On this blog we tend to spend the most words on the physical and mental dimensions of sex with your spouse: topics like games, positions, role-playing, toys, and having more sex. We also talk a lot about the spiritual dimension of sex, about how God wants sex in your marriage to be awesome and fulfilling. Today I want to talk about the fourth dimension: emotion. As your marriage matures and grows, the emotional intensity of sex with your spouse can wane over time. Sex can be fun and frequent, but the emotions may fade to the background as you grow comfortable with your spouse.

It may not be realistic to expect to recapture all the joy and wonder of your honeymoon and maintain it for decades, but here are a few ideas for increasing the level of intimacy in your sex life.

  • Eye contact. Instead of closing your eyes and focusing inward, keep your eyes open and on your spouse. Look each other in the eyes while you touch each other and when you climax. Eye contact is one of the most primal, direct forms of intimacy in any social situation. It shows that your attention is completely focused on one thing only: the person you’re looking at. You can’t make eye contact with two things at once! Eye contact during sex may feel awkward, embarrassing, or vulnerable at first, but with a little practice (and humor) it can add a lot of intimacy to your sex life.
  • Kiss more. Remember how much you made out when you were dating? Sexy Corte and I would make out for hours while “watching a movie”, and not even remember what we supposedly watched. Instead of jumping straight for the genitals, make kissing a significant part of foreplay and sex.
  • Responsiveness. Moan, scream, talk explicitly about what feels good and where. As I wrote in the linked post: “What’s more intimate than crying out your spouse’s name when you climax? When you’re sexually responsive to your spouse you’re sharing the most personal, internal details about yourself, private knowledge about your secret inner workings that no one else gets to experience. If you’re shy about being overtly responsive then work intentionally to overcome that barrier and share yourself more fully with your spouse.”
  • Enthusiasm. As the song says, “I want you to want me / I need you to need me”. Enthusiasm and eagerness for sex increase intimacy — no one needs to feel pressure ask for sex in the “right” way, to perform, or to look a certain way. Enthusiasm builds your spouse’s confidence and breaks down the walls of insecurity that hinder intimacy.
  • Hold hands. Even if you’re in a position that limits eye contact, it’s often possible to hold hands during sex. Holding hands is an innocent intimacy, and a special sign of love and friendship.
  • Orgasm together. This can be difficult unless you’re really in tune with each other. I always try to make sure that I don’t climax before Sexy Corte — because that’s just disappointing — and it’s tricky to hit my peak just when she hits hers. If you want to try this, have the wife do her best to give her husband a few seconds warning before she actually reaches orgasm, and then let him follow as best as he can.
  • Vulnerability. Intimacy is increased when one person trusts another enough to show vulnerability, and that trust is rewarded and respected. Vulnerability can be mental, emotional, or physical. It can be embarrassing to tell your spouse, hey, I’d really like to play Sexy Jenga, or, I’d really like you to swallow — there’s a risk of judgement or rejection. Similarly, there’s physical vulnerability involved with bondage or spanking, and emotional vulnerability to wearing lingerie or asking for more sex. But each time one of you offers vulnerability and the other rewards and respects it, the door is opened for greater vulnerability, trust, and intimacy. The surest way to shut down intimacy is to punish vulnerability from your spouse.
  • Speak your spouse’s love language. Your spouse will receive your love best when you speak his love language. Our inclination is to show love in our own love language, because it’s the most natural for us, but that’s not the best way to touch your spouse’s heart. Learn his or her love language and use it during foreplay and sex.
  • Stay positive. Not every sexual encounter will go perfectly. Not every game, toy, or position you try will work. Not every date will be magical. Not every disagreement will go your way. Despite all these realities, fight hard inside yourself to stay positive about your sex life. Be willing to say yes again and again. Work to improve yourself. Communicate with your spouse, especially when it’s embarrassing or awkward. Laugh together, forgive quickly, and go have great sex with a smile on your face.

Do you have any tips to share to increase intimacy during sex? Leave a comment!

It’s that time of month again! No, not that time. The time to share awesome Christian sex links!

Periods… it’s both your probs — A week of blow jobs and shower sex.

