Sex is…Getting Naked

Getting naked doesn’t come naturally.  It may seem like a simple act, but for most people the reality of being in the buff is more than just a little bit intimidating.  It would seem that after you have been naked with someone once the awkwardness would disappear.  This doesn’t appear to be true.  Bodies change.  Things shift, wrinkle and sag.  Learning to be comfortable in your own skin isn’t easy.  We are constantly bombarded by images and messages that what we wear, how we look and even who we are just aren’t good enough. Our minds race with insecurities and thoughts about what other people, even our spouse, really think about us.

It can be incredibly difficult to silence our insecurities when we have so many questions going through our minds.  “Does my spouse find me attractive or desirable?  Would they rather be with someone else?  What is it actually like to have sex with me?”  Questions reverberate through our minds, hearts and souls all the time.  When we are naked we are most vulnerable.  Vulnerable to having all our insecurities and self-doubt rise to the surface. Vulnerable to the pain of rejection.  Vulnerable to be known in the most intimate ways.

Physical nakedness, however, is just one aspect of nakedness in marriage.  Sure, it has its obvious place in our marriages, but have you ever considered nakedness in other aspects of your marriage?  Nakedness of your soul.  Nakedness of your mind.  Nakedness of your will.  We’ve said this before and will say it again; a great sex life is the overflow of a great marriage.  Great marriages are built on getting naked and being vulnerable.  In marriage we can conceal, hide and disguise nothing.  The degree to which we are able to be naked with our spouse is the degree to which our marriages and sex lives will flourish.

Being naked in marriage means we bring everything we can to the marriage.  It is about baring all while still being the person we need to be.  The question remains then, are you willing to really get naked in your marriage?  We understand that past hurts, breach of trust, and so many other things factor into our ability to be naked in marriage.  However, we also understand that if we are not working on becoming naked it won’t happen.  The physical act of taking off clothes requires we do something, both physically and emotionally.  It stands to reason that being naked in other areas will require something of us as well.

Sex has a powerful ability to draw us closer to our spouse.  Physical nakedness is a requirement for this to happen.  However, we want you to consider how much greater the experience could be if you were able to be naked in all areas of your life.  Giving freely and generously of yourself to your spouse.  Nothing coming between you and them.  Now that, that is truly naked sex.

Sex is….Not a Dirty Word

Just mention the word sex and you will likely get a wide variety of reactions.   Some may blush. Some may giggle or laugh. Some may steer the conversation in another direction. And some may add a distasteful joke.  Whatever the reaction, the word sex conjures up a lot of thoughts and memories.  Many times, these thoughts and memories are not pleasant or beneficial.  This is not as it should be.

You see, the world has done a great job of distorting and perverting what God created to be meaningful and beautiful.  God intended that sex would be the highlight of a husband and wife’s marital intimacy and that the experience would bond them closer together.  From the beginning of time, sex was God’s idea.  Imagine that!  He created our bodies to give and receive pleasure and He is pleased when we do just that.  God is not shocked or embarrassed about the pleasure we feel when we connect our bodies.  He designed it that way.

It does seem a bit awkward to some people, maybe even you, to think about God and sex in the same sentence.  Many have the misconception that sex is “dirty”, base even.  With the hype of causal sex and “hooking up” it is often hard to rectify that sex and God have any relation at all.  Often we allow ourselves to separate God from sex, the seemingly secular from the spiritual.  When we do this we miss out on God’s purpose.  By segmenting our lives into secular and spiritual categories we miss out on the fullness of living a satisfying and fulfilling life.

If you are like many of the people we have talked with and you have trouble understanding how sex and God can be spoken of with ease and fluency at the same time, here are a few thinking points.

1. God invented sex.

2. God talks about sex.

3. God encourages us to enjoy sex.

If you don’t believe us, check this out:

“She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.”

That is an ancient proverb from one who is claimed to be the wisest man who ever lived.  And yes, it’s found in the Bible.  If God gives a stamp of approval to actually enjoy sex in marriage who are we to think it is dirty?

Our marriages and intimate lives would be much stronger if we would actually take time to understand what God believes about sex rather than what culture tells us about sex.  Any number of things, many very serious, make it difficult to have a Godly view of sex.  We began dialog about some of these last week in part 1 of our series on the Pain of past sexual experiences.  It is our hope that over time  you gain and experience a greater depth of freedom in the area of intimacy within your marriage.  The road to freedom begins with truly  understanding what God believes about sex.  Knowing that sex is not dirty but a wonderful gift from God is a good first step toward freedom.

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Why do you believe it’s so difficult for many to openly discuss sex as a “Godly” experience?

Sex is…Painful

While sex is an exhilarating experience for the majority of married couples, we occasionally receive questions about sex being painful.  Below are three ways in which sex may cause physical pain as well as a few suggestions on how to handle any discomfort your physical or emotional being may throw your way.

