Is Sex an Amazing Connecting Experience?

When I spoke at a moms group the other day, a few women lingered to ask questions.  After beating around the bush, one of the women finally had the courage to get to the crux of her situation.“You talk about how sex is supposed to be this amazing connecting experience. But honestly, I don’t really feel connected afterwards at all. Sex just seems so mechanical and not intimate.”

I suspect many women relate to what she expressed. Sex with our husband can feel mechanical. The constant movement of our husband can almost make us feel dizzy. Instead of feeling more, we feel less. We can seem like two separate people going through the motions striving to get to the finish line. Even if we experience pleasure or orgasm, we don’t necessarily feel connected to our husband afterwards.

Physical response does not equate to connection. We can fantasize our way to orgasm while in two completely different worlds. Or we could simply over ride the lack of connection with an intensity of physical stimulation. A loving husband distracted by thoughts of what to do next or his own performance can even be completely clueless to his wife’s discomfort. Orgasm without intimacy can feel empty and lonely.

How We Have Sex

But God created sex as a way to “know” each other. It is the answer to “how” we have sex. “Knowing” each other through sex requires a completely different mindset. Rather than focusing on creating the friction required to orgasm, we settles into the quietness of listening, and feeling and creating connection to discover new things about each other. Knowing that our spouse sees us creates as much arousal as movement does.

Sometimes we must take a step back from movement in order to find connection. Just like a deep breath that cleanses our soul when sits in stillness to listen for God, we lay skin to skin and listen for each other. We feel their skin on ours, hear their heart beat,  look into their soul and listen. We listen to what our body craves but also to the beckoning of our lover. Even during intercourse, rather than racing into movement, we may simply sit for a moment and feel each other to the depths. Only after we settle and can feel our bodies connected, do we begin to move. And when we move, we go together.

Sometimes we go on a journey of discovering our spouse. Eyes open wide, we expectantly watch for clues to avenues of pleasure to explore.  Sharing our awe of who God created them to be we treasure every nugget they reveal.

Other times,  we take our spouse into our world. Uncovered and naked we give them glimpses of who we are, unrestrained and free. Eyes wide open, daring them to match our intensity, we spur each other on.

And sometime we don’t even know where we are going, but we go together.

Connection during sex does not happen naturally or easily. Moving beyond mechanics into the world of connection takes courage and an openness to experience something new. Rather than finding satisfaction in the surface of movement and orgasm, we dive deep to know each other and see what we can discover together.

Does Your Husband Initiate Sex?

I have this theory that in many marriages, wives train their husband not to initiate sex until we give the signal that we are open for business. We like to control our lives, including when and where we have sex. So, we develop subtle, or not so subtle signals. Maybe we linger as we kiss, or we touch more than usual, or we just tell him, “do you want to have sex tonight?” And our husband simply waits.

My Experience

Years ago,  I controlled when we had sex. If I kissed my husband and immediately rolled over, the gate was closed. But if we kissed and I lingered to talk or touch, my husband knew he might get lucky. Recently I asked my husband if he knew my signal and he said, “When you went to the bathroom one last time before we turned out the lights, then I knew I had a chance.”

Of course, sometimes my husband would patiently give me a back rub or snuggle in hopes that he might sway me towards connecting. But for the most part, he patiently waited. I trained my husband to watch for my signals and because he was kind and considerate, he catered to my time table and needs.

Maybe one of the reasons our husbands don’t  initiate without a signal, is because he doesn’t want to be one of those pushy guys that always wants sex. He wants to prove that he can love us in other ways than just making love. So he patiently waits, or timidly tests the waters. And even though there are times when our husband probably senses that the two of us need to connect, he waits. He holds back and we miss out on opportunities to bond.

The Turn Off

Here’s the really bad part. A husband that tip toes around, always testing the waters, and never quite knows what he wants is a real turn off.

We want a man that will lead.

After a hot date we want a husband that can’t wait to get us somewhere private. When we feel insecure, we want a man that will look us in the eye and say, “You are more beautiful today then the day we met” and show us.  When we least expect it, we want a husband to confidently say, “let me” and treat us to some of the most delicious sex because he loves it as much as we do.

In Naked Marriage by Corey Allan, Ph.D. he lists three rules for great sex for husbands.

