After getting a fever four days ago and testing positive for COVID three days ago, I think my condition is finally starting to improve. My terrible sore throat is waning and my nasal congestion is waxing, which I think is a good sign. Sexy Corte is still uncomfortable and coughing a lot, for going on three weeks now.
One thing we’ve realized through this period of illness is that being sick affects our libidos very differently. When Sexy Corte is sick her libido goes into hibernation, but being sick doesn’t lessen my libido much at all. The medicine I take (especially pseudoephedrine) might make it difficult to get or maintain an erection, but it’s not for lack of desire.
For me, tender and nurturing sex is very comforting when I’m sick. Two days ago we were able to do a very vanilla wife-on-top encounter that was wonderfully intimate despite our sicknesses. We both orgasmed and then we cuddled for a while with Sexy Corte laying on top of me. It was really nice, even though we’re not kissing again for fear of additional infection.
Many people crave sexual novelty, excitement, and adventure, but don’t miss out on the blessing of sex that is healing and nurturing.
What is wrong with you. Intimincy isn’t it a given . we don’t have to have realtions on a calender.
I’m not entirely sure what this comment means, but I’ll try to address it anyway.
Intimacy in marriage isn’t a given — it takes work and investment, even when times are tough. “In sickness and in health.” We’ve decided to cultivate a habit of daily sex in our marriage. We don’t have sex every single day, but when we don’t have sex it’s because we’ve decided not to. We expect to have sex every day.
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?
Christmas Eve is always a whirlwind for parents: Christmas Eve dinner, visiting with family, Christmas Eve service, putting excited children to bed, setting up presents, and finally falling into bed exhausted. Well this year Sexy Corte and I tried something different… we managed to get all that important stuff done by around 9pm and then made time to have Christmas Eve sex on the floor in front of the Christmas tree.
You might think that sex is a big divergence from Christmas’ spiritual focus and all that family activity, but actually it was quite convergent for us. Our marriage is the foundation of our family and a critical part of our spiritual life, and sex is a linchpin of our marriage. (Linchpin: a central cohesive element.)
Having sex in front of the Christmas tree with Christmas carols playing in the background was a uniquely intimate and spiritual experience we could share after the business and responsibility of the day. It was a way for us to relax and take pleasure in each other while looking forward to the joy of Christmas Day. The sacredness of Christmas and the sacredness of our marital sex intermingled to bless us and glorify God.
It was a very intimate experience, as evidenced by Sexy Corte reading my mind. When she was close to orgasm she said, “After I come I know you’re going to have me turn around and face the tree so we can do it doggy style and you can get that image in your head.” And she was right! Sexy Corte face-down and butt-up in front of the tree is now one of my favorite Christmas memories
We hope you and your spouse and family had an awesome Christmas. May God bless you, your marriage, and your sex life in this season.
We first wrote about the possibility of sex in Heaven in 2015 and built an argument primarily from the Bible, and today we’re revisiting the topic by looking at the works of a few brilliant thinkers and artists.
As we noted previously, one of the key verses relating to sex in Heaven is Matthew 22:23-33. Here, some Jewish leaders who don’t believe in an afterlife (the Sadducees) attempted to trip up Jesus by asking him about a hypothetical woman who was married to seven men: whose wife would she be in Heaven? Jesus responds:
You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Go to our previous post to learn more about what the Bible reveals on the topic of sex in Heaven (spoiler: some interesting clues, but not much definitive).
For today, let’s begin with this passage from the 20th-century’s preeminent literary critic Northrop Frye, who writes about these Matthew verses in his book “Words with Power”:
[w]hile many would feel that the inference was obvious that angels are asexual — “barren angels,” as Donne would call them — the inference is not inevitable.
Northrop Frye, “Words with Power”, Chapter 6
Just because angels are not “given in marriage” does not mean they are asexual.
In “Paradise Lost” John Milton gives us two striking perspectives on angelic sexuality. First, in Book V we read about Eve preparing a meal and serving it to Adam and the visiting angel Raphael.
… Mean while at table Eve Ministered naked, and their flowing cups With pleasant liquours crowned: O innocence Deserving Paradise! if ever, then, Then had the sons of God excuse to have been Enamoured at that sight; but in those hearts Love unlibidinous reigned, nor jealousy Was understood, the injured lover’s hell.
John Milton, “Paradise Lost”, Book V
Milton writes that the angel Raphael, and indeed all sons of God, were attracted to Eve’s (pre-fall) innocent, naked beauty and service — though without lust or jealousy. (See “The Peak of Eve’s Sexuality in Paradise Lost” for more discussion of this passage.)
