Interview with Amy: Seeing Your Beautiful Form

If you have read and enjoyed any of the following articles, then you are going to love this idea.

I have a friend, Amy Rueter, who is an artist and has a passion to use her talents to help women see their God-given beauty. I interviewed her so we could learn more about her work.

Explain what kinds of sexy art you paint?

I paint wives for their husbands–they are subtly sexy; classy enough to hang in the living room, beautiful enough for a husband to be happy!

What is your motivation for painting women?

I have always loved the female form; I trained in college by drawing nudes for 4 years and just always loved how a woman’s body curves and rounds and captures light and shadow. From there, I would find myself looking at every woman I saw to see her proportions and to find her ‘beautiful line’. Every woman, regardless of size, has a beautiful line. And most of them don’t know it! I was inspired by the work of a female photographer who worked with anorexic patients to show them their beauty through photography, and felt like that was something every woman could benefit from, so I experimented. First, I had photos taken of me and I worked from them. I then dragged my best friend into the act! She posed for me, but kept her underwear on and would only show me her back. I was able to just draw her and leave the underwear out of it. She loves the picture, as does her husband. It just blossomed from there!

What do you find to be the biggest reservation that women have with getting sexy portraits done?

Christian women usually have modesty issues (which is one reason why I want to work with them most), and others it’s the typical ‘my body isn’t perfect’ feeling. And I can understand–I mean, it would be intimidating for *me* to sit for a stranger!That’s part of the reason why I had my own photos taken by a friend–so I could understand how vulnerable it can be!

What is your response to those reservations?

I explain how my training in school was very much like how doctors get exposed to anatomy; gynecologists get used to seeing things up close and personal, I’m used to seeing all kinds of bodies. I share with them the various things I’ve seen from piercings, tattoos and shapes. I find that makes them relax and understand what I see, which is mainly line and shadow. I also show them the portrait I did of my own body if they want to see.I’m also a big goof ball, so we are laughing a lot in a session–that helps tremendously!!

Do you have any examples of your work?

(Warning: links contain nude images of women from behind)

Please feel free to email me for more examples of my work.

(Note: Amy sent us many of examples of her work and said to use whatever we wished to use in the article. Her work is beautiful and you can get something a lot spicier if that’s what you are looking for.)

Is there a way for our readers to contact you to have a painting done? What if they don’t live in your area? Can you paint from a photo? What size picture do you need, if so? Lighting and posing issues?

They can email me at marcnamy@yahoo.com; I may be able to work from a photo I didn’t take and am trying to do that with a woman in Texas right now. I have worked only with local women thus far but am open to the possibilities. It would be hard because I can’t then choose the beautiful line, but husbands often can 🙂

How long does it take to have a painting done?

It truly depends on the style used; I have one way of doing a portrait with a palette knife that takes an intense afternoonthese tend to be more abstract; the more life-like pictures take a few weeks, depending on size.I’m also happy drawing–and indeed, some of my very best work has been a simply line drawing from warm-ups!

What is the cost of having a painting done?

Pricing for paintings is based on the size and style, and starts at $300 and goes up. Time-wise, a sitting takes about an hour, maybe less, and I like to have a second sitting to get the color and shadows just right–that one may take longer. Drawings are cheaper–more like $100, less if I do a brilliant line drawing that day!

Thanks Amy, for sharing your love of art with us.

Interview with Ex-Swingers: Seeing God’s Redemption ~ Part Two

Yesterday we published Part One of a couple’s story in falling into the sin of swinging. Today we bring you Part Two.

CN: What finally happened that made you both turn from that way of life? Was it an event or a process?
Husband – It was an event.  The only process that was occurring at the time was the process of our continual spiraling into the gutter with our desires and swinging.  At the time of our departure from the lifestyle I was searching for my wife her first black man.
Wife – At that point we’d fallen so far away.  I was considering a mini-gangbang.  So we’re thankful we got out before falling even deeper into those things.  We’d fallen far enough as it was.
Husband – What finally turned us away.  My wife had an affair with a guy we were doing threesomes with.  Now, let me clarify.  I had encouraged my wife that if she wanted to meet a guy one on one she could but to video tape it for me.  Thing is, she did it without telling me and then kept it hidden from me for over a year.  We’d done several threesomes with this guy.  Eventually my wife had requested some things to do with him that I wouldn’t condone.  See, at this point in our swinging we were doing it with condoms and without, depending upon who it was and what we knew about them.  This guy was a condom wearer.  But my wife had dropped hints to me about doing it with him, without a condom.  Even culminating to the point of she asked in the heat of the moment for him to ejaculate in her mouth.  Which I thought defeated the whole purpose of wearing a condom so I denied the request.  I think part of this guy and my wife’s motivation to meet without me was so they didn’t have to adhere to my rules.  Which they did compromise the condom rule in their affair.  And more of the story.  This guy told me many a time before that I was the luckiest guy in the world.  And that she was the best he ever had.  That stroked my ego but was also a sign I missed seeing that he wanted her more to himself.  Which they did in having their affair.  It took her over a year later to finally confess her affair to me.  During that year we did continue to swing.  I didn’t know of the change in her heart but looking back I can see that during that year she wasn’t as willing as I’d seen her previously.  For that year we did fight like cats and dogs over swinging.  She was still swinging and physically enjoyed it but everything seemed like it was a big issue to get to happen.  I couldn’t figure it out at the time.  Why she was so willing before but now made excuses and wasn’t as wild for it.  We still had encounters and she did have physical pleasure.  I look back now in a gut-wrenching pitty for her.  Because her heart and soul were screaming ‘no’ but her sinful flesh and my pressure were screaming ‘yes’.
Wife – I fell to the pleasures of my own sinful flesh, to the pressure from my husband and it culminated in my falling to the lies and deceit of another man.  The other man laid on the lines about how my husband wasn’t good enough for me.  He told me how I deserved better.  He wanted to take the relationship from a threesome, more into a one-on-one thing with him.  I justified the affair with the idea I would video tape it and show my husband later even though he knew nothing about any of it at the time.  After the affair I felt so guilty.  Like for once after all these years of swinging I had truly done something wrong.  I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me.  I cried and prayed for repentance and destroyed the tape.
CN: Was it a hard lifestyle to get free from?
Husband – When my wife finally got the courage to confess of her affair I even shocked myself because I didn’t get mad.  It was like a light switch went off in my mind.  I took responsibility for leading our marriage down the wrong sinful path.  I knew instantly we would never swing again. But for some time afterwards it was difficult shaking the swinging desire.  Getting into swinging was surprisingly easy.  With a sexual and willing wife, being in swinging was easy.  But getting out nearly wrecked our marriage.
Wife – With the guilt of the affair heavy on my heart it was easy for me to get free from.  It took me a while to understand the power that porn had over my husband and the desire he carried for the lifestyle.
CN: What did it require of you?
Husband – I knew we wouldn’t swing again but the desire was so tough for me to shake.  I still wanted to swing.  I thirst for it.  Even though I didn’t want us to do it again, my flesh wanted too so badly.  The turmoil in my soul spilled over into our marriage.  I studied the Bible at first.  Looking for a loop hole saying swinging was ok.  But its not there no matter how hard I tried to find it.  But the bigger issue was the porn that fueled the fire within me.   I’d tell my wife I wasn’t looking at it anymore but I secretly was.  I was trying to hold on to the last grasp of swinging that I could.  What finally did it was I threw away all the magazines and movies of porn.  I deleted everything on the computer.  But still struggled with internet porn.  After struggles and fighting I finally gave it all up.  We had an internet connection and my wife would take the piece and hide it so I couldn’t get online.  The only time I could get online was when I asked her too.  It was this accountability that finally worked for me.  Without porn’s influence I still had all our swinging memories etched into my mind.  The memories would provoke lustful thoughts back to the lifestyle.
Wife – Even though I felt I was so firm and steadfast of never swinging again I was also tempted.  For example, one time not too long afterward retiring from the lifestyle, during our own love making sessions I had a flash back to when I was being pleased by my husband and another guy at the same time.  I didn’t want the memory to surface.  I didn’t go looking for the memory.  It just hit me in the heat of our own love making.  In those first few months after retiring from the lifestyle we saw Satan’s efforts increase.  We had chances and opportunities to swing fall in our lap like we’d never seen before.  But we both were able to say no.
CN: How long had you been swingers by this point?
Husband – In our second round we’d been swinging about 4 years.