  1. Approach your wife as if she is the most adventurous, passionate, and open-minded woman in the world. When you assume less that this, you limit the possibilities of excitement in the relationship.
  2. It’s her job to say no to anything she’s not interested in trying or doing. It’s your job to speak up and express your desires.
  3. Don’t take things personally. If she says no to sex on the roof tonight, don’t take it personally, then refer back to Rule 1.

When I read these rules, I immediately thought, Amen. I want a husband that will acknowledge his desires, stick his neck out there and go for it. And I want to have the same freedom. My husband can always say no, but I don’t want to just play it safe. I want to live and I want my husband to live.

Encouraging Him to Lead

God created our husband to lead, even in the marriage bed. Yet because of our controlling nature, we seem to think we should determine when and how we have sex. We’ve believed the lie that when our husband reaches for us, he is just like all those other men that use women for sex. We’ve lost touch with the fact that our husband would do anything in the world for us – even cater to our sex drive.

And because our husband doesn’t want to be one of “those” pushy men, he kindly waits for our signal. .  And the very thing that we want most, a strong, loving, confident husband who knows what we need even in the midst of our insecurities starts tipping toeing around second guessing himself.

So my question to you is,

Do you want your husband to lead? Even in the marriage bed?

Does he have the right to initiate sex when he feels disconnected? Or when he wants to love you? O maybe even when he needs to feel loved?

How do we trust our husband enough to let go of control?

How do we build up our husband and affirm his healthy desires?

Baggage Impacts Our Husband Too

As women, we can feel like everything about sex comes easily for our husband. How come our steely eyed husband can survive bad messages, straying into porn, or years of poor choices with no impact on their sex life? But the more I’ve taught men, and the more growth I’ve experienced in my own marriage, the more I’ve realized baggage does impact our husband. He may not readily admit or easily recognize baggage, but it’s there.

Strong purity messages, growing up in a sexualized culture, making poor choices or simply the lack of healthy communication about sex impacts their freedom. The baggage may look different and they may process it differently but they have brokenness, just like us. When I realized my husband had baggage, I could foster compassion rather than taking things personally. The more we create a safe place, the more we encourage our husband to heal and grow, in their own time and in their own way.

Purity Messages

Five years ago, when I decided to embrace my beauty I started trying to tantalize my husband with my body. I dressed different in bed and changed my clothes at opportune times to catch his eyes. Instead of sex in the dark, I wanted to watch our bodies come together. But I also wanted to feel my husband’s eyes fixed on my body. Frustration grew and feelings smarted when my attempts seemed to create little attention.

Eventually I realized my dear husband had spent our entire marriage intentionally keeping his eyes pure. He turned away from nude scenes in movies, discarded lingerie adds and constantly guarded his eyes – even from me. I remember at one point telling him, “I want you to look at me. I want you to watch me. This (my body) is for you and you only.  God wants you to enjoy it”.

Purity messages to my husband, good messages about guarding his eyes, had made him feel uneasy about looking at me. Years of guarding his eyes had helped him control his drive before my awakening. But now that I was finally getting things right, I wanted my husband to experience freedom too.

Growing Up in A Sexualized Culture

Trying to do the right thing in a culture filled with details of women used and abused by men must impact men. Scared to say or do the wrong thing, good Christian men could easily become timid to their wives. They could even question whether their God given sex drive is a good thing.

I sometimes wonder how many of us throw out the baby with the bath water. Not just women, but men. Do men that are trying to be good Christian husbands limit themselves to vanilla sex because they think only ‘those people” do that stuff. Do we decide to not get too creative, have too much fun, get too wild, because we are worried it is not ok? Just like purity messages can impact wives, they can impact our husband.

Porn Impacts

Most men have viewed porn at some time in their life, especially our younger generation. Many continue to battle and feel the impacts even after they gain freedom. In one of our men’s classes as we talked about getting to know each other through sex, the question came up, “how do I know if I want to do something because it is part of how God created me, or because I saw it in pornography?” Being exposed to pornography complicates life.

Some men that battle porn throw out everything associated with those memories and limit themselves to only vanilla sex. Other men want to try every idea they’ve exposed themselves to in hopes of recreating what they’ve seen. Either way, porn impacts the choices and the freedom they experience in their marriage bed.

Viewing porn impacts the lens that men view women but also how they view themselves. Healing from porn means creating something completely different then what they’ve viewed– intimacy. We must learn to share our insecurities as well as our hopes and desires. We must create a Holy experience by praying over our sex life, asking for newness and for His will. Focusing on connection by communicating, eye to eye contact and staying present create intimacy.

