Sex & Family Planning Archives | Page 4 of 14 | Engaged Marriage

Category Archives for "Sex & Family Planning"

What Do You Like About Sex?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

What do you like about sex?

This is an important question.  A lot hinges on what you and your spouse would each say in response to “What do you like about sex?”

what-do-you-like-about-sexNothing? Everything? Some things? Most things?

“I like the pleasure, but not the mess.”

“I don’t like the vulnerability.”

“I do like the oneness.”

“I hate how much he wants it.”

“I love how much she wants it.”

“I don’t like that we fight about it.”

“I love the desire, the passion, the uninhibitedness.”

“I like the way it makes me feel.”

“I don’t like the awkwardness.”

“I like the way he caresses me when we make love.”

“I like her body next to mine.”

“I don’t like the painful memories it stirs in me.”

“I like how we are nicer to each other afterward.”

“I hate it that I can’t relax.”

“I just don’t like sex and I don’t know why.”

Recently, someone suggested to me that I give the impression that sex is the most important thing in marriage – that marriage is just about sex and little else.

Of course, that’s not my take on it. After all, like most of you reading this, I am married.

I know marriage is a complex weave on so many levels that it could never be reduced to being “only about sex” (no more than it could be reduced to being only about children or only about finances).

But.

Sex in a marriage carries more significance than many people give it. That is sad truthful commentary.

In many marriages, sex is a side note, an extra “we’ll get around to if we ever have time and energy.”   Some marriages don’t get around to it at all, beyond the babies they created in the early years.

And then there are some people who would be eager and excited to answer the question “What do you like about sex?”

From the Lord’s perspective, marriage is the one place sex is not only permitted, but designed to be celebrated, pursued and mutually enjoyed.

A husband and wife who thoroughly pour themselves into profound sexual intimacy have found a bit of a jackpot. Sure, there is richness in their bed, but it is a unique kind of richness that amplifies richness outside the bedroom as well.

The question “What do you like about sex?” seems simple, doesn’t it? But how two people in a marriage answer that question sheds light into their relationship.

And when there is sexual disconnect in your marriage (because let’s face it, there likely will be at some point), how do you handle that disconnect?   Do you ignore it? Seek to heal it? Refuse to give up … or give up easily?

I’m not saying everything in a marriage banks on your answer to, “What do you like about sex?”

But it’s definitely an area worthy of investment. What about you?  What do you like about sex?

For more reading on this topic, check out 5 Ways to Like Sex in Your Marriage.

These 4 Letters Could Destroy Your Marriage

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

Covenant EyesThere’s an incredibly serious problem facing many marriages today. It’s also the fastest growing addiction in North America.

It’s spelled P-O-R-N and there’s a good chance that you’ve either been affected by it or will be at some point.  

In this recent post, a counselor shares the first-hand accounts of several women who have been hurt by their husband’s use of pornography.  

It’s pretty chilling, and these real-world examples show that porn impacts all areas of our marriages – even though our culture tries to minimize it as harmless fun.

If you or your spouse have experienced the grasp of pornography, you know all too well about the damage that it causes to your intimacy, trust and communication.  It’s very difficult for porn and a healthy marriage to co-exist for any length of time.

But there’s more to the story than just husbands getting sucked in and hurting their wives in the process.  This is an issue that impacts all of us, especially if you have children.

  • Did you know that 43% of kids first view porn before the age of 13?
  • Did you know that the fastest-growing group of porn users is WOMEN age 25 and under?

As a Dad, that first fact in particular sends chills down my spine.  Porn is extremely easy to access in our connected world, and our kids are targeted more than we would ever imagine.

So what can you do about it?

The only way to combat this issue in your house (and on all those mobile devices that you and your kids have) is by being proactive.  

That’s why I highly recommend a service called Covenant Eyes to protect you.

Specifically, Covenant Eyes’ Internet Accountability service allows you to see a detailed report on the online activities of each of your family members.  This not only cuts down on the temptation to visit questionable websites, but it allows for a conversation to take place among family members to help everyone make wiser choices about their web usage.

In addition, Covenant Eyes offers filtering services to ensure your kids, your spouse and yourself don’t access harmful sites in the first place.  Both services work across all of your devices, so you can rest assured that your family is being protected at all times.

Covenant Eyes also has some incredible free resources on their site:

Click here to grab the “Porn and Your Husband” e-book

Click here to get the “Your Brain on Porn” Christian e-book

Thank you for taking a few minutes today to think about this issue and take some action to protect your marriage and your family.

It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect your marriage and your kids.

The Sexiest Thing You Can Do For Your Wife…

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

It may look like this post is just for the guys.

But I encourage you wives to read it as well.

sexiest-thing-you-can-doNot long ago on my site, I did a post titled The Sexiest Thing You Can Do for Your Husband.

The attention that post received got me thinking that doing sexy things is an equal opportunity proposition.

So guys, let me start with the disclaimer that obviously I don’t know your wife and what she specifically finds sexy.

(Hint. Hint. That’s your cue to read this post as a springboard into studying the woman you do life with and figuring out what turns her on.)

