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. Try an External Aid

I was contacted by The Prolong Climax Control Programme to get the word out about a treatment program that is discreet, inexpensive, and easy to use at home. It’s a device that is used on the penis 3 times a week to practice the start and stop technique. It’s available through internet ordering in Europe and Canada, and it can be used outside of intercourse. He can use it by himself, but I’d recommend using it with him during foreplay so as to help you feel more intimate and to not solidify any masturbation habits.

For those who have had a lot of trouble overcoming PE, the Prolong Climax Control has had great results for many couples from what I’ve seen.

Prolong Climax Control for Premature Ejaculation


A reader also 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

WINNERS LIST 

THE 2013 WORD AWARDS

 

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!

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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.

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DSC_0252

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.

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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.

I 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 are so into porn 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.

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!

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: 4 Things You Must Do if Your Husband Uses Porn

4 Things You Must do if Your Husband Uses Porn

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

This week I’ve had a mini-series on what to do when you discover your husband is using porn. I’ve been interviewing Vicki Tiede, author of When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography. We looked at what to do when you discover your husband’s using porn, and how to deal with your husband’s porn use. Today I thought I’d sum up what we’ve discussed and add some of my own thoughts.

So what do you do if your husband uses porn?

1. You Must Grieve

It’s going to come as a major sucker punch. You’ll feel betrayed, and dirty, and angry. That’s natural. Likely you knew something was wrong, and you suspected something, but you couldn’t put your finger on it. Now you know, and very likely the feelings are overwhelming. People often arrive on this blog the night they discover it, and they find posts talking about it and pour out their hurt in the comments. That hurt is raw and very real.

That’s okay. Give yourself some grace to be upset. Give yourself some time to yell at God about it, to wrestle this through, and to cry. You don’t have to fix anything overnight, and sometimes if we try too hard to fix it right now we do more damage. At times, when we first find out something so devastating, we’re tempted to say, “it’s okay, I know you didn’t mean it, let’s just forget it and go back to normal” because we’re afraid to face what this means.

But sometimes we need to admit brokenness. If we don’t admit it, it can’t be fixed. And it could be that what God is going to make out of the pieces will be different from what you started with, but that doesn’t mean it won’t also be beautiful. Grieve, and give God time to work. Don’t deny the gravity of the hurt. And don’t deny the gravity of what porn does to a marriage, either!

At the same time, if I can offer some reassurance, so many marriages have emerged on the other side. And one thing that helps is that, after that initial grief is over, you realize that you are on the same page, fighting an evil together. Don’t let porn come between you; instead, decide to fight together to defeat this. Most Christian men desperately want to stop. They don’t want to be doing this. It enslaves them. If you can be an ally, rather than an attacker, you both will move forward so much more easily.

'Sunbeams' photo (c) 2008, Floris Oosterveld - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/2. You Must Live in the Light

Porn thrives on secrecy. In her book, Vicki  recounts the words of one woman, married 45 years, who discovered her husband’s masturbation habit two years into this marriage. “if it ever got out, I’d kill myself,” he told her. And so she didn’t say a word, and lived with it. For 45 years. Can you imagine?

Vicki doesn’t believe that staying in darkness is the answer. As I’ve said before, you need to bring these things to light.

As a church, we need to bring this to light.

There is so much ignorance around the whole pornography problem. It truly does ensnare people, making it almost impossible for them to function normally sexually with a human being. What becomes arousing is an image, and they become so focused on masturbation and pornography that a relationship isn’t sexy anymore. And it’s too much work! Once you start using porn, too, it rarely stays with the tame stuff. People will seek out more and more hard core stimulation. Eventually, they may even act things out. This isn’t people just looking at something to get their jollies; this is something that can all too easily turn into an addiction.

And that’s why you must bring light to it. You can’t let it stay a secret. He needs help, but so do you. You will likely need someone to walk through this process with you, and that’s okay. More churches need to provide support for couples going through this. And most pastors have dealt with this at length. So talk to your pastor and find out what support your church offers.

3. You Must Get Help

It is not enough for a husband to apologize and promise never to do it again. You wouldn’t accept that of an alcoholic; you would ask him or her to go to AA meetings. The same goes for porn use.

There’s such shame involved with porn because it’s sexual, but the admonition from the Bible doesn’t change. James 5:16 says, “confess your sins one to another”. Confession should be a regular part of the Christian life. If a husband admits he uses porn, apologizes, but then asks that his wife not say anything and is unwilling himself to seek any help, then he hasn’t really repented.

True repentance is always accompanied by true humility, and that means that someone will seek help. I’m not saying tell everyone you know. I’m saying tell one person who can hold you accountable; one person who can call your husband or take him out for coffee periodically and look him in the eyes and challenge him on what he’s doing.

