A Practical Guide to Sexual Well Being

A Practical Guide to Sexual Well Being

A few years ago, I got sober. And by sober, I mean I didn’t just stop drinking (which was kind of nice), but I also quit being being the kind of dad that would fly off the handle.

I quit being the husband that was prone to objectifying my wife for my own gratification and I started to ask the question, where do I run to for comfort?

How to Cure a Fear of the Dark (in the Bedroom)

When the lights go out and the two of us slip between sheets, we enter a world where our wildest hope and our greatest fear meet.  

What we want more than anything is to be known; it's also what we will avoid at all costs. 

When we live with such powerful and opposing forces within, it’s difficult to get along with ourselves, let alone each other. It’s no wonder the bedroom is such a charged place. Our most primal needs-- both biological and spiritual- are made vulnerable here. Naked we need and naked we run. So much is happening in our brains, in our bodies, in our hearts and in our souls, but most of us do not speak a word about it.

Where would we begin if we did?

Would we tell the story of when we were 3 and we found our uncle’s Playboys, and how we equally marveled and were sickened by what we saw?

Would we tell the story of our parent’s marriage, or the movies we watched to find more hopeful fantasies to believe in instead?

Would we tell the story of the first time someone touched us, kissed us, and how wonderful or horrible, or nothing it was?

Maybe we would go a different route and share how when we were 5 we loved to dance and read books about unicorns, and when we were 10 something tragic happened in our family and the world became a scary, unsafe place.

If we had the self-awareness to connect all the dots between our mother’s depression and our own young adult promiscuity, could we find the right words to explain? And with the words,  would we find the courage to speak them?  Would we share with our partner what confused us, hurt us, delighted us, and shaped us in all we we heard and experienced about sex?

Because this is what we need most of all. This is how we cure a fear of the dark.

My own journey towards meaningful freedom in the bedroom has taught me that we don’t need toys or techniques, lotions or potions, Cosmo magazine or the Kama Sutra.

We don't need anything as much as we need the courage to start telling our story to our partner.  We can and we must move from shame and resentment, to freedom and joy. On the other side of our bottomless despair is a wild and playful desire that is infinitely safe, but it takes a brave woman and a brave man to meet there. That's you.

When the lights go out, and we slip between sheets, sometimes the most intimate thing my husband and I do is shine a flashlight on the dark corners of our own heart and let the other one see. 

 

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
— Brené Brown

If you want courage and tools to own your story and experience new love, belonging and joy in the bedroom, we can help. Sign up for our free webinar below.

Letter to My Wife Who Wants Sex Less Often than I do

{Read Wife's Letter to Husband}

My Dear Bride,

In my best self, when I desire you, I desire the deepest parts of you. I desire your mind and your soul. I desire your secrets and your dreams. I desire your body, your voice and your gaze. I desire to be one with you. One flesh and one heart who light the darkness from our past and blaze into the journey that we run into together.

But I have often desired you from my worst self. Simply giving into a conditioned response. My whole adult life, when desire like this arrives, I’d give in. And when you didn’t give in, I would resent you. I’d wish that you would just serve me, make me feel like I was the center of your universe, that my pleasure was your responsibility and a responsibility that I thought you should have been glad to enjoy. Isn’t that what a good wife would do? I would think and pray?

Then my prayer changed. I  prayed for me to be in my right role and for you to do the same, allowing the definition of a spouse's role to be renewed and revealed to me.

I’m sorry that I mistook your role. You are not for the gratification of my lust, nor for my constant pleasure. I’m sorry that I treated you like men do when they do not see women as equals.

What I didn’t realize was that when I gave into the pressure in my head, I was putting on the mask of them men who had done the same to you before. I was those men.

Thankfully, in our pain there was a redeeming hope.

When you gave into the pressure to perform, the veneer started to crack, we were in fact connecting, but the connection was to our brokenness and like a hurt tooth, the pain would hit like electricity and I realized I was creating destruction and harm and something inside me said this is not right and this cannot be.

We can’t keep on like this.

My desire would feed your guilt and shame. I knew that my desire needed to change.I knew you couldn’t wear that guilt anymore, it’s a rotten and horrible hide that covered you like a foul disguise. And the good husband in me, the one that longs to protect you at all costs, rises up and says enough of this. You can’t run to the silence any longer and I can’t treat you like an object.

So I rub your back with my fingertips, like I have a thousand times to get your attention, only this time, I want your presence and I want to hear everything that’s running through your head. And you tell me about your past and the guilt lifts away like smoke. And I tell you everything about my desires and the shame fades like an echo and though we aren’t one flesh in that moment, we are one heart and mind and the healing in this place begins.

We don’t have to live that way anymore.