Poor Choices

Some men spent years treating sex as a commodity, trying to get all that they could. Years later, married to a woman they love and cherish, they realize they bought into using others for their own gratification. One man said, “After years of using women, I have a hard time even connecting sex with intimacy.” It is almost as if they have trained themselves to disassociate from what they are doing during sex, so they don’t have to feel bad.

In order to connect during sex, they may have to come to grips with the ramifications of their past life. God offers forgiveness, grace and new life to those with a repentant heart.

When my husband stepped up and took responsibility for his past mistakes, he changed. As he received grace and forgiveness from me, I saw him grow in confidence. No longer saddled by past failures or doubts, he leads me like a man that knows God’s grace.

Separating God from Sex

Many men have a harder time integrating and including God in their sex life than their wife. Silence from the church, crude jokes from the world and an attitude of “get as much as you can” make sex feel anything but Holy for a lot of guys. The idea that our God could look done on our marriage bed and say, “Drink, drink your fill.” Does not compute. Praying over our sex life feels strange and somehow, just wrong. Your husband’s past experiences and messages about sex impact what he believes and freedom to connect with you.

Final Thoughts

Men process their baggage very different than we do, and that is OK. I only share what I have learned about men in order to foster a sense of compassion. When we understand what has impacted them, then it helps us not to take things so personally. Become a safe place for your husband to realize his baggage and to receive God’s healing.

Lasting Impacts of Awaken-Love Classes

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at a moms group in the Twin Cities. Several women took the Awaken-Love class 9 months ago and recommended that I speak on sex.  While there, I got to reconnect with the women and hear the lasting impact from class.

Live Classes

One woman shared how eye opening the class felt when many of her assumptions about sex and about her husband did not align with God’s word. Even though she had grown up in the church and remained active, she never felt like they had provided any real answers. Left to her own assumptions and influenced by silence, awkward talks, and cultural messages, she landed where most women do – sex as an obligation to fulfill her husband’s needs. Conversation in class about God’s real intent for sex had literally shifted her mindset 180 degrees and continues to impact her marriage and attitude today.

She also said that when she took class, it felt like a fire hose of information. So many new and different ideas that contrasted what she’d believed her entire life felt almost overwhelming, but also good. She and her friends are already making plans to retake the class using the videos and revisit the topics. They will meet as a smaller intimate group and are looking forward to going deeper in discussion. All them pray for more breakthrough and freedom in their marriage bed.

Video Classes

But the best part of the morning happened as I was waiting to speak. A young woman came over and said, “I have to thank you for your classes. I took Awaken-Love about a year ago and it has completely turned my marriage and my sex life around.”

As we were visiting, I kept thinking, “I know I’ve taught a lot of women, but I don’t even recognize her.” Finally, I asked, “I am sorry, but I don’t recognize you. Did you take the class with me?”

And she replied, “No. I took the video class. About a year ago, a woman I hardly knew emailed 15 women and asked us if we’d take Awaken-Love with her. Class ended up with just four of us that honestly didn’t know each other very well, but now we are best friends. I talk to these 3 women about sex all the time now and we encourage each other in our marriages.”

What a blessing to hear first hand that the videos Melanie and I poured our heart and soul into are impacting women. What a miracle that 4 strangers could bond and experience healing during a crazy sex class developed by a couple of ordinary women.

I pray that God would continue to open doors to provide healing and wholeness to women through Awaken-Love. May women have the courage to go after their hearts desire –  deep and profound intimacy.

Deafening Silence – Adding a Little Excitement

Sometimes all you need to create a little excitement is to change the pace. The other night my husband and I went to bed early while two of our grown daughters watched TV down stairs. As most of you know, I am all about creating connection by using words during sex, but this night we changed things up by creating excitement through silence.

With the twinkle lights dimly lighting the room I started my move. The moment my husband tried to say anything, I quickly shushed him. Not quite sure what was going on, my husband tried again and without using any words, I quietly urged him, “Shhhh”. While he laid back contemplating what happened to his wife, I tuned into to the touch of his skin. As the mystery of the night built I softly touched my finger to his lips, looked into his eyes and reminded him one more time. The silence was almost deafening as he recognized with sudden realization what the evening held.

