Women’s Sexual Health

Some women feel a lot of anxiety about being intimate and having sexual intercourse. This may result in decreased desire, sexual arousal disorder, or erectile dysfunction. It is often helpful to take a step-by-step approach to overcome anxiety. One of the best and mutually satisfying ways to improve your sex life is to focus on the pleasures of touching.

Sensual Massage

One option is to learn how to give and receive a sensual massage. Sensual massage can help you and your partner:

  • express needs and desires
  • find out how each likes to touch and be touched
  • explore new ways to give pleasure
  • improve your relationship.
  • An illustrated manual or book can be helpful. Here are some general tips:

  • Determine who will be the first giver.
  • Establish whether you and your partner will be clothed or unclothed.
  • Choose a location where you both will be comfortable.
  • Dim the lights and play soft music you both enjoy.
  • Use plenty of pillows or a comforter.
  • If you wish, use baby oils, scented oils, lotions, or powder.
  • Tell the giver what feels good and what does not.
  • Begin with the face. Normally the giver sits and the receiver lies flat on his or her back with the head resting on the giver’s thighs. With the hands well lubricated, the giver begins with the chin, then strokes the cheeks, forehead, and temples.

    Explore the face as if you were a blind person meeting your partner for the first time. Then explore the ear lobes, lips, and the nose before returning to massage the temples for complete relaxation. Rest, talk about the experience, and reverse roles.
    Massage the rest of the body tenderly and pay attention to your partner’s feelings. Then reverse roles.

    Sensate Focus Exercises

    Sensate focus exercises were introduced by researchers Masters and Johnson to treat couples with sexual problems. The exercises are divided into 3 steps. Both partners should be comfortable with each step before moving to the next.

    Schedule time when you can both be relaxed and comfortable. Partners take turns being the giver and the receiver.

  • First step: Explore various parts of your partner’s body including the head and neck, chest, belly, back, buttocks, arms, underarms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. Use different kinds of touch, such as stroking, rubbing, and squeezing. You can also use different kinds of touch with your mouth, such as kissing, nipping with your teeth, or sucking. Limit this stage to parts of the body other than the genitals and breasts.
  • Second step: Touch, stroke, and explore the sensual responses of the whole body, including the breasts and genitals. The goal is not an erection or orgasm. The goal is to learn what feels good to your partner. At this stage some talk may be helpful.
  • Third step: Caress and stimulate breasts and genitals. For those couples who wish to proceed to sexual intercourse, you can receive and give orgasm if you choose. It often helps to use a lubricant such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly, especially for the woman’s clitoris and the vaginal opening. Vaseline should not be used as a vaginal lubricant.
  • Pay attention to just relaxing and enjoying it when you touch each other. Remember that it is possible to have a loving, intimate relationship without sexual intercourse. If you feel that your relationship needs more help, psychotherapy, treatment with medicine, and sexual counseling may be helpful.

    Sex Ed: For Parents or Students (Preteens or Teens)?

    Sex is a delicate topic, regardless of who is talking about it. When sex and children are mentioned in the same breath, the subject becomes even more sensitive. From Abstinence Only to Comprehensive Sex Education, the subject matter encompasses various meanings and belief systems attached to the concept, depending on one’s community, upbringing, school system, government, and many more variables.

    While many towns and cities around the country debate on how and if Sex Education should be handled IN the school, WHO needs it becomes an interesting issue. This past summer, in fact, a college student posed the following idea: PARENTS today need Sex Ed. We’ve been quite focused on Sex Ed for preteen and teen students, that perhaps, we’ve forgotten about others who may need Sex Ed too. We have to ask the question: do parents need Sex Education more than teens and preteens do?

    I speak with many parents as I travel around the world, and my experiences usually end up supporting the hypothesis above. It seems like many parents today, do indeed need Sex Education. Why do I say this?

    1) Many parents are naive when it comes to dating and sexual activity among their pre-teen and teenager sons and daughters. Parents constantly share how everyone wants to believe, “Not my child,” and avoid the subject of Sex Ed.

    2) For parents who want to discuss Sex Ed at home, the biggest issue is usually how they don’t know HOW to talk about the issue – besides trying to “scare” their child away from intimacy. The intentions are there, but many parents simply aren’t equipped to tackle Sex Ed on their own.

    3) Many parents are also unaware of sexual fads among school age children. Whenever this comes up, many Moms and Dads will give a bewildered look and say “I’m 45 years old and have never tried that, and never would.” What they don’t know, or perhaps, what they implicitly accept, is that their children may sometimes be thinking and acting beyond what they, as parents, can imagine.

    What do you think? Do you think that today’s parents need Sex Education? If so, what do you think parents need to learn and/or discover?

    Some argue that Sex Education “is a subject which should be taught at home.” Do you agree? Is home the ONLY right place for teaching “Sex Ed”? Would teaching both AT HOME and AT SCHOOL be more effective, or less?

    Do most parents at home have the right information for teaching the subject matter? If you think parents do need Sex Education, how would you recommend providing the education? More importantly, how do you convince parents to actually attend SexEd classes?

    Sex Counseling For Christian Couples

    There are several idealistic ways for a Christian couple to seek sexual counseling. For the couple that feels they benefit from reading, there are many books authored by Christian doctors and writers that focus more on intellectual and spiritual content rather than visual. Many books on sexual counseling and other tips can be found at any major chain of bookstore such as Borders or Barnes and Noble but don’t always carry titles found in the more segregated Christian only stores such as Family Christian Stores. Materials can also be purchased online at shops such as Amazon.com and eBay.com.

    Great books to read:

    • Intended for Pleasure – Written by Ed Wheat M.D. and Gaye Wheat. An easy to read reference book with many facts and statistics on sexual health and getting the most out of your sexual relationship as a Christian couple. In the third edition, Intended for Pleasure combines biblical teaching on love and marriage with the latest medical information on sex and sexuality.
    • Sacred Sex – Written by Tim Alan Gardner and Scott M. Stanley. Is a great balance of scriptural truth, challenge to change, practical wisdom, reverence of the Marriage Bed, and God-honoring fun. Christian couples should buy it and read it together to celebrate oneness the way God intended.

    Another great way to receive sexual counseling is to speak with a medical professional, face to face. This allows a doctor who has studied both Scripture and sexuality to gear key points directly aimed at a couple’s concerns. You can find a therapist, psychologist, or another form of medical doctor at counseling centers. Many of the larger churches offer a list of sorts where their members can find day to day businesses and professionals that have a strong Christian affiliation. One might find a lawyer, doctor, even a psychiatrist who adheres to Scripture in their career. Search online in your city for counseling centers that are of Christian mind.

    However, not all professionals have a degree. Some of the happiest Christian couples experience a healthy sexual relationship the way God intended. Sometimes talking with an older Christian couple in a mentoring environment who has gone through the same struggles as you have can do wonders. They may have had the same questions as you and were able to overcome the same obstacles. They also may be able to guide you in the direction of more in depth help if needed.

    The second most important person to ask for guidance and advice is your preacher or pastor. Many spiritual leaders are often mediators to several members of their community and church. Sometimes sitting down with someone and talking things through is the best therapy and medicine.

    Of course the most important person to talk to is God. Prayer can do powerful things and a couple who prays together stays together can overcome the most drastic obstacles.