At my Girl Talk events, where I talk sex & marriage to groups of women in churches, we have an anonymous Q&A time where I try to get through as many questions as I can.

Usually I get through them all–but sometimes there are just too many for me to answer.

Girl Talk--Sheila Answers Questions

Me answering questions at a Girl Talk in Ontario!

I have a whole stack left over from my trip to Australia, and I thought that I’d take today and try to answer them! So here goes:

1. What happens if my husband is just not interested in sex at all? He never asked to have sex since we got married and is not turned on even if I’m naked?

I’m really sorry you’re going through that, and that’s a huge red flag to me. It may be low testosterone, but given that he’s not interested in you naked, I think it’s something deeper than that. It could be that he’s homosexual; it could be that he’s really into pornography, and thus can’t respond to an actual woman; it could be that he has deep seated emotional issues that aren’t resolved. A few posts that may help:

2. How do I deal with porn being part of my partner’s life?

Quite simply, you can’t. Porn and marriage and relationships don’t go together. Porn will wreck his desire for you, make sex become selfish rather than intimate, and make him angry and distant. It simply cannot be tolerated. Two posts that can help:

3. Is masturbation bad?

I think masturbation before marriage is a part of most people’s lives, but if it becomes chronic and a real habit, it can make sex much more difficult. The problem is that the stimulation from masturbation is exact–you know exactly what feels good. A husband can’t do that for you. The stimulation you’ll get in marriage isn’t actually as intense. Also, masturbation usually relies on fantasy to reach climax, and fantasy can hinder intimacy during sex. I think it’s better to take that energy and throw it into a hobby or art or something else!

And I’ve also written about masturbation in marriage, too.

4. How do you manage chronic health conditions when it’s difficult to have sex & help your husband understand?

You married in sickness and in health, and sometimes stuff just happens. And that’s terrible, and you need to grieve it, but for many people it is the reality. I would say this: Do what you can. Sexual release is incredibly relaxing and can actually help with many chronic conditions, like pain and anxiety. And even if intercourse isn’t possible, sexual release may be in other ways. And you can still be naked together and massage each other. So don’t give up on intimacy or sexuality altogether, and keep talking to your husband about how you can make this part of your life as good as possible. Some posts on it;

5. I haven’t been able to reach orgasm with my husband in 30 years of marriage. Is it just impossible for some?

No, biologically it isn’t. But it can be more difficult. Sometimes it’s psychological issues of shame. Sometimes it’s relational issues where we aren’t able to be vulnerable and let go. Sometimes it’s biological issues where blood flow isn’t as great to the genital area. And sometimes we just honestly need to learn what makes us feel good!

A few posts that can help:

6. What about sex after menopause?

I’ll be writing more about this tomorrow, but it’s still totally possible for sex to be great! Here’s some help:

7. Do you get UTIs after sex?

Some people certainly do, which is why it’s important to urinate after sex and before you go to sleep! I’ve got a post on yeast infections and sex, and a lot of the advice is the same.

8. How do you make sex good if it physically hurts?

You deal with what’s causing the pain! (and I’m so sorry, by the way. I’ve been there).

I’ve got a resource page for those suffering from vaginismus right here, with links to the best posts.

There can be other kinds of pain, though. Lichen sclerosus can make sex painful and itchy, and other conditions can also greatly affect it. My advice? See a physiotherapist to see what they can do. Change your diet and your cleaning/beauty products. Go as natural as possible. See if those things help.

And in the meantime, do a LOT of foreplay and touching that does feel good, and keep working on the root cause of the pain.

9. What if you’ve already regrettedly had sex with your fiance, will that greatly affect the marriage? We’ve both asked for forgiveness from God.

When I wrote The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, what I found was that those who reported the absolute best sex in marriage were those who had waited until they were married. However, those who had only had sex with their fiances really weren’t very far behind, and a lot of the lag was likely caused by some unresolved issues over the disappointment, etc.

Here’s the problem: when we have sex too early in the relationship, sex can replace the emotional intimacy we were experiencing, and so sometimes rather than progressing to being emotional vulnerable you just become sexually active, and then when you marry you don’t know each other as well.

So my advice? Just make sure you’re really being emotionally vulnerable now. Learn everything you can about each other. And remember that once you’re married, God WANTS to bless your sex life. He doesn’t want you stuck or to punish yourself. So yes, wait for sex now. But then move on. Live in the grace of God. And do what you can to truly get to know each other now!

10. What’s the best way to approach intimacy before marriage?

A similar question, but the big thing I’d say is learn how to do life together! You can’t tell if someone is a good marriage partner unless you’ve done the day-to-day and you’ve seen how they react in normal situations. And then talk, talk, talk. Get some hobbies to do together so that you can spend a lot of time just talking.

11. Does sex hurt? And if so, how much? Do you bleed?

For most women, the first time out doesn’t hurt very much. Some bleed a little bit, but some don’t, and many women break their hymens in other ways earlier in their lives (and some never had them.)

