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I was having a conversation with someone recently about how powerful it can be for a wife to allow her husband to undress her before sex.
I realize for some of you, your guard went up when you read the headline. I've heard from enough women's hearts to know there are indeed reasons behind this.
Maybe you struggle with body image.
The thought of your husband seeing you naked, let alone being the one responsible for getting you to that point, raises your anxiety.
Or, on a much more serious note, maybe being undressed brings with it a whole slew of triggers from either past sexual abuse or past promiscuous relationships.
I don't want to minimize this pain, but in the same regard, I want to lovingly encourage you to move toward receiving healing for these wounds so that the right sexual relationship with your husband is not held hostage.
Or, on a lighter note, possibly it just hasn't occurred to you that undressing each other could even offer much to your intimacy.
Some would even say it seems awkward. "What's the point? Why don't we just move things along and get naked already?"
As your sister in Christ, I encouragingly offer these 3 reasons your husband undressing you may be one of the best things for your sexual intimacy:
1. It ushers in healthy vulnerability.
There is something about letting your defenses down and trusting your husband with this.
Some may say it's just clothing... "what's it really matter that my husband is unbuttoning my pants, slipping my shirt off or unhooking my bra?"
I say it matters a lot.
Vulnerability is indeed a scary place in a relationship, but it is the only place to go for an emotional intimacy that cannot be discovered any other way.
Ahhh... but aren't we talking about physical intimacy if my husband is undressing me? Yes, but for physical intimacy to be profound, it's going to have to involve a whole lot of emotional intimacy.
2. It symbolically demonstrates 1 Corinthians 7.
All that biblical talk about our bodies not being our own within the loving sexual context of a marriage -- is that just a bunch of outdated gibberish from long ago?
I think when we give our husband free rein in the moments before lovemaking to take our clothes off, we are speaking something non-verbally that reflects 1 Corinthians 7.
"I am yours to unwrap, Lover. I am yours to explore. And I trust you with that."
Just like sex, the privilege of being undressed is reserved only for my spouse. No one else gets to journey to that level of intimacy with me. It is indeed a private club reserved for just the two of us. There are no other members (which means, of course, we can choose the dress code! Or the undress code, as it might be!)
3. It heightens desire.
Sex in marriage can and will become routine, if we don't fight against that tendency.
There's a fine line between comfortably knowing what is a "sure thing" in arousing your husband... and what is simply a repeated pattern of intimacy that rolls out like a script of a familiar play.
Anticipation is powerful. It will indeed teach us about new levels of arousal if we allow it to.
Study after study has shown that guys tend to be more visually stimulated than women. As a wife, you may think your husband undressing you offers little to the encounter. I am willing to bet, though, that your husband would beg to differ on that take.
Don't trust my opinion on it. Ask your husband if he would like to undress you. And ask him if you can undress him.
Sometimes nakedness can take on whole new meaning, depending on the context, ranging from indescribably tender to ravenously playful.
Is allowing your spouse to undress you something to incorporate into every sexual encounter?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But to completely dismiss it altogether would be leaving some valuable sexual territory undiscovered.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.