Let’s Talk About It: Health in Intimacy

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    • By MomWise Olatunde Onabajo

She sat in the corner of her dark closet and quietly sobbed at the realization that her life was headed in a direction she had not anticipated. Her sex life, that is! About a decade ago, she walked down the aisle with a smile so wide, guests called her “ray of sunshine, “the most beautiful bride”, and “the jewel of the day”! Even as she glided across the dance floor in the arms of her prince charming, she was sure they would live happily ever after, making love from sunrise to sunset, surrounded by rose petals on 1000 count Egyptian cotton bed-sheets—boy was she wrong!
Sure the first couple of years were great, hubby catching her by surprise with whispers of sweet nothings, making the hair on the back of her neck stand in arousal. They would explore their bodies for moments unending, basking in the pleasures of love as recorded in the Bible. Honestly, she could relate with the bride in Songs of Solomon 1:2  who said, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine…He is mine and I am his”. They played around the house, sometimes naked, sometimes clothed, but all the time frolicking in the ambiance of love.
She couldn’t say when things started to change but retrospectively, the change was gradual. First, they grew from a family of just the two of them to family of five then six! Soon children were invading their bedroom at night under the guise of nightmare/scary dreams/monster under the bed. Then extended family members’ visit turned to long term residency (nothing against family members). Then there was body dysmorphic disorder—the constant obsession about flabby stomach, crooked nose, sagging breasts, acne-covered face, flabby arms, big lips. Then there was a health issue and low self-esteem. All these piled on succinctly, leaving them too exhausted to make attempts at addressing their failing sex life.
She thought she was alone in the rabbit hole of a failing sex life, weeks upon weeks of sexless struggles, raising a family of six, working on projects at work, singing hallelujah in church!  until an aunt who has being married for almost twenty years shared her story.

“There are seasons of highs and lows in marriage,” her aunt said.
“What do you mean?” she asked, seating up in her chair, eager to hear her aunt’s story.
“Darling, marriage truly is for better for worse! There was a season, my husband and I were not sexually active because of health issues. He struggled with diabetes which affected his ability to perform between the sheets,” the aunt said.
She was struck by her aunt’s confession and humbled by her vulnerability to share such intimate issue. “Auntie, but you and uncle are usually very affectionate with each other. I see how uncle looks at you and admire that about your marriage.” Her aunt smiled, encouraged her through prayer and shared helpful tips to keep the sex spice alive and burning.
Without a doubt, sex is one of the important ingredients for a successful marriage. But in a relationship where it is lacking or struggling to survive, what can be done? How can a couple rekindle the fire of intimacy and enjoy the “garden of love” as described in Songs of Solomon?
Here are a few tips gleaned from older couples and marriage counselors:

      1. Communication: sex is such a sensitive topic, (and especially ego-related for men), so communicate from a place of love about the lack of intimacy.
      2. Seek Godly Counseling: lack of intimacy/sex can be an indication of a deeper issue in the marriage.
      3. Rekindle Attraction: Do you remember what attracted you to your spouse the first time you met? 
      4. Health-related issues: Seek medical attention from specialists such as gynecologist, urologists, diabetes specialists, mental counselor, etc.
      5. Spend time alone with your spouse, away from distractions (children, technology, even work)
      6. Give Role Playing a try/Introduce sex-toys?

Honestly, the jury is still out on the last tip. People feel differently about introducing sex apparatus in their marriage. Christians especially, sweep this silent killer of sexlessness under the rug of ‘Holy Living’, not ready to explore options—and not necessarily toys—that  could improve our sex lives. While there is no scripture in the Bible that explicitly says “Thou shalt or shalt not use sex toys”, I’d like to hear our readers’ thought on this.
“To Toy”, or “Not To Toy”? How does Hebrews 13:4 fits into this question.
“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
God designed sex and intimacy for marriage–between a man and a woman to bring glory, praise and pleasure to Him. I believe God is as interested in your love/sex life as He is in your spiritual growth.
“And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” Genesis 1:31. Remember, this verse comes after God had made man and the woman and commanded to “be fruitful and multiply”.
Lastly, I want to share some benefits of sex:

      • Burns calories: upwards of 100 calories/hour, depending on the activity.
      • The big O releases oxytocin, the “cuddle/love hormone” that promotes bonding.
      • Releases endorphins, the hormone that activates pleasure center in the brain, helps you relax and starve off depression
      • Improve your sense of well-being and satisfaction in your relationship

Love is beautiful, intimacy is important, and sex is a substantial ingredient required to help a marriage blossom into an enjoyable, mouth-watering, thirst-quenching, and satisfactory journey!
Let’s Talk…

12 comments

  1. My husband and I tried to introduce a vibrator to spice things up and get me to relax and achieve more regular “O”‘s. However I have a question using the vibrator in his absence. Does it become a sin if I climax without him?