Pray about who that one person should be, but do find that one person for him.

And then find one person for you, too. One person that you can pour your heart out to, and can help guide you as you deal with this, move on to forgiveness, and rebuild.

'fence' photo (c) 2010, marc falardeau - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/4. You Must Set Boundaries

Finally, if you don’t want this to happen again,  you must set boundaries. That isn’t being vengeful; it’s just being smart. If your husband had an affair at work, you’d likely want him to find another job. You’d want something to change so that he won’t fall into it again.

And this should be the same thing. I don’t know what those boundaries will look like for your family; they could involve computer controls, or getting rid of the internet temporarily. They could mean choosing to share computers and cell phones so that there is no longer any secrecy. Perhaps sharing passwords. Maybe it might mean setting “technology free” hours at home, where all screens go off at 9:00 pm, so that it’s relationship time and you know you have his attention.

One warning about boundaries, though. It is must easier to build trust again if you know that there is someone else helping your husband set those boundaries, and someone else holding him accountable. It’s not a good situation to feel as if you have to monitor your husband’s every move. That sets up a very unhealthy dynamic, where you’re constantly on the watch for him to mess up.

But for the men reading this, know that your wife will be able to trust you easier if you have an accountability partner (Covenant Eyes is a great way to organize this; use the code “TLHV” for a free month!). So don’t shy away from finding someone to talk to!

Rebuilding trust and rebuilding your sex life takes time, but it is possible. But it is only possible if you admit the gravity of the problem, get some help, and truly repent and become humble before God. You both need God’s help. You both need outside help. And you both will need some time.

In my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I share the story of Anna and Paul. Anna discovered Paul’s porn use years into their marriage; she was devastated, and he was mortified to be found out. But in the end, it was the best thing to happen to their marriage. Paul had been living in secret shame for so long, and now he was able to deal with the problem. And their marriage has been rebuilt.

Your problem is not bigger than God; and if you are honest before God, His strength is more than sufficient to see you through.

If you’ve ever had this problem, leave a comment (anonymously if you have to) and let us know your story.

Christian Marriage Advice

Do you have a marriage post you’d like to share? Just leave the URL in the linky below!



Have a Friend Getting Married? She Needs This!

My anniversary is coming up in just a few short weeks.

I was married December 21, 1991. This anniversary will be our 21st, and I was married when I was 21, so I have now been married for officially half of my life!

But I can tell you that I was completely unprepared for marriage–and for our wedding night.

Before I married I was given a book that was supposed to prepare the bride for the wedding night, but it left me an absolute nervous wreck. I felt like the wedding night was a Pass/Fail thing: either I did everything right, or I messed it up and I’d never get the opportunity back again. And I felt like I had to memorize all of these steps to make sex great the first time out. It was so stressful.

I didn’t really recover for about five years. We got off to a bad start, and it took us a while to really connect intimately on all levels.

I detail our journey in my book, The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, because I wanted to write a book that was the exact opposite of the one I was given. I wanted to write a book that told women that sex is a journey–you may start out with baggage, or with questions, or with trepidation, or with excitement, but it doesn’t matter, because you have decades to get it right! So relax, love your husband, surrender to God, and everything honestly will be okay.

Relax.

That’s my main message.
Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

And did you know that December is a huge marriage month? So I know that many of you will be attending Christmas weddings. Can I ask you to pass on The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex? It’s meant for all married women, and if you’ve been wed for a while, I know it will help you connect spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

But I also believe that if you start your marriage off right–even if your time before your wedding wasn’t stellar–you put yourself on far better footing later. So it’s my prayer that this book will get out to brides everywhere.

I recently received this email from a new bride, and she wrote:

I just recently bought the Good Girls Guide to Great Sex and just had to write and tell you how much I LOVED IT! I’m getting married in 6 weeks and am a virgin- in fact, my first kiss ever will be with my husband on our wedding day! I was browsing the marriage section (as I’ve been doing a lot lately) and came across your book.

The title caught my attention and then I flipped through it and thought “Okay, why not?”, not sure exactly what I was going to find. Oh my goodness! It was exactly what I needed to read! I loved how you explained it from a Biblical point of view and offered God’s design and intention for it and changing your mindset about it. The chapter for virgins was especially helpful- I don’t feel quite so unprepared now. I loved the “good girl hints” too. I couldn’t put it down and have been rereading bits and pieces of it, preparing for the big day. There are hardly any books that deal with this topic in regard to virgins and it was explained in such a way that was comfortable and made sense.

