Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
Experience a fabulously romantic getaway by joining Laura Brotherson on her next Couples Valentine’s Cruise – Feb 2018! Click here to learn more!
The Importance of Getting Educated Sexually
My husband told me that what he has learned from you about women and the way our minds and bodies work has given him a greater appreciation, as well as a deeper understanding and love for me. I’m so glad this information has finally come from a woman’s perspective. It’s so much easier for me to take it in, too. Your descriptions are right on in describing exactly how I feel. I feel like a light has come on for both of us! I feel like shouting out to the world that there is HOPE for any couple struggling sexually in their marriage! There is a way, an answer, a solution if people will just learn how!
So often we are afraid of stumbling across inappropriate material that we are hesitant to study and learn what can help our sexual relationship. I believe God expects us to get educated on these issues though, and not act like ostriches putting our heads in the sand. I am amazed at how much pleasure and joy my husband and I now know we were missing out on before we read some of your information!! Thanks for opening my dungeon doors and helping me break free of my self-imposed prison walls intimately.
Getting educated sexually is a big deal. I rarely meet husbands or wives who fully understand how each other are wired sexually. Men often joke with me about what in the world there could possibly be to say about sex to cover so many pages. They give me the attitude of, “what’s there to know?!”
Men often think there’s nothing to learn because it’s all pretty easy in their mind. The reality is that there’s quite a bit more to know when you factor in the intricacies of female sexuality. While sex (the physical aspects) may tend to be easier for men in general, intimacy (the emotional aspects) is generally easier for women. Together they can influence each other for a richer, fuller, sexually intimate relationship.
This young husband was especially glad that he’d been able to get better educated particularly about the intricacies of intimacy for women:
Getting educated sexually is a must for anybody that’s about to get married, and even for some who already are. I recently got engaged. My mom gave me your book to read saying, ‘I wish something like this would have existed when your father and I got married.’ All I can say is WOW! Talk about eye-opening! I had no idea.
I don’t think I would have even clued in after getting married. I had no idea that intimacy was such an involved and complicated thing. I have been given a new perspective going into marriage that I suspect will help to prevent many problems that might have otherwise developed.
I appreciate that your teachings are designed to put the woman and her needs first. You encourage a very loving and selfless approach to intimacy. Women are too often forgotten and neglected in the sexual realm. I hope I can do a better job making my wife’s needs the focus in our relationship.
What you don’t know can certainly hurt you, or at least create a lot of unnecessary pain and negative sexual experiences in your marriage. Understanding that we’re all wired differently and being okay with that is necessary to being able to work together to create a mutually enjoyable sexual relationship.
It’s Not All about Technique
Often when it’s the husband initially trying to improve the sexual relationship, he will tend to hone in on sexual techniques or new positions–thinking that’s how to make things better. He might also think, “My wife just needs to get her hormones adjusted.” It’s usually much more than that.
While techniques and hormones are important, specific sexual techniques are usually toward the bottom of the list of things couples need to be focusing on, especially when she’s not enthusiastically interested in sex.
Couples need to take a multi-dimensional view in addressing sexual issues.[i] We can get the mechanics of sex right, but it’s the emotion behind it and spirit of it that we want to get right as well. We’re often looking for a “heart” change, not just behavior change to improve the sexual relationship.
When I mentioned to Mindy that I was working on the “Technique/Education” chapter of my book she said, “I’ll tell you what ‘techniques’ my husband needs to learn if he wants things to be better sexually.” She then went on to list the following items to her husband as he sat there listening:
- Help me around the house that evening, so I’m not so tired by the time we head to bed.
- Be more affectionate with me during the day, so I don’t just feel like a sex object.
- Let some of our sexual encounters be about me and how I like things, instead of always doing things the way you like.
- Do missionary style more often instead of talking me into trying some crazy new position.
- Don’t have the television playing in the background.
- Take more time, and go slow. I need a good 45 minutes for lovemaking to be the way I like it.
- Kiss me more than you usually do.
- Stay awake after sex and cuddle me for a while.
This is a common dynamic for many couples. They need things to be different, but it’s not usually all about sexual positions or technique (things that happen “inside the bedroom”). Instead, many of the factors focus on things that happen “outside the bedroom” as well.
