Two perfectly toned beautiful bodies, wrapped in a passionate embrace in an elevator, slowly rising to the top floor of a skyscraper. Each ripping off the clothes of the other to reveal sensual undies, secrets from Victoria and expose even more rippling muscles. Acrobatic love making on a slow ride up, floors ticking by, pulses quicken and the pressure of maybe being caught in the act fuel the drama and the rapture of the scene. This is how the typical “block buster” movie portrays sex – exciting, but dangerous and forbidden!
The typical t.v. SITCOM portrays sex in marriage in this way. A tired mom of a couple of preschoolers climbs into bed, exhausted, with a few cheerios in her hair and wearing her favorite old nursing bra – even though she hasn't nursed a baby in years. Her husband, who hasn't taken his eyes off his phone until time to go to bed, all of a sudden becomes an octopus with arms and hands everywhere, clumsily groping her in the dark. The lovemaking, if it occurs, is quiet and complete, but lacks passion. His needs are met, but not hers.
These two portrayals of sex perpetuate the world's view that sex during forbidden liaisons is sizzling and “hot,” but sex within marriage is dull and unfulfilling. But neither portrayal is how God intends sex to be. God designed the act of marriage to be a beautiful melding of two lives. Sex is the mysterious part of marriage were two souls literally become one flesh. God’s plan is for sex, the most intimate act two people can share, to be made in the sanctity of marriage and a reminder of their vow before Him (The Meaning of Marriage, by Tim Keller). Sex is not to impress, but to pleasure each other. God intends for us to enjoy the parts of your spouse that are distinctively female and male and that revel how beautifully you complement each other. God’s plan is for husbands and wives to meet the deep need for sexual fulfillment that lives inside each of us through the beauty and safety of sex in marriage.
Here are a few ideas that may help you get things headed in the right direction. I hope that you find a few that resonate in your marriage, and that you have the courage to try them. Keep reading friend!
1. Have open and honest communication often. You and your spouse must have open conversations about what is and what is not working in the bedroom. Discuss your sexual needs and then, and with no defensiveness, listen to your partner’s needs. Keep explaining your needs until you are sure you are heard. Give each other a safe space to talk about the things you like and the things that could use some improvement. If during the conversation one of you start to react emotionally, table the discussion for another day. I personally believe that these conversations happen best over chocolate cheesecake 😊. These discussions need to be revisited on a regular basis, so put them on your schedule. As time marches on, your needs, interests and physical preferences may also change. I’d suggest starting with light hearted questions. “What are your five favorite places to be kissed?” “Do you prefer lights on, or lights off?” After you get more comfortable, dig a little deeper. “Have I ever done anything that turns you off?” “What was it so that I can avoid it in the future?” “Is there something you have always wanted to try but haven’t had the confidence to suggest?” You get my drift, right? You can take it from here.
2. Make sex your priority. What we desire, we pursue. The most important relationship you have on this earth should be your own marriage. Children are great, but they are a second-tier relationship. Your children will be better served by parents who love each other often than they will be by an additional soccer practice or karate lesson. You catch my drift! There were times in our busy life raising three active children that Jody and I had to schedule time for sex. This doesn’t sound too romantic, but when you are the recipient of that type of priority, it feels pretty good.
3. Romance matters! Lingerie, scented candles, music, rose petals on the pillow, bubble baths, heated massage oils, and silk sheets are worth every penny. Invest in the romance. I have a frugal husband, but there has always been room in our budget for these things 😊! Together, discuss romance as you and your spouse make budget plans for the month. Something tells me that your husband may be willing to get a second job if romance will be the reward for his labor 😊!
