Reader Derek left a comment on our post about “Mutual Masturbation and Finishing on Her Body” to share the disappointing results of an experiment by him and his wife:

My wife recently allowed me to ejaculate on her breasts, which has been a desire of mine for quite some time. She was reluctant, but agreed. I could tell she wasn’t real excited about it, after the act. I had a wet washcloth there to clean her, afterwards. She has never liked to have my semen on her, even when some just gets on her thigh, etc , which is a little disappointing. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will continue to be part of our sexual routine.

But at least they tried something new right? That’s a win all by itself!

A few days later Derek left another comment, and their win had become a huge victory thanks to the power of communication.

Just wanted to give a HUGE shout-out to Communication!!

The night after the experience mentioned above, my wife and I had an awesome conversation about sex. Just laying in bed together, I asked her how she felt about what I had done, and if I had upset her. Much to my surprise, she said (and I’m paraphrasing) “No, in fact, the warmness of you on me felt kinda good.” Turns out, the wet washcloth I had waiting, had turned ice cold while we were having sex, and that’s the part that she didn’t like (haha, note to self, HOT washcloth!)

We continued our conversation for nearly 2 hours, talking about likes/dislikes/boundaries, etc. It was great, and I think will lead to even better sexual encounters ahead!

Thanks again for the great blog, and encouraging all of us to make our physical love a top priority in our marriages!!

Sexy Corte and I are always excited to read emails and comments like this. It brings us great joy to hear that we’ve played a tiny part in helping a married couple improve their sex life — and we believe it pleases God too! Please don’t hesitate to email or comment to share your sexual victories with us.

Be brave and talk to your spouse about sex.

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.

One of the most common types of emails we receive is from a husband who feels sexually rejected by his wife and hopeless. He wants more sex, but feels like his wife isn’t interested and doesn’t love him. Frequent sexual rejection can be devastating to a marriage. Men are taught to hide their feelings and make it look like everything is “ok”, so rather than talking directly about our pain we often lash out in other ways: anger, annoyance, frustration, criticism, and withdrawal. These emotional responses mirror back to the wife the rejection that the husband is feeling by denying the wife what she craves from the marriage. This response creates a damaging cycle of rejection that hurts both spouses and the marriage.

We believe that it’s God’s will for every married couple to have a satisfying sex life! We recently wrote a post about how to talk to your spouse about sex, and that’s a good place to start for the general topic. The purpose of this post is to give a hurting husband a simple script he can use to discuss the pain he’s feeling because of sexual rejection by his wife.

First, husbands, as always, you must be in prayer. You should talk to God about sex ten times as much as you talk to your wife. The Bible says that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church, so meditate on Philippians 2:1-11 and learn about Christ’s humility. Don’t just read it once — read it three times a day for a month. Then you’ll be ready to approach your wife in a Christlike manner. Jesus is a loving leader who God exalted because of his humility. Do you want to lead your wife? There’s no better example than Jesus.

Second, here are some words you can say to your wife. Feel free to change things up as appropriate, but remember to be loving, gentle, and honest.

I love you so much, and I want to have deeper intimacy with you. You may not realize it, but it really hurts me when I flirt with you or try to initiate sex and you rarely seem interested. Maybe on the outside I seem brush it off, but inside I’m really hurting. You’re the only person in the world that I want share my sexuality with, and when you reject me it feels like you’re rejecting my love entirely. Maybe you’re feeling frustrated or disappointed also. Can we talk about how to have a sex life that’s more satisfying for both of us?

That should get the conversation started!

See also: Sexy Corte’s advice for dealing with sexual frustration and how to talk with your spouse about sex.

If you have a tip to share, please leave a comment. Have you had this conversation with your spouse? How did it go?

Some of the most common questions we get are variations of, “how do I talk with my spouse about sex?” So here are a collection of tips, both positive and negative. I won’t elaborate much on each one, but I’m happy to answer questions in the comments.

(See also: Sexy Corte’s advice for dealing with sexual frustration and a simple script for husbands dealing with sexual rejection.)

