What if you find oral sex or manual sex difficult because it causes muscle spasms?

We talk about all kinds of weird stuff in our podcasts, and this one came up in some discussions earlier in the week on sex during your period. So we thought it was worth tackling!

Listen in to the podcast first, and then there are some extra links below.

And, of course, you can watch it on YouTube now, too! (And, yes, we’re still recording in my closet. What can I say? The sound is better there).

On Monday, we were talking about how Kevin Leman told women to give husbands a “simple” hand job or oral sex during their periods since it took a “minimum of effort”.

The quotes from Sheet Music are in Monday’s post about periods and sex, but in the comments, several women responded that it wasn’t so simple.

A hand job takes minimal effort? Seriously? I used to do them all the time early in our marriage when we were still stuck in all those bad thought processes. My hands would ache so bad, and be throbbing by the time I was done. I will Not do them anymore.

Another woman echoed her:

I am so glad I am not alone in finding hand jobs physically painful. My arm would be on fire and my hand would hurt by the time it was over as I silently pleaded with God for it to be done. And my husband would kindly offer me breaks for my arm, and I was too scared (till recently) to say that it still hurt. He is a pretty good guy and wasn’t trying to make me hurt, but so clueless. His initial response to me saying my arm hurt was to ask whether I was doing any exercise to strengthen it. (And I am not out of shape). Because his mind set, like so many is that a hand job is “easy”.

Now, not all women feel this way! One woman commented yesterday that she loved doing this for her husband!

I may be the minority here, but I love giving them. I actually feel like my hubby unwinds for once. I’m by far the higher-drive spouse so sometimes I feel like I end up cheating myself out of my own rare opportunity for pleasure, but I like being able to see him just relax and take it in. Typically that opportunity happens if I’m on my period or postpartum, etc.

But we did want to do a podcast on: What if giving sexual favors is actually uncomfortable?

That doesn’t seem to be acknowledged in the Christian sex books we read for The Great Sex Rescue (and Kevin Leman definitely said that it’s a “minimum of effort”), but for some women it is quite uncomfortable. Even for some men! (And I’ve done a discussion of that before, too).

Basically, any repetitive motion done over a long period of time can cause muscle spasms. And oral or manual sex on a man does this more than on a woman because of anatomy–there’s gripping involved. If a husband takes a long time, it can be very uncomfortable, and we do think there should be some acknowledgment of that.

In the podcast, we tried to look at this from all possible angles (pardon the pun?)

In a healthy marriage, there will be times when you give each other sexual favors with nothing expected in return. And it is kind and generous to figure out a way to do this for your spouse (and it may mean switching things up rather than doing the same thing for 10-15 minutes straight).

We could have spent the podcast talking about how to make this easier, and maybe we can do that in the future.

What we really wanted to address, though, was the expectation that she has to do something that causes her pain or makes her uncomfortable.

Rebecca got very worked up over this, because we’ve just read too many things lately which chastise a woman for not giving a husband sexual release, without requiring a husband to think about his wife in any way whatsoever–or even to take consent into account.

You’ll want to listen!

And there were flashbacks in this podcast to our previous podcast on marital rape, consent, and obligation sex.

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We also talked about our new book, The Great Sex Rescue, coming out in March, where we look at the results of our survey of 20,000 women, and see how these teachings have affected women’s sexual satisfaction and rates of sexual pain. And then we point us all to a better way of talking about all of this. I wish that book were out now so we could get it to you, but we’re excited to share it with you when it is out!

For now, though, listen in. And then let me know what you think!

Do you feel pressured to do sexual favors? Do you feel uncomfortable with it? How can we handle this better? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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