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SWM 084 – November 2021 Anonymous Questions – Last post of the year

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve Day and my wife has just left to take all the kid’s ice-skating so that I could have some time to record this last podcast of the year.  Today we’re answering the 19 questions we received in November of 2021.  

And this is going to be quite long, so I’m not going to delay much except to say thank you for another amazing year – really an amazing decade.  In January we will have hit 10 years since we started this ministry with a little blog that almost noone read.  Now, about 4,000 people download every episode of our podcast that we release.  We have almost 8,500 people on our mailing list, 10,000 or so followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and many more who just stumble across our blog every day.

I don’t say that to brag, but rather that I’m humbled that so many of you are focused on your marriages, on trying to make them better, on trying to create a relationship that shows the world what marriage should be like.  So, thank you to all our readers, listeners, customers, clients, and even more – our over 100 supporters who generously give to help us help you.

I’m excited about what this new year and new decade will bring, and I hope you are as well.

Now, let’s get on to the questions.

Question 1 – Wife becoming less adventurous

My wife in our older years has become very prudish, in our early married years she’d put on sex shows for me & even let me take pictures and videos of her playing with sex toys or her giving me oral sex. Now sex only once a week & little to no variation & absolutely no pictures, what has happened & why so prudish? 

I can’t know for sure of course as I don’t know your wife and a couple of sentences don’t give enough context, but I can make some plausible guesses:

Body Image – Women, more so than men, tend to deal with body image issues, particularly as they get older.  So, some of the things she used to feel more comfortable doing, such as sex shows, pictures and videos, might make her feel very uncomfortable now if she sees herself as less attractive, sexy, etc..  

Responsive desire – Women’s sex drives tend to become more responsive rather than spontaneous over time and as responsibilities increase.  So, while in the past she might have gotten spontaneously aroused more often and to a greater extent, now she might not and it may take more work to get her into that aroused of a state.

Adventurous sex – I think women get bored of sex more easily than men do.  It seems to me that women need more constantly evolving, deepening and edgier sex as they get older and if that doesn’t happen, then their sexual expression … wilts, for lack of a better term.  Because there are wives who get more adventurous, more outgoing, more daring, but it’s because that attitude is fostered and accepted by both spouses.  When it’s not, then it seems the opposite happens.

The relationship – And lastly, one of the reasons that things like this go off the table is because the relationship has changed somehow.  Is there something that’s broken trust?  A porn addiction she found out about, an affair?  Not saying there is, but it does sometimes happen.

So, there are four potential reasons why it might be.  Of course, you’ll have to have a conversation with her to find out.  Likely multiple conversations as sometimes we don’t even know what the reasons are for our change in behaviours.

Question 2 – How long before the memories fade?

Hey Jay, newish listener of the podcast. I really like what you are doing. My wife and I have been married for a year and a half now. We have both struggled with porn in the past but it’s something I thought we had both been able to forget and leave in the past. Recently she confessed to me that she has a hard time not picturing/fantasizing about porn scenes she has seen in the past while we have sex. She says she has not looked at porn since we met and I wholeheartedly believe her. We are very free with sharing our phones and she hasn’t done anything to give me a reason to not trust her. My question is, how do I help her forget the things she has seen in the past and help her move on? I love my wife with all my heart and I want to help her any way I can.

Thank you.

That’s hard.  I struggled with that myself when I first quit.  Eventually, it fades.  I can’t tell you how long it will take, I think that’s different for each individual.  Some people have said that prayer helps, others have said it doesn’t.  But, I don’t think prayer ever hurts.

So, use it as an opportunity to pray, to be open with each other about your struggles and to grow together as a couple.  Eventually, it will be a thing of the past and someday someone will ask you how long it takes to fade and you will struggle to remember because you can’t recall when the last time you had a thought like that was.

