Sacred Sex: Chp. 5

This chapter seemed to fly by as I was reading it!  I totally understand what he was saying in the first few pages about all aspects of our lives being interconnected with each other, but I have to admit that I still tend to try and compartmentalize everything.  I think it goes back to my um… control issues, and trying to have everything in it’s place.  I do that physically and emotionally.  I’ve been that way for so long that it’s just a given part of my personality.  But I think the fact that I realize I’m like this means that there is hope for constructive change in myself… right?

Okay, so he discusses the four bases of Meta-Sex, and last week’s chapter addressed first base, or Holy Sex.  Second base kind of hit home with me.  He said: “No couple can enjoy a mutually fulfilling sexual connection if other significant issues are being ignored.” Well, this definitely supports the notion that all parts of our lives are connected on a deeper level.  But he went a step further by saying: “And we’ll never feel that we matter deeply to another human being if our mate is nonchalant about things that matter to us.” I think I must have backed up and read that line about 7 times.  Without going into too much detail, there is something that my husband cares deeply about that I view as bothersome.  It annoys me that he cares so much about it and I am constantly dwelling on how much time and energy he puts into it.  (Obviously this has nothing to do with bedroom activities.)  Even just TWO HOURS before reading this chapter, I was on the phone with my best friend complaining about this one thing that seems to be so high on my dh’s priority list.  And then I read this chapter and got to this part.  It humbled me.  It made me feel about 2″ tall.

This bothersome thing that matters so much to my husband is something that I have struggled with for YEARS, and in one sentence I was forced to reevaluate the way I think about it.  This thing that my husband is passionate about is important to him.  Me rolling my eyes when the subject comes up or sighing heavily has a negative impact on him.  When I act like I can’t stand that particular thing, it affects him and makes him feel that he doesn’t matter as deeply to me because of how obviously put off I am by this thing that matters to him.  I give him the impression that his passions aren’t important to me and in fact are a nuisance.  Wow, look at these negative messages I’ve been sending to the man who has been by my side for almost 20 years!  This is something that I cannot just ‘fix’ overnight.  I’m going to have to coat this in prayer and carefully ask God’s guidance in reforming my views and changing my attitude.  I need to show my dh that his interests & passions matter to me, and I need to be genuine about it.

I love the examples he gives in this chapter of himself and other couples.  I also like the part on pg. 96 entitled: Catch the Foxes.  I’m not going into too much detail here but from now own when I see some type of conflict looming I’m going to try and remember to tell myself to “catch the fox” before a barrier forms.  As he says:  “All little foxes need to be chased away through prayer and open, accepting conversation.”

There are a couple of other things that I liked that I may come back and mention in the comment box later, but for now I’m gonna end this article before it becomes too long.  Did this chapter speak to any of you?  Any other things that I failed to mention that you really liked, or didn’t like for that matter?

Sentence Starters

Finish the following sentence in the comment box:

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When making out, I wish we would do more ______, and less ______.

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St. Cyrano Sexy Stories

In the past we have encouraged you, if it interests you, to create steamy stories that involve your and your husband playing out some of your sex fantasies. We had one resource that we used to refer people to where you could put your and your husbands personal details into a database and it would create a short story of the two of you, but we discovered that pornography was being sent with some of their newsletters so we stopped referring that website.

Enter St. Cyrano, a website with much the same idea of personalizing stories to you, but with a twist that we fully support. In all of these stories, the man and woman are married and share a godly worldview. Sex is portrayed as a gift from God and something to be shared in fidelity between a husband and wife.

Please visit the website to learn more details about the great resource being offered, but the essence is that you select how graphic you want your story to be based on a “Flame Rating” of 2 to 4 and then you input your own details such as your name and physical features as well as your preferred terms for different body parts and the season of life that you are in. The survey used to collect this information is extensive so that the writers of the stories can do a good job of making the story personal to you and your husband.

The creators of this website sent us an example of a story in several different Flame Ratings so that we could provide you with a fair review and after reading the stories I can whole heartedly say that I do fully support this ministry. Due to the stories being written from a biblical perspective of sex, even a 4 Flame story (the most descriptive level) is not offensive. It portrays you and your husband having great sex without having to resort to bringing in elements of multiple partners, same sex titillation, or voyeurism as is common in most erotica on the internet. It is about the freedom of enjoying sex within marriage.

There is a $12.95 cost associated with acquiring a story which is a little steep in my opinion, but given that the stories range from 12-20 pages and are better written than a lot of other personalized stories I have read like this, the stories themselves do have value. The writers take the time to create situations that could actually end up happening so it draws you into the story. They are well written and can easily be edited by you after you receive the story if you prefer to express ideas a bit differently.

So if you are looking for a new way to spice up your sex life, St. Cyrano is a really good option. Let us know what you think if you decide to give it a try.

Disclaimer: We are not receiving any monetary reward for this review nor do we have an agreement with St. Cryano to receive anything should you decide to purchase a story through them.

Weekly poll #83: How often do you pray?

