Escape the "Friend Zone" in Your Marriage 1

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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Husbands: Would You Put Your OWN Mouth There? 2

We’ve written before about hygiene for husbands and created a pretty exhaustive list of tips… but despite our best efforts it seems that some husbands don’t even brush their teeth!

The other day, I saw a familiar lament on Reddit r/relationships. “My husband does not brush his teeth,” a 41-year-old woman wrote, “and I’m at my wits end.” She describes his horrible breath, how she has told him she doesn’t want to kiss him, and that when she nags him enough to do something about it, he swishes mouthwash around for a second and thinks that’s enough.

Gross. Husbands, would you want to kiss your wife if her mouth was disgusting? Brush your teeth. Some elements of attractiveness are beyond your control, but you’ve got a responsibility to be your best you for your spouse. Your body will never be perfect, but that’s no excuse to neglect what you’ve got.

Maybe tooth-brushing is pretty obvious, but the test of “would you put your own mouth there?” is applicable to any part of your body that you’d like your wife to put her mouth on.

 

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How to Get Your Wife to Lust for You 3

The “husbands” tag will lead you to several posts intended to help husbands be more attractive to their wives, including topics like clothes, muscles, hygiene, and improving her orgasms. Today I’m going to share a list of 19 ways for a man to be more attractive — according to science! I’m not going to talk about each one, because some of them are dumb or don’t apply in a marriage. Here it goes…

We’ve written about your wife’s indicators of interest before. A wife usually expresses her interest in sex more subtly than her husband, so don’t miss the cues!

“First the woman smiles at her admirer and lifts her eyebrows in a swift, jerky motion as she opens her eyes wide to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Frequently she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms.”

Grow a beard, it will make you look more dominant and aggressive.

In a 2013 study from researchers at the University of New South Wales, researchers had 177 heterosexual men and 351 heterosexual women look at images of 10 men in one of four conditions: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, or full beard. Participants rated the men pictured on several traits, including attractiveness.

That women said the most attractive beard length was heavy stubble.

“Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression,” write authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks.

“An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive,” they add.

Build some muscle. Here the phrase “short-term relationships” basically means that the woman wants to bang.

In a 2007 study from University of California, Los Angeles, 286 women looked at pictures of shirtless men and indicated which ones seemed like they would make the best long- and short-term partners.

Results showed that women were more likely to want short-term relationships with the guys who had big muscles.

Wear strong colors, like red.

A 2010 cross-cultural study — with participants from China, England, Germany, and the US — found that women are most attracted to men wearing red.

In one experiment from the study, 55 female undergrads looked at a color photo of a man in either a red or green shirt, and then rated the man’s attractiveness.

Sure enough, the man was rated significantly more attractive when he was wearing a red shirt. The results were similar when researchers compared the red shirt to other color shirts as well.

Interestingly, participants generally weren’t aware that the man’s clothing color was influencing their perceptions of his attractiveness.

Be funny.

Multiple studies indicate that women are more attracted to men who can make them laugh. Interestingly though, men generally aren’t more attracted to women who can make them laugh.

Take “hunter-gatherer” risks.

A 2014 study led by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage found that women are attracted to men who take what the researchers call “hunter-gatherer risks.”

More than 230 undergrads filled out questionnaires about how attractive they would find a partner who engaged in certain risky behaviors, as opposed to a partner who engaged in low- or no-risk behaviors.

Hunter-gatherer risks included mountain biking, deep-sea scuba diving, and extreme rollerblading. “Modern” risks included plagiarizing an academic paper, casually handling chemicals in a lab, and not updating the virus-protection software on your computer.

Low- and no-risk behaviors included biking along paved paths and carefully handling chemicals in a chemistry-lab class.

Results showed that women said they would be more attracted to men who engaged in hunter-gatherer risks — the kinds that were similar to risks faced by ancestral humans. Women said they would be less attracted to men who engaged in modern risks, which might seem just plain dumb.

Eat garlic!

In one study, eight men ate a slice of bread with cheese and 12 grams of fresh garlic; another eight ate bread and cheese without any garlic. For the next 12 hours, the men wore cotton pads under their armpits and were instructed not to use any deodorants or fragrances.

The following day, all the men returned to the lab, where 40 women sniffed the pads and rated the odor on pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. Results showed that the garlic group was rated more pleasant and attractive and less masculine and intense.

And finally, looking proud is better than looking happy.

In one experiment included in the study, researchers had nearly 900 North American adults look at photos of opposite-sex individuals online.

The researchers were specifically comparing people’s perceptions of expressions of pride, happiness, shame, and neutrality (other people had already identified the emotion behind the expression in the photo). For women evaluating men, the most appealing expression was pride, and the least appealing was happiness.

It’s important to note that the features and behaviors listed above generally do not make a woman more attractive to a man. We’re very different creatures.

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Beach Sex and Bikini Bods 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got any summer sex tips to share? Leave a comment!

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Be More Attractive By Arching Your Back 5

Your mom was right: posture is important! I love scientific studies that reaffirm the obvious: men and women are both attracted to arched backs.

The curve in the spine that allows the lower back to bend inward toward the belly is called lordotic posture. Previous studies have showcased the role the posture plays in signaling a female’s readiness to mate among a variety of animals, including rats, guinea pigs, sheep, cats, ferrets and primates.

“The perception of attractiveness and visual attention to the hip region suggests that lordosis or the arching of the back might signal human females’ proceptivity or willingness to be courted,” Pazhoohi said. “This also might explain why women wear high heel shoes and why wearing high heel shoes increases womens’ attractiveness.”

The research showed that an arched back increases attractiveness from any viewing direction, but especially from the side and rear.

Just to avoid confusion, an “arched back” and a “rounded back” are opposites. The image below is an arched back — this is what you want.

Be More Attractive By Arching Your Back 6

The next image is a rounded back — this is not what you want.

Be More Attractive By Arching Your Back 7

An arched back enhances attractiveness in any body position (standing, sitting, kneeling, lying down) as long as you maintain “normal body angles” and don’t arch in a ludicrous manner.

In addition to visual appeal, the angles of the wife’s back and pelvis are major elements of sexual positioning. For example, arching her back during doggy style will allow for deeper penetration — but in missionary position, arching will likely be counter-productive. By mastering the rotation of her back and pelvis, the wife will gain a lot of control over her sexual pleasure and help her husband consistently hit “the right spot”.

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