CN: In the aftermath, was there any finger pointing or blaming each other?
Husband – Oh my, was there ever!  At first after being redeemed my wife blamed me for everything.  She didn’t take responsibility for swinging or the affair.  I resented her.  Partly for the affair but a lot of it was for leaving the lifestyle.  She had taken something so true to my heart (swinging) away.  So you see how dysfunctional we’d become immediately after trying to leave swinging.  It wasn’t until we both prayed and studied the Bible immensely that we began to realize and take responsibility for our part in the lifestyle.  We stopped pointing the finger at each other and acknowledged our own wrong doings.  This is probably the toughest thing we had to deal with.
Wife – Initially I blamed my husband.  Which caused a lot of friction in our marriage.  I had to first learn to forgive myself and then forgive my husband.  Until that happened there was turmoil in our marriage.
CN: What were the long term effects of having been swingers?
Husband – Thankfully, we did not catch an STD from the lifestyle.  We did damage a few relationships with close friends.  Those few friends that we included in our swinging are not really the close friends we thought they were.  They were using me to get in my wife’s pants.
Wife – I felt for my husband.  I saw his so called friends weren’t really his friends anymore without the swinging option.

CN: How were you able to salvage your marriage after all of that?
Husband – I’m going to be frank about this.  The things my wife and I tried to do on our own to salvage our marriage always seemed to fail.  It was only through God’s grace that saved our marriage.  See the next question.
CN: What are some specific things that you did to be able to move past that together?
Husband – After a few years with the occasional bump in the road only two things seemed to truly work for us.  For me, I had to truly throw aside the swinging desires.  No justifying.  No trying to fight the temptation.  I had to flat out flee from it.
Wife – For me it wasn’t until I acknowledged a wife’s Biblical role in marriage.  The wifely submission to her husband.  See, women just want loved and guys just want respected.  Ironic how we both had read these Bible verses many a time but it wasn’t until we took them individually and personally to heart that God’s blessings began to flow.
CN: Are there any resources for couples who are battling this?
Husband – For us the book ‘Intimacy Ignited’ helped us define what is ok and not ok in the bedroom.  There are some online forums we’ve ran across and shared in.  But none really address swinging in-depth.  Most Christian sites get too judgmental.  Others want to spend more time condemning than helping.  People just don’t understand the temptation and desire for swinging until they’ve lived it and come out of it.  So we have yet to find any good resource to help people deal with it.
Wife – It was while reading the book “Intimacy Ignited” that I got the courage to tell my husband about the one time affair.  I don’t remember the title of the chapter but it was dealing with honesty and you would not have a good marriage with out it.

CN: Describe your marriage now. What has God done in your relationship since you have come out of the swinging lifestyle?
Husband – We were swingers for 4 years and it wasn’t until being out of the lifestyle for 4 years that things finally got great in our marriage (reference question 10).  And our sex life is better than it’s ever been.  Don’t get me wrong.  Some of the physical pleasures we received during swinging were truly outstanding pleasures of the flesh.  But now that fails in comparison to the wholesome pleasures of the flesh we have in our undefiled marriage bed.  Sex without guilt and without sin is awesome!  And I will be honest.  There are some things we learned to do and enjoy only because we first tried them in swinging.  And now we still do those things.  So we don’t leave the reader wondering they are dildos, shaving and swallowing.  Things perfectly fine for a married couple to do in their undefiled marriage bed.  Looking back we’d just as soon try those on our own and not have to learn them through sinful events.
Wife – Now we are best friends.  We don’t bicker and fight like we use too and that’s over everything in life.  Actually, there is finally pure and true joy in our marriage.

CN: What would you say to couples out there who are feeling tempted to experiment with something like this?
Husband – I know the temptation is enticing.  The World will tell you its ok.  Or just try it a little.  Or soft swinging is safe enough.  From someone that’s been there and done that, Paul was so right when he wrote “FLEE” from sexual temptation.
Wife – Go with your heart.  Let no amount of pressure aid in tempting you.
CN: What advice would you give them?
Husband – If not for yourself.  If not for your marriage.  If not for your love of God.  Do not do it for the simple fact that all sin has consequences.  Do you want to risk God’s wrath?  It may not happen immediately but God will correct your sinful ways.  Do you want to risk an affair?  Do you want to risk an STD?  Do you want to risk everyone finding out?  Do you want to risk a pregnancy?  Do you want to risk a divorce?  Look at your job, your house, your spouse, your kids, your life.  Are any of those worth giving up simply to ‘get your rocks off’?  Honestly answer these questions before giving into the temptation.  I’ll say it again, I know that temptation is strong and overwhelming at times.
Wife – Remember God promised never to tempt us beyond what we can handle.

CN: How could the church be better positioned to be a place of healing for people like yourselves?
Husband – Sorry if I’m blunt but I’m going to have to be.  The church needs to quit being so hypocritical and judgmental.  People can stand before their congregation and testify “I use to be an alcoholic!”, “I’m a recovering drug addict!”, “I had an affair on my wife!”, “I spent years in prison!” and the entire congregation praises “AMEN” for their redemption.  But stand before your church and testify “We use to be swingers!” and you could hear a pin drop.  Well, other than a few whispers of “Freaks!”.
Wife – The church has got to get their head out of the sand and teach about sex.  Preachers and teachers can talk about every topic imaginable but no one adequately teaches sex in the church.  So where do people find the answers.  Pornography, coarse talking with friends, lies and deceit from other people with hidden agendas, etc.

Husband and Wife – Thank you so much for allowing us to share our testimony.  We questioned many a time why God allowed us to fall into the sin of swinging.  We’ve since realized God wants to use our failure and success as a way to witness to others who struggle with the temptation or are in the lifestyle.  If our testimony can save one person, one more marriage from the lifestyle then God’s being glorified through us.

CN: We are so thankful that you are willing to share so openly and I know that God will use your testimony to help others who are struggling with this sin. I hope to see the Church become a safehouse for all who are battling this so that people know that they do not stand alone.

If this is an area of weakness or struggle for any of our readers, please contact us and we will provide you with the email address that this couple uses to minister to people wishing to get free from the lifestyle.

Interview with Ex-Swingers: Seeing God’s Redemption ~ Part One

Not long ago we received a question from a reader seeking to be justified in a desire to be in a swinging lifestyle. We responded to them that we did not see any biblical grounds for this to be an acceptable practice for believers. Hoping to bring some reality to the situation we contacted a couple who had been redeemed from the swinging lifestyle and they graciously agreed to share their story with us in the hopes that they can help others to escape the sin of swinging. This is Part One of their story.

Christian Nymphos: Describe your marriage prior to becoming swingers?
Husband – We both felt our marriage was good. Don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t perfect but we weren’t fighting like cats and dogs as many marriages suffer from.
Wife – We had an active and enjoyable sex life together.
CN: Were you Christians at the time?
Husband – Yes, we were both active Christians just prior to swinging but had a falling out with our church and left it.  Little did we realize until years later, we let our embitterment cause a falling out with the Lord.
Wife -My husband grew up in an active Christian home while I was raised in a home that rarely attended church.  So we came from different upbringings but fell to the same sins together.