Question 3 – What counts as premature ejaculation

After listening to SWM078 where the one was giving an update about the Premature Ejaculation (PE) got me thinking. What is the definition of PE? When my wife and I have sex, she can stroke me for quite a while while I do various things to get her to orgasm. At times when she is stroking or performing oral sex, I get really close to having an orgasm, I’ll pull away to keep from having an orgasm. After she has had an orgasm(s), we’ll engage in intercourse where I don’t last very long at all, maybe one minute to two minutes at most. The amount of time that she spends stroking can be like 5 minutes in total (off and on, cause she gets into her orgasm) while it could be 2-3 minutes of her performing oral sex (off and on – breaks to breathe or readjust). I have in the past where I’ve had like a pre-cum when she was performing oral sex on me (I didn’t have a full ejaculation), I could then have intercourse for much longer than normal.  If we have a quickie, I might be able to last 1-2 minutes.  So, I’m wondering if I would be considered someone that has PE?

The definition has shifted over time.  Depending on which country you ask, premature ejaculation was considered to be ejaculation in under 1-2 minutes, or even 15 seconds after intercourse has started.  So, by the old definition, you might.  But the definition has changed because it doesn’t account for a lot of things, like foreplay.

So, the new definition is basically “ejaculating before you want to”.  So, if you and your wife are content with the timing, then it’s not an issue.  But if there are some frustrations there, then it’s something you could look into trying to change.

If you are looking to extend the time, I do have a post on premature ejaculation here.

Question 4 – Is getting a vasectomy a sin?

I know the Bible says we should be fruitful and multiply (my wife and I have 3 kids). However, I got a vasectomy 7 years ago and my walk with Christ was not as strong as it is now so I’m questioning whether or not my vasectomy was a sinful act.  Is getting a vasectomy a sin?

If it is, then I’m in the same boat, so I’m not sure I can answer this without a biased view.  I think this is one of those situations where you have to act in accordance with your convictions.  For me, when my wife said “I don’t think I can handle another pregnancy”, that was my cue.  We’d already had 5 kids, we were getting older, the pregnancies were getting harder, and the house was full.  I felt we’d fulfilled our mandate to “multiply” and having more, in our case, might lead to not being able to care adequately for the kids God had already given into our care.

Question 5 – Husband isn’t acting like a believer

My husband used to have a porn issue but has stopped, but he still looks up various articles featuring scantily dressed women.  He is a truck driver, home daily, we have sex 1 or 2x a week, due to his job, long hours, lack of sleep. I have caught him masturbating in the shower, he denies it, says why would I do that when I have you? He is a liar, he lies about money, what he ate, little things, everything, he claims he is a born-again believer, but he doesn’t show it at all. He is constantly on his phone, he allows me access and when I see things he has looked up, he still lies and makes excuses, that he didn’t. We have been married for 11 years. I love him very much but alone in our marriage. Counselling isn’t an option because of his job as well as he refuses to see a problem. He is a good provider in some ways but very selfish in many areas. The only time we spend together is sex.

You can’t force people to seek out help when they aren’t ready for it, not even your spouse.  The Bible does give us some principles on how to deal with situations like this.

Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.  But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

Mathew 18:15-17

Now, you’ve gone to him, the next step would be to find someone he respects and ask if they’ll speak to him.  If at the end of the path he still is obstinate, then you do as Jesus said – treat him like a heathen and a tax collector.  Now, some churches have misinterpreted this and cut these people off, but that’s not how Jesus dealt with heathens and tax collectors.  He invited himself into their houses, he healed them, he taught them right from wrong, never pushing his theology, but constantly modelling love.

And that brings us to:

But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.

1 Corinthians 7:12-14

I think here Paul faithfully reflects that principle.  If you want another example, read the book of Hosea in the Bible. It’s heartbreaking, but I think shows us the sort of unconditional love that God asks of us, and what power it has.  There are no guarantees of course – he may never come along, but there is always hope.

Oh, and check out the book Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk – it’s a great book about how to love people when it’s difficult and about setting healthy, loving, boundaries to protect you.

Question 6 – Is it okay to talk about sex?

