Category Archives for "Sex & Family Planning"

3 Daily Practices to Reignite a Smoldering Sex Life

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

3 Daily Practices for a Smoldering Sex LifeUse Your Head – How To Send Sexy Signals To Your Partner

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

You often see the smoke and feel the heat before you actually see the flame, and the same is true for intimacy in your marriage.

In just a moment we’ll be sharing proven techniques for mind-blowing intimacy that are built to last.

Your Brain on Sex:

As the largest and most sensitive organ in the body, your brain plays a huge role in attraction and intimacy.

Sex doesn’t just happen by chance.

It’s the brain signal processing that sets desire into motion… it picks up cues long before physical arousal occurs.

Basically, if your brain “sees” sexy, it stokes desire.

If you want to enhance your intimate relationship, you have to pay attention to what’s between the ears before you get between the sheets.

And if you want to interest your partner, you have to send the right signals.

If you don’t, there’s a lot of room for miscommunication which translates to less sex.

Think about your relationship for a moment…

Are there more “near misses” than you’d like? Have the ashes grown cold? Do you find yourself longing for more intimacy with your partner?

If you’re nodding your head furiously, then read on. You’re about to find out how to take those coals from dead cold to raging inferno!

The Same But Different…

When it comes to sex and the brain, men and women are not exactly created equally.

They have the same parts, but how those parts work plays a HUGE role in sexual desire and intimacy.

Differences in perceptions, hormonal responses and the actual size of brain structures mean that we interpret and respond to cues differently.

Without a biology lesson, here’s what you need to know:

  •  The flame ignites quickly and burns hot.

His brain has a lower overall level of activity, and he’s constantly seeking excitement. He’s hormonally more responsive to sexual feelings.

In short, he is more easily aroused. His levels of oxytocin (the bonding hormone) skyrocket with sexual activity.

  •  Her flame ignites slower but burns steadily when she feels connected.

Her brain is constantly thinking and processing information. She needs to be soothed, flirted with and encouraged (think mental foreplay.)

She is more sensitive to smell and touch. Touch (think physical foreplay) releases oxytocin which increases feelings of bonding and connection.

When you understand how differently you and your partner are wired, you can begin to unlock the keys to rekindling the flames of desire in no time.

3 Strategies for Fueling Deeper Intimacy

Here are three simple steps you can follow to bring the fire back in the bedroom:

  1. Create A Spark

Think of this as striking the match. You want to subtly send the signal to your partner that you’re interested. You want that idea to smolder.

   Make eye contact.  When was the last time you really looked into your partner’s eyes? Gazing into their eyes when you speak can be incredibly provocative.

   Use the sense of smell. Think candles, essential oils or perfume/cologne. Certain scents like cinnamon, lavender or even baby powder can be powerful aphrodisiacs.  

A dab of your perfume or cologne may be all that is needed to evoke memories of past encounters.

  1. Stir The Embers

You’ve sparked your partner’s interest. They know something is up. Now is the time to start stirring those embers and creating a sense of anticipation.

   Use the sense of touch.  You want your partner to have the sensation of skin on skin but not in a sexual way – hold hands, brush his hair back from their eyes, a kiss on the forehead.

Touch triggers the release of powerful chemicals that enhance attraction and sensation.

   Trigger a subtle expectation for sex. Remind your partner of a time when the two of you were connecting. Leave a card with a special message in his or her briefcase. Send a text with a link to “your song”.

   Do the unexpected. Do something sweet and unexpected for your spouse. Send flowers for no reason. Cook their favorite meal. Share a glass of wine on the deck.

  1. Fan The Flames

It’s time to fan those flames into a full-blown inferno! When you’re done there should be no doubt in your partner’s mind that you’re ready for action.

   Dress for success. For ladies, indulge in some lingerie that makes you feel sexy. Wear your hair a little differently. Men, the same goes for you. Find those boxers or briefs that give you all the manly feels.

Make sure the hair and beard are on point. Not only will these things signal to your spouse that you are receptive, it will also reinforce your own confidence. And confidence is always sexy.

   Be just a little naughty. One of the surest ways to fire up the interest and passion is to step out of your comfort zone. Do something a little different, a little edgy and just a little bit naughty. Send your love a provocative text or message.

Whatever you choose, remember that it’s an essential part of maintaining a deep,  multi-faceted, empowering relationship with your partner.

If you don’t tend to your fire, it can grow cold. For more ways to rekindle your passion, check out our best-selling Intimacy Reignited program:

Intimacy

http://www.engagedmarriage.com/intimacy-reignited

 

What Is It About an Orgasm That Is So…

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

What Is It About an Orgasm That is So...Powerful? Mesmerizing? Fulfilling?

