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I was honored to recently speak on sexual intimacy in marriage during breakout sessions at a marriage conference at Reality Church in LaVista, Nebraska. I just love talking about sex (as many of you know).
I sat in on the main sessions by a phenomenal Christian speaker and counselor, Ken Howard out of the Kansas City area.
What I found particularly encouraging was the congruency between Ken's message and mine.
And I think we would have found even more congruency with the additional breakout sessions as well.
The overriding congruency?
You have to put in the effort. You have to walk in the direction of healthy interaction, problem solving, and communication.
Plain and simple, healthy patterns are intentional. If you want a healthy normal, you have to be intentional.
I know, this seems like common sense. Look at the why. But human nature being what it is, we aren't overly adept at addressing relationship issues, especially if they are sexual struggles.
If you struggle in your sexual intimacy, do you know why? Have you really dug into the why?
My guess is that until you look at the why, then any quick fixes just aren't going to work. One romantic getaway or one night of sending the kids to grandma's just isn't going to have lasting transformation on your sexual intimacy.
What will transform sexual intimacy in your marriage is doing the hard work (together and individually) of looking at why you struggle. Unpack it. Vulnerably do what it takes to heal and grow in a healthier direction.
Does that take courage? Yes. But your marriage (and sex within your marriage) is worth it!
We do not get a lot of practice talking about sex in an authentic way. We just don't.
The church tends to be heavily focused on messages about purity and messages about pornography (both needed messages, by the way).
BUT we aren't overly adept at giving significant voice to sexual intimacy in marriage -- how to nurture it, the fact God designed it to be fun and unifying, and the truth that phenomenal sexual connection is built rather than stumbled upon.
Society and mainstream media and movies give us the impression that sex is wildly easy and that pleasure comes naturally without much communication or effort. It is no wonder that we are lulled into believing that we will intuitively KNOW what to do to turn each other on.
Then you find yourself within real life marriage and you discover that sexual arousal and connection and understanding are not quite as instantaneous as Hollywood makes it all out to be.
You're going to have to talk and listen to each other. You're going to have to be specific. You'll need to be patient as you try and adjust and feel your way toward sexual pleasure and connection.
Want further reading? I have a bunch of posts on orgasm on The Orgasm Page (well worth the read). And for great posts on foreplay, check out Sex Begins in Church, Not Just in the Kitchen and How to Get an A in Foreplay and 5 Fabulous Truths About Sex You Won't See in a Romantic Movie.
Everyone is always asking me the secret to great sex. Certainly throw yourself into my first two points above. But also don't forget what I think is the most important pathway toward great sex in a marriage -- great friendship.
Want to be a better lover? Be a better friend. When you are intentional about your relationship and time together with your clothes on, it makes it easier to enjoy connecting with each other when your clothes come off.
For more reading on improving sexual intimacy in your marriage, I highly recommend 5 Must-Try Tips for Reviving a Sexually Dead Marriage. (I know. That title sounds a bit negative, but it really is a scrumptious read. Well worth it.)
Here's to better sex.
Copyright 2017, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.