    • I don’t think it’s a sin to climax in your spouse’s absence with or without a sexual apparatus. I have heard of stories of people achieving orgasm while not even actively engaging in sexual activity i.e. women in labor, during meditation, etc., HOWEVER, like the other commenter responded, if you’re having sexual thoughts towards another person other than your spouse and looking to achieve sexual satisfaction, then i think that’s crossing the line.

  2. I like the language “sex apparatus” and not sex toy. I believe novelty items are toys when they’re used for pleasure without a mate. However, when used with your mate in tour marriage bed as a tool to help physical intimacy, it’s an apparatus. As people age or have physics ailments, such apparatuses could be used to help sustain positions (wedges, holsters, and pillows). Items for clitorial stimulation enable a wife to achieve climax when penitration doesn’t suffice. The statistics on women who climax with only penetration are quite low. Furthermore, there’s nothing stopping husbands from using such vibrators on their wives or even wives using it on him. It’s when partners let these apparatuses drive a wedge between their mate and themselves in there marriage bed. Nope, it’s not a substitute nor is it punishment. It’s also important to think about affection as pre-foreplay as you will. Hugs, kisses, a squeeze here and flirt there are all things that can happen outside the bedroom and create a sense of anticipation.

  3. Personally, I think it is a matter of what the “wife/woman” is thinking of when she is alone with the “vibe”… Let me explain…So I think if a woman uses a vibrator in the absense of her husband, but she is thinking of “Denzel Washington” or “Idris Elba”, then I think it is a sin because she is lusting after another man, and you know the bible says in Matthew 5:28, that “if anyone looks at a woman [or man] lustfully, he [or she] have already commited adultery in your heart”… But if a woman uses the vibrator while thinking of the steamy session she had with hubby last night or maybe she is think of absolutely nothing bcos she is in “relaxation land”, then I think maybe its ok? Just my personal opinon though!

  4. I like the language “sex apparatus” and not sex toy. I believe novelty items are toys when they’re used for pleasure without a mate. However, when used with your mate in tour marriage bed as a tool to help physical intimacy, it’s an apparatus. As people age or have physics ailments, such apparatuses could be used to help sustain positions (wedges, holsters, and pillows). Items for clitorial stimulation enable a wife to achieve climax when penitration doesn’t suffice. The statistics on women who climax with only penetration are quite low. Furthermore, there’s nothing stopping husbands from using such vibrators on their wives or even wives using it on him. It’s when partners let these apparatuses drive a wedge between their mate and themselves in there marriage bed. Nope, it’s not a substitute nor is it punishment. It’s also important to think about affection as pre-foreplay as you will. Hugs, kisses, a squeeze here and flirt there are all things that can happen outside the bedroom and create a sense of anticipation. Just some thoughts…

    • Thank you Jasmine, you raise a very important point about apparatus that can help alleviate limitations.
      Data shows that many (most) women are not able to achieve orgasm via penetration alone. Having other types of apparatus that can improve women’s chances, i think will help a long way because women who have regular O’s are less likely to experience stress. There’s just something about reaching that height of pleasure…

  5. Lovely Article! Since we talking about intimacy in marriage, is it ok to couples to mastubate? Or have phone sex or video sex?

    • Hi anonymous.
      Such a great question. I like how the author includes the Bible passage in Hebrews 123:4. As a Christian and a married woman, my husband and i talk about this passage and what it means to “defile or not defile” our marriage bed. To understand what can defile a marital bed, i think it is important to look at examples in the Bible, both old and new testament. So immoralities such as adultery, incest, intercourse with animals, same sex, even forceful intercourse with an unwilling spouse are considered acts that defile the marriage bed.
      Historically, because the Bible does not explicitly say “thou shalt not masturbate, have phone or record yourselves” the answers varies on both aisle for those against these activities in marriage.
      Here’s my four cents:
      1. One of the purpose and beauties of the human body is self-exploration. Most women are not able to achieve orgasm because they have no idea where their sweet spot is and the best person to tell your partner where to touch you is YOU. Exploring with your spouse is obviously even better making the session steamier.
      2.) IF you are however, self exploring and thinking about “Denzel”, “Brad”, or “Kunle”, then I think there’s marital defilement.
      3.) I am no sex expert but phone sex with your hubby is highly recommended!!!
      4.) My only concern with video sex is if it gets into the wrong hands or God forbid, children…

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