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!

  1. 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.
  2. Pray! Do you pray for your sex life? You should! Pray for desire, satisfaction, and regularity, for both you and your spouse.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!

“Sex robots” are everywhere in the media these days, from television, to movies, to the news.

In HBO’s series “Westworld,” humans pay for sex with robots in an anything-goes Wild West-inspired theme park. In the movie “Her,” a man falls in love with his Siri-like operating system. And in AMC’s show “Humans,” a husband has an affair with his pretty robotic assistant.

It’s the stuff of science fiction. But could a world in which robots are at our sexual beck and call be nearer than we think? What would that mean for humanity and for our sex lives?

Most experts agree that we’re at least decades away from a true “Westworld” scenario. We just don’t have the technology to create robots that can function as realistic sex partners, but we may be getting closer.

You might think that’s icky, but I’ll bet many of you already have a sex robot in your bedroom…

Vibrators, dildos, and other toys can be great fun and enhance sex with your spouse, as long as you’re careful to make sure they don’t replace your spouse!

Well guess what? We just got a sex robot of our very own! It’s awesome in the bedroom, of course, but we’ve already used it in every room of the house. Say hello to our cute little Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum. It’s basically like a Roomba, but better.

How does a robot vacuum relate to sex, you ask? Does it have some… uh… special attachments? No, even better: it saves Sexy Corte two hours every week and a ton of stress. Vacuuming while surrounded by toddlers is a lot of work, and now the robot does almost all of it. She can spend those hours doing all sorts of other productive things, including sexy stuff with me!

So, husbands, would you like your wife to have less stress and more time and energy for sex? Consider buying her the ultimate sex robot, a robot vacuum: the robot that helps you have more sex with each other. And wives, every time that robot zooms past, make sure to give your husband a little vicarious “choreplay” credit for the work its doing.

In a completely surprising turn of events, scientists are suggesting that frequent sex may be the key to a happy marriage!

During the 14-day study period, couples reported having sex on an average of 4 days.

Not only was sexual activity associated with same-day sexual satisfaction, but also the researchers found that a single act of sex produced an afterglow that persisted for 2 days.

However, they found that couples who reported a stronger sexual afterglow were more likely to report greater marital satisfaction 4-6 months later, compared with couples with a weaker sexual afterglow.

Meltzer says the study findings are important, as they support previous research suggesting that sex plays an important role in partner bonding.

What would we do without these brilliant scientists?! This is amazing, groundbreaking research.

If you have lots of sex, not only will your marriage be stronger, you’ll also get a promotion at work!

To understand the impact of sex on work, the researchers documented 159 married employees over the course of two weeks, asking them to complete two surveys a day.

Overwhelmingly, employees who had sex were in more positive moods the next day.

And the elevated mood levels in the morning led to more sustained work engagement and job satisfaction throughout the workday.

The effect, which appears to linger for at least 24 hours, was equally strong for both men and women.

If wives don’t get enough sex, they may become angry.

Corrine, a mother of two children aged five and 15 months, made the connection between her mood swings and the state of her love life after her children were born.

‘Before we had children, we’d have sex whenever we wanted and would hardly go a day or two without,’ she recalls. ‘But then parenthood drained our energy and we’d often be too exhausted.

‘As the gaps between our lovemaking became wider, I noticed the difference in my attitude to Matt. Even when we hadn’t had sex for just a week, I’d start to feel like we were drifting apart and it made me frustrated and angry.

Just this week, scientists from Florida State University confirmed the importance of sex in making women happy, revealing it triggers an ‘afterglow’ that lingers for 48 hours and which helps couples to bond. Without it, they become miserable and distant.

You may have noticed the common thread in these three stories (because I bolded it) — the beneficial side effects of sex last for up to 48 hours, and then it’s time for another dose. Even if the lower sex-drive spouse (usually but not always the wife) doesn’t realize it, the marriage itself and both partners individually benefit from frequent sex. We’ve written about “duty sex” before, and even though we don’t like that term we do think that married couples should create the habit of daily sex — the more sex you have, the better it gets. Maybe a better term is “maintenance sex”.

Let me tell you, the “quickie” saved my marriage. I read about it in the book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” years ago where the author explains how important the sex act is to the man and that the woman should give into the quickie.

