Over The Edge:

We often receive questions about what orgasm feels like or why someone can’t achieve orgasm regularly.  People often want to know if there is a magic secret that will push them over the edge every time they have sex.  We always answer, “Not that we can find.” There is no certain technique that will work every time nor is there some magic equation that guarantees that your toes are going to curl and your voice will wake the neighbors when your spouse does such and such.  Sex is far more complicated than just having a few good moves.  Great sex is a combination of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical factors and learning to appropriately prepare in all of those areas may just be the push to help you fall over the edge. Today we will take a look at some of the factors that may be keeping you from going over the edge.

1. Mental – Just where is you mind going?  If there are business meetings, household repairs, parenting concerns crossing your mind before or during sex, they can prove to be a distraction. Taking time to clear your mind of these distractions, as best as you can, is an important step to take.  If you need to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about a parenting issue, a bill payment or a scheduling conflict then by all means talk about it.  It may deflate the mood for a moment but that can be recaptured.  What you don’t want to happen is to be only half-present during your time of intimacy because your mind is filled with thoughts of things other than how good it feels to be together.  If you struggle to remain present while making love because you feel that it takes too long, recognize that being half-present will make it take longer with less satisfaction.  Being mentally prepared for sex has far greater rewards than just presenting your body to your spouse for their benefit. *

2. Emotional – Being angry, frustrated, discontent or annoyed with your spouse will affect your sex life and your ability to orgasm.  Unlike the things that distract our mind from being ready for sex, when our emotions are not ready for sex it takes more effort than just a few minutes of talking before sex.  Being emotionally prepared for sex takes effort because it means not letting things build up, continually clearing the air.  There are some offenses that need to be released without discussion and there are some that need to be brought into the light.  Openly communicating about the things that hurt you, upset you or frustrate you is the only way to live in freedom in this area.  While it is impossible for you to change your spouse and how they respond to your openness, you can know that you have done your part by not holding bitterness and resentment toward them.

3. Spiritual – Yep, you read that right, spiritual. Some may be reading this and thinking, “I don’t need somebody telling me about God and how I respond to Him matters in my sex life.  Sure, my intimate life isn’t great but I’m sure I can figure this out on my own.”  Well, if you haven’t fully figured it out on your own, perhaps turning to God isn’t such a bad idea now is it?

Sex IS a spiritual affair and when there are problems on a spiritual level they can and will show up in the bedroom.  Holding onto hurt, unforgiveness, anger and pain will lead to problems with intimacy.  Husbands and wives are meant to be one and sex is the greatest example of this oneness that exists.  When either the husband or the wife is unwilling to accept the spiritual side of sex there is a great void in intimacy. Dealing with the spiritual depths in life is time consuming and often uncomfortable.  In this area you’re often confronting yourself, not your spouse.  You’re realizing some of your inadequacies, which are often judgmental thoughts toward your spouse or others.  Once you release this hurt, unforgiveness and anger over to God, you’re free to experience what He created, naked and unashamed.  Make no mistake, it is the most crucial aspect of sexual intercourse.

4. Physical – When there are physical insecurities or embarrassment in marriage they can prevent the over the edge feeling of sex. If you don’t know how to enjoy sex because you feel you “don’t know how to do it right” then take the time to figure it out. Reacquaint yourself with your body through your senses.  Invite your spouse to explore your body and explore theirs as well.  Allow them to touch, feel, tickly, kiss, blow, etc. various parts of your flesh and let them know what you enjoy and what turns you off.  Enough practice will get them reading your body language as to how they can please you the best.  Just be sure to keep your head clear of the emotional/mental stuff, and enjoy the wonders of oneness with your mate.

*If part of your mental struggle with sex is that sex is dirty, not good or unimportant we recommend you check out what we have written about that.

Sex: Over, Under and Around

Sex: Understanding

Sex is..Not a Dirty Word

“Go-to” Sex Positions:

After we wrote our post about Sex Positions and Intimacy we received a few comments, emails, and a little to our surprise – lots of google hits.  Apparently people google a good bit looking for sex positions.  With all of these things in mind, we wanted to follow-up further.

