Sex Savvy Wives: Learning the Power of Pleasure

sex-savvy-coverI am thrilled to have recently interviewed my wildly funny and insightful friend J of Hot Holy Humorous fame on her new book, Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives.

Like me, she’s a Christian wife singing the praises of nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage.

(We are a small but mighty group, determined to keep boosting our membership numbers!)

I was privileged to read the book before it went to print and truly believe J offers up some tips that will benefit many marriages.

(Plus, she put a redhead on the front cover, so obviously it’s a good book.  Not that I’m biased or anything).

Anyway, check out what she had to say in response to my questions…

1. You’ve written this great “how to” book for Christian wives to give them tips about sex.   How can your book benefit a couple?

Sex Savvy is intended for wives, but sex in marriage is a we thing. When one spouse struggles with the lovemaking, the sex isn’t that good for the other.

Likewise, when one spouse increases her understanding, participation, and savvy in the marriage bed, it benefits the couple.

They both enjoy the experience more and grow more intimate physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

2. In your experience as a blogger, what are the more common reasons you hear from wives as to why they are hesitant to be more sexually uninhibited with their husbands?  What’s holding them back?

The primary reasons I hear are (1) too busy and (2) sex doesn’t feel that great.

But we women are tough.

We wives tend to make time and overcome enormous obstacles for whatever we believe to be important and fulfilling. If we didn’t, our children would starve, go naked, and be illiterate—assuming they ever made it out of the womb.

Ultimately, we invest where we feel the rewards are worth the risk.

There’s real risk in the marriage bed. And we don’t always see the reward.

So I think the inhibitions run deeper. We hold back because the marital bedroom is a vulnerable place and we don’t fully know what we’re doing or even know why we’re doing it.

We have to strip down and show our less-than-perfect bodies to someone (our husband) who might focus on our flaws or, perhaps worse, focus like a laser tracker on our lady bits instead of our eyes and our brains and our hearts. We must put ourselves into awkward moments and awkward positions, and we might even make awkward noises.

We worry that we might not figure out how to make it feel wonderful or to achieve an orgasm, or we could lose control of ourselves in the heat of passion. We risk feeling exposed or odd or dirty or inadequate. It’s that very tender quality we women have at our core that makes us both beautiful and vulnerable in the sexual arena.

But once we understand how God designed sex to occur within covenant marriage – and for it be body-trembling, soul-engaging sex – we can open ourselves up to more confident lovemaking.

We can prioritize sex and take steps to learn how to be a better lover. We can release our inhibitions and revel in pleasure with our husband.

3. In the book and on your blog, you are vulnerable and transparent about your own journey and past struggles in your marriage.  Was there a light bulb moment for you when you realized that these struggles were definitely taking a huge toll on your relationship?

With the exception of a few years when my kids were very young, my husband and I have enjoyed a great sex life together.

In fact, it was our relationship that was absolutely terrible at times, and the sexual intimacy was a bit like duct tape holding us together. We still connected there, and I felt his tender, soul-filled love in the marriage bed. It served as a reminder that this man adored me at some level – even if  we scrapped like back-seat-on-the-family-road-trip siblings at times.

What did take its toll on me and our marriage was not letting go of wrong definitions of myself.

Based on my premarital promiscuity, I labeled myself in my head as a loose woman or “slut.” Even though I was Sadie-Sadie-married-lady, I read any troubles we experienced through that lens – blaming my past for anything going awry. As if God was smacking me over and over again for my past sins.

Perhaps the light bulb moment was realizing I hadn’t accepted God’s forgiveness and didn’t fully believe He wanted to bless our sexual intimacy in marriage.

Which was stupid really.

One day it just hit me like a bolt of greased lightning that if I said I believed in the Gospel, I’d better learn to let it invade my marital bedroom. I’d better accept God’s grace, walk in His way, and live as the new creature God made me to be. A new creature called holy wife. (Or hot, holy, and humorous wife, if you will.)

4. As a fellow writer on sex, I would love to hear what you think we as Christian wives can do to foster a healthier dialogue among our friends and within the church about sex in marriage.

I could write forever on this, but your readers have dishes in the sink, kids yelling from the other room, and/or a hubby to make love to, so let’s go with bullet points!

