SWM 037 – Anonymous Questions from January 2019 – Part 1
Well, here we are, another month nearly gone, and another pile of questions from our anonymous Have A Question page begging for answers. In fact, I got so many in January, it took me nearly all month to write answers for them, and it’s going to take me a little longer to record podcast episodes, but I am working on it. So, this is just Part 1 of the January responses.
Before we get to those though, I want to mention a few things.
The first is, I’ve changed some things around with respect to our support community. Until recently, I’d been using Patreon to handle all monthly contributions. Unfortunately, Patreon has gone and upset a fair number of people. So, I’ve changed our Support Us page to include a strictly PayPal option – for those who would prefer not to be involved with Patreon.
I’ve also added some more information there regarding the benefits of helping us with our ministry, and our first goal that we’re trying to achieve. Actually, we’re only $5/month short of our $350/month goal of meeting the monthly bills for the blog. Yep, it takes about $350/month to keep all this running. A huge thanks to all our supporters who continue to help pay for those bills.
So, another $5, and we’ll hit our goal, and I’ll commit to at least monthly podcast episodes.
Also, we have a new survey up. If you haven’t filled it out, please do so here.
Lastly, I’ve got a toll-free number! I thought it would be neat if people could leave voicemails of questions and I could include them in the podcast. That way you can listen to some other people’s lovely voices and not just mine all the time. So, if you have a question and would rather speak it than write it, call 1-833-719-0228. You can also just leave me a voicemail there too, even if it’s not a question.
If you’re in the US, you can also text that number and I’ll get it. Doesn’t work outside of the US unfortunately. Not quite sure why… I can’t even text my own number here in Canada. I’m hoping they’ll open that up at some point in the future.
Anyways, those are all the announcements. On to the questions
Question 1: Should single people be reading my blog?
I am a single 19 year old and am committed to saving sex for marriage. I find your posts very informative and am interested in learning more about sex from a christian perspective. My question is, is it wrong be seeking this kind of information when marriage isn’t in the picture just yet? Is it good that I’m wanting to gain a better perspective on sex or should I be waiting to do that a little further down the road?
This is a question that’s coming up more than more. The truth is, I have quite a few single readers. There are over 60 on my mailing list who admit to being single. I suspect more who think if they actually let me know, I’d unsubscribe them or filter what they can see somehow.
I think that certain posts on my blog, like how to do specific sexual activities, or how to keep things in the bedroom interesting, and some other topics are probably unwise for single people to read.
That said, I have a lot of posts on communication, trust, etc. that are applicable to many other relationships as well, especially when you are choosing a spouse. As well, I think it’s important to see what a healthy sexual relationship looks like (not literally, but figuratively), because most of us don’t get a whole lot from our parents on that front.
As well, as my children grow up (my eldest is now 12), they’re going to start thinking about dating, marriage, sex and all that stuff, so in the coming years, I’m probably going to start addressing more and more of those types of questions, in addition to the continuing tide of questions about marriage.
And we’ve already had some questions in the past asking about premarital sex, or if oral sex is okay before marriage. We need some place to answer those questions, and every time I try to start a new website to tackle another topic, it quickly dies. I don’t seem to have the ability to manage multiple blogs at this time.
So, yeah, I think it’s fine for you to read this blog. I just ask that you be careful about what topics you choose to read.
Question 2: Mind-Reading
Not really sex related but more relationship related why does my wife think I’m psychic? And read her mind.
Thank you! Yes, we do answer non-sex questions too 🙂
It is a failing of us humans that we tend to think everyone thinks like we do. Some hold this belief more strongly than others. When someone thinks you can’t have a thought they don’t have, that’s called bad “Theory of Mind”. It’s a part of the mind (not brain) that starts to grow around the age of 3 or 4. Before that point a child thinks you know everything they know and visa-versa. That’s why they’ll cover their eyes and say “you can’t see me”! Because, they can’t see you, ergo you must not be able to see them.
I think it’s also why they have no concept of theft. If they want something, they take it and they expect the person to want them to have it because, well, they want it.
We slowly grow more and more into this “theory of mind” as we grow up, but some exercise it more than others. I try very hard to exercise mine, because I naturally have very bad theory of mind. Training for coaching and the practice of coaching over the years has helped to strengthen mine.
Generally when spouses expect you to be a “mind reader” it’s because they think your mind works the same as theirs. They likely no longer believe you know everything they know and see everything they see, but they may still believe that you have the same “reality tunnel” that you have.
You see, none of us experience reality unfiltered, we take in some 400 billion bits of information per second through our senses, but we can only consciously handle 7±2 (between 5 and 9) bits of information at a time. Our brain decides what information is useful for us to know at any given time and doesn’t bother us with the rest.
