Your Master Bedroom Is Your Sex Room: Part 2 1

In addition to El Fury’s post about the Master Bedroom being the Sex Room, I wanted to add a few other thoughts. There are other ways in which we make this room our Sex Room.

Having nightstands with drawers gives us a lot of concealed storage for various sex props. We keep a lot of toys, fun books, lube, etc. in our nightstands. It’s nice to have these things readily accessible in the heat of the moment.

I think our bedroom looks sexy too. We picked out the bedding and the furniture together, so it’s our room. We try to keep it tidy too, so at least for me, when I walk into our bedroom I don’t think about what I need to do to clean it up. I think about what I want to do, or about what I liked doing.

Your Master Bedroom Is Your Sex Room 2

Sexy Corte and I have a lot of married friends who are shocked and surprised when they learn that we always lock our bedroom door at night. It seems that most of our peers not only keep their doors unlocked, but often sleep with their doors open or with their kids in the sex bed!

This is wrong. How are you going to get it on when kids can burst in any any time? Or when kids are in bed with you? The master bedroom is a place of intimacy, privacy, and sexual abandon!  It’s your pleasure garden. The kids need to be kept out.

You need to think of your master bedroom as the sex room. Sure, you should have sex all over the house when possible, but if you have kids then most of the time you’ll be getting it on in your sex room. Your bed is the sex bed. In the sex room, sex can happen at any time. The sex bed is for doing dirty deeds with your spouse, not cuddling your kids.

Your kids should rarely enter the sex room, and certainly not without permission. If you’re in the sex room, you should be either preparing to have sex, actually having sex, or half-conscious from amazing sex. (Or asleep, I guess.) You don’t want your kids walking in on that, do you?

Most of sex is mental and emotional, not physical. If you think of your bedroom as your sex room, guess what? Your mind and emotions will shift to make it true. Guard your intimacy and your privacy with your spouse, because if you don’t respect them then your kids certainly won’t.

Put a Chair in Your Bedroom 3

We’ve written that your master bedroom is for sex (and part 2) and if you’re like most people, that’s probably where you do it the most. You’ve probably got all your fun sex stuff hidden away in there, ready for action… but maybe you’re missing one thing: a blowjob chair!

Of course, your bedroom chair isn’t just for oral sex. Chairs are very versatile pieces of furniture!

And you’ll find more fun things to do once the chair is in place! If you’ve got any more ideas, leave a comment.

The Downside of Autumn: Summer Penis and Winter Vagina 4

Happy Autumn! For Sexy Corte and I, this is our favorite time of year. October weather is amazing, and the holidays roll over you in an avalanche of fun — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year. Good times.

But, oh no! Autumn isn’t all fun and games. Married couples face two serious challenges to their sex lives in this time of year. Yes… Autumn marks the end of the glorious summer penis and the beginning of the dreaded winter vagina! These are serious marital issues that you might not even have known about, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. First, let’s analyze the problems.

Wives, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re going to have to say good-bye to the summer penis you’ve been enjoying for the past few months.

Summer penis is an elusive phenomenon that answers to the sway of the seasons. No barbell can boost it; no foodstuff can fill it. Summer penis is a temporary dick fluctuation that, thanks to the heat and warmth, gives you a months-long leg-up on shaft size. It’d be like if a woman’s boobs suddenly got huge from May to August.

But now it’s gone, and you’re going to have to make do with your regular non-summer penis!

And say hello winter vagina.

Chilly weather can make our lips chapped and skin dry – so Vaseline soon becomes a beauty staple in the winter months.

A midwife has now issued a warning to women as apparently this “drought” can extend to EVERY area of our bodies, causing ‘winter vagina’.

Mary Burke, a former NHS midwife and senior clinical nurse at the London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic reveals the reasons why this happens.

“Dry autumn and winter air depletes moisture from our bodies, leaving our skin dehydrated and cracked, and our sinuses parched,” she said to The Sun.

“And while it’s an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter ‘drought mode’ during this time, too.

“When we spend a lot of time in air conditioned rooms, or with the heating on, we’re living in air which carries very little moisture.”

What’s a married couple to do in these harrowing circumstances? If only there were a way to warm up your penis and moisturize your vagina at the same time.

The Downside of Autumn: Summer Penis and Winter Vagina 5

Well here are a few ideas.

