If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know we answer anonymous questions from our Have A Question page. This time, I managed to get my wife to offer her thoughts on a few of these. As well, I’ll be leveraging the opinions and suggestions of our supporters from our forum who get to mull over these questions as they come in.
So, without further intro, here are the questions:
Question 1: Gang Bangs
Is it wrong to want to add a “Gang Bang” to my bucket list?
For those who don’t know, a Gang Bang is a woman having sex with multiple men.
And, yes, it’s absolutely wrong. It’s adultery, plain and simple. Even if your spouse is okay with it, that doesn’t make it okay.
Check out the post Is it still adultery if you have permission? for more information.
I’d even argue that fantasizing about it is wrong, because when we give sin a foothold in our mind, we tend to start to rationalize and justify it. Soon you’ll start to think maybe it’s not so wrong, and you may start to try and make it a reality.
Christina’s Thoughts: And you should ask yourself what is it about this activity you are drawn to?
That’s a good point. Rather than dwelling on the fantasy itself, it might be helpful to dig into the why of it. What about it is appealing? For example, it might be the idea of having so much attention put on you. Maybe it’s about having multiple erogenous zones pleasured at once, or the desire to feel overwhelmed. Maybe it’s wanting to be seen as sexually desirous.
Whatever the reason, there may be things in your own marriage you can change to meet these desires in another way.
Question 2: How to make sex not feel like an obligation to the responsive desire spouse
My husband and I are still in the newlywed phase of marriage and have been loving your blog and the resources as we’ve been figuring out how to thrive together and have a healthy sex life in our marriage. We particularly found the posts on spontaneous and responsive desire and had great conversations about since it named what we’ve been experiencing. I normally don’t want to start in on sex but after one of us orgasms I really enjoy it. I was wondering, as someone with a responsive desire, how do I continue building a thriving sex life and have an equal give and take with my husband without feeling like I’m having sex out of obligation to him when we’re in the foreplay stage?
You don’t. I don’t think you should aim for an equal “give and take”. People who aim for “equal” end up basing their marriages on conditional love rather than unconditional love. You start worrying about who is giving more, and since it will never be perfectly equal, and because we tend to overvalue our own giving and our spouse’s taking, you’re setting yourself up for looking for an imbalance to be unhappy about.
Rather, just focus on the giving part from your side. Give what you can, when you can, as often as you can. That goes for sex, or anything else.
That way you can have a thriving sex life without worrying about who is initiating more, about who is enjoying it more, about who is having more orgasms, or in the mood more often, or who responds better. Comparisons like that will do you no good.
So, as someone with responsive desire, simply focus on what you can do. You can choose to respond, even when you don’t feel “in the mood”, knowing you will get there. You can choose to initiate, even when you aren’t feeling that desire at the moment, simply because it will bless your spouse. You can choose to try new things, even suggest them, because it will be important to your husband, even if it’s not important to you.
By choosing to love, it also takes the obligation factor out of it. It’s not something you “have” to do. It’s something you decide to do out of love. Out of unconditional love. Not because they are holding up their end of the bargain, or because it’s “equal give and take”, but simply because you want to love them.
Christina’s Thoughts: It’s not easy to adopt this mentality, and I struggle with it still and the idea is what can I do how much can I give. But when you remember that marriage is 100% from both people, not 50/50, it helps keep the perspective of giving cause you love not because you are obligated.
I don’t think adopting it necessarily means you won’t struggle with it. We all tend to fall back on old patterns when we get emotionally flooded. It’s definitely a process, and likely something you’ll never completely master. But, if you can even make small improvements, you can see large differences.
Question 3: How to get past setbacks during foreplay
Hey there Jay. Quick question for you. So my wife and I are currently trying to revitalize our sex life. It hasn’t been great for the past few years but we know it needs to be better. We’ve started scheduling sex, talking about it more openly, and looking for ways to mix it up here and there. The problem we run into is that, if we’re getting going, sometimes one little thing can really throw the whole thing off. Here’s an example.
Let’s say we’ve been making out for about five minutes. It’s great and fun and we’re getting warmed up. But, suddenly either it’s been too long, too short, or maybe my wife just isn’t ready yet so she starts to pull back a bit. I push on, but notice her pulling back. She’s in her head about it, so I start to get anxious and fidgety. I’ll ask, “what’s wrong” which I know is NOT what I need to ask, because it makes her think there should be something wrong. And yet, I do because I can’t think of literally anything else to say. Then she get’s even more flustered, and in about five minutes we’re both upset and sex clearly isn’t happening that night and may not for another month.
