7,000 Nights of Sex

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Meet the newly revised 7-Day Sex Challenge!

The original 7-Day Sex Challenge e-book has helped over 1,000 couples! It’s a marriage course like no other — plus it requires the absolute best kind of homework with your spouse…

We are excited to announce that our best-selling e-book is newly revised and also available in paperback!

Listen to Jim and Carrie introduce the newly revised 7-Day Sex Challenge!

The original 7-day sex challenge course

The Only Two Things You Should Be Doing in Bed!

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Intimacy and sleep experts alike agree on this advice: your bed should be reserved for two things, and they both start with an ‘s’, sleep and sex.

sleep

Not only should the bed be reserved for these two activities, but the quality of each positively affects the quality of the other!

Researchers from the University of Michigan (article here) tracked 171 young women’s sleep and sex patterns for over two weeks. They concluded that each additional hour of sleep increases the next day’s possibility of sex by 14%! Take home (or take to bed, that is!): more sleep, more sex — and better sex, in fact. The women in the study reported higher physical arousal after a longer period of sleep.

To set yourself up for sleep and sex success, follow these guidelines:

  • create a welcoming, clean and clutter-free atmosphere
  • keep the temperature cool, and the room dark
  • stick to a consistent sleep and wake schedule, even on weekends; this will help regulate your body’s natural clock
  • exercise daily, if possible
  • avoid being on devices (laptops and phones!) at least 30 min before bedtime
  • keep work out of the bedroom
  • keep the tv out of the bedroom too!

Improving your sleep is an important way that you give your best self to your marriage and, especially, to your sexual relationship!

Fine-Tuning Your Love-Making (in the Key of F)!

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Has sex improved for you and your spouse since your honeymoon?  As with any other activity, we need a bit of fine-tuning now and again to really hone our skills! You know what they say…10,000 hours of practice ‘til you’re an expert!

The best way to fine-tune your love-making is to become an expert of your spouse.  Learn how sex works best for them and what they enjoy the most. We suggest you use these specific questions to check-in with your spouse and begin fine-tuning your love-making.

Foreplay:

  1. What type of foreplay works best to get you aroused?
    1. slow, tender, and gentle
    2. aggressive, passionate, and intense
  2. How much time do you need us to focus on foreplay?
    1. at least 25 minutes
    2. 15 minutes is plenty
    3. a few minutes is all it takes for me
  3. Do you prefer low lighting or full lighting during foreplay?

Frequency:

  1. Are you satisfied with how often we have sex?
    1. it’s close to perfect for me
    2. no, I want it more/less often
    3. yes, but I’d be okay if we had it less often
    4. yes, but I’d be thrilled if we had it more often
  2. When time of day do you most prefer we have sex?
    1. morning
    2. daytime
    3. evening
  3. What time of the week do you enjoy love-making the most?
    1. weekday
    2. weekend

Fondling:

  1. Where on your body do you enjoy being touched?
  2. Do you enjoy different types of touching?
    1. caress
    2. squeeze
    3. kiss
    4. other

Forms:

  1. What position do you prefer we use when having sex?
  2. What is your least favourite position and why?
  3. What new position would you like to try?
  4. Would you like to try something besides intercourse, such as stimulation using our hands or mouths?

Finale:

  1. After sex, what do you like us to do?
    1. embrace one another for several minutes
    2. clean up, cuddle and talk
    3. clean up, cuddle and fall asleep

If you’ve never discussed these topics with your husband or wife, be ready to learn something new! Then, use the information to hone your skills and fine-tune your love-making!

Connection Day Trumps Valentine’s Day, Any Day!

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For many of us, Valentine’s Day is too commercial, too syrupy-sweet, and too manufactured: it often seems nothing more than a Hallmark cash-grab we’re all supposed to get excited about.

If you’re feeling romance has been hijacked by V-D consumerism, why not make up a day of your own? I’m going to do it—and mine is going to be called, Connection Day!

love-you-everyday-valentines-day-quotes

On Connection Day, before I leave for work, I’m going to make 10 post-it notes and randomly distribute nine of these little love notes in places my wife can find with a little bit of searching. 

The first note I will hand to her, smile, and tell her there are nine others—and if she doesn’t find them, I’ll help her locate them when I get home from work (that will really make her anxious to find the rest of them!). Throughout the day, I will call home twice, just to let her know I’m thinking of her. When I come home from work, my wife will tell me about her post-it-note-hunting, and then I will hand her another, longer note that explains in detail why and how I love being connected with her! I know she’ll love it!

Who knows? Maybe together we can explore other creative ways to become more connected!

Book Review: XES – Why church girls tend to get it backwards…

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When Joy McMillan contacted me in 2014 about reviewing her newly published book, I was definitely curious. Her book title, “XES – Why church girls tend to get it backwards…and how to get it right” was certainly provocative! 

XES bookAs I read XES, there were moments I chuckled and plenty of moments I cried. I found myself pausing often to read portions aloud to my husband:  “Jim, listen to this…”  Besides that, my copy of Joy’s book now has highlighted portions on almost every page!

