Weekly poll #17: Do you and your spouse do regular devotions or Bible studies together?

Interview with Joe Beam: Marriage Expert ~ Part One

Joe Beam is an internationally recognized marriage expert and a dedicated Christian. The LovePath 911 seminar he leads has been researched by colleges and psychologists because of its unusually high level of saving marriages in trouble. Joe has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Focus on the Family, The Montel Williams Show, MSNBC, Fox News, The Dave Ramsey Show and many other television and radio programs around the world. He is author of several books including his most recent, “Your LovePath,” which is a guide for rekindling lost love, for keeping love strong and for finding true love.  For more information on Joe, visit his website at http://www.joebeam.com.

Tell us about your LovePath 911 Marriage Seminar. Who is it for and what is the purpose of the seminar? What topics does it cover? If one spouse is resistant to the idea of trying this seminar, are there effective and reasonable ways to persuade them?

I developed LovePath 911 in 1999 as an intense three-day weekend to “turn around” marriages in crisis. In 2006, we engaged Jim Grayson, PhD, to survey our effectiveness over the first seven years. Three out of four couples were still together. That success rate is electrifying, especially when you consider that only couples in crisis come, and most of those have at least one spouse that did not want to save the marriage but came only to pacify their family, church, or friends, or to get concessions in the divorce.

LP911 helps people comprehend the underlying causes that got them into their current situation, the future each will have if they continue on their present course, and how to change course so that each of them will find true fulfillment. We cover areas ranging from how to stop hurting each other to how to overcome an affair, even if one of them is madly in love with someone else. It’s quite a comprehensive lineup – anger, forgiveness, personalities, life desires, negotiation, respect, commitment, and more. The workshop centers on a model we call the LovePath that visually demonstrates how people fall in love, fall out of love, fall in love with someone else, or fall in love with each other again, no matter what has happened beforehand. Couples come with issues that span the spectrum – stepfamilies, addiction, disrespect, constant arguing, affairs, parenting, drifting apart, financial stress, sexual disharmony, and more. No matter what the specific reason, research demonstrates that most people divorce because they don’t feel loved, liked, or respected. We start at that core and work out to the symptoms.

We’ve seen people convince their reluctant spouses to come by offering concessions in the divorce, asking that they try this one last thing so that each can depart with a clearer conscience and nearly anything else you can imagine. Many involve their pastors, the spouse’s family, their children, and respected friends. We have a document that provides several suggestions of potential avenues to convince the spouse to come. As far as I’m concerned, anything that is legal and ethical is fair game. We’ve learned that even when spouses come angry and resentful, our success rate continues to be three out of four. Just give us a chance.

Tell us about your Love, Sex and Marriage Seminar. What can couples expect when they attend this seminar?
Love, Sex & Marriage is a fun, informative, and stimulating one-day seminar packed with extremely important material thoroughly seasoned with hilarity. I focus on three areas: walking the LovePath, understanding each spouse’s personality, and increasing sexual satisfaction and enjoyment.

The LovePath visually demonstrates the process of falling in love and growing in love. I explain crucial areas of every relationship. The personality session visually demonstrates how couples can understand each other and how to use that understanding to change the way they communicate. The sex session uses Scripture and the latest scientific research to explain how to have an exciting sex life in marriage. That session ends with the audience anonymously submitting questions about anything concerning sex that they wish, and receiving straight and frank answers to those questions, no matter what they may be.

Churches and organizations around the world bring me in to do this daylong workshop for their members and communities.

What are a couple of key things that a husband and wife can do to most effectively improve their relationship?

We can sum a great deal of research spanning many years with this statement: Most people seek divorce because they do not feel loved, liked, or respected.

Similar research indicates that most affairs don’t begin as sexual liaisons but evolve from needing validation, friendship, and reciprocated love.

My experience with thousands of couples indicates that the aforementioned research is dead on. Those three things – needing to be liked, loved, and respected – lie at the base of most major marriage problems that I encounter. Sometimes it is because a person does not like, love, or respect self. More often, it is a lack of feeling liked, loved, and respected by one’s spouse. Therefore, the most basic advice I can give a person in any relationship is first to understand what would lead the other to feel that you like, love, and respect them. Your feeling that way toward them isn’t enough; they must feel that you do.

Feeling loved means feeling that the other person accepts you as you are, flaws and all, and genuinely cares about you. It includes feeling safe and being confident you will not be abandoned.

Feeling liked means feeling that the other person actually wants to be with you and enjoys it when they are. It doesn’t mean the other person says that they do; it means that you feel that their actions and priorities prove to you that they do.

