Good Vibrations?

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Vibrators is a topic that raises red flags in church and yet the Bible does not specifically address them. They are another gray area, where we are called to discern with our spouse whether it is something good for our marriage bed. It boils down to the question:

“Will using a vibrator create intimacy in our marriage?”

Vibrators are certainly becoming more and more mainstream. They are available on drugstore shelves next to the condoms or in an even greater variety on websites. Simply put, women buy vibrators because they work. Vibrators produce a strong physical stimulation that makes the likelihood of orgasm for women higher – which can be a great thing.

However, we need to be a little careful about always using vibrators just because they work. Sex is not just physical – it is about emotional connection, communication, using our words to create arousal, and tapping into creativity to express ourselves and turn each other on. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we missing out on stretching in other ways of knowing each other?” Defaulting to an easy route to the finish line can short change us and our spouse.

I am not against vibrators. There are many cases where a vibrator can be an amazing tool, but we need to constantly ask ourselves,

“Are we creating intimacy?”

So I am going to share some examples where a vibrator might create intimacy or might not create intimacy.

Discovering Orgasm 

I will never forget reading the story of a wife that had faithfully served her husband for over 10 years without enjoying the pleasure of an orgasm. On her birthday, she was given a vibrator as a gag gift from a friend which she promptly stashed away. One day, she pulled it out because she was curious, and low and behold, she discovered what she had been missing out on all those years.

Because of the strong physical stimulation, a vibrator can help women figure out how to have an orgasm. The wife can then share that experience with her husband and make it part of their lovemaking. Learning how to orgasm with a vibrator may translate into learning to experience orgasm from manual or oral stimulation, or she might always use a vibrator to orgasm.

If a vibrator helps a wife to enjoy sex with her husband and they are both actively engaged, doesn’t it create intimacy? I do think we are supposed to continue to discover new things about each other, so there may be times when we put the vibrator aside and try to learn something new. Is it possible that if your husband always reached for the easiest route, you would feel short changed? Don’t we want our husbands to continue to discover something new?

Not surprisingly, vibrators are becoming a common gift at bachelorette parties. Based on…

Deuteronomy 24:5 – If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

I suggest that young couples spend at least a year with just the two of them – in other words, no vibrator – getting to know each other. It takes time, hard communication, trust and focused discovery to figure out what works. Simplify life, spend time together and see what you can learn one on one, skin to skin.

Orgasm During Intercourse  

For the majority of women, orgasm does not come easily during intercourse, yet we have a deep desire to experience our bodies letting go while intertwined with our husband. A vibrator used during intercourse can provide the additional clitoral stimulation that is needed to finish during intercourse and along the way provide pleasurable vibrations for our man.

If a wife is working toward enjoying intercourse more, she can use a vibrator as an easy Plan B. Both husband and wife can just enjoy what happens during intercourse and if she doesn’t reach orgasm before he does, then the vibrator can help her finish.

The vibrator can be a tool to help both spouses enjoy intercourse more. Will there be times when you might want to simplify and focus on what else you can feel without the vibrations? You bet! Keep communication open, discern when God has more for you and make no hard and fast rules. 

Day Off or Quickie  

I have a husband that has always been thoughtful about making things enjoyable for me – and honestly, sometimes I think I am a lot of work. Wouldn’t it be fun if  sometimes our husband could just enjoy things and not worry about his wife so much? Maybe on the Sabbath, you treat your husband with use of a vibrator. Or maybe sometimes we get to enjoy a quickie too by breaking out the vibrator.

I think sex ought to be about all kinds of experiences together – including effortless sex and quickies for two. They are new ways of getting to know each other. Could a vibrator create intimacy by tapping into a wider range of experiences? Would it create intimacy if you did it this way every time? 

Aging or Physical Challenges –  for both women and men

I have had perfect eyesight my entire life. A few years ago, reading started becoming – shall we say – problematic. Honestly, for a while I avoided going down to my wood shop because I couldn’t see the numbers on the tape measure. But I was missing out on something that I loved. I finally hauled myself to the eye doctor to find out my options. It took some getting used to, and I still wish I had my young eyes, but I am adjusting to bi-focals and I am enjoying life again.

Vibrators can be a huge help to both men and women as their bodies become less responsive due to age, medication or some other physical challenge. It may take some getting used to the idea and you may grieve the loss of what you had, but for many people, using a vibrator can help them enjoy their sex life again.

Do vibrators create intimacy if they allow a husband and wife to enjoy their sex life together – even when their bodies do not cooperate?

Final Thoughts

One of the common concerns about vibrators is, “Will my body become less responsive to my husband?”

The fact of the matter is, our bodies are trainable. If you always use a vibrator, then your body will learn to respond to a vibrator. If you continue to have sex different ways, than your body will continue to respond to different experiences. If you have always used a vibrator and you want your body to respond in new ways, it will take time for your body to learn new things.

Asking the question, “Are we creating intimacy?” is not a one time deal. We need to constantly ask and we need to discern areas that we can stretch in experiencing each other. God created sex as a way to get to know each other. If you have never used a vibrator, then it could be a very intimate way to let your spouse know you. If you always use a vibrator, then there might be other ways to grow in connection that would more than compensate for less physical stimulation. Be discerning, are you getting to know each other?

