Overcoming Orgasm Obstacles | Better Sex for Women

Overcoming Orgasm Obstacles | Better Sex for Women


An inability or difficulty achieving orgasm, that’s what Anorgasmia means. If you’re not experiencing sexual climax and release when you connect sexually, that significantly impacts the pleasurableness of the experience. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy sex without orgasm or that it’s even normal to orgasm every time you connect sexually. Sexual frustration from a lack of release, however, does diminish the sexual experience- especially if it’s chronic. If unaddressed it will likely leave you feeling less and less interested in sex as time goes by.

You’re Not Alone

If you struggle with anorgasmia, you’re not alone. Only 1 in 3 women report having an orgasm every time they connect sexually with their spouse. Around 1/5 have either never had an orgasm or have difficulty reaching orgasm. The good news is, treatment for anorgasmia is extremely effective – 9/10 learn to orgasm.

Becoming Orgasmic

This article is a starting place for treating anorgasmia. Entire books could be written on the subject. Indeed they have been. Drs. Julia Heiman and Joseph Lopiccolo wrote the classic book on the subject most sex therapists today read during their training. Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women is a great resources. It has helped thousands of women become orgasmic since its original publication in 1976. While not written from a Christian worldview, if you can eat the meat and spit out the bones, it is a valuable resource. I highly recommend it to any one struggling with anorgasmia.

Common Obstacles to Orgasm

Let’s take a look at some common obstacles to orgasm I routinely see in my practice. For each I’ll give you some direction on how to get started working through the issue.

Negative Emotions Associated With Sex

Sexual thoughts, feelings, and desires are “bad” before marriage, but they don’t switch to “good” after the wedding. There are lots of ways we can get the message that sex is bad. Sometimes it comes from the church we grew up in or our parents. Maybe sex was never talked about or girls who were interested in sex were labeled “promiscuous”. However it happens, the message that sex is dirty and should be avoided can stick, making it difficult to embrace sexual desire and expression after the wedding.

Negative Sexual Experiences

If you experienced any sexual touching or felt forced or pressured to engage sexually in ways that made you feel uncomfortable (rape, molestation, pressure from a boyfriend), these feelings can get associated with sex also.

Fooling around before marriage

Feelings of shame or guilt from sexual touching or activity prior to marriage can get associated with sex in a way that endures.

What to do with negative emotions:

  1. You can’t change what you’re not aware of. Spend some time thinking about the way you feel when your spouse is being flirtatious or initiating sexual connection. Close your eyes and imagine that you have an extremely high sex drive and are pursuing your husband for sex. What negative feelings are stirred up? Often indifferent or neutral feelings towards sex are actually masking negative feelings. Think about the messages you received or didn’t receive about sex growing up from various people and experiences. What did they tell you about sex?
  2. Evaluate these messages for their truthfulness. Are they consistent with the truth that God wired your body to really enjoy and really want sex because He created it good?
  3. Construct some truth statements to help you rewire your thoughts and feelings about sex. Try something like, “Even though (Message or Experience) left me feeling like sex was bad and dirty, I know God designed me to experience sex as beautiful and fun. Like a good parent enjoys their child enjoying a gift they have given them, God loves for me to enjoy my sexual body He has given me to enjoy and share with my husband.”
  4. Journal and talk with your spouse about the negative feelings and thoughts you discover. Stay tuned into your emotions and when you sense the negative feelings, identify them out loud and talk yourself through them using the truth statements you have constructed.
  5. Push into / pursue positive sexual feelings, giving yourself permission to really enjoy them.

Discomfort with out-of-control feelings

Orgasms, by their very nature, are involuntary reflexes that happen in the body. You don’t make an orgasm happen, you surrender yourself to it by embracing feel good sexual experiences in your body. For some, the out of control nature of orgasm freaks them out. You might shut down your feelings when you start to get there, or avoid sex all together.

Sexually out of control

Some women fear they will become a sex-crazed maniac or might even become promiscuous outside of their marriage. There really is no evidence to support this fear. The only likely outcome is you and your husband enjoying your sexual relationship a lot more. Use truth statements to combat this misbelief as with other negative emotions.


Orgasm is an expression of the sexual pleasure your body is feeling. Sometimes embarrassment around expressing sexual pleasure through facial inflection, body movements, sounds, etc. can cause you to shut-down your feelings when you feel them start building.

  • One way to work through embarrassment to comfort is for you and your spouse to take turns simulating exaggerated orgasm responses. Talk with your spouse about the fears you have concerning what they might say or think. Then act out the wildest orgasmic experience you can imagine with all the imagined scenarios you’re embarrassed about. Repeat this on different occasions until you find the embarrassment has gone away.
  • For inspiration check out this funny clip from When Harry Met Sally

Fear of Vulnerability and Trust Struggles

The feelings of closeness and emotional need for your spouse triggered through sexual connection can be scary if important people in your life haven’t been trustworthy. If larger trust and vulnerability issues are getting in the way of your marriage / sexual relationship you may want to work with a counselor to help you identify their root and work through them.


Both depressed brain chemistry and the medications used to treat depression can inhibit sexual desire and orgasm. If you’re struggling with depression or are on depression medication you will probably need to work with a sex therapist to troubleshoot and design a solution for addressing your sexual difficulties.

Body Awareness and Connection

You can’t “make” an orgasm happen any more than you can make yourself sneeze. Orgasms are reflexes that happen in the body when you reach a sufficient level of arousal.

Learning how to relax, soak in bodily pleasure, and pursue arousing touch are the keys to learning your way to orgasms. This requires intentional exploration and practice to learn how to build high levels of arousal in your body. The repeated practice also establishes neuropathways in your brain that bring you closer to orgasm.

No man is connected to the sexual pleasure pathways in your body. So, it is impossible for your husband to know how to stimulate you in ways that will get you there. Even if he did – it changes! You have to learn your body, and then you can teach your husband.

Insufficient Stimulation

Some women’s bodies require more stimulation than is achievable from intercourse, digital, or oral stimulation alone.