Trying out different positions in intimacy is a great deal of fun and it may bring more, intense, or longer moments of intimacy.  Trying different positions is also great for those who have various physical injuries or illnesses.  For those looking for what you may deem “appropriate” resources to look for new sex positions, we recommend the following.

1) If you have an android or windows mobile phone – the ikamasutra app is the best solution.  The images are sketches, not real individuals.  The app used to be available on iOS and after some fun email dialogs with the developer, we’ve learned that an angry parent sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and he had the app removed.  So if you’re looking for the app on iOS (which had 14 million downloads, by the way), your best step is to send Tim Cook a personal email asking for it to be reinstated.  We did.  And yours may prove helpful as well.

2. Outside of ikamasutra, find resources that include sketches, but not images of real people.  Once, when making this recommendation during a Do Not Disturb small group study (great title for a small group study, don’t you think?), we received some push back.  One couple in particular didn’t understand why looking at images or videos of real people showing how to get into various positions could be harmful.  We wholeheartedly stand by our original conclusion.  Most people CAN look at sketches without lusting after somebody other than their spouse.  That said, most people CANNOT look at real people lying naked without having inappropriate thoughts.  If you’re one of those people who believe you can, good for you.  But as for us, we stay away from sexually alluring images at all costs.  Our spouse is the only person our eyes need to see naked.  No others.

But with this information out of the way, the real question becomes: Are various sex positions really necessary?  Why not just stick with your “go-to” positions and enjoy one another?  This is an extremely valid point.  Therefore, we wanted to write a little bit about three benefits of  having “go-to” sex positions:

1) Comfort

Your go-to position(s) have become your go-to position(s) for a number of reasons.  They provide both physical and emotional comfort.  These positions may provide such wonderful face to face intimacy or such sensual caresses that one or both partners prefer to connect in that same way regularly. Choosing to approach sex in a similar way each time does not mean sex will feel boring or mundane.  It simply affirms that there is in fact a great deal of satisfaction and no need to change anything.  Not only that, but keeping the go-to positions doesn’t mean it’s always the same.  Where and when you put your finger, hands, and mouth won’t necessarily be the same for every sexual encounter.  There’s nothing at all wrong with enjoying the comfort of the same positions over and over again.

Caution: While most couples have positions that satisfy their every desire for sex, times of intimacy are not meant to be mundane or routine.  Without a doubt the mindset behind each sexual encounter is more fundamentally important that adventurous positions. However, mixing it up on occasion can open both your mind and your body to further satisfaction.  Trying new things may overwhelm you with a sense of newness, intrigue and/or excitement that can benefit your sex life and your marriage as a whole.  What we’re saying is this: Enjoy the comfort of your go-to positions…but also enjoy the freedom to express your oneness in new ways.  There is no right or wrong, just satisfaction.

2) It produces the intended result, orgasm.

When a position provides just the right amount of stimulation in just the right places it is likely to become a favorite for both husband and wife.  Because orgasm feels so incredible and is such a powerful connection during intercourse, finding a position that regularly produces that effect is likely to become a staple in the bedroom.

Caution: Orgasm is not the only goal (or even primary goal) of every sexual experience you have with your spouse.  Sex is not designed to be a mere meeting of physical urges.  Sex is meant to be an intimate connection between a husband and wife in which they can be naked and unashamed.  They can enjoy a physical oneness of body, mind, soul and spirit.  They can laugh, cry, give and receive in the most intimate of ways possible.  Sex is not simply about orgasm, it is about unity, or “soulgasm”.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to experience orgasm every time you have sex.  So enjoy your favorite positions and enjoy climaxing.  But don’t rob your spouse of trying something new that may ultimately bring them to a deeper love for you and your body.