  1. Pray first. Either together or separately, pray that God will bless your marriage and your sex life. Ask for humility and gentleness towards your spouse. Pray that God will help you to understand and love each other the way He intends.
  2. Be honest and gentle. Remember that your goal isn’t to manipulate your spouse into a certain behavior, it’s to grow in intimacy together. Be brave enough to be honest, and be humble enough to receive honesty from your spouse. Agree together that it’s safe to be honest with each other, and then discipline your own emotions before you react to honesty from your spouse.
  3. Pick the right time. When you and your spouse are in a good mood, when you’re feeling connected, when you have time for an intimate conversation. Talking about sex after you have a great sexual encounter can be wonderful, but avoid it after a disappointing encounter. Even if the conversation is urgent to you, respect your spouse enough to be patient. If you think your spouse will be resistant to even talking about sex, you might want to give him or her a heads-up that you’d like to have a conversation sometime in the near future.
  4. Set a purpose and expectations. Clearly explain your purpose for the conversation at the beginning. Talk about the most important thing first, and try to focus on one topic at a time. It’s easy to get distracted by side issues, especially if communication has been poor for a while and there are a lot of pent-up frustrations. Recognize that you may need to give your spouse some space to vent, but try to keep your contributions to the conversation as focused as possible.
  5. Stay positive. Express your love, admiration, and gratitude for your spouse. Don’t complain, but instead talk about how passionate you are for a great sex life. You don’t need to be pointlessly cheery, but using positive language helps avoid hostility and defensiveness. Consider the difference between “we hardly ever have sex” and “I’d love for us to have an exciting sex life together”.
  6. Ask questions to understand. Make sure your questions are sincere and loving. It’s very tempting to use questions to disguise accusations and frustrations, but your spouse isn’t a fool and will quickly grow to resent these passive-aggressive attacks. Focus on “what” and “how” questions instead of “why” questions — “what would you like from our sex life?”, “how do you feel about oral sex?” “Why” questions often make people defensive at having to justify or explain themselves. You want to understand what and how your spouse feels, but you don’t need to dig into why.
  7. Be specific and explicit. Your spouse can’t read your mind. Your spouse can’t read your mind. Get it? Your spouse can’t read your mind! If you want something specific, you have to use actual words to say so. I know it’s more “romantic” if your spouse just knows what you want and does it without you asking, but that’s not how real humans work. If you don’t know exactly what you want then it’s fine to express a general desire, but then be prepared to discuss it and nail down some specifics.
  8. Reach a conclusion. Before you’re both exhausted, revisit your purpose for the conversation. Have you accomplished your purpose? If so, declare victory and conclude the discussion. Great job: you successfully talked about sex! On the other hand, if your conversation has meandered endlessly make an effort to refocus yourselves and reach a conclusion.
  9. Actionable agreement. At the end of your discussion make sure that you each know what actions you’ve agreed to take. Don’t settle for a vague understanding that something will be different from now on — make your agreement specific and explicit. “Yes, I will try XYZ”“Yes, I will plan at least one date night each month”.
  10. Follow through. Now that you’ve made a specific and explicit agreement, you actually have to do it. If you find that your spouse isn’t living up to what he or she agreed to, you’ll need to have another conversation.“It really meant a lot to me when you agreed to plan a date night for us each month. I can’t wait to spend that time with you. Will we be able to do it soon? I’ll make it worth your while….”

I’m sure there’s a lot more that can be said… hundreds of books worth… but these are the main points I find myself writing to people over and over. What do you think? Share your ideas or questions 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!

  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!

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?

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!

We already know that it’s common for a husband to underestimate his wife’s sex drive — women tend to be a lot more subtle than men, to such an extent that your wife herself might not even know when she’s aroused!

Men’s subjective ratings of arousal were in agreement with their body’s level of sexual arousal about 66 percent of the time, while women’s were in line only about 26 percent of the time.

“The general pattern that I have seen in my laboratory is that women experience a genital response but do not report feeling sexually aroused,” Chivers told LiveScience.

So how can a husband know when his wife is interested? Being direct and verbal can be effective, but can also risk “ruining the mood”. Women like to be romanced and wooed — even after years of marriage! — and “Hey, wanna go upstairs and *blank*?” may not make her tingle.

Every husband should be a student of his own wife: learn everything about her, especially her sexuality. Every person is different, but here are a few behavioral signs a husband can watch for that may indicate his wife is more interested in sex than is immediately obvious.