About 50% of women experience orgasms during intercourse, while 50% do not. Why is uncertain. All orgasms, even those that happen during intercourse, are driven by clitoris stimulation. The clitoris is the primary female sexual pleasure genital component. During intercourse the tugging at the skin around the vaginal opening and the grinding between bodies stimulates the clitoris. Clitoris stimulation can also happen digitally (with fingers) or with orally (tongue and mouth).

Though for most women, before direct genital stimulation is even arousing, your body needs 20 minutes or more of indirect [read not breast or genitals] stimulation. This would include hugging, kissing, caressing of the rest of your body.

Even with plenty of non-genital stimulation- intercourse, oral, and digital touching may not be sufficient in intensity or duration to reach a level of arousal that will trigger the orgasm reflex. Many women who struggle with anorgasmia find the help of an electric vibrator is necessary to achieve orgasm. The adjustable intensity, specific placement around the clitoris, and “as long as you need” nature of the stimulation makes reliably achieving orgasm possible.

Learning to use a vibrator together as a couple can help mutual orgasms become a regular part of lovemaking. A good starter vibrator is the NU Sensuelle Point, which can be ordered from Amazon and delivered privately to your doorstep.

Still having difficulties – Get help.

These are a few of the common obstacles to orgasms I routinely see in my sex therapy practice. If you don’t see yourself in any of these or have difficulty working through these obstacles one of the sex therapists at MyCounselor.Online can provide the individualized help you need to reach your goals. Treatment for anorgasmia has an extremely high success rate, 9/10 become orgasmic. So don’t let fear keep you from having an awesome sex life!

Take the first step towards a better tomorrow, today.

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Overcoming Your Hormone Cycle | Better Sex for Women

Overcoming Your Hormone Cycle | Better Sex for Women

Overcoming Hormones to Have a Better Sex Life

Women are hormonal creatures – it’s how God made you, and it’s not a bad thing. It does, however, create challenges that take some special attention to overcome. One such challenge is the ebb and flow (no pun intended) of your sex drive as related to your menstrual cycle.

Women’s Sex Hormone Peak

Women hit their sex hormone peak in late teens to mid-twenties. As this starts to trail off over time, there’s usually still a hormonal surge that starts 1-3 days before ovulation and continues for few days after. The body says “Hey, I’m about to drop an egg, go find your man so you can fertilize it.” It’s during these days that women reach their peak erotic motivation for the month. Sex therapists call this spontaneous and intrinsic motivation to connect sexually “Initiating Desire”.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always cooperate so that these days fall during convenient times to connect. A lot of women express, “Well honey, I was feeling pretty horny about 2 this afternoon, but by time we got the kids in bed it was ALL gone.”

The Pill Can Make it Worse

To further the problem, chemical birth control, i.e. the pill, can neutralize the mid-month natural hormone boost resulting in diminished sex drive. It can also reduce blood flow to the genitals, which can make reaching orgasm more difficult. Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are all at their lowest during menstruation, making it the period of least desire. It is the decline of these same hormones that reduce libido in women during menopause.

For all these reasons, it’s pretty normal for a mature married woman to only experience initiating desire a few days a month.

So what can you do about it?

Now that we have a little bit better understanding of what the problem is, let’s take a look at some ways to deal with it.

Embrace Receptive Desire

When sex therapists talk about arousal we mean one of two types: 1) Subjective Arousal or 2) Physical Arousal.

Subjective arousal is the awareness of sexual desire, that is being horny.

Physical arousal refers to the changes that happen in the body in response to sexual stimuli, like pupil dilation, increased heart rate and blood pressure, accelerated breathing, flush skin, nipple erection, blood flow to the genitals, vaginal lubrication, breast enlargement.

It’s common to think of subjective arousal coming first, then physical arousal. I feel horny, so I pursue sexual connection and become physically aroused. We call this sequence initiating desire, because it leads to the initiation of a sexual experience. It’s not the only option though. Receptive Desire refers to an openness to sexual connection with an understanding that subjective arousal often follows physical arousal.

I sometimes use an example from our taste template to illustrate. Have you ever been out on date night with you spouse, engaging the age old question “Where do you want to eat?”

Well, if you have a craving for something, say Mexican, that’s like initiating desire. Sometimes you don’t have a craving, “I don’t care, I’m not really hungry.”

After you get to the restaurant, you taste the salsa and smell the fajitas sizzling, your mouth starts to water. When your food arrives you tear into like a crazed animal. As the two of you recline, fully satisfied, you look at your spouse and say “this was a good idea.”

Following this script you might say to yourself, “I’m not feeling horny or thinking about sex right now, but I know once we get into it I’ll start feeling desire.”

Think About Sex

It’s very helpful to think about sex. Use fantasy to imagine past experiences that were super arousing. Think about new positions, places, and scenarios you might want to explore with your spouse. Thinking about sex causes the body to arouse physically, which in turn increases desire. Remember, for women, physical arousal often precedes desire.

Plan for Sex

Planning out regular times for sexual connection with your spouse can help keep the connection happening despite hormonal fluctuations. Plus, knowing about a sexual encounter in advance gives you reason to think about the upcoming encounter and be flirtatious with your spouse about it. This builds desire increasing the excitement and pleasurableness of the experience.

Take the first step towards a better tomorrow, today.

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Overcoming Fatigue | Better Sex for Women

Overcoming Fatigue | Better Sex for Women

Men and women are different. One of the differences is in the way fatigue effects sexual arousal in women. Both men and women’s physical arousal is effected by fatigue, but women’s bodies are effected to a much greater degree. If a woman is exhausted physically, her body wont respond sexually, which means she wont want or enjoy sex. If you don’t enjoy connecting sexually – you wont want to connect sexually.

You are not superwoman!

The first step in overcoming fatigue is recognizing that you are NOT superwoman. God did not design you with an infinite amount of energy. The amount of energy you have each day is pretty well fixed. Some days you may have a little more or a little less, but it pretty much is what it is. So the question is: What will you do with the energy you have?

Steward Your Energy

There’s never enough time or energy to go around. There’s always more things to do than there is time or energy to do them. You have to learn to steward your energy so the most important things get the attention they deserve. Imagine you have an Engergizer battery on your back and a little wristwatch with a meter showing you how much juice is left in the battery. Each day you start out with basically a full battery. It’s up to you to decide how you will use that energy. When it’s gone, it’s gone, game over, put a fork you in – you are done.

