What you don’t know about marriage!

Great talk from TEDx presenter Jenna McCarthy on how to stay happily married!

Just a heads up there is one F bomb in the middle.
Other than that, what do you think about her talk?

Here’s the link to our TEDx talk. Not as funny, but I thought we did a good job with our point.

11 Secrets to HOT Monogamy

How are you keeping your monogamy from turning into monotony? Watch this as shannon explains 11 ways to thrive in your intimacy!

Make love outside of the bedroom?

Let’s face it, when you make the choice to spend your life having a the most sacred physical connection possible with only one person, sometimes it helps to spice it up a bit by changing the location of your love making. Come on we all have done it…or at least thought about it, having sex with your spouse in various locations beside the bedroom is a very common desire.

However, what is not common is the movies portray how great it would be to get busy in some of the most inconvenient locations. Like on stairs or in an airplane bathroom. Really? Who thinks of this stuff.

In a funny article by the blog Hot, Holy & Humorous the author debunks some of the most common myths about “desireable” places to connect with your spouse.

Let us know what you think.

At times it seems that we married people are a rather unimaginative lot. After all, most of have 99% of our sex in — can you guess? — a bed.

One suggestion for introducing a little playfulness, creativity, or adventure into your sex life is to vary whereyou have sex. Consider location, location, location. Besides atop the king mattress set, where else can a husband and wife be intimate? In the spirit of the medical ethics principle of Primum non nocere (“First, do no harm”), today’s post will focus on . . .

Places You Think Would Be Fun for Sex, But Not So Much

The Elevator. The thought of being alone in an elevator with your hubby, stripping down, and doing it against the wall or on the floor as you go up or down sounds adventurous. In fact, there seems to be a lot of innuendo, making out, and sex going on in elevators in the movies. There is even an Aerosmith song, Love in an Elevator (“Livin’ it up when I’m goin’ down”).

However, many elevators these days have cameras. So unless you’re trying to entertain the security guard with a free porn movie, why go there? Plus, if you push the Stop button on an elevator, someone might call for help, and you may be preventing someone from getting someplace they need to go. Finally, are you putting a plastic cover down, or messing up their carpet? I’m just sayin’.

Think of this: An elevator is simply a moving closet. If you want that experience, put full length mirrors along the walls of your closet, install a handrail, pipe in some easy listening tunes, and pretend to push the Lobby button. Same thing, no photographic evidence. 

Click here to red the rest here…

How’s your money affecting your marriage?

Today we had the honor of being interviewed by the Dating Divas online community. We tackled the subject of Finances in marriage.

Money is #1 stated reason for divorce. It’s estimated that money issues are the driving force in 90% of divorces.

Contrary to popular belief, money, not sex, is the last taboo.

Money is an emotionally volatile issue for most people. In many households it’s a more contentious topic than politics, religion, or who gets up at night to take care of the baby!

Why is it so difficult for couples to talk about money?

Perhaps because money symbolizes different things to different people: power, control security, love, or worth, for instance. What does it symbolize to you?

-Most couples face money problems due to 3 things:

1.  lack of planning

2.  lack of communication

3. emotional triggers

Dino & I delve deeper into each of these areas, and 6 solutions for creating harmony in your marriage and money relationships.

You can have free access to this audio training by going to www.datingdivascommunity.com 

Once you’ve listened to the call, please comment below. We’d love to hear your comments and questions!

Shannon

Is it reasonable to say “NO” to oral sex

Day 2 of our events is when we have “the talk”. The sex talk. One of the overwhelming coments we get back from attendees after that conversation is “Thank you for being so willing to be open and yet tasteful”. We love that part of the event, yet are continually surprised at the amount of couples who do not talk about their sex life, asside from asking for it, in an open and educational manner.

We talk about a lot of things. From how often to have sex, sex tool vs toys, to pornography and the dangers thereof. Like I said, we are very open and strive to have a transformitive conversation. We do this by letting the audiance dictate the majority of the conversation. However, the one topic that is never brought up is that of oral sex. I think this might be due to the personal nature of it and the concern that while talking about sexual intercourse is common and understood that everyone in the room has had it, oral sex is a much more personal topic.

In the following article is written by Winning at Romance expert, Julie Sibert . I think it is one of the most straight forward and powerfully written articles I have seen on the subject. Read and then comment on your thoughts below the article.

Years ago, a friend and I were talking in general about sex. In the course of our conversation, the topic of oral sex came up.

I casually mentioned, “What’s not to like about oral sex?”

