Taking Back the Bedroom – Six Suggestions for Awesome Married Sex

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[The first thing you should know is that I am writing this as a married Christian woman who believes that God designed sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife. Secondly, I am not a counselor or therapist, but I have unofficially “counseled” many women in this area. I am incredibly passionate about fantastic sex and healthy marriages.]

We live in a hyper-sexualized culture. Sex is talked about everywhere. Except for in the church. If we as Christians believe that sexuality is part of God’s design for us as humans, and that God created intimacy as a special part of the marriage relationship, shouldn’t married Christians be having the best sex?

But we aren’t, because sex has been a taboo subject for far too long. As Christians begin to have conversations and ask questions, this is starting to change. I believe this is healthy and beneficial! God was the one who designed sex in the first place. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Let’s be honest and open. Let’s have amazing, God honoring sex! Let’s take back the bedroom!

I am not an expert, but I want to join the conversation with six suggestions that helped me and some of my friends.

  1. Check Your Attitude 

Do you believe that sex is a beautiful, exciting, fun experience that God designed specifically for a man and woman to enjoy in marriage? Do you struggle with the sentence I just wrote? What about it bothers you?

We all come into marriage with sexual baggage. Maybe you were raised in a family where sex was made to seem dirty or wrong, or maybe it just wasn’t talked about. You might have been exposed to or were/are involved in porn. Maybe you were sexually abused. Our experiences shape our attitude toward sex. A negative attitude can destroy our sexual intimacy. Ask God to help you to see sex like He sees it; ask Him to change your attitude and heal the broken parts inside of you. Maybe you need to talk with a counselor. That’s okay!

  1. Let Go of Guilt

Does sex make you feel guilty? Sometimes that guilt comes from a family or culture that told you sex was dirty or wrong. Sometimes it comes from sexual experiences you had before you were married either with your spouse or someone else. When we feel guilt connected to sex, especially as women, it will destroy the fun. Negative emotions ruin our drive. Even a random negative thought can kill the mood. Good news, Jesus forgave all of our sins when he died on the cross, past, present, and future! He said we are separated from our sin as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) God has completely forgiven us, but sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. Ask God to take away your guilt, bring you peace, and show you truth. Again, seeing a counselor might be a good option if you have sexual trauma in your past.

  1. Get Educated

This is one of the biggest problems that I have found among Christian women. Fortunately there are a lot of great books available. I found a website that lists a bunch of them along with reviews. My favorite book to pass out, especially to pretty “innocent” girls is an oldy but goody, “The Act of Marriage” by Tim and Beverley LeHay. And I haven’t read it personally yet, but “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex” by Sheila Wray Gregoire has some pretty rave reviews.

Books are good, but a real person to talk to is even better. I realize that it takes vulnerability to ask someone for help with sex, but if you can find a more experienced woman (that you think has great sex) to answer your questions, it’s worth it! And most of us are happy to talk about it.

  1. Have Realistic Expectations

Maybe you’ve figured this out already, but real life isn’t like the movies! Movie sex is a great example. For instance, actors that “wake up” in the “morning” and instantly make-out. Eww! I have two words: Morning Breath! It just doesn’t happen.

Realistically, it takes time to build a great sexual relationship. If you go into your wedding night as two virgins, expect your first sexual interaction to be about a C, if you’re lucky. The good news is, practice makes better! There will be times as a couple that you will have amazing sex, and other times that you will look at each other and say, “Well, that was awkward.” But when you are married, and are friends as well as lovers, the pressure to perform isn’t as strong. After all, there is always tomorrow. After eight years of marriage, my husband and I have WAY better sex than we ever had on our honeymoon, or even first year together for that matter!

  1. Communicate

Your spouse cannot read your mind. If you like something, you need to tell them. If something is weird to you, tell them. If you want something different, you got it, tell them! I realize that sex can be awkward to talk about, but if you want great married sex, you need to communicate. My husband and I have been open about talking since the very beginning thanks to some excellent pre-marital counseling. I know that this is a vital part of our, “ahem”, adventurous sex life. Which brings me to number six.

  1. Be Creative and Have Fun

I know I titled this, “Taking Back the Bedroom”, but don’t limit yourself to the bedroom. Be creative. Try new places, new positions, and new techniques. Be bold. Be adventurous. Be fun. Make time for each other. Surprise each other. Text each other suggestive messages. Nap together. Shower together. Snuggle together. You never know what might happen… Enjoy the beautiful gift that God has given you.