 

I’ve had some pretty amazing orgasms with my husband, and each time I am in awe of God. In awe that of all the ways He could show off His creativity, He would choose this.

Oh my, what intense, profound, and whimsical depth of pleasure an orgasm is. Only you, God. Only you could come up with something like that.  (I like to remind women and men that the clitoris serves no other purpose than a wife’s sexual pleasure. None. That’s its only job description).

And no other experience even comes close to the feeling of an orgasm.

Which is why when I hear from wives who have yet to have an orgasm – or who have extreme difficulty experiencing one – I morph into some kind of sex cheerleader, urging them to not give up.

“You do not want to miss out on this! Seriously. Please don’t give up. Don’t fake it. Don’t rob yourself of this. And don’t rob your husband of seeing you and feeling you experience this.”

Sure, I can hear your skepticism at my enthusiasm, as you mull over whether I’m making waayyy too big a deal about sexual climax in the marriage bed.

“Sex isn’t all about orgasm, Julie!”

True. But let’s not kid ourselves. It’s a lot about orgasm.

When a husband and a wife are physically able to be sexually intimate, yet their sexual encounters drift toward only the husband being sexually satisfied, what happens?

Enter bored wife, stage right.

Not only does sex become boring, routine and chore-like to a wife in this scenario, it also becomes a source of tremendous resentment.

She begins to begrudge sex; find ways to avoid it; and possibly even blame him. And before long, the whole fabric of the marriage is taking a hit.  Ironically, even he starts to not really enjoy sex, because she’s not into it.  And how could she be? I mean, there’s no pleasure in it for her.

Sure, we’d like to think sexually unsatisfied wives could rise above all that, but human nature being what it is tells us that few wives (if any) really can  just keep “taking one for the team” – without ever getting to hoist the trophy.  And honestly, why would we want them to rise above it?

Why would we want them to keep missing out on the mind-blowing experience of sexual release?

If you are a wife who has never experienced an orgasm and have resigned yourself to never having one, there’s nothing – nothing – noble about your lack of sexual climax.

“But Julie, if God is such a generous God, why is this so difficult for so many of us wives? Why isn’t a wife’s orgasm as predictable as a husband’s?”

Valid question.

And I used to think that when I get to heaven, I would finally be able to ask God face-to-face my most perplexing sex questions (I know. Probably not what should be high on my priority list at that point, but if you’ve followed me at all, you can’t seriously be surprised I wonder these things, right?)

I think, though, I won’t have to wait for my answer, because I think God has already given it to me. (Probably figures He wants to squelch my annoying journalistic tendencies while He has me down here on earth. Who can blame Him?)

I believe God has created a unique opportunity for a husband and a wife to discover a level of intimacy they otherwise would miss if it was really easy for both of them to climax.  If it was always easy for both a husband and a wife to have an orgasm, I think we would downplay  God’s intention for sex to be this profound connection.

And if it was difficult for both a husband and a wife to have an orgasm, I think we would give up too easily, also missing out on that profound connection.

So instead, God creates a situation where a married couple is left with no other option than to learn together what it will take for them both to experience sexual pleasure.

In the exclusivity of the marriage bed, God invites a husband and a wife to vulnerably and intentionally explore each other’s bodies, to teach each other sexual pleasure, to try new techniques.

Yes, the penis tends to be more predictable than the clitoris, which may leave us assuming that the wife must have greater patience.  But think about the scenario again, okay?  Do you see where both a husband and a wife need patience?  Arousal is an opportunity; not a burden.

Wives, if you struggle experiencing orgasm, I pray you will hear my heart on this.  Your sexual pleasure matters.   If you have thought it doesn’t matter or if your husband has been indifferent, I encourage you to courageously shed light on this.

I was talking with a wife the other day who said it was 10 years into her marriage when she finally got the courage to talk to her husband about the reality that she had never had an orgasm.  She knew that together they had to figure out how to change that unhealthy pattern into a healthier one where they valued pleasure for both of them.

Her marriage and their sexual intimacy are better today because of what at the time was an incredibly awkward conversation. Praise God she pushed through that hesitancy.

What about you?  If you are a wife who struggles experiencing orgasm or if you are a husband with a wife who is missing out on sexual pleasure, what are you going to do today to start righting the ship?

The most profound intimate places in a marriage begin with authentic vulnerability.

For more reading on orgasm – because honestly, who doesn’t want to read more about orgasm – go to the orgasm page on my site (full of nearly 30 posts specifically about orgasm. Seriously. An entire page.)

