Happy belated Thanksgiving!

When was the last time you thanked God for your spouse? When was the last time you thanked God for creating sex, and bringing you and your spouse together to enjoy sex together? Don’t fall into the trap of spending all your prayer time asking for things — “count your blessings”, and thank God for them. Especially your spouse. It’s temping to “pray for your spouse” by listing off all your complaints to God (and that’s certainly wiser than listing them all to your spouse), but don’t use “prayer” as an excuse to develop a bitter or demanding spirit. Notice how I put “prayer” in quotes everywhere? If you use your time with God to complain, are you really communicating with him at all?

Check out my Song of Solomon series and meditate on the imagery the Lover and Beloved use to describe each other. Pray those words over your spouse.

When was the last time you thanked your spouse for their love? When was the last time you thanked your spouse for being your lover? Maybe you figure “she already knows”, or “he won’t want to talk about it”, but ’tis the season! Thank your spouse for their love, their intimacy, and their sexuality.

Even though the holidays are busy and stressful, make some time to be alone with your spouse and give them something special to be thankful for!

If you know of something else I need to link to, leave a comment or shoot me a message!

Is Make Up Sex Real? — Yes, you can repair small arguments with sex.

Holiday Refuge — In the chaos of the holidays, make you master bedroom (i.e., your sex room) a refuge.

Sexual Fantasy – Her Secret Sin? — If you’re having trouble staying “in the moment” while having sex, my suggestion is to intentionally increase your responsiveness.

Clitoral Slapping — This is new to us. Try it and let us know what you think!

Slippery When Wet: Lubricant Review, and More Lubricants — Lubes for every situation.

Is Your Husband the Sexiest Man Alive? — Your spouse is your standard of beauty.

Bow-Dazzle! — My favorite holiday sex tip? Christmas elf lingerie.

A little while ago El Fury did a post on How to Help Your Wife Orgasm. I think he made all great points, but there is one thing I would add. Time of day. This can also link back to communication, but I think it’s important to mention. Time of day has become a big factor for me with when I orgasm, especially with whatever season of life we are in. When El Fury and I were first married and had fewer commitments, this was much less of an issue. Anytime was pretty much the best time.

This changed significantly when kids got thrown in the mix. We still kept our sexy time routine, but since it takes much longer for me to orgasm, it especially impacted my schedule. It’s hard to be almost there and be able to finish when a baby cry starts blaring through a monitor! If something like that starts happening regularly, it can become pretty sexually frustrating. When you have a big adjustment like kids, career, etc. in life it’s important to also adjust your sex routine to make sure both spouses are getting the amount of sexual satisfaction they want.

Here are some different ways that we have adjusted our schedules to allow enough time for me to orgasm.

1. Set an alarm for snuggling and/or sex in the morning. If you are too sleepy, even just having that extra time to snuggle in the morning is a great way to start the day.

2. If you have kids that nap, get in the bedroom as soon as they go to sleep. As they start getting older, you can try to enforce “quiet time” so you can still get some time alone.

3. Set bedtime schedules and stick to them. Your marriage needs time alone and if you are anything like us, this time is best the few hours we have together after the kids go to bed. We fiercely guard bedtimes.

4. Have sex first. Right now in our season of life, I have the most energy right after the kids go to bed. This is when I have majority of my orgasms. I love it when we have sex, then go play a board game or watch TV. If we wait to have sex until we are both ready for bed and about to fall asleep, I am usually wiped from the day and not as much in the mood to orgasm.

As our kids get older and bedtimes change we have had to make periodic adjustments. Pay attention and figure out when you have the most energy in the day and are feeling the most sexy. Then communicate that with your spouse and make it a goal to have sex at that time. Your husband wants to give you an orgasm so help him figure out when is the best time to do that.

 

(Click here to read the whole Sex in Song of Solomon series.)

After a long delay we’re back to the Song of Solomon series, this time reading chapter 2. As background: The book is commonly understood as a celebration of marital/sexual love and it contains a lot of rather graphic imagery. It’s an especially important book because it’s very sex-positive and provides a powerful illustration of the joy God takes in the sexual relationship between a husband and a wife.

The book is written in the form of a dialogue between  the Lover and his Beloved, with occasionally interjections from the wife’s Friends. The language is dominated by agricultural metaphors that can make the book difficult to understand for modern readers who aren’t familiar with the context (which certainly includes me). I’m going to do my best to untangle the imagery, but some of it is guesswork.

As I wrote in the previous post. the end of chapter 1 flows into the beginning of chapter 2 with the Beloved comparing her Lover to a mighty cedar, and the Lover comparing his Beloved to a rose — both ageless metaphors for male and female sexuality. Chapter 2 then gets even more explicit. Says the Beloved of her Lover:

As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house,
    and his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with raisins;
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am sick with love.

