Archive | October 2011

Dr. Laura Saved My Marriage

A good friend of mine recommended I listen to the Dr. Laura Schlessinger Show, oh, I’d say at least 15 years ago, now.  I began listening to her and really loved her.  I really enjoy her no nonsense style and what she says makes sense.  I listened to her because I always wanted to be a SAHM, and she was and is a huge proponent of SAHMs.  She was talking about and encouraging women to do just want I wanted to do and be, so I kept listening.   What I didn’t know is that Dr. Laura is also a huge proponent for MEN.  She gets them.  She hears from a lot of them.  And she knows how to make them happy.

I enjoy Dr. Laura’s website and reading the letters she gets from listeners.  While I was happily taking in all the letters from SAHMs, I would come across a letter from a man who wasn’t getting enough sex from his wife.  Since that didn’t concern me, I would read the letters, but not really GET them, if you know what I mean.  Same with her radio program.  I heard husbands talking about their wives refusing them, but I wasn’t really listening.   Along came The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.  I thought, you know, I should read that book.  Dr. Laura seems to know a lot about being a good wife.  So I bought the book.  I read it.  I liked it.  I understood it.  But it didn’t really sink in.  I read it again.  Still good.  Still didn’t sink in.  I read it for the third time and became aware that I ought to actually be following her advice, not just reading about her advice!   It was around that time that all the letters to Dr. Laura I’d read, the calls to Dr. Laura I’d heard and the advice in her book came together and I GOT IT!!!

  • Don’t deny yourself a good orgasm.
  • But do I have to even if…?  Even if.
  • But my body’s not perfect!  Your husband doesn’t want you to have a perfect body. He just wants your naked body pressed against him.  
  • Stop saying no and start saying yes.
  • Be your husband’s girlfriend or someone else will.
  • Don’t put him off until he decides he’s had enough, because when the kids are all up and out, so will he be.
  • If he’s not horny, make him a sandwich (Conan’s favorite!).
  • You have the power in the relationship to make your husband worship the ground you walk on and swim through shark infested waters to bring you a lemonade.
  • Your husband wants and needs your love, admiration and respect.  He also needs sex with you.
  • YOU start being more sexual and then he’ll be more loving, giving, devoted, etc.  You CANNOT wait for him to be more (fill in the blank) and then be more sexual.  It’s up to you, the wife.

And then she said something profound on her program one day.  I clearly remember exactly where I was in my car when I heard her say it.  She said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “If you are refusing and withholding sex you are breaking your marriage vows just as surely as if you were committing adultery.”  It stopped me cold.  (Not literally, I was driving!) That struck me to the core.

And it was then and there that I really, truly changed.   Everything was not perfect overnight, and things had been steadily improving, but this was the catalyst that put that improvement into mach speed.

Many, many things I say here on this blog I can attribute to Dr. Laura in some way.  I owe her a great deal.  Dr. Laura literally saved my marriage.
p.s.  Conan likes her because she has a Harley and a tattoo.  HA!

But I’m Not In the Mood

But I’m not in the mood.  Shouldn’t I feel horny first?

This is what I think is one of the biggest misconceptions there is about married sex.  No!  You don’t need to feel horny first.  In fact, I’m sure most of you know that for women especially, arousal comes after things get started, and usually not before.  That can be the case for a man, as well.  I wonder if there are many men who start out just to please their wife and not become aroused at some point?

Do you ever do something even though you don’t feel like it?  What’s your attitude about it?   If you go into it with a good attitude, you’re more likely to feel good about it after the task is done.  And the people around you can tell the difference between something done grudgingly and something done cheerfully.  Sex works in a similar way.  You can bless your spouse with the gift of your willing, loving body, even when you don’t feel like it.  But don’t go into it like you’re about to get a root canal.  I suggest you put everything you can into it.   If you can’t get into it physically, get into it emotionally.  Remember how much you love your husband.  You know how to put on a happy face to do any number of things you don’t feel like doing.  But you do them, don’t you, because to not do it would hurt someone’s feelings or let someone down or cause someone stress and anxiety.  Who is THE most important person in your life?  If you answered your spouse, like I did, then we should all be doing everything we can to make our spouses happy.   A regular, average guy will feel so good and be so happy when he’s having his sexual needs met that it will spill over into his everyday life and he will treat you like a queen.