There is Enough

There is no way you can accomplish all the things you think you have to or others want you to and still have energy to share with your spouse. There’s just not enough hours in the day or energy in your battery. There is, however, enough to accomplish all the things that are important to God that you complete. God doesn’t ask us to do more than we can. There are enough hours in the day and enough energy in your battery to do everything that is important to God for you to do.

Say No

Is it more important that the floor get cleaned or your children get fed? Is it more important that you don’t disappoint a friend who wants something from you or that you have quite time with the Lord? Is it more important to check another couple items off your to-do list or to nurture your relationship and stay connected to your husband? What do you think God’s prioritize for your time are?

Saying NO to good things and good people is tough. You have to do it. There’s not enough of you to go around and every YES you say is a NO to something else. If you’re saying yes to things you need to say no to, de facto you are saying NO to things you should be saying YES to.

Discerning what God’s priorities for your time, so you don’t steal from the things that are important to Him, can be challenging. Especially if you have a people pleaser personality. You don’t want to disappoint any one, but you end up neglecting things that are important.

Manage Stress

Stress is a major cause of fatigue in a women’s life. If you’re not actively managing stress, by placing limits on stressors and doing things that mitigate the effects, it’s going to kick your butt, killing your sex drive.

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

You can not give what you do not have. If you are going to be blessing to the people in your life, children, spouse, friends, family, co-works, neighbors – you have to take care of yourself. The Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself- would it bless your neighbor to take care of them the way you do yourself?

If you don’t take care of you, you can’t be there for others. You won’t be able to be your best self and you’ll rob those around you of the blessings God desires to give them through you.

So how do you go about this self-care stuff?

Here’s a short list to consider:

1on1 Time with the Heavenly Father – You need spiritual refreshing. Quite time in His presence to align your heart with His each day and tap into His energy for you.

Exercise – Your body needs at least 20 minutes a day of some light cardio (get that heart rate up) along with some stretching and light lifting. It doesn’t have to be hard core, but to metabolize stress hormones, boost your metabolism, and promote good brain chemistry – you need this. Brisk walk, take the stairs, yoga – get some movement in.

Good Food – Feed your body, it needs fuel. I’m less focused on the specific diet as the need for a variety of foods, that supply your body with the fats, proteins, vitamins, fiber, carbs in balance that it needs to be healthy.

Recreation – God created you to need play. No one has to teach it to you as a kid, you instinctively do it. As adults we can get “too busy” for play – and it hurts us. Carve out time each week to things that are life giving to you.

Friends – Hang out with friends that make you feel good. Some people pour into you, others suck life out of you. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with and making time for people who pour life into you.

Nap – Yes, sometimes it is OK to take a nap. Your body needs it sometimes. If you’re tired – sleep. If it means you have energy to feel frisky later in the day it’s a great trade off.

Sleep – God designed your body to need 7-9 hours of sleep out of every 24. You can’t cheat your body the sleep God designed it to need and not suffer the consequences.

Date – You need time outside your roles as mom & dad to be lovers and friends. Without this you’ll be emotionally drained, which will manifest in physical fatigue.

Save a Little in Your Battery for Your Husband

Start with the end in mind. If you plan ahead for times of intimate connection with your husband you can save a little energy to share with him. Planning in advance also gives you something to flirt around all day which helps build anticipation.

Work with Your Husband

Help you husband understand you only have so much energy. If he wants to get frisky he needs to help you with the things that have to get done before then so you both can be mostly awake when it’s time to connect.

Morning Sex

You might experiment with trying to connect earlier in the day. Maybe you can pull off some morning sex after the kids leave for school or a nooner over lunch break. Connecting earlier in the day means you have more energy in the battery and are thus more likely to enjoy the experience.

Chronic Fatigue

There’s no way around it: You’ll never enjoy a passionate, healthy sex life if you are chronically fatigued. It’s like trying to start a car with a dead battery – it just isn’t going to work.

Take the first step towards a better tomorrow, today.

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Why Sex is So Important to Men

Why Sex is So Important to Men

In 4 out of 5 marriages men have the higher sex drive and are the primary initiator of sexual experiences. If you are in one of these marriages this comes as no surprise to you. It may seem like your husband is constantly wanting sex and acts like a wounded puppy dog if you’re not in the mood. It begs the question: Why is sex so important to my husband?

It’s the way God made him. 

He came from the factory this way. That’s how God made him. It’s actually part of the whole created in God’s own image thing talked about in the Bible. You see a man’s passionate and unrelenting pursuit of intimacy with his wife reflects God’s passionate pursuit for peoples hearts. When we were still completely disinterested in Him, He loved us and pursued us, wooing our heart that we might be in an intimate relationship with Him. 

Repeatedly in the Bible God uses the marriage relationship, husband and wife relationship, to illustrate the kind of relationship he wants to have with people; He being our husband and we His bride. In this relationship God is always interested in connecting intimately with us. There’s never a day of the week or time of day, or any place that He isn’t willing to connect with us if we make the time to do so. You’ll never get a “I’m too tired, come back later” message from Him. 

There’s also this amazing metaphor for the intimacy that God desires to have with us displayed through intercourse. In every other religion God is out there some where and we are trying to get to god. In Christianity, the message of the Gospel is that God came for us, and when we embrace Him he literally indwells our body, alive inside of us. This closeness of relationship is mirrored as a husband literally indwells his brides body through intercourse when she accepts him. 

Sex is a primary way a man emotionally bonds with his wife. 

Again we’ll blame God for this, since in His perfect wisdom God designed your husbands body to release the bonding hormone oxytocin in enormous quantities when experiencing orgasms with his wife. Wives experience this too, but men do so 400% more. 

You may be familiar with oxytocin if you have vaginally delivered children. The synthetic form, pitocin, is often administered during baby delivery to move labor along. It’s because of the massive amounts of this bonding hormone in your blood when your baby arrives that doctors believe you want to snuggle with your baby instead of kill it after all the pain it caused you. It’s also the hormone that triggers a nursing mom’s milk let down when her baby nuzzles and causes the feeling of closeness when your kids snuggle on your lap while you read them a story. 

