SWM 076 – June 2021 Questions – Boring sex lives, ED and PE troubles and breast play
August has snuck up on me, and so I’m a little late getting June’s questions out, but here they are. For those who are new, these questions come from our anonymous Have A Question page and as such, we have no context other than what they share and no contact information generally to follow up with. So, we do what we can with what we received. These questions are all shared with our supporters who help by sharing their thoughts and perspectives.
Before we get to the questions though I want to let you know about a new survey we’re running. I had someone ask about what sorts of noises people make during sex with their spouse, so I put together a survey to see if we can gather some data to help answer it. We’re hoping to get 2,000 responses to our Sex Noises Survey before doing the data analysis, so if you haven’t answered it yet, please fill it out here and get 20% off our sexy coupons printable for completing it.
Lastly, I’ve been updating Our Sexploration List printable and am ready to release the new version. So, if you’ve already purchased it, you can download the new one from the shop by logging in. If you’re one of our supporters who give $5/month or more, you get it free, and if you’re considering becoming one of our supporters, now is a great time to join, because if you pledge $5 or more a month, you get it free too.
Question 1 – Boring sex life
I have a colourful sexual past including homosexual behaviour. When I was in college I stopped going to church stopped caring about my relationship with God and wasn’t thinking about my future sexual relationships. I had a breakthrough my senior year and started back on the right path focusing on Christ. I repented and honestly believe God has forgiven me.
10 years later I’m married to my beautiful wife and have a 2-year-old son. We have a pretty boring sex life, not just compared to my old life, but to other healthy Christian marriages. We have sex about once a month, I’m always on top and she just kind of lays there. I enjoy it but I feel like it could be better from what I hear on your podcast and other Christian marriage posts.
I have tried to talk about it with my wife but I always am met with, “I should be enough for you.” I am unsure of how to approach the subject now. I understand that’s she is probably hurt by my past which is understandable but I didn’t expect to have it held over my head all the time.
Thank you in advance!
This is one of the dangers of having pre-marital sex (regardless of the gender of the partner) that we often don’t talk about. Pre-marital sex is easier in a lot of ways. You’re often younger, your brain hasn’t fully developed – particularly the part that can assess risk, so you’re less worried about consequences. In the moment it feels like risk-free sex, with just enough guilt to make it taboo and sexy, but not enough to overwhelm you. You have a partner, but often you’re more infatuated than in love which means you’re more focused on how it feels than how they feel. In short, it can feel pretty good.
Then you get married. Real-life settles in. You move from infatuation to love which means you (hopefully) become less selfish and more focused on your partner – which is hard, because you don’t know what they’re thinking most of the time, and never exactly how they’re feeling. Your brain grows up, and you worry about pregnancy, bills, mortgages, work deadlines, laundry, appointments, etc.. Sex is no longer something that just happens spontaneously but is planned, scheduled, plus you’re supposed to do it, so it’s not exactly taboo anymore.
Based on your old standards, it can seem like a lot of work with less payout.
However, there’s also a massive opportunity. Having the same partner for 5, 10, 20, 30+ years means you can become very skilled at creating pleasurable experiences. There’s a world of experiences to explore that often requires trust and vulnerability that can be difficult for many outside of marriage. When you decide to start a family, then the risk of pregnancy turns into a joy of bringing life into the world – well, I’ve yet to find anything else that compares with the experience of raising a child.
And yes, it can still be really exciting and adventurous – but it does take both sides to be willing to be vulnerable and intimate. And that’s where you’re stuck.
It could be that she’s upset about your past. It could be that’s simply a smoke-screen so she doesn’t have to be vulnerable about sex. She might even be deceiving herself with it, I don’t know. But regardless, the way through it is probably some really uncomfortable conversations, and you might need a counsellor to help you walk through them.
I don’t have a magic phrase that will help you get past the “I should be enough for you”. Probably the best I can come up with is “I believe God intended this to be better for both of us, and I want us to explore what He gave us together.” which to be honest, isn’t going to fix everything, but it might put a very small crack in her defences. Then maybe suggest a Bible study. My wife and I led a small group study in our church of Song of Solomon using the book Intimacy Ignited and I highly recommend it. You can do it just as a couple. Read a chapter a week together. It even has discussion questions to push you to talk about it.