3 Reasons I Delight in Giving My Husband Oral — Yeah, I put this on top because I know you’ll click it.

An intimate gift for Hubby — “Wives, if you want to give Hubby a really intimate and special treat, allow him to watch you masturbate, all the way to orgasm.” Here are a few tips about masturbating for your husband.

Are You Thinking Sexy Thoughts About Someone Other Than Your Spouse? — James 1:14-15 warns about the progression from temptation, to sin, to death. Be wary of opposite sex friends. Fallen as we are, temptation is to be expected. Prepare for it by nurturing your marriage so that temptation cannot take root and grow into sin, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Intimacy in Marriage’s top sex posts of all time — Shockingly, only one post explicitly about oral sex!

Ban “I don’t know/I don’t care” from your bedroom — And a few other tips, but this is my favorite.

Are you sexually alive? — Your bodies are an amusement park of orgasms, and nothing is sexier than enthusiasm.

“How do I get my turn?” — Asked by a wife, but could be asked by a husband as well. Each spouse needs to take responsibility for asking for what he/she wants and making sure the other spouse gets what she/he desires. If you don’t ask or you don’t give then fix yourself first!

Have sex twice in one day — For us this is usually Sunday, for whatever reason. See also our posts on double features for him and her.

Why do some women shake when they orgasm? — Sexy Corte does, and it drives me crazy. Let go of your inhibitions and amplify your responsiveness during sex.

Choosing to enjoy what she enjoys — It’s about pecan pie, but applies to sex, too. Maybe the thing your spouse loves isn’t your favorite, but you can choose (and learn) to enjoy it as a blessing to her.

One way to help women feel more “in the mood” — Hint: foreplay begins long before sex. Try one of our sex games to get things started. I’m working on a post like this, but aimed at turning on your wife.

If you’ve got a thought or link to share, do it! Do it!

“I never grow tired of your sexuality.” El Fury said these words to me a few weeks ago and ever since I’ve been percolating on them. Those words make me feel alive and treasured. God wired us to be sexual and gave us a great gift of sex to be experienced in marriage. This is something to be celebrated! There have been times that I have felt self conscious of my sexuality, wondering if I look funny or sound weird or think about what EF might think of me when I give into the moment. But I think that when I allow myself to lose control, it is those moments that EF cherishes the most. It is in those moments that we feel most connected. The marriage bed is a safe place where you can let go of your self consciousness and give into your passion. For women (at least me!) this can be hard to do at times. When you are in those moments, try to follow the direction your body is telling you to go, to lose yourself, to set aside your inhibitions. Your husband loves you and wants to pleasure you and experience your sexuality!

Hey there, it’s been a while! Time for some awesome sex links. We’ve got some catching up to do!

The ONE Tip That Will Make Sex Feel Great!

When you’re making love, simply ask yourself these two questions:

What feels good right now?

and

Where do I want to be touched right now?

What Does He Really Want Sexually? — Don’t ask if you don’t want to know. It’s hard to share what you really want.

Slow Side by Side Sex — A relaxing position.

Why are men obsessed with breasts? — Because they’re awesome? Also some survey results about rough sex.

Don’t have sex in the dark — Watching your spouse orgasm is amazing. Maintain eye contact.

“My Husband Can’t Make Me Submit to Him or Respect Him!” — Husbandly love and wifely submission are not optional, they are commanded by God.

10 Foam Roller Exercercises To Relieve Muscle Soreness And Better Sex — Shoot, we just threw our foam roller away!

Sleeping Naked: 5 Amazing Reasons It’s Good For Your Health — We used to do better with this… but kids.

When Bad Language is a Turn On During Sex. Is This Okay? — Yes.

Can Sex Be Used as Comfort? Yes, But… — Good post. Do you and your spouse use sex to comfort each other? I don’t think Sexy Corte and I do, but maybe we could try?

What a quickie taught us about sexual intimacy. — “He told me what he wanted: a good orgasm that happened as soon as possible.”

Sometimes, Your Husband Needs a Girlfriend — Remember how we acted when we were dating?

That’s it for now! If you’ve got a link you want to share please post it in the comments.