Would you be willing to share examples of how toys have created intimacy, or times when you decided they did not and why so that others might learn from your experiences?

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Be a Life Giver to Your Spouse

In the Garden of Eden, there were two trees – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God told Adam and Eve to enjoy any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is a familiar story to many of us – Eve was tempted by the enemy, ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, shared it with her husband and sin entered the world. With their newfound ability to know right from wrong, Adam and Eve felt judged and therefore ashamed in their nakedness. Though they walked freely before, for the first time, they hide. The idea of being fully known – our physical, emotional and spiritual nakedness – was deemed wrong.  Oh, the impact on marriages since!

After Adam and Eve were kicked out of the perfect garden, they could no longer eat from the tree of life, leaving us a legacy of battling the temptation to judge others, including our spouse, rather than encouraging and being the tree of life to them. Perhaps I am the only one, but I confess that finding others’ faults comes almost effortlessly, but praising their strengths and growth takes intention.

I think we can be life givers in our marriages by:

  • building up our spouse with our words. Read Song of Songs for ideas.

It’s easy for me to compliment my husband’s provision for our family.  He is a hard worker, a faithful husband and a great dad. As much as he needs to hear my appreciation for these things, he also needs to hear that I find him even sexier as he ages, that his arms around me make my thoughts stop spinning and that I just can’t stop thinking about last Thursday night.

I can’t underscore how important this is.  Last week, the man trimming our trees, whom I had never met before, told me that his wife complimented him that morning. He went on and on about what she said, what it meant to him and how out of the ordinary it was for her to say something like that. He worked the retelling of her compliment into our totally unrelated conversation and was gushing about it to me – a total stranger.  It made his day…and it took just a few seconds of her time.

  • taking time to understand and acknowledge our spouse’s heart and motivations rather than just reacting to their actions.

In the past, I created crushing expectations for my husband by ensuring that any praise for him also included a note on how he could improve. This led to a cycle of him tirelessly striving to reach my unrealistic goals. Sadly, I unintentionally valued the outcome of his efforts more than his motivations. Now, I try to look beyond the outcome and instead praise his efforts and intentions, acknowledge his growth and look for opportunities to compliment him.  My words bring encouragement rather than defeat.

  • encouraging our spouse to be who God created them to be by celebrating every step forward.

At the end of a challenging day, my husband recently shared, “I feel like I am bouncing back from being knocked down faster than I was before.” Yes, he is, I see him yielding to the Spirit rather than his emotions more and more.  I took the opportunity to tell him how proud I am of his new growth, that I appreciate him being a man of character and encouraged him to press on in the trenches.

  • embracing becoming One with our spouse rather than obligatory sex and superficial intimacy.

Being a fully present enthusiastic participant in the moment with our spouse is a huge turn on! Preparing for our time together by sending an anticipatory text message, letting my thoughts linger on what is to come, or blocking off time on our calendar and planning a home date, shows that our time connecting together is a priority. 

  • pursuing really knowing our spouse in every sense of the word throughout our lives.

My spouse and I are constantly changing – our understanding of truth, our aging bodies, our circumstances and season of life – so our marriage is naturally a never ending journey of discovery. We ask each other questions, we try new things, and we revisit what maybe wasn’t yet right for us in the past. We intentionally seize opportunities to learn about one another and become more glued together in our everyday life.  

We see Solomon and his bride speaking encouraging words again and again in Song of Songs – they speak life – to one another through every season of their relationship. They are both emboldening their spouse and positively influencing their own perspective of their spouse. We all need that!

If we, with our spouse, are moving our marriage toward that perfect garden and the tree of life within it, then we can safely express our joy, cry tears of worship or tears of pain, deeply grieve and be comforted, experience unrestricted passion and pleasure, and freely express our desires. We are designed to be free!

When we instead “eat” of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we live in fear of judgement and cannot walk in the freedom of being fully known. We cannot express all of ourselves with the abundant freedom that God intends within marriage. Be certain of this, we are not designed to hide.

God desires us to echo the Garden of Eden in our marriages. We can do that by being life givers that don’t hide from our spouse or from God.

How can you be a life giver to your spouse today?

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.  

How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. 

– Song of Songs 1:15-16

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Update on our prayer request:  Thank you for lifting up our friends to our Father.  Your prayers were felt at the meeting.  After a very thorough and encouraging discussion, they left with their church’s support and a pilot Awaken-Love class scheduled in October.  God is so good!

Pray for the Battle

This week I had lunch with a friend that I met less than a year ago when she sent me this email…

Hi Ruth,
I am bursting with things that I have thought in my mind over the past week that I would want to write to you or tell you in person. I want to testify to God’s work in bringing a breakthrough and new dimension of freedom to me that started 2 weeks ago but has been experienced most amazingly the past 8 days (or should I say nights 🔥😉) after my husband of 21 years found and directed me to your blog.

We were thrilled to find out that you are local and that you have a class starting next week. I would like to sign up for that class.

