When I give my Girl Talk, I often have questions about sex leftover that I didn’t get a chance to answer.
I’m just back from a speaking trip out in Alberta, where I did two Girl Talks and one general women’s event. My Girl Talks are so much fun! It’s a night at your church where I talk about how God designed sex, and then how we can make it awesome in each of the three ways–emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
In the middle of the event I always host an anonymous Q&A, where I’ll answer absolutely any question. I don’t even preview them, either. I just answer what’s there! In this short promo that I shot for a church recently, I talk about the Q&A section:
So here goes:
1. How do you overcome the feeling that sex is dirty, and the guilt that goes with that? Growing up we are told “Don’t do it or else!”, then we get married and we’re told to do it like rabbits. It’s so frustrating!
Such a common thing that many women experience! It’s difficult to make that mental shift once you’re married, which, again, is why it’s so important to talk to your teens about sex in an open and honest way that acknowledges that it’s okay to have sexual feelings, and that tells them that sex is a good thing! (Check out The Whole Story course for how to do that).
The big thing, though, is just to start telling yourself the truth and putting your mind to work! Read The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex to understand what God created sex for. Then make it a habit to think about sex at periodic intervals throughout the day–when you’re choosing what underwear to put on; when you’re making your bed; when you’re folding laundry and thinking about his body. It’s a practice. It’s not necessarily natural. But at those times, think, “my body was created to feel pleasure with my husband.” Or, “my husband is going to make me feel so great tonight!”
It doesn’t magically happen. You do have to start thinking those thoughts. But try to first believe them, and then think them, and see if that helps!These posts may help, too:
2. I sometimes worry that my husband enjoys oral sex more than intercourse.
Certainly other sex acts can feel really good. And the nice thing about a sex act like oral sex is that it allows you to just FEEL without thinking about how the other person is feeling. You get to be the object of attention. That can be very fun for sure!
But just because there’s nothing wrong with feeling that sometimes, there is something wrong with that taking over your life. Sex should involve intercourse, on the whole. It shouldn’t be only sex acts that we do on each other (unless there are health issues that make intercourse impossible). But on the whole, sex was designed for us to experience together, not just for us to be served. It’s supposed to be a mutual experience that builds intimacy.
So while there’s nothing wrong with treating someone, there is something wrong if that takes over the relationship. Here’s a post I wrote on this:
Is there a Place for Other Sexual Acts?
Absolutely! They can be great for foreplay (and are often necessary to get a woman aroused enough to feel pleasure from intercourse). Also, as I’ve talked about before, there are ways to be really intimate there if health problems make intercourse impossible or difficult.
However, barring these health issues, if someone prefers other sexual acts to intercourse, then it’s almost like they’re saying (and forgive me for being graphic), “let me use your body to masturbate with.” They want a type of sexual release where they’re focusing ONLY on what they’re feeling, not on how the other person feels, and it’s a very self-centered act when it’s used on its own.
3. My husband always wants me to initiate sex, and if I don’t it doesn’t happen, and when it doesn’t happen he feels unloved, so he doesn’t start it. But I don’t want to initiate all the time either. What do I do?
Oh, what a common rut to get into! What frequently happens is that a husband wants sex more than the wife does, and he doesn’t want to be turned down. So he says that she has to initiate all the time so that he never gets his hopes up.
Not a good dynamic. First, it takes away his need to “woo” her–something that helps her feel close and that also helps him act more affectionately and kindly towards her. It puts all the emotional energy for maintaining the sex life onto her shoulders, which isn’t something that she can bear well.
Now, if he started doing this because she never, ever wanted sex, it’s understandable. That’s when you need some open communication when you both agree that sex should be frequent, and you make a commitment to saying yes more often (even say something like once or twice a week), but at the same time, you don’t want to initiate all the time. A great way to stop this dynamic is with 31 Days to Great Sex! It’s a series of exercises that you do together that build up to improve your sex life. That way the BOOK can initiate, not you. And during those 31 days (or however long you’d like it to take) you’ll have days that will talk about each of you can initiate–how she can initiate sex, but also how your husband can initiate sex, too!
Do you find it hard to talk about SEX?
4. How do you have sex with teenagers in the house who never leave?
You know what? Sometimes teenagers are going to know that stuff is going on! And is that really so bad? Obviously you should try to keep things quiet, but while teens may get grossed out if they know their parents are having sex, it’s actually good for them to know that you still enjoy each other!
Some more thoughts:
A few thoughts…
2. Enforce the “Be In Your Room” Rule
We have always told our children that they have to be in their rooms by 10:00. They don’t have to sleep, but they do need to be settling in for the night. They need the downtime, and we need the alone time.
3. Turn up the Radio
The teenage years are perfect years for developing a taste for jazz. Or for R&B. Or basically anything that can set a mood but still give you some background noise. If you’re nervous about what they’ll hear, then just make a habit of playing music whenever you’re in your bedroom. If you play it at different times of day, too, they won’t always suspect what you’re doing.
5. Why don’t I get wet enough for my husband to penetrate me, even though I enjoy sex?
Some women just don’t produce as much lubrication as others. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, and you certainly shouldn’t feel like there’s something wrong with you. If you’re able to enjoy sex, it doesn’t really matter. At menopause, too, women who used to be able to get quite lubricated often stop, even if they feel like they want to have sex.
6. Are there certain sex acts/positions between spouses that should be “off limits” or are are there none when both parties are okay with it?