With Fifty Shades of Grey everywhere you look (including Target, right next to the kids toothbrushes, ew!) there’s a lot of interest in bondage, and a lot of couples are experimenting with stuff they never would have thought of before. However, if you’re like me and have no intention of reading those books or watching the movies, you may be wondering what the big deal is — why would anyone want to be restrained during sex? Well, I know nothing about the BDSM “scene” so I can’t speak very broadly, but I can tell you in one word why Sexy Corte and I periodically enjoy adding some light bondage to our sexy time: vulnerability.

To understand bondage let’s talk first about the goal, then the methods, then why it’s fun. The goal is simple: voluntarily restrain one spouse to enhance his or her vulnerability and submission. It seems most common for the wife to be restrained, but I’ve had Sexy Corte tie me down and tease me and it was lots of fun. Usually though, it’s me restraining her. The purpose of the restraint is to give control of your body to your spouse, not to be painful or uncomfortable. Submitting to bondage is a huge demonstration of trust to your spouse because it puts your naked body into their control and makes you supremely vulnerable. The bondage benefits both the dominant and the submissive spouse by giving the dominant person permission to act, and the submissive person permission to let go. The various toys described below are only used to accent the submission that has already been agreed to.

There are limitless methods of bondage, but they generally share a few common features.

  • Nakedness. The submissive spouse will usually be restrained naked, or at least with her sexy bits exposed. Being naked with your spouse is already a big show of trust, and being restrained kicks it up a notch.
  • Hand restraint. Often the submissive’s hands are restrained to prevent her from “protecting” herself. (I use quotes, because of course nothing should be happening against the submissive’s desires.) Hands can be restrained above the head (for example, tied to the headboard), behind the back, in front (for front-to-back positions), or even attached to the ankles. Hand restraint is probably the most common element of light bondage. Get those hands out of the way!
  • Leg restraint. Legs, ankles, and knees can be restrained to keep the wife’s legs spread or to prevent movement in general. Leg restraint is an important element of position restraint and orgasm control.
  • Head restraint. Head or neck restraint could be uncomfortable or even dangerous. This isn’t something we do.
  • Eye restraint. Covering the submissive’s eyes can add another layer of trust and enhance vulnerability. Using a blindfold can really make extended foreplay exciting.
  • Mouth restraint. Sometimes you just want to hear your spouse moan with pleasure instead of talk. Sometimes talking is distracting. Taking away the option to talk can be liberating for the person who is restrained. Always be sure that anyone whose mouth is covered can breathe freely and can signal a desire to stop.
  • Position restraint. A combination of restraints can be used to hold the submissive spouse in a certain position, say for spanking. This can be critical for orgasm delay and multiple orgasms, which we’ll talk about below.

So what are the actual devices that can be used for bondage play? Almost anything you can imagine can be incorporated, but here are a few ideas. Each of these items probably deserves its own post!

liberator

Wedge pillows. Sexy Corte and I enjoy these a lot for positioning, and they include attachments for…

Hand cuffs. We use some padded strips with velcro for closures and plastic clips that can be attached together or to the wedges. We’ve tried metal cuffs in the past, but they’re quite uncomfortable if you’re laying on them.

under-mattress

Under-the-mattress restraints. Looks complicated, but it’s not. The cuffs can be tucked under the mattress when not in use. These are especially useful if you don’t have a headboard suitable for tying to.

blindfold

Blindfold. If you want to improvise, use a neck tie or panties.

Gags can be similarly improvised, or you can buy one.

swing

Sex swing. We have one that can be quickly hung in a door frame and be used for a ton of positions. It’s easier than it looks.

spreader_bar

Spreader bar. Keeps those legs apart. Can be used in many positions, including standing, but isn’t great for missionary. I made ours with a wooden dowel and some eye screws.

pull-up-bar

Pull-up bar. These can be mounted in a door way and used as a restraint point for securing someone in a standing position. Also great for getting ripped.

an-unassuming-silver-bullet-vibrator-apparently-inspired-some-bawdy-attention-from-a-tsa-agent-who

 

Vibrator. There are many kinds, but we find the egg vibrator to be the most versatile. We buy cheap ones (around $7 from Amazon) and replace them once or twice a year when they wear out. We also keep rechargeable batteries charging in our bedroom. A wand vibrator can also be useful for longer duration games or when you need more reach.

Rope. Check out our intro to shibari for some awesome ideas!

karada

(Let me point out that you don’t actually need any toys! This post is getting long enough, so I won’t go into detail, but look forward to a future post on mental-only bondage.)

