Intimacy: The Challenge We Face

The intimacy challenge between husband and wife

CNN recently featured an article by Lee Woodruff entitled, Why Veterans Have Intimacy Issues.

In her article, Woodruff—herself the wife of a war vet—explained that for many war vet couples, the lack of intimacy is the ongoing heartache after many of the wounds of war have been healed. PTSD, chief among many psychological disorders, is one of the obstacles to gaining the communication of mind, heart, spirit, and body that intimacy requires.

Woodruff states:

For many couples, once the acute healing is finished [the physical healing of the body], the impact of combat injury on sexual health, intimacy and fertility is perhaps the biggest heartbreak. While sexual health is a huge contributor to overall mental health, this is an often overlooked and uncomfortable subject.

Woodruff’s article points out how the psychological trauma of war results in couples feeling that intimacy is almost unreachable.

The Challenge

Yet, even for many of us without this kind of trauma, genuine intimacy seems almost unattainable. A simple-minded observation of soaring divorce rates would make us conclude that intimacy—the super glue holding couples together—is challenging to obtain! Much more than just sex, intimacy is the oneness of heart, mind, body, and spirit. It has 4 components: intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and sexual. Obtaining this in a relationship is increasingly unusual.

The Journey

Repairing intimacy is not a quick-fix project; it is a journey. Our approach, then, to developing intimacy must reflect this idea. There is a place to start, a direction to take, and a destination to move toward.

The place we start is the position of humility: we acknowledge that, to some degree, we are needy, broken, and ready to receive help. This position frees us up to get counseling, reach out to others, and most importantly—acknowledge to our spouse that we need and want help.

The direction we take is the pathway of learning: we are life-long students of each other. By actively studying each other in pursuit of greater understanding, we will automatically increase our appreciation of each other.

The destination we move toward is oneness of heart and mind: the end of it all is to become closer to your spouse! With our stated destination of closeness, we will more easily identify factors in our relationship that either draw us away or draw us toward each other emotionally.

Although obtaining intimacy remains a huge challenge for many couples—its pursuit represents a journey of heart, soul, mind, and body that makes every step along the way more than worth the effort!

5 Ways Summer Time is Good for Your Marriage!

What is your favourite season? It may or may not be summer, but did you ever stop and realize how beneficial the summer season is for your marriage? Take a look at the 5 ways we’ve listed here! No doubt, you can think of more ways summer time is good for your marriage!

Summer time is good for your marriage

1.  Longer Days

  • Waking earlier because of daylight streaming into your bedroom gives time for early morning sex.
  • Late sunsets allow for evening strolls or tennis matches together.

2.  Warmer Temperatures

  • The temperature allows for “making out” in the car or outdoors!
  • Rarely does your spouse shock you with their ice-cold feet on your body
  • Sleeping in the nude is totally possible!
  • There are more reasons to shower together on hot summery days

3.  Summer Attire is Conducive to Sex!

  • It’s quick and easy to move from “making out” to “sex”
  • No bulky sweaters, socks, or jeans to be removed
  • Your sexy swimwear can help “turn on” your spouse!

4.  Vacation Week

  • Not having to rush to work every day gives you time to work through the 7-Day Sex Challenge!
  • Rest and relaxation makes you less stressed and more patient, caring, and kind to your spouse.
  • You have enough time to read a few marriage books while relaxing at the beach, cottage, or campsite.

5.  Wedding Season

  • Weddings bring back memories of your own wedding day and encourage you to rekindle love towards your spouse.
  • Hearing couples repeat their marriage vows is a good reminder about keeping the vows you made at your wedding
  • You can celebrate your wedding anniversary (if you had a summer wedding)!
  • Seeing happy newlywed couples helps inspire romance!

Be sure to take advantage of the summer season and all of its benefits to your marriage! Don’t waste another day… autumn and winter will be here before we know it!

7,000 Nights of Sex

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!

 

The original 7-day sex challenge course

The Only Two Things You Should Be Doing in Bed!

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)!

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!

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

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.

Sexual Confidence for Women

Sexual Confidence is achieved when love,
passion, and proficiency work together!

This article addresses achieving sexual confidence (written by me, Carrie, for women!), especially if you are a woman feeling awkward about the idea of visiting our website and reading the articles that will help you become more sexually proficient. Though I’m still working through my sexual inhibitions, I’ve learned a greater freedom as I’ve understood the importance of becoming sexually proficient and having sexual confidence.

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”  -John Ruskin

Biology teaches us the “how to have sex”. I remember my father giving my sister and I the “where babies come from” biology lesson. In grade 6, my school nurse taught the girls in our class about puberty, and hormone and body changes. Since being married and giving birth to our nine children, I’ve read countless articles and books, taken classes, watched movies, compared notes with other expectant or new moms, and asked my doctor questions. I wanted to become more knowledgeable about pregnancy and childbirth.

I’ve been eager to learn what I needed to know for these “basics”. Admittedly, I’ve also researched, studied, taken courses, and attended seminars regarding health, my occupation, raising a family, homemaking, and hobbies. Why have I been hesitant to teach myself about the area of my sexual relationship with my husband who is the most important person in my life!?

sexual confidence

Sex was God’s idea.

I must change the mindset that sex was man’s idea. Since God designed us to experience sex, then I believe He wants me to do it to the best of my ability! This is just as He would expect of me regarding parenting my children, relating to others, or working at my job.

