Sex & Family Planning – Page 3 – Engaged Marriage

Category Archives for "Sex & Family Planning"

Why Now Might Just Be the Perfect Time for Crazy Hot Sex

By Julie Sibert | General , Sex & Family Planning


crazy-hot-sexNot long ago, I was reading a blog post in which the author meanders through what she wants her daughter to know about sex.

I was struck by how spot on the post was.

I mean seriously.

The post was chock full of beautiful transparency — and hard core truth — about what really makes for great sex. (Even if you don’t have a daughter, read the post).

The gist of that post and many other ones like it is that profound sexual intimacy happens against a backdrop of a husband and wife who know — really know — the messiness and emotional investment of doing life together.

That post does a beautiful job of reminding us that genuine lovemaking is not about mere instant gratification.

How heartbreaking that single teens and young adults give themselves away sexually, long before they are even equipped to recognize what authentic sexual intimacy is.  And yet, our society portrays such scenarios as dripping with passion and sexual ecstasy.

And sadly, many married couples that have indeed grown up enough in their lives and in their marriage to have what truly is hot passionate sex — well, they aren’t.  It’s within their reach, and yet they have shimmied right past it.

What do we do with that irony?

Certainly I get why we are diligent in educating youngsters on the value of waiting until marriage to have sex.  I regularly talk to my teen son about this (and his girlfriend, by the way). And I used to speak in the public schools about abstinence as a realistic choice.  To say I’m not shy about it is an understatement.

BUT I think if we really want to prevent single people from having sex, those of us who are married should do all we can to nurture hot sexual intimacy in our own marriages.  Easy enough, right?

Well, as Christians, we have a long history of  lauding the sin and consequences of sex outside of marriage.  Lamenting about sin on a grand scale is much easier than practicing godliness (1 Corinthians 7) on a small (individual) scale.

What if we gave equal (if not, more) airtime to singing the praises of sex in marriage? And not just sex, but hot passionate “I can’t get enough of you” lovemaking between a husband and a wife?

Extraordinary sex lives in the ordinary. I kid you not. That is where it lives.

Now might just be the time for crazy hot sex in your marriage.

If that is not your reality, what can you do to move in that direction?

For some of you, not only is hot passionate sex not your rule in your marriage; it’s not even your exception.  So to flip a switch and make it a reality at all is not so easy, right?  But what if you could at least begin to uncover what it will take to move in that direction?

Marriage is not meant to be stagnant.  We are always either growing closer or growing apart.

Now might just be the time for crazy hot sex in your marriage.

When I think back on that post I mentioned earlier, I think what I liked so much about it is that it speaks positively of passionate sex that finds its roots in authentic love and marital commitment. It recognizes that marriage is a long haul of give and take, trenches and mountaintops, tiredness and rediscovered sexual enthusiasm.

As much as I want my kids to know the consequences of sex outside of marriage, more than that I want them to know the consequences of sex INSIDE of marriage — the positive, soul enriching, oneness that out-competes against the counterfeit version the media sells.

Is now the time for crazy hot sex in your marriage?

Christian Sexuality: The Supernatural Side of Sex

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

Christian Sexuality is a powerful, wonderful and mysterious thing.

Sex could even be considered “supernatural”…not in a ghoulish way, but in a Godly way…

I am happy to introduce the Engaged Marriage community to a fellow reader and author that I think many of you may relate to.  Actually, you may already recognize Gina Parris because she is a regular commenter here.

Gina often has some great insight to share from her experiences as a Christian wife and mom to four (including twins).

Well, Gina is also a high-performance coach, and she has used those skills to develop a new program aimed at helping to stoke the romance and passion within committed marriages.

When I heard about The Sexy Marriage Solution, I asked her if she would like to guest post here at Engaged Marriage to help spread the word about what I felt was a very worthwhile program.

Without further ado, please enjoy “The Supernatural Side of Sex” by Gina Parris!  Here is a quick intro note Gina asked me to include:

This post relays a story from my life that helped inspire me to create The Sexy Marriage Solution.  The program describes a technique that transformed my pitiful sex drive so dramatically and quickly that I had to pray about it to make sure it was not some kind of “voodoo.”