  • Have sex in the water. Taking a bath or shower together is the quickest way to get things warm and wet.
  • Leave the bathroom fan off. If your bathroom is connected to your master bedroom, leave the fan vent off when you take a hot shower. The heat and humidity from the shower will permeate to your bedroom and improve the atmosphere. Using the vent wastes all that precious heat and humidity!
  • Crank up the heat. Yes, it’s expensive to turn up the thermostat all winter, so just crank it up for an hour before you have sex. Don’t be shy — turn it up high enough that instead of shivering, your wife will be eager to take off her clothes.
  • Humidifier. When you turn up the heat, you’ll also want to use a humidifier to increase the moisture in your bedroom. A cheap hygrometer can be used to optimize the humidity in your house.
  • Lubricant. You may not need it all the time, but keep it handy for when you do.
  • Moisturize. Find the right lotions for your sexy bits and you’ll both benefit during the cold, dry months.

Do you have any other tips for sexing it up through this horrible season? Leave a comment!

Are Facebook and Netflix Damaging Your Sex Life? 6

New research shows that Americans are having less sex than 20 years ago and suggests that the decline might be due in part to improvements in electronic diversions like Facebook and Netflix.

American adults had less sex in the early 2010s than they did in the 1990s, to the tune of nine fewer times a year, according to new research published in Archives of Sexual Behavior. (That’s a drop from a yearly average in the low 60s, to one in the low 50s.)

This slump holds true regardless of gender, age, race, work or marital status, although it’s most precipitous for American who were married or living with a romantic partner, a group that reported having sex 16 fewer times per year in the early 2010s when compared to the early 2000s.

[…] Twenge has another theory on why we’re getting frisky less frequently: technology. More specifically, the rise of smartphones and streaming services, which began gaining real traction in the late 2000s.

“Entertainment is more entertaining now, it’s more on demand — you can access it anytime you want,” she says. “DVRs became more common right around that time, too.” In other words, we might be too busy binge watching shows, playing video games, and Snapchatting our friends to bother having sex.

Basically the theory is that electronics are out-competing you for your spouse’s attention. No one likes competition, but you can be more interesting than the internet if you’re intentional about it. In addition to the tips in that post (go read it!), here are some ideas for protecting your marriage (and family) from excessive electronic distraction.

  • No television in the sex room! Televisions are ubiquitous these days, but I guarantee that if you have one in your master bedroom it is reducing the frequency of sex. Do you doubt me? Haven’t you ever laid in bed, barely able to keep your eyes open, while trying to finish a show before you pass out? I bet you didn’t have sex after that, even if you were both frisky when you got in bed. Your master bedroom should be your sex room, and you should protect it as such.
  • Keep your computers in public places. This goes especially for your kids — computers that are in public parts of the house (as opposed to bedrooms) are much less likely to be abused. If you have a home office (like we do), try to stay away from it when you’re not working so that you aren’t pulled away from your family time. If your computer is in a public part of the house, then even when you have to use the computer at least you can stay near your family instead of completely disengaging.
  • Limit access to electronics by time and place. We try very hard to limit our use of electronics to specific times and places. The kids only watch television during quiet time. Phones and tablets are not allowed at the table during meals. Mobile devices with full internet access are not allowed in the kids’ bedrooms. Sexy Corte and I only watch Netflix in the living room, usually after we have sex upstairs. It’s important to create consistent boundaries that work for your family, and these will probably change over time as your kids get older. The electronic boundaries in your marriage need to protect your relationship and your sex life — find shows and games that you can enjoy together, and have sex first!
  • Shared access. Shared devices are much less likely to be abused than private devices. Adults will probably have their “own” phones, but in our family we know each others’ pass-codes and can access all the devices — and the same goes for email, Facebook, or whatever. We use LastPass to store our passwords, which is great for security and convenience and also ensures that Sexy Corte and I can get access to whatever accounts we need. (Ensuring access would also be especially important if one of us were to become incapacitated or worse.)
  • Don’t get caught in the web. Learn to recognize when you’re mindlessly surfing the web without purpose and make yourself stop. I’m most susceptible to this trap when I’ve had caffeine too close to bedtime — I’ll just lay in bed, bleary-eyed, clicking on links when I should be sleeping. It’s hard to stop because the internet is addictive, but when you learn to recognize what you’re doing you can apply your willpower to put the device down.

Got any tips to share? How do you and your spouse protect your marriage from Facebook and Netflix? Leave a comment!

People Are More Important than Devices 7

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?

Intense Focus on Your Senses Makes Great Sex 8

Why is sex so good? Kinda like asking, “why is water wet?” But still, if we understand what makes sex good then maybe we can make it even better!