The Lover is once again a tree, and the Beloved delights to sit in his shade and eat his fruit. In fact, the Lover has brought his Beloved to the banqueting house. What do you think they’re feasting on? Hint: each others’ bodies. Double hint: oral sex. My most-visited post is titled “Yes, You Should Swallow”, and here’s some Biblical affirmation. The Beloved goes on:

His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

The embrace described is sexual intimacy. The Beloved is so aroused that she knows she has lost all self-control, and she admonishes other young women to avoid this passion until it finds its proper place in marriage.

Then we hear the Lover cries out to his Beloved and entice her: the time is right for us to make love.

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.”

The Beloved surrenders herself to her Lover and they have sex until dawn.

My beloved is mine, and I am his;
    he grazes among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on cleft mountains.

Chapter 2 is even more sexual than chapter 1! If you thought God and our ancestors were prudes, I hope this exploration of Song of Solomon changes your mind. God intends for sex between husbands and wives to be mind-blowing!

In my recent post about the importance of enthusiasm I briefly mentioned responsiveness and promised a follow-up post, so here it goes. All aspects of sexual enthusiasm are valuable to cultivate with your spouse, but responsiveness can be key to creating exciting, pleasurable, and memorable sexual encounters. What do I mean by sexual responsiveness? Basically, sexual responsiveness is verbal or non-verbal communication with your spouse during sex that demonstrates how much you’re enjoying what your spouse is doing right then. Whichever spouse is receiving/submissive at the moment should be sexually responsive to the actions of the giving/dominant spouse. These roles may swap once or more during a single encounter, so pay attention. For example, if you are receiving oral sex you should be the one responding.

In this post, I will first discuss why sexual responsiveness is important, and then I will describe some methods for being responsive.

So, why is sexual responsiveness important?

  • Your response is your spouse’s reward! If your spouse is pleasuring you sexually, your response tells them that they’re being successful and that you appreciate their effort. If your spouse is going down on you and you’re silent, you may as well be checking your text messages or falling asleep as far as they can tell. I think the need for affirmation is especially strong for husbands — wives, it thrills your husbands when you moan and squirm!
  • Your response leads to better sex. Your spouse wants to please you, so give them some hints! Your response should help your spouse learn to pleasure you the way you want.
  • Your response heightens your own arousal. Responsiveness creates a feedback loop in your own body and brain. When you respond to your spouse you’re also pulling yourself deeper into the moment.
  • Your response creates engagement. Do you want to feel more emotionally connected during sex? Be more responsive to your spouse. Being responsive helps keep both people in the moment, engaged with each other, and prevents distraction. It’s harder for your mind to wander to your to-do list if you are focused on your response to your spouse.
  • Your response is critical when you’re near orgasm. This is particularly true for wives: when you’re close to orgasm, make sure your husband knows it. In order to climax you may need your husband to keep doing the same exact thing for just a few more seconds, so tell him!
  • Your response leads to intimacy. What’s more intimate than crying out your spouse’s name when you climax? When you’re sexually responsive to your spouse you’re sharing the most personal, internal details about yourself, private knowledge about your secret inner workings that no one else gets to experience. If you’re shy about being overtly responsive then work intentionally to overcome that barrier and share yourself more fully with your spouse.
  • Your response leads to great foreplay later. “It felt so amazing when you did XYZ… will you do that to me again later?”
  • Your response is fun! Loud, boisterous, intimate sex is way more fun than quiet, inhibited, distracted sex.

What does sexual responsiveness look like? How do you become more responsive to your spouse? I’m glad you asked!

  • Verbal. Call me old-fashioned, but talking is one of the best ways to respond to your spouse sexually! “More”, “faster”, “slower”, “don’t stop”, “yes!”, “almost there”, “keep doing that”, “you feel so big”, “I love being inside you”, “you’re driving me crazy”, “I need you inside me”. Talk dirty.
  • Your spouse’s name. Yelling out your spouse’s name is a special kind of verbal responsiveness that your spouse will certainly enjoy, especially if you cry out while you’re orgasming.
  • Moaning. For when it feels too good to put into words. Moans, cries, groans, “oh!”, “ah!”, and so forth. If you’re shy you might be thinking that these sounds will seem overly dramatic or fake, but trust me, your spouse will not laugh at you. If your spouse isn’t used to your moaning, it might push them right over the edge of their own orgasm.
  • Eye contact. Instead of closing your eyes and disappearing into your own head, keep your eyes open and maintain eye contact. This is especially sexy during initial penetration or orgasm.
  • Kissing. Kissing during sex is always great, so use your kiss to be responsive.
  • Hands. Clutch your spouse with your hands when you’re in the throes of pleasure. Tighten your grip. Interlace fingers with your spouse. Gently use your fingernails. Squeeze, fondle, pull.
  • Legs. Similar to using your hands… grab your spouse with your legs. Tighten your grip.
  • Penetration. Push, pull, grasp, or whatever is appropriate to deepen the penetration. Wives, it will drive your husband crazy if you show him that you need him deeper inside you.
  • Writhing. Wiggle and writhe while you moan. Make sure your spouse knows you’re wiggling from pleasure and not discomfort! When pleasure is extremely strong this writhing will happen naturally, which is why incorporating some light bondage into your sex play can be fun and functional.
  • Changing speeds. Going faster, slower, or even pausing can indicate your pleasure. A husband might need to pause to delay his orgasm, or a wife might need to hold still to get herself over the edge. It’s important to use additional cues so that your spouse knows why you’re changing speeds.
  • Skin contact. Adjust your position to increase skin contact, including arms, legs, and breasts.
  • Bury your face. Nuzzle your face into your spouse’s neck, breasts, hair, or whatever is handy.

