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Monday, October 8, 2012

We are on Day 8 of my 13-Day Intimacy Challenge, and we are returning to the important topic of sex. Hopefully by now you have seen that intimacy goes way beyond the physical and involves your entire being. The truth is, however, that physical intimacy is an area of struggle for many couples. So we are going to spend the next few days exclusively looking at how to grow sexual intimacy.

Today we address sexual communication, an issue than many, if not most couples struggle with. Why is it that even couples who can seemingly talk about anything, struggle to talk about their sex lives with each other?

The answer is simple: vulnerability.

There are few topics that make us feel more vulnerable than the topic of sex. In the bedroom our insecurities, self-doubt and fears are uncovered more easily than any other place. As a result, we clam up. We suffer in silence. We play guessing games. We hide in our shame and fear, even to the point of refusing to initiate sex.

But this is NOT how it is supposed to be. Intimacy is about being fully known and yet fully loved, so it is not possible to experience deep physical intimacy if we can’t talk about our sex lives with each other. Sexual intimacy requires that we disclose our sexual selves.

You have probably heard Genesis 2:24 at every wedding you’ve been to, but how often have you heard verse 25?
(24) For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  (25) The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Naked without shame is how it is meant to be, and it goes way beyond simply having sex with the lights on.




Day 8 for Wives
Can We Talk?




Today I want you to give some honest thought to how well you and your husband communicate about sexual matters. Are you willing to be vulnerable and “naked” with him about your sexual desires, your lack of sexual desire, your passions and frustrations?

Consider where the boundaries are regarding your communication about sex. What topics do you feel are off-limits? Are there past painful issues that have been left to fester and remain unresolved, even after years?

Think back over the last 30 days and consider the following questions:
  • Did you talk at all about your sex lives? If so, what emotions were stirred up in you: excitement, fear, joy, pain, guilt, tension, intimidation, defensiveness? Why?
  • Did you at some point want to ask for something but were afraid of your husband’s reaction?
  • Did your husband ask for something that you weren’t comfortable with? Did you handle it in a way that would encourage him to ask for something else he was interested in?
  • Did you refuse or were you refused sex? How did it make you feel? Did you communicate that to your husband?
A recent study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and conducted by Cleveland State University concluded that sexual satisfaction is directly linked to how freely you talk about sex, especially whether or not you are able to talk during the sex act itself, which brings me to your challenge for today.



I’m not going to challenge you to an intense heart to heart discussion today with your husband about sex, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. I know if sexual communication has been difficult in the past, it will be almost impossible to dive headlong into such a conversation out of the blue.

Your challenge for today is to communicate with your husband during sex.

Your husband longs to please and satisfy you sexually. He wants to be your hero in the bedroom, perhaps more than any other realm of your marriage. The unfortunate truth is that he might be completely clueless about how to do that. Furthermore, he might be ashamed to admit it.

Today’s challenge will be easier for some than for others. For some, simply telling your husband that you want to make love will be difficult enough and a real stretch, especially if you rarely initiate sex. If this describes you, that’s your challenge.

For the rest of you, ask for something specific while you are making love. But here’s the deal, ladies, you’ll need to be specific. Men are often thick headed (I can say that, I am one) when it comes to what our wives want. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, it just means we don’t get it.

So, for men, vague instructions rarely get the job done. Instead of asking him to “slow down,” say, “Before we do that let’s kiss for a few minutes.” Instead of saying, “That’s uncomfortable for me,” say “lets shift a little this way and see if that feels better,” and show him. Don’t just say what you don’t want, say what you do want.

Think about what you might like more of during tonight’s encounter. More touching? More foreplay? More kissing? More orgasms?Ask for it!

If asking for something is too hard for you, as an alternative, simply be more vocally expressive. Let him know if something he is doing makes you feel good. Don’t assume he’ll know. He probably won’t. Use both words and sounds to inform him of your pleasure. It will light his fire, I promise.



