Do you need a fresh start with your sex life?
It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up! And today I want to talk about how to get a fresh start in the bedroom.
Have you established some bad habits with sex, and you want to start over, but you’re not sure how? You’re not alone! Here are some scenarios where a fresh start may be necessary:
- When you first married, sex didn’t feel very good, but you didn’t know how to make it feel better. He seemed eager, so you gave in. Now it’s quick, you get very little pleasure, but he assumes that this is what sex is supposed to be like because you’ve never done anything else.
- He asked you to try some things you weren’t comfortable with, but you did them. Now he assumes that this is what sex always will be. You get very little pleasure, but you don’t know how to change things.
- You wanted him to feel like he was doing a good job, because it seemed so important to him, but you just didn’t feel very good during sex. So you started faking. And now he has no idea that you don’t enjoy sex, but you don’t know how to ask him to try other things because then he’d realize that all the good he thought he was doing was actually a ruse.
- You have no idea if sex can actually be really fun or really stupendous, because it’s always been over in under 10 minutes. You’d like to find out if there’s more to it, but how do you ask him when he seems satisfied with what you have?
The majority of marriages face these kinds of problems, so if you relate to one (or more) of those options, you are not alone.
But how can we get a fresh start with sex?
Sex is often hard to talk about, because we’re embarrassed talking about what we want, and we don’t want to hurt his feelings or his sense of manliness by saying that it’s not all we’d like it to be. But not talking about it can be very dangerous for your sex life in the long run. When it seems like it’s “just for him”, you can start to grow resentful, and feel like he’s being selfish. This isn’t always fair, because quite frequently the guy doesn’t realize that you’re not really enjoying it, because it’s so good for him. But that makes you even more mad: doesn’t he even notice how I’m feeling?!? And eventually you check out altogether.
So you must deal with this! You need a reset.
Here are some ways to do so constructively:
1. Talk About Wanting More, Not Doing it “Right”
Men are very sensitive about their sexual skills, and if you start a conversation saying something like “I’ve never felt pleasure, it’s always been for you, and now we have to do it differently”, this could be quite destructive. Now, you may have the kind of relationship where you can talk like this and it wouldn’t be hurtful, but that’s rare. I think a better way of phrasing it would be something like this:
I love being intimate with you, but I feel like we’re missing something. I want more. I want it to be stupendous. I feel like it’s been rushed, and while I love being with you, I don’t want to settle for good or okay. I want great! Can we try to create great together?
If he asks you what you mean, tell him that you’d like to experience more emotional intimacy when you make love, and you’d like to see if you can build towards orgasm. You likely need more foreplay, and you want it to be fun. So you want a reset!
2. Ask Him How He Feels
Ask him how he feels about your sex life, too. If you’re in the position that we talked about yesterday, where you made love before you were married, and this set you up with some bad habits, ask him how he feels about that. Ask him what he’d like your sex life to look like, and then make a commitment to get there.
3. Ask Him to Help You Feel Pleasure
Most men honestly do want to bring pleasure to their wives. It’s part of feeling like they’re men! But they may not realize that their wives don’t experience pleasure in the same way. Instead of saying, “I’ve never felt good”, or “you’re doing it wrong”, say something like, “I really want to see what all the fuss is about. I want to be out of control with you! Can you help me get there?” If you ask for his help, rather than criticize what he’s doing, you set a different tone.
4. Pray Through Your Reset
Commit your sex life to God. If a lot of your issues are rooted in baggage–whether baggage from past relationships or baggage from having sex before you were married–confess what you need to before God, and then ask Him to give you His view of sex now: that it is sacred and beautiful.
5. Make Your Reset Visible
If the reset is necessary because of hurtful patterns in the past, it may be helpful to try a “physical reset”. Buy different bedding. Change the position of the bed in your bedroom. Buy new candles or new pillows. Do something different so that you can see “we are different now”.
6. Take Time to Reset
Usually the problem when a reset is required is either that you have been stressing the physical so much that there isn’t a sense of spiritual or emotional intimacy, or you’ve been rushing through sex so there isn’t enough foreplay.
If you want to jumpstart this reset, try this: commit to each other that you will spend a week just getting to know each other’s bodies and feeling intimate without actually making love. This doesn’t mean you can’t climax; but it means that you do it in different ways after learning what you actually like. One exercise that is very helpful is setting a timer for 15 minutes and having him touch you for that full time. You can start to relax and understand what feels good, without feeling guilty like you “really should get on to the main event”. One of the reasons that many women don’t feel pleasure is because they don’t give it enough time. We think we should respond just like men do, but that’s not the way we’re made. If you do this exercise, then you don’t need to feel guilty or freakish if you need time to become aroused. And when he sees what you’re really like when you’re aroused, he’ll want to keep doing it!
I know not having intercourse is a stretch. But here’s why it’s important: if you don’t set a time schedule, you could agree you want a reset, but then you may easily fall into other patterns. By saying “we won’t have sex, but we will just be intimate and touch each other and explore” you dedicate yourself to more foreplay, and you make a definitive break.
One word of warning: if you need the reset because your husband has been insisting on “shortcuts” for sex, then this may not be the best plan for you. For instance, I’ve had numerous emails from women saying that their husband likes oral sex during the week because they’re always rushed, and he finds that easier. And the women are tired of it. In that case, touching but not making love may not be the best idea. So here’s another way of phrasing it: whatever you’re not comfortable doing, then stop doing that for a week or so.
7. Put This Into Practice
Now have some honest discussions about how you can keep this reset going. Do you need to agree that you come to bed at 10:00 each night together–even if one of you gets up at 11 when the other is ready for sleep to go watch a movie? Do you pray more together? Do you take more baths together? Do you get a baby-sitter more often so you spend time together? Talk about what new habits you need to develop to keep sex fresh.
8. Embark on Some Fun Education!
Learn together! How about some specifics in the sex department. When you want a reset, you likely need to figure out how to make sex feel good. Here are a few posts from my 29 Days to Great Sex series that can help:
1. How to Orgasm
2. The Pleasure Centre (how to make intercourse feel better)
3. Why Foreplay Matters
4. How to Help HIM enjoy Foreplay
5. Reawaken Your Body (about how to take some time to just explore your bodies)
6. How to Connect Spiritually When Making Love
Of course, a wonderful reset is to work through the whole 29 Days to Great Sex together! But if that’s too much, even taking a week to read through these articles and have fun exploring can do wonders. Just dedicate it to God, approach the week as a fun research project, rather than a “corrective lesson” for him, and I hope you find that sex becomes something you can eagerly anticipate again!
I also highly recommend The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. If sex has just never felt very good, or you’ve never really felt intimate, then this book will help you so much. It explains how things are supposed to work physically, goes over all the problems you can run into, and talks about how to make it stupendous! But it also talks at length about how to spiritually connect during sex. So do check out the book!
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