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That headline strikes you as odd, doesn't it?
Well, I was on my fellow blogger Paul Byerly's site and came across his very insightful post Sex: It's Not Just Physical.
Paul's niche audience is husbands, and in this particular post, he does a great job of encouraging men to recognize that even though they may be highly tuned into the physical aspects of sex, they would be wise to broaden their lens and grasp the other dynamics as well.
A husband shows great respect and consideration for his wife (and for himself, really) when he equally appreciates the emotional and spiritual angles when he and his wife make love.
All this got me thinking about how we as wives also need to recognize that there is indeed a raw physicality to sex that is God-designed and worthy of attention.
If you as a wife find yourself thinking (or worse, saying) that your husband is merely an "animal" because he thoroughly enjoys the physical aspects of sex, I encourage you to consider how such a judgmental tone is casting a destructive shadow on your marriage bed.
I've long believed that there is a lot going on when a husband and wife make love -- emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
But as wives, I think we can be way too quick to marginalize the physical aspects.
We downplay the significance of pleasure.
We reduce sex to a simple set of steps, all in an effort to get it over with as soon as possible. Touch him here. Kiss him here. Yada. Yada. Let him come. We're done.
We minimize or disregard the sheer joy of offering our husband the indescribable physical experience that he ethically cannot get from someone else.
Some wives are even repulsed by what are indeed God-designed natural responses in a man desiring his wife. His erect penis. Him ejaculating within his wife. His arousal at the sight of her breasts, her legs, her entire body.
Personally I find it ravenously rewarding to know that I can sexually satisfy my husband in a way that leaves not even one ounce of doubt that we both enjoyed it.
Did you catch that? My husband's sexual satisfaction is intensified by my genuine enjoyment in the experience as well.
Certainly God in all His infinite wisdom knew what He was doing when He designed sex as He did.
In His design, sexual intimacy between a husband and wife lacks nothing. It is indeed the perfect combination of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual in a one-flesh way that simply cannot be replicated through any other means.
We as wives would be wise to not just accept the physical dimension half-heartedly or grudgingly, but rather to embrace it, learn about it, lean into it and love it. Sex: It's not just emotional.
Want to read more? A good place to start is this post about the Wonderful Male Body.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
Okay, this is a rarity for me.
I'm writing a post simply to point you to another post. In this case, it is a post about massage written by Paul Byerly (better known as The Generous Husband).
I've been to massage therapy school (seriously, I have)... so I know full well the healthy benefits of massage, especially between a husband and a wife.
I particularly like that Paul has separate links to three types of massage (Non-Sexual, Sexual, and Orgasmic). Wow! Read them all.
Let's just say, after reading the orgasmic one, I'm feeling a need to put the kids to be early tonight so my husband and I can lock ourselves in our bedroom.
Is 6 p.m. too early of a bedtime?! I mean, I know my kids are 13 and 7, but...
...they look tired.
And I feel "stressed."
I think I need a massage.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
This is Part 4 of our series “What Altars Are You Sacrificing Your Sexual Intimacy On?”
If you feel too tired for sex, listen in to what Paul Byerly has to say in today's post. Paul and his wife Lori are such strong advocates for nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage. I'm fortunate to have them part of this series.
You’re dead tired, and he wants sex. Why would a man ask for sex when his wife is so tired she’s likely to fall asleep before he's done? Is that reasonable?
Clearly, it is neither loving nor reasonable to expect sex in this situation; however, being too tired for sex most days is also not reasonable.
In my experience most men are understanding of being too tired – if it's not the norm. When he hears "too tired" frequently, it is, at best, a problem, and at worst an indication that he doesn't matter much to his wife.
Think about it from his point of view – you're usually too tired for lovemaking, but still managing to do all kinds of things for others day after day. You can see how a fellow might take that as "You are not very important to me." If that is not the message you want to send, you need to do something.
To a great degree, tiredness is a season of life issue. As your kids get older, you will be less busy and less sleep deprived. When the kids can do more for themselves, you won't be as exhausted at the end of each day, and you won't be worried about crying or a knock on the door just as you are starting to enjoy sex.
But that is then, and this is now.
How do you deal with the issue until then?
How can you have enough energy to enjoy sex the way you want?
How do you keep your sex life alive so it's there when you have the time to desire and enjoy it?
How can you keep hubby from being grumpy and unhappy?
Start by explaining to him what I just said about time of life, and assure him that it is going to get better over time. Let him know you are aware of the situation, and you want to find ways to make it better now. Hearing this from you will help – especially if you follow up with action.
One problem is that most sex happens at bedtime – when we are the most tired. If you do the typical mommy obstacle course/endurance race each evening, it's difficult to be interested in sex – even if you're not too sleepy to care.
One solution is to help your husband understand that the evening grind is not compatible with you wanting sex. Then ask him to help change things. What can he do to help you, at least some nights? If he put the kids to bed, while you soaked in the tub – in blissful quiet – might you be more open to, if not downright desirous of, a bit of love play?
Another idea - arrange a few days a month for morning sex. Maybe every other Saturday he gets up to make sure the kids have breakfast, then he comes back to enjoy a morning romp with you.
Explain to him that if you get up and see the kids, your mommy mind kicks in, and that is not what he wants. You get to relax in bed while he does the necessary parenting, and then you both get to enjoy sex – what a deal.
There are other ways to morning sex happen. One couple told us they have a Sunday morning sex date – he drops the kids at Sunday School, runs home to join her in bed, then they dress and go to church smiling. (Obviously this works if your kids are a little older and your church does not require a parent be on premises when their kids are in Sunday School).