Finally, what’s fun about bondage anyway?

  • Intimacy. Like I said at the beginning: the essence of bondage is vulnerability, and vulnerability is the key to intimacy. Bondage will teach you new things about your spouse’s mind and body. Bondage will let you explore new levels of sexual trust. Bondage exposes you to each other in amazing ways.
  • Passion. Let’s face it: there can be something hot about dominating your spouse or submitting to his or her will. Maybe your sex is normally gentle and loving, and bondage lets you get a little rougher and more physically intense.
  • Foreplay. Bondage requires time to execute, and all that time can be used as foreplay focused on the spouse being bound.
  • Orgasm delay. Also known as teasing or edging. When the submissive spouse is free to move she can position her body just the right way to reach orgasm, and bondage can take away that ability and give control to the dominant spouse. It can be extremely difficult for a person to willingly back off from an orgasm when it’s close, but when using bondage the dominant spouse can pull back and keep the submissive spouse right on the edge without going over. This can make the orgasm incredibly powerful when it eventually comes.
  • Multiple orgasms. After a woman orgasms her clitoris may become intensely sensitive, such that further stimulation is uncomfortable. If her hands and legs are free she may push the stimulation away for relief. However, if she is bound such that she can’t “protect” her clitoris her husband can continue with the stimulation and bring her to multiple orgasms. Sexy Corte describes these as an unending plateau of orgasm, rather than the peak and descent of the normal experience. They’re also quite exhausting, so this probably isn’t something you’ll do every day. As a husband, giving my wife multiple orgasms is one of my absolute favorite things.
  • Fantasy. Bondage can be used as an element of fantasy or role-playing. It feels naughty, and once you’re in the naughty mindset you can free yourself to try some things that you normally wouldn’t. He’s the villain and she’s the kidnapped princess? She’s the super-spy and he’s the captured rogue agent who knows where the bomb is hidden?
  • Exploration. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for our sexual desires, even when the marriage has good communication. Bondage can be an avenue for exploring desires that are difficult to speak out loud but perhaps easier to request non-verbally while in the moment. New experiences can break old habits, and you’re already feeling naughty, right?
  • Escapism. Maybe it’s a minor form of dissociation, but bondage be a form of escapism from everyday life into a secret world of sex with your spouse.
  • Novelty. Bondage introduces a myriad of new sexual options, new ways to play, new positions, new toys, and maybe even new desires.

In the end bondage should be fun and promote intimacy and vulnerability in your marriage. As always, enthusiasm and responsiveness will ensure that you get the most from your sexual experience.

Let us know what you think in the comments! What are you experiences? Do you have any suggestions to add?

In my recent post about the importance of enthusiasm I briefly mentioned responsiveness and promised a follow-up post, so here it goes. All aspects of sexual enthusiasm are valuable to cultivate with your spouse, but responsiveness can be key to creating exciting, pleasurable, and memorable sexual encounters. What do I mean by sexual responsiveness? Basically, sexual responsiveness is verbal or non-verbal communication with your spouse during sex that demonstrates how much you’re enjoying what your spouse is doing right then. Whichever spouse is receiving/submissive at the moment should be sexually responsive to the actions of the giving/dominant spouse. These roles may swap once or more during a single encounter, so pay attention. For example, if you are receiving oral sex you should be the one responding.

In this post, I will first discuss why sexual responsiveness is important, and then I will describe some methods for being responsive.

So, why is sexual responsiveness important?