The main thing is just to take a long time getting ready to make love and to relax. I’ve got all kinds of tips about that in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex!

12. My husband actually “pulls away” the day after sex, almost like, “whoa, that was intimate and connected, now I just need to be with me again.” Why?

It could be a deep-seated problem with intimacy, and he may need to see a counsellor. He may be just deeply introverted, and need time alone, and if he reconnects quickly after that, I wouldn’t worry about it. But he could also have a hormone-regulating issue. I wrote about this for women lately, but I’ve heard men can have it, too, and it may be worth looking into.

13. What should I do if my husband wants to do things in sex that I’m not  comfortable doing? (Things that hurt or offend me).

It’s great to spice things up. It’s NOT great to do things that hurt or offend you. Don’t take something that’s supposed to be intimate and turn it into something degrading for you. And sometimes the question, too, is WHY does he want to do these things? I’ve got a post on figuring out your boundaries in bed that may help.

14. Is it possible that the bits that are meant to help you reach orgasm “break” after childbirth?

We do go through a lot of trauma in the vaginal canal and perineum area during childbirth, and sometimes things can get stretched or scarred that can make things more difficult! If you’re having real trouble getting aroused, I would see your doctor and make sure there’s not something going on, like a fissure forming or anything like that. A physiotherapist can also help you with exercises. And honestly, it just may take some time and some exercises! Kegel exercises after childbirth are wonderful.

15. What do you do if in a previous relationship lust and sexual behaviours were abused, and now you don’t feel like you have any sex drive and are so scared of sex?

I think it comes down to learning to think differently about sex. You have had sex before; that doesn’t mean that you’ve ever made love. The two are not necessarily the same thing. And when you can embrace intimacy, then sex can lose some of its stigma. So read The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. And then take a look at these:

16. It can often feel uncomfortable, like needing to pee. Why?

It may be that the angle is putting pressure on your bladder. You may have a low-grade UTI (some women have constant low-grade UTIs and don’t realize it. It’s good to get that checked with a doctor!). And you may have a yeast infection. See if any of the recommendations on yeast infections and sex help.

17. My friend is getting married in 2 weeks & wants me to be in the wedding party. They got engaged 2 weeks ago. They met 3 months ago. Both have previous marriages and one child each. They are active Christians. Any advice?

I think pre-marriage counselling is a must! This is a HUGE commitment, and they owe their children to talk things through first.

I’d say that you’re happy to be in the wedding party once they have fully prepared for the weight of the commitment, because you take marriage seriously.

This may be a good one:

18. How do you talk to your parents about boundaries and giving you space in your new marriage without being rude or offensive?

Great question! I think you express your gratitude and your respect for your parents, but then clearly say, together, what it is that you’d like as a couple. Maybe it means that you don’t call them everyday, or that you do spend some holidays just the two fo you, or whatever it is that you want. But it’s okay to tell them what you think you’d like to build as a couple.

The big things to make the conversation go well: Know what the two of you want to say first. Have the one who is the biological child do most of the talking. Follow through. If you’ve asked them not to talk about money to you, for instance, and they bring it up, then say, “Remember, Mom? We said that we’d like to work this out on our own.” It may seem awkward, but stick to it! You’re not responsible for how they react, though. If you’ve been respectful, and if your boundaries are reasonable, then that’s all you can do. If they act badly, that’s on them.

Weird Questions about Sex for a Christian Marriage Blogger

Now, I had a few other questions, but rather than answering them here, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to answer them in a video, and then subscribers to my Friday round-up newsletter will get that video on Friday! It’s totally free to sign up, and then you’ll always be updated with the blog. So if you aren’t signed up, Sign up now!

Here’s what we’ll be tackling:

  • My husband sometimes tries really hard to do so everything he knows I like physically, because he wants me to orgasm, but when I’m tired and I don’t think I will, it makes it even harder. What do you do then? 
  • What can you do to restore trust in marriage when it has been broken?
  • Why do men want to complete oral sex, if you know what I mean?
  • Is it okay if I can only orgasm with my husband while using a vibrator?
  • My darling husband is gorgeous and incredibly loving, but sometimes I’m just not into sex and want to cuddle! I feel like it’ll hurt him if I say no, but it’s not fun for me like that. What can I do?

My Girl Talk event is really quite fun, and we’re booking now for next season! If you’re a church, especially on the eastern half of Canada or the United States, we’re looking at tours in the fall and the spring. (And if you’re elsewhere, we can always fly in! It’s just that expenses may be lower on the eastern part of the continent). And, hey, I’d always love an excuse to get back to Australia or visit New Zealand!

So just contact my ministry director Tammy, and we’ll see what we can do. 🙂

Tomorrow we’ll look at why menopause doesn’t mean your sex life is over. It’ll be a great pep talk, that many of you may need (and that others should keep handy!).

And let me know in the comments–how many of you started reading the blog because you’ve heard me speak? Tell me where and when! I’d love to say hi.

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