“Giving or receiving?” she asked.

“Both,” I responded enthusiastically.

Now I realize that this throws me into a narrow group of wives who embrace the value of oral sex as part of a couple’s sexual repertoire. I hear from husbands who wish their wives were more interested in incorporating oral play into their sexual intimacy. Some even wonder if it is reasonable that a wife say “no” to oral sex, whether it be giving or receiving.

Is it reasonable to say “no” to oral sex?

In some cases I think it is. I’ll address those first, and then I’ll explore what I think are weak reasons for saying “no.”

First of all, if a woman has experienced past sexual abuse, particular as a child, and oral sex was part of that abuse, I think it is reasonable that it may be incredibly difficult to include oral sex in the current context of her marital intimacy.

I’m not saying this would be true with all wives, and I’m certainly not saying that past sexual abuse gives a wife a lifetime free pass on no sex at all.

When a woman marries, even if she has suffered past sexual abuse, she is agreeing that sexual intercourse will be part of her marriage. This doesn’t mean she is agreeing to everything her husband may want to do sexually.

What I’m sensitive to is that sexual abuse is one of the most horrendous traumas a person can experience. If there are triggers that linger long after much healing has taken place, it’s really not beneficial for a husband to set off those specific triggers that are extremely painful to his wife.

What about sexually transmitted diseases?

I know this probably goes without saying, but if there are concerns about sexually-transmitted diseases, then a couple needs to be wise to not expose each other to risks. I’m not a doctor, but I do think it’s reasonable to say “no” to oral sex if there are risks of disease transfer. And if disease risks are present, a couple still needs to take precaution during intercourse.

Lastly, I think it would be reasonable to say “no” to oral sex if this has become the only kind of sexual intimacy a couple is experiencing. There is something powerfully unifying when a husband’s penis is in his wife’s vagina. If this has been erased from the menu, and oral sex is the only sexual encounter happening, that’s a bit of a red flag to me.

Balance. Oral sex can be a great complement within sexual intimacy, but not to the exclusion of everything else.

What about wives who just don’t like oral sex, but don’t really have any strong reason for saying no?

My challenge to wives who have flat out refused any kind of oral sex, whether it be giving or receiving, is to really look at why they feel that way.

Are you trying to argue it from a biblical standpoint?

In my opinion, you won’t get very far. Most theologians and people who have thoroughly studied the book of Song of Songs believe it includes positive references to marital oral pleasure. Also, there is no scripture in the Bible that specifically says a husband and wife cannot include oral sex in their intimacy.

I think common sense, though, is the strongest path toward broadening your perspective on this.

Obviously, as husbands and wives, we often kiss and touch each other in various ways during lovemaking. Most people would say it’s just fine that a husband kiss his wife’s neck or even her breasts or navel during lovemaking. Likewise, most people would not find it odd if a wife were to kiss her husband’s chest and so forth.

Following this logic, why would we think that there are certain parts of our anatomy that cannot be touched and kissed and caressed during lovemaking? How do we possibly draw an arbitrary line where no line exists?

Are your refusing oral sex because of hygiene concerns?

The simple solution to this is that you both come to bed having washed your genital area.

Some wives are hesitant because a husband ejaculates from the same opening as he urinates. But God designed the male body so these experiences don’t happen at the same time. When a penis is erect, the focus is on sex, not on urination.

Likewise, some women worry that a husband will be offended by the vaginal area, but as I already mentioned… a shower, bath or simple use of a washcloth before sexual intimacy can help ease those concerns. (A shower together can be great foreplay!)

Are you refusing because you don’t know if you will do it right?

If your unspoken reason for not initiating oral sex is because you are afraid you won’t be very good at it, I think your husband would still want you to give it a try and vulnerably ask for his feedback. I have no doubt that if you are open to being taught, he will teach you. (Same goes for you husbands — allow her to coach you on how to orally please her).

I recognize that despite all the rationalizations as to why oral sex would be okay, some wives simply won’t have anything to do with it.

What is a husband to do?

Well, it definitely isn’t loving to force a sexual act, so coercion, physical force and demands are not an option.

If her heels are dug in, then I think the husband has little alternative but to ask the Lord to help him let this desire go. As a married couple, they are at an impasse. Lovingly trying to generate conversation is good. Throwing the marriage under the bus because of no oral sex is not.

My hope would be that a wife who is unwilling to budge would do a bit of introspection to see if her steel-clad refusal is really reasonable.

If you are that wife, are you being reasonable on this?