Thankfully, I was able to move forward in full confidence that my discovery was a good thing – and finally our years of  bedroom frustration were over.  –Gina Parris

The Supernatural Side of Sex

By Gina Parris


What a Beautiful Ring!Christian Sexuality and The Romance Rescue

My precious neighbor held my hand close to her face to gaze at my wedding ring.

She was from Pakistan – living in the house behind ours, with her husband and their grown children.  I loved this family – including her daughter who had fled an abusive marriage.  “What a beautiful ring!” She exclaimed.

“Thank you; this is my wedding ring,” I explained.  “Paul has one that matches it, only without all the diamonds.”

She nodded her head.

“In our Christian marriage, this ring means that everything that Paul ever owned or will own becomes mine, and everything I have ever owned or will own is now his. We are joined together in COVENANT.”

She shook her head in disbelief.

“Well, really it is a symbol of our relationship with God. Through Jesus, he created a covenant or commitment to us that made us one with God. Everything that He has is now available to us, and our lives are His.”

It was a little more than her Muslim mindset could swallow, but in sincerity she answered, “I wish my daughter could have a Christian husband!”

I gave her a hug.  “It’s okay. Most Christians don’t even understand it.”

…And the Two Shall Become One Flesh

The thought hit me as I was minding my own business one day.  Boom!  “For this reason a man shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery but I am talking about Christ and the church.”

“Wow.” I thought. That’s a lot of words.  Do those verses even go together in the Bible?”  Then they kept mulling over and over in my mind.

I couldn’t stop saying the two sentences.  “What in the world is this about?” I wondered.

Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Actually I had been teaching a series that I wrote called, “Blood, Guts, and Glory” which was all about the Blood Covenant in history and examples of God making covenants with man.

I had not thought so much about marriage at the time.  I had to find a Bible and see if these verses went together.

Sure enough.  Let’s look at it. (Ephesian 5:31-32)

“The two will become one flesh.”  This is a reference to spiritual, soul-bonding sex but also to the relationship that sex represents.  It is a cutting away from the old family unit and the creation of something new and very intimate.

“…A profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the Church.”  A profound mystery is something we can’t even pretend to explain with perfection, but it’s worth thinking about.   Jesus Christ was God in the flesh – sent to become a man to offer his perfection as redemption from man’s rotten state.

He was Love. Sent by Love, because of Love – to demonstrate Love and bring us back to the power of  Love – relationship with Himself. Redemption!

What a story.  What a covenant – sealed  by that supernatural blood, which came from his father’s DNA, just like yours did. This is why the Redeemer was born of a virgin. Everyone’s blood comes not from their mother, but from their father.

To Cut Where Blood Flows

The word “covenant” means “to cut where blood flows.”

Throughout history in cultures all around the world, we have seen an almost instinctive understanding of this kind of relationship.  We have seen “blood brothers” made where guys cut their wrists and mingle the blood to show an unbreakable pact.

We have seen small pygmies in Australia cut covenant with big Aborigines in the same way. When an enemy came against the short people, they could hold up their arms and the scars down their forearms showed that they represented relationship with many others.  “If you touch me, you’re touching all of them – and they will fight for me,” the scars said.

In most cultures the covenant extended to generations, and if one party were to break covenant – that person’s own family would kill him to protect the honor.  Covenant is not something to be taken lightly.

What Does All that Have to Do With Sex?

Sexual intercourse is an act that brings two people together in covenant.

Blood flows when the virgin breaks that mysterious hymen. Scientists don’t know the purpose for such a piece of tissue. God knows though. It represents deep unity.  This is why it is so painful to be physically intimate with someone and have the relationship be meaningless.

“Casual Sex” is a lie.  At its core, divine unity between a husband and wife represents another divine mystery – Christ and the church.

Loving unity is a symbol of the heart of God towards you. He desires to make you one with himself.  He cut the covenant through Jesus, when the blood flowed on the cross. You are safe when you respond to that wooing and say, “Yes, I am yours.”

You Are Loved – Supernaturally

Perhaps you were raised with images of an angry God who was waiting to punish you.

The Truth is that He is LOVE. When you can know in your heart that you are loved unconditionally, by the One who IS love, than your whole life can change.

