When you get a new piece of furniture with “some assembly required,” do you normally follow the directions, or do you just wing it and follow your intuition? If you’re the type who improvises, in end you might still wind up with a good, solid piece of furniture that is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Or, you might end up putting pieces together, only to have to take them apart and start over because you skipped a necessary step, or you might have something that looks good on the outside, but you’re not getting the full value out of it because it wasn’t put together quite right. There’s a real difference in going from something that just looks good to something that is also solid, long-lasting, and can hold up when it is tested.
When you got married, did you and your mate discuss directions for your sex life? “D’uh,” you might be thinking, “we know how it works.” And yes, it’s not too difficult to figure out the basic biology of sex. The problem is, too many people settle for less than they could have, less than God designed us to have, because they’ve been fooled into believing that knowing the biology is the same as building a solid, beautiful, intimate, godly, sex life.
There is any number of reasons that people settle for too little rather than following the directions. For some, sex may have been a taboo subject—either never discussed at all, or only discussed in a shame-based way (for more on how this can play out in a church context see this post). For others, lack of education or inaccurate education may have played a part. And some people have bought into the cultural lie that having sex is the same as being intimately connected (in marriage, sex is certainly a good and important part of intimacy, but intimacy is a multifaceted relationship that involves more than just the physical act).
So, how does a couple have good sex that will bring pleasure to each spouse, and build true intimacy at the same time? I believe there are boundaries that God has given us to help us have a fulfilling sex life (see this post for more). Within the boundaries God gives us, we need to help our mates follow the directions so that you can build it right. Okay, what are the directions?
- First, communicate. Talk about sex. Recognize that it’s okay to talk about sex. In fact, you and your mate need to talk about sex. Ask questions. What gets you in the mood? What environment do you want? How do you like to be touched (pressure, movement, frequency, etc.)? Where do you like to be touched? What do you like to hear? How can I best please you? The media, peers, and any number of outside sources will tell you how to be a better lover, but what brings pleasure to one person might not to another. The only way you can be a better lover to your mate, is to ask your mate how you can be a better lover.
- Second, listen. Sexual activity can be a very selfish endeavor if your only focus is your pleasure and your desires, and you have no regard for your mate’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Your objective is not just to say what you want, but to hear and understand what your spouse wants too. When sex devolves into something that is selfishly motivated, it is reduced to a carnal act that is devoid of anything good for the marriage relationship.
- Third, see your sexual relationship as something holy. God created sex, and sex is good. Too many people want to separate the physical from the spiritual, but God created us as both. If we follow the directions and please each other physically, it is a powerful place for couples to also grow together spiritually.
Never forget, God created us all to be unique. So, nothing can give your mate better, more accurate information on how to please you and connect with you sexually than you can. Getting and giving directions with your mate doesn't make you incompetent or inadequate. It makes you a better builder of a pleasing, wonderful, lasting sexual intimacy. And whether you're a newly wed or have been married for 50+ years, it's never too early or too late to follow the directions—talk, listen, and cultivate a powerful sexual intimacy that is a gift from God.
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