Eyes

Having sex in complete and total silence helped us to focus on our eyes to communicate with each other. I have this romantic idea that we can say things with our eyes. Rather than just staring at my husband, I try to read his eyes, or to tell him something with mine. Talk about an area of growth for my husband. Sometimes I quiz my husband, “what do you think I am saying now?” I will ask. With words and even “ahhhs” out of the picture, we dug deep to read each other’s eyes.

Sound

With silence filling our room, subtle sounds usually missed were amplified. We heard the pounding of our hearts fall in sync. Long luxurious breaths helped us relax until urgency prodded us forward. Every other sound in the house seemed to fall away to nothingness, until only the two of us existed.

Touch

The mystery of the night called us to completely cover each other skin to skin. Our bodies somehow melded and moved in tandem. My husband seemed to feel every tingle than ran through my body. Skin craved skin. With fluidity one position moved to another with no interruption or room for debate.

Total silence filled the room, as we tuned into each other’s eyes. My husband gauged the tension in my muscles and the movement of my body to chart my course. With our senses on high alert the night did not disappoint.

If you want to create a little excitement, and stretch each other to learn new things, try having sex in complete and total silence.

Creating Community at Awaken-Love

When I first found Christian sex blogs, I quickly realized that I learned as much from reading the comments as from the articles. The information authentically shared by individuals gave me a window into the struggles and triumphs of men and women just like me and my husband. But this window didn’t just inform me, it spurred me on towards growth. As I heard the testimonies of others I began to believe that God could change me too. Community creates growth, whether in person during an Awaken-Love class or anonymously on the Awaken-Love blog.

Meeting with a group of women during an Awaken-Love class helps us to not feel so alone. As we laugh and cry, we support each other. When one of us has a break through it fills us with hope. As we share our baggage and pray over each other, God changes us. I would love for every woman to experience the community at an Awaken-Love class but that’s not always possible.

Recently a woman living in South America contacted me about taking an Awaken-Love video class. Unfortunately, no English-speaking people live near, so I suggested she take the class on her own or with her husband. A few weeks later another woman living in Europe emailed wondering if some kind of online community existed for the video class.  God has amazing timing and I immediately thought about the woman in South America. So, this winter two women will watch the videos in two different countries, and then skype or email afterwards to process what they learn. The internet is an amazing tool to create community.

I want to work towards creating more of a community on the Awaken-Love blog. This Fall I wrote a blog post titled, Do We Want to Know – Even About Pornography. The article focused on equipping wives to create a safe place for their husband to come clean. Several men felt led to comment about the battle they faced. As they shared their journeys and encouraged each other, I have no doubt that other men reading were ministered to. Their advice to each other was probably far more valuable then mine. I loved how the community on the Awaken-Love blog strengthened each other.

One of my goals in 2018 is to nurture and create community on the Awaken-Love blog. I want the blog to be a safe place to comment about your experiences, ask real questions and hear from others. When you share your testimonies, you minister to readers all over. If you don’t want anyone to know who you are, then make up your name or use “anonymous”. Use your story to encourage others and to spur them on towards growth.

To help me create community on the Awaken-Love blog will you answer a few questions?

What  topics would you find helpful?

What do you wish other people understood?

What do you wish you understood?

What can I do better to foster community on Awaken-Love?

Twinkle Lights – Shifting the Atmosphere

The other day my husband and I were out on a date with another couple lamenting about the dreary winter weather. My friend said, “I really just need some twinkle lights to cheer me up.” What she probably said in jest, was actually an opportunity for her husband.

I tried to help him out, by jumping in, “Yes, twinkle lights for sure! That would help!” “Seriously you definitely need twinkle lights.” Wink, wink.

Crying Out

I kept hoping he would take her seriously. Because even though her comment was made in jest, deep down she was serious. She was crying out for help because she felt stuck in the doldrums of life. She really wanted him to be like the guy in Song of Songs that says, “Come away with me”. Let’s go have fun together.

Can you imagine how thrilled she would have been to walk in her bedroom, turn on the lights and have twinkle lights strung all around . I can just imagine her smile as she realized her husband heard her. That he went to the work to give her a little pick me up and bring fun back into their life.  This small gesture could have shifted the atmosphere in their marriage.

Guys, this is a real thing. A small unexpected surprise that cheers us up when we feel the weight of Christmas preparations, the darkness of winter making us sad or just the doldrums of life marching on. Such a simple thing and yet something that can add a little twinkle to our life.

If your wife needs a boost, surprise her and do something to make her smile.

What do you do to add a little twinkle to life?