The best sex requires you to engage your whole being: physical, emotional, spiritual and mental.
What do you think of when you hear the term “great sex?” Passionate kisses? Sweaty bodies tangled together? New, exciting sexual experiences?
While the physical expressions are what most of us think of when we imagine great sex, the truth is that the best sex goes beyond the physical. Great sex includes the entirety of your being, emotional, physical, mental, and even spiritual.
Let’s unpack these other dimensions.
Engaging Emotionally With Your Wife
Especially for women, because of the way their brains are wired with tons of connection between hemispheres, almost everything they do or say gets tied to an emotion. One of the sexual implications for this physiological difference is that the physical part of sex is strongly associated with how it makes your wife feel emotionally.
In fact, it’s hard for your wife to enjoy physical pleasure without being in a good place emotionally, especially with respect to the emotional connection she feels with you. It doesn’t mean your wife can’t find pleasure without the emotional component, just that it is much more difficult.
The lesson here for husbands is that if you desire a stronger sexual connection, you need to be cognizant of your wife’s emotional state and the emotional state of your relationship. Pay particular attention to meeting your wife’s key needs. For many women this includes giving her your time and attention, making sure she feels cared for, cherished, and adored, leading her to a strong confidence in your love for her. For most women, such confidence is fleeting and needs constant tending. Sorry, guys, it’s just how it is.
Tips for Husbands:
- Be vigilant about tending your emotional relationship. Give your wife the time and attention she desires. Listen well. Make sure she feels known and understood.
- Be open and transparent with your emotions. You wife feels closest to you emotionally when she knows what is going on inside your head and heart.
- Be vocal in admiring your wife’s physical appearance. Every. Day. Body shame is likely a serious emotional struggle for her. You are her most important (and sometimes her only) ally in this battle. Be sincere!
- While skillfulness in sexual technique matters, pay equal attention to making sure your wife feels cherished and loved during sexual encounters.
Engaging Emotionally With Your Husband
For most husbands, physical pleasure is not as tied to emotions as it is for their wives. This is why your husband can feel stressed, angry or even sick and still want sex. Despite this difference between you and your husband, don’t discount the importance that the emotional dimension holds for him.
Believe me when I say that your husband really wants to make you happy, and an important part of that desire is to please you physically. He wants to be “successful” in your bedroom, and it actually gives him a deep sense of emotional connection when the two of you enjoy a strong sexual connection. A husband wants to know he is desired by his wife, that he turns her on, that he is skilled at bringing her pleasure. Bottom line: a man wants to be his wife’s “hero” both in and out of the bedroom.
Ladies, keep in mind that sex is a significant place of affirmation for your husband. Don’t make the mistake of thinking his desire for you is only a physical urge. Trust me, the physical urge is real, but without the emotional component of “succeeding,” as I described above, he will not be fully satisfied. That’s why duty sex doesn’t do much for most men.
Tips for Wives:
- Initiate sex with your husband. Nothing makes him feel more desirable. Instead of asking “do you want to tonight?” say, “I want you tonight.” The latter moves you from willing to wanting in your husband’s mind.
- Affirm your husband as a lover. Express your pleasure vocally (words or sounds).
- Teach and inform him gently – yes most men have a fragile ego in bed. Tell him specifically how to make you happy in bed. He wants to.
- Never shame him for his sexual desire.
Don’t Leave God at the Bedroom Door
There are many reasons why people have a hard time integrating God into their sexuality. Most of it has to do with a lack of solid teaching on sex coming from the church. The relative silence of the Christian community regarding biblical sexuality creates a general sense of shame in many people. If the only time sex is mentioned is in the context of sexual sin, what else can we expect?
Here is what people need to be hearing: God loves sex. He’s the one who came up with the idea! The beautiful one-flesh notion, this pinnacle of human intimacy, has been his plan from the beginning of time. God delights in our marriages when they are deeply passionate and filled with fiery sexual intimacy.
It’s sad to me that the only people talking about integrating the sexual and spiritual are those involved in Eastern Mysticism. We need to change that.
Tips for Including God in Your Sex Life:
- Pray about your sexual relationship. Ask God to make it better than it’s ever been. Pray as a couple about it.
- Read the Song of Solomon and/or a book about it that unpacks the sexual truths found in this fascinating book of the Bible.
- Connect with sex-positive resources. There are plenty of bloggers (check my Recommended Blogs page) and authors (check my For Your Bookshelf page) who write about sex from a Christian worldview.
Engaging Your Mind
It’s often said that the brain is our largest sex organ. It’s an important point that many of us miss out on.
For example, if your mind is elsewhere during lovemaking, your partner will know it, and it can be a source of rejection for him or her. But if your mind is completely focused on the pleasure you and your partner are giving each other, he or she will know that too, and it will fuel the passion between you.
In addition, for a lower drive spouse, deliberately choosing to think sexually throughout the day can move your emotions and your body, stirring sexual interest and desire, even to the point of arousal.
Tips for Engaging Your Mind:
- As difficult as it can be, especially for women, do your best to focus your mind during lovemaking. Forget all the uncompleted items on your to-do list or your busy calendar for the week. Focus.
- Do something to help clear, settle or focus your mind. Do something to relax, like a bath or a glass of wine. Sit together with your spouse in a quiet spot, re-focus and connect through conversation.
- Address any serious thoughts or issues that are weighing down your mind well in advance of any plans for a sexual encounter. Stressful, heavy or difficult conversations don’t often create the kind of atmosphere that is conducive to sex.
- If you struggle with low desire, be purposeful in engaging your mind sexually throughout the day. Recall a recent tryst with your mate. Plan what you might do together later.
- Read up on a sexual topic through a trusted Christian blog or author.
I hope this post has helped you to think about your sex life more holistically. Think about how well you and your spouse are doing at integrating your sexuality with the other dimensions of your self and your relationship. Pick one area to focus on this week and take some concrete steps bring sex more fully into that area.