  • Physical touch. Casual touching is always an indicator of affection and openness. If your wife initiates touching then she’s definitely happy with your relationship and receptive to your overtures. Physical touch doesn’t mean that she definitely wants sex — she may just want to cuddle for comfort after a hard day at work. Touches from hands, fingers, and lips — as well as “accidentally” brushing against you — are likely to be greater indicators of sexual interest than are hugs and cuddles.
  • Eye contact is always a sign of intimacy, and longer is better. You should hold eye contact until she breaks away — it will signal your confidence and dominance. If she breaks eye contact with a submissive downward gaze and a smile, she’s practically naked.
  • Posture and attention. Body language says a lot. Look for open postures: face and shoulders straight at you, rather than with a shoulder towards you; arms and legs uncrossed; leaning towards you; shoulders back, breasts pushed forward; close proximity, inside personal space. Also watch for mirroring, which is generally a sign of rapport and intimacy.
  • Self-touching and grooming. Touching her hair, adjusting her clothes, playing with her jewelry, and other kinds of self-touching — especially around the mouth, face, and neck. Licking or biting her lip, or sucking on a straw or toothpick, is a strong sign.
  • Vulnerability shows a desire for intimacy. Signs include: revealing more skin; exposing her underarms, wrists, or neck; submissive positioning or postures.
  • Verbal cues. In addition to non-verbal indicators, your wife’s language can also indicate sexual interest: giggling; using your nickname; playful teasing; mismatched words and body language (e.g., laughing while disagreeing); complimenting you; soliciting compliments or approval; re-starting the conversation when you stop talking.

Husbands, when you learn to read your wife’s indicators of interest she’ll feel like you really understand her, like you’re reading her mind, like you’re in sync. She’ll feel good about your relationship, your intimacy will increase, and you’ll have more sex.

Wives, what do you think? It’s probably pretty easy to know when your husband is interested in sex… or is it? Husbands, do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment!

A new study presents data suggesting that husbands underestimate their wives’ sexual desire.

In 3 dyadic studies, we provide evidence that men in established romantic relationships err in the direction of the opposite bias and underperceive their romantic partner’s sexual desire. We also demonstrate that this underperception bias is functional (particularly for men) in that it is associated with their partner feeling more satisfied and committed to the relationship. In addition, people are particularly likely to underperceive their partner’s desire on days when they are motivated to avoid sexual rejection, and men’s underperception bias is, in part, accounted for by men’s higher general levels of sexual desire than women.

Translation: it’s true that a wife often has a lower sex drive than her husband, however, the husband still frequently underestimates his wife’s sexual interest because he doesn’t enjoy having a sexual advance rejected.

XX Factor puts it this way:

The researchers found that, on a regular basis, men significantly underperceived the degree of their female partners’ sexual desire, while women consistently made accurate judgments about how much their male partners wanted sex. Among diary-keeping couples, on days when men underestimated their female partners’ libido, the women showed higher levels of relationship satisfaction.

Basically, when a wife has high relationship satisfaction she wants more sex — but apparently husbands aren’t good at noticing when their wives have high satisfaction. Here are some ideas:

  • Wife: make sure your husband knows when you’re happy with the state of your relationship! He probably already knows when you aren’t happy, but tell him when you are.
  • Husband: when your wife expresses affection and happiness with you, consider that an opportunity to initiate.

This doesn’t seem complicated, but apparently a lot of us are missing the obvious.

It can be hard to consistently find time and energy for sex, and yet we know that the best way to have great sex with your spouse is to have more sex. We get a lot of emails from husbands and wives who want more sex, but for all sorts of reasons it just doesn’t happen. It’s easy to blame your spouse, or to “try harder”, but there’s a tool available to you that you may not have considered and is guaranteed to work: creating a habit.

When was the last time you forgot to brush your teeth? Or put on clothes? Or how to drive to work? You’ve been doing these things for years or decades, and you basically never forget. Sometimes you even drive to work on accident when you mean to go somewhere else! These things are all habits, and you do them easily every day without thinking. They enhance your life, keep you healthy, and satisfy your needs. Bad habits are easily acquired, but good habits don’t just happen: someone creates them. Getting dressed and brushing your teeth seem routine, but your parents worked hard to create those habits for you! In the same way, you can intentionally create the good habit of daily sex with your spouse.