Best…I mean BEST…sex advice I ever received!!! Long live the quickie!!

What about your marriage? Would it improve if you had sex more often? What’s your target frequency? Are you hitting it?

Sexy Corte’s recent post about how people are more important than devices got me thinking over the past week. Like most of us, I’m guilty of sometimes losing myself in electronic distraction when I should be paying attention to my family! Each of us has a responsibility to forsake such distractions in favor of the people God has put into our lives, and if your distraction is bad enough then you could be violating your spouse’s conjugal rights. So, interpret the rest of this post in that light — I’m not trying to shift blame, but I do want to offer some ideas that might be helpful for the person who isn’t getting the attention he or she needs.

No matter what your spouse should do, you can’t force it; you’re only in control of your own actions. So what can you do to get more attention from your spouse? Let’s consider some of the reasons that the internet and electronics are compelling, and then think of some ways for you to beat them at their own game.

  • Novelty. There’s always something new (and pointless) to read on the internet. Last night I learned that a Harambe-shaped Cheeto sold for almost $100k on eBay. You probably clicked on that link, didn’t you? Shame on you! Ok ok, here’s a picture of the Cheeto.harambe-cheeto
    That’s completely dumb, right? But still, it’s something new to look at and think about, and the internet is full of novelties like that. New stuff is alluring, amusing, and interesting. There’s no reason that your relationship with your spouse has to be stale and repetitive! Do something new, even something small. Talk in a funny voice. Learn some jokes. Flash your boobs. Go to a new restaurant. Try something new in bed. Surprise your spouse pleasantly at least once every day and you’ll definitely get some attention.
  • Challenge and accomplishment. For men, the biggest electronic distractions are usually video games. They appeal directly to the male need to triumph over challenges. Sure, the challenges are insubstantial and inconsequential, but when a man beats a game it feels like a real accomplishment. Women may not get this, but they have other kinds of projects they pursue that men don’t understand. Find a project to work on with your spouse — something challenging that you both care about and enjoy. Fix up your yard, refresh your kids’ bedroom, or even play board games or video games together. There are plenty of sex games on our site! When you work together and achieve together, you’ll build intimacy together.
  • Knowledgeable discussion. Not everything on the internet is trivial nonsense. When I get most distracted it’s usually because I’m reading some bit of political or technology news, or learning about some historical event on Wikipedia. Learn something new that your spouse will be interested in and then talk about it. Put some effort into one of your spouse’s interests or hobbies, and he’ll probably be eager to talk until you’re sick of it. What games does he play? What sports does he watch? What series is she reading? How has God been leading her?
  • Brain-dead relaxation. Sometimes we surf the web when we just don’t want to think too much. Our brains need time to relax. Instead of pressuring one another to engage, make time to  relax together, which might include snuggling quietly while you “parallel play”. Sometimes Sexy Corte and I snuggle while we read, play on our phones, listen to music, or watch television; just being physically together is great when we don’t have the mental energy for more.

You have a responsibility to be your best “you” for your spouse and your family, not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually too. Your spouse has a responsibility to give you the attention you need, but that might come more easily if you take a few simple steps yourself! What do you do to make yourself more interesting to your spouse? Share a tip in the comments.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 get hundreds of emails asking for marriage and sex help, and in almost every case the second step of our advice is to talk with your spouse. (The first step is to talk with God through prayer.) Most emails include a disclaimer like:

I’ve already tried to talk to my wife about this, but she just won’t listen.

So… you want advice that doesn’t include talking to your spouse? Well, you can’t just skip past that.

There are a gazillion books you can read about how to have productive conversations, but today I want to share one of the most important tips I’ve learned: stop asking “why?” so much. If you have kids, you know how annoying it can be to constantly hear “why? why? why?”. This question seems to crop up around age three, and never stops. Hopefully as adults we don’t smother our spouses with “why” so often, but the question can often do more harm than good.

Oftentimes a husband (especially) will want to hammer away at “the problem” and “fix it”, so he asks “why?” over and over, hoping to discover the knob he can twist just the right way to make his wife do/feel what she “should”.

