We get a lot of emails from husbands who are frustrated with the quantity and quality of sex in their marriage. I’m writing this post to capture the advice that I generally give in response to these emails. See also: husbands dealing with sexual rejection and how to talk to your spouse about sex.
It’s tough to give advice because we don’t know everything going on in each marriage, but here are some things that might help.
- Pray. Ask God to bless your sex life. Ask to have desire for your spouse.
- Learn each other’s love language. Then be intentional in speaking your spouse’s love language.
- Try physical touch with your spouse with no expectation of sex. Hug, kiss, caress, but don’t try to immediately follow up. These non-sexual touches fuel me and often get me in the mood.
- Be a student of your spouse. I love having sex with El Fury because he knows me. He makes me feel sexy and beautiful. Find out what makes your spouse feel sexy, and they will want to have sex.
- Communication. The more you talk about sex with each other, the more comfortable you will be talking about sex with each other, and the fewer problems you will have.
Husbands, this is specifically for you. El Fury recently told me a quote: a man can’t consider himself a good lover until he can do the exact same thing for an hour without moving. This is so true. If your wife is anything like me, I take up to 45 minutes to orgasm when my husband uses his hand. If we use the vibrator during sex it’s about 20 minutes. That’s a long time. It can take a long time for a woman to orgasm. Be patient. Here are some tips:
- Only about 30% of women can orgasm from intercourse alone. If El Fury focused on my vagina I would never have an orgasm. You have to focus stimulation around the clitoris. Combine that with vaginal stimulation and your wife will go crazy. Keep the attention on the clitoris, it’s likely your wife can’t orgasm without that. That might mean that you give your wife an orgasm before you even have penetration.
- If you want your wife to enjoy sex, focus on her pleasure first. If she’s not having an orgasm frequently, she’s probably not enjoying sex. Make sure you are meeting her needs and she will be more enthusiastic about meeting yours.
- Pray for your wife and her sexual needs.
Wives, this is specifically for you:
- Pray. These are the prayers that I often pray: That I would have desire for my husband, that I would have energy in the evening or be alert in the morning, that we would have a sex life that is fulfilling to both of us.
- Pay attention to your cycle. I especially want sex right before my period, surprisingly during my period, and about two weeks after the start of my period. I try my hardest to make sure I orgasm often during those times, and it makes a huge difference in my overall sexual satisfaction.
- Have you ever had an orgasm? If you “think so”, then you haven’t. I still remember my first one, and there was no doubt. I had previously thought there was something wrong with my body. I had thought it would magically happen with the right position during sex. I was wrong! It happened by El Fury touching me the right way in the right spot. Since we figured out where that button was, we have learned so much more about my body, what turns me on, and what gets me to orgasm. Sex became fun!
- Be at peace with sex. Your husband will never stop wanting to have sex with you. He will continue to pursue you. If you find out what you enjoy, his pursuit will be a good thing and not something that you will forever try to avoid.
I hope this is helpful! Leave your questions or suggestions in the comments.
People say it all the time: “it’s only a season”. Seasons come and go. Some are better than others. Rather than wishing time away, we need to learn how to embrace the season we are in. The light parts and the dark. Maintaining a good habit of having sex with your spouse can help shape your outlook on whatever season of life you are in.
Sometimes I’m well into a season before I realize how things have changed. Right now I think I would title the season “over”. Lately I feel a lot of “over-(blank)”. I am starting my third year of being home with three preschoolers. I love our kids like crazy, but toddlers definitely contribute a lot to the tone of a season. Often at the end of the day I feel over-touched, over-stimulated, and over-tired. However, I also feel that I’m in the best time of my life! Children are a blessing from the Lord, but they can zap your energy right out of you. So how do you keep a fulfilling sex life in the midst of raising kids?
Here are some thoughts. Please leave suggestions for what’s worked for you in the comments!
- Time of day. The first thing I do when I find myself in a new season of life is reevaluate the best time of day for sex. Pay attention to your body and notice when you feel that urge — be alert. If you are exhausted by the end of the day, try having sex in the morning. It takes more discipline — you need to go to bed earlier, set an alarm, and actually wake up.
- Pray! Do you pray for your sex life? You should! Pray for desire, satisfaction, and regularity, for both you and your spouse.
- Take a moment. We are all busy, whether at home or at work. By the time the kids are in bed, I am not ready to be touched for a while. Similarly, if you work at a job where you have to talk a lot or are around people all day, you need a bit of quiet when you get home. I’m amazed at how even just 15 minutes alone can rejuvenate me and prepare me to better spend time with El Fury in the evening. Most of the time, this is just a nice hot shower.