Feeling respected means that the other person treats you as an equal in intelligence, emotion, and wisdom. Neither sits in judgment on the other, acts superior to the other, or tries to control what the other thinks, feels, or does. That doesn’t mean that you always agree – or that you accept destructive behavior – but it means that when you don’t think or feel the way the other wishes you would, they accept that you don’t and validate your right to differ from them.

I have heard you say that there is a process to falling in love and how this influences the success of marriages. Can you tell us more about this?
Falling in love is a process. If you follow the process you fall in love whether you mean to or not. If you vacate or violate the process, you fall out of love whether you mean to or not. The problem is that most of us not only don’t have any idea what the process is, we aren’t even aware that it exists.

It took an entire book, Your LovePath, to explain the LovePath, therefore I provide only the basic outline here. The first step is Attraction that draws you Closer to another. The second is Acceptance that leads you genuinely to Care about that person. The third is Attachment in which you Commit to that person. Aspiration occurs when you Cooperate with each other so that each of you helps the other achieve his/her life desires and dreams.

Of course, each of those steps has certain dimensions that make it work. When those things don’t happen, rather than moving up the LovePath you move down the LovePath and fall out of love. For example, the Attraction step includes one or more of the following; physical attraction, intellectual attraction, emotional attraction, and spiritual attraction. To the chagrin of Madison Avenue and “the beautiful people,” understanding those different areas of attraction gives as much hope to the emotionally attractive as it does to the physically attractive.

Each step is important to falling in love, staying in love, and growing in love. Ignore them and love fades.

We are looking forward to sharing Part Two of this interview next Monday. Stay tuned! You will not want to miss it!

Position #87: Bumper Boats

This one goes out to all of you thrill seekers out there.  I don’t have a picture so listen up close to the instructions, if you dare…

Bumper Boats is definitely a difficult one.  To begin with both spouses need to lay flat on their bellies, facing away from each other, with their legs touching.  They then will scoot towards each other a little at a time (making sure to keep their legs out of the way) until their genitalia are touching.  In order for penetration to happen, the husband must bend his penis down.

The best way is for the wife’s legs to be spread open.  Then just let the husband inch his way down to her.  Once he has entered her, they are then able to thrust, by bouncing in to each other.  Their rumps will act as ‘bumper boats’ during lovemaking.

Pros: You will have bragging rights for successfully completing this one.  You will have laughs and memories for even attempting it. 😆

Cons: Many men are uncomfortable with their penis bending down.  Thrusting can be awkward.

Review: Replens vaginal moisturizer


I am finding that being perimenopausal has it’s ups and downs, and one of the things I have not enjoyed is vaginal dryness.   It absolutely drives me nuts.   It has been frustrating to have to depend all the time on other forms of lubrication for sex, and I am adjusting to having my honey reach over for the coconut oil before we start.   But when I can feel it during day to day activities, that gets me really frustrated.   I told my close friends recently that it feels like the Sahara Desert down there.

I had seen in the past in the feminine hygiene aisle of the store that besides lubes, their was also vaginal moisturizers, so I decided to try one.   Not knowing much about any of them, i decided to try Replens first.   I started trying it about a month ago.    I would recommend reading the package insert thoroughly before your first application.   When applied, Replens coats and soothes dry vaginal skin cells.   This product is supposed to continue to deliver moisture to the cells for days after application.   Dry cells are cleared out and the replens is eliminated naturally, and it should leave behind restored and supple cells inside the vagina.  It is recommended to be used once every 2-3 days, but is safe for daily use if necessary.

Keep in mind that this is a review of the product from my personal perspective.   Others may have differing views of the product.  Please feel free to write yourexperiences in the comment box below.

It was very easy to apply.   After opening the sealed wrapper on the individually wrapped package, you shake down the Replens into the small tip of the applicator, then break off the tip,  insert the applicator as far into the vagina as possible, squeeze the contents into place, then dispose of the applicator.    Personally, I didn’t feel like in the month that I used it that it really worked for me.   I tried to use it only once every 3 days like it recommended.    I still felt really dry inside, but i kept using it thinking it would take more time.   I started to use it more frequently…once every 2 days.    It never made sex easier, we still needed to use lots of coconut oil during intercourse.   I didn’t expect it to replace my own vaginal moisture, but I did hope that it would help some.   A few days ago, after intercourse, my husband drew my attention to the fact that there was what looked like product of a yeast infection on him (and on/in me upon further exam)   I didn’t feel like I had a yeast infection, but it sure looked like one.   The information pamphlet inside says “Some women may notice a residue after use of Replens–this is caused by the elimination of dead skin cells. Your body naturally sheds dry vaginal tissue that has built up over time. Replens helps this happen, leaving softer, more supple tissue behind. When used on a regular basis, Replens will prevent the build up of dead skin cells and the discharge should dissipate. If the discharge does not dissipate,  you may wish to wait an extra day or two between applications. While use is recommended every two to three days, every woman is unique and you may wish to increase or decrease the amount of time between Replens applications to maximize moisture and minimize discharge.” It made me wonder if this is what we were seeing, but it sure looked like yeast.   I would have expected to see that in the first half of the month though and not now at the latter half of the month we tried it.