There are my tips for being sexually responsive. What do you think? What works for you in your marriage? Did I miss anything good?

I’ve been promising to write about enthusiasm for a while, but I’ve been having trouble wrapping my head completely around it. Basically, my opinion is that enthusiasm is more important than any other single behavior when it comes to having great sex. [Tweet this] I know, that’s a bold claim, but let’s see if I can convince you.

So what is enthusiasm? My favorite definition is “lively interest”. Both of those words are important. I should be interested in sex with my spouse. I should think about it, plan for it, pursue it. Sex with my spouse should be one of my favorite hobbies. And my interest should be lively. Active. Self-motivated. Dynamic.

So what does this look like? Enthusiasm for sex with your spouse isn’t just important while you’re having sex — it encompasses a lot of behaviors.

  • Saying yes. Pretty basic, but it’s a lot better than when your spouse tells you no! As we’ve written before, yes should be the default answer when it comes to sex with your spouse. [Tweet this] There may be a reason to say no for a moment, but I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the answer should be yes at least 90% of the time. Just like with your other hobbies, you find a way to say yes when you’re invited.
  • Communication. Enthusiastic spouses tell each other what they like, what they want, what they need. You can’t wait to talk to your friends about your other hobbies, right? Don’t make your spouse drag it out of you — offer your opinion. Be eager to listen to your spouse’s desires. Be as explicit and specific as necessary! Tell your spouse exactly what you want. These conversations can take place any time, but they seem ideal when they aren’t during sex or immediately before or after. Make some time to talk during the day. (Which may lead to sex.)
  • Improvement. Enthusiasm means you want to be the best sex your spouse has ever had. This is the part where you follow-through on the communication. If your wife wants you to tickle her g-spot more before penetration, you can’t wait to please her. If your husband wants a quickie, shut the door and drop your panties. Your spouse has told you what they want, so hop to it! And not just the once, but be a student of your spouse and incorporate your new knowledge into your permanent expertise. When you’re invested in a hobby you work at it to improve, right? You read about it, study it, test out new ideas, and learn from experience. Sex with your spouse should be the same way.
  • Responsiveness. Now we’re getting to what enthusiasm looks like during sex. When you’re having sex, be there, in the moment. Be fully engaged. Look your husband in the eyes and moan when he enters you. Tell your wife how amazing she looks when she rides you. Responsiveness at any given moment is mostly the responsibility of the submissive, receiving partner. This role may stay the same throughout a sexual encounter, or it may change several times before you’re done. The point of responsiveness is that the receiver needs to demonstrate their pleasure to the dominant, giving partner. Don’t just lay there like a rug while your spouse goes to town. If you want your spouse to improve, give them the feedback they need! It’s especially important to clearly communicate to your partner when you’re close, and when you’re orgasming. The topic probably deserves its own post, but here are a few ways to be responsive: talking (“more!”, “yes!”, “almost there!”); kissing; moaning; using your spouse’s name; clutching with your hands or legs; connecting with your eyes; writhing with your hips; deepening penetration; changing speed.
  • Experimentation. This goes for before and during sex: be open to new ideas, and don’t get frustrated if something doesn’t work. Sure, every couple has a repertoire of reliable positions that are guaranteed to please both spouses, and that’s great. You don’t have to try something new every time; most of the time your basic method is just fine. But when your spouse suggests something new, say yes! Maybe it won’t work, but don’t pre-judge it; chances are, your spouse has been working up the nerve to ask you for a while. When you say yes, don’t wince or roll your eyes, even if you’re skeptical. Don’t use the dreaded, “eh, if you want to” line either. That’s resignation, not enthusiasm. When your spouse wants to try something new with you, consider it a gift. This is an experience they’ve planned just for you and no one else in the world. Later (but not immediately afterwards), the two of you can talk about it and decide if its something you want to do sometimes/always/never. Just remember: unlike other hobbies, you’re the only legitimate sexual partner for your spouse; if you say no, that closes a door on your spouse’s desire forever.
  • Fun. Why so glum, chum? Sex is serious business, but it should also be seriously fun. Sex with your spouse is your own private amusement park! Ride all the rides. Eat everything in sight. Laugh, joke, tickle, wrestle, tease, snuggle, play! Sex isn’t just about having babies and orgasms. What do you like best about your other hobbies? Find ways to incorporate those qualities into your sex life. For example, Sexy Corte and I like playing games, so we created Sexy Adult Jenga and Naked Marco Polo. No matter what you enjoy, you will likely be able to bring some aspects of your hobby-personality into your sex life. When your spouse begins to bring these interests into your sexual encounters, remember to say yes!
  • Orgasm. Right, so sex isn’t only about orgasms, but let’s face it: orgasms are awesome. You don’t need to have an orgasm every time you have sex, but you should have an orgasm as often as you want to — and so should your spouse. Enthusiasm is hungering for an orgasm from your spouse, and craving an orgasm for your spouse. [Tweet thisMen can get very goal-oriented and focus excessively on the orgasm, so husband, make sure to listen to what your wife wants in the moment. Wife, your husband can’t read your mind, so make sure you are as responsive as possible.