3) You know what to expect

One additional benefit to sticking with your go-to positions is that you both know what to expect.  Most people live by routine.  They shower the same way every day.  Drive the same route to work.  It makes sense that through the years you end up having sex in the same positions.  You know what to expect…and as we said above, there is some comfort in that.  This is completely OK.  It’s good to know that when you lock your bedroom door you know exactly how to please your spouse and they know exactly how to please you.  To know that you’re both going to walk away from this experience getting exactly what you were craving.  So enjoy your go-to positions, and go for just that.

Caution: Routines in life can be as dangerous as they are helpful.  Many people often mix-up their morning routine and change their driving pattern so that their life doesn’t feel too routine.  They want life to be about the experiences and they purposefully choose to live each day a little differently so they can best experience life.  If you have a spouse with this type of personality, varying positions in the bedroom will be something they constantly crave.  So, stick with your go-to positions all you want, but if they want to always altar things around and live for the experience, then be sure to occasionally provide them an experience that will keep them coming back for more.

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What other benefits do you see in keeping go-to positions?  What cautions, if any would you offer?

After The Act:

People often talk about how important the moments are that lead up to sex.  But what about afterwards?  If sex is the main event then what happens after doesn’t really make any difference, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  We believe the time a couple spends together after sex is an important part of a healthy sexual relationship.  Strong relationships are built on respect, love and good communication.  A lack of communication in this area of your life can cause more trouble than you may think or be aware of.

Let’s begin the discussion by evaluating what your current post-sex routine is. Are you most likely to: lay in each others arms? Take a shower? Get up and continue with whatever, immediately? etc… And then there is the issue of how you handle “clean up”?  What happens when one person wants one thing post-coitus and the other person wants something else? Does time of day, emotional or physical exhaustion, or time constraints affect how you spend your time after sex?  There are no “rules” about what to do after sex but having open and honest dialogue about what you want and why you may want it is essential to making it work for both you and your spouse.

Understanding how hormones work in your body is important to understanding why you or your spouse might want something different after the act.  After orgasm the body releases the hormones of oxytocin, prolactin and endorphins.  The levels released and their effects on the body differ from person to person and differ after each sexual experience.  Some will experience feelings of contentment, bonding and yes even sleepiness may overwhelm their senses.  Each party needs to understand that falling asleep does not necessarily indicate lack of interest but rather true satisfaction.  A partner who does not experience orgasm may be left feeling unsatisfied and may be reaching for more through continued need for physical touch and close proximity.  Arousal that is not resolved can cause tension for a partner who did not experience orgasm and they may desire to fulfill their needs through continued physical touch and closeness.

Post sex kissing, hugging and talking is what psychologists call “pair bonding”. Professing your love for your spouse and other intimate behaviors seem appropriate to build further depth in your relationship.  But what about the times when you or your spouse just want to resume normal activity?  Some people may not care very much for the cuddling and pillow talk.  This could be in part due to hormones as well as personality driven.  While the release of oxytocin (also called the “bonding chemical”) draws out feeling of contentment and closeness the release of prolactin causes a decrease in arousal possibly causing a sense of being “over” the need for sex or physical touch.  It is also possible that a person who has a low need for physical touch may have all their physical needs met through the act of sex itself.  While this is not an excuse to never cuddle or touch outside of sex, it may help explain it.

So, what does all of this mean?  You and your spouse should take time to talk about what you want/need after having spent time together and then fulfill those needs. If one really needs additional talk/touch time, do everything in your power to provide that for them.  If one really needs to rest in the fact that they’re over-the-top-satisfied, allow them that moment of rest.  And if you’re both feeling completely satisfied but aren’t yet ready for sleep, we’re pretty sure there’s a re-run of Law & Order on somewhere.  It may not be as invigorating as sex, but it may be just what you need to wind down a bit.

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How have you and your mate worked together to ensure that what you do “After The Act” benefits your relationship?

Sex is…Stressful?