My question is do you have any advice on how to get over that hump. I get this mental block like I’m not able to think of what to do to fix it. And she’s so in her head that we get stuck. This doesn’t happen every time, but it does happen enough to cause a problem. We’re both always worried “will this be another bad time”. Any advice on how to get over that? I know the obvious answer is repetition and to create more good than bad times, but I was wondering if you had any practical advice. Maybe some things we can change up?
I think more important than “how to get over the hump” is why is the hump there? Or rather, why is it hanging you up? I would say ideally, when she pulls back, you two should be able to pause, have a conversation about what’s going on, what she needs, what you need, and then see if you can make that happen.
Maybe it’s been going on too long. That’s fine. She can suggest moving on to something else. Maybe it’s too short, that’s okay too, she can ask for more. Maybe she’s just not enjoying what you’re doing. No problem. Often what worked last time won’t work this time. Switch to something else. Or just take a raincheck for tomorrow.
But the point is, you need to communicate. The reason you’re having a “hump” is because something is coming up, but no one is talking about it, so you can’t navigate around it. You’re just trying to push past the conflict. That’s why you’re getting hung up on it.
So, my practical advice is: talk about it. It’s awkward at first, and uncomfortable, but it helps and it gets better.
Christina’s Thoughts: If she is feeling either bored or not ready to move onto the next activities you gotta engage her brain with what’s happening to her body. Engage all the senses. For me with having ADHD, my mind wanders a lot and it’s hard sometimes to stay in the moment and I get stuck in my head, one thing that’s helped us is Jay starts telling me a story or a little dirty talk or what he wants to do to me. Gets my brain engaged with where we want things to go, not get hang up in my brain.
Question 4: Wife needs to feel dirty to orgasm
My wife of 50+ years usually can orgasm only through manual stimulation and not that often even though I’m willing to try to help her orgasm. She recently confided that when she is masturbating with my help she has to fantasize that someone is watching in order to orgasm. Previously I had introduced her to some anal play and for a while she would usually orgasm to that. But she said she now accepts anal play as okay and no longer “dirty “ so she is not able to come with just that. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Yeah, a few. Our support forum had some questions:
- Does she read erotica / romance novels? Often they portray situations where some sort of shame or force is being applied. If her brain has become accustomed to being aroused that way, then that could be the cause.
- What was she taught about sex growing up? If she was taught that sex is dirty / shameful, then it could be she associates sex with dirty feelings, and so can’t get aroused unless she feels that sense of shame / guilt / dirtiness.
- Has she experienced sexual abuse as a child? This also sometimes happens that people who were sexually assaulted as a child form neuropathways that connect sex to shame, dirtiness, or some other feeling that was there at the time.
She still has the physical ability to orgasm, so that’s good. It’s just something in the brain getting in the way. It could be that the sense of taboo boosts her sexual excitation system enough to outweigh her sexual inhibition system to let her have an orgasm.
The two options generally are:
- Figure out what’s holding her back – what’s triggering her sexual inhibition system. This could be past abuse, a mindset, or even just dirty dishes in the sink.
- Find something else that boosts her sexual excitation system – the problem with this is, as you say, it wears off. You might constantly be looking for something new to trigger that dopamine rush.
So, while option 2 can be useful, the long term goal should be option 1, and that might take some introspection, reading the right book, going to therapy, or whatever it takes to cause that shift in mindset.
What about adding taking videos of yourselves. You don’t need to watch them, but knowing it’s recorded could get her excited.
The fact that she said she needs to feel that dirty feeling has me thinking there might be some teachings from when she was young that are holding her back.
Is she a bit of a rebel? An adrenaline junkie? Maybe she’s trying to keep life exciting.
Question 5: Boundaries damaged my marriage
I’m not sure how to address this. I’m not perfect and I know this but ever since my wife read the book boundaries, our marriage took a nose dive. She calls them boundaries, but they feel like walls. We only have sex when she allows it, she makes me feel like a sex fiend, if I ask and all ways says I’m addicted to sex because I ask for it weekly. I was reading another pastors review and he didn’t like the book because it approaches the reader, assuming they are a victim. And I’d agree, my wife treats me like I’m sexually abusive for wanting sex. I’m not even allowed to see her naked or I’m a perv. She keeps adding new boundaries and pushing me further. When I tell her this, she said the book told her I’d act this way and it confirms it. I love her but she is crushing me. She claims to be a Christian but I’m not so sure anymore since she read this book.