On top of that, we have something call “reality tunnels” which are constructed by our experiences and belief systems. For example, a Christian may look up at the sky and see a beautiful example of God’s creation and an atheist may look up at the sky and see a beautiful example of the big bang theory. What you take as proof of your beliefs others will take as proof of their opposing beliefs.
This happens a lot in Christianity when two opposing doctrinal stances use the same verse to “prove” their point. They each filter the objective reality through different reality tunnels to achieve differing perspectives.
And then there’s the “critical faculty” which further filters what we accept into our brain – generally solidifying what we already believe and rejecting that which we don’t. I was just talking to a coaching client about this yesterday (as I write this).
So, as I was saying, it becomes a problem whenever anyone believes that someone else has the same reality tunnel as them. This tends to happen in marriages because our lives are so intertwined that of course we think they see things the way we do.
As well, we like to be right, and one way we validate that we’re right is when people agree with us. So, when our spouse sees things differently, or doesn’t see what we do, or doesn’t think what we think, then we get angry, because, well, getting angry is easier than potentially being wrong. And, our spouse is supposed to think like us, aren’t they? I mean, that’s why we love them, right? Because they’re exactly like us and prove that we’re right! … right?
So, it isn’t that your wife thinks you’re a mind reader, it’s just that she thinks you think exactly like her, or at least should. But what’s the chance that you’re reality tunnel is going to line up exactly with hers, and that your brain will filter those 400 billion bits of information down to the same 7±2 pieces?
Now, the other thing that comes into play that when women are afraid of something in a marriage, it’s generally related to security. Men tend to be afraid they won’t be able to provide something (money, emotional connection, adequate sex, children, etc.), but women tend to be afraid they won’t get something (money, emotional connection, fidelity, children, etc.). Not always, but generally.
One of these things that make women feel secure is to be known. Unfortunately some people take this a bit too far and think that if you “really” knew them, you’d know what they were thinking all the time. But, that’s a super power I think only God has.
Whether it’s rational or not, it could be that when you show that you don’t know what she’s thinking, there’s an insecurity that pops up and makes her feel that either the relationship is in trouble, that you don’t love her, or that you aren’t interested in what she thinks. Those are devastating thoughts to many women.
So, that’s the why. What do you do about it?
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. – Proverbs 26:4
Don’t argue with her about it. It’s not a rational argument, and debating will only make things worse. It will suck you into a vortex of irrationality, and you will lose.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. – Proverbs 26:5
But you also can’t leave it unchallenged. So, just simply state “I cannot read your mind, but if you’d like to tell me what you think I should know, I’d love to learn what you think.” Now, she may retaliate with “well, if you don’t know, then I’m not going to tell you”, but that’s just baiting you into an irrational argument you can’t win, so you can just say “That’s up to you, I can’t do anything about that.”
You should be aware, these are likely to really irritate her. Ultimately what’s happening is you’re being rational in the face of irrationality, and that makes the irrationality even more obvious, which is uncomfortable when you’re being the irrational one.
Best case scenario: She realizes she’s being irrational. It’s a rare person (male or female) who is humble enough to recognize when they’re wrong in the middle of being wrong.
Second best: She gets mad, stomps off and later realizes and apologizes.
So, that’s my best guess as to why she thinks you’re a mind-reader and what you can do about it. I hope it helps!
Question 3: DIY Arousal Lube
Have you ever heard of someone combining coconut oil with menthol or food-grade peppermint oil to make a homemade female stimulating lubricant? I’d like to try this but if someone else has gone ahead of me and had a bad experience, I’d rather learn this lesson vicariously, as a burn on a rather sensitive area sounds pretty unpleasant!
I’m not sure I’ve heard of people specifically making arousal creams themselves, and I haven’t tried it. Some comments from our supporters group might help though:
- Peppermint oil is a “hot” oil, which means it can burn. Be careful.
- Test all oils on the inside of your wrist first to test for sensitivities.
- You should always dilute oils if you’re planning to use them internally or on sensitive skin (see some horror stories here). Plant Therapy has some dilution charts and suggestions here, but they don’t specifically address genitals …
And the person who volunteers to edit my posts before they go out (thank you!) wrote this, which I’m just going to copy and paste, because I don’t know how better to summarize it.
Regardless of what the essential oil is, it should never be casually used on the genitals, or mucous membranes for that matter. There are times when working with a qualified aromatherapist a diluted essential oil can be used to address a specific condition at a specific place for a specific amount of time.
Peppermint, as well as other essential oils can actually cause irreversible damage if used incorrectly. Even lavender can cause damage, and it’s thought to be one of the most benign essential oils out there.