Second, in Book VIII Adam and Raphael hold a long discourse on love and sexuality; near the end, Adam asks Raphael directly how angels express their love for one another. This quote begins with Adam, and then Raphael responds.
To love, thou blamest me not; for Love, thou sayest, Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide; Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask: Love not the heavenly Spirits, and how their love Express they? by looks only? or do they mix Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?
To whom the Angel, with a smile that glowed Celestial rosy red, Love’s proper hue, Answered. Let it suffice thee that thou knowest Us happy, and without love no happiness. Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest, (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy In eminence; and obstacle find none Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars; Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace, Total they mix, union of pure with pure Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need, As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
Raphael blushes and says whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest, we enjoy in eminence — and goes on to explain that, even better, angelic embrace is unhindered by the obstacles of flesh and bone.
Influenced perhaps by Milton’s vision, William Blake writes about Heavenly sex in “Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion/Plate 69”.
Embraces are comminglings from the Head even to the Feet, And not a pompous High Priest entering by a Secret Place.
William Blake, “Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion/Plate 69.”
Like Milton’s Raphael, Blake writes that Heavenly embraces are total meldings of separate individuals into a single blended whole — taking one flesh to the next level, because in Heaven even souls and spirits can be united without bodies getting in the way.
That second line of Blake contains some brilliant imagery, comparing the annual entrance of the Hebrew high priest into the Temple’s veiled Holy of Holies with the limited nature of earthly sexual union. God’s glorious presence was in the Holy of Holies, and the high priest alone was commanded/permitted to enter it once per year to commune with God and make atonement for the sins of the people. Jesus Christ, as our great high priest, has eliminated the veil and invited us all into direct communion with God.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. […] Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Blake’s metaphor is this: in the same way that our communion with God will be perfected in Heaven, our sexual unions will be perfected in Heaven; Heavenly embraces will be far superior to a penis (“pompous high priest”) entering a vagina (“secret place”).
Finally, consider this passage from C.S. Lewis in his book “Miracles”.
The letter and spirit of scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternatives either of bodies which are hardly recognisable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure, should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer “No,” he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing which excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it. Hence where fullness awaits us we anticipate fasting. In denying that sexual life, as we now understand it, makes any part of the final beatitude, it is not of course necessary to suppose that the distinction of sexes will disappear. What is no longer needed for biological purposes may be expected to survive for splendour. Sexuality is the instrument both of virginity and of conjugal virtue; neither men nor women will be asked to throw away the weapon they have used victoriously. It is the beaten and the fugitives who throw away their swords. The conquerors sheathe theirs and retain them.”
C. S. Lewis, “Miracles”
Lewis obviously rejects the notion of “sexuality” in Heaven, but then proposes the presence of a superior intimacy to displace it, presumably called by another name. But what’s in a name? Call the perfect Heavenly embrace whatever you like, “sex” or something else — either way, I see no reason to think that Heaven will be lacking for 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.”
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.
The Perks and Pitfalls of Sex Research — A really excellent post! We’ll add: The most important sex research for your marriage is the research you do with your own spouse. Be an intentional student of your spouse and you’ll learn a lot.
This post is a follow-up to conversation we had with wife “LT” about the struggles she and her husband were having with doggy style. LT was very open about their challenges, and several of our readers shared their experiences and guidance in the comments to the earlier post. You can go read the first exchange at the link above, but to refresh your memory LT started her email with:
Hey, I’m struggling with something and I hope you can offer me some advice. My husband and I have been married for over 10 years. Two weeks ago we finally tried having sex in the doggy style position. I had an open mind, but I absolutely hated it.
To their great credit LT and her husband decided to try doggy style again; here’s how it went.
Thank you once again for all your help. You and your husband have been very kind. I’ve read and reread your advice and all the comments, and my husband and I decided to try again. We’ve spoken about it, and I explained, to the best of my ability, how it made me feel. I told him that it is really difficult for me and that I need him go very slowly, and I need him to hold my hand during it.
So, we decided to try it again. We did for a few minutes, but at some point in time, it began to feel too intense. The feelings of vulnerability were too intense. Everything was just too intense. My husband was lovely, he was going very slowly and held my hand in his the entire time. He also would ask me how I am doing all the time. It was very sweet. I was really trying to let the feelings pass, and really tried to enjoy the new sensations. I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to do it for my husband, and I wanted to do it for myself. But, at some point in time I just broke into tears right there in bed with us still “doing it”. I do not know what it was, but I was just completely overcome with emotion. I cannot remember the last time I was that emotional, but it resonated through my entire body. I just sobbed. I was just so embarrassed. My poor husband was trying his hardest to console me, but it was just pouring out of me.