You can ultimately only give what you have received.  I encourage you to receive this love. It comes with full forgiveness of the past. God is longing to embrace you.

If you ever struggle with having great sex in your marriage, please check out The Sexy Marriage Solution to see if it may help.

Photo by Stoichiometry

5 Ways to be Sexually Playful While Clothed

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

Does sex seem to be the last thing on your mind by the time you both fall into bed at the end of the day?

sexual playfulness in marriageOr maybe it’s the last thing on your spouse’s mind, but you are still hoping for some sexual connection. Yet, you feel way too disconnected!

Hey, I get it.

Life has a way of sabotaging late night encounters.

If you ever feel like you and your beloved are simply trying to keep your head above water (you feel that way sometimes, right?), you are not alone.

Good news!  There are ways to increase the odds of sexual intimacy happening on a more consistent basis.

Sexual play when the lights go out tends to be easier when there’s sexual play while your clothes are on.

Below are 5 ideas for being sexually playful while clothed:

1.  Touch while driving.

I’m not even talking about anything overtly sexual here. I am talking about expressing your sexual desire and affection with simple gestures.

Any one of these will likely get your message across:  Gently put your hand on your spouse’s leg.  Caress the back of their neck.  Softly run your finger just under the the hem on their shorts or the sleeve on their shirt.

If there aren’t kids in the car (or if the kiddos are fast asleep), you can probably get away with more suggestive caressing.

Sure, you have to keep your eyes on the road and stay safe.  But trust me.  A simple touch while driving can speak volumes about your intentions later.

2.  Use suggestive code words and nicknames.

When I was growing up, a childhood friend of mine had parents who occasionally would playfully talk in some sort of “code,” even when we were around.

As children, we obviously didn’t know what they were saying.  We probably even thought it was weird, even though it was obvious the spirit of the “conversation” was playful.

Now as a grown up who is in love with my husband, I think about my childhood friend’s parents and it makes me smile.

They had found a way to connect as husband and wife amidst the busy details of the day.

Who knows what they were talking about with all those secret words and whispers?!  I would bet my last dollar, though, that those innocent exchanges were anything but innocent.

Do you and your spouse have ways to talk about sex playfully without really talking about sex?

My pal J of Hot Holy Humorous wrote a couple of great posts along these lines, including “What Euphemisms Do You Use for Sex?” and “Is He Sweetheart? Stud Muffin? Romantic Nicknames.

3.  Kiss. Really kiss.

There’s just something about an unexpected passionate kiss that is genuine and heartfelt.

When was the last time you kissed your spouse this way when the two of you were not making love?

A spontaneous lingering kiss in the kitchen or before your spouse leaves for work or even as you are putting laundry away can convey that your sexual desire is alive and well.

Sadly, too many married couples stop kissing passionately.

4.  Don’t be afraid to sext.

I wouldn’t recommend this if your spouse has a company-issued cell phone, because obviously that phone is the property of the company and they likely have rules against sexting.

But if you are sending texts to your spouse’s personal phone, you can get creative.  Discretion is the key.

To be super wise about this, you should use code words.  That way, your spouse knows that when you type, “Did I mention we were out of chocolate syrup?,” what you really just said has nothing to do with an ice cream topping.

(Unless, of course, it does having something to do with an ice cream topping). 

Anyway, you get the idea.

When it comes to sexting, less is more.  Say too much too often and the technique loses its arousal factor.

I hope this goes without saying, but don’t send any suggestive photos.  Save all the visuals for the “live-and-in-person” escapades in the exclusivity of your marriage bed.

And obviously, double check that the text is indeed going to your spouse.  Sure, you’re talking in code.  But do you really want your kid’s soccer coach asking if you’re still out of chocolate syrup?!


5. Hold hands.

I know.  This one seems so obvious.  But why don’t we see more married couples holding hands?

Holding hands with the person you fell in love with and pledged your life to is one of the easiest gestures to actually do — but also the easiest to disregard.

When you hold hands with your spouse, whether you are walking to your kid’s ball game or heading into the grocery store, you convey to them that they are still the one you want by your side.

You convey a great message to those around you too, but that’s simply a nice side benefit.  What’s most powerful is the message you are sending to the person you married.