CN: How long had you been married when you decided to try it?
Husband – Shortly after we got married we experimented briefly with swinging.  It was more to satisfy a curiosity.  But that didn’t last long and after it we grew into a closer walk with the Lord.  Then later in our marriage we fell away, far far away (reference question number 1).  It was at that point that we fell deep into the swinging lifestyle.
Wife – This first brief time was more of a experimentation because of the curiosity.
CN:What was your motivation?
Husband – For me the husband, it was a strong desire to share my wife with others.  To have them covet what a great wife I had.
Wife – It was the curiosity of being pleased by more than one person at a time.  And the stronger influence was the flattery of another’s interest.  An ego boost if you want to call it that other’s still think I’m sexually attractive.

CN: Were you both committed to trying it or was it more like one of you was curious about it and the other just agreed to do it?
Husband – I was very curious to try it.  My persistent pressure on my wife got her to concede to trying it.
Wife – I had my curiosities, fantasy and desire to try it myself. But without my husband’s insistence to do it I probably would have never acted on it.

CN:Describe the emotions involved the first time you did it?
Husband – Nervous, butterflies, etc.  And that feeling really didn’t go away even later in the lifestyle.  There were always some butterflies before each meeting even if it was with partners we had already been with.  Another emotion the first time was a sensation of ‘wow, we’re finally doing this’.  It had been years of desires built and now finally fulfilling them.  Then those inherent thoughts of ‘Is this really finally happening?’ and ‘No stopping now’.
Wife – Very nervous.  But once the physical part began that went away.  Satan has a way of squashing emotions with pleasures of the flesh.
CN: Did you have to shut down part of yourself?
Husband – Actually my mind was too busy with itself.  Trying to take it all in and grasp getting to finally act out the physical pleasure.
Wife – Yes.  With sex there is also an emotional tie and there was no way I wanted any type of emotional ties with anyone but my husband.

CN: What exactly were you both in to? Were there rules that you followed?
Husband – This will answer two questions.  When we started out we had all sorts of ground rules.  Threesome with men only.  No friends.  They had to be single.  And condoms were required.  But swinging was like a drug.  The more we did the more we wanted.  Always looking for the next bigger and better fix.  We ended up breaking all our original ground rules.  And on top of that we ended up doing couple swaps in which my wife partook of bisexual play with the other wives.  We went to strip clubs and swinger dances.  Pretty much, we ended up doing most everything other full blown stereotypical swingers were doing in the lifestyle.
Wife – My husband seemed to always want to try more and was fueled by porn.  But as I fell deeper into the lifestyle my inhibitions seemed to fall away too.
CN: Did you find yourself in any dangerous situations?
Husband – Actually no.  We were very selective on who we met.  We’d screen them online for some time.  (Or talk in depth with close friends we brought into our lifestyle.)  Then we’d schedule a non-sexual face to face meeting first.  If things all clicked to that point then we’d schedule a meeting for a sexual encounter.
Wife – Looking back, we did set ourselves up many a time where a dangerous situation could unfold.  But it never did.  Even in sin God was still watching out for us.

CN: At the time, how did it effect your own intimacy?
Husband – We use to brag to others how it made our marriage stronger.  Looking back I really can’t say it did.
Wife – All it did was allow us to suppress any insecurities in our relationship based on the fact we were open with our marriage.
CN: Was it what you thought it would be like?
Husband – It kind of varied actually.  Some encounters were just blah.  While other encounters we’re some of the wildest sex we’d ever have.  Those types of encounters would stay with me for days and weeks afterwards.  I’d dwell on what happened and feel a rush from it.  Overall being a swinger was what I thought it would be.  But the consequences were a surprise I never thought would happen to us.
Wife – The physical pleasure was what one might expect.  But the emotional roller coaster back and forth between lust and guilt wasn’t something expected.
CN: Did you deal with jealousy issues?
Husband – I never did.  Because my desire was to share my wife with others.  For me, sex with other women was more of a token event I did so I could watch my wife have sex with the other women and their husbands.
Wife – I enjoyed the physical pleasures with being with other people.  But I never got 100 percent comfortable with my husband having sex with other women.

CN: Was it a huge secret that you kept from your friends & family? Or did everyone around you know?
Husband – It was a deep dark secret we kept from everyone we knew.  Well, except for the few friends we ended up bringing into the lifestyle with us.
Wife – One thing we and a few other lifestylers couldn’t understand was how many swingers that were open about it.  Posting face pictures at swinger sites, etc.  For us discretion was one of the most critical elements and still is with our testimony afterwards.

Tomorrow we will share the rest of this couple’s story, including how they were eventually set free from the swinging lifestyle.

Interview: Healing and Restoration After Adultery ~ Part Two

Yesterday we shared part one of an interview with a couple whose marriage suffered infidelity. Today they share further about the struggle in that and their journey toward healing.

CN: How did you identify the problems in your own marriage and address them?

DH: We had help. We were counseled by a couple who had problems in their own marriage. they also seem to be particularly gifted in counseling and have helped many couples. They were able to identify areas in which we were undermining transparency in our relationship. One major area was that I had a history of being a controller and DW had a history of being a pleaser. The controller believes every thing is fine as long as they get their way. The pleaser is fearful of speaking their mind. That particular dance does not lend itself well to real intimacy.

CN: What is important for the husband and wife to do in order to for healing to come to the marriage. I’d like to hear from both of you what you required of yourselves and of your spouse.

DH: Two things come to mind for me.

  • I needed to recognize that DW could be doing the best possible job at loving me and affirming me but that still was NOT able to bring me the healing I needed. Only GOD could do that. It was when I really began crying out to him for healing that healing came to me. This is one of those things where “all things work together for good”. I love my relationship with the Lord and would not go back six years in time for anything!
  • Honesty . I require honesty of myself and expect honesty from DW. Honesty can hurt. However,it’s only when things are out in the open that they can be dealt with and healing can come. Things that remain a secret are deadly.

DW: The hardest thing for me was to forgive myself. I cried a lot. Just when I thought I had recovered, something would set me off and I would cry again. It was worse when I would listen to DH as he struggled and asked hard questions. There were times when I kept things from him because it seemed as if it just increased the pain and I wanted to spare him. That only made it worse. It is tempting to fall back into the “pleaser” role to make things seem better but in the long haul, it is better to be real. I had a lot of help from others in this area, especially from our very compassionate and merciful church, but it took a very long time to really forgive myself.

DH: We both felt it was important to start building NEW, POSITIVE memories together. We did not want the old marriage back. We wanted a BETTER one. For example,soon after our reconciliation DW bought tickets for us to see a Christian comedy show together with our kids. It was wonderful to laugh together. I’m glad she had that insight. Another example is DW had wanted to learn ballroom dancing together for years. I didn’t want to and dragged my feet every time it was suggested. The affair was a wake up call for me in that department. I quickly scheduled dance lessons for us at our “adult education” classes run by our local school district. We had such a good time with that and I wonder why in the world I had reservations about it for such a long time. We both love to dance together. Sometimes I think I love it even more than she does! LOL!

DW: In the sexual department we took it slow on the advice of our counselors. That turned out to be wise advice.

DH: Yes. The sex was emotionally painful at first. For me,particularly after the sex was over. You know, the after effects? What should have been an “after-glow” was just a “trigger” for more pain. Just knowing from our counselors that there was no need to rush the sexual healing, gave us enough space to allow the Lord to bring us together in his way.

DW: I think the only thing I required from my husband was that he accept my answers to his questions. He told me he wanted honesty, but there were times he tried to argue with me once I answered him. My initial reaction was to not want to answer at all.

DH: Yes. I needed to learn to respect her thoughts and feelings. Love does not mean that we agree with each other on everything. “Boundaries in Marriage” was a helpful book for me in this area.