 

Finding Time for Sex

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

Today’s post is adapted from our book 15 Minute Marriage Makeover – Refresh Your Relationship, Add Sizzle to Your Sex Life & Be Happier in Just Minutes a Day.  Please check out the end of the post for more information.

Finding the Time for SexHave you encountered times in your marriage where one or both of you wanted to have sex, but there just wasn’t time or energy for it?

I know that we used to face this realization way too often in our own marriage.

We would exchange some “indications” earlier in the day that we were looking forward to an intimate evening.

However, after a longer-than-usual time spent getting the kids to go to sleep, we would remember the need to straighten up the house for guests the next day or a work deadline would surface that needed immediate attention.

Before we knew it, one of us was busy working on a project while the other had fallen asleep on the couch.

At this point, it’s often easier to just say, “Let’s try again tomorrow.  Good night.”

Today’s Lesson

So, how can we avoid this recurring problem where we feel there’s no time to have a quality sexual relationship with our spouse?

The simple answer is that we must make sex a priority in our marriage.  Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are practical ways to make it happen.

It all starts with our mindset.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you know that your spouse is not going to be alive tomorrow night.

Tonight is literally your last night together on Earth, and you know that both God and your spouse desperately want your last night together to be spent making love and sharing a deep intimacy with one another.

Now, do you have time for sex tonight?

Obviously, this is an extreme example, but the point is that we cannot treat sex with our spouse like another chore on our to-do list for the day.

We cannot say that we’ll have sex as soon as the “important” stuff like the dishes, laundry and baseball game are out of the way.

We’ll dig deeper into why sex is important to each of you in tomorrow’s lesson [note: the lessons in the book build on each other each day], but suffice it to say that a healthy sex life is the center of a healthy, thriving marriage.

And when you treat sex like just another chore, it becomes just another chore.

And that is not okay.

Today’s Couple Time Task

During your 15 minutes of Couple Time today, I’d like you to talk openly and honestly about where each of you sees sex fitting into your lives in terms of priorities.  Discuss both where it sits in your own mind and where you observe it to sit in your partner’s mind.

Please be forewarned that there’s a very good chance that your personal perception will not be your spouse’s reality when it comes to this sensitive topic.

Do not get into a fight about who is right or wrong, but instead treat your partner’s thoughts as the truth.

After all, when it comes to your sex life, it’s truly their perception that matters.

Spend a few minutes talking about how you can make improved intimacy (including sex) a higher priority in your daily lives.

  • When are some times when you could be intimate instead of doing other mundane things around the house?
  • Where are some areas that you could improve in your overall intimacy, including those areas that don’t directly involve sex?
  • What has been holding you back, and what can your spouse do to ease your burdens and help you desire more intimacy?

Finally, I’d encourage you to spend this evening pretending like it is your last evening together on Earth. 🙂

Today’s Tips

  • Do not fall into the trap of using your Couple Time today to argue or point blame at each other.  This is your time to be constructive and work together to improve the intimacy in your marriage.
  • While sex is the culmination of physical intimacy, keep in mind that intimacy should be alive and well in many areas of your marriage.
  • Some examples of intimacy outside of sex include recreational time spent together, physical activity together, spiritual intimacy, emotional connection and even financial intimacy.
  • For in-depth and very “HOW TO” help improving both the depth of your intimacy and the frequency and quality of sex in your marriage, be sure to check out Intimacy Reignited.

This post is adapted from one of 28 powerful daily exercises that will take your marriage from good to extraordinary in just 15 minutes per day.  To pick up your own copy (in Kindle, paperback or audiobook format) and take your marriage to the next level, just click here.

Does He Fall Asleep After Sex? What’s That Really Mean?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

Does He Fall Asleep After Sex- What's That Really Mean-I remember a time after my husband and I had just made love, and we were talking.

And by we, I mean me. I was talking. Mostly to myself.

And he was falling asleep.

He was falling asleep so quickly that had it been an Olympic sport – this falling asleep shenanigan – he would have taken gold.

Can you relate to the above scenario?

Some of you are seething just thinking back on similar moments in your own bed.

Maybe it happens every time you and your husband have sex. You’re still reaching for a towel (what with the lovemaking having wrapped up only seconds ago), and you glance over to see your husband asleep!

Like, really asleep.

And you are hurt. Offended.

Baffled that the two of you have just experienced this incredibly bonding experience, only to have him roll over and drift off with ease.

If him falling asleep feels hurtful to you – maybe even compels you to think you are nothing more than the object of his sexual release – I want to encourage you as one wife to another.

