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Posts tagged ‘biblical sexual practices’

Beating The Bedroom Blues

Source: Cindy Sigler Dagnan/Christianity Today

How to make sure sex doesn’t get lost in the busyness and routine of life.

Let’s face it. Fantasies happen. No, not the kind of fantasies you’re thinking about, but how about these?

  • Zzzzzzzzz …. I’m so [yawn] sleepy!
  • After I check off “have sex with spouse,” to-do list conquered!
  • Has she ever heard of a new position?
  • Is that all he knows for foreplay?
  • We really need to paint this bedroom.
  • Is that the puppy/toddler/baby monitor breathing by the doorway? I thought I heard something.

Fess up. Are you cringing? Yeah, me too. Sometimes sex gets lost in the shuffle of senseless schedules and tangled in the unfolded towels. Frankly, it seems an effort. Couples generally have three basic reactions to a bad case of the bedroom blues:

Resignation. When we choose this one, we view sex as something to do and just get over. Worse, we slide into a pit where the thoughts in its depths aren’t pretty. Things are always going to be this way, so why bother? God wouldn’t want me to be this unhappy. Maybe we’re just wrong for each other. So we drift into roommate status with bedroom privileges that we care nothing about.

Radioactivity. This makes sex toxic. We might introduce fantasies or bring pornography into our bedrooms, buying into the world’s view that anything different spices up our marriage and brings adventure into the bedroom. We dangerously compare our marriages, spouses, love lives to everyone else’s seeming superiority.

Someone in either of the above stages is ripe for an affair.

Rejuvenation. We could choose to use a dull time in our love lives to reinvent it, to refresh ourselves, and restore our closeness. Remember whose idea sex was? That’s right, it was God’s. I’m not sure why, but we Christians tend to be shocked by such a reminder. And he’s on your side for sweetening your love life.

What To Do

Here are some ideas to jumpstart your love life and get it sizzling again.

Make sex a priority. In this case, when you snooze, you really do lose. Write it on your calendar if you’re having trouble finding the time. While sex is certainly not the biggest part of a marriage, it is a fairly accurate measure of the health of your marriage. It will enhance your sleep and your energy levels both. What a combo!

Do your homework. My husband and I assign this in marriage seminars: Have sex every night for a week. Yes, that includes the weekend! Why? Because having sex usually begets the desire to have more.

Ask your spouse what he or she needs. Men are different from women. And I’m generalizing here, but the adage is all too true: Women need a reason; men just need a place.

Men, if you truly want to touch your wife’s body, touch her heart first. Talk with her. Consider vacuuming as foreplay! If you have young children, take over bedtime duties and give your wife precious time to make the transition from mommy to sex goddess! Honor her and be sensitive to her needs.

Women, if you truly want to have a great intimate relationship, stop treating your man like he’s a Neanderthal or a cretin because he wants to have sex. This is his God-given desire and his best way of connecting with you.

Switch it up. Take turns planning your romantic evening, whether that means a night out, new lingerie, setting the mood, choosing a different location or position. Plan mood music, candles, a plate of appetizers or fruit with chocolate dip and whipped cream. If your spouse wants to try something new, by all means, give it a try! Not sure if it’s God-honoring? Here are some guidelines:

  • Is it beneficial? If it’s harmful in any way to either of you, it’s a no go. See Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians 6:12.
  • Does it involve anyone else? Sex is for the two of you alone. X-rated movies, pornography, or other people, even in your mind, are out.

Consider a do over. If your bedroom has become the repository for bills cluttering a desk, a corner stuffed with books and magazines you’re planning to read during that illusive sudden windfall of time, or a bed chock full of laundry that you need to throw off the bed come sleep time, put your energies into completely cleaning it up and throwing things out. Choose a new theme, paint, or comforter set. The painting alone is worth trying!

Bring back the fun. Remember the anticipation of your first times of intimacy together? Take a moonlit stroll. Revisit the scene of an early date. If possible, plan a trip to your honeymoon destination. Laugh together. Rent a season of Mad About You. Have an I Love Lucy or Andy Griffith marathon complete with popcorn, chocolate, icy colas, and plenty of snuggling. Save up silly jokes or work anecdotes to share with each other.

Get creative. In general terms, sex might well be more important to men than to women. So make the most of it. Make it your goal to christen every room in your house. Greet your husband at the dinner table wearing a tie and nothing else. How about a temporary tattoo and a fun game of hide and seek? Try a fashion show with lingerie. Wake him in the middle of the night for sex. Send a text for her eyes only. Place flower petals on your sheets.

Just be honorable. Godly sex equals good sex. It beats boredom. Yup, every time.

Real Sex Talk In Marriage

SOURCE:  Louis and Melissa McBurney/Christianity Today

Oral Sex, Anti-Climax and Pain vs. Desire

Is oral sex wrong between married partners? I’ve talked to a couple of Christian friends about this, and the consensus is that men are generally for it, while women are generally against it. So who’s right? Is there a biblical answer?