For many, sex isn’t stressful at all.  When sex occurs as it was designed, couples become closer, their marriage is strengthened, and the difficulties in life seem to fade away.  However, sex (or even conversations with your spouse about sex) sometimes becomes quite stressful. If one spouse is “fine” with how their sex life is going and the other is decidedly “not fine”, problems will arise. If these problems make the subject of sex more stressful than stress relieving, the marriage can suffer.  While every marriage encounters “I’d rather” moments, some allow those moments to become the norm.  For whatever reason, sex just isn’t viewed as exciting, fun or worth their time.  The newest episode of The Big Bang Theory does more to relax them and disconnect them from their day than sex with their spouse.

If sex has become stressful, consider the following:

1.  Do you believe what God says about sex?  While our culture is continually screaming, “SEX” as loud as possible, many Christians today rarely discuss it openly. But God discusses it openly.  In fact, the first command God gave Adam and Eve…was to have sex.  Literally, God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” but it was the first thing God told them to do.  Look at one another.  Have no shame in your nakedness.  Become one.  There was no stress. No anxiety. No fears. No hindrances. And no limits. God did not create sex to be stressful, nor does He desire conversation with your spouse about the subject of sex to be stressful.  In His eyes, you are one unit, not two individuals.  He desires you to be one, and your oneness should not cause stress.  Read what the Bible has to say about sex, and read it often.  You’ll continue to discover that sex with your spouse was designed to be stimulating, not stressful.

2.  Which causes more problems for you, the thought about sex or the physical act itself?  If your thoughts and perceptions of what sex is cause you problems then study, pray and ask God to help you view sex as He views sex.  If it is the act itself, here are some things to consider.  Performance is a big hang up for many men and women alike.  If we come to bed thinking our spouse is supposed to react one way and then they don’t we can leave disappointed.  Here are some specific thoughts for both men and women:

Men – Understand that many women do not orgasm with every sexual encounter.  Sometimes this is because they don’t know their bodies well enough or communicate well enough about how to climax.  Other times it is simply because they don’t feel the need to orgasm with every encounter. Don’t pressure your wife to orgasm.  If she doesn’t ever orgasm, encourage her to communicate with you about how to please and then do it!  Also understand that what works one day may not work the next day.  Women are complex and if you try to…kiss here, rub here, press here, jackpot…you will never get the results you want.  Show up to each sexual encounter with a fresh perspective of how to please your wife in that moment not with preconceived ideas of what may have worked before.

Women – If you think that sex is just for your husband then think again.  God designed our bodies with a specific knob of flesh (the clitoris) that has no other purpose than to provide sexual fulfillment.  Men can’t say that about their bodies.  If you are one who has never or rarely experience orgasm, then please read what we have written here and here.  Those are just the basics but are a good place to start.  If you do experience orgasm but feel pressure from your husband to orgasm every time you have sex communicate to him how that makes you feel.  But be sure he knows you want to make yourself available to please him.  And the more you make yourself available, the more you’ll learn how he can help get you there.

Sex is meant to be pleasurable and satisfying.  This pleasure and satisfaction combine not just the physical side of things but also the emotional, mental and spiritual levels.  If sex is not pleasurable on any of these levels we encourage you to pray about it, communicate about it and work on it.  We all need a place in this life to relax, find release and connection.  Sex is meant specifically to meet many of those needs in marriage.

Demystifying Orgasm: Women

Waves of pleasure, tension bursting, pure ecstasy…however you describe it, orgasm is amazing!  For many women however, orgasm is quite elusive.  Elusive enough that there are married women who rarely (or perhaps never) experience it.  We want to talk bluntly today about the the topic of orgasm.  There are many myths surrounding orgasm and today we will discuss three  myths and some tips to overcoming them.

Myth Number 1:  Orgasm just happens.  Many women believe that sex, when done right, will automatically lead to orgasm.  The consequence of believing this myth is that many women don’t think very highly of sex and receive very little pleasure from it.  They don’t believe sex is being done right or, worse yet, that there is something wrong with them.  Women, please understand, attaining regular and satisfying orgasms often takes practice and effort.  So much so that many women do not achieve regular orgasms in the first few years of marriage.  The mistake is that if  a woman doesn’t believe orgasm(s) are possible during every sexual encounter she will quit trying to have them and become increasingly disinterested in sex.