No doubt, women will be deeply moved to read Joy’s story as she shares it with such openness, honesty, and vulnerability. Despite her painful past with its shame, God’s redeeming grace has given Joy a beautiful confidence that is inspiring to read and understand.

Joy teaches and encourages wives to intentionally pursue God’s best for their marriage and gain a greater understanding of God’s heart toward sexual intimacy in marriage.  Her “Reflection and Action” sections at the end of each chapter help the reader apply the important topics she clearly discusses. Any Christian wife will find something in Joy’s book they can identify with and take steps to move their marriage relationship closer to God’s beautiful design.

Visit Joy’s website for more details.

Just in time for date night/The City of Romance

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Did you know? The verdict is in: according to a survey by Amazon.ca, I’m in one of Canada’s most romantic cities! Guelph, Ontario!

downtown edited

I knew that. It had to be. I live here. 

But in actual fact, Amazon’s rubric for romance is totally sketchy! Their findings are based solely on the retail sales of romance novels, romantic comedies, and songs by Michael Bublé! So, I agree with Amazon’s conclusions—but totally disagree with their method of measurement. 

1. Romance can’t be measured by commerce. 

2. It’s not your pocketbook’s purchase power that determines your romantic potential. 

3. Your romantic potential isn’t influenced by the city you’re in, your monthly budget for romantic novels and CDs, or by the number of red roses you buy your sweetheart! 

Romance is the emotional feeling of excitement, ardour, and enthusiasm kindled through actions and expressions of love.  

How does romance grow? Through the creative intention to please your partner and express your love thoughtfully. Need some help in that department?

  • And if you’re not ready for 30 days, how can you resist just seven? The 7 Day Sex Challenge is something every married couple must do!

Looking to upgrade your romantic potential or go on a romantic date? Don’t move to Guelph. Your romantic potential can flourish right where you are!

Part V: Marriage Checkups

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Most of us think about the doctor when we think of a check-up. It’s interesting that most men have an avoidance towards check-ups! I might have this all wrong, but I wager most men would also balk at the idea that they should have a marriage check-up IF there is any hint that the check-up is really meant to be a check-up-on them

Let’s check-up on Bill to make sure he isn’t messing up too badly!  is an approach doomed for failure. On the other hand, if the attitude of approach is more like, Let’s check-in with one another to see how connected we’re feeling with each other, then the Marriage Check-Up will be a wonderful tool for your Marriage Tool Box.

The 3 Question Check-Up is brilliant in its simplicity:

First, schedule a conversation where you invite openness in a setting that is non-judgmental and caring. Your attitude is that of a best  friend, not a critic. 

The main goal is to strive to listen and understand; this is done by asking each other 3 questions:

1.    How are you feeling right now? 

2.    If there was just one thing about life, our relationship, or a current challenge that could change, what would you want it to be?

3.    How can I help?

1. How are you feeling right now?

This is a very open-ended question that could go in many directions, depending on the openness and trust you experience. Your spouse may touch on the stress of work, your sex life, or the pressure of your financial situation. Be open for them to reference hurt due to unresolved conflict.

Just talking openly and honestly with each other will be a tonic for you both.

2. If there was just one thing about life, our relationship, or a current challenge that could change, what would you want it to be? 

Asking for many suggestions may not get much of a response—your spouse may not want to complain, or there are so many things needing change they feel overwhelmed. However, to ask for just one thing will invariably get a response! There is always at least one thing that can change!

Let’s suppose there isn’t any situation that can actually change. In those cases, you can always pray. You can always express your confidence in your partner. You can always remind them of your love.

3. How can I help?

Simply volunteering to step into the situation—at the direction of your spouse—is a wonderful combination of humility and servanthood. This action is an attempt to understand and respond. Powerful connections in a relationship occur when both partners feel understood and loved. 

One caution—avoid trying to fix your spouse or the situation; rather, follow their lead.

Take turns doing the check-In, and see how conversation and loving understanding is stimulated!

Part IV: The One Habit that Changes Everything

 

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Two Words that Will Change Your Marriage

His breathing quickened at the sight of his wife’s naked body on their bed. She smiled and drew his face close to kiss him as their bodies intertwined. They gave in to passion and soon their lovemaking climaxed as he groaned with desire and then release! They held one another close in a gentle embrace as he whispered in her ear, “Thank you.”

Have you ever said “thank you” to your spouse after having sex? I suggest this is a very appropriate time to do so!

Thank you: two common words that, when expressed from the heart, are meaningful and powerful.

Unfortunately, we often stop saying “thank you” to those dearest and closest to us. Taking one another for granted can be common between close family or friends.

When a husband or wife expects their spouse to do or be something, a sense of entitlement sets in which leads to selfishness and ungratefulness.

Thankfulness is an expression that flows from a heart of gratitude. Saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you” will also help develop a heart of gratitude. When I express gratefulness and thanks to Jim, he feels valued, respected, and appreciated.