God wired your husband so that when he connects with you sexually, the skin to skin contact and hormone release with orgasm would create deep emotional bonding between he and you. It’s this oxytocin flood through his body that also makes him very sleepy after sex. In the absence of regular oxytocin events like sex your husband will be emotionally disconnected from you. 

Sex is a huge part of a mans identity.

In more than 10 years of therapy I have yet to have a man sit on my couch and say “Josh, my wife only loves me for my penis. Sex, sex, sex, it’s all she wants. It’s like she doesn’t even care about me as a person. All I am to her is a walking penis.” Now maybe that guy exists, but I’ve not met him yet. I have, however, had many wives express the sentiment concerning their husbands – that they feel their husband isn’t interested in them as a person, only as a sex object. 

This idea is foreign to men, because their sexuality is very much integrated with their identity. While women experience their sexuality as largely separate from their personhood. For a man, to reject him sexually is a rejection of his personhood. 

Sometimes I illustrate this with a story about the best and worst anniversary card ever given. The story goes like this:

A husband decides to write his wife an anniversary card to express his undying love for her. It reads, “Darling, you are so beautiful and I find you so sexually un-resistible that if you were in a coma and we could never have another conversation but we could still have sex – I wouldn’t mind a bit, I’d keep you around so we could keep having sex.” 

How do you think that wife felt? How would you feel? Not very good probably. Quite possible the worst anniversary card ever, yes?

Now, take that same anniversary card and have a wife give it to her husband, “Darling, you are such a stud and I find you so sexually un-resistible that if you were in a coma I would keep your body around so I could keep having sex with you.”

You’re likely to hear this guy telling his friends around the locker room “You’re never going to believe what my wife said….it was the nicest thing she’s ever said to me…”

The reason for this is that men’s identity and sexuality are so integrated. To accept a man sexually is to accept him. To reject a man sexually is to reject him. Often times women will say this to their husband, thinking they are paying him a compliment: “Honey, I love you so much, appreciate you as dad, and enjoy being married to you – if we never had sex again, I would be OK with that, I just don’t need that part of our relationship – it’s you that are so precious to me.”

A man hearing this from his wife feels about the same as a wife feels hearing, “Honey, I love having sex with you so much, if we never have another meaningful conversation, if I never have to hear your voice again, but we can keep having great sex – I would be OK with that, I just don’t really need that whole conversation part of our relationship.”

Most wives would be crushed hearing this – husbands feel the same. Only, instead of expressing it in tears men tend to express hurt in the form of anger. They may blow up or just shut-down and withdraw from the relationship. 

It’s a big way he feels affirmed and accepted by you. 

Since a man’s sexuality is such a big part of his identity it’s also a significant way he feels affirmed and accepted by his wife. Words, acts of service, quality time, non-sexual physical touch, and sometimes gifts all matter – but none of these love languages replace a man’s longing to feel wanted sexually by his wife. Nothing says, “I love you, thank you, I think you’re great” to a man quite like “You’re a stud and I look forward to having sex with you.” 

The entire pornography and illicit sex industry is built on the exploitation of this powerful reality for men. Porn and illicit sex is never rejecting, always affirming, and always want’s you sexually. While this is a fantasy and no real woman could ever live up to this, it illustrates what they know about a mans heart. Every man want’s to be found sexually desirable by his wife and to feel accepted/affirmed sexually by her. 

Men and women are different by design. 

Men experience their sexuality differently than women. While this may be confusing to wives, it’s not because men are broken or defective – it’s how God made us. Believe it or not, the differences are actually complementary. 

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Top 10 Reasons Married Women Don’t Want Sex

Top 10 Reasons Married Women Don't Want Sex

Why Married Women Don’t Enjoy Sex

As a sex therapist I spend a lot of time with couples that are having difficulty in the sexual part of their relationship. Most of the couples I see are coming to me, at least in part, because the wife is not interested in connecting sexually as frequently as her husband (though 1 out of 5 times it’s the opposite). 
When I start assessing the situation I usually find a combination of the following 10 causes for low sexual desire in women. They are all generally related to violations of the pleasure principle. Fortunately, they can all be treated with a high degree of success. 

Pleasure Principle

All barriers to sexual desire for married women are usually related to the universal Pleasure Principle. The pleasure principle is simply this: We desire to engage that which we enjoy. We do not desire to engage what we do not enjoy. 
It’s because of the pleasure principle that I never have a deep burning desire to be poked in the eye. I don’t enjoy it, so I don’t crave it. Each of the barriers to a women’s sexual desire make sex not enjoyable for her. If it’s not enjoyable, why would a woman want it?
Side note: To help you understand these 10 reasons I need to define for you the 2 types of sexual arousal. The first is subjective arousal. This is the awareness or feeling of being horny / sexually aroused. The second is physical arousal this refers to the physiological changes that happen in the body as it becomes sexual aroused (dilation of the pupils, increased heart rate, blood filling the genitals, increased body temperature, perspiration, increased genital sensitivity). It is possible to have one kind of arousal without the other, and each can lead to the other.  

1. Fatigue

Men and women are different. One of the differences is in the way fatigue effects sexual arousal in women. Both men and women’s physical arousal is effected by fatigue, but women’s bodies are effected to a much greater degree. If a woman is exhausted physically, her body wont respond with physical arousal, which means she wont want or enjoy connecting sexually. If you don’t enjoy connecting sexually – you wont want to connect sexually. 

2. Hormone Cycle

A woman hits her sex hormone peak in late teens to mid-twenties. As this starts to trail off over time, there’s usually still a hormonal surge that happens 1-3 days a month right around ovulation. The body says “Hey, I’m about to drop an egg, go find your man so you can fertilize it.” 
It’s pretty normal for a mature married woman to only experience what we call initiating desire (ie. a spontaneous desire out of the blue) a few days a month during this hormonal surge. The rest of the month it is very normal for woman to connect sexually out of receptive desire. We’ll discuss these further in an article on overcoming the Hormone Cycle for better sex. 

3. Anorgasmia

An inability or difficulty achieving orgasm, that’s what Anorgasmia means. If you’re not experiencing sexual climax and release when you connect sexually, that significantly impacts the pleasurableness of the experience. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy sex at all or that it’s even normal to orgasm every time you connect sexually. Sexual frustration from a lack of release, however, does diminish the sexual experience- especially if it’s chronic. If unaddressed it will likely leave you feeling less and less interested in sex as time goes by.