DW:On a practical side, it was also important to me to return all the gifts from the other man. I didn’t just throw them out. I wanted him to know that I know longer wanted them. I also wrote a letter of apology to his wife. I felt the need to ask forgiveness of all the people involved.

CN: What is the condition of your marriage now and what was the road like getting here?

DH: I’m very happy with my marriage. I let my wife be the judge of how good it is. I think that only our partner is qualified to say how good it is. We’ve been married over 30 years. We’ve had ups and downs. We both felt like we were relatively happy for the 1st 24 years. We both feel that it’s far better now. Speaking for myself, the road to recovery from DW’s affair has been very difficult for me. I don’t think it’s been a piece of cake for DW either. I’m sure that living with my woundedness, anger, grieving, brokenness and questions have NOT been easy for her. I do think that in the long run it’s helped us to know each other better.

DW:  I love my husband and my new marriage. The affair was a Romans 8:28 for us.  It worked out that our relationship is much better, more open and real than it ever was before. I would say the road is long but it gets easier the farther one travels down it. On my end, even as I write about it , it is as if I am outside, looking in on another person and events.

CN: Describe your relationship today.
DH: We were just discussing this recently. We are BEST friends! We love each other more than ever.
DW: We have just become empty nester’s ( almost, our youngest is in college) and I told my husband that I enjoy being alone with him. On that note, I have to add that even the sex is the best it has ever been for me and I know my husband likes the fact that there is more of it.  I did not think that would happen and it is a wonderful blessing.  We continue to grow.
DH: Yeah, there’s more sex, which is great, but even better is the fact that my wife is truly engaged with me. It’s not obligatory sex. She loves it / loves me and I love to please her. It’s an extension of the rest of our lives together. We’re always looking out for the interests of the other. We see so many marriages that struggle with infidelity. We want folks to know that God is able to “restore the years the locust has eaten”. If you are struggling with this, your marriage can be better than it’s ever been before. There is hope.

CN: What resources did you find helpful in your journey to healing and restoration?

DW & DH: We both agree that there are probably no set formulas to follow. Each situation has it’s own personalities and problems. That being a given, here’s what was most helpful to us:
We took advantage of any marriage retreat, seminar or video teaching for the 1st 2 or 3 years after reconciliation. We took advantage of a lot of resources (Harley, Rainey, Smalley, etc.etc.) Our new Church was really helpful that way and has a strong marriage ministry. The church we had been attending during the affair did not handle things well and did not have much emphasis on marriage. It may be helpful to find a church that can be supportive if your church is not. We went to marriage counseling. The 1st counselor was not so good and quite expensive ( about $100 per hr ). The second counselors were a husband/wife team who did more for us in 2 hours ( for FREE! ) than half a dozen sessions with the first counselor. It’s OK to shop around and find a good fit. A good counselor will be able to spot dysfunction in the marriage and help find a healthier way to relate to each other.
Books that were helpful to us:

  • We both read “The five languages of Love” by Gary Chapman
  • We both read ” boundaries in Marriage” By Cloud and Townsend
  • DW : “Every Woman’s battle” by Shannon Ethridge
  • DH : “Passionate Marriage” by David Schnarch ( this was especially helpful in DH’s healing )

I know that many people will be blessed to hear your story. Thanks again so much for your willingness to be open and transparent with us.

Interview: Healing and Restoration After Adultery ~ Part One

Is it possible for a marriage to survive adultery? If the marriage survives, is it possible for it to become a place of deep passion and intimacy again? This is a very serious issue and after receiving an email from a reader who is currently caught in the sin of adultery and wondering how to get free from it, we wanted to talk to a couple that had experienced infidelity and been restored. We are grateful to the couple who shared their story with us.


Christian Nymphos (CN): What was the condition of your marriage prior to the adultery?

Dear Wife (DW): I think it is very important to point out that we believed that we had a good marriage. Other people looked up to us and I had friends ask me for advice about marriage. One woman from the church told me that I was married to a “promise keeper” and that she was going to find someone just like him. I think the verse, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” is very wise advice. I remember telling my husband that I knew I could never cheat on him. When I was in counseling, I told my counselor that “everyone was shocked.” Her reply was, “and you most of all.” I think that was accurate. Now in hindsight, we realize that things were not perfect. We did not understand each other’s love languages. I also feel that personally, I did not always speak my mind/thoughts but allowed myself to be repressed by my impression of what others expected of me as a “woman of God.”

Dear Husband (DH): I think it is important to note that DW had been faithful to our marriage vows for over 24 years. I felt as though we had such a good track record, that this was not something we would ever have to deal with. I was blind to it at the time, but I can look back and see that I had been having an affair myself with my church work for 15 years. I was preaching in Sunday services, leading worship, on various committees, etc.to the neglect of my wife and children. I think I could have fostered a much stronger connection with my wife. Maybe she was starving to death and didn’t know it. Neither of us came from homes with good models for marriage and I think we just reproduced what we had been brought up with. We were just discussing tonight how 30 years ago churches didn’t offer much in the way of preparing young people for marriage.


CN: What would you say were the largest contributing factors which lead to the adultery?

DW: I would say low self esteem and depression were the factors which left me vulnerable. Add a person who gave me a lot of attention and compliments whom I saw on a regular basis.

DH: I was working long hours. Worried about the bills. Not taking vacations. Sometimes not having dinner with the family. I remember one time when DW’s windshield wipers need replacing. I was slow to act. This guy jumped in and replaced her wipers. That’s just one example. He had pet names for her. Because of our different love languages (I’m physical touch, she’s words of affirmation) I was not feeling all that loved myself and became critical of her. I think this guy wanted her. She’s a fine looking woman with an attractive personality. He jumped in and filled a void. This was not the first time a man came on to her or the last, but at this time in her life she was vulnerable.


CN: In hindsight, how could you have kept the adultery from happening?

DW: I think once the flirting became obvious, or at least suspect, I should have told the man that I felt uncomfortable with his attention, especially when it became more physical. It was how I felt at first, but became more comfortable as it continued. Later on when a different man was flirting with me, I told him it made me uncomfortable and that pretty much ended it with him.

DH: Before it got to intercourse, DW was advised by a close female friend who she confided in, to tell me about it. That would have been the best thing. Instead, she was afraid of hurting me and actually caused far greater hurt than she ever imagined.


CN: DW, what was your struggle like when the adultery was happening?

DW: I remember asking God to take away the temptation and feeling as if He wasn’t hearing me. I shared with a friend and she prayed with me and it seemed to help for a short while. She had also told me to tell my husband and I was afraid to do so for fear of hurting him. It seems preposterous now considering how much more I hurt him in the long run. I know I heard that people say they couldn’t help themselves and I used to think that was just a line, but that is how I felt once it started. I felt like no one could possibly understand me and I was quite alone. I struggled for a month with a lot of pressure from the other man to sleep with him before I shut down my conscience and gave in. After that it was like being trapped and I couldn’t climb out by myself. By the end the only prayer I was able to offer was “Oh, God!” I believe God hears even when we are unable to come up with the words.


CN: DH, did you have any idea what was happening? What did you experience when you found out?

DH: When the affair was in the flirting stage I had no idea what was happening. By the time the affair had gotten to intercourse, obvious changes in DW’s behavior started to occur. I had been wanting to spend some quality time with DW for a while so I planned a day trip to the beach. By the time we actually got there DW had already had sex with the Other Man (OM). She was especially affectionate with me,hugging my arm and thanking me for taking her to the ocean. A short time later, walking around our neighborhood, she hugged my arm and told me how much she loved me. I later found out that at that stage, she felt like she was, ” in love with two men at the same time.”

