Alice Atalanta writes a powerful defense of alpha males, and it’s worth reading for both husbands and wives. We get emails all the time from wives who long for their husbands to “take charge” and husbands who are afraid of their wives. Our culture — even our modern church culture — often views men as barbarians who need to be tamed by feminine virtues, which can create both emasculated men and bitter, overcompensating thugs. It’s true that God gave women an amazing array of strengths that men can learn from, but it’s also true that God created men with strengths of our own. As married couples, we need to embrace each others’ strengths and use them for the benefit of the marriage and family.

Here are a few “alpha male” traits that Atalanta identifies, and it’s no surprise that these are qualities that we see perfected in our Heavenly Father.

But there is more to it than just brute force and strength. As much as he may excel as an athlete or on the battlefield, a true Alpha Male also develops the capacities of character to temper, channel, moderate, and strategically employ this strength. Character – and what is traditionally referred to as “honor” – is central to the way that these men live their lives. Athlete Chad Howse, whose article “25 Characteristics of an Alpha Male” is Google’s top result for a search on the topic, hones in on these critical specifics: the Alpha Male, he writes, is “a man’s man, a warrior, a stand-up guy…he’s a leader, the guy others look to for motivation, inspiration…he’s the man women want, without intention the center of attention.” True statement applicable to all of those with whom I spoke. Other qualities highlighted by Howse, and consistent among my own sampling of Alpha types? Persistence, defensive capability, courage, humor, wisdom, humility, learnedness, thoughtfulness in speech, purposefulness, diligence, confidence, restraint, respectfulness, integrity, discernment, generosity, leadership, industriousness, and sincerity. In short, more the qualities of a Renaissance man than a brute. Hobbs’ scholarship supports this, as she considers the ancient Greek model of Plato’s ideal man, whose warrior spirit (Thumos) is tempered by reason – a topic she discusses at length as she is interviewed by Brett McKay on his ‘Art of Manliness’ podcast.

In addition to help from the Holy Spirit — which we should pray for — many husbands just need to feel some permission to act manly! Our culture denigrates manliness to such a degree that many men suppress their natural God-given strengths in an attempt to conform to worldly expectations — which are often feminine behavior patterns. Instead of being bold, the husband is timid, too fearful to express his needs and preferences to his own wife without coaching from strangers on the internet! (And hey, we’re happy to help, but you’ve got to add the final ingredient: courage.)

And wives, do you want your husband to take the lead? He’ll be much bolder if you don’t second-guess his decisions. How many times have you had this conversation?

Husband: Where do you want to go to dinner?

Wife: I don’t know, you pick.

Husband: Ok, let’s go to XYZ.

Wife: Eh, I don’t really want to go there.

Wives, if you want your husband to lead then you have to accept his leadership. That doesn’t mean that you make him guess over and over again until he gets lucky and picks something that pleases you! It means that you offer your opinion and then happily submit to his decision the first time unless you have some serious objection. A husband isn’t a good leader because he always picks what his wife would pick; being a good leader means making decisions that honor God and your family.

Husbands, are you bold in your marriage and family? Wives, what do you really want from your husbands?

It’s (past) time for another roundup of Christian sex links! Check out these blogs, we’re sure you’ll find something you like.

Your wife doesn’t always know when she’s aroused — Her indications of arousal aren’t as obvious (to either of you) as is a husband’s erection!

Several links about initiating sex:

Wives, don’t be afraid of your husband’s manhood!

How to have “vacation sex” when you’re not on vacation — Be prepared and bring your own lock when you’re actually on vacation!

Your husband needs a girlfriend — Hint: it’s you!

Ten minutes and lube — Quickies alone don’t make a great sex life.

Talk about sex outside the bedroom — Interesting advice for preserving the tranquility of your sex room.

Submission and headship, with handy four-quadrant diagrams — Definitely hard concepts to understand in our modern culture.

“When I orgasm, I shake all over” — Intense, uncontrollable sexual responsiveness from the wife is really hot.

Memorable first thrust technique — “Many women, once aroused and full of anticipation for intercourse, consider the first thrust to be their favorite part of intercourse.”

Don’t miss the good part of her cycle — It’s something we’ve started planning around!

Take advantage of every opportunity to talk with your kids about sex — “When our kids are curious and comfortable talking about sex, we think they are too young and by the time we think we should talk to them about sex, they are embarrassed.”

Three posts with wedding night tips for virgin brides: “What do I do?”, making the mental leap from “no” to “yes”, and “how to I avoid pain?” — Also great for new husbands to read.