And remember that all hand holding is not created equal.  When you hold hands frequently enough with your spouse, you quickly learn the subtle differences of the type of affection being shown.

You can definitely be sexually playful through holding hands, and no one will know but the two of you!

After reading all of this, do you think there are ways you can be more sexually playful while your clothes are on?

Weave sexual expression into your relationship in a healthy way, and you will better appreciate why making love is so vital.

And for more reading on this topic, check out this post on my site by the same title.

No Time for Sex? How Much Time Does it Really Take Anyway?!

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

My husband and I have had some fairly incredible lovemaking sessions.

I mean, off-the-charts “I think the neighbors can probably hear us by now” lovemaking.

no-time-for-sexAnd even those sexual episodes of “my-world-has-been rocked” have not lasted hours.

Nope.  It would probably be a stretch to say they lasted an hour.

My point?

If the “no time for sex” argument seems to be a constant in your home, you likely are missing out on incredible sex that can be had in less than 20 minutes.

I would even go so far as to say in some marriages, most of the sex that happens is quickie sex (or at least within close proximity of quickie sex).

And that’s not a bad thing.

Sure, long drawn-out lovemaking has its place and I savor those encounters tremendously.

But if my husband and I were banking on those types of encounters to sustain our sexual intimacy, we’d be taking a huge risk with the health of our marriage.

Are you always waiting for ideal conditions to make love to your spouse? Are you always waiting for more time?

If so, you might be missing out on a lot of great sex.

Ideal conditions are hard to come by in the lives of most married couples, what with the messy houses, chaotic calendars, demanding jobs, and whiny (uh, I mean adorable) children.

Ironically, that crazy “I can’t even see straight” life you’re living most days would likely become more enjoyable and bearable if you nurtured sexual intimacy in the midst of it – rather than wait for the chaos to subside.

Seem impossible?

It’s not.

But you have to be willing to walk in that direction.  Have a heart-to-heart chat with your spouse about what it would take to make love more often – rather than put it off until you “have more time.”

A huge bonus is that when you learn to arouse each other and connect sexually when time is in short supply, you’ll be laying a good foundation for those more drawn-out sexual encounters.

(Laying. A. Good. Foundation. See how I worked that in?)

When I hear people say they have no time for sex, I don’t usually believe them. My heart is in the right place, though.  What I really hear behind the “no time for sex” is “we haven’t figured out how to have great sex in 20 minutes.”

So how do you figure that out?

Well, I offer these three tips:

1. Remember that sex is one of the best things you can do for your marriage.

I know, this seems like I’m over-generalizing a bit, but it’s true. Nurtured sexual intimacy softens a husband and wife toward each other, better equips them to do life, and helps them be intimate in ways beyond the bedroom.

2. Rely on the sexual techniques that are a sure thing.

Obviously, I have no idea what turns your spouse on.  But I am guessing you do.

When you don’t have a lot of time, make a dash toward the sexual touches and repertoire that your spouse most enjoys.

3. Focus on the connection, not the orgasm.

Hey, I like an intense orgasm as much as the next person, but I also know that sex is not all about climaxing.  It’s also about being exclusively and emotionally connected with the person you love.

(I also think the intense physical pleasure is more likely to happen the more we practice, so to speak — the more we communicate well on what will help us climax. I have an entire page on my site with posts about orgasm.)

If you are not accustomed to spontaneous and/or quick sex in your marriage, remember that this is a learned behavior.  Give yourself and your spouse grace and encouragement to grow in this aspect.

You can become each other’s champion for healthy sexual intimacy in your relationship, where you both have the freedom and enthusiasm to initiate and engage sexually.

But whatever you do, don’t keep falling back on “there is not enough time” for sex.

There is enough time.


Is Your Marriage Beyond Sexual Repair?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

I tend to be in the camp that no marriage is beyond repair as long as two people are still in it.

marriage-beyond-sexual-repairI’ve heard from couples who have gone literally years with dysfunctional patterns (sexual and otherwise), yet at some point, something compels them both to move toward each other and heal the disconnect.

Maybe even grow closer sexually than they ever could have imagined.

Personally, I think marriage is hard.  It is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done or will ever do. I think many people would agree with me.