I follow you on Twitter and love your posts. I wish there were more of them. I also follow a Twitter account of [redacted]. They have a website with the same name. The couple that posts there I feel has a lot of good advice. They give a lot of information on their sex lives specifically. Really intimate details. Where is the line to be drawn when talking with friends about our sex lives? We have a couple of very close Christian friends. Can we talk about sex with them? How detailed should we go? Sex is supposed to be between the married couple. But can we ask and receive advice from others? Just a big grey area in what to share.

I redacted the name of the Twitter account and site, because I’m not interested in pointing fingers and, to be honest, it doesn’t matter who it is.  The main question is – what is okay to share, and what isn’t?

Personally, I try to be as non-erotic as possible while being as informative and educational as possible.  Much of the time, that’s pretty easy to do.  Sometimes it’s harder, like my Introduction to Talking Dirty – I mean, how do you teach that without showing what it looks like?  But I’m still very clear that my intent is to teach, not arouse.  Do people get turned on by some of the things I post?  Probably, but that’s never my intent.  I think if you’re intending to get people aroused by your posting, then you’ve crossed a line.  Some Christian sites cross that line intentionally and that concerns me.

So, when talking to another couple – I’d say the same principle applies – share for the purpose of help, not titillation.  Ask questions to get help, not to be entertained.  Also, make sure your spouse is okay with what you’re sharing and where you’re sharing it.  There are things I’d share on my blog where I write anonymously that I wouldn’t share with a couple I know in person. There are things I share in the supporter’s forum that I won’t share on the blog. And there are things I won’t share anywhere except with my wife, because the audience matters.

Question 7 – Are we going too far?

My wife and I have both been working from home a totally new thing for us. Our kids are all in school during the day. This has shifted our typical time for sex from night before bed to lunchtime. It’s also increased our encounters. A few weeks ago after we had finished I noticed I had a Teams meeting just starting. It was a no-camera meeting so I just held the meeting naked. My wife thought it was pretty cool. Now we both have started having no pants afternoons. We do put towels on our chairs. We are in separate rooms. It’s added some spice for us. Yesterday I was on a pretty important meeting before lunch. My wife came into the room naked, my screen faces away from the door, and proceeded to masturbate on the floor. That was very distracting. Obviously when the meeting ended lovemaking happened. Are we taking things too far with this? We’ve been very careful to stay out of view. Even changed our office layouts around. 

I don’t see an issue with being naked, though be careful about your camera settings, because that could lead you into a heap of trouble.  

However, with this particular instance, this verse came to mind:

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

As one of our supporters said, “If I was running a business, and our team meetings were full of distracted naked people, I would not be amused.”

I think he’s right – you said it was a pretty important meeting.  You were clearly distracted, and so you were cheating your business with your lack of presence.

I think it would be one thing if you are a salaried employee, doing a task that’s not time-sensitive and you can make up the time/productivity later, but in this case, this is not something you can make up later because your focused presence was required now.

Now, I get it, I think I’d have a very hard time telling my wife to stop if she did that for me.  But, re-arranging a room and planning for future instances – well, now you’ve moved from giving into temptation and into intentionally taking action that I think is wrong.

There’s also the issue that, in a sense, you’re using the other people in the meeting as a way to get aroused, which gets pretty close to the rule of “don’t involve other people in your sex life”.

Anyways, those are my thoughts.

Question 8 – Sex frequency has gone down

The amount of sex has gone down dramatically. Maybe once every two weeks now. Used to be 2-3 times a week up until we got covid in September. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and ever since I got out we have had sex twice. It’s really disheartening and it feels like she has pushed me away.  I have no hope it will get better.  What do I do?

Well, you have a conversation about it.  Why has it gone down?  Is it because you’re not initiating, or because she stopped initiating, or because she’s rejecting you?  If she’s rejecting you, has she said why?  I mean, some people who get covid have very low energy levels for months afterwards.  So, it could be that.

But a conversation is the first step.  Also, this is a recent development, let’s not lose hope already.  I mean, I’ve seen marriages turn around after 25 years of no sex, so there’s always hope.