I’d try that as it’s a good start to open up a discussion about your sex life while framing it within a biblical foundation.
Question 2 – 70-year-old with ED
I am a 70-year-old husband, very active and in great health, on NO MEDICATION, a non-drinker and non-smoker, but I have difficulty holding an erection long enough to enter my wife for any kind of ejaculation inside her. I have no problem reaching a release if masturbating or having her bring me to a release, I’m wondering why I cannot hold a hard erection long enough to ejaculate inside her?
My first question would be is there porn use involved? Often in these situations, that’s the variable that’s missing. Porn is designed to hit many of our senses and arouse the mind, not just the body. It can be difficult for a flesh-and-blood wife to compete with that, and if your body is used to that level of arousal, it can be hard to maintain an erection without it.
As well, masturbation tends to give stronger sensations. Not to be indelicate, but it would not be surprising to hear that a close-to-70-year-old wife does not have the same grip strength in her PC muscles as she does with her hand or yours.
On top of that, masturbation requires less effort. It’s just your hand moving – or even less if just hers. Sex on the other hand tends to use large muscles which takes more blood flow which is also needed to maintain an erection.
You could also try Cialis or Viagra (or generic options of course) and see if that helps. Of course, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe, but considering your health, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be – but I’m not a doctor, so don’t take that as medical advice.
Question 3 – Premature Ejaculation
I’m in my late 40s and have had issues with PE my whole life. My wife and have tried everything from start-stop, squeeze, creams, training… The best I could do was a few thrusts and pull out wait start again. Not a great way to have sex but we’ve made it work. Now I’ve been having ED and not staying hard during my wait times. I’ve talked to my Dr about this for the first time. He prescribed Viagra for ED and Zoloft for the PE. He said I have to experiment with how much and when to take the Zoloft as it can delay orgasm or completely stop it. What kind of experiences do you or others have with these drugs.
Maybe more of a question for your forum group.
I’m afraid no one in our group had any experience with Zoloft for that purpose, but I do understand it’s fairly commonly prescribed for that.
Also, there is a spray that I’ve heard about from various sources called Promescent that sounds like it works wonders. I’ve never personally used it, but everything I hear about it is promising. It might be worth checking it out.
I am working on a post about Cialis and Viagra and hope to have it out soon, so stay tuned for that.
Lastly, I hope my readers and listeners will offer their experiences if they have any in the comments below.
Question 4 – Risky public sex
How many couples like to have risky public sex, in public restrooms, outside.
Sounds like a good idea for a future survey. I found one survey that said 26.1% of couples surveyed have had sex outdoors in a public park, field, forest or garden. 12.7% on the beach. 5.6% in a public bathroom. That’s the best I can do for now.
As well, I answered a larger question about the morality of public sex in episode 68 of the podcast.
Question 5 – 25 and trouble with ED
So my question comes from every once in a while I experience minor setbacks during sex with ED issues. I’m only 25 and my wife and I are fairly regular 4-5ish times a week and I have had issues with pornography in the past and have been porn-free for a while now but sometimes it’s a little longer to get hard and can’t always maintain it throughout sex. Now I’m fairly confident it’s mostly a mental issue because usually when it happens once it happens the next several times until I get my confidence back it seems. But my question is would this be a gradual transition into ED or entirely mental and if it is the onset to ED should I be talking to my doctor now because I’d rather not leave it untreated. Personally, I’d rather treat with a more natural method such as ginseng, maca, elk velvet, etc. But my benefits cover Cialis, not elk velvet. Haha
I think it’s good to talk to your doctor about it. Whether or not you want to take a drug, it’s good to have it on the record and get some things checked. ED can be an early warning sign of diabetes, for example. Then I’d say try all the natural things and if you want get some Cialis for special occasions when having it fail would feel more devastating, like anniversaries. Actually, for cases like that, I might go for Viagra instead as it kicks in quicker and leaves your system faster. I had one person tell me that if you chew them before swallowing (which I’m told tastes awful, so have something to wash it down with) it kicks in pretty quickly (I think he said 15 minutes or so), so you can keep it as a backup, then if something happens, you can take one while switching back to more foreplay type moves for a bit.