Louis: Your observation is correct. When couples don’t agree on oral sex, the men tend to be the ones who are for it. But in our counseling experience, we find about as many couples who say they practice some type of oral sex as those who don’t. Generally the problem is not so much with cunnilingus (the husband stimulating his wife with genital kisses) but with fellatio (the wife stimulating her husband’s penis by mouth).

The wife’s resistance may be explained by a variety of causes. Rarely is it related to childhood sexual abuse where she was forced into fellatio. Sometimes a wife is responding negatively to insistent demands by her husband, which feel threatening to her. Also, there is often a revulsion to the idea of oral sex because of uncleanliness and strong genital odors.

Medically, the practice is generally safe unless there are infectious genital lesions (e.g. herpes, condyloma, chancres, etc.). These call for medical treatment. However, the anal area is not sterile and should be avoided in sexual play.

Biblically, there is no clear directive. Some verses in Song of Solomon seem to suggest oral sex, and Hebrews 13:4 might imply that any mutually agreeable behavior between husband and wife is sanctioned. The Levitical laws that carry the most explicit sexual directives and prohibitions do not mention oral sex.

Melissa: Sexual intimacy is always best when it is mutually satisfying. If oral sex causes dissension, then it is destructive—especially if you’re not talking openly about your disagreement. Trying to understand each other’s perspective could help a lot. Find some time to talk when your emotions are not so high from lovemaking. Be as open and frank as possible. You might find that you can work out a compromise.

We’ve been married 12 years, and my husband has always had a problem with retarded ejaculation. He can’t climax while having sex. I don’t want to make the problem worse by complaining about it, but it makes me feel unappealing. The doctors say the problem is psychological, and my husband seems to resent the idea that he should see a therapist. Our marriage is great otherwise, but I’m frustrated about this. What should I do?

Louis: Assuming your doctor has ruled out the physical causes of retarded ejaculation (e.g. neurovascular disorders, drug side effects, etc.) and that the pattern has always been present, I would advise you to look at it in the context of your entire relationship. You say your marriage is “great otherwise,” so the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may apply.

If your husband is not resistant to sex, is sensitive to your sexual needs and can lovingly bring you to orgasm, I don’t think the problem has anything to do with your attractiveness. The most common psychological causes of this disorder are a compulsive personality where control and scrupulosity about cleanliness may create anxiety; a fear of impregnating one’s wife; or a deep-seated (probably unconscious) ambivalence toward women.

Genital union is fun and important for a sense of sexual oneness, but intra-vaginal ejaculation is not necessarily symbolic of commitment, attraction, passion or love. A couple may find orgasm quite pleasurable without penetration. Stimulation to climax can be mutually satisfying with a variety of techniques. If you find orgasm more intense and complete during penetration, then continue that approach. And follow it up by stimulating your husband to ejaculation.

Because of infections and a difficult childbirth experience, I have vaginal scar tissue and a damaged gland that, short of a miracle, will never heal. As a result, intercourse is very painful for me. My husband understands this is not my fault, and I understand his need for regular sex. I dread having sex, but should I keep enduring it out of love? Resentment is growing between us.

Louis: The idea of “enduring” sex for any reason is distressing to me. We human beings are created with such a marvelous aptitude for healing and adaptation that I’m usually optimistic about the potential and probability for healing.

First of all, you and your husband should call a temporary moratorium on penetration, though not on sexual relations and pleasure. Second, check out all possible medical or surgical procedures that might relieve the physical problem of the vaginal scar tissue. The vagina is an elastic, expandable structure, and removal of the old scarring might be possible.

I assume you have already pursued medical avenues for relief, so third, I suggest that you begin the exercises of “sensate focusing” that can let you find nonpainful, enjoyable ways to give each other pleasure. This approach usually involves taking turns bringing each other physical pleasure—first through nonerotic stimulation such as massage, and then progressing slowly over many weeks to erotic, sexual stimulation without penetration. The later steps include some gentle, well lubricated vaginal massage with one finger, then with two, etc., halting at the first sign of pain. This gradual approach can prevent vaginismus, the spasm of the vaginal walls that creates most of the pain of intercourse. You should direct your husband in this process and proceed very slowly (over a period of months) in order for the conditioned pain/anxiety response to subside.

Since I’m not sure what physical damage has occurred, it is impossible for me to predict whether you have clitoral responsivity. If your clitoris is intact, you should be able to experience orgasm once the pain response is alleviated. Even if the pain cannot be overcome, love-making without genital union should still provide sexual satisfaction and relational intimacy.

Melissa: Working through this type of problem can deepen your relationship. Expressing love to each other as you consider each other’s needs and difficulties can help you both realize how important you are to each other. The key, again, is communicating openly, tenderly and unselfishly. The Lord designed us to have a strong need for each other. When we work to meet one another’s needs, our love for each other, ourselves and God expands and deepens. I hope you will use this difficulty to let that happen.

Real Sex columnists Melissa and Louis McBurney, M.D., were marriage therapists and co-founders of Marble Retreat in Marble, Colorado, where they counselled clergy couples.

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