“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series
Thanks to Julie Sibert for today’s fabulous Guest Post:
My husband and I learned early in our relationship two vital pieces of information – he doesn’t like to be hungry and I don’t like to be cold.
Armed with these tidbits of wisdom, we have dodged more discord than I can recount. I would never initiate a lengthy conversation 45 minutes before dinner, when insanity from low blood sugar has settled into my husband’s brain. Likewise, my beloved knows full well that if we were ever to buy a new car, I would look at no other option beyond the seat warmer. Literally, this is what the salesperson’s voice would sound like to me: “Blah, blah, blah. Seat warmer. Blah, blah, blah.”
Obviously, it wasn’t too hard for us to weave this information into our marital fabric. But not all pertinent information comes so easy, does it? Like how to have great sex.
When we were first married, we were pretty clueless as to how to sexually satisfy each other (naked and in love, mind you, but clueless nonetheless). It’s not that we didn’t know what sex was. We both had had sex before we met each other. We just had never had sex with each other until our wedding night.
We weren’t naïve about this lack of knowledge. On our wedding night, we closed the door of our hotel room well aware that we were about to embark on some awkwardness. Not all couples, though, have such an “eyes wide open” approach.
I am convinced that one of the most perpetuated fallacies ever to befall married couples is that amazing sexual intimacy is natural – that it won’t take effort, time, communication, and lots of trial and error (with a fair amount of humor as well).
So many couples journey years (and even decades) of married life never really experiencing great sex. Some of you reading this right now are well acquainted with that scenario. It drapes across your marriage bed with heaviness. For you, sexual intimacy has been boring at best, and mere obligation at worse. Maybe it’s even caused overwhelming tension in your marriage.
By “great” sex, I’m not just talking about orgasm, fun and passion. All very nice elements, I might add. I’m referring instead to really knowing each other sexually – knowing how to turn each other on and experience mysterious oneness. It’s about more than intercourse. It is instead about the little nuances, touches, techniques, intentions and words that add up to sacred sexual knowledge about each other.
Do you genuinely know what it takes to bring your spouse to the edge of intense pleasure, and then lovingly and powerfully push them right over that edge into unabashed ecstasy? Do you know how to allow your spouse the privilege of doing this to you? Both are essential sides to the same coin.
While the reasons that thwart great sex are many (and some quite serious), for some couples it is more of a matter of indifference. Sex just fell by the wayside, lost beneath the responsibilities of paying the Visa bill, keeping milk in the fridge and washing soccer uniforms. Life happened, and sex disappeared faster than baby socks in a clothes dryer. Or maybe you never nurtured intimacy in the first place. Hot newlywed sex? Pure myth for many people.
If you can identify with any of this, you’re not alone. It’s not that you don’t love your spouse or value your marriage. It’s not that you’re opposed to sex. It’s just that sex falls way down on the list (somewhere between organize your 7,000 digital photos and clean the basement floor drain). In other words, you never get to it. Or you make love so rarely that the likelihood of really knowing each other is…well… highly unlikely.
Are you ready to change those patterns in your sexual intimacy?
Here are three tips to move sex out of the “ho-hum” category and into the “wow!” category:
1. Call it like it is. If your intimacy has stalled or is non-existent (or is just plain boring), then get courageous and draw this into the light. A conversation starter can be as simple as this: “I know sex hasn’t been the greatest for us, and I am wondering what together we can do about that.” If it causes you too much anxiety to start a verbal conversation, consider writing your spouse a note. At any rate, take a step to lovingly express that you want sex to be a priority.
2. Start with your hands. For all the focus put on our genital regions, I think there is a lot to be said for the role our hands play. Touch is powerful. If you and your spouse have just been going through the motions – quickly getting to the main attraction of intercourse – you are missing out on a full-body experience. Learn to caress each other. Vary the firmness of your touch, and take your time. Some areas of particular arousal can be the neck, ears, head, upper arms, inner thighs, chest, behind the knees and across the lower back. Extreme sexual pleasure is built upon a foundation of being aroused. Touch isn’t just the opening act; touch is the headliner, too.
3. Try at least one new thing. I’ve never been a big fan of “variety for variety’s sake.” I am, though, a fervent champion of variety that endears a husband and wife to each other sexually. A married couple is afforded tremendous freedom to pleasure each other sexually, so break out of routines and learn new ways to please each other. Try at least one new thing (new position, oral sex, making love in a different room, etc.) Sure, it will feel awkward at first, but together you can discover depths of pleasure you may have never known.
My last suggestion is this: resist the urge to give up too soon. Within sexual intimacy, we are at our most vulnerable emotionally, physically and spiritually. When we feel vulnerable, we are more likely to retreat if things start to feel difficult. If you do that, though, you won’t break through to information that could significantly improve your marriage. You do want that kind of breakthrough, right?
Sure, my husband knows I don’t like to be cold. And I know he doesn’t like to be hungry. As beneficial as that information has been, it pales to what we know about each other sexually.
I’d love to write more. But I need to go push a certain someone over an edge. If you know what I mean.
Julie Sibert writes and speaks about sexual intimacy in marriage. You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, their two boys and one rambunctious German Shorthair Pointer puppy. © 2011 by Julie Sibert.
Photo Credit: @PhotoXpress.com