4. Lack of Emotional Connection

Sex is an emotional experience. God designed sexual desire to lead a women into an emotionally intimate relationship and to enjoy sexual expression in the context of an emotionally safe and connected relationship- i.e. Marriage. If a women’s marriage doesn’t feel safe or if she doesn’t feel emotionally connected to her husband, she’s probably not going to feel a desire to be sexually vulnerable with him. 
Being disconnected doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bad relationship. Couples who love each other very much and our safe with each other can get emotionally disconnected just from the busyness of life getting in the way. If we’ve been to busy to nurture the relationship, then we’re probably emotionally disconnected. 
If we do have serious communication difficulties or breaches of trust in the relationship, it’s unlikely that we will ever have a healthy, passionate, sexual relationship until this is addressed. 

5. Physical Pain

Does anybody desire physical pain? If you do, you should probably see a counselor about that, it’s not healthy. If sex hurts, I mean really hurts not just a little rough in a playful way, you’re not ever going to desire it. Nor should you. In fact, if you “play through the pain” you can do serious long term damage to your sexual relationship by pairing pain with all things sexual and romantic in your brain. That pairing can even bleed into an association with your spouse in general, which can lead to resentment and loss of respect for your spouse. 

6. Trauma

If you have had negative emotional experiences associated with sexuality, this can significantly impact your sexual desire. Examples of sexual trauma that might impact your sexual desire include:
  • Feeling pressured by a boyfriend to have sex when you weren’t comfortable doing so. 
  • Being sexual in ways that left you feeling guilty or ashamed at an earlier time in your life. 
  • Having been touched or made to act in sexual ways as a kid that made you feel uncomfortable by friends, siblings, baby-sitters, a parent, or another adult.
  • Sexual experiences that have been painful physically or emotionally. 
  • Being forced to engage sexually when you didn’t want to by any one, including your spouse. 
  • Exposures to pornographic material as a kid. 

7. Fear of Pregnancy

If you really don’t want to become pregnant sometimes the fear of becoming pregnant can get in the way of desire. This can be true even if you are taking steps to prevent pregnancy. 
8. Body Self-Consciousness
Feeling attractive / sexy is an important driver for a women’s sexual desire. If you don’t feel sexy, you’re probably going to have difficulty desiring to engage sexually. This is different than men, who are more driven by how attractive they find their spouse then how attractive they think they themselves are. 
If you feel uncomfortable with your body or believe it is unattractive this is going to get in the way of you wanting to be naked with your spouse. This can also take the form of you lacking confidence in engaging sexually. If you are afraid your attempts at being sexy will come off as awkward and embarrassing, you are more likely to avoid sexual encounters. 

9. Sexy = Dirty

Growing up we can sometimes receive the message that sexual desire is lust and only whores / prostitutes want sex. This belief that sex is slutty / dirty and that you are bad for having sexual feelings, especially as a single person, leads us  to feel bad about the sexual part of ourself. Pleasing God and being horny are seen to be incompatible. 
This is especially true for those who grew up in a very religious home. Sometimes the message that “sex is holy” is interpreted to mean that sexy feelings or the desire to engage sexually any way other than “missionary style” is a sinful corruption of God’s design for sex. 
What follows is feeling bad about yourself any time you experience sexual feelings. So you learn to shut down your sexual feelings. This tends to get in the way of desire for sex.

10. Busyness

Work, kids, church, groceries, dinner, laundry, Bible study, small group, friends, family, Facebook….sleep. Who has time or energy for sex? Even on vacation we’re running from one activity to the next. Finding time or mental focus for romance is harder than it sounds. 

You’re Not Alone and There is Help.

If you find yourself in any of these bullet points, you’re not alone. There is a reason they are on a top 10 list – because they’re common. They’re also treatable. Many people just like you have struggled with these things getting in the way of their sex life. As sex therapists, we know how to trouble shoot your difficulties and help you with a plan to overcome them. 
Stay tuned for upcoming articles on how to overcome each of these common reasons for low sexual desire. 
Curious why sexual desire seems to change for a woman after marriage? Check out this article: Why Women’s Sex Drive Declines After Marriage

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Why Women’s Sex Drive Declines After Marriage

why womens sex drive declines after marriage

Why don’t I want sex anymore?

I used to get horny. Before marriage or early in our relationship I would think about sex and want sexual touch / intimacy. Sometime after marriage or the relationship settling-in that seemed to decrease and now is maybe a fleeting thought once a month or so if ever. Why is that?

Where did the horny go?

Early in a relationship there are a variety of circumstances that can supercharge a woman’s sexual arousal. 

Youthful hormones

Women hit their sex hormone peak in their late teens to mid-twenties. This hormonal high water mark serves to intensify the frequency of sexual thoughts and drive. 

Feeling Sexy

Female sexual desire is closely related to how sexy a woman feels. It’s likely as a single woman you were more intentional about exercise, fashion, underwear selection, make-up, and flirty behavior as you thought more about impressing the opposite sex. These things made you feel sexy, which in turn increased your sexual arousal. 

More Time

As a single person you generally have more time to focus on the things that make you feel sexy and to take care of yourself in ways that counteract stress and fatigue. The additional confidence and energy you have as a result gives your body what it needs to experience arousal. 

Relationship Excitement

Being love drunk in a new relationship is super exciting. The intense amount of time you spend thinking about and connecting with your new love means a high degree of emotional connectedness. The excitement of the new also creates a surge of adrenaline when around your love that mixes with sex hormones to electrify your body.  It’s also likely that your partners is more attentive to you during this time , which fuels the fire.

Married Life

Once settled into married life, especially after children come along, many of these things change. Our sex hormones begin to decline, we become less focused on impressing our man, our body changes with age and pregnancies, we’re increasingly busy, and nurturing our relationship can move to the back burner. The arousal superchargers for single women can also hide underlying sexual problems that are bound to appear once the hormonal high tide recedes. All of these are contributors to reasons why married women don’t want sex. 

