“What is your most memorable sexual experience with me?” He read the question off of his phone, looking up at me and giving me a quick smirk from across hot tub.
“Oh gosh, like a specific time?” I asked, trying to think back to the last time that it was really good. “Did you skip right to the sex questions?” I asked, knowing that those were his favorite to ask. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders and I smiled back at him. The steam rose from the hot water and we continued to exchange looks.
Questions like this didn’t used to make us smile. I thought to myself. Questions like this used to be uncomfortable and bring up all kinds of insecurity. But not today. Today we welcome these questions because we know what it’s like to thrive in the bedroom. And we want to keep it that way.
After a few minutes, it came to me. “Do you remember a couple of months ago, we were getting ready to leave for dinner… but we didn’t get to finish getting ready because…” I trailed off and gave him a knowing look.
“Oh, YEAH! That was awesome!” We both giggled as we revisited that night of how we couldn’t wait and had to get dressed for dinner twice. “OK, so the next question says,” he said scrolling back through his phone, “‘In that sexual experience with me, what was it that you loved that I did to you? What did you love doing to me?’” I smiled, and then winced, because what he had done then didn’t feel as good now. I had just started new anti-depressants, and things in the bedroom changed for me in the last month.
It’s been ten years of marriage and three kids later, but I still blush and have to compose myself when my husband and I have these conversations. And we have them a lot, but it didn’t always used to be this way. Before we used to just do what we always did, before we didn’t talk about it. Before we just did it to do it.
But it was on this particular trip that my husband and I took together that we decided to look up some “Neglected Marriage Conversation Starters” to occupy some of the down time that we weren’t used to having without our kids there. The busyness of raising small families does that to our marriages, doesn’t it? It leaves us with a lot less time to look one another in the eyes and talk about the really important stuff.
I’m so glad we have the time away from the kids to talk about this, I thought to myself. I really need to tell him how I’ve been feeling.
It shouldn’t have surprised me that these questions were on the list, though. One of the things that I hear the most often from women is that they feel broken in the bedroom; that the lines of communication between the sheets has stopped, their insecurity of having their husband seeing them naked after having kids makes them want to turn off the lights, and that achieving orgasms for them just doesn’t happen anymore. But more often than not, most of these insecurities can be healed. But it all begins with making the time to have vulnerable, honest conversations about your sex life. And then to KEEP having them.
“You know, I’m really glad that we’re talking about this again, babe. I feel like so much has changed since I started on my new anti-depressants,” I said as I winced at him from across the hot tub. “So maybe when we go back upstairs we can try something different?”
That’s the thing about sex. It’s always changing because of all of the changes outside of the bedroom; more kids come along, energy and desire levels drop, sex becomes more of a chore than a passion, and eventually more a lot of us, resentment towards sex starts to creep in. You know how it is, the list could go on and on, there is always SOMEthing that keeps us from getting back in the groove in the bedroom. For me it has been a change in my meds and how it decreases the good things I used to feel and how the extra parts of me that didn’t used to be there before kids makes me feel insecure. It isn’t anything either of us is doing wrong, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t change the way we are doing things, either. And when it first started happening for me, I was so afraid to tell him. I was afraid that all he might see me was, was broken and unhappy.
As women, we hate to bring up that we aren’t happy in the bedroom, right? Our society gives us an image of perfection while having sex. Like we’re supposed to flip a switch and turn from spit-up covered moms in leggings to sex unicorns in lingerie. But we can’t attain that perfection because it isn’t real, can we? And because of that, we feel broken. Our brokenness brings us to shame. Shame keeps us silent. And the less we talk about it, the more unfixable we believe that we are. But sweet friend, we aren’t unfixable. We were actually created to thrive in the bedroom.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.” Psalm 139:13
I think that just about everyone has heard this Bible verse… but I bet you’re used to hearing it at a baby shower, not in a sex article. But friend, can I remind you of something? Your inmost being includes your sexual being. God gave you and your husband parts that are meant to work together so that you can give, have, and ENJOY sex. It's supposed to be fun and exciting... Even after having kids! And if it was that important to God to give you those parts, then I think it’s just as important that we talk together in our marriages how those parts work for our enjoyment and that we practice getting better at it. For the sake of yourself, for the sake of your marriage, and even for the sake of your children. Mama, just because you feel broken doesn’t mean you’re unfixable. It just means you might have to practice doing something a little bit different. And that’s OK.
Practice doesn't always make perfect, but it does make it a whole lot more fun.