Karl ended one of our counseling sessions with a request for the next time by saying, “I just want Janice to get better educated about sex.” When they returned the next week, she spelled out how much that had offended and hurt her.
Not only did that statement completely discount what to her was really lacking in their sexual relationship (trust, tenderness and thoughtfulness), but it also sent her the message that she was the problem, and he wasn’t.
As we discussed it, he realized that in his mind he did think he knew what was what, and that she didn’t so much. This didn’t help their emotional connection. She could sense his thoughts. Like many husbands, he also thought they just needed some tips and tricks, until he learned how differently women are wired.
Unfortunately, many women buy into this notion as well. Women’s magazines and other media send women the message that if they don’t act in certain ways, or enjoy sex like the women in the movies, then something’s wrong with them.
Sexual tips and tricks alone don’t directly address the foundation of the emotional components of desire and arousal that women tend to struggle with the most. This relational foundation is very important and addressed extensively in the book Knowing HER Intimately. Any of the 12 “T’s” discussed throughout this book might be the key missing ingredient to creating your “Sextraordinary” marriage.
Lynn and Kent had done a lot of work on their relationship issues. Kent had also adjusted how he interacted with Lynn during lovemaking. After a lot of trial and error on both of their parts, Lynn found a particular, playful sexual activity that allowed her to get turned on enough to finally experience orgasm.
It wasn’t just one thing. It started with a combination of addressing their relationship issues, and her own mental focus that were key to her orgasm. With those things now in place, this particular bedroom activity helped push her over the edge into orgasm.
For a mutually fulfilling and passionate sexual relationship, it’s not just techniques, but the following issues that couples really need to understand in order to be better educated sexually:
- An awareness of common sexual wiring differences between men and women.
- Understanding the intricacies of female sexual wiring.
- A knowledge of specific intimate needs and sexual preferences of your spouse (personal sexual brakes and accelerators).
- Having tools and techniques to help you merge your differing sexual wiring into a fun and mutually fulfilling relationship.
In highlighting this “T” for TECHNIQUE, I hope couples will understand the need for getting educated sexually–especially about a few very important topics. They can’t just assume that a new sexual position will make everything better. There’s usually more to it than that. But by getting educated and having some important techniques in hand it just might be the missing ingredient to help you move toward a “Sextraordinary” marriage.
For help with improving this aspect of marital intimacy and many others read Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage by Laura M. Brotherson. This article was excerpted from Chapter 8 — “TECHNIQUE” of Laura’s NEW book — Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage. Get your copy here for a fabulously discounted price…especially for Meridian readers!
Other articles in this series:
- “The Ingredient Your Marriage Might be Missing” (April 10, 2017)
- “Using Conversation to Connect Intimately” (Mar 22, 2017)
- “‘Bridges to Desire’ — Better Preparation for Intimacy” (Feb 1, 2017)
- “Making Intimacy in Marriage a Priority” (Jan 4, 2017)
- “Creating a Secure Foundation for Intimacy” (Dec 5, 2016)
- “Spiritual Principles for Determining What’s Okay in Intimacy” (Oct 31, 2016)
- “Sexuality is Part of Your Divine Nature” (Oct 3, 2016)
- “12 Keys for Creating a Happy Intimate Life in Your Marriage” (Sep 8, 2016)
BIO — Laura M. Brotherson, LMFT, CST, CFLE
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Certified Sex Therapist (CST), Laura M. Brotherson, is the author of the best-selling book, And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, and her latest book Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage. She counsels with individuals, couples and families in private practice (and online), and is the host of “The Marital Intimacy Show” podcast.
As a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), Laura is actively engaged in providing marriage education through Couples Cruises, articles, newsletters, radio and television broadcasts, and presenting at conferences and workshops. Laura is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy to help build stronger marriages and families. She and her husband, Kevin, of 25 years are the founders of StrengtheningMarriage.com—your trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages… intimately!
Connect with Laura:
[i] Hertlein, Katherine M., and Weeks, Gerald R., “Toward a New Paradigm in Sex Therapy,” Journal of Family Psychotherapy 20(2-3) (2009): 112-128. doi:10.1080/08975350902967234.