In theory, I know that God created me to be a sexual being. I know that I experience arousal, desire, and orgasm. I know that some things are more likely than others to lead to an orgasm for me.
In theory, I embrace my sexuality and rejoice in it.
In practical terms, though, I have a lot of work to do.
Before I married, I thought of sexual activity as hurried, for the man, and colored in shame. I carried these ideas into my marriage. Sex was for my husband and not for me. It took me a while to experience orgasm, which only strengthened my belief that sex was more for my husband than it was for me.
Coupled with relationship problems, the whole “sex is for him and not for me” idea embedded deeply in my mind and heart.
As I began to disengage from our sexual activity, my husband was desperate to make it good for me. (Like many men, he craved my desire as much as he craved an orgasm.) He would ask me what I wanted sexually.
My mind always drew a blank. What do I want? I had no idea how to answer. I had sexual desire in general, but I didn’t understand how to think specifically. I knew when he did something I didn’t like, and I knew when he did something I did like. Somehow, though, I could never translate this into “I desire [fill in the blank with anything at all].”
I consider myself a sex-positive wife. I can now say “I enjoy sex” without blushing much. I can even acknowledge that I like specific types of sexual activity.
But I still struggle when my husband asks me what I would like sexually. I want to say, “Just try stuff and I’ll let you know when I like it or if it isn’t doing anything or me.”
Poor Big Guy. I’m expecting him to do all the sexual decision-making while I retain all the veto power. Where’s the fun in that for either of us? Where’s the mutuality? Where is the shared sexual pleasure?
He has no problem telling me how he’d like me to touch him. He greatly enjoys telling me what he would like me to wear or how he would like me to prepare myself for him.
It seems so easy for him to assert his sexual desires and communicate them to me with no qualms at all.
Why is it so hard for me?
I have several ideas about why: I still have a lot of insecurities. I continue to struggle with my sense of value. I cling to the habit of believing sex is more for my husband than for me even though my thoughts say otherwise. I retain the remnants of shame I connected with sex all those years ago.
I am working on these things in myself. I spend time in prayer surrounding these issues.
While I can see that I am making some progress, I have decided that I need to kick things up a notch.
I’ve decided to be intentional about claiming my sexuality and my sexual desire.
Are you a wife who needs to claim her sexuality, too?
How can we do this? How can you get your “sexy” on?
- Shift the default to “sexy.” Unless it would be inappropriate, choose clothing that will help you look and feel sexy. If you’re going to be seen by anyone other than your husband, that might limit you to sexy underwear (or none at all). Every time you go to the bathroom and see your sexy undies, you’ll be reminded of your hidden sexual tigress. There is a vast difference between stretched out brief-style period underwear and animal print satiny bikini style undies. (Don’t believe me? Give it a try.) Make sure you have at least one or two bras with a pattern or a color other than beige, white, or black.
- Accessorize. Do dangly earrings help you get your sexy on? Wear them. Yes, even around the house. If there is a scent that you often wear when you and your husband are on a romantic date, wear it during the day. If makeup helps you feel pretty, wear it—even if it’s just tinted chapstick. Wear a pendant that hangs between your breasts. No one else needs to see it, but you will feel its presence and be reminded that you are a sexual being.
- Pay attention to your skin throughout the day. Many women prefer to be aroused by light touch, so make a point to be aware of your skin throughout the day. When you put lotion on your hands, slow down and feel your fingers rub the cream into your skin. Whenever you think about your husband, lightly touch your arm or neck as you think about him—even if your thoughts are I need to text him to ask him to pick up milk on the way home. It will train your mind into the habit of associating the thought of him with a tingly touch.
- Be aware of your tingles. If you feel even a twinge of arousal, take a moment to be fully aware of it and even to acknowledge it. (If you plan to acknowledge it aloud, it’s a good idea to be alone. I once overheard a colleague in a neighboring office announce “I’m so horny” when she didn’t realize I was sitting within earshot.) Even if all you do is think, Ooh, I just had a sexy tingle! you are acknowledging it.
- Schedule sex sometimes. I know. Scheduled sex doesn’t sound especially sexy—but if you know you will be having sex that night, you can make a point to think about sex throughout the day. You can send your husband a couple pictures of your lingerie (laid out on your bed if you aren’t comfortable sending him a picture of it on you).
- Communicate with your husband about what you want in bed. If you draw a blank like I often have, indicate something you’ve enjoyed in the past and ask for that. Another idea is to ask for things that you don’t particularly care about simply to get yourself comfortable with the idea of asking for something. For instance, if your husband aims for your right breast, request attention to your left breast instead, or to your knees. If you’re feeling brave, tell him what you’d like him to do hours before you’ll be able to fall into bed together.
- Think about your husband’s pleasure. Try to think about what your husband would like before he asks for it. You may find that doing this requires you to be more aware of what you would like. (Hmm, should I kiss, touch, or lick his shoulder? How would each of those things feel?) Some women find that their husbands’ arousal triggers their own. The more ravenous and turned on her husband is, the more desired and sexy she feels.
If you’ve worked to reclaim your sexuality, what are some ideas you would add to this list? What has helped you get your sexy on?
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