Sound familiar? Wives do it, too. It’s no surprise that conversations like this aren’t effective for building intimacy. “Why?” can be a powerful tool for gaining understanding, but it isn’t the right tool for every job! Here are a few ways it can backfire.

  • Passive aggressive. You know this one. Even if you aren’t trying to be passive aggressive, these kinds of questions can be received that way. But be honest: oftentimes, you’re being passive aggressive.
    • “Why didn’t you take the trash out?”
    • “Why are you late?”
    • “Why don’t you want to have sex?”
  • Interrogation. Trying to nail down your spouse with words. You make it appear that you’re just trying to understand the truth of the situation, but what you’re actually doing is forcing your spouse into the corner until he admits some mistake or failure. These are often “why… but…?” accusations.
    • “Why did you say you were getting Christmas cards for my family, but then not mail them in time?”
    • “Why did you say you want more intimacy, but then every time I want to have sex you’re too tired?”
    • “Why do you not feel the way we both agreed you should feel?”
  • Digging. Sometimes your spouse doesn’t know the answer, or there isn’t an answer, but you keep asking “why?” anyway. You rephrase the same question over and over, sure that if you keep digging you’ll eventually find gold.
    • “Why don’t we have more sex? Why don’t you want to have sex? Why has our sex life stalled?”
    • “Why do you feel that way? Why don’t you feel this way?”
  • Rephrasing. “Why?” is often a fine question to ask once, but using different words doesn’t make the question more helpful.
    • “What makes you feel that way?”
    • “How did this come to pass?”

When you’re starting a difficult conversation, stay away from “why” and instead focus on “what” and “how”.

  • “How do you feel about our sex life?”
  • “How do you want our sex life to make you feel?”
  • “What is your favorite thing that we do together?”
  • “What do you think is missing?”

Accept the answers without comment or judgement. Asking “why?” will make your spouse defensive, literally — you’re asking her to defend her answers with a reason that’s good enough for you to accept. It can be difficult to hold back your opinion, but usually that’s your pride prompting you. Your pride says things like:

  • “She shouldn’t feel that way.”
  • “I deserve a husband who does XYZ.”
  • “I can convince her…”
  • “That’s not fair.”
  • “His answer shows that he doesn’t love/respect/understand me!”
  • “How can she possibly think that?”

These comments are unlikely to be helpful, but your pride insists that you say them anyway. Your pride tells you that your feelings are right, justified, and logical, and his feelings are wrong, mistaken, or cruel. It’s so obvious, right? He’s sure to realize the error of his ways if you just ask the right “why” question.

Don’t feel bad; we all fall into the pride trap.

So, before you ask “why?”, consider: will my question enhance intimacy, or irritation? If you mostly care about being right, then by all means, hammer away with “why?” until you smash everything in sight. On the other hand, if you mostly care about intimacy with your spouse, use “why?” very judiciously and give her the space and respect to think and feel without having to justify herself to you. Your spouse will feel secure and respected, which are key building blocks of intimacy.

If you’re a husband like me, then you love giving your wife a huge, body-shaking, scream-inducing orgasm. There’s just about nothing better. Most advice for more and better orgasms focuses on techniques you can use in the bedroom, but some researchers have looked in a different direction: qualities of men who give great orgasms. Here are the male traits that lead to more and better orgasms for their partners, as identified by the study, along with some related links from our site.

The researchers wrote: “Orgasm intensity was related to how attracted (women) were to their partners, how many times they had sex per week and ratings of sexual satisfaction.”

“Those with partners who their friends rated as more attractive also tended to have more intense orgasms.”

“Sexual satisfaction was related to how physically attracted women were to their partner and the breadth of his shoulders.”

“Their partner’s sense of humor not only predicted his self-confidence and family income, but it also predicted women’s propensity to initiate sex, how often they had sex and it enhanced their orgasm frequency in comparison with other partners.”

It’s important to realize that all of these qualities are relative. You don’t have to be the richest, handsomest, funniest man in the world — you just have to display some measure of these qualities to your wife! Husbands, however you rate yourselves now, consider ways to move up a notch. Lay off the snacks. Lift some weights. Do some power poses in the bathroom before you go to bed. Buy some shirts that fit.