If they want to find a qualified aromatherapist, I always suggest NAHA. Many work remotely, some only work locally. https://naha.org/find-an-aromatherapist/
So, there you go.
Question 4: Is it wrong to masturbate to get ready for sex?
My husband and I have sex quite frequently, almost every evening after our four kids are in bed, and sometimes twice a day. Some days I like to get myself “revved up” beforehand, to be sure I’m in the mood when the time comes. I never orgasm by myself, only when I’m with him, and usually only “tease” myself for a minute or so. It’s definitely not taking away from our sex life; if anything it’s enhancing it. My husband knows that I do this, and often if he walks in while I’m taking a bath or whatever he’ll “take over” for me. Sometimes this actually leads to sex when we otherwise wouldn’t have had it. We have a great time and it’s basically foreplay on and off all day some days. Is this wrong?
We’ve talked about masturbation a lot on this blog. My views aren’t popular (I know), but people keep asking. To be honest, I don’t have an answer for this one. In my mind, there’s a big difference between “teasing yourself” and expecting your spouse to walk in and catch you, and playing with yourself in order to stoke the fires for later. Others would probably bucket those things together.
As with all things, you have to follow your convictions. My rules for myself are simple: is this a shared experience with my spouse and only my spouse?
I think you should figure out what your rules are, why they are your rules, and then act in accordance with your convictions.
Question 5: List of sex routines
Recently I read the book “Do It Better” which was very interesting, in fact I couldn’t put it down and read it in just a few hours. In it the authors list several of their favorite sex routines. These were very fun to read through and implement certain elements into our own routines. Wondering whether you keep a list of common routines anywhere? We’re curious to try more. Thanks!
I do not. I’m not great at “routines”. I like things to be adaptable depending on what’s working and what isn’t. That may just be because I find often what works today will not work tomorrow. So, if I’m following a routine, if it gets interrupted, or the response isn’t what I expected, that would throw me off.
Doesn’t mean they’re bad. It just means it’s not something I’ve considered making.
However I noticed that ChristianFriendlySexPostions.com has added a routines section to their website which you may want to check out. They only have one so far, but if I know them, they’ll have more up soon.
Question 6: Sex Furniture
I have personally heard great things about them. I haven’t tried them myself though, frankly we don’t have the room for them (5 kids and 2 parents in a 4 bedroom house and one bedroom is my office). But if I did, I would definitely be checking them out. It’s a pricey investment, but I hear it’s well worth it. Sorry I can’t be of more help.
Question 7: Unwanted book
I’m in my first year of seminary for a Masters in Counseling and I’m taking a class on sexuality. Today’s discussion led me to Google searching, and that’s how I found your blog and podcast!
Have you had a chance to read Jay Stringer’s book called “Unwanted“? It’s amazing and I can’t recommend it enough! He’s done research with 3,000+ people about unwanted sexual behaviors (including porn and infidelity). The idea is to look at the unwanted sexual behavior and find the root. I found it fascinating and really telling about the sexual behaviors we desire.
I ask because while I’ve found reading your blog really helpful, I wonder if some of the things suggested could really be unhealthy/holy acceptance of acting out things in our past that bother us? For example, trying to understand how bondage (or other somewhat “taboo” activities) can be holy? I listened to the podcast that addressed golden showers and loved how you were upfront and basically said it was about humiliation and that it takes your partner’s dignity away. So I believe you have a basis for suggesting it can be…but I guess I’m just wondering thoughts on that?
I’m not sure what Stringer would say personally about bondage (so I’m just putting his framework on this one particular issue), but he does address that many men desire power over women for various reasons and that those reasons are unhealthy. I see only that bondage would only encourage men to power over women in an unholy way, vs inviting men to look at why they feel this need to assert power, etc.
Obviously, this works with both genders, and the book talks about much more, this is a fly-over example. But I’d just like to hear your thoughts!
(Sorry so vague and a bit all over the place, I’ve tried to refine it and I’m struggling! I will be watching the blog and I’ll comment if it’s relevant should you post this question!)
I have not read his book, but I’ll check it out.
As for the question about bondage, I have an entire post about it here if you like. It should clear up my thoughts on the topic. If not, feel free to comment. However, I wanted to point out that in a lot (maybe most) cases I see, it’s the woman wanting to be tied up, not the man wanting to tie up the woman. Usually the men feel uncomfortable having that much power. In all honesty, I see that as more of a problem than women wanting to be tied. I think a lot of men these days are uncomfortable with power and responsibility, and that’s not a healthy thing.
I hope that helps. Thanks for the book recommendation.
That’s all for this part. Hope to have part 2 up shortly. If you aren’t already, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out.
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
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