SWM 090 – March 2022 Anonymous Questions
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Well, we’re finally done with our move and getting settled in. So, I’m continuing to try and catch up on our backlog of questions. These ones came in during March of this year from our anonymous Have A Question page. They come in with no contact information, no context other than what’s given, and we just go on what we have. These questions all get posted to our forum when they are submitted and so our supporters get to discuss them, share their thoughts and we get to have some really good conversations that lead to improving our own marriages as well.
But, before we get to the questions, I have to talk a bit about our Becoming More Sexually Engaged course for Christian wives. For those who don’t know, this is a course for Christian wives to help them become more sexually engaged in their marriage. This is not for husbands to pressure their wives into, it’s not for husbands to tell their wives about. This is for wives who themselves are interested in learning to be more present and intimate and to enjoy sex better in their marriage. On August 5th at 9 pm Eastern Time (click here to convert to your time), I’m going to be running a free webinar to quickly go through the first module for anyone who is interested in seeing what the course is about.
It’s going to be live, there will be a bit of a talk to go through the materials, and then Q&A time afterwards to ask any questions you might have about the course. The wives who’ve shown up for the webinar in the past have always learned a lot, even if they don’t go on to do the course, so even if you’re not considering taking it, feel free to sign up.
And now, on to the questions.
My husband has had a problem with porn in the past. I rarely ask him how it’s going for him because when I do, he gets very defensive and starts placing blame on me for mistakes that I have made in the past. He has said that if he was struggling with it, I wouldn’t be the one he talked to, it would be his guy friends. As his wife, is it appropriate for me to check in with him, or is it something I should not approach and just trust that it’s not an issue?
There is a difference between what is right and what is prudent. Is it appropriate for you to check in with him? Sure. Is it prudent at this stage? Perhaps not. There is a large difference between someone who is struggling, and convicted to change and one who is struggling, but still in love with their sin. The first will accept whatever help they can. The second will claim to want help, but will likely accept none. They may make shows of acceptance, or desire for help, but when it’s offered, they’ll find excuses, get defensive, angry, throw a pity party, or do something else to divert attention away from the work that needs to be done.
In those cases, when they aren’t ready – there is no sense in trying to help someone change who isn’t ready to change. What you are likely to do is harden his heart and make him dig in deeper.
So, what is there to do? We set boundaries to keep ourselves safe, and we love them through their pain and suffering, knowing they are no better or worse than we are, just that their sins are different. We pray for them, love them and treat them with compassion. When they’re ready for help, then we help.
I think if it wasn’t an issue, he likely wouldn’t have that response. So, I wouldn’t trust that it’s not an issue, but I would trust that God is actively working on his heart and that the Holy Spirit is working to convict him, and I’d wait patiently in hopes that your husband will accept that conviction.
There was also a second part to this question about whether watching porn is a sin, and I’m going to tackle that in a separate post as I think it will take a bit to unpack.
Did you change your mind?
Hey Jay! I love your approach to all these deep intimate questions! Having the Bible as a firm foundation is very helpful! Your answers may start debates or conflict with some people, I feel like at least you have a firm belief in God’s word and your heart to follow that is real.
My question for today:
When I first started listening to your podcast, you gave an answer to a question about anal sex, your answer if I’m not mistaken was in reference to God’s design for that area of the body and it didn’t seem to be designed for entry.
A later podcast a question came in again and this time you said, you and your wife didn’t have an issue with (I assume) what the listener’s question was about specifically? Something about a messy situation.
And then gave helpful tips for the listeners’ questions.
So, my question is did you change your thoughts on this subject?
I get a little interested a couple of times a year in this subject, and your first answer really put things in perspective and made sense based on God’s design. It helped me to keep it off the table and out of thought. I really felt the idea would not have come up for me had I never seen porn in my life.. even after understanding the negative impact of porn, it came up again in another Christian form that felt it was fine.. so I just wrestle with this. I do not by any means obsess over it, just curious at times.
I am interested if you changed your perspective on this subject
To my knowledge, I’ve never held the view, opinion or belief that anal sex was sinful, unnatural, or otherwise morally wrong, unhealthy or dangerous. I do believe, as with most sexual acts, there are ways to engage in it in unhealthy and dangerous ways, which then are arguably morally questionable. The best I can guess is that I was reading a question from a reader who felt that it went against God’s design, and perhaps it was hard to distinguish where the question ended and my response began.