Over the next few months I saw her attitude toward me change. One time we were laying on the bed together and seemingly out of nowhere she began to sob. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that she couldn’t tell me. I asked why. She said, “I promised the person that I would never tell.” I said, that is wrong for you to make that kind of promise. A secret that hurts you this badly should not separate a husband and wife.” She still refused to say what was bothering her. I was very distraught over this and called my pastor. He thought the behavior was strange but assured me that knowing my wife as he did, she was NOT having an affair. I had been trying to make dates with her so that we could spend time together. She always gave me a reason why some other obligation was more pressing. There was missing time. She would awake in the middle of the night and say should couldn’t sleep so she was just going to go into work.

All this mystery continued to build for about 4 months till I was no longer able to contain myself. Somehow I got her up into our bedroom and insisted that she tell me what in the world was going on in her world. That’s when she “spilled the beans”. There were a lot of tears on her part as she told me she was having an affair and could NEVER return to me because, “I will always be comparing you to him”. For whatever reason, I just held her tightly for a few minutes. The kids knew something was terribly wrong. We told them right away. I told DW that she should leave the house and live somewhere else. She immediately went to her mother’s house to live. The full force of what had happened hit me after she left the house. I’d never felt a pain so bad in my 50 years. It was indescribable. I’ve often said it must have been like getting your leg sawed off in the Civil War with no anesthesia. They just give you a piece of wood to bite down on. After about a week there were specific things that she did that made me very angry. I told my pastor that I wanted a divorce. He said, “It’s too soon”.

Over the next 4 months God brought me very wise counsel in the form of many different friends. I spent most of my waking moments in prayer during that time period. God is so faithful. I’ve gained things from Him during that period that I wouldn’t trade for anything. At the end of that period of time DW came to me and said that God had spoken to her on her bed at night, had showed her what our marriage could be like. She said, “I can’t believe how badly I hurt you. I want to make our marriage work.” Our church paid for us to go to a professional counselor. Reconciliation seemed to work well for about a month but DW had not cut off all contact with the other man and the affair (unknown to me) reignited. I was trying as hard as I knew how, to be a good husband but it was not working! Her heart was not with me. I knew something was terribly wrong and told a friend that I could not continue in a marriage with her much longer. Four months after it reignited, DW completely repented and broke off the affair. The affair lasted a year. There were many supernatural signs that led to that point. We both clearly saw the hand of God in our reconciliation.

The OM continued to try to make contact even up to a year after it was over. I never knew if he was sneaking around my back door. It was pretty disconcerting. The reconciliation process has been long and difficult. It has been so worth it! God has truly “restored the years the locust has eaten”. This affair was a “trigger” that forced me to face deep wounds I had long buried. Things like abandonment issues from my father, performance based self worth and baggage from affairs that my Mom had when I was a youngster. I am much more at peace with myself than I ever was before. I love life and I love my Savior. I love my wife more than I ever have.


CN: DW, how did you cut the tie to the other man?

DW: I wish I could give a list of steps to follow, but I have to give all the credit to the Lord. I did not feel able to end it myself although I kept telling myself that I would end it. There were several miraculous interventions including the Lord using our pastor to speak to me from the pulpit. He looked directly at me the entire time and had gone off his topic to say, “The Lord expects you to keep the covenant you made before God and men.” It was in reference to the marriage covenant. Another friend from church whom I had not spoken to in years told me that the Lord had directed her to pray for our marriage. I had assumed she heard that we were separated but when I asked her , she said she had not known anything was wrong. There was also a couple, friends of ours, who prayed with my husband. He said he was very aware of the spiritual battle taking place there.

CN: Was this a struggle for you?

DW: Once it was really over, it was not a struggle. It was as if I had been set free. The road to recovering our marriage, and actually improving it from what it had been before the affair took time but I never regretted that the affair was over.


CN: Do you think there is ever a place for a wife or husband to commit adultery and keep it a secret if they can break it off?

DH: DW and I have a slight difference of opinion on this. Of course neither of us are marriage counselors, yet I know that there’s even a difference of opinion among trained professionals. I believe that if full restoration is to take place, full disclosure must take place as well. I see no reason why an affair should EVER be kept secret. Had I not known about my wife’s affair I would not have dealt with my own issues. We as a couple would not have dealt with the weaknesses in our marriage that made it vulnerable to an affair in the first place and DW would have been living with a terrible secret for the rest of our marriage. Not exactly a formula for true openness and intimacy. I remember one story on themarriagebed.com where a spouse had secretly ended the affair and gone back into the marriage. 15 years later the truth came out. The betrayed spouse always knew in their heart that something was terribly wrong but didn’t know what it was and unfaithful spouse was living with guilt the whole time. They said that when the whole thing was exposed was when their marriage really began to prosper. They were sorry that so many years had been lived with a dark specter hanging over them.

DW: I actually do agree with my husband. I just don’t want to make a blanket statement because there may be some situation of which I am unaware of, which would make it better to keep it a secret. For us personally, it is much better for both of us that the secret came out. The secret effected my behavior, even secrets about the other man calling or stopping to see me at work effected how I related to my husband. It is very freeing to have no secrets between you.

DH: Of course the spouse in the affair runs the risk of the betrayed spouse wanting a divorce. However, I’ve seen over and over again that what the betrayed spouse would like to see more than anything else is a truly repentant husband or wife who wants to try to make the marriage better.

Tomorrow we will share the second half of this couple’s story of healing from infidelity. Click here to see that interview.


Interview with Paul and Lori Byerly: Creators of themarriagebed.com

The Marriage Bed website is significant to the writers on this blog because… that is where we met and became friends. I personally found the website at the beginning of my sexual awakening as I was looking for information on how to strip for my husband. When I started reading the discussion forums I was relieved to find so much valuable information that was incredibly significant in freeing me to walk in who I saw God was drawing me to become, a journey I am still on today. If I had a dime for every time I thought “If only I had found this at the beginning of my marriage,” I would be a very rich woman today. We are all so thankful for The Marriage Bed ministry and we are thankful to welcome the creators as guests on our blog.

Christian Nymphos: How long have you been ministering to married couples about godly sexuality through The Marriage Bed?

Paul and Lori Byerly: The main site has been up for eleven years.  The message boards have been up nine and a half years.

CN: What resources are available to people through The Marriage Bed?

PLB: There are a growing number of articles on sexuality, intimacy and romance.  We strive to make everything consistent with the truth of the Bible and scientifically accurate. There’s also a message board, a community of individuals who share and learn together, and a listing of other on-line resources (sites, books, etc).

CN: What are the most common problems or questions people have when they come to The Marriage Bed forums?

PLB: The vast majority can be summed up as “am I/are we normal?” and “is this okay?”  These are things people don’t tend to talk about face to face, so most folks have no idea what is usual or unusual.

CN: Other than your ministry through The Marriage Bed site, in what other ways are you involved in ministering to married couples?

PLB: We also do The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband, in which we send out a daily tip on being a more loving and generous spouse.  These tips cover a wider array of topics than The Marriage Bed. We do one on one ministry with individuals and couples via e-mail, as time allows. In the past, we’ve done marriage weekends, and we anticipate doing that again in 2009.  We had our first marriage seminar on board a cruise ship last year, and we have another scheduled for May 17-24 of this year – details here.

CN: What are the best resources you have found which support a husband and wife in building intimacy and wholeness together?

PLB: Fortunately, there are a growing list of books available.  The TMB bookstore tries to keep the newest and best books available on sexuality, communication, and general marital issues.  I would also point to ministries like Joe Beam’s Love Path and Dr. Harley’s Marriage Builders.  There are also an increasing number of helpful sites (Growthtrac) and blogs (Christian Nymphos).  The body of Christ is stepping up to the plate in creating resources to help in healing and building marriages.

CN: Do you see a shift happening in the church towards embracing proper sexuality? It seems like more and more pastors are beginning to speak more openly about it.

