SWM 058 – Anonymous Questions from May 2020
It’s summer here at Uncovering Intimacy headquarters, and man it’s hot! Today and tomorrow, it’s supposed to be 40 degrees Celsius with the humidity (104F). So, I’m sitting in my office with the air conditioning on trying to get this podcast out.
Today we’re going to be answering some more questions from our anonymous Have A Question page.
But first, I want to share something that’s pretty cool. You may have heard me mention that we revamped our Becoming More Sexually Engaged course and our pilot group is just about finishing it off. They’ve been awesome in helping to tweak it, finding bugs, typos, etc, so that the next wife going through it can have an easier time.
And we’ve already had a few wives not in the pilot group sign up and start going through. There’s a forum for all the wives to discuss the material and it’s been awesome to see if get used for questions, support, encouragement and tips and tricks.
But the neatest thing is this one piece of data that I’ve managed to pull out.
After each of the 9 modules of the course, I ask them what they thought about the module, how much they learned, how difficult it was, etc.. I also ask them on a scale of 1-10, how they’d rate their sexual confidence. At the beginning of the course, on average, they answered a 3.5 out of 10. After module 6 (2/3rds done the course), on average, the wives have said their confidence has increased 121% to 7.8. That means that on average, they feel more than twice as confident about sex than when they’ve started. And you can see it in their posts in the forum. They’re excited to do the challenges. They’re engaged in trying to make sex better for both themselves and their husbands.
In most cases, these are women who when signing up said that they felt sex was a “take or leave it” sort of thing, that they really did it to keep their husband’s happy, or that they really struggled to enjoy sex or to look forward to it. Many said they’re rather sleep than have sex on pretty much any given day.
If you’re a wife struggling with desire, with confidence, with making sex fun and something to look forward to, what do you think a 121% increase in sexual confidence would do for your marriage? And we’re not even done yet!
I’m hoping to share some testimonials down the road, because I think they’ll be amazing, but for now, I just wanted to share that little piece, because I’m excited about it! I’m thrilled to see them experiencing a new-found enjoyment in their marriage, and being excited about it!
That said, there’s a caveat. Some of the wives have said their husbands bought it for them, or signed them up or asked them to sign up. If you are a husband – don’t do this. Frankly, it’s worse than a waste of money. It’s not going to have the same impact. One never even started to go through the material. The rest, as a group, have still seen increases – but not nearly as substantial. And they’re answers show they’re not as excited about the material as the others.
In short – if you’re a wife who wants this for herself, for her marriage, for her husband, then go for it. You can check out the course here. If you’re a husband wishing your wife would sign up for it – leave it alone. Wait for her to want it. Because what you could end up doing is signing her up, having her drag her feet through it (or not do it at all), and then have a bad impression of when she would actually be willing to do something like that.
We have a few weeks left before they’re all done, and then I hope to share some more, but for now, let’s get on to the questions.
Question 1 – Husband in jail
I have been looking for an answer everywhere and even prayed about it. It’s regarding whether masturbation is a sin or not. My situation is different. My husband was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Now he is serving prison time. Sometimes when he calls he wants me to masterbate and because of my doubt whether it’s a sin or not I hesitate. He says it helps him when he looks at my pictures when he does it in his own time and also wants to help me. We’re not able to satisfy each other’s needs physically so we do like phone sex. I appreciate any insight you can give.
Alright, so this is going to be radically different depending on who you ask. Here’s my take:
I believe sex should be shared between a husband and wife. And I believe masturbation is sex. So, therefore I believe masturbation should be shared between a husband and wife. So, while I would say that I don’t think you masturbating for him on the phone is wrong, his plan to masturbate alone would be.
That’s my take. I think most people would disagree with me though. Ultimately, you have to act in accordance with your own convictions, not mine.
And some will argue that that’s not fair, that there aren’t any other options, that it’s too hard to expect him to wait. But, frankly, those are all logical fallacies. The fact that it’s hard not to, doesn’t make it right. The fact that it’s not fair otherwise doesn’t make it right. The fact that you feel sorry for him, or her, doesn’t change what’s right or wrong.