Keep the Fire Alive

What once came effortlessly takes intentional focus to sustain across a lifetime. As you and your relationship mature you’ll need to address common barriers to sexual desire that most women face. They can definitely be addressed, but they probably wont fix themselves. 
Learn more with this article: Top 10 Reasons Married Women Don’t Want Sex

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What is Christian Sex Therapy?

Let’s start with what sex therapy is not. Throw out of your mind anything you ever learned about sex therapy from TV, the movies, or the guy who knows a guy who went to sex therapy with his wife. Sex therapy is not about hyper-sexo-maniacs and the latest greatest sexual technique from the revised edition of the kama-sutra.

Sex therapy helps individuals and couples enhance sexual fulfillment and/or resolve sexual conflicts and problems. Solutions can vary from simple education to more extensive counseling around complex or longstanding issues. Strategies are tailored to the goals of the individual or couples seeking help. Sex therapy maintains ethical boundaries and is sensitive to the personal values of the client. Techniques include relationship and intimacy enhancement, strategic reading, specific behavioral interventions, therapy groups and referral/consultation with other professionals. Sex therapy can be a catalyst for healing and enrichment in the crucial sexual component of intimate relationships.

It’s about learning to enjoy, be comfortable with, and feel good about the sexual part of your life. The truth about sex is that it is God’s idea and He wants us to know how to enjoy His good gift best. God wants us to be free from hurt, disappointment, guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy so that we can be free to enjoy His gift of sexuality.

Sex therapy is for normal people struggling in the sexual part of their life. It’s about helping people who experience…

Could you benefit from Sex Therapy?

  • Lack of Sexual Fulfillment – are you just not enjoying sex or are you having difficulty experiencing orgasm?
  • Pain from Sex – is sex painful for you either physically or emotionally?
  • Feelings of Inadequacy – do you feel inept or not good enough as a lover?
  • Pornography or Sexual Addiction – do you struggle with using pornography or acting out sexually in ways that you’re ashamed of?
  • Sexual Abuse, Trauma, or Rape – do you have emotional wounds from being mistreated or exploited sexually?
  • Same-Sex Attractions – do you experience distressing same-sex attractions, question your gender, or wonder if you might be “homosexual” or “gay”?

There are many reasons why normal people can use some help in the sexual part of their lives. Don’t let fear or embarrassment keep you from getting help and learning to enjoy God’s gift of sexuality to you.


So why Christian sex therapy?

Christian sex therapy makes sense because sex is God’s idea. God created humans, and He created them as sexual creatures. He knows how our sexuality is meant to be and how it’s enjoyed most. God wants us to be at peace with our sexuality and enjoy it to it’s fullest potential.

While God created our sexuality to be something wonderful and reflective of Him, it can be the source of unbelievable pain. When God’s gift is violated or distorted by personal choices or at the hands of others, the results are hurt, shame, and loss of relationship. Sexual consequences, injuries, and struggles can be devastating. Yet, there is hope.

God is redemptive. This means our God wants to bring healing to the hurting and broken places in our life, including our sexuality. The counselors at MyCounselor integrate the Truth of God’s word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, with the best of information the professional sex therapy field has to offer. The result is Biblically Christian professional sex therapy to help you experience peace, healing and satisfaction in the sexual part of your life.

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How to Make Your Wife Cry | a Christian Man’s Guide to Sex

Sex is God’s idea, true enough. Most of us, however, did not get a very good education about sex from the church or our dad’s for that matter. Our ideas about sex came from every where but the Bible. We were lead to believe that sex was great fun, but like all things that are great fun were also dirty, nasty, sinful, and wrong. Which makes you wonder why we are supposed to save it for the one we love.

If sex is so great and it’s God’s idea, why are Christians so quiet on the matter?

This article is far from comprehensive, but it’s a good start to a quality, accurate, and Biblical guide to sex for Christian Men. The resources referenced go into a lot more detail and I highly recommend you pick up a copy. I don’t care how old you are, you’ll learn something and it will make your love life better (even if it’s already great).

(You have to watch/listen to the video to get the title.)

Things for a man to consider about sex:

  1. Competing, achieving, arriving, scoring, hunting, and winning are natural inclinations for men. Sex is not about conquering, achieving, or scoring; sex is about relating.
  2. Love, passion, and intimacy are not about winning or losing; they’re about how you play the game.
  3. Sex doesn’t just happen; you make it happen.
  4. Men connect and feel loved through sex; women desire sex as the consequence of feeling loved and connected.
  5. A wife is validated by her husband’s sexual interest if that is expressed through connection and affirmation rather than pursuit or expression of need.
  6. The combination of male constancy and ever-changing, complex femininity is the key to keeping sex alive in marriage.
  7. Couples who connect physically daily will have more frequent and more enjoyable sex.
  8. Time allotment formula for a successful marriage: 15 minutes per day + 1 evening per week + 1 day per month + 1 weekend per quarter= successful marriage
  9. Since a man’s need for connection is not felt like a woman’s, go her way. Accept your wife’s greater need for nurturing.
  10. When you genuinely attend to your wife, her heart will open to you, and her sexual attraction to you will increase.
  11. Sexually, a woman has both more complex body parts and more complex bodily responses.
  12. For a woman, both physical arousal and emotional readiness are necessary for her to proceed to intercourse and orgasm
  13. You both win when she learns to listen to her body and go after what she needs.

    Formula: The husband adores his wife, his affirmation ignites her passion, and she invites him sexually.

  14. KEY CONCEPT: Keep your pace lagging behind your wife’s pace in both activity and intensity.
  15. You can never know whether what worked last time will work this time.
  16. Marriage is a license to freedom without demand; marriage is not a license to possess and control.
  17. When you’re mentally outside looking in as you play in the game of sex, you will loose.
  18. The secret to stop spectatoring: Remove all demands for response and focus on the enjoyment of your bodies.
  19. Whenever sex becomes goal oriented, the body’s response will be affected negatively, and enjoyment will be stifled.

Cliff Penner, Ph.D. and Joyce Penner, M.N., R.N. (Penner & Penner) are some of the most trusted experts in Christian Sex Therapy. Many of the concepts in this article can be found and expounded on in Cliff’s book The Married Guy’s Guide to Great Sex.