PLB: In more than a decade of doing this we have seen a significant change.  The message of TMB has not changed, but we have become far more acceptable, and have links from places that would not have acknowledged our existence in the past.  We see this change as one of positive peer pressure that allows those who have always agreed with our message to say so without fearing they will be punished for it.  The “sex is dirty, even in marriage” message no longer rules unopposed!

CN: How can we encourage the men and women in our circle to walk in more freedom in their marriage beds?

PLB: Communicate, communicate, communicate!  A couple must talk clearly and freely with each other.  Help others by openly and appropriately living your love and desire for your spouse.  When others make disparaging remarks about marriage or married sexuality, don’t let it go – make it clear that you think differently!  The more the message of good, Godly sex is proclaimed, the easier it is for folks to hear and heed that message.

Interview With Dena Brehm: Sexual Refuser Turned Passionate Wife

Describe yourself in the earlier years of your marriage.

Well, bottom line, I was a mess … immature, selfish, self-protecting, and in denial. I carried a lot of baggage into our marriage, and I honestly believed that just being married would “fix” me… but it didn’t, and the pain of that disillusionment was intense. I’d used premarital sex to “catch” my future husband, and it seemed to work — only, it backfired on me .. quickly into the marriage, sex became something abhorrent to me … it was as if I blamed my husband for not protecting me from myself, prior to marriage (even though I’d been the one who actively did the seduction). It’s uncanny, but I’ve seen that same story play out over and over, with other marriages. It’s as if we think we can get away with rewriting God’s standards, without consequences. But just like with gravity, no matter what we think, if we take a dive, we’re going to go down. Sadly, for both of us, I learned to hate sex, due to my own warped thinking, and I soon started avoiding my husband, and blaming him for being a “pervert” — all because he had a normal, God-given desire and drive. Beyond refusing him sexually, I also rejected him emotionally … denying him all affection.

What contributed to you being that way in the beginning?

Well, it didn’t help that I was a raging bulimic, LOL! Control queen and sexual respondent don’t exactly blend together well. My preoccupation with my eating disorder was my “first love”, and everything else paled in comparison. However, there were other factors: I’d been taught the typical “purity” stance, all of my growing up years … by parents who had been virgins ’til they married. While they taught me that sex was good, they were vague … and the church and youth groups I attended just gave me the message that “sex is bad … God puts up with it to get babies … He turns His head while we do the nasty … it’s a necessary evil … good, Christian women just don’t enjoy it too much … too much pleasure is fleshly and sinful.” Obviously no one sat me down and drilled that into me — but the covert message was still there, loud and clear. Sadly, I ended up in quite a phase of rebellion, from age 18 – 24, which included alcohol, drugs and promiscuity… though I always planned on repenting, getting married, and “coming to my senses”. Like Augustine, I equated sexual pleasure with sin — something that was to be repented of and banished from my life. Once I got married, and became the “good Christian wife,” sex and pleasure had to go — unless we were trying to procreate, of course…!

How long was it into your marriage before you saw that God was setting you free from sexual refusal and apathy?

It took a loooooong while. My mind was filled to the brim with lies … about God, about myself, about marriage, about sex. And until I was in intense pain, I wasn’t willing or able to investigate those lies. And, as in with many marriages, God seems to wok on the spouse who is more healthy, more whole. Mark was beyond-frustrated with me, and yet, he learned that he couldn’t control me, couldn’t change me. He came home one day from work, to find me passed out at the kitchen table, after a long day of abusing my body with binging and purging (this was my daily activity for 21 years). In anger, he went out for a run, yellilng and crying out to God, “Are you going to let this keep up until there’s nothing of me left?!?” And he felt God say, “Yes.” He collapsed, right there on the street, and sobbed, letting go of me, letting go of expectations that I’d ever change. He asked God to help him learn to love me as I was, even if I’d never change, and would never love him. The change was subtle at first — and I was far too self-absorbed to notice… I was just relieved that he’d backed off. However, one day I did notice a change… I’d again spent the day binging and purging, and was in the shower, desperately, futilely trying to soak up heat and energy into my starved and empty body … suddenly the shower door opened, and there stood Mark, home from work. I knew that he knew what I’d done. But he didn’t rant, blame, or shame me. Instead, he stepped into the shower, fully clothed in a business suit, tie and shoes, wrapped his arms around me, and held me as I sobbed … wordlessly holding me, soaked to the skin … until we both laughed at the beautiful absurdity of it all…!

What circumstances had the most influence on helping you begin this process of relational healing in your marriage?

Ah, it was quite the process… first, God used a ministry called Theophostic to break through the lies I believed about Him, about my body, and replaced them with His truth — that set me free from bulimia. I was transformed completely, and have been walking in that complete freedom for 8 years now. That changed SO much, but initially the marriage continued in dysfunction … Mark loving me, me avoiding Mark … and yet God was working behind the scenes. He led us to work through soul-ties (bonds we’d formed with others with whom we’d been sexual in the past), including the one we’d formed through premarital sex. Mark also confessed of some pornography use of us, prior to our marriage (yes, even that had an effect). And, during this time, I continued to pray that God would renew my mind, my heart, and my eyes for my husband. In spite of that, I managed to deny him sex for 14 months straight, after the birth of our 7th child. I experienced two miscarriages that year – they were devastating. I then went on a “trying to conceive” campaign that obviously involved sex — lots of sex. But, mechanical sex. I finally had to repent, both for using my husband’s body, and for trying to “make” God give me a baby. I also told Mark that I would stop refusing him, sexually… I would be willing to have sex every time he approached me. One beautiful spring day, shortly after this confession and repentance, I was sitting in a parking lot, in my car, enjoying the beautiful spring afternoon, awaiting my son’s drum lesson to conclude. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was flooded head to toe with a sensation that was wholly unfamiliar to me … sexual desire. I’d never felt it. All I knew was that I wanted my husband BAD. I called him, saying, “How soon can you get home?” He answered, “What’s wrong? Are the kids ok?” I said, “We’re all fine. I’ll be waiting for you in the bedroom. Naked.” We both got home in record time, and collided in a joyous, passionate embrace … it felt too dang good to be moral or legal, but I figured I’d enjoy it while it lasted, and I could repent later. Likewise, Mark figured that aliens had invaded my body, but since I *looked* like his wife, he too could indulge, and repent afterwards…! In the afterglow, a bit dazed, more than a little astonished, he looked at me and said, “Did you ever think it could be this way for us?” I suddenly realized that it was more than merely sexual … I had gone and fallen in love with my husband for the first time in our 17 year marriage…! This man, the father of my 7 children, the one I’d disdained and avoided like the plague, became my lover and best friend. We were in that state of frenzied bliss for over 2 years … making love daily for over 8 months…! Glorious! At age 42, I finally found my libido, and the love of my life. I waited eagerly for him all day, and when I saw him pull into the driveway, my stomach would flip … I got butterflies! It was so fun! The joy overflowed into every aspect of our lives, we bonded like nobody’s business, and our children thrived in our new relationship (even as the teenagers pretended to be mortified).

What circumstances had the most influence on helping you begin this process of relational healing in your marriage?

Well, we had to calm down a bit … people needed feeding, he had to make money, and we had a household to run..! We went through many stresses at the time … we got kicked out of church (due to my posts on TMB), we fixed up our house to sell it, we moved 3,000 miles, Mark started traveling 50% of the time, I had another miscarriage, and then, at the age of 45, I had our 8th baby. Our marriage continued in the passion ’til I gave birth … and then had to deal with a pregnancy-induced liver illness… it’s been a tough couple of years. Being postpartum, sick, nursing a baby, took a toll on my libido. Of course, that’s somewhat natural, due to chemical/hormonal changes. However, despite my libido-dive, and despite his travel schedule, we’ve maintained an active sex life. It’s far too important to let life-changes interfere with our need for bonding, physically, emotionally and sexually. I have confidence that my body will return to “wanton-normal”, and if it doesn’t, I’m committed to working with an endocronologist ’til I get my groove back…! Wink Having found my libido at 42, I’m not letting go of it without a fight…! I plan on being a sexually active woman for the rest of my life — it’s the spark that lights up every other aspect of who I am … and I truly believe that’s God’s gift for us, while we’re in these fearfully and wonderfully made earth-suits!