  • Your response is your spouse’s reward! If your spouse is pleasuring you sexually, your response tells them that they’re being successful and that you appreciate their effort. If your spouse is going down on you and you’re silent, you may as well be checking your text messages or falling asleep as far as they can tell. I think the need for affirmation is especially strong for husbands — wives, it thrills your husbands when you moan and squirm!
  • Your response leads to better sex. Your spouse wants to please you, so give them some hints! Your response should help your spouse learn to pleasure you the way you want.
  • Your response heightens your own arousal. Responsiveness creates a feedback loop in your own body and brain. When you respond to your spouse you’re also pulling yourself deeper into the moment.
  • Your response creates engagement. Do you want to feel more emotionally connected during sex? Be more responsive to your spouse. Being responsive helps keep both people in the moment, engaged with each other, and prevents distraction. It’s harder for your mind to wander to your to-do list if you are focused on your response to your spouse.
  • Your response is critical when you’re near orgasm. This is particularly true for wives: when you’re close to orgasm, make sure your husband knows it. In order to climax you may need your husband to keep doing the same exact thing for just a few more seconds, so tell him!
  • Your response leads to intimacy. What’s more intimate than crying out your spouse’s name when you climax? When you’re sexually responsive to your spouse you’re sharing the most personal, internal details about yourself, private knowledge about your secret inner workings that no one else gets to experience. If you’re shy about being overtly responsive then work intentionally to overcome that barrier and share yourself more fully with your spouse.
  • Your response leads to great foreplay later. “It felt so amazing when you did XYZ… will you do that to me again later?”
  • Your response is fun! Loud, boisterous, intimate sex is way more fun than quiet, inhibited, distracted sex.

What does sexual responsiveness look like? How do you become more responsive to your spouse? I’m glad you asked!

  • Verbal. Call me old-fashioned, but talking is one of the best ways to respond to your spouse sexually! “More”, “faster”, “slower”, “don’t stop”, “yes!”, “almost there”, “keep doing that”, “you feel so big”, “I love being inside you”, “you’re driving me crazy”, “I need you inside me”. Talk dirty.
  • Your spouse’s name. Yelling out your spouse’s name is a special kind of verbal responsiveness that your spouse will certainly enjoy, especially if you cry out while you’re orgasming.
  • Moaning. For when it feels too good to put into words. Moans, cries, groans, “oh!”, “ah!”, and so forth. If you’re shy you might be thinking that these sounds will seem overly dramatic or fake, but trust me, your spouse will not laugh at you. If your spouse isn’t used to your moaning, it might push them right over the edge of their own orgasm.
  • Eye contact. Instead of closing your eyes and disappearing into your own head, keep your eyes open and maintain eye contact. This is especially sexy during initial penetration or orgasm.
  • Kissing. Kissing during sex is always great, so use your kiss to be responsive.
  • Hands. Clutch your spouse with your hands when you’re in the throes of pleasure. Tighten your grip. Interlace fingers with your spouse. Gently use your fingernails. Squeeze, fondle, pull.
  • Legs. Similar to using your hands… grab your spouse with your legs. Tighten your grip.
  • Penetration. Push, pull, grasp, or whatever is appropriate to deepen the penetration. Wives, it will drive your husband crazy if you show him that you need him deeper inside you.
  • Writhing. Wiggle and writhe while you moan. Make sure your spouse knows you’re wiggling from pleasure and not discomfort! When pleasure is extremely strong this writhing will happen naturally, which is why incorporating some light bondage into your sex play can be fun and functional.
  • Changing speeds. Going faster, slower, or even pausing can indicate your pleasure. A husband might need to pause to delay his orgasm, or a wife might need to hold still to get herself over the edge. It’s important to use additional cues so that your spouse knows why you’re changing speeds.
  • Skin contact. Adjust your position to increase skin contact, including arms, legs, and breasts.
  • Bury your face. Nuzzle your face into your spouse’s neck, breasts, hair, or whatever is handy.

There are my tips for being sexually responsive. What do you think? What works for you in your marriage? Did I miss anything good?

I’ve been promising to write about enthusiasm for a while, but I’ve been having trouble wrapping my head completely around it. Basically, my opinion is that enthusiasm is more important than any other single behavior when it comes to having great sex. [Tweet this] I know, that’s a bold claim, but let’s see if I can convince you.

So what is enthusiasm? My favorite definition is “lively interest”. Both of those words are important. I should be interested in sex with my spouse. I should think about it, plan for it, pursue it. Sex with my spouse should be one of my favorite hobbies. And my interest should be lively. Active. Self-motivated. Dynamic.

So what does this look like? Enthusiasm for sex with your spouse isn’t just important while you’re having sex — it encompasses a lot of behaviors.