I actually went into this a lot in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, but in general, I’d say this. Sex acts should be avoided if they:
- Involve a third party in any way, including pornography, or fantasizing about someone else
- Are degrading or humiliating, where the degradation is part of what makes it “hot”. That cements the wrong view of sex and takes away the intimacy while being emotionally damaging
- Are damaging to your health in any way
There definitely are some sex acts that I think would qualify in each of those categories. So while being adventurous in bed is great, not everything is healthy. Here are two posts where I talk about how to distinguish what’s healthy with what’s not:
Does your marriage need some spicing up–and some fun?
7. What if neither of you wants sex? I am very low hormone and my husband can’t feel.
I am not sure entirely what this question means. I’m going to assume that due to health reasons (paralysis; diabetes; something else) that the husband has a lack of sensitivity in his genitals. So she doesn’t feel a need for sex, and he doesn’t feel much.
If that’s the case, you may not need to have intercourse. Sometimes health problems do prevent intercourse from happening. But then I’d say: don’t lose out on intimacy. You don’t want to get to the point where you feel like mere roommates or best friends. You want to keep that special relationship. So be naked together. Have baths together. Keep kissing. Be affectionate. And just because you have a low libido doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex. Try to have an orgasm, at least occasionally. It may help him feel more like a man to be able to pleasure you, too!
I just think that getting into a situation where you feel like roommates isn’t the best dynamic for a marriage. You do want to keep the rest of it alive, too.
8. Can you speak to erectile dysfunction? We are a couple in our 40s with kids. He would say that he has the higher libido. This has added a lot of tension.
In a nutshell, it’s important to figure out WHY he has erectile dysfunction. Is it:
- a health issue? (it really should get checked!)
- a medication issue? (sometimes other medications can work)
- a porn issue? (porn and masturbation can cause ED, and that needs to be addressed)
- a stress issue? (looking at lifestyle changes, then, is important)
- a psychological issue? (are there issues from his past that are impacted him now?)
As men get older, the incidence of erectile dysfunction does increase. But it also can be dealt with, and I’d really advise seeing a physician and talking about it. Here are some posts that can help as well:
9. It is normal for a woman to release fluid at orgasm? What about heat?
Some women do, and it’s called female ejaculation! It tends to happen when the area known as the “gspot” is stimulated. It’s not pee; there’s nothing to worry about. And it can actually be a very intense orgasm. As for the heat–I think that’s likely just the blood flow that’s increasing to the genitals with arousal. That’s what’s going to make it “hotter”.
10. What do I do if I don’t find my husband attractive or sexually appealing? When I feel hurt or criticized and I don’t want to be intimate? When all I feel is anger and resentment and repulsion to sex?
This is a much bigger issue with all kinds of answers! It sounds as if the main reason you don’t find your husband attractive is because he treats you badly and your relationship is very difficult. In that case, you may need to get to the root of why it is that you’re feeling like this. Sometimes it’s just that you’ve gotten into bad relationship patterns and you need to speak up more. But sometimes it’s also that he’s emotionally abusive towards you.
To try to unpack all of this, I highly recommend my book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. The first four thoughts look at the things that we can do to take responsibility for our own attitudes. But then we turn to what to do if he is acting inappropriately and how to actually confront and resolve conflict (as well as what to do if it crosses into abuse). Then finally we look at how to stop the emotional and sexual drift. I think that may handle all the facets of the question!
Do you have a hard time asking for what you want?
11. Is it bad to masturbate while having sex?
I think we need to find a different way of talking about masturbation, because we often use the word masturbation when that’s not really what we mean. I’ve written about masturbation in marriage at length, and why I believe that masturbation in secret, when it steals sexual desire from your partner, is wrong (even if you’re doing it because your spouse doesn’t want sex).
At the same time, just touching your genital region is not the same as masturbation. Children, for instance, frequently touch themselves, but we shouldn’t equate that with something sexual.
And in this case, I think what she means is “is it okay for me to increase my own stimulation while we’re having intercourse so that I feel good too”? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all. However, I also think that talking to your husband about it may help, because there could be something he can do to help as well!
12. Does having a full bladder make it easier to orgasm?
Some may say that it definitely does, because if the bladder is enlarged, then when he thrusts, it puts more pressure on you, which in turn can stimulate the nerves in the vagina and help with arousal. I talked about this again in the post about finding the G-spot. I don’t think a full bladder is necessary at all, though! I’d say just practice, tilt your pelvis a lot, try new positions, and figure out which one gives you the best stimulation! Then you can always start with one position, but finish in the one that feels best to you.
13. As a menopausal woman, do you recommend bio-identical hormones to help with libido?
It certainly can help a lot! However, I know that much depends on your own medical history, and for that, you really should see a doctor. Here, however, are some posts that can help with menopause:
14. Any suggestions on how to improve your sex life when you have young kids? How do you compartmentalize your body as a sexual being and being a mom and nursing?
I’ve got a great post on 17 ways to make sex after kids happen! I will say that always having sex AFTER you’ve just fed the baby helps, so that your breasts don’t feel “full”. But read the post for more thoughts and encouragement!
Okay, that’s all the questions!
These Girl Talks really are quite fun. If your church may be interested in hosting me, I’m planning now for the 2019-2020 touring season! I’m likely sticking around Ontario in the fall, but in the spring we’re looking specifically at New England and the Maritime provinces, as well as heading back to Alberta. But I’d be happy to add other states/provinces to the tours as well! Just email us with your inquiry! And you can check out everything about Girl Talk here.
Have any thoughts on those questions? Can you give these women any encouragement? Anything stand out to you? Let’s talk in the comments!