Interview With Shannon Ethridge: Growing Sexually Healthy Children

Shannon’s Bio: Shannon is a million-copy best-selling author, speaker, lay counselor, and advocate for healthy sexuality with a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University. She has spoken to youth, college students, and adults since 1989 and her passions include: Challenging adults and teens to embrace a life of sexual integrity, encouraging married couples in their pursuit of sexual and emotional fulfillment, counseling women who have looked for love in all the wrong places and equipping parents to instill sexual values in children at an early age.

Christian Nymphos: What are the most significant things that you see competing with young people growing up with a healthy sexual understanding?

Shannon Ethridge: Most teens think that if they are ever going to have good hot sex, they’d better do it now when they are single, because once they get married they probably won’t see much action.  Where do they get that notion?  From tons of things they see in the media (frigid wives, frustrated husbands), but mainly from their own parents’ relationship.  Over 90% of teens say they don’t want a relationship like the one their parents have, and most that I talk to insist that their parents don’t even have sex.  I usually laugh and ask, “How do you think you got here if your parents don’t have sex?”  Then they’ll acknowledge, “Well, my parents must have had sex before, but based on how they treat each other, I can’t imagine that they do anymore.”  This is a sad report card, and a wake up call for us parents.

CN: How can parents best communicate and instill healthy sexuality in their kids?

SE: If we want kids to aspire to enjoying a healthy sexual relationship in marriage, we’ve got to do a better job of exemplifying what a healthy relationship looks like.  Kiss.  Hold hands.  Snuggle on the couch while watching television.  Go out on dates.  Give your kids something to look forward to.  Also, open lines of communication are key.  Tell your children, “You can ask me anything you want to ask about sex, and you can use whatever words you need to use in order to ask it!”  Never punish them or respond with shock and horror when they do ask questions, but certainly don’t wait for them to initiate!  Give them healthy doses of preventative medicine at every stage of development.  Remember, sex education isn’t a one-time plumbing lesson.  It’s ongoing character development.  Every Young Woman’s Battle would be a great tool to put in the hands of your teen and college-age girls, and for parents of daughters even younger (8-12 years old) I suggest reading Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle together.  Both books are available at www.shannonethridge.com, and there are also male corollaries to each of those books for your sons, available at www.fredstoeker.com.

CN: Does the same gender parent have more influence on their children or do both parents play a part in influencing sexual health?

SE: Both parents play unique key roles.  The same-sex parent teaches the child about their own masculinity or femininity and helps them grow comfortable in their own skin and with their own sexuality.  The opposite-sex parent teaches the child how to be treated in relationship.  That’s why I encourage dads to take their daughters on dates, and for moms to do the same with their sons.  Together, mom and dad can help them feel good about themselves and set their relational standards high.

CN: What about single parents? How can they teach their kids to view their sexuality in a proper way?

SE: It’s okay to just be honest and say that you want more for them than what you were able to achieve for yourself.  Don’t fear sounding hypocritical, as it’s not about you anymore.  It’s about them, and a single parent would certainly hope that their children have a more successful marriage than they had.  Don’t focus on what your spouse did wrong.  Acknowledge your part in the dance of discontentment, and teach them how to choose a healthier path.  And if you choose to date, model the type of behavior you’d expect from your child.  Dress flatteringly but appropriately.  Remain in public areas of the house rather than taking your date behind a closed bedroom door.  Keep public displays of affection to a socially acceptable level so that your kids aren’t rolling their eyes, gagging, and yelling, “Get a room!”  Show them that you can have healthy dating relationships without crossing the line prior to marriage.

CN: What are the most important messages for our kids to hear about godly sexuality as they grow up?

SE: Most would say, “Just say no!” and I agree that God wants us to save sex until marriage because He loves us and wants to protect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  But I think the most important value that we can instill in our kids is that, “God LOVES sex!”  Explain that He gave it as a gift for husbands and wives to enjoy, and because it is so special, it’s definitely worth the wait.  Then when our daughter puts a wedding band on her finger, she doesn’t have that negative tape playing in her mind over and over, “Good girls don’t!  Just say no!”  She’ll feel confident that “Good girls DO!  And they do it without guilt, shame or inhibition!  And God is pleased when husbands and wives enjoy the gift that He gave them in one another!”

CN: What signs would a parent look for if they suspect that their kids may have been abused sexually? And what can parents of kids who have had their sexual boundaries overrun do to help in the healing?

SE: Any sort of sexual acting out with a playmate or other family member is one of the surest tell-tale signs.  It’s very important that we respond to such scenarios without shock and horror (that will shut them down very quickly for fear of getting in trouble).  Calmly get that child alone and sweetly inquire, “Where did you learn about what you were just doing?”  It’s also vital that you talk with the parent of the other child involved.  If you realize that this was more than just innocent “child sexual play” to satisfy their own natural curiosity, and you believe there’s been sexual abuse, don’t hesitate to get counseling.  The sooner the better.  The sexually abused child more than likely has a lot of confusion, anger, guilt, and shame beneath that peanut butter and jelly smile, and by going through counseling together, you’re saying to that child, “You’re valued.  You’re loved.  And your emotional health is very precious and worth investing in.”

CN: We also received a question from a reader of our blog which I thought would fit into our interview with you given your experience in this area, so I would love to hear your response to this:
I have numerous friends at my church who have told me that they could go the rest of their lives with out having sex! I can’t even go a week! And these are women who regularly experience orgasm. I want to help these women but most of them have been married longer than me and are older and have older kids, etc. I have two young kids and one on the way. My husband and I have been married five years and have very busy schedules with work and church. And I still find time and energy and desire to have sex with my husband. Do you have any suggestions on how I can help with out offending?

SE: Unfortunately, many women have lost touch with their God-given sexual desires, and their husbands suffer silently as a result.  Busyness and distraction are just the tip of the ice burg for some.  Others struggle with poor body image, low self-esteem, past sexual abuse, guilt over past promiscuity, or lack of understanding about the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual components of our sexuality (or [d] all of the above).  I’d encourage you to consider starting a Sexually Confident Wife discussion group in your home or at your church, as this will open their eyes to all that they are missing out on in a healthy marriage and help them overcome the hurdles that are holding them back.  Go to www.sexuallyconfidentwife.com and download a free Reader’s Guide to assist you in leading such a group.  And don’t be intimidated by the fact that they’ve been married so much longer than you.  Sometimes older women need a gentle reminder of how to freshen things up when things have gotten a little stale and stagnant in the bedroom.  You may be just the inspiration they need!  What a ministry to both wives and husbands!  You go, girl!

Interview with Covenant Spice

Covenant Spice is one of the sites we have listed in our blogroll. They offer a variety of sexual aids for married couples in a non-threatening atmosphere where you won’t be exposed to pornography. I highly recommend them as a company that offers great products and reasonable prices. I recently asked them if they would be available to answer some questions regarding sex toys and they graciously obliged.

1. What kinds of sex toys are available to couples these days?

There are a few basic categories that cover the vast majority of available items:  vibrators, dual vibrators which are insertable and also have clitoral stimulation, rings, eggs, and novelty shapes.

2. What about toys for men? It seems like so many of the toys are for the woman’s added pleasure, so what are the options for enhancing the man’s pleasure?

