In my first marriage, I was quite inhibited sexually. Or maybe I just didn’t know what I didn’t know? That could be, too.
At any rate, I didn’t have much of an appreciation for being sexually uninhibited with my husband at the time, and it damaged our relationship.
Now with a few decades of wisdom behind me, I understand better. For several years in my current marriage, I have embraced more sexual freedom—a lot more sexual freedom—much to the benefit of myself, my husband and our relationship.
As a writer and speaker on sexual intimacy in marriage, I have heard many people allude to or come right out and speak about the problem of sexual inhibition in their marriage. Not surprisingly, it can be a huge source of discord, as a husband and wife try to find balance between what would bring more sexual passion to their marriage and what would push too many uncomfortable boundaries for one or both of them.
And actually, some couples just have the discord. They aren’t trying to find the balance. One spouse wants more sexual freedom and the other spouse remains unwilling to break out of predictable and tame sexual routines.
Now hear my heart. I have said this many times before, but becoming uninhibited sexually does not mean compromising on godly principles for sexual intimacy in marriage. I won’t unpack all of that again here, but if you want a deep dive into what I mean, check out my post Sexual Freedom in Marriage: Are You Embracing Sex to the Fullest?
If you have struggled with feeling too inhibited sexually, there is a path beyond such inhibition. My guess is that you have spent a lot time getting in your own way, and my encouragement to you is that things can look differently.
You can get out of your own way. And you and your spouse can more fully enjoy all God has to offer your marriage sexually.
I have two tips for you to consider:
1. Decide if you truly want to be less inhibited.
Sometimes I will hear someone say, “I need to be less inhibited when it comes to sex.” My response to that statement is an important clarifying question.
“Do you need to be less inhibited sexually or do you want to be less inhibited sexually?”
This. Is. So. Important.
If you think you just need to do something, that will never be a sustaining motivator. We all have said things like “I need to eat healthier” or “I need to exercise more” or “I need to save money in an emergency fund.” Sometimes we say these things because we think they are the right things to say or because we have a growing suspicion they are true or because someone else has implied they are what we need.
That’s all head knowledge. That’s not heart. Only when we make the switch from thinking we just need to do something to actually wanting to do that something do we find the heart to build lasting momentum.
My observation (in myself and others) has been that talking about “needing” to do something easily becomes a facade for actually doing that something. The chatter becomes enough. We become comfortable with the intention, all while drifting further and further away from the follow through.
Why? Well…follow through is hard. And the payoff is rarely immediate.
So before we go on to my second tip, I humbly and passionately encourage you to sit with yourself for awhile and decide if you genuinely want to be less inhibited. Or do you just think you need to be? My hope is you want more sexual freedom in your marriage.
If you do, I encourage you to start talking about it that way. Whether you are speaking non-verbally to yourself or you are actually sharing this outloud (with your spouse or a safe confidante), stop using the word need and start using the word want. “I want to be less inhibited sexually.”
2. Make a pro/con list.
This is an age-old method, but I think there is a reason it has staying power. We universally can apply it to so many situations where we are at a crossroads. Making a pro/con list helps us visually recognize what is at stake.
So what would be the benefits of you becoming more uninhibited sexually? And what would be the risks if you don’t?
Pull out a piece of paper, divide it into those two columns, and take a deep breath. And then begin writing without a filter. Don’t edit yourself. Really think it through and ponder on what would be good outcomes of you growing in sexual confidence and freedom (pros) and what would be negative consequences if you maintained status quo and didn’t grow (cons).
Now some of you may have already wisely observed that I offered up a pre-determined way to do the pro/con list. You are welcome to look at it from any angle you prefer. What I see as pros may also conjure up some cons for you.
My point just is to get you laying it all out there on a piece of paper. Obviously, my hope is your pros for becoming less inhibited sexually outweigh your cons, because… well… I’m a fan of a married couple mutually embracing the freedom God offers them sexually.
I want you both to love sex and to look forward to it—not only to reveling in your own pleasure, but also to bringing incredible pleasure to the person you married.
When I think of the many times my husband have enjoyed incredibly fulfilling lovemaking, it is when we are overcome with the sexual freedom God gave us. We aren’t thinking about what other people would think of what we are doing. We aren’t questioning if what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord, because His affirmation is evident. Sex in those moments is passionate privilege. And we know it. We feel it with everything in us.
No surprise, but I savor those moments of lovemaking way more than the times when we are just going through the motions.
Before I wrap up, I want to leave you with one more note not inspiration.
Once you become less inhibited sexually, the mental gymnastics start to quiet down. The self doubt about your sexual abilities starts to fade. I believe less sexual inhibition compels better communication between a husband and wife about what they enjoy sexually and what they are comfortable with. It builds oneness in new ways.
And on my list, oneness will always be a pro.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.