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Wives Sexual Desire | What you need to know.

Wives Sexual Desire | What you need to know

Parts of this article were written by Rick Reynolds, LCSW and appeared first as Recovering from infidelity: Difficulties with Intimacy

Wives sexual desire is a subject misunderstood by nearly all men and most women. 

In recent years, one of the hottest topics in sexology has been female sexual desire disorders. For the past four decades, women have been pathologized for not being like men. For instance, according to University of British Columbia psychiatrist Rosemary Basson, “sexual difficulties are particularly prevalent among women seeking routine gynecological care.2 In population surveys, some 30%–35% of women aged 18–70 have reported a lack of sexual desire during the previous 1–12 months.3,4”

The traditional assumption for both men and women has been that desire precedes sexual arousal. Therefore, if a woman is no longer experiencing desire, it is assumed that she now has some sort of sexual hang up or disorder. While this may be true for men, research in the past 10 years reveals a different pattern for women.

Men tend to be more like a loaded gun ready to fire. All that’s needed is someone to pull on the trigger. A man’s libido acts as a drive similar to hunger or thirst. For the past hundred years, sex professionals have assumed that a woman’s libido was at least similar, and that if a woman didn’t feel desire something had to be wrong.

Contributing to the problem are the messages delivered through media. Women are sexually portrayed in books, movies, articles, and even in church circles as men in female form. This mistaken belief concerning female arousal and response patterns has left generations of men and women believing something that’s false. Hardly a day goes by that some couple doesn’t come in to my office arguing about the wife’s lack of sexual desire. This leaves women feeling that they are somehow flawed because they don’t share the same sexual interest as their husband.

But what if desire does not precede arousal?

That is exactly what Basson discovered after interviewing hundreds of women. Contrary to the conventional model, for many women desire is not the cause of lovemaking, but rather the result. Basson’s research revealed that women often begin sexual experiences feeling sexually neutral. But as things heat up, so do they – and eventually desire is experienced.

This explains why Viagra doesn’t work for women, and why sex-boosting supplements are only minimally successful. Products that change the physiology of sexual arousal do not affect desire. At best, they can only increase blood flow into the genitals. It’s easy for men to be aware of increased blood flow because erections are hard to miss. From there it’s only a short step in a man’s mind from erection to the assumption that they have desire. Women, on the other hand, are often unaware of gentle blood engorgement, and even when they are aware of it they frequently report no feelings of arousal.

If women don’t experience a sense of desire, as most men know it, then most guys might wonder why a woman would even want to be sexual. According to research, women tend to be sexual for reasons that affirm their relationships, but their reasons are not inherently sexual. These might include wanting to please their lover, a desire to feel close, to prevent strife, to reconnect after a fight, or because they feel a responsibility. Research supports the old adage that men become intimate to have sex and women have sex to become intimate.

The critical question becomes not how do you ignite a woman’s desire for sex, but instead, what kind of interaction arouses women sufficiently to enable them to experience desire?

The types of interaction that fuel desires in women are playful, leisurely, sensual (lovemaking based on whole body massage that can include genitals but certainly is not focused on them). In surveys, the primary complaints of women are about interactions with their husbands which are non-sensual, too rushed, too focused on breasts and genitals, and too quickly plunged into intercourse. Rushed lovemaking fails to give women the time most need to respond to become aroused enough to experience desire.

Further complicating the issue is the culture created by Viagra. Men mistakenly believe they are sexually aroused when they have an erection. Therefore taking Viagra and having an erection means they’re good to go. However, erections have nothing to do with psychological arousal. Any erectile medication can give a physical erection, but does it create an excitement to be with your mate and to experience the wonder of who they are? Far too often a man’s genitals on Viagra will be at 100%, but his psychological arousal remains at 10 or 20 percent. Once the erection is in place, he proceeds on to intercourse, skipping the steps which would create psychological arousal for both himself and his wife. This creates a growing sense of dissatisfaction for the woman since she is not experiencing the necessary relational interactions and arousal to make the experience pleasurable for her.

Research shows that many women do experience spontaneous desire and interest when they’re involved in a new relationship or when coming back together after long-term separation from their partner, but it also indicates that most women in long-term relationships rarely think about sex or experience spontaneous sexual desire. Therefore, women seem to operate more out of a point of sexual neutrality–where she is receptive to being sexual, but does not initiate sexual activity. Many women report that the goal of sexual activity is not necessarily orgasm but rather personal satisfaction, which is then experienced as physical satisfaction (orgasm) and/or emotional satisfaction (the feeling of closeness and connection with a partner).

There is not something necessarily wrong if a woman is not experiencing the same desire and arousal patterns as a man. Men and women are not the same.

Women need to quit being so hard on themselves if they don’t experience the same desire as their husbands. And men need to quit thinking there must be something wrong with their wife if she doesn’t experience sexual desire as he does.

If men or women experience a lack of desire in a marital relationship. Multiple factors need to be explored: The following is a list of factors from Rosemary Basson’s article.

Women’s sexual dysfunction: revised and expanded definitions

Interpersonal and contextual factors

In a recent national probability sample of American women 20–65 years of age, their emotional relationship with the partner during sexual activity and general emotional well-being were the 2 strongest predictors of absence of distress about sex. Women who defined themselves (using standard psychological instruments) to be in good mental health were much less likely than women with lower self-rated mental health to report distress about their sexual relationship (odds ratio 0.41, 95% confidence interval 0.29– 0.59). The healthier women were therefore 59% less likely to report distress about their sexual relationship. Feeling emotionally close to their partner during sexual activity decreased the odds of “slight distress” by 33% relative to “no distress,” and “marked distress” by 43%; in other words, the stronger the emotional intimacy with the partner, the less distress. Other contextual factors reported to reduce arousability included concerns about safety (risks of unwanted pregnancy and STDs, for example, or emotional or physical safety), appropriateness or privacy, or simply that the situation is insufficiently erotic, too hurried, or too late in the day.

