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I was at the convenience store the other day, getting my kid a slushie, when I glance over at the cappuccino machine and see Maple Bacon Cappuccino.
Maple Bacon Cappuccino.
If this isn't variety gone awry, I'm not sure what is.
The thought that a marketing team in an office building far away threw the idea of Maple Bacon Cappuccino on the table is slightly disturbing.
The thought that people are now drinking it is even more puzzling.
We sure like our variety, don't we?
We are a society that not only expects ample choices, we are numb to the sheer number of them at the same time.
Can you imagine what your grandfather would have thought about Maple Bacon Cappuccino at his local gas station? For that matter, can you fathom what he would have even thought about cappuccino?!
Coffee isn't the only thing spilling over with an abundance of variety.
It seems there is a lot about variety within sexual intimacy that has become fairly mainstream.
So does variety really add anything to sexual intimacy in marriage?
I think it definitely can.
There are indeed married men and women who have grown weary of predictable boring marital sex.
Does this describe you? Predictable boring marital sex?
Have you talked to your spouse about variety?
I'm just saying that before you spring into action with some edible underwear, yet-tried position or bacon flavored body paint, it would be wise to broach the topic in an open discussion with your spouse.
It's good to keep this in mind too:
As for what is permissible within sexual intimacy, my general guidelines are narrowed down to these...
Guideline Number 1: No third parties.
That means no one else actually there participating, no one watching, no one depicted (video or print) and no fantasies about anyone other than your spouse.
Please don't try to convince me that a little porn in marriage is no big deal.
It is a big deal.
A big bad deal.
Attempts to bring third parties into your intimacy, even depicted third parties, chips away at the sacredness of exclusivity.
Guideline Number 2: No one is getting hurt.
Sex is meant to be a safe loving experience between a husband and a wife. If there is coercion or physical, emotional or spiritual abuse, those are big red flags.
How can anyone find sacredness and pleasure if their spouse is injuring them or demeaning them or demanding they perform certain sexual acts?
Some would say guidelines just throw limits around creativity and inhibit variety. But I think when a couple embarks on variety that meets those two criteria, then they actually have more freedom in their sexual intimacy.
They have freedom while feeling safe and secure in their marital bond. That is the best kind of freedom.
Sexual intimacy is designed to add a lot to a marriage, from being deeply emotionally bonding (as I wrote about in Why I Cried When We Made Love) to being enormously fun and lighthearted.
So what kind of variety is good variety?
Well, variety that adds something to the experience, but is not substituting for genuine connection.
I'm fine with these, but not if they are relied upon exclusively and not if they are getting in the way of authentically understanding each other's bodies.
(Sheila Gregoire does an excellent job addressing sex toys, among many other things, in her upcoming book The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex, which I will be reviewing very soon.)
Want to role play and do the whole "good cop / bad robber" thing?
Go for it.
Just as long as you can also still make love as your true selves and don't use role playing as a facade to hide behind.
Edible underwear, tasty body paint, whipped cream?
Sure. Have at it. Might not want to leave that stuff laying around though. Keep it out of sight and out of reach of the kiddos, because that's just awkward conversation material that your 5-year-old may choose to bring up (or out?!) at the neighborhood block party.
Want to try a different position?
If you've relegated your marital intimacy to missionary position only, then there is definitely other options that should be laid out on the table (pun intended).
I've written about positions before in my wildly-successful post, Hey, I'm A Housewife, Not a Gymnast.
I think wife on top is a good one to try if you are just out of the gate on the whole "different position" venture.
A very funny and kind friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous, did send me an absolutely hilarious book, "The Cookie Sutra," which portrays a gingerbread couple in various sexual positions.
For purposes here, we'll assume they are married cookies in a completely monogamous relationship.
After reading the entire book, I admit, I was aroused. And hungry.
Which brings me to food.
You can indeed incorporate food into your sexual play, because feeding each other can be incredibly sensual.
I'd lean toward sweet foods if possible, because sliced up deer sausage doesn't ring with seduction, if you know what I mean.
I'd do sushi, though. My husband, sadly, is not a sushi fan, but would probably do the deer sausage. Go figure. Suffice to say, we don't incorporate a lot of food.
Anyway, you get the point. Pick foods that add to the experience not detract from it.
Want to get crazy in the treehouse or make love on the new sectional you just had delivered for the family room? More power to you.
I think couch sex can be totally hot, because, well... it affords a couple some angles and positions that aren't as readily available in a bed.
If you are having sex in a location other than your bedroom, be wise about maintaining your exclusivity -- make sure little ones (or anyone else for that matter) are not privy to viewing you.
If after reading all this you are wondering what God thinks of sexual intimacy variety in marriage, please remember that sex was God's idea. Meant for good.
This is the God who came up with the orgasm, so I'm fairly certain He recognizes that you might want to explore various ways reaching it. This is the God who blessed us with multiple senses to heighten our sexual encounter with our spouse.
He's such a nice generous God.
Now go offer up one of the best forms of worship in a marriage and have fun making love with your spouse.
It's a way better choice than drinking a Maple Bacon Cappuccino.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.