As for you wives reading this, please know that if your husband is like many husbands, he wants to turn you on… in the way you want to be turned on.

But you have to be willing to be turned on.

If you regularly shut him down sexually or don’t help him learn what you find arousing, then he pretty much feels like he just can’t win.  And he is the guy who won your heart way back in the day, which you probably found soooo attractive.  (Ironic. I know.)

Guys, you may think I’m going to say that the sexiest thing you can do for your wife is to help out around the house more.  But you know, I’m just not so sure that “chore play” is the best foreplay.

You’ll hear jokes about how a woman has never found her husband sexier than when he’s vacuuming or scrubbing the kitchen floor.

Those things may have some impact if “acts of service” is one of the ways she receives love.

But do those things really make her want to get naked with you?

Hmmm. I kind of doubt it.

The sexiest thing you can do for your wife is more likely rooted in connecting with her emotionally.

I know.  That is a mantra tossed around a lot in the world of marriage enrichment.  And you may be tired of hearing about emotional intimacy.

Interestingly, though, as someone who blogs about sex in marriage, I find that most husbands really want the emotional connection too.

Sex is never just about sex.  I’ve yet to hear from a husband who is eager for his wife to offer the use of her body but never the revelation of her soul.

Nope.

Duty sex loses its appeal almost from the get go, especially if duty sex is the only sex on the menu.

The sexiest thing you can do for your wife is to genuinely be her friend and hunger to know her emotionally.

This isn’t about being to her the same type of friend her girlfriends are to her.  Friendship in a marriage is different than other friendships, but still equally needed (and, in some ways, more needed than what we share with our other friends).

And wives, this is where you need to embrace a bit of wisdom:

If he is genuinely trying to connect with you emotionally, and your gut reaction is to see his attempt as nothing more than a ploy to get sex, you are hurting your marriage. (Or maybe you are sabotaging intimacy by telling yourself these three lies.)

Sadly, in too many marriages, the “sexiest things” a husband and wife do for each other have become a system of bartering.

My guess is that’s not really what you want for your marriage — emotionally or sexually.

Possibly you are reading this right now and you are thinking, “I’ve given up on trying to figure out what my spouse finds sexy.”

Or possibly you know what your spouse finds sexy and you have slacked off in pursuing them the way you used to.

Or maybe you both do want more sexual intimacy, but you both feel so exhausted.

No matter the camp you are in, I encourage you to get courageous for the sake of your marriage. Invest not only in expressing what your spouse means to you, but also in asking for the emotional and sexual intimacy you need.

The sexiest thing you can do for your wife?

I’m not sure. You know her better than me.

Maybe cleaning the kitchen floor will make her want to enthusiastically pull you into the bedroom. Or maybe — just maybe — there are other levels of intimacy she’s hungering for you to explore.

Husbands, will you try?  Wives, will you believe him when he tries?

Sex is never just about sex.

When Was the Last Time You Made Love?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

Okay, I admit it.

when-was-last-time-you-made-loveThis is kind of a trick question.

On the surface, it looks like this post is only for people who can’t remember when they last had sex with their spouse.

But really, this post is for all married couples with regard to sex in their marriage.

When was the last time you made love?

Some of you can’t remember because it’s been sooooo long ago, maybe even years.

And some of you can’t remember because sex is woven into the fabric of your marriage in such a way that it really is hard to discern one time from the next.  For you, sex is not a monumental “once-in-awhile” event, but rather a vital and frequent aspect of how you do life with the person you married.

And some of you fall in between those two camps.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, could you ponder for a moment not on sex itself , but rather what sexual intimacy (or lack thereof) does to your marriage.

Sex is never just about sex.

Despite what the movies and society and the hook-up culture try to tell us, sex is never just about sex.

And interestingly, I think we see this truth most in marriage, where one life is entwined with another.

Day in and day out, this is the person with whom you navigate finances, a busy calendar, work demands, family commitments, mountaintops, valleys, laundry piles, weed-filled lawns, new tires for the car, neighborhood gatherings, holidays, dog puke, empty milk jugs, little league fields, messy garages, whiney toddlers, lying teens, birthday cakes, smiles, slights and clogged drains.

In the midst of all that, sex is never just about sex.

When there is ongoing sexual refusal in a marriage, it is difficult to ignore or escape the pain and disconnection that such refusal causes.

And, on the flip side, when there is ongoing nurtured sexual intimacy, it is difficult to ignore the reassurance and oneness such intimacy causes.

When was the last time you made love?

I’m not overly concerned with whether you can remember the last time. I’m more curious about what sex is doing to your marriage.

Is sex bringing you closer together, better equipping you to do life together and making you feel grateful that this is the person you chose as your spouse?

Or is sex a thorn in your side — a source of frustration and division, either because you are having it so rarely or because you struggle immensely with agreeing on what nurtured sexual intimacy even means?

Don’t become consumed with answering the question, “When was the last time you made love?”

Do, though, get courageous, go to your spouse and get real about what the sexual connection or sexual distance is doing to you and to the marriage.

