It’s almost summer! I feel like we missed spring, but at least it’s not winter anymore. It’s time to cover the two topics we know all our readers are wondering about.

First up, how much do men really care about “bikini bods”? Bridget Phetasy asked her followers:

ATTN: Men I need more of your anonymous blatant honesty. Summer is coming. The culture would have us believing men care a great deal about how a woman looks in a bikini but how much do you *actually* care about your significant other’s beach body?

We’ve posted several times about the importance of fitness and appearance, but we believe the focus should be on health and being the best you for your spouse, not pursuing some unrealistic worldly standard of “hotness”. It’s great to read that most of the men who responded to Phetasy feel the same way.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such thoughtful, heartwarming and tender answers. (In all, 215 men responded, totaling 19,754 words, which, to give you an idea, is 34 pages of writing, single-spaced.) Instead, I expected men to behave the way they’re represented in the media (i.e., as gross pigs). And so, I anticipated vapid, crass responses, my DMs overflowing with hordes of men saying things like, “Hell yeah, my wife needs to lose 15 pounds. This isn’t what I signed up for.”

Obviously, it goes without saying that when you’re looking for a mate, physicality matters. Attraction needs to be there before anything else, but attraction alone isn’t enough to sustain a long-term relationship. This is a lesson men have a greater appreciation for with age. “In my 20s, I cared about looks,” one guy explains. “I think physical attraction is an important element in relationships, even in my 30s; however, now, I appreciate a girl who can effectively communicate more than her looks.” Another adds, “After giving birth to our three kids, my wife doesn’t have a bikini body anymore, but I couldn’t care less. To me she’s hot AF. I probably don’t even have a dad bod anymore, and yeah, I’m a little sensitive about it.”

Giving your best self to your spouse includes maintaining your health and fitness, but goes way beyond that. There’s a lot more to sexiness than appearance, and how you act is generally easier to improve than how you look. If you don’t believe us or anonymous guys on the internet, just ask Billy Bob Thornton.

Second: beach sex. From the page’s title we can see that the article used to be headlined, “women should do everything they can to avoid beach sex”.

Sand. It gets everywhere. And when you’re naked and rubbing your body up against another person, you’d better believe sand gets in places you never want sand to reach. This is particularly bad in instances where you’re having sex because when sand meets genitals, it acts as an abrasive, causing intense irritation and chafing.

Not only this, but sand isn’t the most hygienic of substances. Imagine all the infants you’ve ever known to pee in the ocean and then times it by a hundred because, according to a study from the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, beach sand can contain 100 times the levels of fecal bacteria of seawater.

Not just infant humans… the ocean is chock full of disgusting animals! If you really need to have sex on the beach, use a blanket or a tent. Spontaneous sex in public places can be hot, but we recommend doing it standing up.

Got any summer sex tips to share? 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!