Question 9 – Crossdressing men

What percentage of men cross-dress and what percentage of women approve of this.

I don’t know of any good statistics on this, nor on how many women approve of it.  I’m not sure it matters though except to gauge how quickly our society is collapsing.  I think it’s wrong to engage in that behaviour and that if the women approve of it, they’re wrong as well.  Because ultimately I don’t think it’s loving or kind to accept any sort of behaviour that shows a clear rejection of reality.

If you want more information, you can check out my post on crossdressing.

Question 10 – Rimming

Hi. I’m male and my wife wanted to try some rimming on me. We also wanted to use a dildo (that I sit on and kind of ride it) but also a vibrator. I know that this doesn’t make me gay but I don’t want to do anything that God doesn’t like. We would definitely not do it if it’s a sin. 

I think I’m just going to direct you to my post on pegging because it addresses the issues you’re looking for, even if it’s not exactly the same topic.

Question 11 – Sex once or twice per year

Jay,

I’ve been married for almost 20 years and have 3 kids.  My wife and I only have sex once or twice per year for the past several years since our last child was born, and only when we’re away alone overnight.  I’ve basically resigned myself to living in a sexless marriage now, and I don’t even know how to approach discussing sex with, or initiating with her anymore.  Sex was never really a comfortable topic of discussion when we were having sex more often earlier in our marriage, and now it really seems uncomfortable, since we basically never have sex.  Kids and managing to get through our daily lives seems to take up all our time and energy these days.  I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for how to bring the topic up, or how to try to reignite any romantic interest or intimacy in our marriage?  She seems fine without it being part of our marriage, and we’re basically existing as roommates these days.  I’ve read your responses previously about masturbation and porn, but I’ve also read that regular ejaculation (sex) can be associated with lower risk for prostate cancer in men.  Given my situation, what do you suggest in this regard?

That took a turn at the end there.  Let’s start with the real issue – you can’t talk about it the fact that you’re not having sex.  That’s a huge problem because you can’t fix it if you can’t talk about it.  So, I’d say get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Or at least accept that it’s going to be uncomfortable.  Use it to break the ice.  Start with “Honey, I need to talk to you.  Look, I don’t know how to talk about this, because it’s awkward and uncomfortable and I feel like there are lots of ways we can hurt each other in a conversation about this, but we can’t keep avoiding it.  I think we need to talk about our sex life because I don’t think this is what God intended for us, and I want it to be better for both of us, and so our kids can see a healthy relationship modelled for them when they grow up, and I don’t feel that we can be that for them right now.”

And that’s about the best I can do with a generic “how do we start” type of question without knowing the why’s and how’s of your dynamic.  If you were a coaching client, we’d spend some time looking at your relationship, your personalities, trying to figure out what happened, why the dynamic shifted in the first place, where the pain points are in the marriage, how you both view the relationship, what you both want from the relationship, and then work towards getting your marriage to where you want it to be.  

As for the risk for prostate cancer – the study you’re referencing showed two things that can help stave off prostate cancer:

  1. Not having sex
  2. Having lots of sex

Which fits the Biblical model – either be married and have lots of sex, or don’t.  Let’s fix the marriage rather than try to find a way around God’s design.

Question 12 – Conflict over anal play

Hello, My name is Oliver. I have been married to my beautiful wife for almost 4 years. I have a question for you because I read your blog and it was really informative to me. I enjoy anal sex, being active or passive, sometimes my wife agrees to have anal intercourse and we enjoy it. My wife stimulates my anus with oral sex and sometimes with her fingers, I find it really pleasurable. I used to use dildos and my wife agreed for a period of time. My question is: is it acceptable for me to insert an anal dildo, I do not think having sex with a man, I am heterosexual, but the feeling is really good for me, but my wife just does not want me to use any dildo anymore. I feel sometimes like I can not express my sexuality and practice things that I really enjoy. I do not masturbate while using the dildo, it is just the sensation to be filled up and stretching. I really appreciate your sincere answer, and how I can talk to my wife since I am no longer feeling open and tell her I really enjoy anal sex.

