Perfect Example of Trying Again 1

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!

When All Else Fails, Try Tears 2

Two Salvation Army officers wrote to the organization’s founder, evangelist William Booth, expressing frustration and discouragement with the ongoing failure of their ministry and requesting his permission to shut it down. General Booth replied with a two-word telegram: “Try tears.”

Sexy Corte and I receive a lot of emails from people who are frustrated and discouraged in their marriages, and especially with their sex lives. We try to offer practical, Biblical advice — some sexual, some relational, and some spiritual. In many cases, we’ll go back and forth with someone who has “already tried everything” we suggest, with no positive result, and it’s in these situations that I’m reminded of Booth’s advice: “Try tears.”

Not tears of self-pity, frustration, or anger — those are all-too-easy to come by when your marriage is hurting. Those tears are generally selfish: I’m not getting what I deserve.

We often think that God wants us to be happy, but he doesn’t — he wants us to be holy. The process of becoming holy is difficult and often painful. Consider James 4:1-10:

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Godly tears are the result of humility before a holy God. Instead of focusing on how your marriage and spouse are failing you, humble yourself before God. Weep and mourn for your own sin. God’s will is for you to become holy, and for your marriage to become holy. That includes a marriage with humility, joy, gratitude, and yes, awesome sex. But those things are the result of holiness. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Get on your knees and beg God for your marriage. Turn your laughter into gloom. Fast, pray, and meditate on God’s Word. Let your heart be broken for God’s will. Learn to see yourself, your spouse, and your marriage the way God sees them: infinitely precious, and in the process of being perfected through fire. Let God bring you to tears like Jesus’ in the Garden of Gethsemane as he faced his crucifixion. Luke 22:39-46:

And [Jesus] came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow,  and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Try tears.