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It’s June 9, which means it’s International Lovemaking Day!

(If some of you don’t get that, it’s 6/9. I feel like some 13-year-old boy giggling at a sexual innuendo, but there you go).

Dan Purcell, the creator of the Intimately Us app, was a guest on the podcast last week letting us know about this date, and how the premium features of his app are free today and tomorrow!

I was thinking about how to approach this event, and I thought today may be a good day to celebrate the real beauty of sex.

We’ve spent several months talking about how WRONG the church has all too often gotten sex, and how much couples have been hurt in the process (especially women).

But in The Great Sex Rescue, we tried to leave everyone with a vision of what great sex looks like in our final chapter on Passion.

Sex is the height of physical pleasure on earth–when we stop worrying about what’s going on around us; when we almost stop thinking and just simply experience. But what makes it so powerful is not just the physical but the spiritual and emotional closeness. It’s the fact that you’re doing this with someone you love. It’s that intimate deep “knowing” of each other as the Bible says. It’s that longing for connection, that longing to be completely known, completely vulnerable, and still loved.

I think that’s why God talks about His relationship with us in sexual terms. I believe (and I think you can make a good biblical case for it) that God made sex to reflect how He feels about us. This longing for a relationship that is more than just duty or obligation or arm’s length. It’s this total “knowing.”

I’ve written before about how even an orgasm shows us something about God: How at our most passionate moment, we’re not really in control in the same way. We surrender to the moment. We experience. We’re pure joy.

And that’s what God wants from us, too. We don’t need to be proper and orderly and in control. We can be passionate and lose ourselves to the moment, to the relationship. We can be dancing in public like David in 2 Samuel 6, or like the woman pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet while she was crying. What others think of you no longer matters; it’s that pure devotion in your relationship with Him, when all you see is Him.

That devotion, that passion, is best illustrated with sex.

And that’s why great sex isn’t focused on orgasm, but on the object of devotion. The point of David’s story was not the dancing before the Lord, but the Lord. The point of anointing Jesus’ feel with perfume was not the perfume but Jesus.

We explained it this way in The Great Sex Rescue:

For sex to feel intimate, it needs to be about saying, “I want you,” not just “I want sex.” It needs to be about saying, “I see you. I choose you. I want to experience something with you, and only you. I want to know you better.”

You is the key word. You are the focus. Sex is not just about me; it’s about me knowing you and building us.

Page 22, The Great Sex Rescue

GSR I Want You Quote - 8 Ways to Improve Sex for International Lovemaking Day!

That’s why, for great sex, both people need to matter.

This is why obligation sex doesn’t work! You can’t be passionate and share of yourself and become vulnerable if only one of you matters. If one of you has your needs ignored, then sex is no longer a deep knowing. It’s actually a rejection of one of you as a person. And a deep knowing means that both of you matter!

That’s one of the things I love about the Intimately Us app. It’s so focused on helping you learn what the other person wants, and it helps you say those things that are sometimes difficult to tell each other.

Vulnerability is hard. And yet vulnerability and great sex can’t be separated. A “deep knowing” requires vulnerability! So the more we learn to communicate, to tell each other what we want, to tell each other what we’re scared of, the better sex is going to be.

Ironically, it’s this vulnerability that in some ways can make sex less pressure!

Yes, vulnerability is daunting. Any time we get to deeper levels of communication, it’s daunting. We’re revealing more of ourselves.

But with vulnerability comes this willingness to “let it all hang out.” To mess up. To not get everything perfect. To make mistakes. With vulnerability, you’re accepting each other for who you are, not who you should be.

You know, 36% of women who regularly reach orgasm during sex still said that they felt little emotional connection to their husbands during sex. Sometimes sex can tick all the right boxes, but it’s still not particularly fulfilling. Some people do respond physically quite easily, but that doesn’t mean that sex is the end all and be all for them. It doesn’t mean that they’ve achieved something amazing.

I know there are so many of you who read this blog who struggle with orgasm.

I’m thinking of some of my frequent commenters who have almost given up hope. And I feel so deeply for you!

But I guess what I’d want to say is that as we become more vulnerable with each other–both of you together–then this pass/fail thing will be less of a thing. You’ll be able to roll with it more easily. You’ll be able to realize, “this is just for us to experience together, no matter what happens.” And the more you’re able to get lost in each other, the more likely that orgasm is going to happen anyway! And if you can’t get lost in each other, that may be part of the problem.

So I’d like to issue my own challenge for International Lovemaking Day: Truly be vulnerable with your spouse.