I think I’ll leave it at that.
Question 2 – Husband masturbates all the time
Hi and thank you for this opportunity. My husband masturbates all the time while none or very little of my sexual needs are being met. I’ve spoken to him about it in a number of occasions but he tells me he prefers it to sex sometimes. I’m ALWAYS satisfying myself and it’s getting tiresome. Unfortunately, I’m one of the 35% of women who don’t climax from intercourse but he doesn’t know that because he would stop trying.
Oh, I’m sure he prefers it to sex somtimes. It’s sex without having to worry about someone else’s needs. It’s sex while only having to love yourself. It’s all about him.
Here’s the problem – you can’t change him. He has to want to change. But you can set your own boundaries. And there’s a large spectrum of things to do there.
On the far one side, you have an option to love him unconditionally, even when he’s not loving you back. Show him what it’s like to love and hope he feels convicted and starts to change.
On the other side you can treat it as sexual infidelity and divorce him. I’d say this should only be used as a last resort – if you literally cannot tolerate being married to him anymore and it’s causing you harm.
It’s sort of up to you how you want to handle it, because no one else can judge the impact it’s having on you. For myself, I’m very pro-marriage and divorce is an absolute last resort. So, I’d be on the “unconditional love” side. But that doesn’t mean you can’t setup boundaries to protect yourself a bit.
I’d suggest two books in, this order:
I’d read them in that order because while Boundaries in Marriage is good – it often gets either misinterpreted or people get over-zealous with boundaries. I’ve heard so many spouse complain that their husband or wife read it and suddenly started accusing them of being abusive and laying down “boundaries” that look nothing like a health boundary. And it’s not that the book taught them that, but in their current mental state / maturity, they interpreted it very skewed. Sort of like how you can pick verses out of the Bible to tell you to do anything.
I’ve never heard such a complaint about Keep your love on, and I feel it does a better job of laying down a foundation of love first. Once that is in place – then Boundaries in Marriage should be safe. That’s the hope anyways.
P.S. Someone asked recently what the other book I recommend with Boundaries is – this is it. So, consider your question answered as well.
Question 3 – Husband won’t quit porn
My spouse and I were having a conversation a few months back about people being themselves. He then asked if I would be ok with him watching porn. I was shocked because after we got married he told me he had a problem but was getting help for it. Since it was not drugs or alcohol I figured whatever it was it would be fine since he was getting help on his own. I found out what the issue was after I walked in on him pleasuring himself late one night in the living room. He had turned me down for sex that night after we had a small argument. He tried to make me feel like it was my fault after I caught him. I found out then that the issue he brought to me a few years ago is that he said he was getting help for porn. I was hurt and devastated. We had what I thought was a good conversation about it afterwards so we could move forward. From then on I was always looking to see at night if he was still up doing it. I explained to him a few months ago after he asked me about agreeing to let him watch it, how it made me feel he said “well I want to do it”. That question didn’t sit too well with me. Early Christmas morning of last year, I got up to let him know that now would be a good time for him to put our daughter’s gifts out from Santa. I found him dozed off at his laptop while porn was on. I was hurt and mad bc how about if our 7 daughter would have woken up to see it on his laptop. Again he lied to me and said he didn’t pull it up and how he wouldn’t have done that because we have a child in the house. I was livid. Again, we had another talk. But this time it took a toll on me emotionally. Each time I caught him watching it, he would say it was the first time since the last time when he finally admitted he did it. Since then, our marriage has not been the same. I didn’t trust him because he lied with such a straight face and he did it without thinking. He was convincing. A month later, I walked in on him masturbating one night. He tried to deflect what I was asking and made it seem like it was my fault after it took him 10 mins to admit that is what he was doing. He then said he didn’t get a chance to please himself completely. I asked him how often he was masturbating after he told me it had been a long time since he masturbated. That was a lie. I was hurt all over again. I am over it with him. I can’t keep doing this after over 10 years of marriage. I gave him an ultimatum. If he didn’t get some kind of help in a few weeks I was leaving him. He made efforts for help but either their schedule didn’t work with his work schedule or they were located too far