One of the main questions in life is: Why is sex so good? According to a new review paper, it’s because sex — like dance, yoga, and other body-based pleasures — is rhythmic, and that rhythm has a way of uniting and heightening the senses.

Authored by Northwestern University researcher Adam Safron and published in Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, the paper argues that intercourse can be such a magical experience because of “entrainment,” which is a fancy way of saying that it gets your brain, sensory, and bodily systems all rowing in the same sexy direction. What happens in the run-up to orgasm, he argues, is what goes on in most ecstatic experiences (consider how a “beat drops” in your favorite new disco anthem). Rhythmic perception and action lead you to attend more to the stimuli that’s turning you on, leading to greater enjoyment, and greater attendance, making for “further enhancing entrainment, thus creating a positive feedback cycle of deepening sexual absorption,” he writes.

It’s not enough to call this increased arousal or pleasure: A better way to understand the way people can lose their sense of selves during the act of sex is with trance, the same way that you might feel a sense of absorption on a particularly good night of dancing, a particularly strenuous yoga session, a particularly deep meditation, or a particularly satisfying run. “Intensely focusing on immediate sensations — such as those produced by rhythmic stimulation — is likely to reduce the amount of mental capacity available for other things,” Safron writes, like ruminative self-narratives, wondering about what could have been, or generally having your mind someplace other than where you currently are. “Such an experience of sensate focusing and altered self-processing may be most appropriately referred to as a kind of trance state,” he writes. “If this trance occurs in the context of another individual who is similarly absorbed, then it could potentially contribute to feelings of connectedness along with the expansion of self-other boundaries.”

bolded the part that jumped out at me, and it matches my experience. Sex is best when you are “intensely focusing on immediate sensations” — which is closely related to our posts about the importance of enthusiasm and responsiveness. There’s a feedback loop: in order to have great sex you need to pull your mind away from the mundane considerations of life, and the act of pulling away is self-reinforcing, leading to enhanced focus and even better sex!

So how can you use this information to improve sex with your spouse? In addition to the posts I’ve linked to above, here are a few ways you can focus more intensely during sex:

  • Sight. Get rid of visual distractions. Unless you’re just playing around you should turn off the television, put away your phones, and lock your door. Focus your eyes and attention on your spouse. You can dim the lights, maintain eye contact, or even wear a blindfold for some power play. Wear something sexy. Do a danceKeep your bedroom orderly and comfortable to avoid seeing your surroundings as a to-do list while you’re having sex.
  • Sound. Put on some sensual music, something with a beat! Like the article says above, a good rhythm helps synchronize your bodies and senses. Turn off the baby monitors, silence your phones. Replace the batteries in the #&%&(#@% smoke detector. In my post about sexual responsiveness I talk about how important it is to use words and sounds during sex, so go read that whole post. Moan and groan, cry out, say your spouse’s name, beg for an orgasm.
  • Smell and taste. Using food in your sexy time can be fun, but it may also be a distraction.  If you want to focus intensely on the sexual experience, engage with the taste and smell of your spouse. Bury your face in your spouse’s hair or neck. Kiss deeply. Lick your spouse all over. Use oral sex not only to stimulate your spouse, but also to engage your own senses! During oral sex the attention is usually on the receiver, but try flipping that around: when you’re giving oral sex, focus on absorbing all the sensations that come from being close to your spouse’s sexuality. (Husbands especially: hygiene is important if you want your wife to enjoy your taste and smell.)
  • Touch. Sex obviously involves a lot of touching, but the touching can often be very goal-oriented: orgasm. However, sex with your spouse isn’t (usually) a race — you can focus your sense of touch more intensely if you just slow down. Revel in touching and being touched all over your bodies. An average human has twenty square feet of skin, so don’t just use your fingers: lips and tongues are obvious, but you can touch anything to anything else. (Check out Body Part Twister for some ideas (automated spinner).) Touch, tickle, massage, tease, and you can learn to build your spouse up to some huge orgasms.
  • Restraint. One of the reasons that light bondage is fun is that the person being restrained (the receiver) is free to focus completely on his or her sensations. While restrained, the receiver doesn’t need to think about giving pleasure, only receiving it. Being tied up is permission to be the center of attention, even your own attention. The receiver doesn’t have to do anything, just be.
  • Trust and vulnerability. In order to really lose yourself in a sexual experience you have to trust your spouse enough to let yourself be vulnerable. Your relationship needs to be past the point where you worry about looking right, acting right, or moving right. If you’re worried about impressing or disappointing your spouse, or being awkward, you’re not going to be able to focus on your senses. You each need to be comfortable with your own bodies and sexuality, and you need to respect and cherish each other.