Do you recognize how powerful a simple “thank you” can be? Take opportunities this week to say (or write in a short note) “thank you” to your spouse, often!

  • “thanks for doing that for me”
  • “I appreciate your hard work”
  • “thank you for marrying me”
  • “I am so grateful for your love”
  • “thank you for sex!”

And while you’re at it (saying “thank you!” and expressing gratitude for your spouse), suggest the 7 day sex challenge to your spouse! I mean, who wouldn’t be thrilled with that suggestion? More thank yous (both ways) are sure to ensue!

Gratitude can and will change your marriage, and your life! Start making it a habit now.

Part III: The Benefits of Lifelong Learning

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The ABCs are always recognized as the basics: they represent the first principles of anything you’re learning. The ABCDs, however, represent Above and Beyond the Call of Duty! This is the approach of high achievers and winners who are willing to do whatever it takes to reach their goal! 

A lifelong learner is aware that they don’t know everything, they haven’t “arrived”, and their marriage can always improve. A lifelong learner is always looking for opportunities, resources, and activities that might enrich their marriage.

ABCD Learners, then, are willing to do whatever is necessary to grow and learn and enhance their relationships! Why not commit to win at the most important relationship in our lives—our marriages?!

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (the ABCD approach) is an attitude that changes the way we talk, think, and act. The ABCD approach teaches us that investing in the on-going health of our marriage is no longer just a duty to discharge, an obligation to meet, or a responsibility to fulfil. It is a passion to pursue!

The ABCD Approach in Action

ABCD Learners are willing to experiment and try new things! Here are a few ideas:

  • Date nights: When we were married for about six years, we attended a marriage enrichment seminar with dozens of other couples from our church. One of the take-aways we had from this seminar was developing the habit of a weekly husband/wife meeting (a date night with a planning/strategy component). We were encouraged to talk about finances, parenting, our personal and spiritual development, areas of concern or conflict that had arisen since our last meeting, or ongoing issues we were working through. At the time, we did not know that it would become one of the major contributors to a successful marriage!
  • Leading a small marriage group: Find a few couples to connect with around the topic of marriage enrichment. Choose a book study, or a DVD-based study, and simply facilitate the group!
  • Keep a book handy for riding/walking: Carrie and I have gone on road trips together where one of us drives and the other reads aloud from our marriage book. In the same way, we’ve gone for long walks together taking turns reading aloud to one another from our marriage book.
  • Bedtime marriage devotional: Find a great devotional, try and stay awake, and read to each other!
  • Take the 7 Day Sex ChallengeThis is a week-long in-home marriage enrichment course that will change your life, both inside and outside of the bedroom! 

As you apply these principles (the significance of marriage habits, like weekly date nights) and approaches (a top-of-the-year marriage evaluation, a new ‘together’ activity), we are confident you will see positive change and much forward motion! 

We’d like to CHALLENGE YOU: which ABCD learning experiment will you try? Share with us on our Facebook page!

Part II: The Significance of Weekly Date Nights

4Can you imagine how weekly date nights for over 25 years could impact a marriage? Let us tell you: drastically! Hugely! Significantly. We’ve been doing weekly date nights since 1988, and though we’ve missed a few during the busiest times of life (raising 9 kids can do that), we have no regrets for making this a priority in our marriage!

Weekly date nights are an opportunity to:

  • Prioritize your marriage relationship by putting it first! Your marriage is your most important human relationship, and its health will affect every area of your life!
  • Check in with your spouse. This will help you identify challenges before they escalate into problems. As well, you’ll find out how to be a great support and best friend by regularly asking questions like:
    • “how are your love tanks?” (if you don’t know what a love tank is, we highly recommend Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages book)
    • “how can I help you this week?”
    • “over the past week, have I hurt or disappointed you in any way?”
    • For more questions, our free resource 20 Date Questions for Married Couples will give you plenty of fodder.
  • Have fun together! Spice things up with your date nights by going out, staying in, doing something you’ve never done before, surprising each other—get creative! Don’t just exist together—working, raising kids, sleeping and repeating the cycle—live and enjoy life together.
  • Keep dating your spouse! Remember the excitement of dating?

Think you’re too busy? Here are a few tips to intentionally make date night happen every week:

  • Put it in the calendar! If you absolutely must cancel date night for an emergency/really important reason, be sure to book it in another night that week
  • Make childcare arrangements in advance so the thought of figuring it out doesn’t keep your from going ahead with your date.
  • Go to bed together and spend a few minutes cuddling, kissing, and talking (keep work, responsibilities, and the to-do list out of the conversation)
  • Keep devices (tv, laptops) out of the bedroom; science shows that electronic devices negatively impact sleep AND we all know they will distract you from focusing on your spouse
  • Have sex before bedtime!
The hope of a better marriage is often disguised in the consistent, daily steps we take to serve our spouse, keep the passion alive, and work on being a better lover!
Will you commit to talking to your spouse TODAY about starting weekly date nights? It’s not too late to START this week!