We’ve been talking about three strategies for building sexual confidence this year. The first two strategies encouraged us to build sexual confidence by becoming more confident in our bodies and increasing knowledge about sexuality and intimacy. The third strategy is to build sexual confidence by taking action. So let’s talk about what that might look like – by talking about some steps we could take to have fun with our husbands, build intimacy in our marriages, and increase our sexual confidence – maybe all at the same time!
(Check out our Sex and Marriage page, which is full of sex-positive resources.)
If the idea of taking steps to increase intimacy seems intimidating to you, make a plan that takes things gradually. I read an article this week that addressed this idea in a really wonderful way. Lynda Wallace, writing on her blog Active Happiness, shared the idea that we operate in one of three zones – our comfort zone, our panic zone, or our stretch zone. We tend to hang out in our comfort zone and try desperately to avoid our panic zone. But what about our stretch zone? The stretch zone is the place where Wallace says “magic happens.” It’s where we push ourselves to move beyond what’s comfortable for us, but not so far that we end up feeling panicky. It’s where we try new ideas and activities and test our boundaries. As we operate in the stretch zone, we actually begin to increase our comfort zone.
I think this is something many wives can apply to sexuality and intimacy. No matter where we are, we all have a comfort zone and a panic zone. For many of us, though, the sexuality comfort zone is fairly limited – which generally isn’t good for our marriages. But what if we decided to operate in the stretch zone some of the time, pushing our own boundaries just a bit and adding new elements of sex and intimacy to our marriages? The process might be a bit intimidating, but I predict that the results would be very positive!
So, I encourage you (and me!) to stretch beyond your sex and intimacy comfort zone this year. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Flirt with your husband. Yes, like when you were dating. Wink at him across the room. Kiss him for no reason. Make little suggestive remarks. Find ways to let him know you find him attractive and interesting. (Here are some great flirting ideas from Sheila Gregoire.)
- Send him sexy texts or emails. For a long time, I thought sexting was just something teenagers did that they weren’t supposed to do. Then I figured out that married couples can sext ( or send sexy emails) – and it’s perfectly all right! (Be careful, though, if your husband uses a work cell phone or email account.) Sexting can help you get in the mood throughout the day, and lets him know you’re interested in getting together that evening. Start with something fairly mild and see how things develop.
- Plan a date night. Arrange a fun, relaxing evening for the two of you, something you’ll both enjoy. Make all of the plans and, if you have children, arrange for child care. (Bonus – send the kids off for the night with a relative or friend!)
- Break out the lingerie. Most women have nice lingerie they haven’t worn in years. (I’ve heard husbands refer to the “lingerie vault,” where lingerie gets imprisoned and never gets out!) Break it out and wear it. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit, get something new. It doesn’t have to be expensive – I enjoy browsing the lingerie department in Target and even WalMart.
- Set the mood. Arrange some candles in your room (be careful with them!) or otherwise arrange dim lighting. Play some sexy or romantic music.
- Initiate something with your husband. Most husbands enjoy and appreciate it if their wives initiate once in a while. This may be well outside your comfort zone, but work your way up to it and give it a try.
- Make some space in your life. It’s almost impossible to establish meaningful sex and intimacy with your husband if there’s no space in your life. If every moment is crammed with activity, you won’t have the will or energy or ability to change things for the better. Paul Byerly, author of The Generous Husband, addressed this topic this week in two articles every husband and wife should read – Does your life have room for more sex? and The time and room your marriage needs.
- Have an honest conversation with your husband. Even more than taking action, talking about sex and intimacy really pushes the boundaries of most people’s comfort zones. Maybe you need to say, “I want to improve our sex life, but I don’t know where to begin.” Or, “I’m afraid.” Or, “This is a problem for me.” One approach to getting a conversation going is to read a relevant article and bring it up as a conversation starter. Or ask him a question about something that’s on your mind. Maybe start with the least intimidating part of the conversation and move forward from there.
What are your tips for taking action to build sexual confidence this year? What has worked for you? Please share your ideas in the Comments – I would love to hear from you.
