Don't Forget to Kiss 1

Sexy Corte and I had been alternating sick for several weeks and hadn’t been kissing, and it’s crazy how much I missed it! We were still having sex, but missing out on kissing was affecting me more than I realized. I think we’re over the hump now, and we need to rebuild the habit of frequent kissing.

We’ve written several posts about how to maintain intimacy while sick, but if you’re concerned about contagion it’s pretty hard to keep kissing!

Maybe kissing is like vanilla sex: it seems routine, but is much more important for your relationship that you may realize.

Go kiss your spouse!

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Rediscovering Marriage after Roe 2

Sexy Corte says she thinks this reaction to the repeal of Rove v. Wade is fake because she’s seen it before, but even still I find it amusing. Whether this meme is real or fake, I pray that men and women around the world do rediscover the God’s plan for marriage.

Rediscovering Marriage after Roe 3

Me and some of my girlfriends did a retreat this weekend to help us cope with the monumental setback in fundamental rights. By the end of it, we had moved from sad and afraid to ANGRY [mad face]. We all agreed to a pact: no having sex with any men, until he had proven himself a capable provider, and until that man had signed a contract, written on paper, agreeing to stay with us and support us if we get pregnant. We started drafting an actual contract, and we’re planning on sending it to a lawyer to make sure its legit. At this point, I am completely done with men who want to hook up and leave, it’s high time for american men to STEP UP.

Whether real or fake, what this woman says she wants is pretty much exactly what God intends for sex. Men and women both need to “step up” to God’s high calling.

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Create the Habit of Daily Sex, Part 2 4

Back in 2016 (!) we wrote about our habit of daily sex, and we recently received an email from a pastor with some questions for us. This email spurred a conversation between me and Sexy Corte that has updated some of our thinking.

First, here’s the email from pastor and reader “KN”:

Background: My wife and I have a solid sex life and marriage. Usually 2-4 times a week, mostly by my initiation (she is a stay-at-home-mom, homeschooler, and 1000 other things, so I am ok with that) during the day through conversation or a pre-arranged day of the week. We both enjoy sex, which is a blessing.

Further background: I’m a pastor, and in preparing to do some premarital counseling, I of course am prepping a portion on sexual intimacy. I read your blog and others to help me formulate my prepping. One of the things that I consistently read is that you have sex every day.

Here’s the two-part question: 1) has it been that way for a while and 2) assuming you didn’t used to have sex everyday, what started it, how long have you been doing it, and how do you “keep at it”, making it not turn into a “mundane” thing?

Go read the original post for an explanation of how to create the habit of daily sex in your marriage. We won’t repeat all that here. We do want to highlight something important though:

The key here isn’t that you must have sex every single day, but that the expectation is for daily sex —  if no one says anything, then assume you’re going to have ““““““““““““`sex. […]

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

The point isn’t to have sex every single day, the point is to create the default of sex every day — as opposed to many couples who view sex as the exception rather than the expectation.

So with that point made, we will answer KN’s questions.

  1. “Has it been that way for a while?” — Yes, we’ve cultivated a habit of daily sex throughout our whole marriage. Obviously the habit is harder to keep during some time periods than others. Overall, I estimate that we have sex about 25 times per month. Sickness, separation, arguments, weariness, anxiety, stress, and other challenges frequently arise and sometimes hinder us from achieving our goal.
  2. “What started it, how long have you been doing it, and how do you keep at it, making it not turn into a mundane thing?” — As we wrote in the earlier post, daily sex is a habit like any other. How do you build good habits for exercise or healthy eating? You make a plan and you just do it. Sometimes you feel like it, sometimes you don’t, but you just do it. And sometimes you skip exercising or decide to eat garbage despite your best intentions. But you don’t beat yourself up over it.

Sexy Corte and I had a big conversation about our habit and expectations after receiving KN’s email. We decided that we both want to maintain the habit, but that we want to shift expectations a bit. The primary changes we’ve decide to make are:

  • Previously we were most likely to decide not to have sex on days when Sexy Corte is on her period. Now we have decided to do more sexual activities while she’s on her period, and reduce sexual activities while she has PMS. Her PMS days are the days when she is generally least interested in physical intimacy of any kind, whereas period days still offer lots of opportunities.
  • Previously we would often have “efficient” sex first-thing in the morning. This decision would often make it difficult for Sexy Corte to be interested in more prolonged and intimate sessions in the evening. Now we’ve decided to be more strategic with our morning quickies so as to create space and energy for evening sex. Now we probably have morning sex 3-4 times per week rather than 5-6, and evening sex on the other days.