“Losing yourself” doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but I think we can take some intentional steps to eliminate distractions during sex and really focus on the sensations we’re creating with our spouses. If you have any tips to share, please leave a comment!

Co-Sleeping with Babies Increases Stress and Reduces Sex 9

The results from this study on co-sleeping aren’t surprising in the least!

While some parents find co-sleeping helps to make nights with a baby more manageable, others find the constant caregiving and interrupted sleep to be exhausting.

Beth Day and her husband, of Seattle, slept in the same room with their son and found he started waking more and more frequently around 12 months. As soon as they moved him to his own room, he started sleeping through the night.

“Once I got my personal space back, my relationship with my kid and my husband improved immensely. I don’t think I realized how I had such a feeling of invaded personal space until it wasn’t any more,” Ms. Day said. Getting better sleep helped, too. With the fragmented nights of co-sleeping, “I was really irritable with my son and my husband, and didn’t have the energy to really play or interact” with her baby, she said.

Your master bedroom should be reserved for marital intimacy, which includes sex but so much more!

One of the most common questions about co-sleeping is how it impacts a couple’s sex life. Parents say that when a baby is sleeping in the same room, maintaining intimacy can require creativity.

“We don’t have sex in our bed anymore, but there are other places to have sex,” said Leah Nilson of Vancouver, British Columbia. She and her husband have co-slept with their 2-year-old son from birth. “It has not negatively impacted our relationship in the slightest. Parenting in general has, but bed-sharing is one of the more pleasant aspects of parenting.”

Yes, there are lots of places to have sex besides your bed, but be honest — if you remove your bed from the equation, the frequency of sex is going to go way down.

When you have a new baby it’s easy to become completely focused on that wonderful new life. Babies are awesome! But your marriage relationship should always be your top priority, and it’s hard to prioritize it when you have an infant sleeping in your bed.

Despite how much you love your baby, you need to give yourself and your spouse permission to have your own space. You need to put the kids to bed and make time for yourselves. Keeping Mom and Dad healthy is the best thing for baby, and protecting your marriage will pay dividends for years.

Be Disciplined with Your Kids at Bedtime 10

Staying disciplined with our kids’ bedtimes has been one of the best habits that Sexy Corte and I have cultivated during our marriage. We’ve written two posts about protecting your master bedroom from your children and making it a haven for your sexual relationship, and it’s just as important to protect your time as your space.

When you have young children it’s easy for them to dominate every waking second of your life, but your sex life is going to suffer if you let that happen. Maintaining a consistent bedtime for your kids is important for their mental and physical health, your sanity, and your sex life. If your kids wake up and go to sleep when you do, it’s no surprise you don’t have time and energy for sex.

Children need structure and consistency, and they need a lot of sleep.

Among the children who were in bed by 8 p.m., 10 percent were obese as teens, compared to 16 percent of those who went to bed between 8 and 9 and 23 percent of those who went to bed after 9, according to the study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Although the study does not prove that early bedtimes protect against obesity, Dr. Anderson said, “there is a great deal of evidence linking poor sleep, and particularly short sleep duration, to obesity, and it’s possible the timing of sleep may be important, above and beyond the duration of sleep.”

“This provides more evidence that having an early regular bedtime and bedtime routine for young children is helpful,” she said.

We try to have our younger kids in bed by seven every evening, and the older ones in bed by eight. They’re not always asleep by then, but they’re in bed and quiet. We stick to this schedule about six days a week, and the other day we’re likely to have some church or social event that keeps us out a later. Our kids are like all other kids: they stall, delay, and beg to stay up later, but they know the routine and are generally compliant.

This schedule gives me and Sexy Corte at least two hours together almost every evening. It’s very easy to have a babysitter watch the sleeping children while we go on a date (which we try to do monthly) but most of the time we spend the evening playing board games together — and having sex! Sexy Corte’s best time of day for orgasm has moved around over the years, and now the golden hour is right after we get the kids to bed. As you can imagine, I’m pretty motivated to tuck them in!

As our kids get older I’m sure they’ll stay up later, but we still plan to enforce a quiet time in the evening starting around eight. We’ll see how that goes!

We’re frequently shocked to learn that many of our friends have their kids in activities several nights per week, let them stay up until ten, or even let them sleep in the master bedroom. I don’t see how such parents ever find time for themselves. If you’re in this position and you can’t imagine how to change things around, check out our post about creating the habit of daily sex — it contains a bunch of good tips for creating good habits in your life and marriage.