Yes, there were plenty of times when I didn’t feel like it.  And I said no many, many times more than  I said yes.  For a long time.  Because I didn’t feel like it, okay?  It’s my body, and I don’t have to do anything with it  that I don’t want to do, right?  He’s just being selfish and inconsiderate.  I am upset, angry, stressed, etc.  He won’t die, for heaven’s sake.  (No, you won’t die without sex.  But your marriage will.)  Giving myself some credit, there were lots of times I said yes, too.  Many times I would say yes, even though I didn’t feel like it, and I would end up having a great time.  Many times I would say yes when I didn’t feel like it, and have an okay time.  And yes, sometimes I’d say yes when I didn’t feel like it and feel, well, not a whole heck of a lot.   And sometimes, sometimes I wouldn’t like it at all.  I don’t say this to hurt Conan, but it is what it is, and I’m sure there are people who can relate to what I’m saying.  And very occasionally I’d do a hand job to tide Conan over for a while longer.   (Frankly, I would have rather have quickie sex than give an obligatory hand job.  It was  just easier for me.)  And at that time blow jobs were few and far between, and certainly no swallowing!  (I explain all that in   https://sexandtheldswoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/gasp-swallowing/ )

Then the day came that I made a commitment to myself that I would never say no again.  That I would be available no matter what.  And that I would put my all into every sexual encounter we had.  And because Conan is such a wonderful, considerate, caring lover, I got out of it as much as I put into it.   And practice makes perfect.  In the last 7 years there have only been a handful of times that Conan and I have had sex when I have not had at least one orgasm.  I can attribute every one of those times to a quickie for Conan just before he leaves for work or something.  I count those times as foreplay, because they always leave me hanging, so to speak, and so we continue that night.

I’ve discovered something about myself.  I don’t like rejection.  I don’t like to be told no.  And I don’t mean no in general (although I don’t necessarily like that, either!),  I mean no to sex in particular.   It’s not like a rejection of an activity.  It’s like a rejection of self.  It’s not like being told no, I can’t come to your Christmas party, or no, I can’t sub for you in Primary next Sunday.  It’s like being told no, I don’t want to give and be given the most intimate, personal, vulnerable part of yourself, and,  no, I don’t want to experience the greatest pleasure there is with you, and no, I don’t care if it hurts you.  I”m sure there are people who can articulate this better than I can.  People who are married to refusers and withholders are made of sterner stuff than I.  I have only been told no to sex a handful of times in my marriage, and it’s a painful sting.  I can’t imagine the pain of constant rejection like that.  It makes me feel horrible for all the pain I inflicted on my darling Conan.  I was BLIND to it.  And what I wasn’t blind to, I IGNORED and pretended it was ALL HIS PROBLEM.  Because, you see, I wasn’t “in the mood”, so, too bad, so sad for him.

I made a conscious decision to be in the mood when approached.  And then to be in the mood and do the approaching.  It took awhile, but after a time it became a non-issue for us.

Not in the mood?  Don’t let that stop you.  Either of you.   You can always be in the mood to give and care for your spouse the way no one else can.

Love Languages

Conan and I recently took the 5 Love Languages test for the first time.  My top love languages are acts of service and words of affirmation.  Conan’s are words of affirmation and quality time.

Here’s the rundown:

Me:  Acts of Service:  11

Words of Affirmation:  7

Quality Time:  6

Physical Touch:  6

Guess what got a big, fat ZERO?  Receiving gifts.  I know what you’re thinking, “What kind of woman are you, anyway??”  And Conan’s wallet just heaved a huge sigh of relief, ha ha!

Conan:  Words of Affirmation:  9

Quality Time: 9

Physical Touch:  6

Acts of Service:  6

Receiving Gifts:  Another ZERO!!!  (I’m the one breathing a huge sigh of relief, here, I suck at gift giving.)

So now we know what each other’s language is.  However, how he interprets that language is not the same as I interpret the language.

Take acts of service, for example:  If I make him a pot of coffee in the morning and pour him a cup, or dish his dinner plate and set it down in front of him,  or go get him a Pepsi while he’s on the couch watching the game and hand it to him with a little kiss, or take his shoes off for him at the end of the day, he feels loved and all the warm fuzzies come out.  Piece of cake, right!  It is so easy to please that man!

Do I want him to do that for me?  NO.   I can get my own dinner and my own drinks. What initially seems to be the same thing turns out to be glaringly different.   Here are what my acts of service look like:

Notice that the trash is full and take it out before I ask.  That has happened a few times and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.   If you don’t notice that the trash is full and I ask you to take it out, please take it out.  I asked because it’s full and I’m cooking dinner or something and I need the trash emptied so I can continue doing what I was doing.  I don’t need the trash taken out in half an hour.  I need it taken out now, because it’s full now.   Don’t say, “Somebody needs to take her pill” when I get irritated that the trash is still full 15 minutes later after I already asked you for your help.  (I think this is the biggest one, because when I specifically ask for help it sure does make me feel unappreciated and unloved when that request is ignored or brushed off.)