Is your spouse really showing you all of his or her sexuality? — Fear/avoidance of rejection is common, even in marriage. How can you assure your spouse that he or she can really share any desire with you?

Erotic wisdom in Proverbs 5 — Hint: “fountains”, “wells”, and “cisterns” are symbolism.

If you have any links you want to share, leave them in the comments!

That is, quick answers to the emails that are piling up! Please jump into the comments if you have any ideas of your own to share on these topics.

Reader “JK” writes:

Hi, I’m wondering if you can give me some advice. My husband and I have been married several years and have a good relationship in general but our sex life is lacking at times, especially since he really enjoys me being dominant over him and using bondage and I struggle with being dominant and can’t really come up with anything creative to do so I just end up playing out basically the same scene over and over. I want to do better so he and I can both enjoy sex more. Any advice? Thanks for all you and your husband do. I really appreciate your website and all the articles you have to encourage Christian couples in their sex lives. This world needs it.

It’s more common for the husband to be sexually dominant than the wife, but there are plenty of marriages in which those roles are reversed — whatever works for your marriage is great, and kudos to JK and her husband for figuring it out! What’s more, it’s awesome that JK wants to step up her game to improve their sex life.

My first tip is simple, but maybe not obvious: just because one spouse is “dominant” in an encounter doesn’t mean that she (in this case) needs to think of everything. JK, I’m sure your husband has some fantasies of what he’d like you to do with him, but he might feel like he shouldn’t tell you directly because that would undermine the roles you’re playing. False! Before you engage in any kind of role-playing you need to talk out-of-character and set expectations with each other. During this conversation neither of you is dominant or submissive, you’re just yourselves discussing how you want to have sex. It’s very common for the sexually submissive spouse (usually the wife, but not in this case) to expect the dominant spouse to guess what to do — “read my mind, tell me what to do, and fulfill my fantasy without me having to spell it out for you!” This is not always realistic. JK, talk to your husband and encourage him to help you plan the scenarios that he wants to act out with you!

The second tip is to check out our category for sexy games — many of them have dominant/submissive elements that you can re-use in a million ways. Start with Trivia Night and Professor and Student.

 

Reader “AV” writes:

Hi El Fury. I discovered your site not long ago and it has been very clarifying for me. I love the fact that you guys answer questions on here. So, I have one. I know watching porn together is not a healthy habit, obviously. But what about listening to the audio without seeing it? What about listening alone?

Your sexual thoughts and energy should be devoted to your spouse — so, does listening to the audio track of porn edify your marriage? Does it honor God? Does it focus your sexuality on your spouse? In this particular case it’s hard for us to answer these questions for you, because listening to such audio isn’t appealing to us. The easy answer would be “don’t do it”, but is this audio really different than playing sexy music? I don’t know. Pray and seek God.

Reader “JM” writes:

I appreciate your clear and candid discussion of sexual topics. I looked through the posts searching for thoughts on a particular topic: keeping the sex life magical when separated (military, work, etc.).

Do you have any suggestions or thoughts about what a married couple can do when they are apart? Maybe it is a discussion of phone sex or video chatting. In particular, any suggestions for a wife who is uncomfortable touching herself.

It’s a blessing that Sexy Corte and I aren’t frequently separated by work, so we don’t have much first-hand advice to share. To specifically address the issue of your wife being uncomfortable touching herself, I have two thoughts. First, encourage her to touch herself while you’re with her! It’s very sexy to watch your wife touch herself, and you might even learn a thing or two about how she likes to be touched. Second, you might want to check out one of the numerous “app enabled vibrators” available these days. (Search on the term… we don’t have a specific model to recommend.) These devices will let you control the stimulation that your wife experiences while you’re on the phone, enhancing the feeling of closeness even when you’re far away.

Reader “LG” writes:

Hi, I recently discovered your blog and appreciated the Christian perspective on sex in marriage you write about. I am not married yet but I am in a serious relationship. My boyfriend is quite a lot older then I am however he is still very ‘young’ in appearance. He is a professional body builder and looks about 10 years younger then he is. He is also very healthy. My dads concern before I started dating him was only for my sex life because he said that “passion is sometimes the only thing that keeps a marriage together.” I’m learning more how much frequent sex really does matter in marriage. I am a strong Christian and so is my boyfriend, we both intend to keep our virginity for our wedding night. I am 26 and he is 49. I know its a big age gap. I wanted your opinion on whether it would work for us in the sexual area for us if we got married. I’m thinking ahead too and have considered that when I am my moms age he will be 80. I don’t even know when people stop having sex but I surely don’t want to be the one always wanting it, I want him to want it just as much or more. I know people who marry with an age gap but I have no idea what their sex life looks like! Do you have any first hand information about age gap couples or any insight into this?