I want to encourage you to see his sleepiness in a different light.

Could your husband’s sleepiness be a compassionate compliment, rather than an insensitive insult?

Many wives have wondered why a man can fall asleep so quickly after lovemaking. She interprets his unabashed sleepiness as an emotional slight, a confirmation that all the stereotypes about guys and sex are indeed true.

Sex is just sex to him.

There is another possibility, though.

I would even argue it’s a more credible possibility than the emotional carelessness we too often have assumed when he falls asleep after sex.

When you and your husband make love, he is at his most vulnerable. Every husband I ever hear from in comments and emails tells me that sex is not just sex.

It’s not just a physical release.  (After all, he could do that all on his own).

Nope.

What I hear from other husbands (and my own) is that sex ushers a husband into a profound affirmation of love.

He feels so incredibly safe and honored and loved by the woman he married.

Your husband falling asleep after experiencing incredible sexual connectedness, not to mention a great orgasm, shouldn’t offend you.

If anything, you should pat yourself on the back and smile.

He feels so relaxed, so loved, so affirmed. Well done. You rock as a wife.

And isn’t that what you want for the man who wears the ring you gave him?

Isn’t it what you want for the man with whom you share commitment and messy life and cumbersome schedules?

He is sleepy because he just gave his whole self up – physically, emotionally, spiritually – to do the one thing he can experience only with you.

If some casual conversation after making love is more important than all of that, then I encourage you to humble your heart.

Relax.

And the next time he falls asleep quickly after the two of you make love, curl up next to him.

Take a breath. And go to sleep too.

Your marriage will thank you.

When Did You Stop Nurturing Sex in Your Marriage?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

lack of sexRecently, there was a big fire in a treasured old building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

Today I again want to use the fire as an illustration.

As is the case with most fires, the investigation after the recent Omaha fire primarily was about figuring out how and where it first started.

Fire investigators try, often successfully, to trace everything back to a source. A starting point. A trigger.

By working backward, they can figure out how to move forward – either to make sure whatever went wrong doesn’t happen again OR to solve mysteries that are hidden way back at the source.

“Uh, what exactly does this have to do with sex?!” you’re probably wondering.

Quite a bit, actually.

The longer I speak and write about sex and hear countless stories about marriages struggling sexually, the more intrigued I am about how and where the struggles began.

I used to want to jump quicker into talking solution, but not so much now.

Now I want to know the back story.

When did these sexual problems start? Why do you think they started? I dig through the rubble for the source, the starting point, the trigger.

Sure, in the headline, I ask, “When did you stop nurturing sex in your marriage?” But I just as easily could have asked…

“When did you start refusing sex?”

“Why did sex become boring?”

“When did you start disagreeing about sexual frequency?”

“Why is sex always a battle ground now?”

Anyway. You get the picture, right?

It’s really hard to find solutions to sexual struggles if we don’t at least have some framework to look closer at the problem in the beginning.

Truth be told, a lot of people just don’t want to do that.

Because it is exhausting and tedious work – to lift and sift through the boulders and shards of relational turmoil.

Sometimes, what’s going on couldn’t even be classified as turmoil. It often goes by it’s more common name – “life.”

“Life got crazy busy. We had soccer practice. And that job promotion. And the furnace went out. And then our teenagers had to study for the ACT. And don’t even get me started about the problems we had with the car.”

I meet and hear from so many people whose sexual intimacy is anything but intimate (and certainly not frequent), and they drifted to that reality long ago.

That sexual drift – away from intimacy – likely was triggered by something.

Maybe that something was  intense on the relationship Richter scale, like a porn addiction or adultery.

Or maybe that something was less dramatic, like a rogue calendar or added responsibilities at work or slowly mounting financial struggles.

Something, though, began sabotaging the sexual relationship.

If that describes your marriage, I pose the question again:

When did you stop nurturing sex in your marriage?  Think for a moment.  Can you find the how and where?

When you find the how and wherethe source, the starting point, the trigger — it is easier to find a solution.  (Notice I said easier, not easy, because solving sexual struggles takes hard work and heart work).

But your marriage is worth it.  It is so worth it. And nurtured sexual intimacy is worth it.  When we learn why destructive fires start, we are better equipped to keep them from doing more damage in the future.

Are You Ready to Bring Back the Spark Today?

If you’re ready to take action to put bring back the passion today using our proven step-by-step course, don’t miss Intimacy Reignited: Bring Back the Spark in Your Love Life.  It’s a simple and effective way to start nurturing the intimacy in your marriage again.

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