And some of you are in marriages where the pain is incredibly raw. And deep. And debilitating. And maybe the sexual struggles have left you discouraged and disillusioned. If that describes your marriage, I want to neither minimize your pain nor haphazardly throw around false hope.

But here’s the thing.

If you are still married, in my opinion, you are left with no biblical choice but to do what you can to improve the relationship.

(I know this should go without saying, but I’m not talking about abusive relationships.  I’m talking about marriages where two people have grown apart, lost interest in sex and/or encountered relationship roadblocks that seem insurmountable).

So what does it take to heal and strengthen a marriage, particularly from a sexual angle?

If you think your marriage is beyond sexual repair, here are three questions to ask yourself:

1. Am I refusing to own my part in it?

Sexual disconnect begins in too many ways to outline here.  Suffice to say, sex is both complex AND simple. That dichotomy can make it hard for a couple to get on the same page (or on the same bed, if we’re looking for a more accurate phrase).

But if I had to funnel the challenges into themes, one that would consistently rank at the top is that one or both people in the marriage won’t own their own stuff.

In other words, is sex difficult in your marriage because of you?

For example, you won’t seek healing from the past, such as past promiscuity, sexual abuse, adultery or pornography use.  Or you won’t let go of false messages, such as sex is bad, sex is a choresex is gross, and sex is sinful (even in marriage).

Or possibly you refuse to understand what’s going on with your body, such as hormonal issues, other physical issues, lack of orgasm and body image struggles.

Whatever your issues may be, are you dealing with them?

Because if you are letting them to continue to sabotage sexual intimacy with your spouse, that’s heartbreaking.

There is no better time to deal with your issues than now.  And there is no better time than now to find countless Christian resources available (counselors, books, seminars, blogs, DVDs, etc.)

2. Did we stop working on our friendship?

Because I write about sex, people think I know “secrets” to incredible sex in marriage. There is one “secret” that I consistently recommend (and it’s really not a secret at all).

I tell people to build great friendship with their spouse. And I’m not talking about friendship that looks like other friendships you have.  I am talking about genuine companionship and fun with the person to whom you literally pledged your life.

Many things sabotage a couple’s ability to work on their friendship.  Sure, it’s easy when you’re dating and newly married, because you likely have a ton of time to simply focus on each other.

But then life happens. Careers. Kids. Crazy calendars. House maintenance. Bigger decisions. And so on.

The other subtle thing that happens is friendship drift, meaning you start to take a lot for granted with this person standing next to you.

Those “dating days” seem like a luxury for which we just don’t have the time.”   It’s not malicious.  Two people drift apart because the demands of life became relentlessly loud and stressful.

But great friendship in a marriage is foundational to incredible sex with your spouse.  You have to walk in the direction of friendship.  Or you’ll continue to drift apart.

3.  Am I always reacting the same way to my negative spouse?

Okay, I get it.

Maybe  you aren’t the one hurting sex in your marriage. Maybe it is your spouse who is the culprit.  So what then?

What do you do when your spouse is not responding to your frustrations, pleas for marriage counseling, sexual initiation and so forth?

It’s probably time for a different approach.  If your spouse is manipulative, passive aggressive, unwilling to deal with their own issues or just generally negative, then you still need to find ways to stay healthy.

Seek counseling for yourself. Continue to build and enjoy your activities and hobbies. Invest in yourself physically, such as walking more, joining a gym, getting plenty of sleep, taking hot baths.

Read books for tips (one I recommend is How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie Vernick).  Pray. Find ways to give back to your community by getting involved in charities you believe in.

Strive to not get sucked into your spouse’s manipulative arguments.  I’m all for communication, but when a negative spouse is just trying to pick a fight, your best response is to stay calm and refuse to engage in childish behavior.

Sometimes when you start responding more maturely to a negative spouse, they will begin to see the light and realize they too need to grow up and help restore all aspects of intimacy in the relationship

Sometimes this doesn’t happen.

But even if it doesn’t, your choices still will help you be healthier emotionally and physically.

Is your marriage beyond sexual repair? I don’t know.  But I do know the above questions are worth asking.

For more reading, also check out the series What Is Destroying Sex in Your Marriage?