If you want further clarification on my views, you can check out the blog post Is anal sex a sin? where I share my view and reasoning.
That said, with everything – go with your convictions, not mine. I’m not here to tell you what to believe, but rather to share what I believe in the hopes that it will be of service to you in making a decision.
How do I wisely share with my wife how our infrequency of sexual intimacy leads to sexual temptations and struggles for me? Since the birth of our last child 10 months ago, having sex once a week seems to be a stretch for her already and I don’t want her to feel compelled or obligated to intimacy primarily out of a sense of duty, but the longer we go between having sex the harder it is to resist the temptation to masturbate. I feel alone in my struggle. I fear she’ll be crushed and angry that I occasionally masturbate(monthly). I don’t see how requesting more intimacy to reduce my struggles with temptation could go positively. When we have sex, she seems to enjoy it and orgasms almost every time. How can I encourage her to have more intimacy without making her feel like it is a duty or a task to cross off her to-do list?
This is a very common struggle, particularly with new moms, for several reasons. Firstly, she’s getting a ton of oxytocin from bonding with the baby, so her need to connect and be intimate is likely to be lower.
Secondly, you said, “last-child” implying there are other children, most likely young ones. This means she has a lot of responsibilities, a lot of caring and nurturing that has to happen during the day, and she’s probably being touched a lot during the day. Often mothers of young children simply feel “touched out” by the end of the day, and having to care for and nurture a husband becomes difficult, because, well, you’re not in any immediately apparent danger. Adults are expected to be able to simply “suck it up”.
Thirdly, because of all these extra responsibilities, often less sleep due to nursing, or simply life with young children, and everything else going on – well, these can cause a lot of stress, which makes the body produce cortisol, which reduces sex drive as well.
All these together create a situation where sex is simply not high on the priority list, between a lack of a need for it at the moment, and situations where it’s likely her body may be actively working to slow down her sex drive.
So, step one is to be understanding of the reason she’s struggling to desire intimacy. That’s the key to starting to work through this I think – try focusing on her struggles rather than your own. If you aren’t already, help with the chores. Ask her what you can do to make her day easier. Find things she regularly forgets, struggles with, or otherwise doesn’t get done by the end of the day and do them for her.
This will accomplish a few things.
First, it will show her that you love her unconditionally – even if you aren’t getting your needs met, you are working to see that hers are.
Second, it will help her release the brakes a bit and make it easier for her to have space to meet your needs.
Third, the best way to forget about your own struggles sometimes is to focus on helping others. I mean, there’s a limit to that effect, eventually, your own needs need to be met, but many times our simple life struggles can be dealt with by devoting our time and energy to helping others.
I believe that’s the best first step. Otherwise, all you’re going to manage to do is pile another responsibility on her. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in favour of spouses helping each other with temptation, but when one is already overwhelmed – well, adding more to their plate without taking some things off of it isn’t really loving your spouse.
I’d start there, before having a discussion about your sex life. It will help lay the groundwork.
Thank you for being a blessing to the Christian community. I would like to paint a scenario for my question and this is in Christian marriage.
Husband and wife are at different locations due to work situations and it’s not certain when they will be together. Currently, they have been like this for about three months. They are both burning emotionally. Is it okay for the couple to masturbate based on a mutual agreement? For instance, by placing video calls and getting each other stimulated till they reach orgasm. Is that okay to do within Christian marriage?
My view is that sex should be a shared experience with your spouse. Thankfully, these days it’s a lot easier to do that with phones and video calls, as you mention. So, while I’m against the practice of solo masturbation, I think mutual masturbation (like what you describe) is a perfectly acceptable solution. I also did a survey about mutual masturbation a long time ago.
