Emotional Undressing 1

Athol Kay at Married Man Sex Life has a post up about using active listening to connect with your wife while she decompresses from her day. This is a part of something I call emotional undressing. Just like you have to take your clothes off, you also have to undress your emotions if you’re going to connect sexually. Athol’s point is pretty simple:

Most women have a need to verbally decompress their day. Which is a fancy way of saying they need to talk when they come from work, or you come home from work when they’ve been home all day. Women tend to be more emotionally fluid than men, and it can often seem to the guy like he’s been dropped into a verbal puking of half a dozen emotions and disconnected storylines. This is just her  clearing her daily event cache. […]

The actual solution is to do what I call “Booing the Villians and Cheering the Heroes”. Which is to say you treat it something like watching a TV show with a bag of popcorn, and simply enjoy the show. When good things happen you say “woo-hoo”, when bad things happen you say “that sucks”. Her friend does something good in her story, say “she’s awesome”, and when some bitch does her bitch thing, say “that bitch”.

And some great tips from the comments:

  • ”That must have been {hard/difficult/frustrating/a relief/description of situation}”
  • ”You must have felt {emotion}”
  • ”Tell me more.”

The need to decompress isn’t limited to women — men need to decompress too, even though it may look different. Since women tend to be more relational then men, it’s not surprising that they decompress by discussing their relationships. Men tend to be more goal-oriented, which means that we decompress by tying up the loose ends of our daily tasks. It takes effort to switch gears when we’re focused on work (or a project), and it’s frustrating to leave a job undone when a good stopping point is in sight.

In the micro, when we get home from work we men tend to have rituals we like to complete before we’re ready to fully engage with our family. For example, I take off my shoes, change into comfy clothes, and wash my face and hands. I love to see my wife and kids when I walk in the door, but I’m not ready to settle in with them until I get a few things done. Even completing these minor tasks helps clear my brain and lets me switch into family mode.

In general, women decompress themselves by discussing their relationships, and men decompress themselves by checking off their to-do list.

Ultimately what we’re talking about here is context switching, and this decompression frees us up to go to the next thing. If you’ve been reading tips on the internet for enhancing the romance in your marriage, most of the tips you’ll find are techniques for assisting you and your spouse to switch into a sexy context. Foreplay is certainly a part of this, but it’s really one of the last steps. The first steps happen when you and your spouse decompress.

If you can identify the steps you have (unconsciously) taken to emotionally undress when you have had a mutually pleasing sexual encounter with your spouse, you can later recreate those steps to assist with a context switch in a more difficult circumstance. Don’t just examine the 10 minutes before you have sex, but consider all your interactions with your spouse over the past 24 hours. Look for the times that your spouse was definitely not in the mood for sex, and then think about what happened between then and your spouse’s orgasm. This whole process is the emotional undressing.

How To Help Your Wife Orgasm 2

Jay Dee has conducted a survey about wives’ orgasm experiences and posted the results as a nifty infographic. After the infographic there are a bunch of tips from husbands and wives on how to help the wife to orgasm. Maybe Sexy Corte will share her perspective, but here are my tips:

  • Relax! Don’t pressure yourself or each other. Men tend to be very goal-oriented, and it can be frustrating to “fail” to give your wife an orgasm when you’re really trying your best. Usually men react in one of two ways: try even harder or give up. Well, some nights she just isn’t going to get there no matter what you do, and trying harder just ramps up the pressure on her. Sometimes the right answer is to give up for the night and just enjoy being intimate… but that doesn’t mean you should give up on her orgasms forever! If she isn’t going to get there tonight, make sure she gets lots of snuggles instead.
  • Communicate! Wives, you need to let your husband know what feels good to you. Most women can’t orgasm from intercourse alone, but penis-in-vagina is what feels good to a man. If you don’t tell him differently he’s going to assume that’s how you orgasm too. Be brave enough to ask him to use his mouth or fingers on you, and when it feels good let him know! Most husbands greatly desire to sexually please their wives, but we can’t read your minds. I’ve discovered that using words is one of the best ways to communicate! “Harder”, “Softer”, “Faster”, “Slower”, “Touch me here”, “More lube please”, “That feels amazing!”, etc.
  • Patience! Keep pursuing her orgasm, but do it low-key — it will happen when you both relax and let it happen. It takes a lot more energy and investment for a women to orgasm than for a man. If she’s tired, cranky, worried, sick, in pain, or distracted she may not want to put in the effort to have an orgasm. Husbands, you probably won’t be able to solve problems like those with a few minutes of foreplay. Wives, be patient with yourselves and your husbands. Your body is complicated! Don’t worry if it takes a while to figure it out. Enjoy your journey to the amusement park of orgasms!

man-woman_machine

Turn-offs 3

We talk a lot about sex and what turns us on, so I thought it would be good to address the flip side of that. I want to say first that this is not a retaliation post directed at El Fury.