Ok, I have to take issue with bullet #2 and warn all the doc wives that will be reading this from Medical Monday Blog hop… Don’t do it… especially on his OR/on-call day. If you do, the OR nurse will be reading it aloud to your husband and the entire OR team! I speak from personal experience and embarrassment.
Go ahead. I give you permission to laugh. 🙂
Oh no, Emma! That is too funny!
Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says
That’s really good to think about – the 3 zones that we operate in. Thanks for writing this. I’m glad you linked up at Romance on a dime!
My husband and I like to read together, each taking a turn at reading a new chapter, this may not sound overly sexy, I guess it all depends on what your reading. Thanks for sharing it in on Fluster’s Creative Muster Party. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week.
Hugs and Smiles,
Hi Robin – I think that reading to each other is a great idea. It’s a wonderful way to build intimacy, even if the things you’re reading aren’t “spicy.”
From A Doctors Wife says
I always love reading your posts – they are so spicy:-) Thanks for linking up with us at Medical Mondays!
Thanks so much! I try to keep things interesting!
Sunny Simple Life says
Texting has been one of the best things to happen to our marriage and we have been married 23 years. We are not disgusting but small little hints here and there and thank yous for last night. Men really like to have their egos stroked and it keeps us top of mind while they are out there during the day.
I agree that texting is really great, even for those of us who have been married quite a few years!
Thanks so much for stopping by.
I love that idea of “three zones” that we operate in. And yes, I agree wholeheartedly with all of your great tips. We, especially women, need to be pushed out of our comfort zones when it comes to sex. I think I do best when I’m “in my comfort zone” and I contemplate what I’ll do to step into my “stretch zone” sexually. I can’t do it in the heat of the moment as well. But when I gear up ahead of time, I do much better. Great thoughts here as always, Gaye. And come on over to Messy Marriage – I’m having my very first Wedded Wednesday Link up and would love to have your post listed there!
Thanks so much, Beth. I’m headed over to link up with you.
Thanks for sharing these idea. Love finding new tips to spice up our relationship. After almost ten years, we just kiss and roll over!
Cinella @ The Mami Blog
Thanks for stopping by, Cinella. It does take some effort after 10 years, doesn’t it – lol!
Anne Kimball says
Great tips here! Thanks for linking up with the TALU….
Julie DeNeen says
you offer some great tips. For me, I struggle with a missing libido. Have you seen it? 😛 Found you through the archive link up!
Sorry I haven’t seen it :(. I’m not an expert at all, but I know that some bloggers are addressing the “lost libido” issue.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Crystelle Boutique says
Thanks much for some fun tips to keep the romance alive.. 🙂
I enjoyed reading your article.
Thanks so much, Crystelle. I’m so glad that you dropped by.
[email protected] says
I love all these tips! Like the empowered momma said; I gotta try sexting, didn’t even think about this! After 20 years together and 2 children later it’s definitely good to have some strategies in place to keep the ‘sexy’ alive. It’s very easy to get caught up in routine. I guess it’s also remembering when we first met.
Thanks for the tips!
Hi Raquel – It is definitely too easy to get caught up in the routine and push the fun stuff to the side. I like your idea about remembering when we first met our husbands – it’s good to think about what really attracted us to them and to realize that they’re still really that guy. Yep, give the sexting a try – fun!
Jesse @ The Empowered Momma says
Excellent tips as always. After 15 years together we try to keep this part of our lives “hot” by being spontaneous. When our little guy arrived the spontaneity kind of left us for a bit. Sexting…gotta try that.
Hi Jesse – Yes, having kids takes a serious bit out of spontaneity! But you eventually get it back – our kids are older now and we have a lot more flexibility than we did a few years ago. And yeah, give the sexting a try!
Another great article! Very encouraging.
We have had very cold weather recently, so when we’re getting ready for bed the room tends to be pretty cold; we realized that we were taking off our outer layers and quickly leaping into bed and pulling the covers up to our necks and THEN trying to feel sexy, and it wasn’t working too well. So we decided instead to start by putting a hot-water bottle in the bed and standing next to it kissing and removing each other’s sweater, jeans, etc. in a sensual kind of way. This worked a lot better than I had thought it would! 🙂
Oh, I love that idea for a great way to get ready for bed! And the hot water bottle too!