After, I guess, about an hour of this, we finally made love “normally” face-to-face and it was perfect. I really enjoyed it. I thank you and all the readers for their advice, it was very helpful and insightful. But, I feel that I just really need more intimacy when we make love and I just cannot picture myself ever enjoying sex in that position.
P.S., Feel free to share on the blog if you feel like it would help the discussion. Sorry that I was not a success story.
Let’s begin with the postscript: we think this experience was a great success! Let’s count the ways.
They communicated openly and honestly. It’s hard to have difficult conversations with your spouse about sex. LT was very specific about how she felt and what she needed, and her husband was receptive to her needs. We get zillions of emails from people who are so embarrassed to talk directly with their spouse about sex that they spend decades wishing without ever asking. Good conversations about sex increase intimacy and improve your sexual experiences with your spouse.
They tried again. It’s easy to give up when things get difficult. It’s easy to evade and avoid. It’s easy to not talk about it. It’s easy to do what’s comfortable and safe. It’s easy to try once and quit. LT and her husband overcame all these excuses and put their best effort into trying again, and that’s a success.
They shared emotional intimacy. Both LT and her husband were willing to be extremely vulnerable with each other. It’s really beautiful to read about their emotional intimacy from LT’s perspective, and it’s obvious that they’re willing to share the depths of their souls with each other. Emotional intimacy is often deepened most by sharing difficult experiences, and demonstrating vulnerability and trust is a big success.
They finished strong after the frustration. Even after the emotionally draining attempt with doggy style LT and her husband stuck together and made a “perfect” intimate experience. It can be hard to maintain or restart a sexual encounter when it gets disrupted, especially by perceived “failure”, but LT and her husband put in the work to finish strong and end with a success.
LT’s story is a perfect example of trying again. LT and her husband put their best effort into trying doggy style, and even though the attempt didn’t go as planned they were successful in several ways that are more important than merely “accomplishing” a specific sexual position.
Near the end of her email LT writes, “I just cannot picture myself ever enjoying sex in that position.” Is she right? Should they try again again? LT and her husband gave doggy style their best effort and LT didn’t enjoy it, so it’s reasonable for them to think that it’s time to move on. There’s no need to burn yourself out (or your spouse) by repeating the same frustrations over and over. After you “try, try again” and give some sexual activity your best effort, give yourself (and your spouse) permission to let it go…
… for now. No one knows what the future will bring. People change. Give it a few months, or a year, and try again with an open mind. You never know — you might surprise yourself!
What’s your experience with trying again? Are there any sexual activities that you have a hard time with? Have you had any great experiences trying again? Please share with us in the comments!
The doggy style position occupies a prominent place in our mental landscape and carries a lot of different connotations, both positive and negative. Wife “LT” wrote to us about her mental, emotional, and physical struggle with the position and agreed to let us share her emails in the hope that this discussion will be helpful and that other women would offer their perspective on doggy style as well.
Wife LT began:
Hey, I’m struggling with something and I hope you can offer me some advice. My husband and I have been married for over 10 years. Two weeks ago we finally tried having sex in the doggy style position. I had an open mind, but I absolutely hated it.
Firstly, I hated the lack of eye-contact. Not being able to see or kiss my husband made me feel very insecure. I tried looking back at him as much as I could, but it was physically awkward turning my head. I also felt that the position was too submissive. I felt too exposed and vulnerable. I had no control. My husband and I have a very equal relationship, and being so submissive felt wrong to me. I really missed the intimacy and closeness of the missionary position. I just did not feel loved. As we were doing it, all I could think about was how much I wanted for my husband to just tell me that he loves me and for him to kiss me. At some point I even reached out and held my husband’s hand as I was craving some sort of a connection. I held his hand the entire time until he had orgasmed. Being able to hold his hand during it made it slightly more bearable.
When my husband finished, I went straight to the bathroom and cried. Now I regret ever doing it, and I never want to feel like that again. I guess my question is whether what I am feeling makes sense, and how do I tell my husband about this as he seemed to have enjoyed it. Thank you so much.
I wrote back:
I understand your struggle with this position. It’s a position that in certain contexts can indicate a level of inferiority. You feel like it lacks intimacy and puts you in a role that you feel like you aren’t being respected by your husband. I hope my thoughts can help you see doggy style in a different way and encourage you to communicate your thoughts to your husband.