Thanks so much.

Hey Oliver,

To me, the entire point of sex is the relationship, so the idea of being able to “express my sexuality” in a way that damages my relationship is counterproductive.  

So, you’ve expressed your desire here and the reasons for it, and her desire to not, but you didn’t give any reasons why.  I think that would be my next step – to try and understand why it is your wife doesn’t want to do this anymore.  I think that’s the interesting part, getting to know something about your wife – that’s more valuable than a sexual act.

Question 13 – CBD Lube

What can you share about CBD sex lubes? Are they safe? Do they work? Are they worth the price?

We haven’t tried CBD lube yet.  Are they safe?  Nothing I’ve seen suggests that they aren’t, but I’m not a doctor, so do your own research.  Are they worth the price?  Like, I said, I haven’t used them, but based on what I see, it seems like more a placebo effect than anything else.

Question 14 – What does sex look like for others?

Your last podcast gave me some follow-up questions. 

I guess I am one of the % of women who has never had an orgasm with penetration.  Because of this ‘sex’ is often intercourse where he is mostly the only one getting pleasure or foreplay (and getting me to an orgasm) and then penetration (getting him to an orgasm).  I’m thankful for my husband’s participation and time in this which made me wonder— What does sex look like for those that can both have an orgasm with intercourse?  Any tricks to try and have an orgasm this way?

You mentioned role play in your last podcast and then some that were off-limits by topic… so what are some ideas of positive role-play scenarios?  thanks for your time?

Just to be clear, the % of women who have never had an orgasm with penetration is the majority, and not by a little bit.  So, you’re asking about a minority of people, and I think you’ll find that their experiences aren’t that similar particularly since one of the correlations for women who have orgasms through penetration is that they tend to be into more varied sexual activities.

As such, they are less likely to have a standard sex routine.  Some will of course, but for myself, I can’t point to a standard routine that we follow.  Our sex life is quite varied, and as it becomes more varied, honestly, most of the time these days we’re seeking to avoid orgasm for her rather than chase it.  

So, the best trick I have is to switch things up – a lot.  Try new things, don’t get stuck in a routine.  The first printable I made was our Spice Jar to help couples do just that because we had similar struggles for a while.  As our sex got less routine and more varied, her orgasms became easier to achieve until, at this point, we’re enjoying edging more than anything else – that is, keeping her right on the edge of an orgasm for as long as possible.

Question 16 – Spanking

Wife becoming less adventurous
How long before porn memories fade?
What counts as premature ejaculation?
Is getting a vasectomy a sin?
Husband isn't acting like a believer
Is it okay to talk about sex?
Are we going too far?
Sex frequency has gone down
Crossdressing men
Rimming
Sex once or twice per year since kids were born
Conflict over anal play
CBD Lube
Spanking
Masturbation for medical reasons
Is masturbation okay if your spouse can't participate?
Will masturbation keep me out of heaven?

Is consensual FUN spanking allowed in the Christian bedroom. This could include wife spanking husband or husband spanking wife? 

I don’t see an issue with it, given the typical principles are followed:

  1. It’s mutually enjoyable (or at least not unenjoyable)
  2. It’s not done for humiliation/degradation purposes
  3. It doesn’t become something that is required to have sex
  4. It doesn’t become the focus of sex

Other than that, I think there are a lot of benefits:

  1. Spanking brings blood flow to the area, which heightens sensations
  2. For women in particular, spanking tends to internally stimulate the clitoris
  3. It stimulates other nerves which also aid in arousal
  4. It feels taboo, which is erotic for many

So, yeah, I think go for it.

Question 17 – Masturbation for medical reasons

My dr needs a specimen of my hubs sperm so I need him to jack off in a cup, but I don’t believe in the whole watching porn. Any other tips?

Why do people think that:

  1. Masturbation has to be alone?
  2. Masturbation has to include porn?

Anyways, I wrote a post on masturbation for medical reasons years ago, and I think it’s still relevant, so I’ll just point you there.

