Recently, we let all of you wonderful people ask us any questions you had that you wanted answers for from Dan. Here are the questions asked from you in August, and the answers from our amazing founders Dan and Emily!
Question: I always feel like running away from relationships, at every little issue. Am I the problem?
Thanks for asking this. You may require a more thorough answer to this than what I can provide here. In short, we learn how to deal with stress in relationships from our families while growing up. Looking back, do you recognize patterns where you saw withdrawing or creating distance was the norm for handling stress in relationships as a child? This is probably your default “programming” in your brain (using a software analogy).
The cool thing about being an adult is that you get to rewrite your software if you want to. You can think hard about how you want to respond next time you’re feeling triggered. Some cases may require professional help though, so I recommend finding a great counsellor to help you through this if you still feel stuck! It can definitely improve the quality of your life and give you more happiness and satisfaction from your relationships by learning how to deal with issues better.
Question: What are the best positions for female orgasm?
Answer: The best position is the position that works for you! I recommend experimenting with different positions, angles, and methods until you find a few that feel great! Part of the fun is discovering and exploring what feels great.
If you want a more practical answer, the Intimately Us app has a ton of ideas of things you can try, such as: woman on top, shifting your hips upwards during intercourse to change the type of stimulation, and so on.
And please don’t forget about foreplay: sex is best when you feel connected and close to the special person you’re with. Don’t forget to kiss, laugh, look into each other’s eyes, and build up the arousal. Those things may be just as important as finding the position that works for you.
Question: How to get rid of feelings of resentment towards my husband and how to reignite the spark?
Answer: Resentment happens in relationships for one of two reasons: you’re giving in to something that you don’t fully agree with, or this is an opportunity for personal growth. Feelings of resentment are helpful if you look at it the right way: they’re like a check engine light. It’s your emotions telling you something isn’t quite right and it’s time to pull over and get under the hood to figure out what’s really going wrong so that you can address it.
I don’t think you’ll be able to reignite the spark very well if you keep ignoring the “resentment alarm.” It might help if you spend time pondering what it is that you’re giving into that you don’t agree with. Or talk to a trusted friend about it. And best of all, talk to your husband about what you’re feeling.
One final caution: some people hold on to feelings of resentment far too long, even after the issue has been addressed. Have the wisdom to know when it’s ok to let feelings go so that you can enjoy a passionate marriage.
Question: How do you tell your partner you have sexual needs when those needs continually don’t get met?
Answer: I think one of the traps many married couples fall into is the idea that the other person is responsible for taking care of your sexual needs. I can see why this makes sense: you’re now in a committed relationship and agree not to have sex with anyone else. So by default, he or she should be eager to have sex with you on your terms when you want it.
The issue is when you make your sexual needs their duty to fulfill. Nothing is so unsexy and antithetical to passion and desire than the idea that you have a chore to fulfill another person’s sexual “needs.”
The solution is to work hard to create a relationship where you both feel like you have a choice in the matter of how much sex and what kind of sex you can both enjoy. Sometimes you’ll get your way, and sometimes you won’t. There’s going to be some give and take and sacrifice made on both sides to have a great marriage. But don’t tell your spouse it’s his or her duty to fulfill your sexual needs unless you’re ok with killing the passion in your marriage.
Question: How to keep the spark alive with medication that lowers libido (for us both)?
Answer: Some medications do affect libido. You can talk to your doctor about the issue. Sometimes there are alternative medications that won’t mess with your libido as much. Another idea is make sure you’re taking care of other basic health needs, as sleep, diet, and exercise affect libido as well. And see if you can discover other ways you can connect that are also pleasurable, such as a good make-out session.
Question: My husband pushes my boundaries a lot even when I say I don’t want to and tries to get me to do something I don’t want to do. How do I get him to just take no as a no and not to try to convince me otherwise?
Answer: He’ll need to realize that if he wants to have a passionate marriage with you, he’s got to respect your sexual agency. Sexual agency is where you choose what, how, and how much sex you want. You own your choice, the consequences of your choice, and you respect your spouse’s choice too. If he’s pressuring you to do something you don’t want to do, he’s using a tactic to wear you down so that you “give in,” but this “giving in” comes at a cost: he’ll end up with a resentful wife and other things antithetical to a passionate relationship.
This is where setting boundaries comes in. Boundaries are wonderful because they allow you to love another person while also respecting yourself. The best boundaries are where you clearly state them in terms of what you’ll do, not telling others what to do. You don’t need to be mean about it. An example might be, “When you keep pushing it on me after I said no, it makes me want to engage with you less and less. I don’t feel respected. Next time you push it after I said no, I’m going to go to sleep in another room for the night” or wherever you feel is right to keep your sense of self respect intact.
Question: How do you push aside disagreements and not allow it to interfere with intimacy?
Answer: Are they small disagreements or large disagreements that need to be addressed? If they’re large disagreements, you’re going to have a hard time feeling passionate until you’ve addressed the issue and have come to peace about it. Beware that sometimes you may be holding on to emotions that just need to be let go as well. Sometimes taking quiet time alone to process emotions is needed. Journaling, meditation, talking it out with a trusted friend, etc. can help.
If they’re small disagreements that are interfering with intimacy, one idea is to think about things you like and adore about your spouse. You can use the Intimately Us app to guide you in this thinking, there’s a tool for it under the Dream section.