I knew that I had to write you and tell how much the book helped me. I’m going to recommend it to anyone I know that is getting married (even though at 31, I’m the last of my friends to get married. LOL) but recommend it to my friends too. It was so refreshing to read and answered a lot of my questions that I was not about to ask and alleviated my fear and concerns. Can’t wait to try out the hints:x lovestruck.

Thank you again for allowing God to use you and your book.

(Incidentally, I so appreciate emails like that. I save them so that when I’m discouraged I can reread them and God can whisper to me that He is doing things through me!).

If you’re going to a wedding or a shower, don’t forget The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. If more marriages started off on good footing, imagine the families, the churches, the communities that would be stronger as a result!

Did your marriage get off to a good start, or a bad start? Let me know in the comments!

Wifey Wednesday: Sex Should Be a Habit

Christian Marriage Advice

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

Today I want to talk about habits–and the habit of saying no.

Getting into the "Habit" of Making LoveWhen kids come into the kitchen and say, “Mom, can I have…” we default to “No.” We assume the words “ice cream” or “chocolate” or “Cheetos” will finish that sentence, and so the No is out of our mouths before they even stop talking. It’s habit.

And the same thing can happen with sex.

When you get in the habit of not making love for weeks, that becomes your default.

Researchers say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. I’m in the process of trying to develop a new way of handling my morning routine. Some things are so full of habit for me–I get dressed, and then I make the bed. I can’t NOT make the bed. It would bother me to no end. Making the bed naturally follows having a shower. But I distinctly remember at 14 hating making the bed. Sometime between 14 and 42 I figured out that making the bed is an important habit, and now it bugs me if the bed isn’t made.

But while I’m really good at making the bed, I’m not as good at breakfast. So I need to figure out how to make that more of a habit, because I often forget to eat, or else can’t be bothered.

Many of us have made a habit of NOT making love. We routinely say no. We may have other habits, like reading in bed, or falling asleep to the TV. We may take a bubble bath before bed, or check Facebook. We have things we do at night, but in general, it doesn’t involve sex.

How else do we explain the over 42% of women who reported making love less than once a week? Even when I took out the women who reported having a higher sex drive than their husbands (because in that case it may be the guy’s doing that they make love so infrequently) I still ended up with 40% of women making love less than once a week in my research for The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex.

We have developed the habit of saying no–or not saying anything at all. Just rolling over and going to sleep.

And we are creatures of habit.

The more we say no now, the more we’ll say no in the future. We’ll start thinking of the evening as “me time” when we do things without our husbands. We’ll start to develop habits that don’t involve him. And we’ll also lose our libidos (because libido is largely a use it or lose it phenomenon).

So why not start trying to develop a new habit? Sometime after dinner, connect by sharing your hearts and concerns. Go for a walk or a hike. Do dishes together. Do some activity during which you can unload some of the burden of today, so that it’s not impeding your ability to enjoy making love later.

Then flirt! Make it a habit to do one flirty thing a day, like in this 16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband post.

And then, make love. When you go upstairs to bed, ask him to come, too.

Instead of always asking yourself, “do I want to tonight?”–because the answer will likely be no–ask yourself, “Do I have a really good reason to say no?” Make the expectation that you will say yes, not no. Then, you’re more likely to jump in!

Here’s how it works more practically. I know what I do in the morning.

  1. I get on the computer.
  2. I do my devotions.
  3. I take a shower.
  4. I make my bed.
  5. I throw on a load of laundry.
  6. And then I forget *ahem* to have breakfast.

It’s quite predictable–as each step is a link in a chain, naturally following one another.

'chain' photo (c) 2010, pratanti - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Now, let’s examine the chain and say, If I want to remember to have breakfast, where’s the best place to put it? It makes a lot more sense to put breakfast after devotions and before the shower, because by the time the shower is over I’m so busy running around doing tasks on my house that I often forget. So I’m going to try to disrupt my chain and put it right there, because that’s where the habit is most likely to stick.

Why not turn this “habit” thing to your advantage at night, too?

Maybe your chain could look like this:

I go for a walk and talk to my husband. I put my kids in bed. I spend an hour doing something I enjoy. We watch an hour of TV together (or read together, or play a game together, or whatever). We head to the bedroom together. We talk as we crawl into bed together. We pray. We make love.

Each link in the chain naturally follows another. Break one link in the chain and it all falls apart. So what does your chain look like at night? Maybe it’s more like this:

We put the kids in bed. He gets on his video games. I get on my computer. When I get tired I turn in. He comes to bed later.

That’s certainly what many of you told me on this Facebook post, or in our Facebook chat last week! Bedtime was difficult, because you were often doing different things.

