I don’t live in the moment well–and that can make sex more difficult.
I’m a woman, and like most women, I have a million things going on in my head at any one time: What’s for dinner tomorrow night (and did I remember to take something out of the freezer?); what birthday gift do I need to buy; what errand did I forget to do today; what do I do about my friend who seems distant; etc. etc. etc.
It’s never ending.
And it saps my joy. In fact, it’s one of the biggest joy sappers that I have.
When I hear people talking about the difference between men and women, and how men have a “nothing” box where they can go and think about absolutely nothing, I get insanely jealous. When I read that Men are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti, and that men can jump between boxes without the last box impeding on the first, while women have these threads noodling into every area of our lives–well, I want to know how that feels. I want to be in a box without all the worries and cares of the world.
Every month, I like to find a new theme to develop on Wednesdays, and this month I want to talk about intimacy, and how to stay close to each other. I actually started talking about it last week, when I was talking about “Indivisible”, and how important it is to keep talking about the hard stuff. But I want to continue that theme in different ways throughout November. How do we feel connected? Why don’t we feel close? How can we improve that?
Here are some other series for you to read:
As we start our talk about intimacy, I thought I’d start with something super basic–how sex can help focus us.
Now, normally I’d write a “how to” piece about that, like what to do if something’s not working, or how to make something better in your life–and we’ll certainly do some of that this month.
But I want to start with a bit of gratitude.
One of the things that I so appreciate about how God made sex is that I am learning, ever so slowly, to be in the moment. I am learning to be in a box.
And it is good.
I think God made women’s bodies the way He did as a gift.
Sex isn’t just the gift of feeling close, or just the gift of feeling pleasure. Sex is the gift from God that, just for a few moments, you can just BE. You can just experience. And it’s that raw passion that brings you together, because you don’t have that with anybody else.
Here’s how it works: As I’ve talked about before, for women to enjoy sex, we have to be able to get out of our heads and concentrate on our bodies. If our heads aren’t engaged, our bodies don’t follow. That’s why we’re so distractible! You could be having a great time in bed, and enjoying everything that’s happening, but then the stray thought enters your brain–“is there milk in the fridge?”
You didn’t mean to think about milk. But once you do, you can’t stop. And now you’re rattling off a whole grocery list in your head, and pleasure has completely collapsed.
When we don’t pay attention to our bodies, sex feels meh.
For sex to feel good, we have to train ourselves to forget about everything else, and just to feel what’s happening NOW.
Of course, that can be a bit of work, and it isn’t always easy. It means learning to give up control. It means getting your head in the game!
But when you do, you’re finally able to be totally focused on just what’s going on right now. No guilt about what you should be doing, or what you’ve left undone. No voices telling you something else you should be doing. You’re just here. YOU. With the man that you love. And that’s enough.
That’s the gift.
I think if it were easy for women to feel pleasure even if we did have 15 things going through our heads then we’d never be able to fully relax. But because we need to learn to let it all go, well, then it shows us that God wants us to let it all go sometimes. God wants us to just BE.
In many ways, that makes sex purer.
I don’t mean pure in a morality way (although it certainly is that in marriage, too). I mean pure in the sense that this can be all there is. Just like Ivory soap says that it’s 99.44% pure, or whatever they claim, for those few moments, you can be totally 99.44% focused in the moment–focused on your husband and you, together.
It’s like what C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Four Loves, about Eros. He says:
When we’re naked together, all the other concerns that are unique to us cease, and it becomes simply about a raw hunger and a love that is actually quite pure. Being able to experience that–that is a gift.
Longing to spice things up?
This is easier for me to do as I get older.
Maybe it’s because my children aren’t small anymore, or because I’m more at peace with myself. But I am noticing that as I am able to let all else go while we make love, it gets easier to do that at other times, too. In effect, feeling close to Keith THEN makes it easier for me to experience life unimpeded at other times, too.
I can stop washing the dishes and just appreciate the sunset.
I can stop reading the news and just listen to the praise song that is singing, and not do anything else.
I can just stretch and experience how good that feels without thinking, “I should hurry up and get back to work.”
This month we’ll be talking about how to foster intimacy, and how to make sure you feel close. But I wanted to start the month on the right foot, just saying that sex truly is a gift, on so many levels. Sometimes we make it more complicated than it needs to be. And increasingly, that lesson (“don’t make things more complicated than they need to be”) is what I am learning.
And so I breathe deeply.
I know Keith loves me.
I think about how much he loves me.
I’m able to just enjoy the moment.
I’m able to enjoy life.
And that’s good.
So as we start this month, can I encourage you all to think about what you have to be grateful for when it comes to sex and intimacy? That can set the stage well for the challenges that may follow!
Let me know in the comments–do you know what I mean about the gift of being fully present? Do you have trouble with turning off multitasking, too? Let’s talk!
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