Often when you listen to a speaker talk about sex (or read a blogger speaking about sex) you assume that she's got it all figured it out. It's always been easy for her. She's the “expert”.
But trust me–usually people write and speak about the things that they have found challenging in their lives. The things where God has made them grow, step outside of their comfort zone, and test their own faith–that's what's interesting.
And that's what it was like for me. As I share in “The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex”, I entered marriage with a ton of baggage. I had trust issues because of important men in my life leaving me, and my now-husband originally breaking off my engagement.
But I also was given this book before I was married that was written by a man, that was given to pretty much every engaged couple back in the 80s and 90s. I won't mention its title here, but it made me a nervous wreck.
It was basically all about how to make sex great the first time out. And it was so explicit! Do this for five minutes, then this for ten. Rub here, rub there, stretch there. I almost felt violated reading it. And since I was reading it while lying in the bathtub, I took it and drowned it. I held it under the water until I was sure the book was dead, and then I unceremoniously dumped it in the garbage.
Why was I so uncomfortable with that book? I've thought about that and wondered that a lot, and here's what I came up with: That book made sex all about the physical. I'm sure that wasn't the author's intention, but that's still what I took away from it. You had better do everything right or else it's going to feel awful.
Then, when sex wasn't great for me after I was married, I just felt like I had been sold a bill of goods. Here was this man writing a book about sex, and he made it seem so complicated. And the media was all saying that sex was great, but that sure wasn't what I was experiencing. Why would God make sex so complicated? And surely I wasn't the only one finding it difficult, was I?
I also didn't grow up with a great view of sex. Like most teens, I heard incessantly “don't do it, don't do it” from youth groups and youth conferences, so the sex-positive messages I got were from movies that treated sex like a recreational drug. Sex was almost pornographic to me. It wasn't something beautiful; it was something HOT.
When I got married and I didn't feel particularly “hot”, but only rather uncomfortable, I had no framework for what to do. Sex was either to be avoided (don't do it!) or made into almost an orgy (the media). And now I was at a crossroads. I chose the “don't do it” route. It all just seemed like so much work. My husband wanted it all the time; it didn't feel good, and we were always fighting over it. Here's a tongue in cheek video we made about this attitude to make the point; perhaps you'll recognize yourself in it!
And the turning point came when I realized that perhaps what I was believing about sex was wrong. Yes, my experience with sex wasn't great; but that didn't mean that sex couldn‘t be great. I was judging sex based on my experience, rather than based on what I knew the truth to be.
How did I find the truth? I slowly started to believe more about what God said about sex.
The missing piece for me was true intimacy. When I started to understand that being intimate together–being emotionally and spiritually vulnerable, opening up to one another–that THAT is the best aphrodisiac, sex started working much better, even if it still took a few years to make it work more like clockwork. And it's that spiritual intimacy during sex that we don't really get.
So I tried to write a book that would help women relax about sex, help them laugh, and still point them in the direction of awesome sex. We don't need the pornographic version. We don't need to avoid it. We certainly shouldn't lose hope. God created this to be great, and if it isn't great right now, that's okay. That's why marriage is decades-long! You've got a while to get this right.
I wrote Boost Your Libido for everyone like me who ever wondered what they were missing. And I pray that it helps all new brides get started on a more solid footing, and more experienced wives enter into the awesomeness that God really intended for us!
If you want to learn more about how I can help you, “Boost Your
Shelia Wray Gregoire
Author and Speaker of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum
While the below article was written by Shelia, it rings my testimony (which I’ll go into later for my next blog post).