out. It has been about 4 months now. We have only had sex twice. He has a very high sex drive but bc I am spying on him to see if he is doing anything he has become annoyed and isn’t interested. A part of me wants to but the other part of me doesn’t have it in me because I am so hurt. He said he wants to have sex with me but with all this going on he is reluctant because I keep double checking with him every few days to see if he recently masturbated. I’ve been checking the laundry basket for extra washcloths to see if he used it to relieve himself. I asked him if he would do marriage counseling but he said he doesn’t feel he needs it but I could do it on my own if that’s what I want if I feel that is what I need. I was hurt and frustrated. I checked the laundry basket where there were just three items there and one of them was a washcloth that was recently used but it was not like a dry cloth from being wet. It had a hard dryness to the center of it. A stiffness almost to the same likeness to the cloth I found after he lied about reaching his peak fours months ago. I called him in the room and asked him about it. He said he didn’t know what that was in the cloth. He was like I shaved the other day but the thing is no hair was on it. It even had like a large hand print in the stiff area of the cloth. He said he isn’t watching porn or masturbating and the last time was when I walked in on him that last time. Deep down I don’t believe him. I don’t think he thinks I will leave him. But I already have a plan B arranged if I have to. He knows if he admits it, it’s over so he has a reason to lie. Telling the truth at this point will determine both of our futures. I want my marriage to work but I refuse to feel the emotional rollercoaster rides, not sleeping at night knowing he is up. I go to sleep thinking about it and I wake up thinking about it. It has consumed me. I was able to get past the ones in the past but this time it’s different.
So, there’s no question here. You haven’t asked anything. You’ve said basically “this is what’s happening, and this is what I’m going to do”.
But I’m guessing that there’s an implied question here. You either want me to talk you out of it, or you want to know what I think you should do. Why else post it?
And frankly the answer is very similar to the one before this one. You can’t control him. You said you’d love him unconditionally – and now there are conditions. He vowed to be faithful to you – and now isn’t. In short – you’ve both broken your vows. That is not going to be a popular opinion, but I’m not arguing whether one was justified or the other, simply that they were broken.
How you move forward is up to you. Are you justified in breaking your vows? Matthew 5:32 could indicate you are. Whether that’s good enough is between you and God. The Bible is also clear that marriage was intended, from the beginning, to be for your life, and it’s only because of the hardness of hearts that Moses allowed divorce. Hardness of heart is a pretty serious thing in the Bible.
But I’m not going to tell you what to do. It’s up to you to decide if it’s something you can live with, or not. If you decide to live with it, I’d suggest the same two books:
Question 4 – Should Christians avoid Tantric sex?
I have a question about Tantric sex. Is it a concept something that Christians should avoid, or could it be something that a Christian couples incorporate into their sex lives?
My husband and I are interested in attending an intimacy treat in siesta key Florida. It incorporates some of the components of Tantric sex. We are committed Christians, and not interested in exploring eastern meditations or practices, but are interested in learning erotic massage and tips on becoming closer and more connected to one another.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I’ve had questions about Tantric sex pop up a few times. Most recently, you can find answers to our question in Episodes 39 and 51. I don’t have any resources on erotic massage, but if you want to learn how to give sensual massages, I suggest checking out Melt’s couples massage classes.
Question 5 – Premature Ejaculation
I am a 47 year old man and have been married for 21 years. Recently I have been experiencing premature ejactulation. I have never been a 20-30 minuteman (probably more like a 5-8 minuteman but usually after she’s climaxed) but these last 10-11 times I’ve been with my wife I’m not lasting longer than 15-30 seconds. I’ve prayed and want to be spirit led. My flesh has wondered if masterbation would help increase my stamina but I know your stance on that topic. I have researched organic ways of increasing sexual stamina such as kegel exercises, eating watermelon (including the seeds), spinach salads and smoothies, pumpkin seeds, taking zinc supplements and Korean ginseng. I want to sexually please my wife. She’s never been big on foreplay like kissing and “making out”and she’s definitely not interested in receiving oral. At first she was frustrated. But she wants to be spirit led and doesn’t want to masterbate. Do you have any recommendations for me?
