We’re talking this month about ways to uncomplicate sex and make it more fun and relaxing. You know, the way sex should be – but sometimes isn’t! (If you missed the first part you can read it here – Why Sex is Complicated – and How to Make it Less Complicated.)
You want sex to involve lots of fun and very little complication. You want it to draw you and your husband together, not push you apart. But sometimes “stuff” just gets in the way. And that makes you feel bad. And guilty. Like you’re doing something wrong as a wife and a woman.
In Part 1 we talked about the ways that being busy and tired creates a lot of “stuff” in your life and marriage. This week let’s talk about beliefs and assumptions, because those two thing create a lot of “stuff” too – and they can really get in the way of your ability to feel sexy and sensual and enjoy sex.
Your beliefs and assumptions about sex usually are things you started to believe at an early age. You learned them from your family, friends, church, media and the culture. Even as an adult, the world around you reinforces these messages constantly. You may not even be aware of them, but they affect your life and your marriage every day.
But they’re lies. And the voices in your life that reinforce them are liars. So, since lies and liars never add joy to your life, and always add pain and frustration, you need to expose them.
Bring them out in the open. Tell the truth about them.
And I’m happy to help you do that, because I’ve had to expose them and tell the truth about them in my own life.
So let’s get started and do it together. Here are 5 things you may believe that are making sex complicated in your life preventing you from embracing sex and intimacy in your life and marriage:
• Sex is primarily for my husband. What a lie this is! And it’s so subtle and so pervasive that you may not even be aware that you believe it. Depending on the family, church and community you grew up in, you may have heard this (in subtle or not-so-subtle forms) for your entire life. And one of the biggest purveyors of this lie – I’m sorry to say – is the church.
So here’s the truth – sex is for you and your husband, equally. God created it to be fun and intimate and fabulous for both of you. It may be easier, at times, for your husband to enjoy it, but the easiest thing often is not the best thing.
If you sometimes feel like sex really isn’t about you, I know that feeling. I understand it, I felt that way for a long time too. But I was wrong. Sex is for me and about me, and it’s for you and about you too.
(If you want to read more about this, check out Dear Wife, Sex is for You Too.)
• My sexual response should be the same as my husband’s. Have you ever thought, “Maybe there’s something wrong with me,” when it comes to sex and intimacy? Have you ever assumed that your husband’s approach to sex is normal, so yours must be abnormal? Have you ever thought that you must not be a very sexual person, just because your libido doesn’t rev up instantly when you think about sex?
If so, you’re not alone. Believe me, I’ve thought all of those things, and many other women have too. But more than likely, nothing is wrong with you. The problem is the assumption – that your sexual response will be identical to your husband’s, and if it’s not then something must be wrong with you.
Not true. Many women (but not all) respond very differently from men. For example, they don’t become aroused at the mere thought of falling into bed naked, and it can take quite a bit of time for them to become aroused. They may not feel particularly interested in sex until after things get going. They may need to let go of the stresses of the day before they can even think about sex. And they may find that conflict in their marriage and poor communication put a serious damper on their libido.
So if that sounds like you, congratulations – you’re normal! Nothing is wrong with you, and you’re not broken. The key is to understand that (and help your husband understand it) and then work together to create a sex life that’s meaningful for both of you.
(If you want more in-depth information on libido and sexual response in women, check out Sheila Gregoire’s Boost Your Libido online video course (affiliate link).
• Sex for him is all about his orgasm. If you’re married to a generally good-hearted man, this probably isn’t true. The male marriage bloggers I know say that most husbands want sex to be about much more than their own orgasm. They say that husbands want their wives to enjoy sex as much as they do, and would love to work together to create a sex life that’s great for both of them.
It’s likely that your husband falls into this category. But, he may not know how or where to begin. And he may need to work on breaking old habits, if sex in your marriage does tend to focus primarily on his orgasm. (And you may need to work on breaking those habits too.)
So start a conversation with him. Talk about the idea of sex being mutual – something that’s fun and exciting for both of you. Tell him what you’ve been thinking and feeling, and ask what he thinks and feels about it. And start working together to figure out ways to put the focus on both of you.
• I’m not enough – pretty enough, thin enough, sexy enough, etc. This is a hard one for so many women, because our society sends us so many messages that say, “You’re not enough.” But those messages are lies. Because you are enough. You are a beloved daughter of God, created in his image, created as a sexual person, and designed to enjoy sex and intimacy in your marriage.
And you deserve to do exactly that.
The idea that a fun sex life is reserved only for thin, blonde, buxom, 20-year old women is such a lie. So please work on letting go of the idea that somehow you are not enough and begin embracing your beauty and finding your inner sensuality.
And if something is truly getting in the way of you being able to do those things, it’s okay to work on changing it. For example, if you’re very unhappy with your weight, it’s great to start a healthy eating and exercise plan. But don’t wait until you’ve lost all of the weight you want to lose before working on creating a great sex life in your marriage.
And if you’d like to read more about real beauty, confidence and body image for women, check out the articles at Real Beauty and Confidence for Real Women.
• Good sex should just happen. This is one of my favorite (and by “favorite” I mean “most unhelpful!”) false beliefs. I just want great sex to happen – like in movies and romance novels – don’t you? I mean, it should be easy, right?!?!
It should, but it isn’t. Because we’re imperfect people. Sometimes we’re selfish, sometimes we mess up, sometimes we hurt the person we love. And sometimes we just don’t know everything we need to know – we’re missing some important information that would make sex a lot easier.
So if good sex doesn’t “just happen” for you (and I’m pretty sure it won’t, because you don’t live in a romance novel!), don’t give up. Don’t think that it’s just not possible for you or that it’s too hard or too much work.
Because it is possible for you, even though it may be hard and may require some work. It may mean having some difficult conversations with your husband or reading and sharing books and other resources. It may mean breaking old patterns and trying out some new things. And, if sex is difficult for you because of issues in your past (like childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault) or struggles in your marriage, it probably means working with a professional counselor to address those issues.
Beliefs and assumptions about sex can keep you from enjoying a fun and fantastic sex life in your marriage. But you can change them, move beyond them, and replace them with beliefs and assumptions that benefit you, your life and your marriage.
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