Healthy Sexual Vulnerability Doesn’t Happen Overnight


healthy-sexual-vulnerabilityHow sexually vulnerable are you with your spouse?

Are you able to be transparent about what you desire sexually? Do you feel safe to talk about what causes you sexual struggle or apprehension?

Healthy sexual vulnerability is amazing territory in a marriage. Profound. But it takes time. Doesn’t happen overnight. At least not for most couples.

My husband and I are 17 years in and we are still learning what it means to be sexually vulnerable. We are still discovering new sexual pleasure and connection.

For most people, myself included, it takes courage to speak openly about sex. And it can take courage in the throes of passion to express yourself. There is something deeply reassuring about being able to verbally say something feels good or to moan uninhibited in pleasure. Sometimes we are vulnerable in the way we move our body or use our hands or guide our spouse.

I think countless couples are missing out on all sex can be in their marriage for no other reason than they haven’t learned how to talk openly about their sexual intimacy.

Not talking authentically about what is or isn’t happening sexually in their relationship has become their normal. Not being vulnerable and pressing through awkwardness has become their normal. My first husband and I definitely would have fallen into that category.

We struggled tremendously to communicate about sex. We didn’t make the effort we should have at the time, and that lack of communication definitely took a toll. I thought our sexual problems would simply resolve on their own without intentional effort.

It’s crazy when I think about it now.

I wonder how many other people take the same approach? A lot of other people, I’m sure. I know what my first husband and I went through is not unique. It’s why I was so intentional once I remarried that sex would no longer be left up to chance.

I wasn’t going to leave it up to chance that my current husband and I would get it right. And while we have had our fair share of sexual bumps and miscommunication, I think our intentionality from the get go put us on a consistent path toward healthy sexual vulnerability.

We feel safe and free, especially when we are making love.

But it didn’t happen overnight. Our willingness to thoroughly enjoy sex with each other has a lot to do with the vulnerability we keep feeding.

I know I’ve shared a lot in this post about being vulnerable about sharing desires and pleasure; what you hunger for sexually and what you enjoy. But it’s important to note that healthy sexual vulnerability is about being able to set boundaries, too. Within the safety of marriage, a husband and wife should be able to say “no” to what they see as unreasonable or ungodly sexual requests. 

We should feel safe to speak up when something is making us uncomfortable. We should feel safe to share vulnerably about anything painful in our sexual past, especially if unresolved issues from that past are wreaking havoc in our sexual present.

That kind of vulnerability doesn’t happen overnight either. Some would say it takes even more courage to shed light on where we feel nervous or inexperienced or hesitant or scared. But there is something about that kind of healthy sexual vulnerability that is profound, too.

It’s not just about the freedom in pleasure. It’s equally about the freedom in being authentic about our reservations and trusting we won’t be judged.

What about you and your spouse? Would you say healthy sexual vulnerability is foundational in your marriage? Can you talk about sex—while clothed and while naked?

Healthy sexual vulnerability doesn’t happen overnight. But it can happen. With the right heart attitude and willingness to speak up, it can happen. The reward is sweet when you both walk in that direction. Are you willing to walk in that direction?

For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts, as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.

Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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4 thoughts on “Healthy Sexual Vulnerability Doesn’t Happen Overnight

  1. afriend says:

    Julie, how true. I’ve made a note of the sentence “I think countless couples are missing out .. for no other reason than that they haven’t learned to talk openly about their sexual intimacy”.. What an incredibly sad sentence to have written.
    My wife and I are definitely in that category.
    This week my Mum has been in hospital. Dad told us he thought she was going to die imminently. She isn’t, but it focused our mind wonderfully and I was able to share some issues with him that we haven’t shared before. It’s opened a door to a new way of relating and I almost feel I need a similar door to open in the relationship with my wife. It feels terrifying to share how desperate I am for more intimacy thinking of the response I am likely to get and I know I need to tread carefully, caringly and wisely.
    Does anyone have any suggestions of ways they have done this? I am very open to God finding a way but he doesn’t seem to have done so yet. Thanks for writing and caring Julie 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    You are spot on, Julie! This is one of the reasons for our lack of sex. We are both too shy and inhibited to talk about sex. Since it has been this way for over 40 years, it is probably too late for any big changes. I am praying our children will not fall into this trap.

  3. A says:

    Dear afriend An open door to talk about sex with your wife is something that takes prayer (we still never pray together about sex) but we know we both do in private I don’t know why but it is that way. We have been married 36 years I dont know how long you have been married. We had a good marriage for the 36 years because though it all we were a forgiving couple regardless of the pain. No detail needed. Why was it that it took 25 years to be uninhibited to talk about sex together. My answer is being able to see sex as God see’s your sex life. NUMBER ONE dont expect sex that either one of you would have guilt or fisical pain from. So now what?? You stuck in a rut. That was my problem she had fisical pain during sex and we were to inhibited to talk freely about sex together. The first step is talking about why God wants you two have uninhibited sex. One because God not only hates porn and sex any sex that is not respectful to one and other as well. It’s called making love. God wants to have the two of you trying to play sexually together. Believe that together. When you talk about sex together start by having long conversations about Gods joy of making sex for the man and the woman not just for procreation but for making love. My wife and I obviously are not procreating. Her best orgasms are very loud and free. Love that response.

  4. Running Deeper says:

    Another great post Julie. Thanks. My wife & I are 40yrs in and I feel like we are just beginning! We are becoming more and more vulnerable and more and more open. This has allowed us to out anything and everything on the table for discussion and it has had the effect of drawing us into a deeper level of intimacy. Blogs like your have helped us tremendously in this area.

    afriend, it is terrifying yet very rewarding. I was terrified!! Being open & vulnerable in other areas, apart from sex, helped me overcome this. Also, my wife now have a habit of praying together when we engage in sex, usually after we have enjoyed sex but sometimes before and this has helped me personally! I don’t think there’s any easy way but simply run to fear not from it. After all, love is the absence of fear and I want love to be what motivates me in what I experience with my wife, not fear.

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