Just remember than sex with your spouse is always relational not transactional. Building a habit of daily sex is great, but as with all habits be sure to practice moderation. Communicate and adapt!

Do you practice daily sex with your spouse? Do you have any experience with communicating about changing expectations? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Share Your Tips for Maintaining Intimacy While Sick 5

Things have been slow here for a couple of weeks, and slow for us sexually as a couple since Christmas Eve. We’ve got several podcast episodes lined up to record, several blog posts to write, and lots of email to respond to. Unfortunately Sexy Corte has been sick with a really bad cold for almost two weeks now — the test says it isn’t COVID, but who knows. This illness has dampened our libido, which makes it hard to write and record about sexual topics.

Many people endure long periods of illness, and we’re blessed that Sexy Corte is recovering. We’re grateful, and we know that many people suffer worse than she has. But still — this sickness has really hindered our intimacy for the past two weeks. SC has been too drained to try for an orgasm, and just plain tired in the evening from her illness. We haven’t kissed in a long time, even though we’re sleeping next to each other every night. As far as I can remember, this is the most prolonged health-related intimacy challenge we’ve had since we’ve been married.

Does anyone have any tips they can share for maintaining intimacy while one or both spouses is sick? Even aside from sex, how can we connect intimately under the circumstances?

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Creating Art While Sexually Aroused 6

Sexy Corte is planning a podcast episode about sex and art, and as we were discussing it I came up with the idea for the project behind this post: what’s it like to create art while sexually aroused? We’re pretty pleased with how it turned out, and there are many ways to take the idea farther than we did this time.

The project behind this post is pretty simple: Sexy Corte created an acrostic of marital sex advice while I stimulated her with a vibrator and zoom technique. I didn’t tell her what we’d be doing until we started, so she came up with everything below while sexually aroused.

I don’t know if acrostics are “art”, but the process of creating this list was definitely performance art and extremely erotic. I think that the prompt and structure of the acrostic was critical for making this project work — if I had given Sexy Corte a completely blank slate she would not have been able to create anything substantial under the circumstances. As it was, she struggled to focus on the task at hand.

Here are a few others ideas for artwork you could create while being sexually aroused by your spouse. You might want to consider using non-sexual themes so that the resulting artwork can be displayed in public areas of your home!

  • Painting or drawing: prompt the artist with a scene or situation to create, or have the artist copy an existing work.
  • Lettering or calligraphy: have the artist copy a poem or Bible verse with an elaborate style.
  • Poetry: give the artist a prompt for writing a short poem.
  • Music: prompt the artist to compose a short piece of music.
  • Lego or other model: have the artist assemble a model.
  • Singing or reading: if you’re brave, record audio of the artist reciting a poem or passage from a book, singing a song, or playing music.

If you’re feeling ambitious you can even take on a larger project that can’t be completed in a single session — and the artist is only allowed to work on the piece while being sexually stimulated by the spouse!

Have you ever created any art while sexually stimulated? Do you have ideas for more art projects? Leave us a comment below!

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"Tender Defender" and "Madonna / Whore" 7

In a healthy, sexual marriage the wife wants her husband to be a “Tender Defender” and the husband wants his wife to be a mix of “Madonna” and “Whore”. Both of these pairings have some tension, so let’s dig a little deeper into the four descriptors and consider how they can be balanced.

Edit: Commenter Dave suggests the word “Nymph” instead of “Whore” and I like that a lot! Nymphs are sexual, playful, wild, spontaneous, daring, and exciting.

Starting with husbands, here’s the most relevant definition of Tender:

a. Considerate and protective; solicitous
b. Characterized by or expressing gentle emotions; loving
c. Given to sympathy or sentimentality

And Defend:

a. To make or keep safe from danger, attack, or harm
b. To engage in or be prepared to engage in battle to prevent from being captured or occupied by an enemy.

The tension between tender and defender is immediately obvious. How can a husband be considerate, gentle, and sympathetic with his wife and family while simultaneously being ready, willing, and able to wreck havoc on an attacker? The stereotype is that women want to date “bad boys” and marry “nice guys”. Unfortunately, nice guys don’t get laid much, but the knight in shining armor always get the princess.

Husbands, if you’re experiencing strife or apathy in your marriage it may be because you aren’t balancing tender and defender properly. If you’re too tender you may not be letting your good masculine qualities shine forth, and if you’re too much of a defender (or worse, an aggressor towards your family) then your wife may not feel like she can be open and trusting towards you.