First of all, consider: does your marriage have a bad habit of assuming that you won’t have sex? This is pretty common for married couples. The expectation is set that they won’t have sex unless someone initiates it. The baseline assumption is no sex. That’s a bad habit! Fortunately, the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit.

Ok, so how do we build a good habit? Tom Bartow has identified three phases of habit formation that we need to recognize in order to be successful.

Phase 1: THE HONEYMOON

This phase of habit formation is characterized by the feeling of “this is easy.” As all married people will tell you, at some point even the greatest honeymoon must end. The honeymoon phase is usually the result of something inspiring. For example, a person attends a highly motivational conference, and for the first few days after the conference the individual is making positive changes in his or her life.

Phase 2: THE FIGHT THRU

Inspiration fades and reality sets in. A person finds himself struggling with the positive habit completion and old habits seem to be right around the corner. The key to moving to the third phase of habit formation is to win 2 or 3 “fight thru’s.” This is critical. To win the fight thru, use the following techniques:

  1. RECOGNIZE: Recognition is essential for winning the fight thru. When you have entered the fight through, simply say to yourself, “I have entered the fight thru, and I need to win a few to move past this.” Winning each fight thru will make it easier to win the next. Conversely, when you choose to lose a fight thru, you make it easier to lose the next one.
  2. ASK 2 QUESTIONS: “How will I feel if I do this?”and “How will I feel if I don’t do this?” Bring EMOTION into the equation. Let yourself feel the positive in winning the fight thru and the negative in losing.
  3. LIFE PROJECTION: If the above 2 techniques haven’t moved you to action, then imagine in great detail how your life will be in 5 years if you do not begin making changes. Be totally honest with yourself, and allow yourself to feel what life will be like if the changes are not made.

Phase 3: SECOND NATURE

Entering second nature is often described by feelings of “getting in the groove.” Once in second nature, the following are 3 common interruptions that will send a person back to the fight thru:

  1. THE DISCOURAGEMENT MONSTER: An individual allows negative results discourage him or her into thinking, “This isn’t working, and there is nothing I can do.”
  2. DISRUPTIONS: An individual experiences significant change to his or her current pattern (e.g., vacations, holidays, illness, weekends).
  3. SEDUCTION OF SUCCESS: An individual begins to focus on positive results and begins to think, “I’m the special one. I have finally figured out how to have great results with not so great process.”

If a person experiences an interruption that sends him or her back to the fight thru, winning 2 or 3 fight thru’s will bring him or her back to second nature.

Here’s how to put this process into action and create a new habit of daily sex.

The first thing to do is have a conversation and say it. Tell your spouse that you’d like to change your daily default from no-sex to sex, that you want the two of you to set the expectation that you’ll be having sex every day. The key here isn’t that you must have sex every single day, but that the expectation is for daily sex —  if no one says anything, then assume you’re having sex. Does your spouse agree? If not, then you’re not ready to create a habit because you aren’t both on the same page. Continue your conversation and come back to this post later. To be successful, both spouses need to want to create the new habit.

After you’ve agreed on your goal, start doing it! Have sex every day unless someone asks otherwise. Make sex the assumption, and no-sex the exception. This is the beginning of Phase 1. It’ll probably be easy for a while! Remember your first year of marriage, your literal honeymoon? You’ll want to pick a time that’s usually available every day and start doing it.

But Phase 2 is the hardest part. There may be a few days where no one says anything, and you don’t have sex. Your new habit hasn’t solidified yet. You have to recognize that your expectation is reverting to no-sex, and you need to have a conversation about it. Reaffirm your shared goal of daily sex. Don’t make excuses for why you failed, and don’t feel bad about it. Just recognize the need to “fight thru”. Take the time to get in the mood, muster some energy, and make love. Just Do It. Winning “fight thru” episodes is the key creating a new habit — it will take several wins over the course two or three months to set your new habit in stone.

And finally, don’t become complacent when you hit Phase 3. Periodically remind yourselves about your goal of daily sex, and verify that your new expectation is solidly in place: do you always have sex unless someone initiates a “no”?

Once your habit is in place, you should never have no-sex unless someone intentionally initiates it. The end result won’t be sex every single day of the year — sometimes you get sick, kids drive you crazy, work and chores overwhelm you, and emergencies happen. That’s life! But the expectation every day is that you’ll be having sex together.

What do you think about the daily habit of sex? Is your daily expectation yes, or no?