Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'll just tell you. It's a post on sex. (part 3)

We ladies are super creative.

In my peer group (and if you're reading this, mine is likely to be yours as well), creativity is highly valued. Think about how our Christian lady-culture not only encourages, but oftentimes expects us to be creative in our meal planning, our organizing, our decorating, our party-throwing, our mothering, our clothing, our holiday celebrating, our gift giving...the list is endless. You've seen on Pinterest how there is no end to the page. Instead, you can scroll down forever and ever, feeling dizzied by the infinite uses for a mason jar.

But the encouragement to apply some of that creativity in the area of sex seems nonexistent. Isn't that strange? As creative as we are, that same encouragement from the online community for married ladies to have thriving sex lives is missing. I've seen countless ideas for encouraging our husbands through loving gestures, heard countless exhortations to respect them and read this or that marriage book and tell them we appreciate them. But there is very little positive peer pressure out there for married women to actually have good, enjoyable (as opposed to obligatory) sex.

That fact made me realize that Satan might just be winning the battle in this area. We know many of the ways he tempts men. It is no mystery that he is gaining tremendous ground in injuring healthy sexual relationships through all the inappropriate content accessible at any given moment. But he is tempting women in equally destructive, and I believe more subversive ways, some of which we talked about in part 2. The result is good, Christ-centered marriages that are struggling to maintain passionate (or even interesting) sex lives. Friends, I think most of us aren't even realizing we are in a battle at all. We're not even fighting to hold our ground in the area of intimacy. Fighting means firstly dealing with the issues we talked about in part 2. But secondly, we girls need to be aware that Satan would love for us to drift away from our husbands sexually. We are responsible for making an effort to stay connected.   

Good thing you are super creative! Here are some ways you can apply that in your fight.

1. Create some space.

I've learned that I don't feel very sexy if I haven't made some space for myself, a buffer between my responsibilities and my own person. It can mean different things for different people, but it helps to do something that enables us to feel sexy, or at least remember that we're still women (ie. not simply a mom, an employee, a caretaker....whatever role in which you spend the most time). This one is difficult. It may take some thought to come up with a few ideas that would help you make that space for yourself. I personally need some space away from my kids, even if only for twenty minutes. That means on a weekday, I may have to ask my husband to take over bedtime routines so I can hide in my room for a while and detox from the day. Creating space for ourselves to be mindful of our sexuality takes some intentionality. It never just happens, at least not in my house.

And then naturally, we need to create space in our schedules and in our hearts for sex to move up the priority list. I think that is true for nearly all of us. We can fight harder, friends, to hold onto intimacy in our marriages. And in order to do so, other priorities need to move down the list. Pray about that if you're unsure what things need to give way so that you can better create space (time/energy) for sex. And take it one day at a time. There's probably no need to look at the whole month and schedule sex; perhaps begin by examining your heart daily about it, and noticing the things that get in the way. Maybe that will help you isolate what has to change.

2. Create anticipation.

Something is always better if you've been excited about it for a while first. Well, what are some ways that you could create some alluring tension ahead of time? A suggestive post-it on the mirror or a note shoved in a coat pocket? Sexting (why shouldn't married couples be maximizing the techy flirting)? A little teasing at a time when or where nothing much else can happen? If your husband raises his eyebrows and looks at you with a "Wow, look at you, naughty vixen," that's a good sign that he'll be thinking about your future time together all day. I'm not saying you need to write out a 10-step scavenger hunt. Something simple will work.   

3. Create visuals.

Let's face facts. Men are visual. I once heard it said that most cannot help but keep a "visual rolodex" of appealing images in their heads. I want to be in there. In fact, I want to be headlining my husband's rolodex. And I'm determined to not let my insecurities get in the way of that. Putting effort into our guys being able to see something appealing (and goodness, they are so easy to please - don't forget that you are his first choice!) is so worth it. That means sex in the pitch dark after you've walked to bed in your college sweats doesn't count for this category. Also, I am not suggesting that we dress immodestly. I'm talking about times of intimacy only, for an audience of one, and giving them more, visually, to add to that rolodex. Remember, he still thinks you're super hot, even if you don't. An attitude of confidence, even if forced, even if you're feeling self-conscious, is always the sexiest thing you can put on.

4. Create memories.

Basically, this is a call to mix it up, to run fast in the other direction from being a half-interested, same-ol'-routine, how long is this going to take, wife. You are so very creative! I know you can list right now five ideas that would spice things up a little in your sex life. Think variations in outfits. Times of day. Rooms of the house. Length of time involved. Ambiance. I'm giving zero specifics because you know what works in your family schedule and relationship. You know what sounds fun to you or to your husband. You know each other's preferences better than anyone. Then, help root that memory of a spicy time by mentioning it later. Maybe the next day. Maybe in an email or a note. Create and then preserve that memory a little through conversation. It's almost the same as scrapbooking, right?

Personally, I am never inspired by the ideas presented in marriage books for elaborate "romantic evenings." They don't seem realistic. I think multiple-hour, candle-lit, rose-petal-strewn nights of love only exist in movies. I can't relate to that variety of intimacy, and I don't see how that fits into my every day life. MY reality is hoping to get a shower in between piano lessons and a dinner I have 20 minutes to prepare. MY reality is that I love my husband, but we don't see a whole lot of each other. We have limited time together, and most of it is late, when we're both tired. I need simple, inexpensive, and fun solutions for spicing up our sex life. A naughty text and a new pair of panties from TJ Maxx has come to appeal to me much more than 3 hours of pillow talk and waking up still wrapped in each other's arms. I'm betting my husband would say the same as well. Sure, there may be a time and place for such drawn out encounters. But I'd encourage you to keep things very simple. Very workable. Very fun and free, but easy to make happen.    

And since you're so creative, I know you will.

{One footnote...My new blog friend Autumn happened to write about sex on her blog too recently. I loved what she had to say, and she and her husband have experienced a lot of healing in their marriage in this area. It would be awesome if you'd visit her and support her boldness and vulnerability in sharing on this important but delicate subject of sex.}



  1. Thanks so much for this honest post, and the other two, Leslie. Specifically, I think this post is filled with great reminders and encouragement. I so appreciate your thoughts on creativity for this aspect of marriage, I've never thought about it that way! Thanks again, Leslie! -Ferial

  2. I hear you about the priorities. My husband has long said that he's take a dirty house and a wife with energy for sex, than spotless floors and no action. There is no excuse for us ladies here, and we've got to chose to put those non essential energy sucking things aside! Our marriages are too important.

  3. It´s not easy for me to read in another language but i´m learning so much here!
    Thanks for another great post! And thanks for the great tips too!
    Kisses and God bless you.

  4. I was able to come off my birth control recently since I moved over to a permanent hormone free birth control and wow what a difference being off the pill does to my libido. Let's just say I have a very happy husband! I think if women could ween off the pill ( if possible - I know some women's menstrual cycle is way too painful to stop) the desire to have sex will knock your socks off. But of course I am not a medical doctor! Just commenting on what has surprised me in coming off the pill. Thanks for this post!!!

  5. Love this post! I have seen a huge turnaround in my heart and in our passion together when I am creative...when I plan and think about what I can wear for my husband :)