1)Pain directly around or near your sexual organs: This is generally more common among women than among men.  The vagina may be able to handle a sexual experience for a few minutes at a time, but when working to achieve orgasm the continual act of physical penetration may cause pain in some women.  One of the best ways to combat this is to really take the opportunity to do some kegel exercises.  In fact, even if you don’t experience pain during intercourse, kegel exercises will in time make the sexual experience even better.  And remember, practicing these exercises is also one way to help you mentally prepare for intercourse with your spouse.

2) Physical Pain away from sexual organs: This is common in either men or women.  Whether it be a bad back, broken arm, or a real chronic physical condition, pain is something that can and hinder the sexual experience.  What can you do if you personally have chronic pain?

While it’s true that most couples have their favorite 2 or 3 sexual positions that are their “go to’s”, there is a great deal of experimenting that can be done here.  There are a number of simple books (or even apps) that may assist your spouse in determining how to best please you while you’re in pain.  If you can find a comfortable position on the bed, couch, recliner…or even standing, your spouse can probably find a way to please you, and you’ll enjoy discovering you’re still able to please them as well.

We only have one recommendation when it comes to the subject of books/apps that provide suggestions for sexual positions: Use ones that do not contain images of real people.  There are quality books/apps to help in this regard with tasteful sketches of the human figure that won’t leave you lusting over another person. (We’ll be sure to write more about this in a future post).

3) Physical or emotional pain that leads to no mental desire for the sexual experience: Every once in a while we’ll hear about a physical condition that is quite serious.  Sometimes it’s not so much physical pain, but mental anguish caused by a past experience (whether it’s sexual abuse, nagging memories of a college fling, or some other past sexual experience). Oftentimes these situations are bothersome to one spouse and not the other, but the problem is hindering both parties within the marriage.

Our recommendation – get counseling.  The sexual experience between a husband and wife is something quite beautiful…it’s something to be cherished.  If you’re physically or emotionally struggling with something so much that you don’t even have the desire to be with your spouse, you need to work through your anguish with some professional help.  Many times, medication isn’t necessary.  It’s the mental desire to connect with the one person who desires to be with you more than anybody else.

Pain is not part of the original design/purpose of the sexual experience.  Work through your pain with your spouse and make the best of the sexual experience.  Whether practicing your kegel exercises, finding a new position, or getting professional counsel, your spouse will love you all the more when they recognize you’re willing to do whatever it takes to please them.  And in return, they’ll be ready to please you as well.

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Have another exercise or course of action you take when pain gets in the way of sexual intimacy?  Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Sex is…Boring?

Sex is…Boring?  Sadly, we know from talking with other married couples that these words are sometimes pared together.  It is, however,  our strong opinion that “sex” and “boring” should never be used in the same book, let alone the same sentence!  Terms such as “exhilarating”, “fun” or perhaps even “tidal wave of emotional ecstasy” are more akin to what the sexual experience was designed for.   There are so many physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits to sex that it is worth the effort to make it an invigorating experience.

How can you recapture or reignite the flames of passion in your marriage and sex life?

First, communicate well with each other.  When you are not communicating well with each other (or about each other) your marriage will suffer.  Sex cannot consistently remain fulfilling when there are emotional and relational problems in your marriage.  You may be able to separate the issues for a time, but in the end, your sex life may suffer due to other problems within your marriage.

Secondly, anticipation is key.  If you are looking to add some excitement to your sex life — build anticipation.  Remember when you were dating and you couldn’t keep your hands off each other?  The biggest reason is that you were anticipating the time together and expected it to be fulfilling.  We have talked in other posts about making time to plan for sex because we really believe that is important.  However if you plan it without building anticipation you may view sex as a chore and something you “should” do rather than something you can’t wait for.  Build anticipation for hot and steamy sex by adding something new to your repertoire (for ideas check out our posts on the 5 Senses).  Consider having an extended make out session or maybe consider a new position.

Third, please understand that there is nothing wrong with taking time through the day to emotionally dwell on what’s going to happen behind closed doors after dark.  Do whatever you can to mentally prepare for [not just] sex…but knock-down drag-out bite your lip / concerned you’re going to wake the kids sex.  If you take 5, 10, or 15 minutes to imagine what your spouse could do to you that would leave you gasping for air (and then encourage them to do it), your body, and theirs, will fall in line.

Finally, we would encourage you to understand your body.  Orgasm is a huge deal when it comes to passionate and satisfying sex.  We have found that if people do not understand their bodies and do not find orgasm easily achieved or satisfying then sex can often seem boring.  If orgasm doesn’t come easily for you, keep working at it.  And when you do climax (perhaps multiple times), you will discover that giving and receiving orgasmic sex with your spouse will leave you craving what only they can provide.  Which leads you right back to mentally preparing for the next round.

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These are just a few things to consider when thinking about how your love life can go from boring to passionate.  How about you?  What do you do to keep your sex life from playing second fiddle to your favorite TV show?  We would love to hear from you!