4. Wives get there slower, so no rushing. Women have more complex sexual response systems than men. Women need a little more time than men warming up to sex. So, a loving husband will take 5 times longer preparing his wife for intercourse than he thinks it should take. Don’t roll your eyes, but instead see this as your opportunity to shine and discover every sensuous place your wife likes nibbled or stroked. Women have very sensitive parts, and although you may enjoy more vigorous movement, she may not. So husbands, and as a general rule, be more gentle than you would desire and wait until she gives you the “go ahead” signal. It is important to note that after a woman has climaxed, she remains in this arousal state for a while and can climax again if her husband is patient and not rushing. So husbands, linger. Enjoy the beauty of the journey. The fireworks will still be there!
5. Intimate conversations beget intimate activities. Bear your soul. Talk about the deep desires, passions and insecurities in your life. Talk about the struggles in your faith, the things you are praying about and Christian principles you are wrestling with. Be transparent and let the one you have vowed to cleave to have private access to your heart. This is what your spouse wants. And, this will open increased intimacies in other areas – I promise! No wife wants to make love to a husband from whom she has heard only 50 words all day, and not one of the 50 words being genuine or revealing. Husbands, this is another one of those special creation deals. To the same degree that God made women to desire intimate conversations with their husbands, He made men to desire the sight of their wife’s beautiful body drying off after a shower. Men who do not meet the intimate conversation needs of their wives will more than likely have very lonely wives. And, these husbands may end up feeling unfulfilled themselves.
6. Be bold! Wives, initiate sex! Your husband needs to feel desired, and you need to be more active in this process. Show your husband how much you love him by planning a seduction! It will feel awkward at first, but I promise you will get better at it. And, you will start to see how exhausting always being in the lead can be and appreciate your husband’s natural lead in this area. Also, after you’ve planned your love fest, consider how you would feel if your spouse said, “Not tonight dear, I’ve had a long day!” Store that memory, and bring it up the next time you’re tempted to say the exact same thing!
7. “You are too clean,” said NO WOMAN EVER! Husbands, shower often, shave, brush your teeth, use mouthwash, wear deodorant, clip your nails, and wear cologne. Your efforts will not go unrewarded! As God made men extra sensitive to what he sees, God gave women an amazing olfactory sense. We can smell an old fart, dirty socks or bad breath at 30 paces. Husbands, climbing into bed in any of these conditions will win you a ticket to the lonely hearts club 😊!
8. Go away with your spouse, at least once a year. If you can afford it, plan a trip today. Your children will be fine with grandparents. Or, hire a sitter from the church. I know this is hard when money is tight and children are plentiful, but make it a priority. Pray for God to bring another Christian couple into your life with whom you can trade off babysitting. They’ll love the opportunity to get away too! Then look for hotel deals. Hotels help you to get away and reconnect and enjoy a few days of extended lovemaking. I started early in our marriage making hotel sex extra special. 30 years later, my husband never balks when I suggest getting away for a trip 😊.
9. Be creative. Anything done that pleases you both and doesn’t dishonor God’s creation is ok. Variations can be, but not limited to, positions, locations and other types of intercourse. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Try more playful positions. Or after the kids go to bed, try a new room in the house. But remember, if either of you find it unenjoyable, it needs to be shelved, at least for the time being. The fastest way to lose the spark in your romance is to impose your desires on an unwilling spouse.
10. There is no magic number! Couples often ask, “How much is the right number of romantic interludes in a week?” Usually, the wife is hoping for a small number. The husband is always confident that whatever the number, it is still way too little. The truth is that there is no right answer. But, there is something wrong with the question. If we are loving each other well, in accordance with God’s design, with the husband putting his wife’s needs above his own and the wife honoring and loving her husband well, the question is moot. Who cares what the number is? If motivated by love, the husband will be pleased with less than what his hormones request and the wife will extend herself further than what her hormones prompt. And by the way, the number changes as do the demands of life in each stage of life. As empty nesters, Jody’s and my average would blow away our younger selves! So hang on! Know that each tomorrow will be brighter than the one before, and that your love will continue to grow!