  • Saying yes. Pretty basic, but it’s a lot better than when your spouse tells you no! As we’ve written before, yes should be the default answer when it comes to sex with your spouse. [Tweet this] There may be a reason to say no for a moment, but I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the answer should be yes at least 90% of the time. Just like with your other hobbies, you find a way to say yes when you’re invited.
  • Communication. Enthusiastic spouses tell each other what they like, what they want, what they need. You can’t wait to talk to your friends about your other hobbies, right? Don’t make your spouse drag it out of you — offer your opinion. Be eager to listen to your spouse’s desires. Be as explicit and specific as necessary! Tell your spouse exactly what you want. These conversations can take place any time, but they seem ideal when they aren’t during sex or immediately before or after. Make some time to talk during the day. (Which may lead to sex.)
  • Improvement. Enthusiasm means you want to be the best sex your spouse has ever had. This is the part where you follow-through on the communication. If your wife wants you to tickle her g-spot more before penetration, you can’t wait to please her. If your husband wants a quickie, shut the door and drop your panties. Your spouse has told you what they want, so hop to it! And not just the once, but be a student of your spouse and incorporate your new knowledge into your permanent expertise. When you’re invested in a hobby you work at it to improve, right? You read about it, study it, test out new ideas, and learn from experience. Sex with your spouse should be the same way.
  • Responsiveness. Now we’re getting to what enthusiasm looks like during sex. When you’re having sex, be there, in the moment. Be fully engaged. Look your husband in the eyes and moan when he enters you. Tell your wife how amazing she looks when she rides you. Responsiveness at any given moment is mostly the responsibility of the submissive, receiving partner. This role may stay the same throughout a sexual encounter, or it may change several times before you’re done. The point of responsiveness is that the receiver needs to demonstrate their pleasure to the dominant, giving partner. Don’t just lay there like a rug while your spouse goes to town. If you want your spouse to improve, give them the feedback they need! It’s especially important to clearly communicate to your partner when you’re close, and when you’re orgasming. The topic probably deserves its own post, but here are a few ways to be responsive: talking (“more!”, “yes!”, “almost there!”); kissing; moaning; using your spouse’s name; clutching with your hands or legs; connecting with your eyes; writhing with your hips; deepening penetration; changing speed.
  • Experimentation. This goes for before and during sex: be open to new ideas, and don’t get frustrated if something doesn’t work. Sure, every couple has a repertoire of reliable positions that are guaranteed to please both spouses, and that’s great. You don’t have to try something new every time; most of the time your basic method is just fine. But when your spouse suggests something new, say yes! Maybe it won’t work, but don’t pre-judge it; chances are, your spouse has been working up the nerve to ask you for a while. When you say yes, don’t wince or roll your eyes, even if you’re skeptical. Don’t use the dreaded, “eh, if you want to” line either. That’s resignation, not enthusiasm. When your spouse wants to try something new with you, consider it a gift. This is an experience they’ve planned just for you and no one else in the world. Later (but not immediately afterwards), the two of you can talk about it and decide if its something you want to do sometimes/always/never. Just remember: unlike other hobbies, you’re the only legitimate sexual partner for your spouse; if you say no, that closes a door on your spouse’s desire forever.
  • Fun. Why so glum, chum? Sex is serious business, but it should also be seriously fun. Sex with your spouse is your own private amusement park! Ride all the rides. Eat everything in sight. Laugh, joke, tickle, wrestle, tease, snuggle, play! Sex isn’t just about having babies and orgasms. What do you like best about your other hobbies? Find ways to incorporate those qualities into your sex life. For example, Sexy Corte and I like playing games, so we created Sexy Adult Jenga and Naked Marco Polo. No matter what you enjoy, you will likely be able to bring some aspects of your hobby-personality into your sex life. When your spouse begins to bring these interests into your sexual encounters, remember to say yes!
  • Orgasm. Right, so sex isn’t only about orgasms, but let’s face it: orgasms are awesome. You don’t need to have an orgasm every time you have sex, but you should have an orgasm as often as you want to — and so should your spouse. Enthusiasm is hungering for an orgasm from your spouse, and craving an orgasm for your spouse. [Tweet thisMen can get very goal-oriented and focus excessively on the orgasm, so husband, make sure to listen to what your wife wants in the moment. Wife, your husband can’t read your mind, so make sure you are as responsive as possible.

Whew! That’s a long post; I hope it makes sense. If you want to kick your love life up a notch, foster some enthusiasm for sex. Please leave a comment and tell us your perspective on enthusiasm!