If you properly balance tender and defender your wife will be attracted to your strong masculinity and feel emotionally connected at the same time. Except when your family is being immediately threatened, these roles can usually be blended together because their targets are different: tender is aimed towards your family, and defender is aimed outward. Try to figure out which element is lacking and turn it up a little bit to see how your wife responds.

The Madonna and whore roles don’t blend together so easily because they’re both aimed inward towards the husband — instead, the wife will have to learn to switch between them at appropriate times. So what are they?

Madonna refers to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her nature as loving, nurturing, conscientious, pure, affectionate, and good — the Wife of Noble Character from Proverbs 31. Here are the bullet points that Sexy Corte wrote in that post:

Intoxicate him with your love.
Be prudent.
Bring your husband good.
Be industrious.
Refrain from idleness.
Fear the Lord.

The other side of the feminine coin is the whore. In this context it certainly doesn’t mean promiscuous, but it does include proactive sexuality, openness to new things, spontaneity, risk taking, humor, and excitement.

Just like with the husband’s roles, you can see an immediate tension between the two archetypes that wives are expected to live out. The Madonna is responsible for making sure that the family is taken care of perfectly, but the whore just wants to have fun. Unlike the husband’s roles, it’s nearly impossible to “balance” Madonna and whore — wives, you’ll have to learn how and when to flip the switch and change between them.

If you have kids you’ll probably spend around 90% of your time in the Madonna role, which can make it seem like this role is more important than the other. It’s easy to assume that if you’re hitting home runs as Madonna that your husband must be happy — after all, that’s 90% of the “wife job” right? Well yes, a Wife of Noble Character is more valuable than rubies. But… just like “nice guys”, Madonnas aren’t always the most fun.

Wives, if everything in your marriage seems “fine” but you’re experiencing boredom or a lack of emotional connection you should consider turning up the dial on whore and see how your husband responds. Initiate sex when (or where) he isn’t expecting it, try that thing he never thought you’d do, put on something sexy just because, send the kids away for the night, meet him at the door naked when he gets home from work, take a risk, be a bad girl for a little while.

So there you have it — we need to balance two opposing roles in order to be everything our spouse desires: a husband who is a tender defender and a wife who is a Madonna/whore. If you can learn to fulfill both your roles you will be a blessing to your spouse and have the awesome sex life God intends for you.

Leave a comment below to tell us what you think and let us know how you balance these roles in your marriage.

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Escape the "Friend Zone" in Your Marriage 8

We get a lot of emails from married individuals and couples who get along with each other just fine, but don’t have the awesome sex life they long for. What can you do if your marriage has entered the dreaded “friend zone”?

This video from Charlie Houpert at Charisma on Command is primarily focused on single people who are trying to escape the friend zone with a person they’re attracted to, but the principles in the video are also applicable inside a marriage. The main difference for married couples is, of course, that “just move on” isn’t an option — but on the plus side, it’s very likely that the couple already has some level of mutual attraction!

After the video I will offer some thoughts on each of the main points.

Point 1: Take responsibility — you put yourself in the friend zone when you aren’t transparent with your feelings.

This point is really the most important and we’ve written it before: be specific and explicit about what you want. Your spouse can’t read your mind, and you can’t read theirs. You have to use actual words to express your desires. If you don’t say what you want, your spouse is very likely to think that you are satisfied and everything is great. Or maybe your spouse has unspoken desires too!

Point 2: The most reliable way to escape the friend zone is to focus on bettering yourself.

Rather than begging for more attention, make yourself more attractive. We’ve written posts like:

In addition to the things above, if you want more and better sex then you should invest time into making sex with you more fun for your spouse: enthusiasm and responsiveness can go a long way. (Yes, your spouse can and should work to make sex more fun for you also, but that’s less under your control.)

Point 3: Steady your nerves so you can be transparent with as much confidence as possible.

You’ve got to be bold! Pray. Be humble. Be direct.

Point 3a: Clearly imagine the worst case scenario of “going for it”.

What’s the worst that can happen? Most likely the worst outcome is that your spouse will be uninterested or noncommittal, either towards your specific request or your general desire for a closer sexual relationship. That would be disappointing, but at least you’d know where you stand.

The biggest fear is that your spouse will react with contempt, disgust, or rejection. Ouch. But you can probably set up the conversation in a way to avoid that reaction, which we describe in How To Talk With Your Spouse About Sex. In What Does Your Spouse REALLY Want Sexually? we write about the importance of “saying yes” and being open to your spouse’s requests, which is critical if you’re the spouse who is being approached.

Point 3b: Spell out what “not going for it” is costing you.