Tip:  Become a good student of your body and what works for you.  Think about sex often, entice your husband to explore your body to find all your “hot spots” and focus attention on learning how to orgasm.

Myth Number 2:  Penetration is necessary for orgasm.  This may or may not be true for you.  Women need to understand what works for them and then ask their husband to please them in that way.  Looking at the physical anatomy of the female body, it is completely possible for the clitoris to be stimulated without their husband ever entering them.

Tip:  Understand and learn to communicate about where you like to be touched, how you like to be touched (ie. softer, harder, slower, faster, etc.).  Experiment to see what  ways other than penetration your partner can use to bring you to climax.  Penetration is not necessary for orgasm and most women find much satisfaction without it.

Myth Number 3:  It is selfish of me to want an orgasm every time we make love.  This is a myth that is in and of itself selfish.  As husbands and wives God has given each of us an obligation to look out for the benefit of our spouse.  We are to sacrifice and give of ourselves to please them.  It is not a selfish desire to want to experience a higher level of intimacy and satisfaction in your sex life.

Tip: Talk to your husband about your desire to learn how to orgasm or experience multiple orgasms.  You just may be surprised at how willing he is to see you climax and be fully satisfied.  In fact, many men find that there is more satisfaction in pleasuring their wives than in seeking their own pleasure.  Work at it, practice it and then just ride the wave….maybe even multiple times!

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Have any questions about these myths, or potential other ones?  Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Linked up at: WLW and WW

Demystifying Orgasm

Did the title pique your interest?  Probably so, because if you have ever experienced an orgasm you want another one.  If you asked several people what orgasm felt like you would likely get a different answer from all of them.  Regardless of how one would describe it, orgasm is an incredibly satisfying and thrilling experience.  Our bodies were designed to both give and receive pleasure so we want to take a few posts to understand the wondrous gift of orgasm.  To begin this series, here are a few things to consider:

1.  Orgasm is not the sole purpose for sex.

If you’re having sex only for the physical high, you may be misunderstanding the full purpose of sexual intimacy. While climax is often a desired goal of sexual intimacy, it’s not the only intended purpose.  There is a greater purpose in a married couples’ naked bodies being joined together, forsaking all others to experience something that no other relationship is meant to provide.  God created sex to unite a husband in a wife, to make them become one flesh.

Our tip: Always remember that whether in bed, or out of bed, you’re one flesh.  Decisions you make and conversations you have will have a direct impact on each of you, you marriage, and ultimately what goes on beneath the sheets.  Your spouse and your marriage is a gift to be cherished in all circumstances.

2.  Make orgasm a goal.

While orgasm is not the sole purpose of sex it is a bonding experience and should be sought after within the context of marriage.  The release of oxytocin and endorphins during climax create an emotional bond and produce a general sense of well-being.  The more often these hormones are released the stronger the bond.

Our tip: Make orgasm a priority in your sexual experiences.  Work for it. And men, remember that while you may be “required” to stop at one, your wife is not.  So women, feel free to make multiple orgasms a goal any time you wish.

3. Let your spouse choose how they want to be pleased.

Within a marriage there are few experiences that rival being able to give yourself to your mate in such a way that brings them to ecstasy. As the receiver, women generally understand the concept of “giving” themselves away.  Men, on the other hand, have a more difficult time understanding this truth.

Our Tip: Men ought to do whatever it takes to help their spouse attain climax.  Remember, you don’t always have to be the one in control of when, where and how penetration takes place.  While there are certain things you can (and should) do to help her achieve orgasm, sometimes you ought to simply allow her to have her way with you.  Allow her to be in full control and allow her to decide how many orgasms she’s willing to work for.  Do this, and you’ll feel more like the man you were created to be, and she’ll be more excited to jump into bed with you again soon – which is what you’re probably hoping for, anyway!

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We’ll be continuing the discussion of orgasm for women in our next post.  Until then, if you have any thoughts or questions on the subject of orgasm, feel free to let us know in the comments below.  Thanks!