Women have a lot of questions about sex!
I’m in the middle of a “Girl Talk” tour in Northern Alberta right now. In many ways it’s been a comedy of errors–our luggage didn’t arrive; we had a car reservation to pick up at the Grande Prairie airport, but the car rental agency decided to close early that day; the publisher didn’t send the books on time, even though we double checked, so I had no copies of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex with me. We rented an apartment to stay in in Dawson Creek, in northern British Columbia, and it had no heat except space heaters. Etc. etc. etc. And that’s only the beginning!
But the events themselves have been great. In my Girl Talk, I spend the first half talking about why God made sex the way He did, even with all the tension that it often causes in a relationship. Then after the break we start with a 20 minute anonymous Q&A, before I talk about how to make sex great physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
And usually I get about 1 question for every 15 women at an event.
But the other night I had almost a 1:3 ratio!
People had a LOT of questions. And I only got through so many that night.
So I’d like to take the post today and just give some answers to some of the questions I couldn’t get to.
I’m going to give some quick thoughts, and then link you to other blog posts I’ve already written:
I haven’t had an orgasm in 3 years. At what point do I go to see a counsellor?
That’s a tough one, because so much depends on the context! If you were orgasmic before, and then it just stopped, just make sure that it’s not due to hormonal changes. It’s quite common to go from being really orgasmic in your late thirties, early forties, for instance, and then starting to have trouble in your late forties or early fifties as perimenopause or menopause sets in. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be orgasmic again. But if you and your husband are used to “foreplay for 5 minutes and then intercourse, and that usually works!”, and all of a sudden it doesn’t, then you may think that there’s something wrong with the relationship or with your psyche, when it could just be that you need more foreplay and longer to relax.
And sometimes if you keep having sex and he’s having a good time and you’re just not, you can start to feel really resentful and then not even try anymore.
So can you have an orgasm if he manually stimulates you? Can you have one if you spend longer on foreplay? (Here are some foreplay ideas!)
Or is it really that you just can’t get aroused at all anymore? That may be a sign of depression as well.
If you don’t feel like it’s a hormonal problem, then seeing a counsellor is likely a good idea. But spend some time first trying just to touch each other and not have intercourse, and see if your body can respond.
How important is it to learn “new tricks” or new positions further into the marriage journey?
Okay, here’s what I think in a nutshell: Think of three kinds of sex: your snack (a quickie); your main course (your “regular” encounters); and your banquet (the few times that you spend a long time and have a sexual extravaganza).
Every marriage should have a mixture. But I don’t mean that it has to be evenly distributed; maybe you only have a banquet once or twice a year; or maybe you have quickies several times a week. It’s really up to you as a couple. And many couples are perfectly happy with the old faithful main course, and they feel great, and they like being together, and that’s all fine.
But I do think that having a special time, at least occasionally, is good for a marriage. And trying some new positions or using a lot of massage oils or whatever–just make some great memories! One of my favourite books for new positions is the Sock Monkey Kama Sutra, which is funny, and which uses sock puppets, so there are no questionable drawings or pictures of people.
Is oral sex okay?
Yes, it really is! I think a good case can be made that Song of Solomon 2:3 refers to oral sex:
As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
That being said, I also believe that 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 clearly shows that sex in marriage is to be completely mutual. If someone just can’t perform oral sex for whatever reason, I think that grace says that’s okay. Just make the things you do find okay as fun as possible! And if it’s not that you CAN’T, but that you just don’t particularly like it, then you can use the His/Hers night idea, where one Saturday a month you do what he wants, one Saturday a month you do what she wants, and all the other nights that you make love are completely mutual.
I have a lot of tips for how to spice things up, and how to flirt more, become more affectionate, and start talking about sex more, in my book 31 Days to Great Sex. Pretty much all of these questions can be covered there. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a series of challenges that you do with your husband, to help you grow the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of sex in your marriage. And it’s super fun–and inexpensive!
Is masturbation wrong?
Here’s my take on masturbation in marriage.
What are some tips for keeping sex alive when you have young kids and you’re short on time and tired?
I think the key thing is, once the babies are old enough, get a super good bedtime routine going so that you can reclaim the evenings to yourselves! You so desperately need that. I know it can be hard to get kids to settle well, but ask your pediatrician for some tips, or ask some moms who are older that you who had to get their kids to sleep, because there’s nothing that will do your marriage as much good as getting some sleep again!
I’ve also written 17 tips for keeping sex alive once you have kids.
How do you get yourself “into it” when you know you should be “into it” but you’re really NOT “into it”?
Start preparing yourself during the day! And don’t ASK your body, “do you feel like it tonight?” TELL your body, “we deserve this! We had a hard day. We deserve to have some fun and feel close to the hubby! We’re going to get it on and have some fun!”
Why do men want a nap after afternoon sex while women can get up and get things done?
I can tell there’s some frustration behind this! When you reach orgasm, you release calming hormones and you feel super relaxed. That’s why people tend to sleep better after they have sex. So it’s quite common that men may want to nap after afternoon sex. Likely if you let yourself, you’d want to nap, too. The difference is that you feel like there are too many things to get done!