The website has a Q&A for side effects, safety of the product and other questions that you might have about the product.  It is not a birth control or a spermicide.   Oral sex is safe when you are using this product.   You should not use it when on your menstrual cycle and should wait a few days after your cycle stops to resume using the product agian.   It does not cure infections.   If you use contraceptive gels or creams, you should use the Replens several hours before intercourse.   It is compatible with condoms.

I haven’t used this product for a very long period of time, and frankly, I stopped using it when I thought I was getting a yeast infection.   I may try it again in the future, but at this time, it hasn’t been a very useful or beneficial product for me.



Weekly poll #16: What version of the Bible do you use most frequently?

I know that myself I use several different versions for different reasons, but please choose the one you use MOST frequently.

Monday’s Mission #73

Your mission this week is to have a look at your sexual confidence level. Without a doubt, no matter what you bring to the table sexually with your husband, he will enjoy it even more if you do it with confidence. Notice I didn’t say perfection. You don’t have to be perfect, but if you own your sexuality and choose to use it as a blessing to your husband, you are really going to knock his socks off. Enjoy that you were made to be a delight to him and offer him the gift of a wife who gives herself without reservation.

Position #86: The Buttler

Yes, I meant to spell it that way.  😉   The Buttler is a simple, standing, oral sex position that can be used on the husband or wife.

To get into position have the wife stand a couple of feet away from the bed or dresser or desk or sofa or other piece of furniture.  Have her spread her legs approximately three feet apart and then bend over and hold on to the furniture.  The husband will kneel behind her and use his hands to “open” her up.  He is then able to give her oral from behind.  The fact that she cannot see him and won’t be able to anticipate his moves will be thrilling!

This can also be done with the husband bending over and holding on to a piece of furniture.  If the wife can’t easily access the penis this way, then she can give oral attentions to his testicles, perineum, and anus instead…trust me when I say that he won’t complain.

Try ringing your own bell and asking your spouse to come “service you” by kneeling and performing The Buttler.

Pros: This is a great position for rimming, as hinted at by the title 😆

Cons: No eye contact here.

Q&A: Dealing With Extended Family

We recently had a woman write us and ask about some issues she was encountering with her mother-in-law. Specifically, her husband’s mother tends to butt into their relationship and act as though she has some sort of vote over how they conduct their lives, even in issues of intimacy.

To be honest I really can not relate to the horror stories I hear like this because my in-laws are fantastic and we generally get along very well with both sides of the family.  Having said that, there are some values that I have which apply to this situation so I’d like to offer a few suggestions.

First, it is important that you and your husband get on the same page as far as how the two of you want to conduct your lives. Even without your parents voices in the mix, it can be hard enough to work out differences of opinion on different matters so establish that first. The other thing is to respectfully set up boundaries and let your parents know when they are pushing past them. If they go in your room without permission or ask you about personal matters that you have decided are not things you will talk about with them, respectfully tell them that you need them to respect your boundaries.

The most important thing is to always remember that you are in charge of your own actions and attitude, and they are in charge of theirs. Let’s be honest, it is hard enough to remain in control of ourselves without worrying about trying to control someone else. You have no authority over how they act or what they say, and the sooner we learn to take responsibility for our selves and completely accept that we can not control another person, we can walk through life with more peace. If your parents are making a habit of saying or doing something that causes you to feel disrespected, tell them what you need from them in order for them to have a relationship with you. In the same way that I communicate to my kids that in order to be with the rest of the family, I have expectations on how they will behave, I would do the same with parents who acted in a way that disrespected me or the rest of my family.

This is actually something I have done with my father. He lives a lifestyle that is harmful to himself and which ends up negatively affecting me so we have hardly any contact. In order to protect my children from his destructive lifestyle, I have reduced my contact with him to almost nothing. Boundaries like these are important sometimes. Other times it is enough to simply have a loving conversation and explain that the person’s actions or attitude are having a negative effect.