If you are feeling bold and really are willing to consider his desires, ask him,
“Is there one thing that we do in the bedroom that you wish we would do more often?”









Day 8 for Husbands
  Can We Talk?


 
Today I want you to give some honest thought to how well you and your wife communicate about sexual matters. Are you willing to be vulnerable and “naked” with her about your sexual desires, your lack of sexual desire, your passions and frustrations?

Consider where the boundaries are regarding your communication about sex. What topics do you feel are off-limits? Are there past painful issues that have been left to fester and remain unresolved, even after years?

Think back over the last 30 days and consider the following questions:
  • Did you talk at all about your sex lives? If so, what emotions were stirred up in you: excitement, fear, joy, pain, guilt, tension, intimidation, defensiveness? Why?
  • Did you at some point want to ask for something but were afraid of your wife’s reaction?
  • Did your wife ask for something that you weren’t comfortable with or that you felt you couldn’t do well? Did you handle it in a way that would encourage her to ask for something else she was interested in?
  • Did you refuse or were you refused sex? How did it make you feel? Did you communicate that to your wife?
A recent study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and conducted by Cleveland State University concluded that sexual satisfaction is directly linked to how freely you talk about sex, especially whether or not you are able to talk during the sex act itself, which brings me to your challenge for today.


You can breathe a sigh of relief. Today I’m not going to challenge you to an intense heart to heart discussion with your wife about sex. I know if sexual communication has been difficult in the past, it will be almost impossible to dive headlong into such a conversation out of the blue without it possibly raising some deep emotions or conflict..

Your challenge for today is to communicate with your wife during sex.

There is a good chance that your wife probably doesn’t really understand you sexually. She is wired completely differently when it comes to sex, and the idea of being driven by a deep physical need is probably foreign to her. It might even offend her. If she happens to be the higher drive spouse, she doesn’t understand why you don’t want sex with her “the way other men want their wives.”

You can’t close the chasm in understanding between you in a day. But you can begin grown in your understanding by starting to communicate in small ways about sex. Start tonight during your lovemaking.

If sex has been a struggle or non-existent, simply telling your wife you want to make love will be a stretch in communication.   If so, let her know that it might seem out of the blue, but that you’ve been thinking about how to strengthen your marriage and your intimate connection, and that you need that closeness. Your relationship needs it.

If you can bring yourself to do so, try asking for something specific while you are making love. You can ask for things you know she has enjoyed in the past. This isn’t time to stretch her boundaries with something new and edgy. Simply think of something you’ve enjoyed together before, and ask her if she would be willing to do that again. A position. A room of the house. Her touching you in specific ways.

You can also improve communication by learning to express pleasure during sex. If you tend to be mostly silent during lovemaking, tonight be more expressive. Give her verbal clues when she does something that feels good. Even a moan can say a lot.

The purpose of today’s challenge is to start you and your wife on the path to better sexual communication.



If you are feeling bold and really are willing to consider her desires, ask her,
“Is there one thing that we do in the bedroom that you wish we would do more often?”



5 comments:

T B said...

Thank you for this post. Good questions. I'm going to look up the study you cited and read further. Great stuff!

T Bittner - http://genuinehusband.blogspot.com

Sherry- Intentionally Yours said...

Love it, we so need to hear this! Got to share it!!

Jamie Bishop said...

So I put this into practice, by asking for a back rub. Somehow, we both got something we wanted! So, I suppose it works! :)

Anonymous said...

How do you get over the pure embarassment of asking for something when for 6 years he thinks he has been doing it all right when the truth is I feel like sex is all for him?

Jennifer Means said...

This isn't Scott, but I thought I'd just say that I think if you word it the right way, your husband will be glad to try some things that will pull you into the lovemaking. You might try, "I've been thinking about some things I'd like for us to try." He might be blown away that you have been thinking about sex! You can tell him you want to try something new or different or spice it up a bit! And then be as specific as you can about what. I know if I say that I'm trying to figure out what works for me, it doesn't bother Scott to be patient til we get it right!!

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