I have a post on premature ejaculation here. I’m afraid I don’t have any new information about it since then. So, I’d refer you to that post.
Other than that, there are many options that can you can do besides sex or oral sex. Mutual masturbation is one, manual sex is another, so are sex toys.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, I’d check out Our Sexploration List which has hundreds of potential activities to choose from as well.
Question 6 – Bondage Resources
Hope you guys are healthy and doing alright! I was just looking over an old post of yours on the topic of bondage, and noticed that a link you listed is no longer working — it was for Japanese bondage rope on Amazon. My husband and I are interested to try out some gentle bondage options as part of our loving and respectful married sex life. In particular, I’m interested in some of the Japanese concepts of wrapping ropes around a person in safe and creative ways, without tying them down to anything. I am wary of researching anything to do with this on my own, because I don’t want to discover anything that crosses the line for me. Do you know of any Christian-friendly resources to learn about bondage knots etc., as well as places to buy safe/comfortable bondage ropes? Thanks!
We are very healthy, thank you for asking. I’ve updated the link in the post (here it is for easy reference) – thanks for pointing that out. The best place I know to buy it is Amazon – it’s easy, everywhere, and a good price.
As for Christian-friendly resources. Yeah, a couple that are more safe than others. They’re not Christian, but shouldn’t be offensive. At least I haven’t seen anything offensive on them. But they’re not my sites, so that could change any day.
Twisted Monk – Uses live models, but fully clothed
The Dutchy – Also uses a live model, but wearing a white body suit – it’s not see-through, but, well, you can discern curves and such through it, so it depends on your tolerance.
Those two should get you started.
Oh, and get a pair of safety scissors.
Question 7 – Jock Itch
Hi, I have jock itch and I’m afraid how it will affect my sex life in the future with my fiance, I’ve had a couple ex boyfriends before meeting my fiance and I got jock itch from one of them, the rest of my ex’s saw it and broke up with me because of it, it’s made me feel dirty and unloved.
(Even though I’ve had premarital sex in the past, me and my fiance have really worked towards saving ourselves for marriage) I’ve told my fiance about it and he says he will love me no matter what, and I believe it. What I’m worried about is if me having jock itch will affect my sex life in a negative way.
I would say see a doctor, naturopathic or traditional, up to you. Jock itch is caused by a fungus and should be treated. I’m not sure I have more to say about it than that. I honestly wasn’t away you could “catch” it from other partners, but if you can, then chances are you’d spread it too. So I’d get it treated. No reason it needs to affect your life long term that I know of.
Question 8 – Wife is not interested in sex
I have been married for 13 years to my wife – we have sex around 12 times a year. It has been this way since the moment we said “I do.” On the night of our wedding, we didn’t have sex – it took 4 days to consummate our marriage. I can’t recall her ever being sexually aroused – we have ALWAYS had to use a lubricant – she simply doesn’t enjoy any part of it. Around once a month she will invite me into the shower because she isn’t opposed to me that day, or for years she would lay on our bed and tell me to “just do it and get it over with.” There has been zero sexual intimacy for 13 years.
I have been angry with God for years about this and don’t feel like I am able to share this with anyone. I had sex with other women before we met and for a long time believed this was punishment for those sins. At this point, I don’t know if I can stay in this relationship. She has always dismissed any conversation about sex or therapy or speaking with a doctor. I love her but it’s tearing me up inside. Do I leave?
I think before you leave, if that’s what you’ve decided to do (see the previous questions about leaving), then I think it would be prudent to let her know you’re at the end of your rope, and you need to see changes. Those changes don’t need to be an increase in sex, but rather things like:
- See a doctor
- Go to counseling
- Do a study of what the Bible says about sex (I recommend Intimacy Ignited)
Because chances are that her unwillingness to try is based on either a physical, mental, or spiritual issue. Personally, I’d start there. I think there’s a good chance she doesn’t realize just how big of a deal it is, and if you leave, she’ll feel blindsided and you’ll both miss an opportunity to fix it. Plus, you’ll be abandoning her to live in her current state when you know it can be better.