Question 6 – Fantasizing about pre-marital sex
I’ve got a question that has been bugging me for a while.
My husband and I had sex before we were married, and now that we’re married, when we have sex sometimes I find myself fantasizing about the times we had sex before we were married.
My question is, is this a sin? I’m not fantasizing about anyone else – just sexual interactions my husband and I had before marriage, but because we were sinning by sleeping together back then, is it a sin to fantasize about?
I think the reason it gets me so excited is because it was risky and exciting back then, doing something we shouldn’t have been doing… but now that we’re married we have great sex, I just still sometimes find myself thinking about our pre-marriage sexual experiences to get off when we’re in bed.
Thanks for all that you do. Your podcast and blog is a fantastic resource. It’s great to have a Christian who is open and willing to talk about and educate people on sex.
When I posted this question in the forum, as I do with all of them as they come in, one of our supporters pointed to Philippians 3:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:12-14
But to be honest, I find Philippians 4 to be clearer:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8
By quoting that, I mean that I don’t believe that God would want us looking fondly on our past sins. The fact that we eventually did the right thing doesn’t redeem what we did when we were wrong. Christianity isn’t a “the ends justify the means” endeavour. We can’t cleanse our past sins by eventually doing what is right, but rather we acknowledge our wrong-doing, ask for forgiveness and accept that Christ paid for that sin. To then say “well, Jesus paid for it, so I might as well enjoy it” … well, I don’t know what the word for it is, but it’s not right.
Rather, I think this points to something else that’s going on that should be addressed – why is it that pre-marital sex is more arousing than married sex for you? And I don’t ask that to say that you’re weird or anything. It’s very common. I wrote a whole post on Why marriage ruins sex. But it does point to an issue. We should enjoy married sex more. We should have more freedom to explore, no guilt, no anxiety, no time constraints or worries about being caught and getting into trouble.
So, perhaps there’s work there to be done to figure out why exactly, for you, what should be uninhibited sex is less exciting. The other issue is that having to withdraw to a fantasy means you aren’t in the moment when having sex. It sort of pulls you out of the shared experience that sex should be in the same way that reading a book together is a shared experience, but reading two separate books sitting beside each other isn’t in the same way. I’m hoping that makes sense.
So, what can you do? The supporter who mentioned Philippians 3:12-14 also suggested checking out our resources in the shop. I’d suggest these two:
- Introduction to Talking Dirty – many women find this helps keep them in the moment as well as arousing the mind.
- Our Sexploration List – I created this resource for couples to be able to find things that were arousing to both of them. I’d suggest going through it and finding some new things to try. Find ways to keep both of you engaged and more aroused. I just updated it and I’m giving it away free to any new and existing $5+ supporters this month.
Hopefully, they can help.
Question 7 – Free ebook
I don’t see the free e-book you mention in SWM070 on the website. Has it been taken down?
Our “Where did my sex drive go?” ebook is still available and free. I also put a link in our shop now so it’s easy to find back again.
Question 8 – Turned on by wife urinating
Is it wrong that I’m turned on by my wife peeing in the toilet? She’s so comfortable that she leaves the door open, drops her underwear, and pees. She’s even done this after we fooled around in the shower, literally while I’m drying off feet away. I try to watch but know I’ll be caught watching. She has no idea how arousing I find this, yet I feel totally weird telling her.
I mean, it’s not that surprising is it? We grow up being told that’s a private function, so it has that taboo quality to it. On top of that, it involves genitals, which, well, many find arousing.
But, for those same reasons, others would find it a turnoff or find it odd that you’d be turned on by it.
However, those are both subjective responses. I can’t think of an objective reason why it’s a problem other than if you find it arousing and your wife finds the idea of you finding it arousing to be inappropriate (which I’m not saying she does or is necessarily likely to). And that would only be because you would have two clashing opinions, not because you’ve done something objectively wrong.
Question 9 – Wife has no desire
My wife and I have been married for 7 years, almost 8. We have one child which we had back in November.