The deeper into the pain we go, the deeper into the past, the deeper into the running, the more it is erased. In the space where things were once written, we are able to author a new story. A new story of desire from our true selves. A story of passion and connection that is safe. 

We don't have to have sex tonight, I really do love just holding you and talking. 

Letter to My Husband (Who Wants Sex More Than I Do)

Dear Husband,

When I say No to sex, it’s not you I am saying No to.

I’m saying No to old ways in myself that I once agreed to, but can’t agree to anymore.

I’m saying No to not being emotionally present with you when we make love.

I’m saying No to the way I used to give you my body, but resent you in my heart.

I’m saying No to all the things I shouldn’t have said No to when I was 15, but didn’t know how to then: to the hand that didn’t love me, but touched me anyway; to the voice of one who would soon forget my name. 

My history before I knew you is a mixed bag, and the dark in it haunts me, and what I am waking up to now is that I am not yet healed, but I can be.

So I’m saying no to the messages that subtly but effectively teach that a woman’s power comes not from her intellect, her creativity, or her love, but from her ability to make every man want her. It’s not you who I want to leave my bed, but all the voices in my head that continue to equate a woman’s worth with her sex appeal.

Some nights I am free of these nightmares and I can be with you, be fully yours. On these nights my body feels like mine, and I can sense my breath and I can hear your heartbeat, and the only thing that matters is what is happening now. You are my beloved and I am yours.

Other nights I am trapped again, reliving all the things I wish never happened to me, remembering all the stories of suffering my sisters and girlfriends have told him from their own lives. The weight of this feels too much. I am heavy with grief and with loneliness, and I want you close, but I can’t have you in.  

But, when I see the way my No hurts you, the shame of not being enough for you pulls me further from your side.

I am not trying to say the pain is all mine. It must be hard and confusing and lonely on your side of the bed too. You want to feel loved and your love language is touch. You want to relax and sex sometimes helps.  You want to know all is right in our shared world. You want to escape your own fears, your own heaviness. You may not have words for what that is, but I know we all collect and carry our sorrows. Who doesn’t want to let those go for awhile?

I’m sorry for holding it against you, it being your good desire for your wife. I’m sorry for lumping your touch in with all the icky touches that made me feel less whole. I’m sorry for my icy silence and taking on the pressures of pleasing you like it was my cross. I am done being bitter. I am done feeling afraid. I am done seeing all those bad faces when we make love. I am done feeling like a cartoon of myself, dressing up and acting like someone who is not me.  

And I will no longer make you responsible for soothing my anxiety. And I won't take on soothing yours.

I don’t know how long the road is, but I’m ready for this healing journey between us. I reject the lie that says that this is as good as it gets, that this is just who I am. I am open to feel more desire for you, and I want us both to feel more passion for life.  I believe there is a wild and playful, wise, and sexy woman underneath all these layers of doubt, fear and shame, and when I find her I want you to be with me. On the hunt for my true self, I will bring with me crazy trust, courageous presence, and a resilient hope.

Here is what I promise. I promise to not be angry with you when you reach for me, or resent you for the shame I feel when I can’t reach back every time. I promise to find my breath and slow my thoughts before I immediately say no. I promise not to waste this moment to know you more. I promise to look for the beauty in just being here with you. I promise to let you in on what’s going on in my head.

I give you permission to hold me and remind me what’s true: that you love me, that I’m safe, that you don’t need sex from me tonight.

 

Love,

Your Beloved.

Read Husband's Letter in Response

A Letter to My Kindreds

Today is New Year's Eve. While everyone is picking their new year resolutions or "word for the year" I am calling you to go deeper. To turn towards what you may have spent all of last year turning away from...the most intimate part of your being, you're relationship to sex and intimacy. I know from my own story that this is a big ask, that there are probably very good reasons why you don't want to go there. But I also know that you sense that there is more freedom and romance and adventure waiting for you.

And.

I believe that, like me, you are brave. You are more courageous than you know. So with tenderness and respect I ask you...

If, once again, on your New Year's list is the resolution to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds, could it be that what your soul desires more is to be free of shame for your naked body?

And if your goals for next year include making more money could it be what your heart longs to know is your deep inner power and worth?

And if on your vision board for 2016 is an exotic vacation, a new house or a new car, could it be the adventure God wants to invite you into is right behind your own bedroom door?

I know it's scary (and at least 80% of you reading this post will opt to wait another year before you go there), but if you feel the nudge that 2016 is your year for healing, your year for freedom, your year to learn more about the beauty and strength in the woman you are, then I invite you to join me and my husband in our free workshop on sex and true intimacy.

 
I believe when we get freedom and healing in this intimate area of our life ALL of our life works better. Find out for you. 💕