Obviously this challenge only applies if you’re in a safe relationship. If you can’t be vulnerable, then it’s better to ask the question, “what is holding us back?” And “Is this something where we need to talk to a counselor? Is this something we can resolve by addressing some real issues? Or does this mean that the relationship isn’t safe for me?” And please get appropriate help.


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But while good sex can help you to feel close, truly great sex is built on a foundation of vulnerability at every level. And isn’t that what “lovemaking” is all about? It’s not just having sex. It’s forging a deep, loving relationship.

With that big preamble, then, here are 8 ways to feel more vulnerable with each other and take sex to the next level! Not all will apply to you. Pick the 1-2 that resonate the most, and run with them!

1. Tell your spouse something they may not know about you.

Use conversation starters to reveal more of yourself that you may never have told them.

2. Do a visioning exercise with your spouse.

Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 5 years? What do you want your marriage to look like? What do you feel God is calling you to individually? As a couple?

I’ve got some visioning worksheets you can work through together here!

3. Pray together.

This can be awkward for some people, but praying out loud can be so bonding! I’ve got some tips on 10 ways to pray as a couple that can help.

4. Share your favourite memories.

When you close your eyes and picture your favourite time with your spouse, what would it be? What about when you were dating? Why?

5. Bless your spouse.

What qualities do you see God growing in your spouse? Where do you see your spouse being led? Call these things out. Say something like, “I see how God is making you a kind-hearted leader, who notices and sees when people need support. I see how God is softening your heart. God made you to be His hands and feet to people. You are walking in that. And I bless you and pray for you as you continue to grow in God’s calling on your life.”

6. Bless your spouse’s body.

Andrew Bauman wrote something so powerful in his book The Sexually Healthy Man that we had to quote him in our upcoming The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex! But in talking about how to make sex intimate rather than pornographic, he wrote:

Start with five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact. Sit a foot apart from your spouse, and look into each other’s eyes. No words, just lock eyes and hold the others’ gaze. After the five minutes are up, talk about the experience. What did you see? How do you feel? After emotional connection is established, you can begin to explore connecting sexually.

Explore each others’ bodies, communicating what brings each of you pleasure and what does not. Will you go slowly, practicing simply being with each other? Can you lay hands on each others’ bodies and pray for each other? Will you learn the stories of each other’s bodies? Each body part has a story to tell. Will you learn the stories of each body part and pray against Evil’s accusations? Will you hold each other closely while naked? Will you and your partner hold eye contact while having intercourse?

Andrew Bauman

The Sexually Healthy Man

Imagine how powerful that would be!

7. Share your fears about sex

For many of you, reading The Great Sex Rescue has been an emotional roller-coaster. I’ve heard from so many who have said that they read it through tears–good tears, but tears nonetheless. They realized how much they had internalized negative messages about sex. They grieved over the younger versions of themselves who were so hurt by these messages and who missed out on real intimacy because of them (that would be my story too!). And they’re still unpacking.

If that’s you, let your spouse in on it. Read portions of the book out loud that spoke to you. Let your spouse see some of your biggest areas of fear, and even shame if you can. When we can reveal the deepest parts of ourselves, intimacy blossoms.

8. Talk about your preferences, dreams, and desires!

It can be difficult to tell your spouse, “I’d really like to try this!”, or “I don’t actually enjoy that.” We’re not used to talking about sex. We don’t want our spouse to feel hurt or inadequate. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

But when you don’t tell them what you want, you lose vulnerability and intimacy, and then sex can’t blossom in the same way.

If you have difficulty with this, try the Intimately Us app! It’s designed not to help you have great sex in one particular way, but instead to help you communicate preferences and talk about things so that great sex happens naturally. Plus there are a ton of fun games!

Of course, there’s also sexual technique and how to make sex PHYSICALLY feel great!

And I’d point you to my orgasm course for that, or to my posts on how to make sex feel great for him and for her. 

But I think the big thing that most of us are missing is that intimacy piece. And if sex is really going to be stupendous–if we’re really going to “make love”–then it needs to be about wanting each other, not just wanting sex.

I hope this helps you get there!

8 Ways to Improve Sex International Lovemaking Day - 8 Ways to Improve Sex for International Lovemaking Day!

What else would you add? Do you ever find that sex can feel amazing, but you don’t feel connected? Or that you do feel connected, but the physical part isn’t kicking in? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila has been married to Keith for 28 years, and happily married for 25! (It took a while to adjust). She’s also an award-winning author of 8 books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila is passionate about changing the evangelical conversation about sex and marriage to line up with kingdom principles. ENTJ, straight 8

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