By Melissa McVety
When I decided to take on this topic and began my research, I was saddened by the amount of unhealthy information I found on how women can increase their sexual appetite. The most common suggestions were… to use videos or, if you want something slightly less PG, different forms of erotica found in books & movies that are meant to help women tap into a fantasy world that leads to sexual freedom and expression in the bedroom with their partner (click here for part 1).
These resources give us false permission to lust after men other than our partners, allowing our imaginations to undress them and picture being in bed with them, especially when our partner isn’t measuring up to our fantasies. We are encouraged to explore a hunger within us that is uncontrolled and motivated by things outside of our connection with our spouse. In my last post I shared how these sources only lead to further detachment from your partner because these fantasies essentially are brought into the bedroom with us. It’s about exploring your sexuality with your partner, and when done in a healthy way, it can be rewarding for both of you.
I realize that writing about these topics runs the risk of either falling on deaf ears or even evoking strong opposing opinions. My personal experience with these “helps” can illustrate how easily they can monopolize our thoughts and invade our mind while in the act of sex. While it may create heightened arousal, it comes with an unexplainable detachment from your spouse that I could not shake. The excitement of having reached climax because of your husband and your hunger for him conflicts internally because you know you were thinking of some scene from a movie or a book, or even trying to re-live it with a different man’s image in your mind…it robs your spouse of what is his, the opportunity to please you and for you to find ALL of your pleasure through him!
The premise behind these types of articles, books or movies is the “Do whatever it takes to orgasm” attitude. The reality is that our need for intimacy goes WAY beyond just an orgasm. Sex is only a small portion of what true intimacy is, and yet it seems like this is all that our culture focusses on, a very one dimensional view of sex and intimacy.
As most know, problems in the bedroom are a major contributor to marital dysfunction, and this is why I want to address this. HOW can we as women increase our sexual interest in a healthy way, without the “help” of Erotica, and is it even possible?
I am here to say that it IS possible, and I am living proof!
I mentioned in Part 1 how I struggled with sexual connection, and already stated here that I have struggled with erotica and how its affect on me…so it says a lot for me to claim that I have been able to do this! So how did this happen? What secrets can I share with you?
Here are 4 of my best thoughts and places for you to start:
1. Talk to your spouse! If you haven’t yet, you need to open up with each other about this topic. This used to be uncomfortable for me, because initially it lead to disagreements and potential setbacks. But the more we talked, the more we treated the conversation as a mutual attempt to better our bedroom experience, the goal and target became problems we were solving together, not cause for blame towards each other. We would tackle it from all directions from our current struggles to past experiences, talking about why we might be uncomfortable and identifying insecurities. We also opened up about our likes and dislikes. Having these conversations allowed us to connect on a whole different level. Doing this takes time based on your level of comfort, your willingness to work on it together, and the state of your marriage leading up to this. The bonus with talking is the more we talk about sex, the more you want to do it! It can (and has for me) become a starting point for foreplay and anticipation for greater things to come.
2. Find a good counsellor. I don’t know where you stand when it comes to counseling, but whatever your experience is, you need to push past any negativity and embrace the reality that counseling is only as good as your intentional effort. That being said, if sexual connection is an area that has been causing a lot of discord in your relationship, you need to do all that it takes to work things out. Counselling provides support, guidance, insight and encouragement. Counselling gets you talking, it gets you thinking and it gets you focusing on areas that need adjusting.
How do you know if counselling is necessary? When your conversations can’t seem to move forward or you find yourself consistently overwhelmed and lost and unable to work things out together, I would encourage you to see a counselor.
3. Strive for a healthy lifestyle. My research and experience clearly found that eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep really helped to improve sexual desire. As women, we commonly struggle with low self-esteem and sexual confidence. You will be amazed how eating balanced meals, increasing your physical activity and maintaining a regular sleep schedule increases your libido. Abstaining from alcohol is also key. Alcohol is a depressant; it naturally causes drowsiness and emotional highs and lows that interfere with your hormones and so does consuming high fat or sugar foods. When you exercise, you increase blood flow to all of your body, including your sexual body parts. With this increase of blood flow there’s a heightened level of stimulation and desire. For women, when we feel healthy, we develop a deeper level of confidence in our physical appearance; we feel sexy. I am not talking about the need to look like a supermodel here… the simple reality is that your spouse is attracted to you, especially when you are confident and personally fulfilled. Whether it’s joining a gym or simply scheduling an after-dinner walk, the goal is to get your blood pumping.
When it comes to sleep I have found that lack of sleep increases my stress hormone cortisol, which decreases the levels of testosterone. Yes testosterone exists in women too, and it is this hormone that fuels our sexual desire. For women, the more stressed we are, the less interested in sex we become.
4. Become the sensuous women God calls you to be…being sensuous is the fullest measure of obtaining sexual confidence in the bedroom. A sensuous women is in touch with all 5 of her senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and sound) and brings them into the bedroom experience. In the Bible Song of Solomon describes the sexual fulfillment between man and women, and how all senses are fulfilled. Being sensuous is to go beyond the “goal” of orgasm, recognizing that the whole experience is the goal and how it brings a couple closer together. Orgasm is the bonus! Intimacy is connecting on so many levels beyond just the physical act of sex, and tapping into how to become more sensuous is a huge leap in experiencing intimacy to the fullest. Learning how to thank God for who He created you to be, to thank Him for your spouse, by asking Him to help you maintain a sense of freedom of expression and appreciation, focus and enjoyment, God will enable you to indulge the senses and all that sex was created to be…for your mutual pleasure!