Question 18 – Is masturbation okay if your partner can’t participate?

Both my husband and I have a past riddled with sexual trauma as children and as adults.  God has delivered us from the effects of this in our lives, with some lingering.  My husband is also disabled and unable to have sex as a result.  Due to the sexual trauma, we’ve both been ok without.  However, as we’ve worked on our marriage and being more emotionally and spiritually transparent with one another, that desire is increasing on my part.   We’ve discussed sex and the idea of mutual masturbation, but for him, it’s devastating that he can no longer perform. (Medical reasons why procedures and medication can’t be used).  However, I long for his touch and have desires that are difficult to ignore. He believes and feels it’s ok for me to masturbate alone, as long as my thoughts are either about him or simply on feeling and not a person.  But I don’t know if this is sinning.  It’s a complicated scenario and I find myself wanting for masturbation to be ok, albeit lonely really, for physical relief.  The pull is strong.  And there’s another part of me that thinks maybe this is one of those crosses to bear and I need to stand with my husband and give up sex altogether to be beside him in the pain of his disability.  Can you help me sort this out biblically/spiritually?

So, my views on masturbation is that masturbation is sex, and sex should be shared with your spouse and only your spouse.  I know, it’s not a popular view, even within Christianity.  Nevertheless, it’s mine.  As for my reasons, I have quite a few posts on the matter.  You can start with my post called Why masturbation is a problem, whether you’re single or married which goes through my theological, psychological and physiological reasons for believing it’s a sin.

In your case, I think there’s an additional, specific reason – your husband has been traumatized, and if you accept his permission to masturbate alone, there’s a good chance he’ll never be healed from it because there’s no incentive to.  

Now, I’m not a therapist, so maybe I’m wrong – you should probably consult one, but I would think that he could work on himself, heal from the psychological trauma, and learn to enjoy seeing you get pleasure.  But why would he if he can just ignore what’s going on, bury the trauma and live out the rest of his life with that wound unhealed?  I would think this would be like continuing to feed a man painkillers for the rest of his life rather than deal with the knife in his thigh rather than working out how to get the knife out and heal the wound.

Question 19 – Will masturbating keep me out of heaven?

I and my husband are staying away for more than 2 years now. We love each other, respect and honour each other. My question is that we get turned on now and then and is it okay to masturbate and let that sexual tension go away or is it sinful enough to lose my place in heaven? My husband has better control over his sexual urges than I do. He doesn’t believe in female orgasm, so he never even tried to satisfy me, ever. So, is it okay on my part to masturbate? I’m scared enough already about my salvation.

There are a few things going on here.

Firstly, you’re separated – I have no idea why, but I have a post on masturbation due to separation which you may wish to check out.

Secondly, behaviours don’t lose you your salvation, it’s your relationship with God that’s important.  I go into more detail about that in the post There are no salvation issues which might help clear up some of the confusion there and hopefully give you some peace about your own salvation because that’s not something you have to be afraid of.

Lastly, your husband doesn’t believe in female orgasms?  Do you mean he doesn’t believe women have orgasms?  Or he doesn’t believe women should have orgasms?  Or he doesn’t believe it’s his responsibility to help you have an orgasm?  Either way – I think there’s an issue there, but depending on which it is, his notions need to be addressed.  

And that’s an uncomfortable thing to address.  That’s one of those times when it can be helpful to have a third party in the room – someone he respects.  Maybe you could approach another couple in your church and have them talk through it with the two of you?  Just make sure they don’t have the same beliefs first.

And that’s it for this episode and this year.  Thanks again to our supporters who help discuss the questions as they come in to give more perspectives, and have a lot of fun doing it, and for just being an amazing group of people.  I’m constantly grateful that I really don’t have to moderate it because everyone is genuinely interested in helping each other.  Maybe it’s a byproduct of having a community that’s focused on improving communication and love in their lives.

To them, and everyone else, I hope you have an amazing New Year’s Celebration if you manage to listen to this before midnight, but either way, we’ll talk to you in the New Year.

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