A reader’s wife recently suggested that she try using a numbing spray to help her overcome her gag reflex, and I wrote back that such use is generally safe. But what about numbing sprays and lubes more generally?

In addition to cough sprays and cough drops that are intended for other uses (sore throats) there are also products that are intended to numb during sex. There are several different potential applications, and each type of use has it’s own considerations. The most important thing to remember is that pain was designed by God to warn us about injury. Numbing agents can be used to reduce discomfort, but shouldn’t be used to mask pain. Here are the three major applications, in order of least risky to most risky.

  • Penis: Numbing spray can be used on the penis to mitigate premature ejaculation. This is generally safe and somewhat effective. It is unlikely that a topical numbing agent will prevent a man from feeling pain in his penis.
  • Throat: Numbing spray is generally safe to use on the throat to reduce discomfort during oral sex. There are also flavored, numbing lubes that can be used for the same purpose. Of course, applying numbing agents to the penis will make it harder for the husband to orgasm! The wife can use the throat spray a few minutes before starting oral sex to avoid accidentally applying it to the penis. The mouth and throat are pretty tough, and as long as the wife is careful it’s unlikely that her husband’s penis will cause injury.
  • Anus: There are numerous kinds of lube designed to aid anal sex, including some with numbing agents. Numbing lube shouldn’t be used to mask pain! Anal sex should not be painful. If used wisely numbing lubes should be safe, but don’t use them to fool yourself and risk injury.

Even though numbing lubes and sprays are generally safe, they definitely aren’t necessary for oral or anal sex. If you practicego slow, and use lube you can avoid pain and discomfort without risking the use of numbing agents. Numbing lubes and sprays seem like a short-cut, but sex with your spouse isn’t a race! Take your time and enjoy yourselves.

What’s your experience with numbing sprays or lubes? Have you used them? Do you like them? Leave a comment!

Reader “T” asks:

I was talking to my wife the other night about swallowing during oral sex and it was very informative. During the talk I asked why she didn’t care for swallowing. She said that she has a strong gag reflex,  and there are times when I have a lot of semen and she gags or she can’t deep throat because of her gag reflex. She mentioned the possibility of using numbing sprays for her throat and I was wondering if you or Sexy Corte had any thoughts about that.

If only semen tasted like chocolate! Alas!

(Note: We are not doctors and we are not responsible for your health and safety.)

Let’s directly address T’s question first: yes, it it is generally safe to use numbing sprays to help overcome your gag reflex. However, in my opinion there’s a better option: practice.

I recognize that this advice may seem self-serving, as a husband on the receiving end, but the gag reflex can be desensitized over time by repeated exposure. This will be a bit of work for the wife and require some determination, but hopefully it will be pleasurable. The basic principle is simple: the wife should practice taking the husband’s penis into her mouth and throat as deep as possible, over and over. She should focus on herself and work at improving her depth and time, rather than trying to bring her husband to orgasm. Like any physical training, it will take time and effort to see improvement.

Wives, your reaction to this idea of practice and improvement may be along the lines of: screw that, he should be glad I go down at all! That’s fine, it’s up to you. I’m only pointing out that physical training will improve your gag reflex if you want to. It’s exercise you can even do while watching television!

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email server like Mailinator.

I got a terrible case of the hiccups when I was paying for dinner — I could barely talk to the server! I did everything I could think of to make them go away: drinking water, holding my breath, and so forth. Nothing worked. It was agonizing.

We finally paid, loaded the kids in the car, and started driving home. My hiccups were worse than ever when Sexy Corte whispered to me: “I’ll give you a BJ if you stop hiccuping right now.”

And the hiccups stopped immediately! I was doubly happy, and SC thought it was hilarious.

The internet has completely let me down: I can’t find a video of the scene from Malcolm in the Middle that made me and Sexy Corte crack up last night. We’ve really been enjoying this show recently (thanks Netflix), and it amuses us that we now identify with the parents rather than the kids. Hal and Lois’s relationship is great. The episode we watched last night, “Malcolm’s Girlfriend”, has a scene with the parents laying in bed discussing Malcolm’s distraction by a crush:

Hal: Certain things are beyond the boy’s control. It’s his genetics. Girls, they just swoon. Sorry, what am I telling you for? You battle with it every day. There’s nothing we can do.