Sometimes when there are frequent conflicts arising it is because there is a core issue feeding your interactions that needs to be resolved. In this case, pray for revelation of that core issue so that it can be addressed. Sometimes it is an issue where the parents have not let go of the authority they had when you were growing up in their home. Sometimes the problem is that the person you are married to has not fully left them and cleaved to you. Or it could be any of a hundred other things. Whatever it is, once you have clarity, you can work at resolving the core issue, first with your spouse and then with his or your parents as a united couple. Don’t make it a passing comment. Set up a time to meet with them and let them know at the outset that there are some important things you need to share with them from your heart. This is more likely to result in positive change.

Relationships with our parents as adults can be complicated, but it is important to figure out how to handle them. Sometimes the solution is less than ideal due to that factor of not being able to control them so just commit to doing the best you can. Remember that verse in the Bible that says as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. And remember all the grace that has been shown to you by the Lord and others in your life. It will help you to live with more grace for others.

If you have a specific issue that you would like feedback on from us and our readers, please feel free to post it in the comment section and we will interact with you on it. We will give you honest responses to what you say.

Weekly Poll #15: Pegging

Interview with Lauren Jordan: Sex Therapist ~ Part Two

Last Monday we published part one of our interview with Lauren Jordan, Certified Sex Therapist. Today we a please to offer you part two.

Specific sexual issues:

8. What are the top issues that you see most prevalent in your clients?

The most common complaint for women is Low Libido, and for men, it is Early Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction. I also see a lot of women who have never had an orgasm.

9. What are the biggest factors in low libido?

The biggest reasons for low libido in my opinion are: sexual shame and guilt, relationship issues such as general disconnection, fears of intimacy, or buried resentments; unrealistic expectations about sex and romance, negative body image, sexual trauma, and fatigue from being over-committed with responsibilities.

10. There are so many women who struggle with achieving consistent orgasms or orgasms at all. What medical conditions can effect a woman’s orgasmic function? For women for whom it is psychological, what do you suggest women do to overcome this mental block?

Medications such as SSRI anti-depressants (prozac, lexapro, Zoloft, paxil) can both decrease libido and make it more difficult or impossible to have an orgasm. Anti-seizure medications can also interfere with orgasmic ability, as can neurological disorders. Almost all of the factors that can interfere with desire can also limit or interfere with orgasmic potential. It is a huge list of factors – see my eBook for a complete description. The treatment is to determine which factors are getting in your way and work to resolve them.

11. We hear frequently from couples who are dealing with pornography, and its devastating effects on their marriage. Do you have experience counseling couples in this area? In your experience, is pornography addiction directly related to any sexual issues and dysfunctions?

I have seen a growing amount of pornography addiction in recent years. It can be devastating to a couple – as devastating as an actual affair. An addiction can be born out of the sexless marriage – especially if the low libido partner has refused to listen to the other partner’s needs and wishes, or is unwilling to do anything about it. I’m not saying this is right, just that it happens. A male who has a fear of intimacy, negative body image, buried resentments towards his wife, feels sexually inadequate,and/or performance anxiety may retreat into porn as an emotionally safer substitute.

12. Although our blog is targeted at married women, we have many male readers. Do you find that men are more reluctant to come in for therapy? Do you have any specific areas that you specialize in for men?

I think it is difficult, anxiety-provoking and embarrassing for men and women to enter sex therapy. Men can seem to have more motivation to break through this because of their generally higher sex drives. When the issue is her low libido, most men are willing to come in for couples sessions – possibly because they see the problem as hers, rather than his or theirs, and may feel less embarrassed. However, there is almost always a relational contribution to a partner’s low libido.

I work with men on sexual problems such as Early Ejaculation, Erectile Dysfunction, Low Libido, Lack of Orgasm, Sex Addiction or concern about a particular fantasy or Fetish. I think men have the additional barrier of thinking that seeking help is not “manly” and I am sure there are many men out there who would never consider sex therapy even if their problem is ruining their relationship. After the first session, often both men and women tell me that they feel a huge sense of relief after having the chance to talk openly about their concerns without being judged in a negative way. They say they feel hopeful about being able to solve their problem now.

We are so thankful for Lauren Jordan’s willingness to give us her professional perspective on these questions. They will certainly be a valuable resource for our readers and I am particularly hopeful that much of the mystery behind sex therapy has been removed. To contact her please use the following information:

Lauren Jordan, LCSW, CST

7557 Rambler Road, Suite 612
Dallas, TX 75231

Lauren has a workshop coming up. Feel free to check it out.

WHEN THERE’S NO SEX IN YOUR CITY: A Workshop for Women about Sex, Intimacy & Desire
October 24, 2009. Contact: lauren@BoostYourLowLibido.com

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