Be on the lookout for the chance to have sex in the afternoon or early evening. Any time the kids are away, grab the opportunity.
Alternating car-pooling for after school events with another family can give you occasional home-alone-together time. If all your kids are in school, you could have him come home "for lunch" occasionally (or both of you, if you work outside the home); or get wild and meet him at a hotel once a month on his lunch hour. (Grab something to eat during afterglow.)
Another way to meet his need, show you care, and still not ignore your need for sleep, is to learn how to pleasure him by hand; not instead of "real sex," but in addition to. It may take a bit to learn (ask him, he should be glad to help you get the hang of it), but once you do, this is a fast easy way to take the edge off.
Grab him in the morning or join him in the shower, and give him a bit of pleasure and release. You can also use this at bedtime when you're tired but you know he is feeling the need. By the way, if you offer this before he asks for anything, you get bonus points for initiating.
Aside from being fun and leaving him less frustrated, these kinds of things show him you care and let him know you are committed to meeting his wants, needs, and desires. Making an effort really helps in another way -- it's easier for a guy to cope with sexual frustration when he is sure his bride understands and is working to take good care of him.
Finally – studies have repeatedly found that being short sleep is very harmful. Most of us suffer if we get only seven hours most nights. If you are regularly too tired for sex, you are too tired.
Being too tired for sex is a warning sign that you need to make changes to get the sleep you need. (For husbands reading this, be sure to check out my post Her Sleep Is Important To Your Marriage.)
Don’t miss the other posts in this on-going series! Sign up with the RSS-thingy so you can catch what other great marriage bloggers will be saying about the Altars We Sacrifice Sexual Intimacy On.
Ahh. A new year. When you think of sexual intimacy in marriage in the upcoming year, what emotions stir within you? Anticipation? Excitement? Dread? Are you wanting things to look different -- maybe even better?
I know in my last post 3 Reasons Your Husband Likes It When You Climax, I mentioned that my next post would touch upon why "faking it" hurts your relationship. That's coming.
First, though, I want to give props to Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband fame. He recently named my blog as one of his Top 10 for 2010. This is a huge honor people, because Paul and his wife Lori are forerunners in talking about sex in the Christian arena. They rock! They aren't afraid to talk about sex in an authentic way, all in an effort to really encourage couples in their marriages. We need more of what the Byerlys offer -- a positive and godly take on sexual intimacy.
The internet does not have to be commandeered by detestable sexual behavior, which deeply grieves God's heart. The more we celebrate blogs and resources that talk about sexual intimacy as the Lord intended it, the more we say "no" to the enemy's schemes. I'm just saying. Let's do what we can to stop giving that crafty Satan a foothold.
Now, I'm not trying to just draw attention to my blog. Check out the list and you'll see the other tremendous blogs Paul has included. I have become acquainted with some of these bloggers and consider it a huge honor to be hanging out on the same list with them.
What does 2011 hold for you? Now's the time to take stock of what's happening in your marriage sexually. Now. Not later. Not in six months. Not when the kids are grown. Not when the house is paid off. Not when the job stress settles down. Now.
Don't know where to start? Well, my suggestion is start with God. Vulnerably lay your heart before Him... all the hurt, all the crap, all the frustration, all the confusion, all the disappointment, all the desires. (Yeah, I know... not an easy thing to do. But hey, He already is well aware of what is breaking your heart. You might as well press into Him and talk to Him about it).
And as He leads, take it upon yourself to intentionally seek resources to help you grow, learn, assess, and move in the direction of healthy sexual intimacy patterns. Explore fresh insights through blogs, books, seminars, etc.
Here's my mantra that I say often... sexual intimacy is such a sensitive issue, especially among Christians, that you have to have the courage to glean what resonates with your situation and then let the rest go. Don't be afraid of your ability to do this. Too often I meet Christians who are in the muck of horrible patterns in their sexual intimacy in marriage, and yet they quickly become paralyzed when they look closer at sexual intimacy resources, even Christian resources.
Have you ever stumbled across a few things in Christian resources that don't jive with your beliefs, so you "throw the baby out with the bathwater"? Come on. You're brighter than that. A better approach is to glean, glean, glean. Look for the nuggets of gold. Keep reading. Keep growing. Keep praying. Find safe confidantes (women confidantes for women and men confidantes for men). At any rate, don't settle for painful isolation when there is even a glimmer of hope that things could look phenomenally different sexually or you could at least discover new ways to journey.
So, does this blog make me hot? If there are topics you would like to see addressed here, let me know, okay? My goal is to blog at least 3-4 times a week (isn't that crazily ambitious?!! We'll see. The year's still young. And I'm already jacked up on caffeine today, so that's maybe what is making me a little delusional).
Never miss a post by subscribing to the RSS feed thingy. I have no idea how that works, but I'm hoping to become a little less technically challenged in 2011 (see...there's the caffeine speaking again).
And if you want an opportunity to win a free book once a month, get on my eNewsletter list. I randomly pull a name from that list each month. Just gave books away to Laura in California and Joe in Texas. They both chose the book by my friends Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo called Stripped Down. I reviewed it on my blog here.
Happy 2011! Here is to a new year. Fresh beginnings. Makes me think of Lamentations... His mercies are indeed fresh every morning. Every single morning. That's the God we serve and love.
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert, Sexual Intimacy in Marriage Blog.