That’s a big age gap, and it will become more pronounced as you get older. We get emails all the time from readers in their 60s and 70s who have active sex lives, but it’s impossible for us to say what will happen in your specific situation in 20 years. Also, two 60-year-olds may have a great sex life together, while if one of those sexagenarians were married to a 40-year-old they’d both be miserable because of the libido gap. It’s common for men to experience a decrease in their sex drive as they enter their 60s and 70s.

Reader “KF” writes:

Ever since the birth of my daughter (a few years ago) sex is painful. It doesn’t matter how much lube or how wet I get, it still hurts and I bleed lightly after. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

If sex is painful you should talk to your doctor. It isn’t normal for sex to be painful years after giving birth.

Reader “QF” writes:

Hello, I love your blog and several other Christian sex blogs. Love the way you want to give each other pleasure as often as possible. The one thing I can’t get into my head is, why El Fury? Or is it a secret between you and Sexy Corte?

“Fury” in the sense of “full of unrestrained energy and passion”, not anger! Beyond that, it’s a secret.

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email service like Mailinator.

 

When Sexy Corte and I were dating, I somewhat randomly drew on her a couple of times with a sharpie and we both found it to be fun and sensual. A few weeks ago, she suggested I use henna to create temporary tattoos on her body. I was game, but also intimidated — she’s the artistic one in the family, and I’ve never done anything like it before. She sent me this video of design ideas and then told me to draw whatever I wanted on her. No pressure, right?

I did a bit of research and decided to buy a jagua tattoo kit. Apparently henna can cause skin irritation for some people, so I decided to try an alternative considering the intimate areas involved. The kit included all the tools required to mix the ink and apply it to the skin, and simple instructions for a beginner. (Now that I’ve got a bit of proficiency I will probably just buy the ink next time.)

As for the design, I really debated — and in the end I didn’t use any of the patterns from the video above. The first tattoo I created was a design I stole from one of our board games (so geeky) that I drew on the lower front of SC’s hip (about half-covered by her panties). The second tattoo was simple: I wrote my name across her right breast in cursive.

The application process was great foreplay. She laid naked on the bed with a wand vibrator between her legs (and tried to hold still) while I used the tiny applicator to draw intricate lines on her body. By the time the tattoos were done we were both eager to get down to business!

So what’s fun about tattooing your spouse?

  • Marking your territory. It was awesome to use SC’s body as a canvas for my creativity, and she enjoyed coaxing it out of me. As I mentioned, I don’t have a lot of artistic talent, but there was something primal about marking my wife — especially with my name written across her breast.
  • Submission. SC made a few suggestions and requests (e.g., the tattoos should be concealable with clothing), but it was extremely sexy to be given carte blanche to draw on her body however I wanted. That she wanted me to express myself on her body was a huge turn-on.
  • Durability. Most sex is over when it’s over, but temporary tattoos can last two weeks! Whenever SC looks at herself in the mirror she is reminded of me and her act of submission, and whenever I see her I’m reminded of my dominance. For us, that’s sexy! Just seeing the tattoos on her skin turns me on and makes me want her. (Similar to why trying-to-get-pregnant sex is some of the best sex.)
  • Creative. You can draw anything, anywhere. A picture, a love letter, an abstract pattern, a symbol, a poem, anything you can imagine.
  • Vulnerability. It takes vulnerability to be creative, and vulnerability is sexy. I was pretty nervous about tattooing SC — afraid it would look bad or be silly — but her enthusiasm and encouragement nudged me along. And, of course, she was even more vulnerable than I was, since she was the canvas!
  • Secret. Hidden tattoos are a sensual inside joke to share with your spouse. If the drawings are on intimate areas, you can even flash them discreetly to get your spouse’s attention in public.
  • Temporary. The tattoos are durable, but they eventually fade… and then you get to draw something new! I’ve already got several ideas for our next round of tattooing.

Here are a few tips that will make your tattooing experience as awesome as possible.

  • Prepare your kit in advance. I started mixing the ink after SC was already naked, so I rushed while she waited.
  • Set expectations. Make sure you agree on where and what are desirable.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t make the tattoo too complicated, especially if it’s your first time. Pick a simple pattern and practice it on the skin with magic marker.
  • Stimulation during application. Figure out a way to physically stimulate each other during the tattooing process. In this instance, with SC on her back, we used a wand vibrator. Next time I’m planning to tattoo her butt, and we’ll try doing it doggy style.
  • Plan for drying time. The tattoos take 30-40 minutes to dry, so plan accordingly. In our case, we did the hip tattoo first since it would be hard to avoid smudging it during sex.