Lois: Oh, yes, there is! I can ground him, and I can ground him till he graduates from Harvard.

Hal: He’s gonna pull away, then we’ll have another Francis on our hands.

Lois: Are you blaming Francis on me?

Hal: No!

Lois: That’s what you said!

Hal: No, I meant that… Lois, let’s not have this veer off into us somehow not having sex tonight.

Yeah, we’ve been there before! A perfectly normal conversation somehow tricks foot into my mouth, and then my only concern is trying to steer back onto the path that was gliding towards sex.

 

When your spouse’s love language is Acts of Service, it is fun to find new ways to spice up boring chores. You can accomplish a task as well as make your spouse feel loved AND have fun in the process. One of my least favorite chores is cleaning the ceiling fans. I do this chore about once a year. This last round as I got started I decided to do the fan in El Fury’s office last. This allowed me some time to plan a sexy surprise for him. First I made sure to let him overhear me complain about how hot it was. I removed some of my clothing, pulled a chair into his office and set about my task. I immediately had his attention. For me, this was very sexy, to feel like I had captivated him. I loved having his eyes on my while I slowly cleaned his ceiling fan and removed the rest of my clothing in the process. I pulled my hair up as the final touch.

Without saying a word, I walked over and sucked him off in his chair.

I can’t count how many times he has talked about this. He felt loved in a way that most deeply connects to him. Combining your spouse’s love language with sex is a powerful way to speak love into their soul. What is your spouse’s love language? How can you bring that into your sex life?

It really turns me on when Sexy Corte  goes down on me during or after we’ve been having vaginal sex — it’s even more intimate than standard oral sex. It’s not that the physical sensations are any different on their own, but it feels naughty and edgy — even a little dirty. (Of course, it’s just as safe and not-dirty as when I perform oral sex on her.)

Oral sex is great foreplay, but it doesn’t have to be sidelined when you start the main event! Here are a few reasons you should introduce vagina-to-mouth transitions into your sex life.

  • Variety. It’s fun to use more than one position per sexual encounter, and if you’re willing to go from her vagina to her mouth with his penis (and not just the other way around) then you’re multiplying your options.
  • Easier oral sex. Oral sex can be a lot of work and they generally don’t lead to an orgasm for the wife, but vagina-to-mouth sex can improve that. After the wife has climaxed, the husband can finish where he wants, and if he wants to ejaculate in her mouth it won’t be as much work because he’ll already be stimulated from intercourse.
  • Easier clean-up. If you’re having sex in a public place, clean-up can be easier if he ejaculates in her mouth.
  • Teasing and edging. Switching between forms of stimulation can prolong a sexual encounter and drive the receiver crazy. Either spouse can be the receiver of the teasing, it just depends on who is in control.
  • Natural lubrication. If you don’t have lube handy — or don’t want to use it — then saliva can serve the same purpose, either to get things started or to help out later. (Unflavored lubes don’t taste good, so if you’re doing vagina-to-mouth you probably won’t want to use them anyway. Of course, there are flavored lubes.)
  • Edgy and naughty. Maybe it just sounds hot because it’s a little outside your comfort zone! Incorporate some bondage, shibari, or even use vagina-to-mouth play as a sexual reward.

And everything above applies to a husband performing oral sex on his wife, too! There’s no reason he can’t pull out and go down on her.

So what do you think of it? Do you play with vagina-to-mouth sex?