  • Be able to say the words. Stop shying away from using the word “sex” in church and around friends. God created sex, and He’s totally okay with you using the correct words for body parts and sexual intimacy.
  • Admit you believe sex is important in marriage. Too often conversations among wives focus on sex being “for him.” No, no, ladies. God created it for you too.
  • Offer advice or resources for struggling wives. That wife who admits she doesn’t enjoy it? Maybe she just needs you to pull her aside and give her hope and wisdom.
  • Support marriage classes and workshops. And make sure they don’t skip the sections on sexual intimacy!
  • Share a Christian sex book with a friend. Yeah, like my book, Sex Savvy, or Julie’s fabulous book, The Pursuit of Passion. You never know what difference it could make.

5. If you could give one piece of advice on how a wife can enjoy sex more, what would you say?

Tell your husband what you like.

That seems so basic, but we wives are often fearful of speaking up for what feels good to us. As if requesting a little more pleasure makes us high maintenance or overly sexed.

But what I hear from so many husbands is they enjoy sex bucketloads more when their wife is having a fab-you-lous time!

They’re okay with arousing and satisfying you. So let your husband know – through words, moving his hand or lips, or encouraging noises – what turns you on. You’ll enjoy yourself more, he’ll enjoy himself more, and everyone ends up a happy lover.

J. Parker is the author of Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives and writes the Hot, Holy & Humorous blog, where she uses a biblical perspective and a blunt sense of humor to foster Christian sexuality in marriage.

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6 thoughts on “Sex Savvy Wives: Learning the Power of Pleasure

  1. Larry B of larrysmusings.com says:

    As a man and a husband, I see the value of the message coming from the Christian wives who write on marriage and sexual intimacy. This is a helpful interview for wives and for their husbands. The husbands of wives who are struggling in this area of sexual intimacy need to be patient with their wives. It is so true what J says that husbands enjoy the sexual intimacy much more when they can see that their wife is enjoying it also (and is fully engaged, not just going through the motions). Husbands do desire that their wives enjoy sex. The sexual intimacy is designed to be a WIN-WIN. We, as married couples, need to make the effort to make it so.

    The one suggestion I can offer is that this message needs to get out to those who are newlyweds, and those who are engaged to be married and are thus preparing for married life. This is when so much frustration, disappointment and hurt could be averted. It really would be helpful if those who have been married for some years could offer their testimonies to the young people preparing for marriage. (Parents ought to step forward and not be afraid to speak to their now adult children!) They could say that the sexual intimacy is important and ought not be taken for granted nor trivialized. As well, sexual intimacy with your spouse is a beautiful and positive thing that binds you to your spouse. There is no place for shame or fear in your marital lovemaking. (Well meaning parents and friends could also direct the young people to these very helpful marriage blogs such as Julie’s and J’s blogs.)

    Lastly, as wives seek sexual enjoyment and fulfillment for themselves, please bear in mind that lovemaking involves give and take. There is sharing, yes, but there is also giving. Lovemaking ought not be approached by either the wife or the husband with a self-centered mindset. And, do not be afraid of giving more at times. Husbands value their wife even more and cherish her more when she, free of inhibitions, gives more.

    Thanks J and Julie for your efforts! (Sorry to be so long, but this interview is very important and ought to be widely read.)

  2. J at HotHolyHumorous says:

    Thanks so much, Larry! Julie’s blog is an incredible resource for wives. I feel so blessed to have her as a friend and a fellow advocate for healthy and godly sexuality in marriage.

  3. The Wife says:

    Regarding number two, what if it isn’t inhibitions? I see no point in having any with my husband as he has seen me at my worst (childbirth is not sexy, and he was there for all four of them). I had done some work in porn, both movies and pictures (my husband actually took a lot of my pictures at my request. He thought it was AWESOME, and lest you think I was raped or abused or sold into sex slavery when I was younger, I assure you I was not, I just used to really like sex and thought it was pretty great that I could legally make money doing something I enjoyed. Not all porn performers have tragic backgrounds), I was an exotic dancer for a while (my husband would occasionally get a sitter so he could come watch me work. Again, he thought it was awesome). I’m comfortable with my body, even if I don’t like the way it looks as much as I used to.

    Oh, and before anyone throws stones at me, look at your own sin first. Your sin is not less than my sin. I repented of mine almost 7 years ago. Have you repented of yours? Or are you still trying to hide it from God?