Under the right circumstances, oral sex can be an amazing addition to sexual intimacy, resulting in new waves of pleasure and closeness.

What do you all think about this topic? Please comment and add to the discussion.

Julie Sibert writes and speaks on sexual intimacy in marriage. She blogs regularly at her site at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com, and can also be found on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/IntimacyInMarriage and on Twitter @Intimacy4Life. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband Randall, their two sons and one German Shorthair Pointer dog who refuses to stay in the fence.

 

50 reasons to make love- repost

In several of our last speaking engagements, this topic has come up. So rather than make you search through our blog, I’ve decided to repost it so you have easy access to it. This list came from Laura Brotherson, author of, And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment.

The next time your brain starts to give you a list of WHY YOU DON’T have the time, energy, or desire to make love, I suggest you review this powerful list of WHY TO DO IT.

To the success of your marriage,

Shannon

happy-couple-in-bed-undercovers-crop

50 Reasons to Make Love

  1. To relieve stress.
  2. To improve emotional intimacy.
  3. To boost your immune system.
  4. To burn calories.
  5. To improve heart health.
  6. To build self esteem.
  7. To decrease pain.
  8. To improve sleep.
  9. To help reduce prostate cancer risk.
  10. To strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
  11. To increase blood flow in the body.
  12. To reduce cravings and fatigue.
  13. To connect emotionally, physically and spiritually as husband and wife.
  14. To fight aging.
  15. To awaken your sexual senses.
  16. To say, “I love you” in your spouse’s love language.
  17. To experience pure pleasure.
  18. To just have fun together, and be more playful.
  19. To fulfill each other’s universal need for touch.
  20. To reduce vulnerability to temptation.
  21. To experience many physiological and psychological health benefits.
  22. To help repair and/or rejuvenate the relationship.
  23. To experience validation.
  24. To become ONE.
  25. To affirm that sex is of God.
  26. To help you feel more calm and contented (and less irritable).
  27. To co-create children. (Remember multiply and replenish the earth…!)
  28. To keep the spark alive in marriage.
  29. To experience lovemaking’s natural anti-depressant effects.
  30. To increase her sexual desire, and better satiate his desire as well (or vice versa)!
  31. To experience profound joy and intimacy.
  32. To experience a “wholesome recreational activity” as husband and wife.
  33. To switch gears from parent or employee to spouse and sweetheart.
  34. To help you forget about all your cares for a little while.
  35. To nurture love and friendship in marriage.
  36. To forgive.
  37. To heal wounds in the relationship.
  38. To give a “gift” to the one you love. (BTW, this is a great Christmas gift for your honey!)
  39. To enjoy “God’s wedding gift to husband and wife.”
  40. To get to “know” each other (as defined in the Bible).
  41. To cure a headache.
  42. To practice and perfect the intricate art of lovemaking.
  43. To overcome negative inhibitions and beliefs about sex.
  44. To fulfill the human need for intimacy and connection.
  45. To awaken, embrace and develop your sexuality.
  46. To practice asking for what you want and need sexually.
  47. To learn how to give what your spouse wants and needs sexually.
  48. To experience the “exultant ecstasy” of lovemaking available to every couple.
  49. To develop the “higher faculties and nobler traits” of human existence.
  50. To enhance and reinforce marital unity and commitment.

and . . . Just Because! (My husband likes that I added this one!)

-Laura Brotherson

Tips for Moving Back Home With Parents

I thought this article was interesting and relevant as I’ve seen many couples doing this in recent years. Would love to hear your comments below.

When adult children live at home, these strategies can help keep the peace

By Kimberly Palmer

When Keith Hewson was a newlywed, he and his wife, Katy, decided to share a three-bedroom Houston townhouse with his wife’s parents, Cindy and Gary Smith. That was four years ago, and today they’re still living together. That’s because each couple decided they not only benefit financially from the arrangement, but they also enjoy living together. Now that the Hewsons have a baby, the Smiths serve as built-in babysitters and all-around helpers. And the savings generated allow the Smiths to travel more and live more luxuriously than they would otherwise.

[In Pictures: 10 Ways to Start Earning Extra Money Now]

The Hewsons and Smiths represent the growing trend of intergenerational living. Consulting firm Twentysomething Inc. reports that 85 percent of young adults now move back home with their parents after graduation. (According to the Network on Transitions to Adulthood, fewer than 60 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds lived at home five years ago.) The sluggish economy, as well as the fact that today’s twentysomethings are so emotionally close to their parents, appear to contribute to that shift.

Read the rest of the article HERE.