Sometimes we’re afraid of saying something, but we lose sight of the fact that saying nothing also has consequences. Do you want to live out the rest of your life wishing that you had said something decades ago? We have received emails from couples who have been married for 30+ years and are only now learning how to communicate about sex and build the awesome sex life God intends for them. They could have been having great sex that whole time, but they didn’t go for it.

Don’t let time slip away.

Point 3c: Avoiding rejection actually lowers your self-esteem, whereas facing your fear increases your self-esteem.

You can praise God and feel good about yourself no matter how the conversation goes. When you act in faith, your faith grows. Each time you talk with your spouse about sex it gets easier and more comfortable.

Point 4: Reveal your feelings without being needy.

This is about how you close out the conversation.

“I love you, and I want to have a great sex life with you. I will do what it takes to be a great lover and to bring you pleasure. Let’s take our sex life to the next level together. What do you say?”

And then just listen and accept the response you get. If your spouse is on board, then awesome! If your spouse is hesitant, then reaffirm your love and keep working on yourself. If your spouse rejects you, bring your tears to God.

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What Does Your Spouse REALLY Want Sexually? 9

When your spouse asks what you want sexually, do you give a safe answer because you aren’t sure how he or she will respond to the full truth? Paul Byerly writes this with regards to husbands specifically, but the same is true for wives.

In my Put An “O” In Valentine’s post a couple of weeks ago, I said, “Ask him what he wants you to do for him sexually. Then when he’s told you, ask him what he really wants.”

The safe answer isn’t a lie, but it isn’t the full truth. The safe answer is in line with your spouse’s expectations — it won’t surprise your spouse, and it won’t rock the boat. The safe answer says that everything is “pretty good”, and maybe I’d like 10% more oral sex.

Why are husbands reluctant to go beyond the safe answer?

Most decent guys are concerned they are oversexed perverts. Of they fear their wife would see them as such if they knew what he really wants. So if she asks, he gives her the mildest stuff and sees how she reacts. If he sees or thinks he sees any non-positive reaction, he’s done. He will make a point of never asking for anything more than that. The other thing that will shut him down is not doing what he mentioned in the next month or so.

A husband wants to be respected and accepted, and going beyond the safe answer risks judgement and rejection from the person he loves and needs most in the world.

What about wives? There are always exceptions, but typically wives aren’t worried about being rejected for being too “crazy”. We’d love to hear from readers on this, but Paul writes that some wives are reluctant to ask for reliable orgasms.

A lot of women sell themselves short here. For example “I don’t need to come every time” is true for some, but some who say that would really, really like to orgasm at least 99% of the times they have sex. Or maybe when she was young not climaxing every time was okay, but it’s been a problem for more than a decade and she doesn’t know how to ask for a change.

You need to put in some patient, trusting effort to get past the safe answer. It will take time for you both to open up and share at a deeper level. Sexy Corte and I talked about Harnessing Your Sexual Fantasies in a recent podcast episode, so listen there for some tips on having this conversation.

If you want to know his deepest sexual desires, you’ll have to coax it out of him a bit at a time. Besides his fear, odds are he really doesn’t know what he wants. He never expects to get it, so thinking about it just makes him unhappy. Other guys could give a long list of things they want to try, and the reality is they would cross many things off the list after trying them once or twice. It’s hard to know if you will enjoy something until you try it.

It’s not uncommon to try something new and discover that it wasn’t as fun as you expected. Frankly, 95% of the sex positions you’ll find online are like that. It’s ok to try something new and then set it aside. Maybe you’ll try again later, or maybe neither of you will feel like doing it again. Sexy Corte and I felt this way about me ejaculating on her face and body. Some people really enjoy that, but for us it was unfulfilling.

If you want to thrill him and give him all the things he didn’t even know he wanted, you can. Just keep asking what he wants. Show him you won’t freak out and he will open up a bit more. Do some of what he talks about, and he will open up even more. If he brings up something you don’t think you want to do, tell him you’re not up to that right now, and ask him to suggest a couple of other things.

Assuming the request is within the boundaries God has set, if at all possible, say “yes” with enthusiasm — this alone will level-up your sex life. Saying “yes” should be a no-brainer for husbands: if your wife wants more orgasms then hop to it! For wives with … creative … husbands it might be more intimidating to say yes to everything, but here are a couple of ideas that can make it easier.