  • Swearing/vulgarity – This is very unattractive for both men and women. I have always appreciated that El Fury doesn’t swear. He doesn’t need obnoxious filler words to express what he is saying. Now, in the right moment, talking a little dirty can be pretty sexy. Choose those moments wisely.
  • Low self esteem – There is a difference between this and humility. I think you can still be humble and have confidence.
  • Arrogance – While low self esteem is unattractive, don’t go over-board. Cockiness is just as bad. Again, a quiet confidence is very hot. From a woman’s perspective, It assures me that you are going to be able to make good decisions for our family, as well as take charge in the bedroom. I am sure this is just as unattractive on a woman.
  • Rejection – I am an affection giver. I frequently like to give hugs, pats and kisses to El Fury whenever he is within reach. If he is working in his office I like to give drive-by affection. On occasion if this isn’t well received, I feel a sense of rejection. It makes me uninterested in later sexy time. If you can’t accept a peck on the cheek now, why should I want to engage when it’s convenient for you? You should never be too busy that you won’t welcome a love pat from your spouse.
  • Disrespect – I am disappointed at how I see people treat their spouses sometimes. The way they talk to them or about them can be very disrespectful. No one will respect your spouse more than you do.
  • Take a shower! – Even if you can’t smell yourself, your spouse can. Plus, there is nothing better than the feel of clean skin on skin.
  • Laziness – It means a lot when spouses help each other out.

Next time your spouse isn’t acting very amorous towards you, stop and think if you’ve done something to turn them off. Then figure out a way to turn it back on!

Fix Your Feelings By Disciplining Your Mind and Body 4

Bonnie Wallace has written a couple of posts with some reasons that husbands and wives don’t feel sexy. Some of them are physical/medical, but most of them are mental/emotional. Even some that appear to be physical are really mental/emotional. I won’t excerpt all the reasons, but they’re worth reading and Bonnie’s suggestions for addressing them are very constructive.

Rather than offering suggestions of my own, I’d like to share a couple of verses from the Bible. The first is part of a poem written by King David that beautifully describes the loving care God has invested into the creation of each of his children.

Psalm 139:13-18

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

God’s thoughts for each of his children are vast and precious. He has intricately woven each of us into exactly the wonderful form he intended.

The second passage is an exhortation for believers to present the members, the parts, of our bodies to God for his righteous use.

Romans 6:12-13

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

We are commanded to discipline our minds and bodies and bring them into subjection to Christ. We must not only avoid sin, but go beyond that to present the parts of our bodies to God as instruments for righteousness. Included in this preparing and developing your mind and body for sexual relations with your spouse. There are many things your spouse can do to make you “feel sexy”, but the primary responsibility is yours. There are many things you can do to help your spouse feel sexy, but ultimately that responsibility belongs to your spouse and to God.

So if you don’t feel sexy, what should you do? Start with prayer. Ask God to reinvigorate your sex life with your spouse. Tell God that you want hot, frequent, satisfying sex with your spouse. Ask him to change you and your spouse to make it happen.

Second, confront any sin in your mind or body that is inhibiting you. Vanity over your imperfect looks? Gluttony? Lethargy? Contempt towards your spouse? Lust for other people? For husbands, a lack of love and sacrifice? A failure to lead spiritually? For wives, a lack of submission?

Finally, tell your spouse that you’re praying for your sex life and repenting of the sins that have held you back. Pick the right time for this conversation… don’t do it right after an unsatisfying sexual encounter. Don’t put the burden onto your spouse and say that you’re praying for them and their sin. When you bring it up, focus on God and what you’re asking him to do.

If your relationship with your spouse is in such dire condition that you don’t feel that you can have this conversation without it turning into a fight, then just don’t. God doesn’t need you to tell your spouse in order for him to work. Just start praying and confessing, and wait to see what God does.

... But You Were Afraid to Ask 5

Gerad at the blog mission:husband has an insightful post for wives titled 11 Thoughts Out of Your Husband’s Head. Now, one of the best ways to improve your sex life is to improve your communication with your spouse so that there’s nothing you’re afraid to ask… but until you get to that point a list like this can be pretty helpful. You and your spouse might even consider writing lists for each other if it’s hard to say some things out loud (at first).

