Adapting to Physical Limitations During Sex

A few weeks ago, I had a molar pulled that had bothered me for years. The recovery of an implant has been slow. With activities like kissing eliminated, my husband and are learning to adapt. Rubbing noses and burrowing into each other’s necks have helped us stay connected during sex. Rather than avoid sex we are learning new things, and grateful for what we have – not unlike a friend of mine.

I will never forget the night that Stacy showed up in class. With eyes that sparkled, and a smile that lit up the room, she rolled into class on her scooter. Years of a physical disability might have limited her mobility but God filled her soul with a passion for living that made me just want to hang out and learn from her.

After reconnecting with her at my book signing party, I asked if she would share a few thoughts to help others challenged by a physical limitation. What follows are her words.

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Finding Miss America

Marie is guest posting today from the mission field. For years has quietly spoken truth to women about sexuality, one woman at a time. This year she discovered Awaken-Love and is facilitating video classes to other missionaries.

I was on my way to another house visit in Asia. Temperatures were sweltering over 120 degrees and no one had air conditioning. I was soaked with sweat down to my underclothes, with my hair flat, wet and clinging to my face. Then I heard a desperate cry: “Miss America, wait”.  Images of Miss America in her tiara and evening gown began to flood my mind, and they just did not mesh with the hot, dusty, dirty streets surrounding me. “Miss America, please don’t go.” I turned around, and a lady who must have been following me began running toward me, crying.

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The Beauty of Our Vulva

God created women with amazing bodies. Our vaginas stretch large enough to birth a baby and still shrink to hug our husband’s penis. Breasts nurse our babies, provide hours of entertainment for our husband, and are sensitive enough to trigger an orgasm. Our clitoris created solely for our pleasure can provide a lifetime of new and pleasurable experiences. And yet, how many of us really know our vulva? Song of Songs 4:7 says, 

You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.

Early Messages

Girls and boys have completely different experiences discovering their bodies. When boys learn to go to the bathroom they form a very hands on relationship with their penis. A part of everyday life, their penis can quickly become a best friend. They know what it looks like, what it feels like, how it changes with temperature and what creates pleasure. Their penis, just a familiar part of their body doesn’t feel dirty or scary.

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The Challenges of Seeing Sex as Refreshment

I remember when we had young kids and feeling so exhausted that the last thing I wanted to do was have sex. Sex felt like one more thing on my to do list. It was one more thing that would suck my energy dry, something else to give. The last thing I expected from sex was refreshment.

Yet there were times when my husband would be so patient and would gently take me to that place. Afterwards I thought to myself, “Boy, did I need that.” Somewhere, deep down, I knew that sex was a good thing. That it would refresh me and that it was for me too. But this truth was buried deep beneath a pile of lies.

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Battling Satan’s Lies with God’s Truth

We are in a battle. Satan loves to fill us with lies that render us impotent to growth in marriage, parenting or even ministry. He picks at the broken parts of our soul causing us to feel defective, unlovable and stuck. We either lash out trying to prove ourselves or retreat into hiding. But when we embrace God’s unconditional love, rather than striving to measure up, we can learn from past experiences, conflict or suffering. Instead of shrinking into isolation, shame and believing Satan’s lies, we choose to move forward in confidence. We have the courage to live fully known by sharing our  insecurities, failures, hopes and dreams. But Satan doesn’t stop coming at us with lies. He waits for just the right moment and then he’s right back at it, speaking the same old lies, and trying to make us doubt who we are.

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A New Strategy for Overcoming Gridlock

Women need to feel emotionally connected in order to enjoy sex.

Men need to have sex in order to feel emotionally connected.

It sounds like gridlock to me. Women can’t have sex until they talk, and men can’t talk until they have sex, so they just stop connecting. The gate is put up by the wife, the husband retreats feeling rejected and they spin away from each other. It’s like that age old question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” There is no right answer, there is only debate. We need a new strategy. 

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Connecting is a Two Way Street

The other night my husband and I had an awesome time connecting. I had gotten him to open up about a fun scenario that he found particularly enticing, and so naturally my wheels started turning. Really it wasn’t anything that took much planning.  It was just catching hold of the small nuances that would take him back to that place we talked about. You know things like lighting, sleepwear, positions, ATTITUDE…But he knew that I had heard him, and he knew exactly where I was taking him. It was a great night!

Feeling Naked

The next morning I woke up feeling absolutely naked – like the skin had been stripped off of me – naked. It was as if I had been in a show and poured myself out and there was nothing left. It was like when I started teaching my classes on sex, and shared so much of myself, that I felt absolutely vulnerable and attacked afterwards. I was raw.

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The Power of Sharing Initiation

My husband and I figured out the importance of taking turns initiating sex, but it hasn’t always been this way.

Last week I shared a post written several years ago, Different Sex Drives,  about when we struggled because I became the  higher drive spouse. All of a sudden, I had a new  understanding of what my husband had dealt with for years. I wanted to feel desired and wanted. When I always ended up reaching for him before he reached for me, it caused me to question my husband’s love. Initiation makes us feel wanted.

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Different Sex Drives

It wasn’t always this way… in fact it used to be quite the opposite.  I used to be able to shrug off my husbands advances with no regard for his feelings or needs. Surely sex was just this physical urge that would go away if I didn’t encourage him. Surely he could see how tired I was from managing a house, driving kids,  fixing meals, and doing laundry. Sex was not even on my radar until those once or twice a month hormonal urges. My drive got my engine running, and then it was once and done.

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Helping Your Husband Battle Pornography

I am going to be perfectly frank with you, my husband has never struggled with pornography and I have never experienced the pain of betrayal. But because I teach Awaken-Love, I have walked beside a lot of women that have. It breaks my heart to see the pain that pornography causes for these women, but it also breaks my heart to see how pornography has impacted their husband.

God keeps calling me to speak into this arena, I don’t know why.  Maybe it is because I haven’t been personally impacted and so I have a different perspective.  Is it possible that what might be most helpful for a wife to do to help her husband battle pornography is the exact opposite of what every fiber in her body is telling her to do? Read more about How to Create a Safe Place for Your Husband to Share about Porn.

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