Today we're focusing on marriage step number five, which is cultivating married sex. This step is number five because it's going to be optimal if you've already established the previous four steps. The steps are in order for a reason. You can jump around in the steps, but don't expect to have optimal sex unless you've already established steps one through four. Again, step one is establishing a covenant relationship to infuse security. Step two is owning your brokenness to infuse humility. Step three is learning to share power to infuse equality. And step four is developing emotional attachment to infuse closeness. Once those are in place you're ready for step five, cultivating sexual fireworks.
Common Sexual Problems In Marriage
Sexual problems are common for married couples. One of the top reasons is unhealed previous sexual trauma. One in three women and one in five men have had sexual trauma at some point in their life. When you have sexual trauma, people go one of two directions, either hyper-sexual or hypo-sexual. The hyper path is someone who becomes hyper-sexual where that's all they want so they are in charge of it. They never want to be in a powerless position where it's taken from them again. The hypo-sexual track is someone who was so disgusted from their sexual trauma they want nothing to do with sexual intimacy and they avoid it like the plague.
Another common cause for sexual problems in marriage is emotional disconnection. A lot of people say, I don't feel open to sexual contact because I feel emotionally disconnected. Again, that's why this is step five so you can be building emotional intimacy from step four.
A third reason for sexual problems in marriage is differences in libido. Most marriages are comprised of a high and low libido partner. Libido is tied to testosterone and our early conditioning with sex. If one's early experiences with sex were positive it will raise libido and if their early experiences with sex were negative it will lower libido.
So because of all these problems with sex, it's important to have tools in your toolbox on how to approach sexual intimacy in a way that's mutually enjoyable and makes you feel closer together as a unified couple, which is the goal of sexual contact. So, I'm going to introduce a model today called the wedding cake model to married sex.
Married Sex | The Wedding Cake Model
The bottom tier of the wedding cake is friendship from fostering the emotional connection in the relationship. The emotional connection comes through the head/heart check where you share your highs and lows everyday. Talking should be one of the top hobbies you have as a couple. The high libido partner is also in charge of emotionally wooing their low libido partner throughout the week with affection, compliments, and quality time. The low libido partner is in charge of erotically wooing their high libido partner throughout the week by flashing their body while changing, rubbing up against them when passing, and sending suggestive texts. Doing so provides love to your partner in the way they experience it most!
Once that's in place, you start working on the second tier of the wedding cake, which is four days a week of sensual time during your mini marriage dates. Sensual means it's not sexual, it's only sensual. Some examples could include a shower together, bath together, a sensual massage, or cuddling. During the sensual time, it's recommended to wear your bathing suits or undergarments because if you're naked the higher libido spouse is going to be frustrated if things don't turn sexual and the lower libido spouse is going to feel pressure that things better turn sexual. So, if you have your bathing suits or undergarments on, it's a visual reminder you're having sensual time not sexual time.
During the sensual activity maximize your five senses. We've been given our five senses to experience the world around us, but a lot of times we don't think about that when it comes to sensually bonding with our partner. For example, if you're going to take a bath with your partner, what would you like to be looking at? What do you want to be smelling? What do you want to be touching? What do you want to be tasting? And, what do you want to be hearing? Maximizing your pleasure along each of your five senses will optimize your experience during sensual time.
The next thing to keep in mind during sensual time is there needs to be a giver and a receiver. The giver is the one giving the sensual touch first, such as lightly stroking your shoulders and your stomach and your legs. Then, after 10-15 minutes take turns. It's important to take turns being the giver and receiver because some of us get so focused on giving we forget to receive and others of us are so focused on receiving we forget to give.
The next thing during sensual time is practice giving each other feedback. A lot of times we don't say anything or we reprimand and criticize our partner's touch, which can be devastating for them. But, saying nothing is also not the answer because they can't read our mind with what feels good. So, try saying Naaa, Nnnn, or Nice in response to your partner's touch. Naaa means "I don't like it." Nnnn means "what you're doing feels OK." Nice means "that feels really good please continue!" This provides a non-threatening way to communicate when you are the receiver.
What happens once sensual time is complete? Well, you have options. Some nights you both may not feel arousal and you're not open to getting aroused so you stop. Other nights one of you may feel arousal but the other doesn't. On those nights the aroused partner can pleasure themselves alone or in front of their partner. Or, their partner can provide manual or oral stimulation, whatever they feel most comfortable with. Other nights, you both may be aroused or are open to getting aroused so you move up to the sexual tier of the wedding cake. Once you move up there, you still have options that defer to the lower libido partner's preference. Some nights they may just be open to making out, so that's all you do. Other nights they may be open to everything above the waist, so that's what you do. Other nights they may be open to manual or oral stimulation below the waist so that's what you do. Other nights they may be open to everything including intercourse so that's what you do. We need to get away from the mentality that married sex is intercourse or nothing at all because the lower libido spouse often isn't up for intercourse so they choose nothing at all. However, if we can view sexual activity as more of a buffet where there's options we'll have more sexual contact and it will avoid obligation sex, which leads to resentment for both partners.
So there you have it, the wedding cake model to married sex. Start by building the friendship base seven days a week, then add sensual time four days a week during your mini-dates, then add sexual activity after sensual time when you both feel arousal or are open to getting aroused.
Be sure to check out Dr. Wyatt Fisher's other resources below to better your relationship!
What would you add to enhance married sex?