Lastly, I don’t think this is punishment for past sins. I think it’s quite possible that it’s harder for you to deal with than others because you have past experiences, and I think it’s possible that part of her reluctance might be due to that past history, but that’s not the same thing. Those are natural consequences, not a punishment.
Question 9 – Not interested in sex with wife
How do I get my wife to understand that the reason we aren’t intimate is because she has rejected me in every other way. So sex with her is difficult due to not feeling any sexual connection. I love her and want to be intimate but initiation feels like rape.
Well, the first step would be to tell her how you feel. Let her know that you don’t feel good about the relationship and you want to work together to make it better. Then do something about it – coaching or counseling, depending on where you’re at and how deep the issues are. There’s not really enough to go on to recommend more.
Question 10 – Too loose
After giving birth to three big boys to say the lest I’ve been stretched out & now an very loose so sex isn’t very pleasurable. My hubby has introduced large size butt plugs & at times they hurt going in mostly because I’m very resistant. But once in they do help & sex is much better. Are we wrong to do this?
I don’t think it’s wrong, however, it sounds like you might need more lube, or more foreplay before using them.
There’s also a product I heard about a while back called Le Snuggle. They sent me one back in 2018 and we tried it up, but couldn’t get it to work well for us, and they didn’t respond to my questions asking for tips or what lube is best, etc..
So, I can’t quite recommend it, but it’s something to look into.
I’d also look into doing kegel exercises as they can help immensely. So can squats as they exercise many of the same muscles.
Question 11 – When to disclose masturbation addiction
I am a 30 year old single woman who has struggled on and off with masturbation and erotica on and off for 10+ years. I want to be married and have children, and I’m wondering in regards to dating, how and when to bring it up in a future relationship. I’m using the “dirty girls come clean” resources, and I notice it’s worse around my period which makes sense with hormones being disrupted.
I’m not an expert on dating. I met my wife at 16 and never dated anyone else. So, don’t take anything I say as authoritative. Honestly, no one should take anything I say as authoritative. I’m sharing ideas, tips, tricks, experiences, perspectives and tools. Ultimately, you have to choose for yourself what you do.
That said, here’s my sort of view of dating, engagement and marriage.
To me, dating is all about finding a potential spouse. Dating for fun makes no sense to me. During dating, I think you should be asking questions like what was your upbringing like, what are your hopes for the future, do you want kids, do you want to live in the city, what’s your relationship with God like, etc..
Then when you get engaged, it’s like that, but more intense. Now you’re starting to build a life together, to lay the foundation for a marriage. Where are you going to live? Where are you getting married? What are your views on sex? What are your struggles with sex?
At that point, either party is still allowed to walk away. It’s harder, you’re invested (sometimes financially if you’ve already booked a hall), but there’s nothing wrong with saying “I can’t do this”.
But I’m not sure there’s a right answer exactly. I think the wrong answer is after you’ve been married 7 years or so. That I’m fairly certain about because that’s what I did. I don’t recommend it. In fact, I’d say any point after you’re married is a bit unfair. You’ve got them to sign up for something they didn’t know about and could have. That’s cruel. And again, I’m saying that as someone who did it.
And if you’re anyone else reading this is struggling with porn (I’d call erotica porn) and are married and haven’t told your spouse – this is not an excuse not to tell them. Sooner is better than later. Later is almost always worse. It just means you’ve been lying for that much longer. It’s not going to get better.
That’s it for today! June’s questions should be coming up. If you want access to the questions as they come in, I’d suggest checking out our support page. Our supports get notified of new questions as they come in. They also help give ideas for how to answer, share perspectives and discuss them. It’s pretty neat to be involved with. They also get a few other perks as well. And, they help keep this ministry going.
And if you have a question, feel free to ask it on our Have A Question page and I’ll post my responses as soon as I can.
That’s it for today. Talk to you next time.
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
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