So there you have it, our first experience with temporary tattoos! Have you ever done this kind of thing with your spouse? Got tips or questions? Leave a comment!

If you were intrigued by our bondage for beginners post then you’re in for a treat! Shibari is an artistic, beautiful, and intimate style of rope bondage that spouses can enjoy when they have a significant amount of time available to invest in a sexual encounter. A quick warning, which may be obvious: if you Google many of the terms in this post you’re likely to see images with nudity. However, it is possible to learn about shibari without seeing all that, and I’m going to link to a few resources that I found to be safe.

(Sexy Corte and I debated over whether or not showing nude mannequins and drawings is acceptable, and we decided yes. Educational resources frequently use drawings or icons to convey sexual information while avoiding naked human flesh, and we think it’s approriate. Shibari is a very visual art, and it would be impossible to describe without any images. If the images bother you, we apologize.)

First of all, I should point out that I’m not an expert on shibari. I’m going to attempt to use the correct terminology and give some tips for how Sexy Corte and I got started, but this is all pretty new to us. Second, make sure you read about basic bondage safety — I can’t cover all that here.

So, why would you want to try Japanese rope bondage?

  • Beautiful body art. Creating a work of art on you or your spouse’s body is great fun and very empowering. Your bodies are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God, and shibari gives you a new way to enjoy their beauty and sexuality.
  • Intimate. Performing the ties takes time, close attention to detail, cooperation, communication, and lots of touching. The spouse being tied doesn’t just stand immobile — the whole process requires (naked!) collaboration. A shibari session can hit every love language: plenty of physical touch, an investment of quality time, service through tying and being tied, words affirming beauty and skill, and even giving of gifts in the form of materials. You and your spouse can emphasize whatever aspects best fit your languages.
  • Simple. Ok, some of the art pieces you may see online are not simple, but the basic techniques are easy to learn and build from. The materials you need to get started (see below) are inexpensive and easily available.
  • Power dynamic. As with most bondage, the dynamic of domination and submission can be as big or small an element as you desire, both during the tying and after. The basic shibari ties (see below) don’t necessarily restrain the movement of the spouse being tied, but they can form the foundation for restraining ties if desired.
  • Creative. The image at the top of the post comes from 18Seiben’s Deviant Art gallery, and he has tons of other safe images to inspire you. There’s really no limit to the designs and patterns you can create, even with very simple techniques. Once you grasp the basics, it isn’t hard to look at a single image and consider how you might create something similar.

shibari gallery

The materials required to get started are minimal. First, of course, is rope.

  • “Shibari rope”. You can find “shibari rope” online that’s extremely expensive and unnecessary; don’t buy it. You can get great rope at your local home improvement store for only a few dollars. Shibari purists seem to prefer natural hemp rope, but we’ve gotten along fine with nylon and MFP (cheaper and less scratchy).
  • Default length and thickness. To get started, buy a few pieces of rope that are 1/4-inch thick and 25 feet long. Length and thickness will eventually depend on the ties you plan to do.
  • Longer. We also have a 50-foot rope — longer ropes can be useful for some designs, but are harder to work with because you have to pull all that length through, over and over.
  • Shorter. Shorter ropes can be useful for more advanced techniques like single- or double-column ties.
  • Thicker. Some 3/8-inch thick rope can also be useful for ties that actually bear weight (greater width means the rope doesn’t bite into skin as much), but it’s harder to knot.

Additional supplies:

  • Safety scissors. Just in case you need to cut free immediately. Medical safety scissors have blunt tips that make it easy to cut rope without poking skin.
  • Relaxing music. Unlike most of your sex music, shibari really lends itself to a peaceful soundtrack. Think classical. Maybe Sexy Corte can offer some suggestions later.

Ok, so you’ve got your supplies and you’re ready to get started! Now what? The first tie we did is a simple breast harness called a shinju, which means “binding the pearls”. The term can refer to many different styles of breast bindings, which generally turn out something like this.

shinju manniquin

Here’s a three-minute video that will walk you through a simple shinju.

The shinju is a lot of fun and really highlights the wife’s breasts! Once you’ve completed the tie, we recommend progressing to a face-to-face sexual position with the wife upright so as to best enjoy her breasts, such as cowgirl or sex on a chair. The shinju can also serve as the foundation for a variety of arm restraints, like this.

arm-binding

After the shinju, you can move on to a full body harness called a karada, which means “binding the body”. As with the shinju, there are many ways to create a karada, and 18Seiben’s gallery will give you a taste. Here’s video that shows one simple karada.