Some of the best marriage advice I ever heard was this: “no one will respect your spouse more than you do”. You set the tone for how your friends, family, co-workers see your spouse. Let me ask, how are you doing? I am part of a woman’s group at our church and it’s amazing how fast a simple complaint about a husband can snowball. Everyone has a story to share or a frustration that can be topped. While most of the time it’s playful, I don’t always find it to be honoring to our husbands. I am sure the same thing can occur in men’s groups. We should lovingly guard our spouse’s reputation. Here are a few ideas how:

  • When you are talking about your spouse, try to speak about them in ways that it wouldn’t matter if they overheard what you were saying.
  • Say good things! If you talk about your spouse in a positive way, it’s likely to make you feel more loving towards them. A session of complaining about your spouse will often make you have a negative attitude towards them. Think about how you want your spouse to talk about and treat you, then try to emulate that.
  • Tame your tongue. The writer of James was right in James 3:8 “it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”. Before you speak, think.
  • Be careful about who you talk about your spouse to when you have a problem. If your mom doesn’t particularly like your husband, definitely don’t share any marital problems with her.
  • When you are in a group that the conversation heads towards talking about spouse’s in a bad way, redirect. Try to have topics on hand that you can switch to.
  • 1st Corinthians 16:14 Do everything in love.

One of the most frequent questions we get is: “How do you find time and energy to have an exciting sex life when you’ve got kids, jobs, church, and everything else going on?”

Sit down. I will now explain something to you that is very simple to understand, but very hard to execute:

You can’t have everything, but you can have what you want most if you prioritize it.

Your time and energy are finite resources, and everyone around you will drain them dry if you let them. Your boss will let you work as many hours for free as you want. Your kids will spend two hours eating dinner and stay up until midnight if you let them. Your church will let you serve every day of the week. Your friends will let you help them with every project. People on the internet will argue with you 24/7. Netflix will create more shows than you can possibly consume.

No-one will stop you from exhausting yourself for their benefit — except your spouse, if you’re blessed. The only one who can protect your time and energy is you.

Here’s an exhortation: if you don’t have time and energy for a great sex life with your spouse, that’s because it isn’t as important to you as all the other things you spend your time and energy on.

Yes, yes, I know: all the things you do are super-important… but is your sex life just an optional luxury? Not if you want your marriage to thrive! It’s easy to neglect your sex life because it’s not urgent, but don’t fall into the trap of mistaking urgency for importance.

Steven Covey created the Importance-Urgency Matrix, which is one of the best self-management tools that I’ve ever seen. The matrix divides your activities into four groups based on urgency and importance, and it’s best insight is that many urgent things are not important.

Covey_Time_Matrix_Web

 

  • Quadrant 1: Activities that are both important and urgent. These are emergencies that you need to handle now. Most people have no problem prioritizing these things.
  • Quadrant 2: Activities that are important, but not urgent — this generally includes your sex life, unless you’re super-horny right now. It also includes all kinds of long-term personal growth: learning, planning, relationship-building, serving. Quadrant 2 is what usually suffers when we mistakenly focus on…
  • Quadrant 3: Activities that are urgent, but not important. It’s so easy to get sucked into these. These tasks are often important to someone else who has made them urgent for you, but they aren’t important to your life. Just because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s important! Say it out loud. This quadrant is tricky and deceptive. You can fill your entire day with these activities if you aren’t extremely diligent.
  • Quadrant 4: Activities that are just wasteful. Some people can get trapped in these lazy, pointless activities, but most adults can recognize this garbage. Checking your email every five minutes. Surfing Facebook. Worrying. Pouting. Substance abuse.

This is all basic time management stuff, but don’t lose sight of the fact that it applies to your sex life. Your sex life with your spouse should generally be in Quadrant 2 — important and not urgent — so don’t sacrifice it for deceptive Quadrant 3 junk.

Here’s the application: Identify the Quadrant 3 stuff in your life and stop doing it. It’s simple to say, but hard to do because many Quadrant 3 activities are bound up in your responsibilities and commitments to other people. You may not be able to quit immediately because you gave your word, but you can immediately start to unwind your commitments. Be warned: people will try to make you feel guilty — this is a trap! You don’t need to feel guilty for quitting unimportant activities.

If you don’t have time and energy for a great sex life with your spouse and you don’t have a newborn or a serious illness, then it’s your fault. You need to cut out some of your other activities. Be brave. Stand up to other peoples’ expectations and say no to Quadrant 3.