I’m sure you noticed that of these six suggestions, five of them had nothing to do with actual sex. Unlike what our culture tells us, I believe that healthy sex is way more than just the physical act. What do you think? What are you struggling with? Which of these six suggestions stuck out to you the most? Do you have other suggestions to make? I’d love to hear from you!

A Response to the Virginity Debate

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I read an article today that made me cringe and then, for the first time, want to join in on one of the many debates that run around the internet. The article was written by a woman who saved her virginity for her wedding night and wished she hadn’t. You can find the original article here: http://www.xojane.com/sex/true-love-waits-pledge

Here is my response.

Dear Samantha,

First off, let me say that it sounds like you were raised in a legalistic, possibly semi-cultic Baptist church. So was I. You said in your article that you no longer go to church and do not consider yourself to be religious. Fine. I don’t consider myself religious either. It sounds like this church of yours may have missed the real Jesus. Sure, they may have used His name, and read out of His book, but they probably twisted a lot of things. One of the first things that I noticed when you talked about church and Christianity was an emphasis on performance. Keeping your virginity was supposed to make you a “good Christian”. Trust me, I get this. I was raised in a performance driven Christian cult. Fortunately, the real Jesus found me and showed me that it’s not about my “goodness” or “badness”,  but about His perfection and grace. I would like to suggest that a lot of what you learned about God, the Bible, Christianity, and sex was a lie.

Secondly, after reading your article, it sounds like the biggest problem you had with sex in your early marriage was guilt baggage. Your upbringing taught you that sex was bad and gave you a negative attitude towards it. Then as you and your boyfriend pushed boundaries physically, more guilt was attached to anything sexual. So that, by the time you got to your wedding night, the idea of sex was so riddled with guilt that it was impossible for you to enjoy it (hence the tears in the bathroom). This guilt and shame continued to haunt you through your early marriage and it was compounded by the idea that you “had” to meet your husbands sexual needs, that it was a duty.

You are not alone. There are a lot of women who end up this way. But, it’s not because “God is not blessing” their marriage.

It’s a lack of good education about sex and a lack of reasonable expectations. It’s a negative attitude toward sex passed down by the church, a mother, or other people in your life. It’s guilt piled on by sexual boundaries being pushed in past or present relationships.

I’m sorry, Samantha, that you regret saving your virginity. However, I don’t think your purity pledge and the real God were to blame for your negative sexual experience; I think it was more the legalism you grew up with, the lies you were told, a lack of education, and the guilt you felt.

I was 26 when I got married. My first kiss was at my wedding. I lost my virginity on my wedding night. Was all of this my idea? Not originally. Like I said, I was raised in a conservative Christian cult, so dating was out and courtship was in. I didn’t have the opportunity for a boyfriend or first kiss in my teens. But, once I got out and was in my 20s, I didn’t see the point in dating around or experimenting sexually. I still wanted to wait for my future husband. It was my choice. I also wanted to honor this real Jesus I’d found with my life and my body.

My mom had a great attitude toward sex, and while she didn’t give me much education, she made sure I knew it was a fun and beautiful thing in the context of marriage. When my hubby came along, we were from opposite lifestyles. Because of some past experiences he’d had, and because we wanted to honor God in our relationship, we set some ridiculously high physical standards. It wasn’t out of legalism or trying to impress God or people, but for our own purity. We had pre-marital counseling with a couple from my church and read “The Act of Marriage” by Tim and Beverly LaHaye. We had more reasonable expectations for sex based on good education.

I have absolutely no regrets. Kissing was…interesting, at first…but after 45 minutes of wedding pictures (in none of which are we looking at the camera), I started to get the hang of it. Sure, honeymoon sex was awkward and slightly painful, but it was beautiful. We got to practice and laugh without fear of rejection or failure. And it just got better over time!

I love married sex! We have a great sex life. It’s fun and special and fabulous. We have been married for seven years and sex is WAY better now that it was in the beginning (and it was great then)! I am passionate about good married sex and I talk about it with ladies all the time. Maybe this is why your article hit me so hard and made me want to respond. I believe that sex was created by God as a fun, beautiful experience to be shared between a husband and wife. And I hate it when things (lies, guilt, etc) mess up how God planned things to be. I realize this is not a popular belief, but hey, there’s a reason this blog is called Let Me Be Foolish. 🙂