When Sexy Corte and I go out on a date we usually do dinner plus an activity. (Usually not a movie, because there’s hardly ever anything we want to see.) But for our last date night, instead of an physical activity we decided to focus on each other by having a great conversation. Our lives are so busy that when we have time to sit down and really talk it’s usually about something “important”, and we often revisit the same topics: our amazing kids, our upcoming activities, our friends, our church, etc. Those are all great, but for this date we used a fantastic tool created by The Generous Wife to prompt us in different directions: A Year of Questions for You and Your Spouse.

The list of questions is available as a PDF, and it’s intended to give you one question to discuss with your spouse every day for a year. For our date, however, we used random.org to pick random questions for us (1 – 366) and we went through about a dozen over the course of two hours. The questions covered a lot of territory and we learned a lot about each other — almost like we were first dating again!

We also used our new wireless vibrator during dinner, which is always a blast. It’s pretty sexy to watch your wife get all flustered when you buzz her while she’s trying to decide what language she wants to learn or what she liked best about her first job. The vibrator turns her on, and her arousal drives me insane. Important tip: make sure you have a fully charged vibrator at home for after your date! The wireless one she’s wearing will eventually run out of juice, and you don’t want to leave her hanging.

God intends sex to be hot and awesome inside marriage, and commands abstinence outside of marriage. That’s a difficult expectation! Our society says that abstinence is a waste of time and effort — maybe even harmful — but that’s how difficult endeavors often look to people who don’t want to try. Climbing Mount Everest looks foolish, dangerous, and difficult, and many people who make the attempt fail, but I can only imagine how fantastic the journey is for those who succeed.

In any event, my purpose here isn’t to advocate for abstinence. If you’re a Christian, God commands it. (See: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 and Hebrews 13:4, among many other verses.)

However, it’s unfortunate that the command for sexual purity has been widely applied within the church so as to avoid almost all other discussions about sex. Most unmarried Christians are taught to abstain before marriage, but little else. There’s an unspoken expectation that right after the wedding ceremony a switch will flip and the newly married couple will somehow “figure it out” on their own. This is a recipe for disaster! And, in fact, it often leads to sad results: mismatched sexual expectations between spouses that aren’t revealed until it’s way too late — either so far into the relationship that it’s too painful to break it off, or even after the wedding.

So, my strong encouragement for unmarried Christians is twofold:

  • Give some serious consideration to your sexual expectations for your future marriage, long before you have a potential spouse in mind.
  • Have a frank conversation about sex early on in any relationship. It may quickly become obvious that your partner isn’t on the same page as you, and you can spare yourselves a huge amount of heartache by breaking things off quickly.

The difficulty is obvious: how can you learn any of this without having sex? How can you know what you like if you’ve never tried it? To some degree you can’t, but that’s fine. The point isn’t to be  a sexual dynamo before you get married. Think of it like you’re planning a vacation to a place you’ve never been — first consider for yourself the kind of vacation you’d like to have, and then discuss your ideas with your partner and compare. If you get excited about the same kind of things, great! But if you want to sit by the pool every day and your partner only wants to hike, then you need to figure if and how to compromise, or whether to just cancel the trip.

It isn’t only the specific sexual interests and expectations that reveal a lot about your compatibility, but also the way in which you and your partner engage in the discussion. There are no “wrong” answers, but if your answers and approaches are significantly different from each other then that might be a red flag. Is your partner open to your ideas and desires? Is your partner suggesting things that repulse you? When there are disagreements (as there are bound to be), is your partner eager to compromise? Or resistant and stubborn?

This conversation about sex shouldn’t be a one-shot, although one discussion may be enough to rule someone out. After the first discussion you’ll both probably have more ideas and questions, so bring sex up again in a week, and another week, and another. Eventually you’ll both either be super-excited at the prospect of sex together, or one of you will be dreading it. If you’re early in the relationship, that dread should be enough motivation to get out while you can.