Do you have any good ideas for protecting your time, space, and energy for sex?

Don't Stop the Love Train 11

Yes, it’s a funny metaphor, but the advice is good: once you’ve boarded the Love Train don’t stop it until you reach the station. Barring emergencies, when you start sexy time with your spouse you’re committed to finishing. There are a lot of things that have the potential to derail the Love Train, but you’ve got to do your best to keep it moving until your spouse is ready to disembark. Here are a few tips for overcoming common difficulties.

  • Be prepared. Probably the most important tip to avoid interruption, especially if you’re away from home. Keep what you need handy: lube, batteries, towels, rope, etc. If you’re planning something elaborate, walk through it in your mind before you’re naked so your spouse doesn’t have to stand around waiting.
  • Stop talking, start moaning. It’s good to set expectations before sex, but don’t talk too much about the sex while you’re doing it. Communication is essential for good sex, but let your body do the talking as much as possible. It’s fine to say “more!”, or “turn over”, or “let’s do X”, but here are a few things to avoid: repeatedly asking “are you close?”, repeatedly asking “do you like that?”, and any sort of “why” question. Don’t try to start a conversation while your spouse is focused on reaching orgasm.
  • Premature ejaculation. Probably the most common reason for the husband to stop too early. Unfortunately, it’s also something that’s way beyond the scope of this blog post; talk to your doctor. Some potential solutions include: medication, start-stop-start-stop method, more frequent sex, more lube (to reduce friction), more exercise, use condoms, think about baseball. However, it happens to every man occasionally, and you still need to be considerate of your wife’s needs! If she wants to continue, use your hands, mouth, or a toy to finish her off.
  • Loss of erection. This also happens to every man once in a while. Rather than focusing on being embarrassed, reinforce to your wife that you want to continue. Take a mental break, refocus, change positions, and keep pleasuring her. Move back to foreplay activities. In a few minutes you’re likely to regain your erection if you keep in the moment and don’t turn it into a big discussion.
  • Vaginal pain. Lube! Switching positions can also help if the penetration is too deep.
  • Jaw pain. If you’re performing oral sex on your spouse and your jaw starts to hurt you’ve got a few options: take a break, change positions and continue oral, or move to intercourse. Changing positions can make a big difference — kneeling or laying down one way or another. Switching between mouth and tongue can give you a break without actually stopping, . Your choice will depend on the circumstances — is the oral foreplay? Is it a blow job you want to complete on its own? Is your spouse close to orgasm?
  • Cramps. Cramps during sex are the worst! They’re impossible to ignore and can happen suddenly. Stretch your limbs and change position while attempting to continue stimulation.
  • Injury. Yeah, Sexy Corte and I have elbowed a nose, hit a funny bone, or yanked hair during sex. If you did it, apologize and give your spouse time to recover. If you’re the one hurt, accept the apology and try to get back into it as quickly as possible (assuming the injury isn’t an emergency itself).
  • To-do lists. Even when your body is still on the Love Train your brain can jump off! You owe it to your spouse to stay focused on the sex, even if you’ve already had your orgasm. Don’t start planning your day or worrying about your to-dos until your spouse is to-done.
  • Kids. Your master bedroom is your sex room! (And Part 2, by Sexy Corte.) Lock it when you’re inside, and do your best to ignore your kids while you’re having sex unless it’s an emergency. It’s ok to tell your kids through the door to go away. Turn off the baby monitors — your baby can cry for a few minutes. Before you start sexy time, check with your kids to make sure they don’t have any immediate needs — get them drinks, turn on the TV, whatever.
  • Time pressure. If you’ve got a limited amount of time, let your spouse know before you start having sex! It’s worth a quick few words to set expectations with your spouse and make sure there’s enough time. If you have to run to a meeting or pick up the kids from school, make sure your spouse knows how much time is available.
  • Getting too hot. Sexy Corte doesn’t like to be cold, but once we start having sex we sometimes get too hot! Try to plan your environment in advance, and provide a mechanism to easily adjust the temperature. For us, we turn on the ceiling fan if we’re too hot, and the furnace if we’re too cold (not likely while we’re having sex).

But sometimes there is an emergency or an unavoidable distraction — then what? Give your spouse an explicit rain check. “I know you didn’t finish; I promise I’ll take care of you as soon as I can.” And then do it!

Does anyone else have any tips to share? Leave a comment!