Dr. Juli Slattery’s Insights on Sex and Marriage
Recently I reviewed Dr. Juli Slattery's new book 25 Questions You're Afraid to Ask About Love, Sex and Intimacy. (Great book, by the way!)
I had the opportunity to ask Juli some additional questions and wanted to share her answers with you today.
I hope you can glean from her wisdom and see what applies to sexual intimacy in your marriage:
What is a common misconception you hear from Christian wives about sex?
Probably the two most common misconceptions are these:
1. If we are “sexually compatible,” great sex should just happen.
Yes, there are some couples who have drives and desires that are more aligned than others, but the idea of “sexual compatibility” is a myth that makes a lot of couples feel like they are getting ripped off.
Every couple will have issues they have to work through in the bedroom. Developing a great sex life takes time, patience, and the determination to grow through obstacles rather than just settling. I believe any couple can develop a passionate sex life if they are willing to work on it.
2. It’s ok if sex is great for my husband, but not for me.
I see many couples building a sex life almost exclusively around their husband’s sexual needs. I see other women feeling like something is wrong with them because they have sexual needs.
God designed sexual intimacy to be pleasurable for both men and women. I Corinthians 7:1-5 says that both the husband and the wife should work toward pleasing each other in bed. Women are a bit more complicated emotionally and sexually (surprise, surprise!), so it may take more effort for a couple to understand her sexual response.
Knowing what you know now, if you could go back to when you were first married and give yourself one piece of advice about sex in marriage, what would you say?
Great question! I’d tell myself not to get discouraged by the problems we faced in the bedroom. What I’ve realized a few decades later is that God used even those problems to teach me and my husband about intimacy.
Whatever happens, don’t fight each other. Recognize that you have an enemy who wants to destroy the beautiful gift of marriage and sexuality. Learn to fight as a team to build intimacy.
It honestly may take years of dealing with the past, addressing medical or emotional issues, and learning to work through differences, but it’s worth it!
What inspired you to begin speaking and writing about sexual intimacy?
It definitely was never on my radar. I’m naturally a shy person and I don’t like conflict, so I’ve been out of my comfort zone quite a bit.
I wrote my first book on the topic, No More Headaches, because I kept getting asked to speak on the topic and I was learning how to overcome my own “headaches” as a wife.
Starting the ministry Authentic Intimacy in 2012 was nothing short of a direct call from God. He gave me a glimpse of His heart for women all over the world who are suffering because of sexual issues.
He gave me a great passion to see women set free and to empower them to take this ground back in their lives and their marriages.
The title of your most recent book is “25 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask About Love, Sex and Intimacy.” Why do you think women are afraid to ask these questions?
I think women are afraid for a number of reasons. They think they are the only one struggling because no one talks about things like abuse recovery, porn addictions, masturbation, sexual pain, sexual shame and boundaries in the bedrooms.
I think women are also afraid to hope. Maybe they’ve shared with someone in the past only to get shut down.
Sadly, some women are afraid to ask questions because the church has been afraid to answer questions. I've often heard from pastors comments like, "Our women don't struggle with these issues."
I highly recommend Juli's book 25 Questions You're Afraid to Ask About Love, Sex and Intimacy, as well as other resources you can find on her site Authentic Intimacy. You can read my review of her book at this link.
Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.