So you really have three choices: take a nap with him and let the stuff fall on the backburner; let him nap and you get up and do stuff, realizing that that is your choice to get up; or talk to him about it and say, “I’d love to make love right now, but we still need to get X and Y done this afternoon. So we can have sex, but then can you help me do X and Y?” Just ask him for help. But don’t get angry at him for napping if you haven’t made it clear that you’d like him to do something else!
What about medication or health/medical issues or surgeries that may prevent “good sex”? Is there a way to enjoy it and not just be frustrated?
That’s such a hard road to walk through in marriage! I would say that getting as healthy as possible is so important, and many health issues can be solved with better diet and exercise, and truly understanding about “gut health”. However, that won’t do anything for arthritis or for some surgeries or injuries or the effects of some cancer.
Big picture ideas: keep talking about. Too often people run away from sex when it can’t be perfect anymore, and you need the intimacy. Think of sex as being more than just intercourse; spend time together naked in the bathtub, give lots of massages, touch each other. And here are a few posts on sex with disability or sexual options besides intercourse.
How do you go from having sex before marriage to waiting for marriage?
With great difficulty! But it can be done. It starts with understanding why God wants us to wait for marriage. And then it comes from asking other people to pray for you and give you some accountability. And then you stop putting yourself in the position where it’s more likely to happen. Oh, and have a shorter engagement! What if your boyfriend doesn’t agree? Some thoughts on how to stop having sex with your boyfriend.
How do we change our minds when we grow up thinking sex is bad, and then it’s okay when we get married?
Tell yourself the truth about sex! Day 2 in my book 31 Days to Great Sex is all about confronting the lies that we believe about sex (including sex being a bad or shameful thing). It’s a great book to work through to see sex in a different way, and the ebook version is only $4.99 (I deliberately keep it cheap to help as many people as possible; it’s a full size book!)
Other posts that may help:
Does the ends justify the means? For a woman, as you said, it can be hard to acheive orgasm, so should a woman feel bad for being creative than the biblical sense of procreation?
Oh, honey, absolutely not! And I’m sorry that you grew up feeling this way. The Bible does NOT say that the only purpose of sex is procreation. It really doesn’t. Song of Solomon is all about the wonderful, sensual pleasures of sex. And 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 very clearly talks about how our sex drives are a good thing, and how we should enjoy a great sex life with our mates. If you’re struggling with feeling guilty over wanting to enjoy sex for its physical pleasures, then read those posts I linked to in the question right above–and DEFINITELY get 31 Days to Great Sex which can help take you through, step by step, a process where you can see that the physical pleasure of sex is a good thing, and that it actually enhances intimacy.
Is there something wrong with me or my husband if my husband doesn’t ejaculate most of the time?
Yeah, that’s definitely not normal. It could be a medical issue (which should definitely be looked at). It could be an issue where his sexual response has been so paired with pornography or other fantasy that he has difficulty performing with his wife; it could be some psychological issues or some sexual orientation issues.
I have a post on 10 sexual red flags in marriage that shouldn’t be ignored, along with some tips on how to deal with them, and I’d put this in that category.
What would you consider a normal frequency for sex?
Well, normal or healthy? I can tell you that in my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, about 42% of women reported making love less than once a week. But those who were happiest in their marriages made love more like twice a week.
I can’t tell you what a good frequency is, though, because so much depends on work schedules and the ages of your kids, etc. But I would say this: I think we need to get over trying to figure out what the minimum we can get away with is, and start seeing sex in a really positive way as a way to relax, express love for our husband, feel really close to him, and have all kinds of benefits. Let’s make our default “yes” rather than “no”! And here’s my pep talk on sex frequency.
What approaches/strategies/techniques do you suggest to enable us to understand our body’s responsiveness better? To know what works, what we like or don’t like?
I’ve got a bunch of exercises in 31 Days to Great Sex that can help with that!
What encouragement do you have for a woman whose libido is stronger than her husband’s and feels like she’s a freak or embarrassed by her needs.
You are not alone! And you were created with a sexual drive. This is natural and normal. God wants us to experience and understand passion and intimacy.
A few quick thoughts: Get to the root of the problem if his libido is super-low. Make sure it’s not something that needs to seriously be addressed. Consider scheduling sex. It may not seem romantic, but once you get into a routine where sex is more regular, sometimes his libido picks up and you find things easier to deal with because you know that sex will be coming. Finally, embrace exercise or get a great project to do or a hobby you love–just something where you can transfer your energy to make it easier to live with desires that aren’t met.
Hope those help! And remember to check out my round-up of specific marriage advice with lots of links based on sex and marriage topic.
So as you can see, people ask about EVERYTHING during my Girl Talk. It really is a fun evening!
And I’ll be bringing Girl Talk to California/Arizona/Texas in January, and to Texas/Colorado and then into Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario in April/May. If your church may be interested, just email Tammy! It’s a great night where people laugh, get some great information, and learn what real intimacy looks like.
Today Tammy and I head to the Edmonton airport to pick up Keith, who is flying in to do a FamilyLife Weekend Getaway with me in Jasper. Looking forward to seeing my hubby again!