So what kind of topics should you discuss? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • What do you think is the purpose of sex in marriage?
  • What do you think are God’s expectations for sex?
  • What makes you most excited about sex? Most nervous?
  • How often do you think about sex?
  • Have you ever had an orgasm? Do you masturbate? How often? How do you touch yourself? Where? When?
  • What most turns you on? What turns you off? What sights, sounds, touches, experiences, smells, tastes…?
  • How often do you think you’ll want to have sex when you’re married?
  • What should you do when one spouse wants to have sex and the other doesn’t? What if this happens frequently?
  • When is it ok to refuse sex with your spouse? Tired, sick, angry, busy, pouty, worried, sad, distracted…?
  • Even if you know you wouldn’t enact them in real life, what kind of sexual fantasies do you have?
  • How should spouses compromise if one person wants to do something sexually that the other doesn’t?
  • What activity are you most excited to do sexually after you’re married?
  • Is there anything sexual that you definitely won’t ever do?
  • How do sex and romance relate in your mind?
  • Do you want to take charge sexually, or be led? Or both at different times?
  • What do you think about oral sex and anal sex?
  • Do you think sex should be playful or serious?
  • Would you want to try new things, even knowing that some you might end up disliking?

As you go through this list I’m sure you’ll branch off in many other fruitful directions. It you’re still excited about each other after having this discussion a few times then your sexual compatibility isn’t likely to be a roadblock to your relationship.

The key is that you have to be honest and vulnerable with each other — if you can’t, then that itself is a huge red flag. The internet is full of sad stories about “bait-and-switch” relationships in which one partner (usually, but not always, the woman) was sexually adventurous before the wedding, and a cold fish after. If a frank discussion about sex is had early enough in the relationship, then it will be easier for both partners to be honest because the stakes will be lower — you won’t already have invested several years into the relationship that you’re afraid of losing. Even if one partner wants to deceive the other, it will be harder for him or her to succeed at it over the course of a long, multi-part discussion.

Don’t just assume that you and your potential future spouse are on the same page about sex! Have the discussion and be honest — with each other and yourselves.

Got any other tips to share for discussing sex with a potential spouse? Leave a comment!

There’s an attention-grabbing headline! Of course, “skinny” isn’t really optimal, and whatever can be said for wives can be said for husbands, too. Let’s see what Ginny Hartley says.

After the birth of our third child, I was clinging onto extra weight far longer than I did after my first two pregnancies.

My husband definitely noticed my more ample features, and while he didn’t seem to mind one bit, my insecurity about my postpartum body quickly started to get in the way of our love life.

As someone who had spent most of her life being defined by athleticism, I was at a total loss when I realized I was no longer the lean girl my husband fell in love with.

When I married my husband, I was barely out of my teenage years and a rail-thin 102 lbs. I couldn’t fathom a day would come when I would gain considerable weight or have trouble staying fit. Fast forward seven years and three kids, and it’s a whole different story.

That once effortlessly skinny physique is now a thing of the past. But so what if I have to work for it? I’m willing to put in the extra effort to stay fit for the sake of my marriage.

I think there are two important and related concepts here: health and attractiveness.

First, we have a responsibility to God, ourselves, and our family to be as healthy as possible.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Being fit is an essential component of being physically healthy, but health is more than just fitness. Mental, spiritual, and social health are as important as physical health, and we should pursue them all — just like Jesus did as he grew up.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Those four elements of health are fodder for a post of their own someday.

Second, we have a responsibility to our spouse to be as attractive as possible. Fortunately, attractiveness tends to follow health — if you focus on health, you get attractiveness almost for free! (It’s still worthwhile to put some energy into your wardrobe, of course.)

Health and attractiveness get more difficult to maintain as we get older, for both men and women — but women feel more pressure for cultural and biological reasons. Having babies is really difficult, and most men don’t work at jobs that are as physically demanding as pregnancy and childbirth are.

And so, as with all things in life, we need to do our best and trust God. I really like what Mrs. Hartley says here:

We want to raise our kids to respect their bodies and physical health. I have to practice what I preach. I need to workout for my mental health. I need to stay physically fit to keep up with the demands of raising three kids.

I need to maintain my weight so I feel confident in my body — not because I’m vain, but because I want to be the best version of myself.

God, your spouse, and your family deserve the best version of you! Being the best you takes intention, effort, time, and energy. It isn’t easy.

What do you do to be your best you, physically or otherwise? Leave a comment!