- Make sex a habit. If sex is a regular part of your schedule, it’s going to happen! The same way you commit yourself to exercise and brushing your teeth, you should treat sex as a priority. If you’re already in the regular habit of having sex, you’re more likely to maintain a good sex life during the different seasons of life. You are in charge of your own time, and if something is important you should be able to carve out 30 minutes for it.
- Be flexible. If you have kids you have constant interruptions. They have lots of demands and very little patience. Even when I wake up early, am alert, and in the mood, there are times that things have to halt because there is a tiny person crying at the (locked) door. It’s frustrating, but it’s part of having these wonderful little people in your life. Keep trying. That evening. The next morning. Just keep trying!
- Communicate and ask for help. For me, the hours between 4 and 6 can make or break how I feel. Making dinner and cleaning up is often intense. When EF is able to help — with either clean up or baths, or just taking the kids away so I can prep dinner, it makes a world of difference. For less stress, try some slow-cooker meals. Anything you can to make dinner time less overwhelming will help!
Your spouse deserves your best, not just whatever you have left at the end of the day. Adjust yourself and your sex lives throughout whatever season you’re in. And remember, it’s only a season!
Our world has changed so much since I was a kid. There is so much to entertain. Sometimes we even need to be entertained while being entertained! It’s literally at our fingertips. With so much to distract, it’s easy to get into some bad habits. How often do we favor scrolling through our phone than paying attention to our spouse or children? What message are you conveying when your child needs something and you take your time to respond so you can finish reading your article or playing your game? Relationships take effort. Being present speaks volumes of love. It says, you are important, and worth my time. We have made a few decisions in our house to help us make time for being intentional with our family.
- No devices at the dinner table. We eat meals together as a family, and everyone sets aside their phones (or toys for the younger ones). Mealtime is probably the most important time of the day to engage with each other.
- No TV’s in the bedroom. This was a little more difficult to give up, but I’m so glad we did. The bedroom is for sex, and for sleeping.
- Play games! Board games are so different from when we were children. There are so many different kinds of games out there. El Fury and I love playing games together, and it’s a great way to engage with each other. We watch TV sometimes, but that feels more like parallel play. There are a lot of cooperative games out there too, so you can even be on the same team.
- We often say to our kids “people are more important” when they want to play on their tablets instead of hang out with our family. It’s a good thing for them to hear, and a good reminder for us as well.
- We also try not to be on our phones in the evening. After the kids go to bed it’s our time to hang out. We guard that time. We don’t get on our computers or phones, we spend time together.
When your spouse is talking to you, set your phone aside, and look them in the eye. They should be more important to you. Your relationship is with a person and not a device. At the end of your life are you going to be happy for all the time you spent with your spouse, or are you going to wish you would have spent more time on your phone?
We are over halfway through our Adult Advent Calendar, so I thought I would share an update. So far we have had a great time doing this! There have been some surprises, some overlaps, and some things we probably won’t be trying again (like having sex outside in the freezing cold!). It has been fun to see what El Fury has come up with. Every morning shortly after we wake up we both get excited about drawing a new Advent activity. Here are some of my favorite parts of this activity so far:
- Being intentional. We draw an activity in the morning then spend the rest of the day doing that activity or thinking about how we are going to do that activity. Then when it’s time, we spend part of our evening (or afternoon) just focusing on each other. It’s nice to simply focus on each other.
- Spicing things up. Here are some of the more interesting things we’ve done so far: Pirates and Poetry, NO panties until we have sex again, sex outside, Tattoo night, role-playing with Professor Fury, 5 Senses Sex, and sex during naptime.
- Being romantic. Some of the other activities we have done: texting/emailing each other all day about what we plan to do to each other that night, dinner date after the kids go to bed. The texting one was fun, so we have continued doing that with the other activities we are doing.
A lot of people seem to get so busy and overwhelmed over Christmas. Make sure to give your sex life some of your best time, not just your leftover time. Anyone else trying the Adult Advent Calendar? Any fun ideas you’ve come up with?
Want a way to spice up this Christmas season? Why not try making your own adult Advent Calendar? This year El Fury and I cut up 24 strips of paper, and each of us wrote 12 ideas on each one. We are keeping them a surprise and starting December 1st will open a new one each day until Christmas. Our thought is that we will open them in the morning so that we have the day to prepare or carry out the card. I’m not sure yet what all EF wrote, but I did a blend of sexy, relaxing and fun. Here are some ideas:
- Wear something sexy under your clothes today
- Play a sexy game tonight (Twister, Jenga, etc.)
- Try a new sexual position tonight
- Bubble bath and wine
I am really excited for December 1st so we can start. We hope you and your spouse can have fun doing your own adult Advent Calendar! Post any ideas in the comments. We will report back and let you know how it is going!
Update: It’s lots of fun!