Don’t assume your spouse knows how grateful you are for sex — or how discouraged you are because of the lack of it.

Yes, it likely feels scary to be so vulnerable. But this is the person to whom you’ve committed your life.

And you both are worth transparency that has the potential to make the marriage stronger — whether that transparency is filled with joy or drenched in a cry for healthier sexual intimacy.

When was the last time you made love?

For a few of my favorite posts along this topic, check out Extraordinary Sex In Your Ordinary Life and 5 Dangers of Regularly Saying No to Sex.

3 Things Sex WILL Do For Your Marriage

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

3-things-sex-will-doI met recently with a bride-to-be who wanted some insight on sexual intimacy in marriage.

In a few short months, she’ll be joining her life with the man she loves.

She had a few questions about sex, and she wanted me to shed some light on the realities (good and bad) of sex in marriage.

I was her “go to” gal for this, because obviously I have few inhibitions talking about this sort of thing. (I know. You’re surprised, right?!)

If I were to ask those of you who are married about sex in marriage, what would you say?

I know for some of you, your responses would be drenched in heartache, disappointment, confusion and maybe even anger.

Depending on your circumstances, you envisioned sex in marriage to be amazing, frequent and — dare I say — magical.

But those visions have failed to materialize.

If you are a woman, you probably thought it would be a lot like the sex portrayed in your favorite romantic movies.

Easy. Mesmerizing. Passionate. Tender.

If you are a man, you probably thought it would be mutually-valued, frequent and a smorgasbord of stimulation.

God gave you the green light, and you were all about “full speed ahead” on savoring that blessing.

For some of you reading this right now, sex has been all of those things and more.

As someone who has lived a previous marriage where sex was a huge struggle and now am in a marriage where sex rocks my world in the most fulfilling way, I certainly have spent time in both the camp of sexual disappointment and the camp of sexual “wow!”

I’m no idealist.  Marriage is hard, eh?

I think it is one of the hardest endeavors we ever choose to enter, and this may surprise you, but that’s why I think nurtured sexual intimacy is soooo important.

There are benefits to sex in marriage beyond the orgasm.  As great as pleasure is, it is pleasure and connection with the person with whom you do life that affords you marvelous realities that you just can’t find anyplace else.

Here are 3 things sex will do for your marriage:

1.  Help you extend grace.

This is big, and at the beginning of marriage, we can’t fathom how much we are going to need it.

Early in marriage, we are still riding the wave of the fairytale and believing our marriage will be spared the struggles other marriages regularly encounter.

Then we come face-to-face with the truth that doing life with another person who is sinful like us is oftentimes excruciatingly hard.

We have to learn how to extend grace, over and over again.  Sex helps you do that.

There is something about frequently giving yourself sexually to the person you married that softens you to each other.

As I have often said, I like my husband better after we have sex.

Are You Ready to Bring Back the Passion & Intimacy in Your Sex Life?

Use these proven techniques to enjoy more sex and deeper intimacy...so you can feel like newlyweds again:

Click here to learn more about Intimacy Reignited

2. Relieve stress.

This piggybacks a little on point #1.  Life in general is stressful, and marriage is not immune to that.

In fact, in some regards, married life (and the little tykes that eventually show up) can be incredibly draining.

Yes, orgasm from a physiological standpoint has been proven to relieve stress, but more importantly, I think pleasure with the person you are doing life with is what really has power to reduce stress.

Instead of waiting for stress to subside before you have sex, why not reverse that train of thinking?  Be more intentional about having sex regardless of the circumstances in your life.

Convey with your body and heart that your sexual desire for your spouse is not contingent on everything else in life moving along smoothly.

My guess is that deep down, you both want to know without a doubt this tender reassurance: I’m in this with you. I’m right here.

3.  Equip you to be a better witness for Christ.

I’m not going to go all Jesus freak on you, because most people hate that sort of thing.  But I will say this…

Sexual connection with the person you married is one of the best ways you can worship God and serve in His name.

I know.  Sounds completely ludicrous that I so closely tie these two things — sexual intimacy in your marriage AND your Christian witness.

Sadly, I hear from many people whose spouse is completely careless with sex in the marriage, yet steadfast bent on serving at the church.

If you are spending countless hours leading Bible studies, making food for funeral luncheons, organizing Vacation Bible School or singing in the choir — yet you are purposely negligent at nurturing intimacy in your marriage — then I humbly encourage you to pause for a moment.

Take a good look at God’s heart for your marriage.

We are better equipped to serve the Lord if we are diligent about the intimacy — and sometimes sexual healing — that needs to happen in our own home.

When you read the above 3 things sex will do for your marriage, I pray you feel encouraged and inspired.

I pray you will bravely start desiring greater possibilities for sex in your marriage.

You’re worth it. Your spouse is worth it. Your marriage is worth it.

Are You Ready to Bring Back the Passion & Intimacy in Your Sex Life?

Use these proven techniques to enjoy more sex and deeper intimacy...so you can feel like newlyweds again:

Click here to learn more about Intimacy Reignited

 

3 Things Sex WILL Do For Your Marriage.001