First, I would focus on the truth that you know about your husband rather than project speculative thoughts onto him. In general, do you feel like you have a close, intimate relationship with your husband? Do you feel like your husband holds you in high regard and respects you? If both of those are true, then you have no reason to fear that doing this position will make your husband think less of you or your relationship. For El Fury, the angle of this position allows him to connect with me in a different way because he can push deeper inside of me. It’s different from other positions. Because of that, it feels incredible to him. For me, if I am highly aroused, it feels great to me as well for that same reason, he touches a part of me that he otherwise wouldn’t reach. With that said, we usually only do doggy style after I orgasm. If we start with it, I’m usually not aroused enough and it can be painful. I tell you that because I’m thinking it will help you to understand why your husband might like that position.
For the vulnerability aspect, submission doesn’t have to mean it’s demeaning. Vulnerability is an indication of trust, which can be incredibly intimate. When El Fury and I try new things, I know that I can trust him not to go too far, or lose control, or do anything that would hurt me. Knowing that is very meaningful to me. I think from his end, knowing that I trust him with those things is meaningful to him as well!
I think it would be great for you to talk to your husband. Ask him questions, find out what he liked about it. Tell him your concerns and make a plan together on if you will incorporate this position into your sex lives in the future. In my own marriage, this position is like an accent position, and done with the right intent can feel pretty great. I hope this helps! I prayed for you that you would be able to have a good conversation with your husband about this.
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful reply. I think I see what you mean by how the shared vulnerability can be meaningful. You are also 100% correct that I do need to talk to my husband about it. I guess at this point I am still struggling to process my own thoughts and feelings. As I’ve said in my initial letter, it just felt awful to me. I felt violated. My husband and I are indeed in a good loving relationship, so I am not sure why my emotions were so strong. In fact, it felt a little better when I could hold my husband’s hand during it. I was craving more of my husband (not less). I would be happy for you to share my post on your blog if it means that perhaps I could get some more feedback from other readers.
I may need some time to make sense of this.
It can take time and prayer to process complex thoughts and emotions, so give yourself that space. Hopefully your husband will be gracious and eager to learn more about you!
El Fury adds:
LT: Good for you and your husband for experimenting! It sounds like you have a solid sex life together, which is something to be thankful for. I’ll jump on the end of this post to offer a husband’s perspective. Every man is different, so take my views with a grain of salt and be sure to talk to your own husband to get his perspective.
First, yes, doggy style feels physically great! The position lends itself to deeper penetration and greater tightness than positions where the wife’s legs are spread open. Doggy style also gives the husband a wide range of motion, a beautiful view, and lots of fun things to do with his hands. These are all pretty obvious reasons why a husband is likely to enjoy doggy style.
Second, it’s worth exploring the emotional and relational elements of doggy style. I want to highlight a portion of what LT wrote:
I also felt that the position was too submissive. I felt too exposed and vulnerable. I had no control. My husband and I have a very equal relationship, and being so submissive felt wrong to me.
For a husband it is extremely arousing to receive willing sexual vulnerability and submission from his wife. Men love feeling dominant and powerful, and it’s emotionally arousing when your wife trusts you enough to submit to you sexually. The wife being “exposed and vulnerable” is one of the best parts of doggy style; if you can embrace this emotional facet of your sex life it can lead to incredible intimacy. Many a husband fantasizes of commanding his wife to “bend over” or “get down on your knees” and receiving eager, enthusiastic submission.
LT: Bluntly, your husband may have liked doggy style for the exact same reason that it made you uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t love and respect you — I’m sure he does. But he also wants to go beast mode and *blank* you like an animal sometimes. Both things can be true at once.
After an emotionally intense sexual encounter it’s important to kiss and cuddle and reinforce the gentler elements of the relationship, and I think this was missing from your foray into doggy style. Before you try it again, make sure you tell your husband how intense it will be for you and help him understand the support you’ll want from him before, during, and after. This conversation might make your husband reluctant to try doggy style again for fear of making you uncomfortable, so you might need to verbally or physically reassure him that you’re serious about it, that you trust him and want to be vulnerable. Create an opportunity for your husband to be dominant and give him permission to take it.
If you want to read more about why sexual submission and vulnerability from the wife is arousing to her husband, check out these posts:
[Canada’s chief medical officer] Dr Theresa Tam said in a statement there is little chance of catching COVID-19 from semen or vaginal fluid, but sexual activity with new partners does increase the risk of contracting the virus, particularly if there is close contact like kissing.
“Like other activities during COVID-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus,” she said.
Skip kissing, avoid face-to-face closeness, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose, and monitor yourself and your partner for symptoms ahead of any sexual activity, Tam said.
“The lowest risk sexual activity during COVID-19 involves yourself alone,” she added.
If only there were some way to address the “with new partners” part of the problem instead of avoiding kissing and face-to-face closeness. Hmmmm. This seems like something that should have been solved thousands of years ago.
All joking aside, marriage and family sure have been a huge blessing during this pandemic. God knows what he’s doing.