Sacred Sex: Chp. 4

This chapter talked a lot about unconditional acceptance and how having that with your spouse is so important.  Adam & Eve accepted each other unconditionally and without shame.  But today we are bombarded with images of ‘sex’ all over the media in advertisements and magazines and billboards and the news, etc.  We see these bone thin women selling products with their sexuality and we compare ourselves to them and always seem to come up short.  I’ve been guilty of this myself, thinking things like “What if i just lost 10 more pounds…maybe he would find me more appealing/sexy and maybe the frequency of our sex would rise!?”  Mr. Gardner says (pg. 72): “If we believe that our mate sees us as flawed, we’ll enter into sexual encounters with each other fearing that we’re displeasing to the one whose acceptance of us matters most.  We’ll feel like we’re simply not enough.  And if we believe that we could never be enough, we can’t give ourselves to one another in a completely genuine way in holy sex.” Yeah, that has been me at times…thinking that my dh must see me as flawed because *I* see me as flawed!  Maybe i need to recite that catchphrase of Stuart Smalley: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people my husband likes me!”

I agree with him when he says that many sexual dysfunctions originate in the mind.  I know that not everything does, as there are exceptions to every rule, but the mind is so much more powerful that many people realize.

I underlined or highlighted so many things on all the pages dealing with shame that I don’t even know where to begin.  So much good and interesting information.  I loved his definition of shame vs. guilt.

Guilt says: I did something bad/wrong.

Shame says: I am bad and something is wrong with me.

Shame is that feeling that makes us want to run away and hide somewhere (much like Adam & Eve did in the garden).  And when we have shame like that, how can we possibly have honest freedom in our marriage beds?  How can we enjoy holy intimacy with our spouse with no inhibitions?  The answer is that we can’t.  So ladies, when we secretly compare ourselves to supermodels and think that our thighs are way too big or that our bellies must be disgusting to our husbands, that shame carries over into our marriage beds even if we try and pretend that everything is fine.  We may ask for the lights out or low lighting.  We may want to wear lingerie or clothing or complain about being cold so we can hide under the covers.  We may say that we want a certain position because we think that it hides a certain part of ourselves well.  Oh how shame can manifest itself in us, making us feel inadequate, and preventing us from connecting fully with our husbands in godly sex, as God wishes for us.  Are you carrying around some type of shame?

There is SO MUCH MORE I could say about this chapter.  (And I thought chapter 3 was good..but this one is even better!)  I can’t possibly type out everything I underlined, and I’m hoping that maybe some of you could bring out some other points in the comment section, but I do want to end this with one last quote that I thought was pretty profound, on page 82.  How many of us are able right now to do this:

“To be naked and completely unashamed means to stand before your mate and say, “Here is my body.  Here are my emotions.  Here are my thoughts about God.  Here is my history with all of my hopes, my fears, my dreams, my failures.  I stand here naked–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Here are all the things that I’ve tried to keep hidden.  But standing before you, I feel loved, accepted, and cherished.”

Sentence Starters

Finish the following sentence in the comment box:

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As far as communication goes, my husband and I are really good at talking about ______.

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Why have my breasts changed?

We had a reader write in and ask the following question:  ” I am wondering if other women have experienced a decrease in breast sensation following the nursing of their children… When my hubby and I first got married, my boobs were very sensitive…. Then the kids came and I nursed them all.   My boobs took a real beating during those times (bad latching, etc) … It has been years since I nursed but my boobs have never returned to the way they were. While I still enjoy having my boobs sucked and played with, the sensation is not nearly as intense as it once was. Is this normal?”

I can only write from my own experience, and I am hoping others who have had similar difficulties or maybe no difficulties at all, will chime in as well.

Before my first pregnancy,  I like to think that I had pretty sensitive breasts.  I don’t think I ever got orgasmic with breast play, but I really enjoyed my husband’s mouth on my breasts during foreplay.  Five months after we got married, I got pregnant with my firstborn.  With the newness of all the pregnancy changes and things going on with my body, I remember still being okay with breast play.

The thing that is different that this reader is that I had major problems breastfeeding once the baby was born.   He was hungry all the time, and my breasts were not producing much milk at all.  Come to find out later that my Mom was the same way.  Thinking there was something wrong with me and I HAD to be doing something wrong, I went to breast pumps.   Trying to pump in between was SUPPOSED to help stimulate more milk.   Even my baby’s cries didn’t ever cause any of the things I had read about in all the books.   I squeezed my breasts trying to get every little bit I could out.  I was frustrated.  I pumped and I pumped and I pumped….after a month, I gave up.  I had no support and I was in tears.

Seven years later with my second, I decided I was going to try again.   Again, I didn’t produce much, but I had a better support group of friends to encourage me along and try to get me to relax more.  I still pumped in between feedings, but I still wasn’t producing.   I *should* have tried Fenugreek, I see that now to try to help, but at the time, I didn’t know much about it and didn’t want to take something I wasn’t sure about being safe and all.   Again, I pumped and I pumped and I pumped.   I really think I did some damage to the nerves in my breasts and nipples from trying so hard.  This time, I lasted 4 months before I gave up.

I have to say now that I really abused my breasts.   I don’t have nearly the sensation in my nipples anymore that I used to have.   I much rather prefer to have caresses around my entire breast than nipple stimulation at times.   My nipples just aren’t the same.   There is only so much suckling on my nipples that I can tolerate anymore.   Like I said, I really think I did nerve damage trying to breastfeed my children.

I know that this isn’t typical and probably isn’t the norm, but in my situation, breastfeeding did change the sensations in my nipples.   It is my hopes that some of you can offer your stories and maybe even could offer suggestions that would help myself and this reader as well.

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