  • “I’ll do my best, but we might need to shift gears if it isn’t working.” Sex can be difficult, so you should both be free change things if it isn’t working in the moment. Commit to try your best even if you aren’t sure you can succeed.
  • “I’ll be happy to do this once in a while, but I’d rather not do it every time.” Some sexual activities are best in moderation, and not appealing for every sexual encounter. Offer a frequency — say, once a month — and be enthusiastic when the time comes.
  • “I don’t think I can do that right now, but how about next week?” Maybe the mood, time, or energy level just isn’t suitable right now, but you’re willing to psyche yourself up and prepare for this activity a bit later.
  • “I’m not comfortable with that right now, but you can ask me again in three months.” This answer isn’t great, but you can use it if you’re really unsure or uncomfortable with the request but don’t want to close the door completely. Give your spouse an opportunity to ask again, and look for a way to say yes.

The spouse doing the asking must show love, consideration, and restraint. Nagging and pestering aren’t attractive or effective for building up your sex life. If you don’t get a “yes” try not to withdraw from your spouse or the conversation. It’s good to be direct and honest, even if you don’t get what you want. Take your request to God and see how he answers. If you do feel moved to ask your spouse again, consider waiting several months and take a simple “yes” or “no” without turning the request into an interrogation.

Do you know what your spouse really wants? How did you find out? Let us know in the comments!

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Use Breast-Play to Bond With Your Spouse via Oxytocin 10

Communication is always a great place to start, but here’s a biological trick you can use to jump-start intimacy and bonding with your spouse: play with the wife’s breasts. Breast-play releases the hormone oxytocin which stimulates bonding and feelings of intimacy.

Larry Young, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University and co-author of The “Chemistry Between Us” (2019), believes that men’s love of breasts is simply that human evolution has co-opted an ancient neural circuit which was originally designed to strengthen the bond between mother and infant.

Oxytocin is nature’s “love drug,” and nipple stimulation, be it from an infant during breast feeding, or from a man during coitus, floods a woman’s brain. This helps the woman focus on the task at hand. Quite simply, when men bit, nibble, suck, or caress women’s nipples, he helps her body release oxytocin in the woman’s brain producing a bonding experience.

According to Young, attraction to breasts “is a brain organization effect that occurs in straight males when they go through puberty…Evolution has selected for this brain organization in men that makes them attracted to the breasts in a sexual context, because the outcome is that it activates the female bonding circuit, making women feel more bonded with him. It’s a behavior that males have evolved in order to stimulate the female’s maternal bonding circuitry.”

What’s more, nipple stimulation for women apparently triggers the same areas of the brain as genital stimulation.

For many women, nipples are erogenous zones. A new study may explain why: The sensation from the nipples travels to the same part of the brain as sensations from the vagina, clitoris and cervix.

The study, published online July 28 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, is the first to map the female genitals onto the sensory portion of the brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers noted which brain areas become active when women touch various parts of their bodies. The genital-sensing brain areas in women roughly correspond to the same areas in men, but the nipple finding was a surprise, said study researcher Barry Komisaruk, a psychologist at Rutgers University.

“My speculation is that this could be the basis for many women saying that nipple stimulation is erotogenic, because it stimulates the same area as the genitals,” Komisaruk told LiveScience.

So if you’re feeling distant or disconnected from your spouse, along with communication invest some quality time in breast-play. The oxytocin released will help you bond together and strengthen your relationship and intimacy.

(See also: How to play with breasts.)

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"How to Prepare for the Post-Pandemic Summer of Sex" 11

If you’re married, don’t forget to thank God for your pandemic sex life. Even if you think your sex life is mediocre, it’s probably better than what most people have experienced for the past 18 months.

This time last year, like many young and single pandemic-dodgers who fled cities in the early days of COVID-19, I was living with my parents and wondering if I was ever going to have sex again.

Reader, I did have sex again — and you will too, if you haven’t already. In case you haven’t heard, sex is expected to make a major comeback this summer. Yes, the great post-COVID f*ckfest we’ve been awaiting (and predicting) since the earliest days of the pandemic is finally upon us. It goes by many names: “Hot Vax Summer,” “The Whoring ’20s,” “Shot Girl Sumer,” etc. But no matter what you choose to call it, the general idea is clear: It’s going to be a summer of sex — a grand return to the carefree sex lives most single people were forced to put on hold as a deadly pandemic rendered hookups both inadvisable and much harder to come by — and you’re all invited.

Even for us married folks the end of the pandemic may have a few sex-adjacent benefits:

  • Less financial stress when the economy returns to “normal”. Less stress means more sex.
  • More available babysitting, from family or sitters.
  • Kids going back to school in-person, while parents may still get to work from home sometimes.
  • Travel!

Can you think of any other benefits? Let us know in the comments, and make some plans to celebrate the end of the pandemic with your spouse!

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