I love when God plops people into my life. The next week, she was in class where we quickly became friends, and by the end of the 6 weeks we were discussing her calling to teach the Awaken-Love class.  Melanie and I have no doubt she will make an amazing teacher.

Tonight, she will meet with her church leadership as she asks for their support and help in offering Awaken-Love classes. It hasn’t been an easy road for her to gain support, in fact she has been prayerfully pursuing approval for months. It is a big step for a church to approve a study that gives the full picture of sex in marriage.

At lunch my friend shared that she has been reading Nehemiah, where it talks about the rebuilding of the city wall. As the Israelite’s began to make progress, their enemies became furious and made plans to fight them and throw them into confusion. So the Israelite’s prayed to God and guarded the city day and night. From that point on, half of the people worked on the wall and the other half guarded them.

When my friend meets with her church leadership tonight, she will not just ask for approval to use a room, she will ask for their support. She knows that reclaiming marriage and great sex in marriage is a battle and she needs her church behind her guarding her and her family through prayer and encouragement. Teaching the Awaken-Love class is a battle because the enemy loves to destroy marriage by distorting sex.

Inprayer-on-my-knees4 my reading this morning, I was struck by how Nehemiah reacted when he first heard the terrible state of the wall,

Nehemiah 1:4 – When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted and prayed to the God of heaven.

My heart is broken by the way that people are being deceived about sex – outside of marriage and inside of marriage. My heart is broken by the rampant use of pornography and its affects on men, women and children. My heart is broken by the lack of churches offering help for sexual abuse, porn or good information about sex. It is time to start fervently praying for change.

Will you pray for God to raise up leaders that are not afraid to discuss sex in good ways? Will you pray for God to open the doors of the church to the broken and welcome them in and show them God’s love? Will you pray for boldness in speaking truth with grace and mercy? Will you pray for my friend to gain support from her church to teach Awaken-Love?

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Increasing Flexibility

I have my chair, my Bible, and my journal in my special spot. This is my quiet space.  It is where I faithfully go to pour out myself and be refilled by God. Even though I experience God throughout the day, this is the bread and butter. This is what “counts.”

In the Awaken-Love class, we talk about not getting into a routine with our husband. We don’t want to paint ourselves into a corner of only physically responding to one type of touch or having only one path to orgasm. We want to explore, discover and increase flexibility so that we share more and more of ourselves with our husband. In class, we also talk about the parallel of intimacy in our marriage and intimacy in our relationship with God.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  – Ephesians 5:31-32

Perhaps these two thoughts seem disjointed at first, but they led to a light bulb moment for me. If my ability to receive from and respond to my husband’s love is important, then isn’t increasing my flexibility in being intimately connected to God a priority, too?

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Masturbation in Marriage

Masturbation in marriage happens all the time.

One spouse is usually hiding it…

and the other spouse is either naïve and oblivious, or ticked off and hurt.

Doesn’t seem like the best scenario, does it?

As Christians bombarded by the message DON’T DO IT, or just COMPLETE SILENCE, it is easy to feel like all masturbation is bad – even in marriage.  However, for some couples, masturbation within marriage can fit into God’s design for sex – making the two into “One” or helping them “know” each other better. This has been one of the huge areas of growth in my marriage. In Awaken-Love classes, I find it to be a topic that can be both surprising and liberating for Christian women.

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Don’t Leave Me

Ruth previously wrote about Why Only One? man and woman in God’s design for marriage and I think her beautiful explanation was easily relatable.  It got me thinking about how I am impacted by having only one God and spouse. This pondering led me in an interesting direction.

Many probably wouldn’t see it on the surface, but God and I have been steadily uprooting my deep seated fear of abandonment for awhile. I don’t think it’s uncommon actually.  My pastor advises teachers at my church to consider their audience to be a room full of people who need to be assured that they are not helpless and alone in a hostile world.

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Masturbation in Singleness

Song of Songs 8:4 – “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

I have a single friend in her thirties, that by the grace of God, has never been awakened. She will tell you that she loves the Lord and that no matter how long it takes, she intends to wait until she is married. She will also tell you that she knows she has been fortunate because honestly, it has been easier for her than many others to stay pure. As a kid, she did not accidentally stumble upon the pleasures that her body is capable of. She has not had a boyfriend that got her heart pounding, tested the waters, or pushed the limits. Amazingly, she was never exposed to movies, books or pornography that whet her appetite and curiosity enough to take things into her own hands. And no one has taken what was not theirs to take, and then left her with the challenges and confusion of a body that knows arousal and pleasure even against one’s soul. She looks forward to marriage and to thoroughly enjoying sex, but her body has not been awakened and so it just makes life…simpler.

Honestly, most of us are not that fortunate. Many kids accidentally discover the pleasure their body holds and begin a life of self-comfort at a young age. Media screams sexuality – from music, to movies, to magazines, to books, to live streaming video of pornography – it is everywhere. Dating provides all kinds of challenges as limits are pushed and hormones surge. 30% of women and 20% of men experience some kind of sexual abuse. And so in some way, shape, or form, many of us are awakened before marriage – whether we want to be or not. Just because we have been awakened, does not mean that we cannot begin a journey of purity… it might just be a little harder.

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