Once I understood the importance of sex, I became motivated to spend time and effort in learning how to please my husband better, be fulfilled in my womanhood, and enjoy sex! I discovered that we women don’t need to feel ashamed for desiring to learn more about sex, how to get better “in bed”, and how to become great lovers! It’s never too late for a wife to improve her sexual skills. Whether you’re just getting ready to be married or have already celebrated many anniversaries, remember that anything worth doing is worth doing well! Important note… not just for women only: be sure to look for info on sex that doesn’t infringe on your values.

Do you know what’s been so great about becoming more sexually proficient and gaining more confidence in my sexual relationship with my husband? I find that not only does my husband enjoy the experience so much more, but so do I! I don’t just “get through it” but can “relish” sex from beginning to end!

There is no greater spiritual exchange between a man and a woman
than that of lovers loving well. –Lou Paget

Women, discover how meeting your husband’s needs will empower him to meet yours! 

Check this article for ways to increase sexual desire, especially if you are a woman who has lost interest in sex. 

Fun Sex Ideas

For many couples, “fun sex ideas” become the answer to the somewhat predictable and even boring sexual routines couples allow themselves to get into. As with the other dimensions of relationships and intimacy, continuing development requires forethought, initiative, and creativity! Any relationship can become stale and boring if not nurtured and developed; the same is true for the sexual dimension of a relationship–but fun sex ideas removes the boredom factor! It’s important to make sex fun!

As married, Christian couples, we have great latitude and freedom in our sexual expressions of love with our spouse. Outside of the Bible’s clear prohibitions regarding sex and lust, there are many practices and techniques that can bring new excitement to our sex lives.

fun sex ideasFor further clarification and teaching regarding Scriptural direction, refer to the article: Christian Views on Sex. This article explains the “Good for Both” and “Give and Take” principles, both of which can apply to trying new things like the following!

For adding a little spice to your relationship, why not try one of the following Fun Sex Ideas?!

  • Dice games … “Zilch”: at the end of each round, loser has to take off one piece of clothing!
  • Other games … we recommend A Private Affair, containing hundreds of cards full of questions, discussion starters, action items, and open ended statements that help married couples delve deeper into their relationship. An excellent tool!
  • Romantic Edibles …. Whipped cream. Be creative!
  • Change location …. Ever try outdoors or in your vehicle?
  • Change the time of day for having sex …
  • Have an arousing dinner … a private dinner for two, sexy lingerie, candles, feed one another, or use the body as the food platter
  • Skinny Dipping at your private cottage …a sure-fire way of losing inhibitions and ramping up the fun factor!
  • Take a shower together, use body wash to lather each other up; then towel dry one another, brush and blow-dry one another’s hair, and now that you both are all clean ….!!
  • Sexy Lingerie Fashion Show for your husband
  • Strip Tease (Because men are especially turned on visually, this has great potential to make sex fun for the husband!)
  • Candles, music that helps both of you get in the romantic mood
  • Write an erotic letter to your spouse (either hide it under the bedsheet, or read it to them while you begin foreplay)
  • Put on some romantic music, dance, kiss, …
  • Dance for your husband…
  • Use chocolate body paint… that’s right, learn how to make sex fun!
  • Have a box of “Sexy Coupons”. Begin by choosing one coupon and doing what it says.

And we saved the best of the ideas for last! Invest in your marriage! Abolish boredom in the bedroom! Order your copy of the 7-Day Sex Challenge e-book: 7 Day Sex Challenge.

Bedroom Items Parents Should Use

Here are a Few Bedroom Items Parents Should Use to Manage Parenting and Sex

  • Lock on the bedroom door.bedroom items
  • White noise machine such as a fan or a radio moved near the bedroom door.
  • A ringer off switch on the bedroom phone.
  • A private (lockable) drawer, box, or cupboard for marital aids you don’t want kids to see.
  • His and Hers sexy lingerie.
  • Sexy underwear for Him and Her.
  • Weekly date nights just for the two of you! This is so effective in boosting your sexual energy!
  • A reliable baby-sitter.
  • Massage oil.
  • A jar to collect loose change, designated to fund your next romantic weekend getaway.

Other articles in the Parenting and Sex series:

Parenting and Sex

Recharge Your Sexual Desire

Take Care of Yourself First!

Be Creative to Fit in Parenting and Sex

Setting Up Sexual Boundaries

Sex Up Sexual Boundaries

Your kids need to understand that both parenting and sex are important. They already see how you have made parenting a priority. But they also need to respect the time you give to yourself and your husband. Set up sexual boundaries… instruct your children about respecting your privacy and “couple only” time. Teach them:

  • Get a lock on your bedroom door and tell your kids, “Always knock on a closed door and wait to be invited in.”
  • Don’t interrupt mom and dad when they’re on the phone or in a conversation.
  • Consider mommy “off duty” during her 15 minute break time.

set up sexual boundaries

Teach your kids positive messages about sexuality. Don’t let them speak derogatively about sex and love.

Help your children understand the importance of mom and dad having alone time. “When the babysitter comes and mom and dad leave, it helps mom and dad love each other more! The love between mom and dad is very important in a family!”

Other articles in the Parenting and Sex series:

Parenting and Sex

Take Care of Yourself First!

Be Creative When Fitting in Parenting and Sex

Bedroom Items for Parents

Moms, Recharge Your Sexual Desire