Pregnancy is a special and fleeting time — although I remember while I was pregnant I felt like it would last forever! Looking back I can better appreciate how short a chapter of my life it was. During pregnancy, there are a lot of ups and downs in your sex life, and each trimester needs it’s own adjustments to keep a happy sexy time. Then after baby is born, there are even more adjustments to be made!
- When you find out that you and your spouse have made a life together, it is an incredibly intimate feeling. I felt connected to EF in a way I never had before. We shared something together that is at the most primal level of humanity, and that feeling extended into our sex.
- Shortly after you become pregnant you start to realize that you won’t have your period for a while. This was one of my favorite parts!
- Also shortly after you become pregnant, the hormones really kick in. For me, this is when I really started to pay attention to how I felt at different times of day. I was fortunate to not feel sick all day. Each pregnancy was different, but with each one there was a time of day that worked best for sex. So that is when we had sex! If you can be flexible and communicate you should be able to maintain an enjoyable sex life even through the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy.
- Enjoy all the positions that you like, you aren’t really limited by your size.
- Ah, the golden trimester for sex. El Fury loved this trimester. My libido was so high, I think I wore him out! Have sex as much as you can in this trimester.
- For most of this trimester different positions are still comfortable. We tried to enjoy the Jockey position because we knew soon we wouldn’t be able to do it that way.
- There isn’t a whole lot to say on this trimester, except have lots of sex and enjoy it!
- Sex gets a little challenging during these few months. This is where I felt like I would be pregnant forever. Husbands, encourage your wives as much as you can during these months. I was super crabby the last two months of pregnancy and needed all the encouragement I could get!
- Exercise if you are able. At this point I was only able to walk, and I think my level of activity made sex more enjoyable.
- During this trimester we were pretty much limited sex to two positions: me on top and spooning. Sex while spooning is very comfortable when you are pregnant. The last month especially this was my favorite way to have sex. If you are unfamiliar with this position, it is exactly as it sounds: having sex while the husband spoons the wife.
- Although it can be difficult, try to enjoy sex because after baby is born most people have to wait a little while until your body is recovered.
- The first time you have sex after baby is born is pretty monumental. You haven’t had sex for a while, so both of you are pretty worked up. For the wife, it is also pretty scary (at least for me it was). Go slow and spend a lot of time on foreplay. When the husband is entering the wife, go especially slow and make sure she doesn’t have any pain through the process. EF was so gentle, and it meant the world to me that I could trust him in that way.
- This is yet another time that you have to notice what time of day you want to have sex. Then have sex at that time! This can change rapidly, so listen to your body and embrace it when you want to have sex. Those first few months after our babies were born we had sex at all hours of the day. There were times I would come in from feeding in the middle of the night and be ready to go. EF was flexible enough that he didn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night.
- Boob sensitivity. Before having kids, my boobs weren’t really an exciting area for me. For EF they were, but I didn’t get much pleasure out of them. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but after having babies and breastfeeding, by boobs became much more sensitive. Now I get very turned on when EF touches me there.
I love looking back and remembering our experience of pregnancy and childbirth together. EF was the only person I wanted to have in that room with me. Going through all that together brought our relationship to a new level of intimacy. I love sharing this journey with him. There are times I feel like our kids are absolutely crazy, and I can look up and catch his eye. We give each other a knowing smile. He is the only person in the world that can understand our life together, and what we’ve been through with adding these little lives to our world: their quirkiness, and the intense love we have for them. Then, when those crazy moments have turned to quiet moments after they go to bed (or in the morning before they wake up), it’s amazing to look into those same eyes while we make love. That, I believe, is how God wanted us to experience this great gift of sex and intimacy.
When I look at the New Testament, and Paul’s letters, I notice a common theme. He writes frequently that there are divisions in the church. Divisions. Among the brothers and sisters of Christ. How relevant is this for us today? When I consider the American church, “divisions” definitely comes to mind. We are so eager to point to what is wrong, and who should be right. It doesn’t take long in reading the news to notice that there are a lot of issues our country and our world face. When the rest of our country looks at us, I’m sure they know what we stand against. We try desperately to hold the world to our standards. We expect the dark to act like the light. Rather, instead of pointing out what they are doing wrong, why don’t we point them elsewhere? Jesus. That’s it. Instead of trying to change the behavior of our society, we should try to be changing their hearts through the saving power of the Gospel. When you consider that Christ, who is God, stepped out of heaven, came here and lived a perfect life, then died a horrible and brutal death on the cross so that we might be reconciled to God and have the hope of eternal life, there is nothing else that we should be pointing at!
It starts at home. Love your spouse. Love your children. Branch out from there. Love your church, and your community. Jesus said people would know we are his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). Instead of trying to make a point, or prove that you are right, humble yourself, let go of your preferences and love God by loving people. Be so focused on Jesus that people see nothing else.
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?
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.
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.