My wife and I have been married for nearly 7 years but have been completely unable to have sex for more than 4 years. We are both in our early 30s and are fairly healthy people. My wife suffers from Vaginismus to the point that even talking about penetrative sex makes her very uncomfortable and emotional. She feels that her body is ‘broken’ and because penetrative sex is so painful and anxiety-inducing she avoids sexual actions and topics altogether. As a result, this has eliminated oral sex, anal sex, and even sexual touching. She says that nothing feels good, and everything feels uncomfortable. She has sought physical therapy for her condition as well as meeting with a therapist to help with the anxiety and feelings of being ‘broken’. Unfortunately, nothing has helped and for the last 4 years, we have stopped trying. As a result, I am left involuntarily celibate and we have a hard time even discussing sex without her becoming very emotional. It has become the elephant in the room so to speak. I masturbate privately often with pornography as a way to release pent-up sexual desires. I feel bad that I can not share my sexuality with my wife and that I can’t please her sexually either. We still have a good relationship without sex, but it does feel like we’re roommates or best friends, not lovers. As an act of desperation, I have tried to be creative and re-frame the situation to be a kinky dynamic by introducing a chastity device. Since I’m not able to have sex with my wife I thought it would be more fun to pretend that she keeps me ‘locked’ in chastity and that she’s the ‘key holder’. We have also tried pegging and role play but nothing seems to interest her. Recently she suggested she doesn’t have a sex drive and may be asexual. I’m open to any suggestions at this point, the situation is dire, and it’s Hail Mary time.
Get a couples therapist. Honestly, this has gone on too long and the pain is too deep to deal with in a simple Q&A. A lot is going on here, and vaginismus more often than not has more to do with psychological issues than physiological ones. So, find a Christian sex therapist and start working through attitudes, communication, and all that pain you both have. Because I suspect your desire to work towards kink and chastity is more a function of your porn watching and avoiding the issue than it is an actual solution to the problem.
So, find a therapist, and if they don’t help, find another one.
A friend recently told me that he and his new wife were having a hard time having sex. He seems to be having a hard time getting aroused and his wife seems to have a higher sex drive. They’ve only been married a year so I feel like they have time to figure it out. Neither of them had been sexually active with another person before. My friend blames his lack of arousal on the fact that he used to watch porn. My question is, does porn really affect men to this extreme? That the first time they try to have real sex they can’t do it? That seems crazy to me as I have not struggled with that personally. I have struggled with porn but I still could have sex with my wife easily. That just seems intense. Any resources you have on this would be helpful as I navigate supporting my friend with this. Thank you.
Yeah, ED due to porn use happens fairly frequently – but not to everyone of course. It can be caused by a variety of things.
In porn, there is an extreme amount of eroticism, far more than typically exists in real life. It’s scripted, and fantasy is often going to push buttons that are unrealistic to expect in real life.
As well, if you have a history of porn use, you may be used to separating sexual behaviours from intimacy and vulnerability, removing the relationship from sex. Then, when a real live person is in front of you and you suddenly have to worry about them as well. Well, that can be difficult for some and cause a lot of anxiety, which can cause ED or even block arousal.
So, yes, this sounds very plausible to me and it happens to a lot of people. As for resources, I can’t think of anything specific. I would probably try something like viagra just to see if it’s something physical or not. Sometimes the placebo effect of taking a pill can help break through the psychological issues temporarily. If it works with viagra, then at least they know it’s possible.
I’d also try incorporating mutual masturbation. I mean, if he can masturbate, then let’s get him used to masturbating with his spouse. That starts to add in the intimacy and vulnerability so if that’s the cause, this can help him start to reintegrate those into his sexual experiences.
While I am pretty new to your site and podcast, I have searched most of the content and I’m not sure if this has been specifically addressed: do you think a panty fetish is wrong, and how would you recommend navigating my fear to discuss it with my wife?
We have been happily married for 9 years with what I think is a pretty decent sex life. It consists of a lot of aspects that I really enjoy, but several areas that I wish we would explore more, such as the use of her panties. It’s not that I want to wear them, but I think it would be really sexy for them to be incorporated in ways like slipping them off candidly from under her dress and handing them to me in public, or for her to use them in her hands while touching me or performing oral sex…
My wife doesn’t have an issue with buying and wearing “sexy” panties, and has even recently left them on during sex… but, in the past, she has raised the concern that I can be too interested in them and not enough in her alone. I understand where she is coming from, but therein lies the issue that I actually wish we utilized them more, and I’m worried that suggestion would be met with insecurity and rejection.
I know the “answer” here involves openness and honesty with my wife, and hopefully some selflessness and understanding on her part… I guess I’m just hoping for some discussion, advice, and reassurance that I’m not desiring something I shouldn’t be. Thanks!