Here are a couple of points I’ll add to his list.

  • We men like to leave our mark. That’s why we want you to swallow, and we shoot our seed deep inside you. Hours later, we like to hear that you’re sore, your muscles are tired and tingly, and our come is still leaking out. We like to hear that you’re still affected by our powerful lovemaking long after it’s over. This is the same motivation that drives men to conquer new lands and build skyscrapers.
  • Enthusiasm is the key to doing almost anything well with us. Whether its sex or helping to fix the dishwasher, when we’re doing something together your enthusiasm is really important. Even though it wasn’t your idea, and it isn’t very exciting to pass us tools while we’re shoulder-deep under an appliance, your enthusiasm will be greatly appreciated. I’m going to write a post about enthusiasm during sex later.

And finally, a modification to his point 11:

11. Sometimes he wishes you’d just give him a hand-job – Yes, again, that’s what I said. Hey, I told you I’m being honest here. If you know it’s been a while since you’ve had sex, and you know he’s frustrated about it, but you still don’t feel like having sex (period, bad timing, etc), don’t ask, just roll over to his side of the bed, and offer him a hand-job. I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter if your mind is “into it”, or if your “emotionally ready”, or whatever other thing you might try to throw in there for a reason that you just don’t feel like giving him one.

Never really been a fan of hand-jobs… get down there and suck your husband off.

15 Years?!?! 6

El Fury and I started reading “Sheet Music”. The book starts out describing a married couple that used to have sexual difficulty. The problem was that the wife wanted more sexual variety, and her husband was mis-reading her signals. After the husband went to counseling, a light came on, and now they have a fantastic sex life. However, they spent the first 15 years of their marriage not enjoying mediocre sex!

Communicate! It is startling that many people aren’t able to communicate about sex with their spouse. You are already naked, vulnerable, making strange noises, in awkward positions. This is not the time to be shy! If at one point during that 15 years the wife would have said “ooo, that feels good” or “why don’t we try it this way?” Or perhaps the husband could have asked “how does this feel?” or “where do you want me to touch you?” Something so simple could have made that 15 years sexually awesome!

Be bold! The more you communicate, the more comfortable it is to talk about. Being explicit with each other can be a big turn on too.

Stay tuned. I’m sure we will post more as we read more of “Sheet Music”.

Balancing Alpha and Beta Behaviors 7

Athol Kay writes a lot about alpha and beta behaviors in the marriage relationship, and especially the need to find a balance. Women are often attracted to the “bad boy” alphas, but pure alpha behavior doesn’t make for a stable long-term relationship. On the other hand, pure-beta behavior just isn’t attractive to anyone, and if it leads to stability in a marriage it will be a stable equilibrium of a frustrated, dominant wife and a frustrated, sex-deprived husband. As a husband, you have to put some strategic thought into selecting your beta behaviors.

Dude you have to stop thinking that if you mow the lawn, do the dishes, fold the laundry etc etc, that you’re automatically entitled to get laid.

What’s being missed is that often when he does all this stuff, she actually has an unspoken agreement to the validity of the Covert Contract, but she refuses to meet it because she just doesn’t want to. Or she meets the requirements of the Covert Contract with the world’s saddest sexual experience possible. All the Beta he did for her, to make her feel better, only created a huge sense of obligation in her. Which she’s started to dread.

It can get into the situation where when he does nice things for her, all she feels is a gnawing sense that she is a terrible person.

This is why with husbands struggling to attract their wives, I often find out exactly what her love language is, as soon as possible. Then when I find out what it is, I recommend cutting back the expressions of the love languages she doesn’t have.

I’ve got a lot more to say about “the five love languages” at a later point, so stay tuned!

Marriage Class 8

We recently went through a marriage class at our church that focuses on 7 areas of marriage and how to improve each area. These are topics such as communication, money, conflict, etc. Surprisingly, we found the topic of sexual intimacy to be the best. We have found that this topic in Christian circles can be awkward or only lightly touched on. We were excited to come away from this meeting with lots of good thoughts to discuss. Here are some of the key points:

  • Sex is a gift from God to be experienced inside of marriage. It is meant for physical and emotional pleasure.
  • Men and women are different. We have different drives, different ways of being aroused, different needs. Be a student of your spouse. Learn what each other likes! Talk about it, pay attention to their response in the bedroom, show each other.
  • Communicate about sex! The more you talk about sex with each other, the easier it is to talk about. Praise on another when they do something right. Keep changing and growing. There are lots of ways to spice things up, be open to trying new things!
  • Guard your sex life! Make it a priority.