The term “blow job” as slang for oral sex performed on a man, or fellatio, pretty much rules the roost. There are plenty of other terms for the act, but “blow job” is by far the most common. It’s such a strange bit of slang: there’s no blowing involved, and though it can be a bit of work it’s an act of love, not labor. So what’s the deal?

Here are a couple of analyses that purport to explain the origin of the term — I’ll try to quote the less graphic parts. Click the links at your own risk, but the etymology is quite interesting.

The inestimable (and late) Christopher Hitchens wrote that “blowjob” is Victorian in origin.

The crucial word “blowjob” doesn’t come into the American idiom until the 1940s, when it was (a) part of the gay underworld and (b) possibly derived from the jazz scene and its oral instrumentation. But it has never lost its supposed Victorian origin, which was “below-job” (cognate, if you like, with the now archaic “going down”).

However, Chelsea G. Summers writes that no-one ever connected “blow job” with “below-job” until Hitchens wrote it. She digs deeper into the seventeenth century to inspect terminology used to describe oral sex. She decides that “to blow” has a long history as a euphemism for orgasm (i.e., to explode), and that “job” descends from many other labor terms used as sexual slang.

And it’s not just Americans: the English-speaking world at large has enjoyed a long, filthy history with “blow.” An explosion, a hard hit, or the act of producing a sound from a horn instrument, “blow” is already a versatile word, and slang takes full […] advantage of its flexibility. “Blow” meaning “fellate” dates to 1930, but the word has been doing sexy duty for centuries. “Blow” meaning to achieve orgasm came about in 1700; “blow” meaning to bring to orgasm showed as early as 1650; and “blow” meaning [sex] appeared in a 1644 edition of Mercurious Fumigosus, a weird, smutty zine-style newsletter produced by John Crouch, a Royalist journalist imprisoned during the British Interregnum. While other terms have lost their erotic luster with time, “blow” has held firm. Dudes have blown their loads only since 1993, but we’ve got more than three hundred years of people achieving orgasm with “blow.”

Sex slang through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was deep into play. People engaging in sexual intercourse would “dance on a rope,” “play at mumble-de-peg,” or “frisk,” while “larking” was the earliest slang term for oral sex. True, “job” as slang for [having sex with] dates to the early sixteenth century, and both “business” and “work” to the early seventeenth, but the sheer number of play terms vastly outweigh labor terms until the early twentieth century. Then, “job” proliferates—hand, mouth, brown, finger, rim, and non-specific “sex job” grow like mushrooms in the shade of “blow job.” In modern times, sex slang is all work and decreasing play, and “blow job” leads the way towards labor.

So there you go: two options for the history of “blow job”. “Fellatio” descends directly from Latin for “to suck”, but unless you really must discuss oral sex in polite company it seems unlikely that “blow job” is going anywhere anytime soon.

What do you and your spouse call it?

Even when you have a healthy sex life there are sometimes outside circumstances that can prevent you from coming together with your spouse. El Fury and I recently went through one of these periods. We had family staying with us, both of us were sick, I was on my period, one of our kids was up all night for a few days in a row. We were both exhausted. Our sex life got out of whack for a few weeks and it made our relationship feel strained. We both felt stressed and like we weren’t connecting. I felt like I was being short with him and with our kids.

First Corinthians 7:5 says Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Now this verse is obviously talking about prayer, but the point is the same. You need to come together regularly with your spouse. If you deprive one another of sex it leaves you open to temptation. This could be temptation other than sexual immorality. When I feel like my relationship with EF is “off”, I am much less gentle, kind and loving toward everyone. I am more easily angered, selfish and self-pitying. Sex with your spouse sets the tone for your marriage.

EF and I were able to get back on track once things slowed down and we were healthy and well rested again. Coming together was a sweet reunion. But I hope we learned from this experience. No matter how crazy your life may seem at the moment, it’s not asking much to find 30 minutes to connect with your spouse. When you do, you can handle all the crazy with a much more gracious attitude.