Another idea is to imagine if you knew today was the last day you’d be with him or her, how would you treat them differently? My wife and I watched a movie once where the main character’s wife, who he absolutely adored, died suddenly. The thought that I could lose my wife any moment changed the way I viewed our small disagreements that got in the way of intimacy. I held her closer than ever that night after watching that movie!
Question: What to do if your spouse isn’t into adventurous locations and you are?
You may not like my answer here, but you do need to respect his or her sexual agency. You might think it’s not fair, or his or her reasons aren’t logical, or think you’re sexually superior or more mature than him or her, but those thoughts aren’t going to lead you to a passionate marriage relationship.
So what do you do? Talk about it. Express your desire as a request, but not as a demand that will kill passion.
One skill that might help here is to learn the difference between requests and demands. Requests are when you claim a desire. The intent is to communicate who you are, and let the other person decide if they want to do it or not. Demands on the other hand are when you hold your spouse emotionally hostage for not being excited about the same things you are. This is when you’re not good at handling disappointment on your own so you want to blame your spouse so that they do all the changing rather than you, so that you can feel better about yourself and your situation.
Question: If your partner is grossed out about oral sex do you try to learn more or ignore it?
You’re not alone here. Many individuals struggle with the idea of oral sex for various reasons. Remember that everyone has their sexual agency and honoring it is really important, even if that’s hard to hear!
I recommend becoming curious. Curiosity is the opposite of being judgmental. Find out why he or she finds it gross, and listen. Sometimes your spouse may not know that there are many products on the market designed to make oral sex more pleasant for the giver. For men there’s vagina melts (like a flavored lube), dental dams, and other tricks such as shaving or trimming. For women there’s flavored lubes and condoms for instance too.
But if they won’t go for a product to help them overcome the gross factor, shaming them or guilting them into doing it won’t lead to a passionate marriage. Also, be careful to stop comparing yourself to other couples that report enjoying oral sex and wishing your situation were different because the comparison will always make you feel worse about your marriage.
Question: Getting married in 18 days. How do I lessen the nerves of the wedding night? (virgin)
Answer: Congratulations!! And way to go waiting until marriage for sexual intimacy! Here are three ideas:
1. Talk to your soon-to-be spouse about the fact that you’re nervous about sex, and discuss expectations and wishes. Talk about how you want your wedding night and honeymoon to go.
2. Relax! Any new experience is going to be scary the first time, right? Lean in and enjoy this beautiful moment.
3. Take it slow. You have a whole lifetime to get sex right. Be patient with each other and get good at talking about sexual things together.
Bonus tip: tell your spouse how beautiful or handsome they are. Compliment them on their good looking body parts. This is a vulnerable time for both so some sincere validation can go a long way!!!
Question: Delayed ejaculation tips?
Answer: The Intimately Us app has a section all about delayed ejaculation as well as other common male sexual dysfunctions. With any dysfunction, the root of the issue usually falls into one or more of these three categories: physical issues, psychological issues, and relationship issues.
Question: What is the difference between masturbation and self exploration?
Answer: I’m so glad you asked! In my opinion there’s a big difference between self exploring and masturbation, and it has to do with your intentions. Although you’re still touching yourself for pleasure, exploration is done to enhance partnered sex by learning what feels good and what type of touch can lead to orgasm. The goal is to explore better sexual experiences, as sexual pleasure is a learned behavior. You can do this alone or with your spouse.
On the other hand (no pun intended) masturbation could become an escape from the relationship or a way to turn your sexuality away from your spouse and get in the way of intimacy.
Question: Why is it frowned upon to read a sexy romance novel but talking sexy to your spouse isn’t?
Answer: The nice thing about sexual agency is you get to decide what works for you. If a steamy romance novel is good for your relationship, then go for it.
Question: I’ve struggled with painful sex my whole marriage. Aside from the PT I’ve had, how do I get past the resulting mental block and learn to enjoy sex?
We have an upcoming podcast episode on this topic. This may not be a simple overnight solution. Take it slow, enjoy what you have, and spend more time on foreplay. Use this as a stepping stone for deeper intimacy rather than a stumbling block.
Question: What do you do when your spouse isn’t interested in sex? How do you overcome a spouse who is always tired and only in the mood a few times a month?
You might feel like you’re doing all the right things and he or she still isn’t interested. You might feel like you’re white-knuckling through it. There’s probably several valid reasons why your spouse isn’t very interested in sex.
My short answer is to understand better how sexual desire works. You don’t get more desire out of a person by demanding more sex or by pressuring your spouse to desire you more. Here are three thoughts:
1. Stop focusing on frequency and who’s initiating. Putting too much emphasis on a weekly quota or “fairness” with initiating turns sex into a chore, or a to-do list item that you’re obligated to do. There’s no freedom and no feeling of choice in that arrangement, and it’s not sustainable. It’ll kill passion.
2. Understand that often desire doesn’t just materialize out of nowhere for your spouse like it does for you. There needs to be some arousal first. Like mornings when you don’t feel like working out but you do it anyway, you start by deciding to do it and letting your body go through the motions, knowing that desire will often catch up.
3. Figure out the obstacles that get in the way of desire and remove those. For instance, blaming your spouse or thinking that they’re broken somehow are common obstacles for intimacy.
In the end, working together closely as an intimate team requires work, sacrifice, dedication, patience, and a bit of discomfort for growth’s sake. Keep at it and you’ll find more desire and satisfaction in your marriage.
Thank you all for asking your questions! We loved hearing from you, and hope this Q&A will help you through questions you may have in your marriage.
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