    Anyway, as I’ve gotten older, and as we’ve had more children, I find myself never in the mood at all. I used to love sex, now I dread it (just one more task on my to-do list, and I’m tired by the time we actually have time to have sex). My husband is loving and wonderful, wanting me to really enjoy sex, trying really hard to get me off first, plus he’s really hot with a sexy smile, so it’s not him or anything he’s doing wrong. It’s just so dang hard to get aroused that I don’t even try any more, and an orgasm, that takes more focus and concentration than I have. Even if we do it first thing in the morning, I just want to get it over with so I can go about my day (homeschooling mom of four, the to-do list is pretty long).

    So yeah, on bullet number two for me sex doesn’t feel good enough for me to put any effort into it, but it’s not inhibitions, an unforgiveness of my past, or a selfish husband. So what is it?

    And in bullet number five you suggest TELLING our husbands what turns us on. I have never had a problem letting him know what I want (I used to be a little selfish in bed, but my husband appreciated it since he never had to guess, and of course good husbands want their wives to enjoy sex). But now, NOTHING turns me on. I don’t even like it when he touches me because it seems to me that the only time he touches me is when he wants to have sex, though to be fair, he always wants sex (which is fine, he’s a healthy adult male, and I try to never make him feel bad for his normal, healthy drive). Then I’m reminded of my failure, the inability to enjoy sex, which makes me hate sex and his advances more, which kills any ability to even get aroused. It basically feels like my sex drive was a large jar of marbles and every time I had sex, one marble was removed until finally all the marbles were all gone. Kind of a twist on “use it or lose it” where it’s actually “use it (too much) and lose it.”

    I’m not worried that my husband is going to leave or have an affair, I just don’t want him to be unhappy. I’d be fine never having sex ever again, but I know he wouldn’t be, so I have sex for him. He wants me to enjoy it, but I just don’t think it’s possible for me any more.

  4. Remsly says:

    Dear “The Wife”
    Sex is more than a physical act. God’s intention with sex was for the husband & wife to become ONE (Genesis 2:24). ONE flesh in a physical, emotional and spiritual way. When you get married you are going to grow and learn together. Growing means changing. If you are saying that you don’t want your husband to be unhappy and you don’t enjoy sex with him, he is eventually going to be unhappy.

    WHY?
    Physical oneness, emotional oneness and spiritual oneness is what God means by becoming one flesh.
    Without the spiritual oneness and the emotional oneness the physical oneness is just an act of sex without any meaning, just for stress relieve or just for recreational purposes. And that is not what God intended sexual oneness in marriage to be like, but for a loving bond. The love in the oneness of marriage that God requires is a body, mind and soul love.

    If you are interesteted read my book: A Godly Marriage (www.agodlymarriage.com)

    Have a blessed day.
    Remsly

  5. Vishal says:

    I feel very sorry for women who feel “sex is for him” as your post says above. I hope my wife – who is a christian – never ever thinks that. I hope more than anything she feels sex is just as much for her as it is for me. In fact, there are times when we have sex where it’s the best ever when I pay more attention to my wife’s needs than mine. As such, if there’s one thing I hope your readers take from this post, I hope it’s that you should never think of sex just for him. If you do, you’ll hardly ever want to participate which will just make your sex life that much worse.

  6. Matthew says:

    that I’ll share with you how I think you can best deal with your situation. First, cut the cable! You need to prtcoet your children and sanctify your home. Second, draw your line in the sand. Addicts are selfish people and most men see porn as not that big of a deal and society agrees with them. The belief is if no one is getting hurt then it’s ok. They cannot see the damage it creates until they are forced to see the wreckage. It’s up to you how you draw your line but just asking him to stop ain’t gonna cut it. He has to have more incentive to stop than continue. Most if the time that means he has to find his bottom. For me that meant nearly losing everything. I don’t know what it look like for your husband. Third, demand recovery. He might not accept he has an addiction but $500.00 dollars a month can’t even be pawned off as a healthy hobby. There are many 12 step groups he can attend SA, SAA, and Celebrate Recovery just to name a few. If your church has a men’s sexual purity or accountability group that will work too. He has to be around other men with similar problems. He has to understand he’s not alone and that there is a way out. If that doesn’t work have him call me and I’ll share my story with him. It’s important for you to know that you are not alone as well. Many many couples have had porography invade their marriage. I hope this helps. Email me at and we can talk more. Take care.Jeff

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