Personal psychological factors

Frequently a woman’s arousal is precluded by the nonsexual distractions of daily life, but also sometimes by sexual distractions (e.g., worry about not becoming sufficiently aroused, reaching orgasm, a male partner’s delayed or premature ejaculation or a female partner’s lack of orgasm). Empirical studies have shown a high correlation of desire complaints with measures of low self-image, mood instability and tendency toward worry and anxiety (without meeting the clinical definition of a mood disorder). Differences between a group of 46 consecutive women with a diagnosis of desire disorder without clinical depression and a control group of 100 healthy women were significant for 6 out of 8 scales in the Narcissism Inventory (a standardized self-administered instrument). The scales indicated that the women with desire disorder had self-esteem that was weak or even fragile, emotional instability, anxiety and neuroticism. Sexual arousal and orgasm, especially in a partner’s presence, necessitates a certain degree of vulnerability, which is impossible for some women who cannot tolerate feelings of loss of control generally, and loss of control specifically of their body’s reactions.

Further inhibiting psychological factors include memories of past negative sexual experiences, including those that have been coercive or abusive, and expectations of negative outcomes to the sexual experience (e.g., from dyspareunia or partner sexual dysfunction).

Biological factors

The biological and pathophysiological underpinnings of normal and abnormal female sexual response are only recently receiving attention. Most of the basic science and animal experiments in this area are beyond the scope of this review. Some promising attempts are noted, however, in part because they relate attempts to ameliorate sexual dysfunction by means of off-label use of available drugs and to avoid the negative sexual side-effects of medications such as antidepressants.

Depression is strongly associated with reduced sexual function. Of 79 women with major depression surveyed before treatment with medication, 50% reported decreased sex drive; 50%, more difficulty obtaining vaginal lubrication; and 50%, far less sexual arousal when engaging in sex. Only 50% had been sexually active during the previous month. In addition, sexual dysfunction can constitute an adverse event of antidepressant use, especially among patients who had low levels of sexual enjoyment before the onset of their depression. When patients are specifically asked about sexual side-effects, they are acknowledged by as many as 70%.

Sexual dysfunction is also a common side-effect of treatment with antidepressants. Among women being treated, it has been found to be more common in those who are older, married, without postsecondary education, without full-time work, or taking concomitant medication (any type); those who have a comorbid illness that might affect sexual functioning, or a history of antidepressant- associated sexual dysfunction; those who deem sexual function unimportant; and those whose previous sexual engagements had afforded little pleasure.

Currently under scrutiny is the role of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in influencing sex hormone receptors and how the neurotransmitters are, in turn, influenced by sex hormones. Estrogenized female animals change their sexual behaviour when administered progesterone; studies have shown that the same changes can result from dopamine or the presence of a male animal. Among 75 non-depressed women with a DSM-IV diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire disorder who received bupropion (a dopaminergic drug; average dose 389 mg/ d) or placebo, improvements in pleasure, arousal and orgasm were statistically significant for those administered the active drug. Interestingly, these changes were unaccompanied by increased desire.

Testosterone itself is being investigated as to its role in sexual function and dysfunction. About half of daily testosterone production in women is from the ovary. Some women with sudden loss of all ovarian production of androgens lose their sexual arousability. Supplementation to high physiological (as opposed to pharmacologically evident) levels of testosterone recently has led to increased arousability and more intense orgasmic experiences, but not to increased sexual thinking, fantasizing or spontaneous desire. Of 75 surgically menopausal women aged 31–56 participating in a randomized clinical trial of testosterone versus placebo, those given testosterone (300 μg transdermally) in addition to estrogen reported increased frequency of sexual activity, sexual pleasure and intensity of orgasm. So, reminiscent of the animal model, supplementation with a dopaminergic drug or testosterone can increase some women’s sexual arousability; but so too, as in the animal model, can environmental change (a new partner).

This may be far more information than you wanted, but I hope it helps you begin to understand the complexity of this issue.


Basson R. Female sexual response: the role of drugs in the management of sexual dysfunction. Obstet Gynecol 2001;98:350-353.

Basson, R. Women’s sexual dysfunction: revised and expanded definitions. CMAJ, 2005; 172:1267.

Whipple B, Brash-McGreer K. Management of female sexual dysfunction. In: Sipski ML, Alexander CJ, eds. Sexual Function in People with Disability and Chronic Illness. A Health Professional’s Guide. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.; 1997, pp 509-534.

Parts of this article were written by Rick Reynolds, LCSW and appeared first as Recovering from infidelity: Difficulties with Intimacy

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Tips for Successful Marriage Counseling

Given the big investment marriage counseling is, it makes sense to make the most of it. Here are some practical thoughts that will help you maximize your marriage counseling experience.

Don’t under estimate the damage.

Your marriage didn’t get where it’s at in a day, and it’s not going to get back on track overnight. It’s going to take time and work.

Don’t over estimate the damage.

There is hope even for the most severely damaged relationship. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you don’t know how to make things better. Keep your heart and mind open. Let your counselor help you discover the path to healing you’ve been unable to find on your own.

Come ready to work.

Marriage counseling is hard work. Your counselor does not have a magic wand that will fix your problems nor can he or she solve your problems for you. Your counselor can help you know what to do, but it’s up to you to do it.

Take responsibility.

Nobody can work on your stuff but you. If you’re not willing to make changes things probably aren’t going to change, no matter how much counseling you receive or how many books you read.

Understand the power of one.

The truth is you can’t change your spouse. Neither can your counselor. However, you can make changes in yourself that will influence your situation / relationships for the better. Your counselor can help you with that kind of change.

Don’t give up.

You cannot be defeated if you do not quit. Listen, the saying is true “the night is darkest just before the dawn.” Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better; this is normal. Expect things your counselor says to make you uncomfortable at first. Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for us to have the life we want.

Marriage is tough. No successful marriage exists without times of hardship and struggle. Yet, if these problems are left untreated they can lead to divorce or a legal marriage with a dead relationship.

Common Marriage Problems

communication problems dependency issues | financial stress | broken trust | emotional neglect | addictive behavior | emotion or physical abuse | separation | boredom | emotional infidelity | silent treatments | lack of fulfilling sex | midlife crisis | lack of appreciation | stubborn spouses | lack of affection


The truth is these problems do have the potential to destroy a relationship. However, they can also serve as a catalyst to get help, which in time can make the relationship healthier, stronger, and more satisfying than you ever could have imagined.

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