, “you can if you want to”, and then we look like we’re counting ceiling tiles. I mean when we throw ourselves into it, and even initiate sex! The sexiest thing, to a man, is to have a wife who WANTS to make love–not just a wife who placates him.

A man knows that for a woman to enjoy it she has to DECIDE to enjoy it.

She has to want to make love. If she wants to make love and enjoys it, then, she’s told him, “I want to be with you. I want to have fun with you. I have decided to give myself to you.”

If you make love with relative frequency, then, he knows that you truly love him and want him. If he feels truly loved and wanted, he’ll want to be home more. He’ll want to be with you more. He’ll want to be more involved with the family. He’ll find it easy to be more involved with the family! He won’t have to be fighting that feeling that he isn’t really wanted or appreciated; he’ll be able to pitch in and help knowing that he is. It invigorates him; it energizes him; it propels him to action.

But wait–you may say. There are so many other issues in our relationship! We’re in debt and he doesn’t take it seriously. Our children are holy terrors and he won’t discipline them. He won’t listen to me about how mean his mother is to me. And the list can go on and on.

May I suggest that if you get the sex part right, it will then be a lot easier to deal with these other very real issues?

Sex is your way of saying to him, “I’m committed to you, I love you, I want you, I value you.” If he knows that and feels it, it’s so much easier to then bring up the really big issues that are bothering you.

I can’t tell you the number of women who have written to me saying,

“I used to think we had a horrible marriage. He never showed me love, we were fighting all the time, and I didn’t think I could go on. Then I read The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and just decided to jump in for both our sakes. And my husband is a completely changed man! He loves being with me. We laugh so much more. And those problems I thought we had? They’ve gotten so much easier to manage.”

When we make love, you see, he feels closer and empowered. But we also feel closer to him, and all the things that bug us about him are minimized as well. We’re feeling more intimate and more connected.

Will sex solve all the problems in your relationship? No, probably not. But it will very likely help you with a whole lot of them. And it isn’t that hard! It’s a lot cheaper than a marriage counselor, and it’s a lot easier than hashing everything out until you agree.

And if there really is something so simple that could help you so dramatically with your marriage, why wouldn’t you try it?

Does Everything Really Come Down to Sex for Him?

So why not take this challenge:

For one month, decide “I will make love every night unless there’s a really good reason not to, and I will not go longer than 72 hours without sex. I will decide to enjoy it and throw myself into it.”

(And if it’s difficult for you to enjoy, because it’s never felt very good for you, buy The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex and consider it a fun research project).

Today, write down how you feel about your husband: do you feel close? Do you feel like you can talk? Do you feel loved?

Then do that for a month, and ask yourself the same questions. See if the answers are different.

You just may find that it really is that simple after all!

Christian Marriage Advice

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Link up a URL of your marriage post in the linky below! And you can copy the code for the Wifey Wednesday button from the sidebar on the right and put it on your blog, too, so other people can come back here and find out about all the great marriage posts!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

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