Whew! That’s a long post; I hope it makes sense. If you want to kick your love life up a notch, foster some enthusiasm for sex. Please leave a comment and tell us your perspective on enthusiasm!

If you know of something else I need to link to, leave a comment or shoot me a message!

The Eager Wife — I’m still planning to write a post about enthusiasm; it’s always attractive.

My Husband Is the Best Lover I’ve Ever Had

3 Secrets to Amazing Oral Sex

Little Things, BIG Difference: Hand Holding — You already know I love holding hands during sex.

12 Ways to Ask for Sex Tonight — Nice shoes… wanna X?

Pulling Back the Curtains on 50 Shades of Grey — I’m all in favor of a little kink in your marriage, but romance novels are basically just porn for women.

Athol Kay at Married Man Sex Life has a post up about using active listening to connect with your wife while she decompresses from her day. This is a part of something I call emotional undressing. Just like you have to take your clothes off, you also have to undress your emotions if you’re going to connect sexually. Athol’s point is pretty simple:

Most women have a need to verbally decompress their day. Which is a fancy way of saying they need to talk when they come from work, or you come home from work when they’ve been home all day. Women tend to be more emotionally fluid than men, and it can often seem to the guy like he’s been dropped into a verbal puking of half a dozen emotions and disconnected storylines. This is just her  clearing her daily event cache. […]

The actual solution is to do what I call “Booing the Villians and Cheering the Heroes”. Which is to say you treat it something like watching a TV show with a bag of popcorn, and simply enjoy the show. When good things happen you say “woo-hoo”, when bad things happen you say “that sucks”. Her friend does something good in her story, say “she’s awesome”, and when some bitch does her bitch thing, say “that bitch”.

And some great tips from the comments:

  • ”That must have been {hard/difficult/frustrating/a relief/description of situation}”
  • ”You must have felt {emotion}”
  • ”Tell me more.”

The need to decompress isn’t limited to women — men need to decompress too, even though it may look different. Since women tend to be more relational then men, it’s not surprising that they decompress by discussing their relationships. Men tend to be more goal-oriented, which means that we decompress by tying up the loose ends of our daily tasks. It takes effort to switch gears when we’re focused on work (or a project), and it’s frustrating to leave a job undone when a good stopping point is in sight.

In the micro, when we get home from work we men tend to have rituals we like to complete before we’re ready to fully engage with our family. For example, I take off my shoes, change into comfy clothes, and wash my face and hands. I love to see my wife and kids when I walk in the door, but I’m not ready to settle in with them until I get a few things done. Even completing these minor tasks helps clear my brain and lets me switch into family mode.

In general, women decompress themselves by discussing their relationships, and men decompress themselves by checking off their to-do list.

Ultimately what we’re talking about here is context switching, and this decompression frees us up to go to the next thing. If you’ve been reading tips on the internet for enhancing the romance in your marriage, most of the tips you’ll find are techniques for assisting you and your spouse to switch into a sexy context. Foreplay is certainly a part of this, but it’s really one of the last steps. The first steps happen when you and your spouse decompress.

If you can identify the steps you have (unconsciously) taken to emotionally undress when you have had a mutually pleasing sexual encounter with your spouse, you can later recreate those steps to assist with a context switch in a more difficult circumstance. Don’t just examine the 10 minutes before you have sex, but consider all your interactions with your spouse over the past 24 hours. Look for the times that your spouse was definitely not in the mood for sex, and then think about what happened between then and your spouse’s orgasm. This whole process is the emotional undressing.