However, throughout our marriage sex has been a pain point. Quite literally in the beginning for a few years, it was painful for her, now she just says it doesn’t hurt or feel good it just is.
I had to fight for years for her to start opening up to even basic foreplay to help her feel good but even that still doesn’t quite do it for her and so our sex life is basically me sometimes getting to use a toy on her and then sex for five or so minutes in one position until she wants to be done and a handjob to finish. This maybe happens once every two weeks. She has literally told me that she has “no desire.” I don’t want to have sex just for me, I want to make her feel good too.
I don’t know what to do, I’ve tried for years to inject passion into our sex lives (we never had a “honeymoon phase” or anything like that, I can count on one hand in 7 years that she has actively wanted to have sex with me and that the sex was her just taking over and going at it) and I’m always rebuffed. I do not want sex every day or anything wild, just intimacy that I cannot get from a handjob.
Yes I’ve talked to her about this, multiple times, and every time it ends up in a fight, we may have more sex for a week or two, and then it’s back to the normal stuff. I have a decently high drive so this is less than fulfilling and it’s frustrating as she doesn’t seem to care.
Do you have any tips?
I would say likely the two of you need to learn how to communicate better. Now, without hearing the argument, I can’t say exactly what the next step would be, but if you can’t discuss something without arguing, then there’s some communication skill missing.
Either that or you might need the help of a therapist who can help you through this issue if it’s so painful of a topic that no amount of communication skills would be able to not cause an argument.
Now, if you can manage to have a conversation about it, it might be worth checking out her hormone levels, any medication she’s on, or test for depression because if she’s not even getting aroused during sex, then something might be going on that should be addressed.
Question 10 – Is breast play required?
First, a heartfelt thank you for the information and wisdom I’ve found on your site thus far. I’m appreciative of the other questions answered that I’ve been consuming this afternoon. Might as well ask the one that brought me here.
A short synopsis. In a private FB group, the supposed post of a marriage therapist gathered lots of likes and shares. It was high on sensationalism – short on proof. A compendious summary is its claim that many of the couples counseled could have avoided a lot of the pain and counseling if they had only done three things in their marriage daily: hug, kiss, and breast play. They were at least upfront in saying it wouldn’t magically fix anything, but there was a lot written about Dopamine, Oxytocin and the promises of uniting a couple to face problems together. All without a single source or citation.
I vaguely recall a church marriage summer series ages ago. One of the exercises was to kiss and hug every day. We weren’t great at that and quickly dropped it off the to-do list. At least I had heard about the hugging and kissing before but the lesson didn’t have any citations either.
In researching this question of mine one of the first posts I found was yours:
You make the statement that Oxytocin helps with her attraction to him, her feeling secure and their bond emotionally. That is a less sensational way of stating several points in the FB post.
I also found several of your posts where you quote Proverbs 5:18-19 including the post you say that it’s the only time the Bible ever gives the okay to be intoxicated is the husband with the wife’s breasts.
I just find it all a little unbelievable. I don’t like but neither do I mind him holding my breasts when we spoon, but I’ve never liked them touched, caressed, kissed or any other type of play. I would prefer them to never be touched, seen, mentioned or commented on. I’m dubious that daily ten minutes of hugging, kissing and breast play do much more than add stress to the to-do list on already busy days. I’m skeptical that my sagging forty-something-year-old post-children breasts have much of anything left to catch his attention. I’m flat out in disbelief that they could get him intoxicated. (I know. It’s scripture. I’m still not sure it really applies to me.) And I’m hesitant to even risk being vulnerable enough to let him do whatever with them.
There’s a lot going on. We are busy and the stress of the last year and a half hasn’t helped. We don’t fight or argue much but there are plenty of days where I feel like we are slightly closer than frustrated, annoyed roommates juggling children. I don’t feel like we are at a spot where we need counseling or anything like that but I’d certainly like to be proactive than reactive. I guess I want to be convinced, yet I’m finding more opinion than actual research and to be honest I feel horrified by the thought of any breast play. (Much more horrified by thoughts of daily!) The comments I’ve seen that the wife should teach him seem ludicrous – I wouldn’t even know where to start. It all seems too fantastical to be true. It seems like an idea dude-bro’s thought up at the bar one night. And I hate the thought of it being another thing on the to-do list.