I think your wife points to a very valid question – is this a kink, or a fetish? Like is it something you enjoy, or is it something you need? If it’s something you need, then I’d say that’s likely a dangerous position to be in, and your wife’s concern is valid – that you’ve turned panties into a sex object. If it’s just something you find incredibly erotic, the fact that they’re HER panties and SHE’s doing this, then that’s a different situation.
So, take some time and think about it – what about it turns you on, and why. Then talk to your wife about that, about your experience and then decide together whether or not to keep it.
My wife is pregnant again and she blames sex for getting her pregnant. We had been very careful, but somehow it happened. So like last time she got pregnant she hates sex even more now. At times she hates her current children and now I see the hate starting to well up in her again that more years of her life are lost being “fat”. Sex was already a chore to her….so any suggestion that we would do it on an extra day than the normal days…gasp if I wanted to do it two days in a row…
It seems like the core issue is being pointed to by the regret around having children so soon in her marriage and having to care for them and the household while I am at work. It seems like she had grand ideas for her life after she escaped her family and got married and now the children are in the way. Are there any biblical counseling resources you would recommend that might be able to help her sort out her struggles?
I think her attitudes about sex are secondary to the fact that she sometimes hates her current children. I’d find a therapist and focus on that first because I’m more worried about your kids growing up thinking mom hates them than I am about your ability to have sex two days in a row. Fix that, then you’ll likely be in a better position to work on your intimacy.
Lastly, this smells like a mother hurt by feminism. For years, feminism has been teaching women that they won’t be happy without a career, and that men are oppressing them by making them pregnant. I’m afraid it sounds like your wife fell right into the trap. While pregnancy is certainly difficult (we’ve been through 5 of them), there is a lot of joy that comes with bringing a new life into the world, being stewards of our children and raising them for God’s kingdom and doing it as a couple. My wife and I would both say that is probably the most fulfilling part of life. Not our jobs, careers, hobbies, or anything else. I’m sad she’s missing out on that because she bought the lie that the ability to bring life into the world somehow makes her less than someone who burns their life in a career. So, when finding a therapist – I’d try to find one that isn’t going to further push that mentality onto her, and that might be difficult.
And that’s it for March’s anonymous questions. As always, if you have a question of your own, you can email me at email@example.com, or if you’re shy, you can submit it on our Have A Question page. If you’d like to be involved in the discussions and want to join the supporter’s forum, check out our support page.
Lastly, don’t forget to register for our Becoming More Sexually Engaged webinar happening on August 5th. I’ll also be sending out emails about it, so if you aren’t on our mailing list, you can subscribe to it here.
4 thoughts on “SWM 090 – March 2022 Anonymous Questions”
What kind of boundaries would you suggest for the wife in the first question?
I think it would depend on what’s going on exactly – is she noticing negative behaviours that are affecting her, or, if so, what, and how? If she’s not noticing anything – well, then I think it would be difficult to set a boundary as there’s nothing to hit it.
I think instead, I’d tell my spouse “Look, I suspect you’re struggling with this, and I want to help. You don’t have to admit anything or tell me what’s going on if you don’t want to, but if you ever need help with temptation, let me know and we’ll go have some fun. But in return, I want a promise – all orgasms happen with me. I’m more than happy to be there for you when you need them, but I want them to happen with me.”
That way, you can start to retrain them to seek their spouse for sexual release, to associate sex with their spouse, and then they feel that they do have somewhere they can go that won’t get them berated or just prayed about, but will actually give them a practical way to deal with temptation.
Personally, I think I’d want something like “no sex until the addiction is dealt with and trust has been rebuilt”, similar to what (I think!) I’d want in the case of adultery. Asking a woman to step in to replace porn is, in my opinion, disrespectful to her.
I’d say the porn replacing the woman is the disrespectful part. Putting her back in the correct place in his life isn’t disrespectful – it’s what is right.
For example – if someone is struggling with idolatry – the answer isn’t to quit all religion until they become an atheist and then reintroduce God into their life once they stop all religious practices. The answer is to fill the void left by idols with what should be there – God.
Replace what is evil with what is good – and having sex with your spouse is a good and right thing.