And here’s an image of a karada that illustrates the process (click for full-size).

how to tie karada

These two ties are about as far as we’ve gotten ourselves, but we’ve got a million ideas we’d still like to try. For example, both the shinju and karada can be worn secretly under winter clothes! Once you know the basics it’s easy to visualize how to create more intricate ties, and working through the trial-and-error of achieving your vision is extremely intimate. Our next “advanced” project will be a rope corset.

shibari rope corset

Finally, some resources:

  • The Duchy has rope bondage guides that show no skin or sexual content
  • BDSMGeek’s YouTube playlist of safe shibari tutorials, also with no nudity

If you’ve ever done any rope bondage with your spouse, or are interested in trying, leave a comment!

Orgasm permission is a submission technique that’s easy to add to your sexual repertoire and can add a little mind-play to an otherwise vanilla encounter. (And vanilla is great! When you’ve got a family there isn’t always time to set up all the toys.)

The basic idea of orgasm permission is simple: ask your spouse for permission before you climax, and then hold off until you receive it. You can easily initiate this submission by yourself — just wait till you’re close and moan/groan/yell, “can I come?! can I please come now?!” Then hold yourself close to the edge and wait for your spouse to say “yes, come for me now!”

Alternately, you can tell your spouse that you want them to ask before they orgasm. Since you’re asking something of them, make sure you briefly discuss your expectations. You and your spouse will figure out what works best for you, but you want the experience to be hot, especially the first time. Make sure the mind-play enhances the experience for both of you and doesn’t drain any of the sexual energy:

  • Don’t ask for permission until you’re close to orgasm.
  • When asked, give permission quickly. You or your spouse may eventually find it enjoyable to deny permission for a period of time, but work your way up to it. You don’t want your spouse to lose their orgasm because you said no for too long.

This submission technique can be used with almost any kind of sexual encounter, from missionary to blow jobs to vibrators (good luck!). Have you ever asked your spouse’s permission to orgasm? Leave a comment below!

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.

It’s been a while since we had a link party, so let’s see what’s up around the marriage-sphere.

Q&A: Will Frequent Yeses Turn My Husband into a Sex Maniac? — No.

Oral Sex: Giving and Receiving the Gift — Intimacy, vulnerability, and submission.

29 Fun, Healthy and Sexy Things to Do with Your Spouse this Summer — Enjoy the warm weather!

Picture dares for couples — A fun print-and-play game, along with links to earlier installments.

3 Things Higher Sex Drive Spouses Wish their Spouse Knew — Don’t play games.

Honor bondage — Bondage without physical restraints.

Lately I have been hearing from more and more women a consistent desire that is burning in their hearts. They want and need their husbands to step up and be a spiritual leader to their family. They are weary of bearing the burden of leadership that they were not created to bear. We live in a time that feminism and equal roles are common themes in our households. But this is not what God has intended.

God has blessed us with a lot of scripture to help us fulfill our roles as husbands and wives. My favorite is Ephesians 5:22-33.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Scripture makes it very clear — God designed the husband to be the leader of the family. As most Christians learn, when God sets up a model of which to live by, it’s because that is the best possible way. It’s what will bring Him glory, how we will be happiest, and how our lives will function properly. Husbands, you are the leaders. Your wife is to be your helper, your counselor. Lead your wife lovingly and she will happily follow.

So wives, what do you do if your husband is not being the leader you need him to be?

1. Pray. Pray that God would convict him and guide him.

2. Equip him. We are the helpers, the supporters. Start by asking him to make the decisions, and then follow through with the decision he does make. You can also give him the tools and the encouragement he needs to be a good leader. Find a devotional the two of you can do together or with your family. Ask him to lead prayer at meals or bedtimes with the kids.

3. Encourage him. If he does step up and lead, it is probably out of his comfort zone to do so. If your first response is criticism, it will probably make him shut down. Encouragement will build up his confidence to continue leading. Keep in mind his style of leading might look very different from how you would lead. This is where you need to submit and surrender to his leadership.

4. Praise God. God deserves all the praise and glory. I think especially for women, it is easy to put our hope and faith in our husbands. But putting our hope in anything other than God will bring disappointment every time.

5. Don’t get discouraged. Leadership is a learned skill. He’s not going to turn into the leader you dream for your family overnight, and he might not fully step up at once. If he steps up, then falls back into letting you lead, keep praying and keep encouraging him.