Is there any evidence that daily hugging, kissing or breast play do much for couples? What about couples that are stretched a little thin? Or is it just a regular hit of Oxytocin that matters?
A while ago, I wrote a post called Don’t put your hope in magic pills which more or less described what your introduction here was. There is a tendency in media (be it sensationalized journalism, speaking engagements or social media) to take one small fact (touching breasts tends to release oxytocin) add it to another fact (oxytocin makes people feel more loving/bonded/connected), and then build a hypothesis (daily breast play would improve marriages) and then skip the actual testing of the hypothesis and put it out as a foregone conclusion.
Now, they make entertaining social media posts sometimes, so I occasionally leverage them myself, but I try to make it clear that it’s more than a little tongue-in-cheek.
One famous study they did this to was that women in a lab had more orgasms with socks on. When this came out, without testing for any other variables, everyone jumped on it. “Wearing socks makes it easier to orgasm” was all over the place. One company even sends free socks with their logo when you purchase a sex toy from them (yes, I have a pair). Now, I don’t think that wearing socks helps you orgasm in all situations. I think it’s likely that the lab was cold (as they tend to be), and so the socks helped them not be distracted by the cold. So, if you’re distractingly cold, yes, socks might help. But that doesn’t mean they’ll help everyone in all situations.
Would hugging, kissing and breast play help some people? I have no doubt. It’s intimate. To even try you have to be wanting to improve the relationship, so that adds to the potential. However, if you hate the idea of breast play – yeah, it has a high likelihood of harming, especially if you go into it with the idea that it’s not going to work. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now, if you went into it with the idea of “this is hard for me, but I’m going to gift my spouse with this because I love them”, then it might. But if you aren’t sincere, then it could invert and lead to contempt, with you thinking “How dare he accept when he knows I hate it?”
There’s no one-size-fits-all step-by-step protocol. The best I have is:
- Love your spouse
- Assume they love you
- Learn to communicate well
So, in your case, I’d say it’s risky at best. Only you would know if you could invest in this, and based on your question, I’d say it’s unlikely at this time. That’s not a slight or saying you should be able to either.
Now, you did say some other things I want to address. The first is:
I’m skeptical that my sagging forty-something-year-old post-children breasts have much of anything left to catch his attention. I’m flat out in disbelief that they could get him intoxicated.
My wife and I turned 40 this year. We’ve had 5 children, all breastfed. I am certainly still intoxicated by her breasts. Most men I talk to about this still are – regardless of age. I ran a survey a while back that showed 96% of men said they were as, if not more, attracted to their wife than when they got married. Age didn’t matter, neither did fitness, health, weight, etc.. So, I would not be surprised in the least if your husband was by yours. I’d be quite surprised if he wasn’t.
Again, that’s not a push for you to do daily breast play, I just would like to see the self-image beliefs of yours challenged. I’d encourage you to ask your husband what he thinks of your breasts. I’m willing to bet if you went topless and asked him, he would be too distracted to answer for a few moments at least.
Instead, I’d suggest trying to find some other way to be intimate. The “roommates juggling children” phase is hard. It’s good to have a way to take a break and be married adults together. For my wife and me, learning to give sensual massages was the ticket. It was marriage changing while we were in a decade-long phase of diapers and breastfeeding. For my wife, breast play was 100% off the table as well for a very long time. But backrubs – she loved those. As such, I’ve been recommending Melt’s couples massage courses for years. Maybe it’s worth checking out for you.
That’s it for this month. I’m going to be working on July’s questions soon, so stay tuned. If you have a question of your own, you can submit it anonymously on our Have A Question page. If you’d like to see the questions as they come in, considering joining our supporters’ group – even $1/month gets you into the forum, and $5/month or more this month gets you Our Sexploration List free. Lastly, don’t forget to fill out the Sex Noises Survey if you haven’t yet.
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
Subscribe to get the 2 page PDF full of questions to help you and your spouse start to talk about your sex life.