Unfortunately, this is something that happens fairly regularly when people read Boundaries. It’s a … dangerous book. Not that it’s a bad book. It’s just designed for a specific group of people. For that group, it helps. But for another group, it can do some serious damage. Sometimes people start adopting what they call “boundaries”, but are really nothing like the boundaries in the book. They don’t come from a place of love, but rather of fear, or hate, or a mix. Those false boundaries are usually designed to protect the individual from growing, they use it as a shield against conviction, against being vulnerable or intimate. It becomes a way to isolate and validate their shutting down against their own convictions and ultimately helps lead to a hardened heart – a very dangerous thing.
And unfortunately, the response to unhealthy boundaries by a healthy person is going to look a little similar to the response to healthy boundaries by an unhealthy person. They’re going to be frustrated and hurt, and possibly a little angry.
That’s why usually when I have someone who needs to assert some real, healthy boundaries, I suggest the book Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk. It teaches about boundaries, but it’s within the context of a larger message of how to love unconditionally – yourself, and others. Because it’s focused on love, rather than protection, I find it lays a better groundwork for what a healthy boundary is. Boundaries tries, but often people miss the message and jump straight to setting up boundaries that make them feel protected – and some people, frankly, need to feel less protected. Vulnerability is a key part of both growth and intimacy.
As for whether or not she’s a Christian, I can’t answer that. What I can say is that sometimes Christian people act very un-christian like. But also that the truth of the status of our heart is told by our actions.
I’d suggest reading the book Keep Your Love On and then suggest it to your wife. Say that you think she’ll like it because she enjoyed Boundaries so much. Then model what healthy boundaries are, while showing her unconditional love. Show her what love looks like. Not by being angry, sulking and attacking her new protection, but by sliding past it. Yes, there is a risk that she’ll see you’re being more loving and think “look, it’s working” and double-down, but there’s also a chance that by being loving, you’ll convict her strong enough to break through this defense.
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22
Question 6: Long term effects of using a vibrator
Hi Jay, I frequently use a vibrator to reach orgasm as it takes a very long time to reach one using manual stimulation.
Using a vibrator I can usually reach an orgasm within 1 to 2 minutes, but are there any long term effects of using a vibrator to get to an orgasm so fast?
I’ve done a little bit of research and some say that eventually your body will need a stronger and more intense vibration to achieve one, and the intensity of orgasms won’t be nearly as strong/long.
Yes, there are some long term effects, but not permanent ones. Our brains are very plastic (malleable) and so it’s possible to rewire a lot of things.
Yes, some people say they need stronger vibrations, but I believe only if they’re using it very “hard”. Like if they’re pushing the vibrator right against their clitoris with a fair amount of pressure. So, it depends on how you use it. If you prefer a lighter touch, then that’s likely not to be as much of an issue. It’s sort of the equivalent to “death-grip” for men who masturbate and now can’t get used to the softer feel of a vagina and can’t orgasm during sex.
The problem with vibrators is that you get used to being able to orgasm in 1-2 minutes. It’s incredibly efficient. So then when you want to orgasm without a vibrator, it seems to take forever. Studies say that most women achieve orgasm in 20-40 minutes of direct manual stimulation. Of course, many women would rather take 1.5 minutes instead of 30, if we take the averages. Especially if sex isn’t higher on their priority list and it makes it end quicker.
However, with more practice at manual stimulation, anecdotal evidence suggests that that 20-40 minutes can be shortened considerably. We did a survey back in 2018 on this and amongst our married, Christian couples, the average time to orgasm is down to about 15 minutes, with about half being shorter than that.
I think as couples learn to have sex together, they get better at it, and they get more efficient, more relaxed, and orgasms come easier.
The other problem is that efficiency shouldn’t always be the goal. Sure, you can orgasm in 1-2 minutes. If your husband is orgasming in 5 minutes, that means your intimate time together is pretty short.
Now, sometimes that’s handy, if you’re just trying to slip in a quickie before work, or church, or whatever. But my personal opinion is that sometimes those longer, protracted sex sessions when you get a chance to serve each other for prolonged periods are really intimacy building. Knowing that your husband will pleasure you for 20-40 minutes because you’re worth it – that can be a powerful way to show and receive love. If you can get out of your head with worrying about how long it’s taking that is.
Plus, the more you practice at it, the easier it will likely come, and then you can use tricks like edging and changing activities to prolong the intimacy.
So, while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a vibrator, I’d still practice those times when you don’t. Also, those times when a husband can make his wife orgasm without a vibrator – that’s a huge ego boost there. The sense of accomplishment is pretty amazing. Just to know it’s still possible. Doesn’t have to be every time for most husbands, but once in a while, it’s well worth the time invested.
That’s it for now. More questions coming up soon as I have to get February and March’s out.
Also, I’m working on a virtual marriage retreat while everyone is stuck at home, so if you haven’t already, you might want to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.
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