If you would happen to meet us face to face and ask us a few questions about sex, it would probably take us less than 5 minutes to say, “You know, sex doesn’t just happen. In fact, sex usually begins outside of the bedroom.”
This may mean any number of things. It may mean that how you think about sex throughout the day matters. It may mean that how you use words to help your spouse throughout the day matters. It may mean that how you help fill your spouse’s love tank throughout the day matters. All of these are vital to preparing for an intimate time together.
However, it also means that what you think, know and believe about sex has a major impact on what actually happens in your bedroom. And to be honest, what you think, know, and believe about sex may actually hinder you from experiencing open doors to sexual intimacy.
You may have thoughts about what the experience will (or should) be like, and because the experience turns out differently, you’re less inclined to jump back into the sack. The anxiety of the experience and your beliefs about sex lead to sexual inhibitions, and instead of working through it with your spouse, you choose to isolate this area of your marriage. Instead of opening the doors, you lock them up tight.
Well, we certainly wish to discourage ‘locking up’ the sexual aspect of your marriage simply because sex is more awkward than you expected. In fact, it’s our hope that your desire is to improve your sex life and get more action behind closed doors! If that’s the case, then you need to first understand what your sexual inhibitions are and why you have them. Once you have clarity on this, then you’ll be ready to learn how to unlock these inhibitions and begin to work on a new, free, sexual lifestyle. Here are a few keys to unlocking your bedroom door and improving your sex life.
1. Understand sex.
We can’t emphasize enough just how important truly understanding sex is to a marriage. If sex is different than you expect it to be, you need to take the time to figure out why. What has shaped your attitudes, thoughts and beliefs about sex? Is it the entertainment industry? Has the TV industry led you to believe that you’ll always want it and the room temperature will always be perfect and you’ll never be embarrassed about getting naked and it’ll always be a ‘perfect’ experience and… *fill in the blank*
You see, what we often believe about sex doesn’t come from communicating about it with our spouse, or from reading what the Bible says about it, or from talking with a couple who’s been happily married for 30 years. Instead what we often believe about sex comes from culture.
So, take the opportunity to really understand sex. This means you need to talk to your spouse and find out what their expectations are. What turns them on? What turns you on? How can you both make the experience better together? Whether it is overcoming inhibitions, working through the pain of past sexual experiences, learning that sex is actually good or understanding what it means to experience true sexual freedom, when you and your spouse take opportunities to understand sex together, it will lead to tremendous sexual satisfaction and you’ll both be ready to connect again soon.
2. Dismantle Comparison.
Comparison may sometimes seem like a good idea, but in reality it can wreak havoc in your marriage and consequently your sex life. Hear this clearly, comparison has NO BUSINESS in your bedroom. If you want your bedroom door to be open to sexual encounters, comparison must be demolished. When you compare your spouse to someone else you are placing unrealistic demands on a real person. When you badmouth your spouse and/or their sexual performance (publicly or privately) it only serves to damage and weaken your marriage. Fixating on whether or not your sex life is “normal” does not build intimacy, and intimacy is essential to a good sex life.
Instead of comparing your spouse or their sexual IQ, once again take opportunities to figure out how to make it better. If you must, compare yourselves 2 weeks from now to where you are today. And compare again in 3 months. Pretty soon, you’re not going to be comparing yourselves at all…you’re just going to enjoy being with one another.
3. Open discussion.
We’ve written above that communication is essential for a positive sex life. However, for some couples, discussing sex always seems to lead to a fight. If this is true for you, you need to have some serious discussions with your spouse about more than sex. There may be some other underlying emotional issue or vulnerability that they’re wanting to keep ‘locked up’.
You see, sex isn’t just full frontal nudity of your physical bodies, it’s full frontal nudity of everything you are. During sex, you willingly opening up all of your physical and emotional vulnerabilities, right there in front of your spouse. If you’re ready to engage in this way and they’re not, then there may be something they’re not willing to reveal. So, take the opportunities to discuss life, parenting, finances, outside relationships and so on. Through good dialog you may discover something that’s really bothering your spouse, and when they finally bring it to the light, they may be more willing to get it on.
Note: We certainly don’t want to make this discussion sound simple. If you’re not able to openly discuss sex without it turning into a fight, it’s OK to seek pastoral or other professional counseling. Sex is a vital part of marriage, and couples who willingly take steps to work on their marriage and sexual relationship often have more fulfilling marriages than those who keep their vulnerabilities ‘locked up’, or those who have the incorrect belief that, “This is just the way life is.” Get the help you need so that sex becomes more of a priority for you both.
4. Make sex a priority.
Busy. This one word pretty sums up much of how we live life in our culture. So many good things in life become prey for the urgent. Bills need paid, commitments need honored, kids need to get to their practice, and life needs to be lived. After running all day long, you’re ready to relax. And you’ve discovered something…sex isn’t relaxing. In fact it takes a good bit of work!
To discuss this point briefly, the sheer truth is that we have time for the things we make time for. What’s most important in our lives is what we get done. Most of us can easily write down 20 things on a ‘to-do’ list for the day and prioritize them, checking off the most important ones first, and the least important ones last. Well, why not add sex as one of the most important ones? If you’re evening is too busy, perhaps you can find a way to connect during a lunch break. Or maybe you can set the alarm 20-30 minutes early, take a quick shower together, and then intertwine your bodies. Sex really ought to be a priority. Do whatever it takes to connect and you’ll be more focused and ready to take on the busyness of life’s demands.
We’ve heard some say that their sex life is simply ‘maintaining’. Well, we believe the quality of your sex life is either increasing, or decreasing. With that said:
How has the quality of your sex life increased throughout the years? What steps have you taken for it to do so?
If the quality of your sex life is decreasing, feel free to re-read this post again and write down 3-4 steps you plan to take get it back on the up-and-up.
Linking with: Revive Your Marriage