Or perhaps your chain is like this:

We put the kids in bed. We watch TV together. I get on the computer. He pulls out his files. I head to bed alone.

If that’s your chain, maybe you could reverse it, and spend your alone time–you on the computer, him on his files–earlier in the evening, so that you’re together later.

Write out everything you tend to do in the evening, and then think, if I wanted sex to become an easy habit, how would this chain have to change? What in our current chain of activities is rendering making love less likely? What would we need to do instead? What more naturally follows so that it leads up to making love?

And then do it!

Don’t default to no. Default to yes. Your marriage will never be the same.

And if you need help on making sex a habit, why not work on my 31 Days to Great Sex with your hubby? Work on it for 31 days, and after that 31 Days you’ll be more used to spending time together at night!

Note: if you’re having a difficult time with sex because of porn use, or physical problems, or simply having no libido, I’ve got a ton of posts here that can help.

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Leave a link to a marriage post in the linky below–or please leave a comment that tells me what  you think about this habit idea. And don’t forget to hit “Pin” or share on Facebook!


Facebook Parties, Twitter Parties, and More!

Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

My husband and I went out birding, our new geeky hobby. Yesterday we saw a snowy owl, a barred owl, a tundra swan, and a brown creeper, which were all new species to us. If you’re not into birding, no worries. But I just love the chance to get outdoors and walk with my hubby! We made our kids come along to see the snowy owl, and we brought a 10-year-old boy who’s a friend of the family, so it was a fun family day.

And now I’m back and getting ready for the PARTY that’s going to be happening this week, and I want to tell you all about it.

As most of you know, last week I published my new ebook The 31 Days to Great Sex, a fun challenge that you can work through with your husband to help you grow your communication, your intimacy, and your fireworks! It focuses on how to build emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy in the bedroom, and gives you a chance to talk about some of these important issues.

I was quite overwhelmed by the response to it; thank you so much! I actually got up to #2 in the marriage category on Amazon this weekend.

And so I’d like to offer you some other ways to interact.

Facebook Party, 9 pm EST Monday night

Tonight at 9 pm EST I’ll be over on my Facebook Page hosting a big party! And how does a party work on Facebook? Well, it’s going to happen in the “Forum” section, which I’ve added right here:

You just click that Forum page, and there will be a number of different discussions going on at the same time (and I’ll try to monitor all of them. Whew!). Some will have video introductions from me, and some will just be questions.

And what will the forum topics be? That’s where you come in! Just leave a comment (anonymously if you want) in this post and tell me what you want to ask, and I’ll try to get as many of them up there as I can. Have questions you’ve been dying to ask me? Here’s your chance!

If you all come by at 9:00 pm EST, then we can chat and discuss things in real time! So come on by at 9 pm EST. You’ll have to join the Facebook Page to comment, but it’s easy after that.

Twitter Party, 10 pm EST Tuesday night

Then tomorrow night, for those of you who are on Twitter, I’ll be hosting a Twitter party at 10 pm EST, with the hashtag #31DaysFun. What does a hashtag mean? If you use something like Tweetdeck for Twitter, you can create a column based on the search term #31DaysFun, and then everyone’s posts will show up there in real time! I’ve done these before and they’re a lot of fun. So if you’re on Twitter, come join me!

You can also follow it in real time through TweetChat, which is specifically designed to let you follow certain Twitter memes.

Pin it To Win It, all week

Finally, I know how many of you love Pinterest (as do I!). Here’s a fun little thing where you can “Pin it to Win It”!

Simply go to this post:

31 Days to Great Sex is here

And hit the Pin it button at the bottom.

Choose the book cover image. Then pin it to one of your boards with your own comments, something like “Change your marriage for only $5!”, or “31 Days to Great Sex is awesome!”, or whatever you’d like.

I can then go in and see everyone who has pinned that page. And on Friday at 11 pm EST I’ll count how many pinners have pinned, and then I’ll pick a random number from random.org and I’ll choose 3 winners to win a .pdf copy of the 31 Days to Great Sex! And if you’ve already purchased a copy, then you’ll instead get a copy of my Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. Already have both of those? I’ll give you an Amazon gift card for $20!

And if you’ve already pinned it (as quite a few of you have), you’re already entered!

So go Pin it to Win it! It takes about 30 seconds.

I hope some of those work for you! And if you’re more a blog person, I’ll be guest posting on a ton of different blogs all week. So keep stopping by for an update as to where you should go to read more, and for your chance to win!

And don’t forget–you can get your own copy of The 31 Days to Great Sex, and get your own marriage moving in the right direction, right here. It only costs $5 for a profound impact on your marriage!