11. Women want affection to the same degree as men want sex. Husbands, be affectionate towards your wife. Hold her hand, put your arm around her, nuzzle her neck, and wrap her up in a full embrace daily and often. If you are patting your wife’s bottom while she unloads the dishwasher and think you have checked this box, think again! Affection does not typically involve any of the erogenous zones. It can be placing your hand on the small of her back or tracing your finger down her arm, but if you have questions, ask your wife. She’ll gladly teach you how to make her feel more cherished.
12. Become students of intimacy and lovemaking in marriage. I have listed several books on sex in this blog, and there are many others written by Christian authors. Read one a year! And, read to each other … perhaps a chapter a week. Discuss the finer points, practice the book’s suggestions and analyze their impacts on the temperature in your bedroom. Those who read lead, and those who read Godly books on sex have more sex 😊! Take the lead men! Surprise her with a book and read the first chapter to her, out loud and with the lights on. I dare you!
13. Stay physically fit – love is a verb, and sex is a super verb. Do some cardio each week, watch your weight and eat healthy and well. Now I’m not saying you should become TWIGGY SKINNY. Instead, I’m talking about the basics required for some limberness and, shall we say, stamina. If you have allowed weight and inactivity to insulate you and have tried to avoid sex with this strategy, take the first step towards a healthier you today. Put this blog down and go for a walk. When you come back, eat an apple. With all the information about health and dieting, there is no reason for me to belabor the point, you know what you need to do – just do it! Remember, your body is the temple for the Holy Spirit and is the object of your spouse’s affection. Be kind to it and treat it with the respect it deserves! You and your spouse will appreciate the effort! So, put down that cookie. I’m just pure and simply meddling now, huh? 😊
14. Sex begins in the kitchen. This is true for both husband and wife, but especially true for mothers of small children. There is no better aphrodisiac than to see your husband, unrequested, washing the dishes. A man who pitches in and shows in very real ways on whose team he is proud to be a member of will always be appreciated. So, husbands, turn off the t.v., get off the couch and get off your phones. Re-connect with the daily happenings in your home! Now wives, 20 years ago I wouldn’t have thought this was an area where we need encouragement, but the world has changed. Sisters, invest a little bit of time and creativity in making your house a home. Once a week, plan a special meal with your husband’s tastes in mind and see how he responds. It’s worth a try! Carry-out and delivery have their time and place, but they shouldn’t be your normal, every night dinners.
15. Don’t leave the ballgame before the fireworks! Orgasm is worth the effort. Don’t settle for less. There are a number of books that can help point you in the right direction. In general, achieving orgasm is often a matter of varying the position, increasing the fore play or relaxing the mind! Do not try to hide any of this from your spouse. Keep the dialogue open and be very careful to watch your tone – your spouse can read inadequacy in-between the lines.
16. Pray about this vital part of your marriage. Mind blowing, huh? You can pray about your sex life with your spouse. It’s a critical part of your relationship, so why not? God knows your hurts and disappointments and is ready, willing and able to help. Just ask Him, together, kneeling beside your beautiful marriage bed.
Thank you for reading, I realize that this is only the “tip of the iceberg!” I also know that everyone’s situation is different. And if you find yourself in a hard place, do not feel guilty, but take your spouse’s hand and kneel beside your marriage bed and ask for God’s help. God knows your situation and He has the rescue route already mapped out for you. Remember, God designed your marriage to be the place where ALL your sexual needs are to be met. Enjoy that thought for a few more moments before you stop reading. And then consider the weight of the responsibility you have to your spouse- you are to be be their only place of sexual fulfillment!
Keep reading, friend!
How beautiful you are and how pleasing,
my love, with your delights!
Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.
I said, “I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.”
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine.
May the wine go straight to my beloved,
flowing gently over lips and teeth.
I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me.
Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.
Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom —
there I will give you my love.
The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
and at our door is every delicacy,
both new and old,
that I have stored up for you, my beloved.
Song of Solomon 7: 6-13