In general, women have more difficult achieving orgasm, so much more effort has been placed on meeting their needs.  However, there are a lot of options to help men to.  First of all, the generic “egg” vibrator, when placed on the woman’s clitoris during intercourse, will also provide stimulation to the man.  There are also “cock rings” that have vibrators attached, which benefit both the husband and the wife.  Some men many also want to explore anal stimulation, and there are many options for this, including some that vibrate, and others designed to stimulate the prostate.  Finally, there are several types of “masturbation sleeves” which can be used by the wife on the husband, which is useful for when the husband has needs, and the wife is not in the mood.

3. How should we care for our sex toys?

Most toys can simply be washed off with soap and water.  It is important to keep any wiring and connections dry that are not waterproof.  After the toys are dry it is a good idea to keep them wrapped in a soft cloth.  Some toys will meld to other toys if they come in contact with each other.  Another alternative is a disinfecting toy cleaner spray.  The advantage with these are that the toys never have to leave your bedroom and can be kept from little eyes.

4. What are the top 5 most popular sex toys that are sold at Covenant Spice and what are their features?

The Inner Desire Egg (second item listed) ~ It has multiple speeds and is completely waterproof.  It is easily incorporated during intercourse.
White nights Pleasure kit (bottom of page) ~ This kit has everything a couple needs to get started and comes in an attractive package.  It contains a vibrator, an egg, a pocket rocket and some massage oil.
I-vibe rabbit (top of page) ~ this toy is waterproof, has multiple speeds and functions, and has pleasure beads that add extra stimulation.
Double ring wireless enhancer (towards the bottom of page) ~ This waterproof ring is worn by the man and provides hand free stimulation for both husband and wife.  It has multiple speeds and functions.
Perfect Touch Satisfy Her (middle of page) ~ An inexpensive basic waterproof vibrator.

5. What are some ways to present the idea of incorporating sex toys when a husband or wife is hesitant about it?

It’s not a good idea to surprise your spouse with one of these in an effort to push them into using it.   Talk the issue over ahead of time with out pressure and honor the feelings of your spouse. If you want purchase a toy as a gift for your spouse, we recommend purchasing several romance-oriented products, such as massage oil, romantic games, CDs, etc. and include one simple inexpensive toy such as the Inner Desire egg.

6. Some people are concerned about becoming addicted to or dependent on sex toys. What do you say to these people?

This is a common fear but research has not borne it out.  For women that are already capable of achieving orgasm, the toys just add a new dimension to lovemaking.  Some women find that a vibrator brings them more in tune with their bodies and make them more orgasmic even with out a vibrator. In general a couple will find that they have sex more often. A woman may not feel she has the energy needed to make love on a certain evening but knowing her husband can use a vibrator if necessary is freeing and empowering.   Many women have their first orgasm with a vibrator after years of trying fruitlessly without one, and then as they learn the cues and responses of their body they are able to have one independently.

7. Some men are concerned that his wife will begin to prefer a vibe over his penis. What do you say to these men?

Women tend to be more relational than men.  They want to be “connected” to their husbands.  A cold hard vibrator is no replacement for the intimacy and connection of sex. Men also need to realize that, because it is difficult for a woman to achieve an orgasm, he should be somewhat flexible in his approach, doing whatever he needs to in order to make his wife happy.  Many men though initially hesitant are overjoyed by theirs wives newfound interest in lovemaking when it is equally satisfying for both partners.

Through December, Covenant Spice is offering our readers free shipping when you purchase $25 from their site. Use the coupon code “December” if you wish to take advantage of this promotion. It is recommended that you place your order by December 15 if you want your order by Christmas. Please contact them directly if you have any questions about the products or ordering.

Fisting

This article is going to discuss a sexual technique known as ‘fisting’.  I have not experienced this activity for myself so I decided to find someone who has in fact engaged in this activity.  A Christian woman, named Nicole, was gracious enough to field my questions on this very sensitive subject.  I would like to thank Nicole for being so informative and transparent in order to educate others.  (Nicole’s answers are italicized.)

What made you pursue this activity?

At the beginning of our talks, my husband thought I’d be too ‘innocent’ to be interested in these kinds of things, and I thought he’d be horrified if I brought up some of the things I wanted to try. Thankfully for both of us, we’d assumed VERY wrongly as to how the other person felt and what they would think!

I guess I’ve always been very adventurous and very much an explorer when it came to sex. Always wondered if certain activities were possible, beyond your standard ‘penis goes in vagina’ type of event.

And one time we were talking about things we would like to try, and he brought the idea up of fisting. With the way of my nature, that delighted and excited me!

How would you advise a beginner to get started?

VERY VERY SLOWLY. This is the kind of activity where the journey is just as important as the destination. I would strongly recommend the couple attempt to get the woman as aroused as possible prior to starting – so doing whatever REALLY gets her in the mood (a vibrator, oral sex, mutual masturbation, etc etc etc).

And then just start with one finger, and continue as long as you feel comfortable with. Be aware that things can change compared on your level of arousal, or simply how your body responds on a particular day. One day you may get everything including the fist, another day you might only get 2 or 3 fingers in.  It does not matter – just enjoy the journey and the feelings of pleasure.

I know that being well lubed is a must, what type of lube do you recommend?

I am very fortunate as I seem to make enough lube on my own. We have only used one lube in our history – ky jelly – which worked quite well, but we haven’t used lube in the past year or so. I hear good things about coconut oil.

Does your husband stack his fingers in a ‘beak like formation’ as he inserts them?

Generally we start with one finger and work up, so at first his fingers would be like a beak (just pressed in as close together as you can). We only start doing this once we get past 3 fingers – we always gradually work our way up. The hand only ‘stretches out’ once we get past the knuckles. If you’re going beyond the duck to the fist/full hand activity, you need to be REALLY aroused.

In my research I have read that the knuckles are the toughest part to get past. Do you and your husband do anything special when inserting his knuckles?

Until that point we seem to always start with the palm facing to my spine. When we get to knuckles, it seems to be the best point to flip over so the palm faces the stomach, and progressing further is easier in this position. We only do this when I am really aroused from prior foreplay.

Should any extra precautions be taken when a husband goes to remove his hand?

ALWAYS be aware of fingernails, no matter where you are in the activities. Bending the fingers slightly backwards makes it slightly easier – and again go as slowly as you did to enter in the first place.

Do you need to be more diligent with any tightening exercises such as kegels?

I have always had fantastic pelvic floor muscles (as noted by ultrasound technicians and the like), and I think that fact is part of the reason I find this activity quite easy and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend women to be doing kegels regularly, irrespective of what sexual activity they are involved in. For fisting in particular, you do need good control of your pelvic floor muscles to be able to fully enjoy the activity.

Do you feel any special type of connection with your husband when engaging in this activity?

I definitely feel a huge bond with my husband when we do this. I experience an overwhelming feeling of trust and complete abandonment in him.

Have you ever injured yourself in anyway while engaging in this activity?

Pain – not so far. I would say some days I’ve had mild ‘stretching’ muscle soreness afterwards, but nothing really noticeable. Again, extreme arousal is very necessary to get the whole hand to wrist inside, so this probably helps with the lack of pain and discomfort. You could do a heck of a lot of damage if you kept forcing it without allowing arousal to help, or knowing when to stop.

I would say that this activity, like anal sex, is not an activity I would want to pursue with someone I didn’t have complete and utter trust in to obey whatever request I made during it. You want to be COMPLETELY sure that your spouse will agree to stop at any point you begin to feel uncomfortable and will not pressure you into going further beyond what you are comfortable with.

I feel the need to reiterate that it is imperative to go slow and let your body adjust to your husband’s hand as he is penetrating you.  It can bring intense pleasure and unfortunately it can also bring intense pain if not done properly.  The minor damage would include vaginal tearing if not well lubricated.  The major damage is tearing of the actual vaginal muscle if the husband is over eager and forces his hand in without the wife adapting to it.  Take it slow and enjoy the journey!!

  • Click here
  • November 2020
    S M T W T F S
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
  • Archives