A satisfying sex life should be the pursuit for most married couples. Outside of extenuating circumstances, intimacy is integral to a strong marriage. When couples foolishly ignore sex pretending as though it doesn’t matter or believing there is nothing they can do to change it, their apathy puts them on a dangerous path of failure. (See: Intimacy is Far More than Sex)
While marriage is much more than sex, we can’t deny the central role sex should play within the marital relationship. It, as much as anything, distinguishes the uniqueness of the marriage partnership from every other relationship.
Couples who desire a healthy marriage should regularly ask the question, “Do we have a satisfying sex life?” Here are 7 characteristics to help you answer that question:
1. You Laugh A Lot. There is a direct correlation between sexual satisfaction and laughter. When a couple has the ability to laugh with each other, they are more likely to be able to connect in intimate ways. An absence of laughter is symptomatic of greater problems which will hinder the sexual connection. The most effective way outside of the bedroom by which you can positively influence your sex life is by finding ways to laugh more with (not at) one another.
2. You Like Sex. From a Christian perspective, sex was created by God for marriage. It’s a gift that is good. While there are many reasons sex can be seen as bad, when a couple has a positive perspective about it, their satisfaction increases. If a negative attitude is present, that should be explored with a counselor. It could be a sign there is a problem in the relationship, a past experience which is hindering a proper perspective, or a false teaching which is leading a person astray. Sex should be enjoyed within God-given boundaries, but within those boundaries there should be no shame of the enjoyment.
3. You Talk About It. No one naturally experiences consistently satisfying sex. It takes time, practice, and communication. When a couple is able to discuss sex without making it or taking it personal, they have a much greater chance of having a satisfying experience. The simple vulnerability of talking about sex not only empowers your partner to understand you but also shows you are making an effort to improve the experience. If you can talk about it, you can improve it. If you can’t talk about it, things will never get better.
4. Both Partners Initiate. Sex should not continually be one-sided. While sex drives will differ and seasons will change, nourishing a satisfying sex life is the responsibility of both partners. This requires both spouses to take initiative and show interest in sex. When one partner is continually responsible for initiating sex, the relationship is out of balance. When both partners engage, satisfaction increases. (See Shelia Gregoire’s “How to Initiate Sex With Your Husband“)
5. You Can Give and Take Correction. Sex is deeply personal. There are few things in marriage which cut to the heart as quickly as the sexual act. Because of this, giving and taking correction can be difficult. However, the better a couple can do both, the better sex will be. If you don’t regularly tell your partner what gave pleasure and what caused discomfort, there is no way for them to know. A good lover isn’t one who just instinctively understands their partner, a good lover is one who can easily give and receive instructions on how to make the experience better. If you are too shy to tell or too defensive to hear, your sex life will suffer. If you can speak and listen, you will be pleased.
6. You Don’t Overemphasize One Experience. Few things reveal if you are having enough sex like one bad sexual experience. If one experience doesn’t happen or goes bad and it causes a great frustration, you are likely not having enough sex. A healthy couple is focused on the long-term. What’s one experience over a 50-year love affair? When you overemphasize one night, it’s evidence something else is wrong.
7. You Have Dealt With Your Past (or anything which gets in the way). Past abuse, hurt, frustration, or bad teaching can greatly hinder a healthy sex life. Husbands and wives should show a great deal of compassion and tenderness when their spouse has experienced past hurt. But the hurting spouse also must value the importance of sex in marriage enough to seek healing from that past. Both individuals must be willing to get professional help with any issue which might hinder the sexual experience. (See: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines)
While it is easy to focus on the negative, and weaknesses should be strengthened, consider which of these areas are your strength. Which of the seven do you believe is your best characteristic? How can you build on that strength? Of the remaining six, which would be the easiest to improve? Are there some small steps you can take to make things better? Of the remaining five, which is the biggest hindrance to your sex life? Can you fix it on your own or do you need to seek professional help?
A satisfying sex life is more attainable than many people realize. Seek it within the proper boundaries and you will likely find it.
What would you add as an 8th sign of a satisfying sex life?