Help me with dinner.  Better yet, help me with the clean up of cooking dinner!  (Conan is wonderful at grating cheese and peeling potatoes, some of my most hated cooking tasks.  A+++ for  that!)

Notice that there are things on the stairs and pick one or two of them up when you go upstairs.  Don’t tell me that there are things on the stairs.  I already know that, because I probably put them there.

Pick up after yourself when you make a sandwich.  Don’t leave the bread and mayo out for me to put away.  Throw things into the trash.  Don’t leave them on the counter 15 inches from the trash can for me to put in the trash (this has actually become something of a joke, and Conan will deliberately leave trash right next to the trash can for me to see.  When I know he’s teasing me, we can laugh about it!).  Don’t leave your dishes everywhere for me to pick up and then say, well, you left your dish over there.  I know I did, and guess who gets to pick it up?  Me.  I don’t expect anyone else to do it for me.

If something is on the floor, please don’t push it out of the way with your foot.  Please bend down to pick it up.

See!  I told you I was much harder to live with!  I have a long list and Conan has three or four things.

So acts of service for me means don’t make more work for me and help lighten my load a little bit.  For Conan it means show him I’m thinking about him and his wants and needs.

Words of affirmation for me are about appreciation and praise.  I can remember exactly when Conan started doing that for me.   He has a few friends whose relationships are highly dysfunctional and whose wives and/or girlfriends are cRaZy, to say the least.  And these guys spill their guts out to Conan all about it and tell him they wish they had what we have.  I remember the first time Conan came to me and said, “Doll, you really are a great wife and I am very lucky to have you.”  I just about melted into the floor.  And he has continued to praise me in that way, especially after having long talks with his buddies about their crazy, mixed up relationships.  I get little warm fuzzies when I think about it.  The other words of affirmation I like are about my appearance.  I know, call me vain, call me shallow, but it warms my little heart when Conan tells me I’m beautiful.  When I come down the stairs after getting ready to go somewhere and Conan looks up at me and his eyes light up and he says, “Wow, Doll,” that is like gold to me.  I also like it when he gives me a little pat and says “Good girl” when I’ve done something good.  Don’t tease me about that.  I don’t know why I like that, I just do.

For Conan, words of affirmation are all about respect and admiration.  I took Dr. Laura’s advice and began calling him my Knight in Shining Armor and thanking him for going out and slaying dragons all day for me.   I try to show him and tell him that I respect and admire him.   It was a little awkward the first time I told him I respected him as a man.  That’s just not something that rolls off the tongue the way “I love you, honey” does, but I really think it means something special to him.  Words of Affirmation came out on top for him.  I’m really going to have to step it up in that area.

Quality time and physical touch tied for third place for me.  Quality time tied at number one for Conan.  Quality time means pretty much the same things to us both–doing things together.  Our likes and dislikes are so different, however, that that is sometimes difficult to do.  If I want to make Conan happy, I can be his biker babe, get on the back of his Harley and ride somewhere with him.  Conan loves his Harley.  The problem is, I don’t like being on the Harley.  But when I do ride with him somewhere, I bank MEGA points.  If Conan wants to make me happy, he’ll take me to a book store and listen to me squeal over all the books.  I love books. I love to touch them, smell them, look at the cover art, read the back, read the inside cover, turn the pages–well, you get the idea, and then, of course, GET the book(s) and READ it.  Conan does not like to read much.  But when he goes with me to Barnes and Noble, he is the one banking points.    And if he lets me read him the good parts, he’s ten feet tall in my eyes.   There is one thing we like to do together, and that is to go places together.  We spend a lot of time dreaming about where we’ll go when the kids are up and out.

I have been thinking about physical touch quite a bit since Conan and I started having daily sex (well, near daily).  Even though it tied for third place for both of us, it still means a lot to us.  But it means something different to each of us.  For him it’s mostly sexual.  Our daily sex is giving us physical touch in large doses, and it’s wonderful.  However, that’s not the kind of physical touch that melts my heart.  Having daily sex has made me want to touch Conan more, in non-sexual ways.  I am a very touchy-feely person.  I like to touch people.  And with Conan I want to hug, kiss, hold hands, snuggle, stroke his arm, massage his back, drop kisses where ever they land, and hug some more.  And I KNOW that I love, love, LOVE to have those things done back to me.  Lots of stroking my hair, my face, his arm around me, holding me on his lap.  And paradoxically, the more sex we have, the more I want that other physical touch.  I haven’t figured out why, yet.  I think it’s because the more sex we have, the more love I feel for him.  And the more love I feel, the more I want to touch and be touched.

I know that showing love for each other is supremely important.  And we want our spouse to show their love in our language, not their language, I believe.  That’s not as easy as it sounds.  It’s much easier to show love in our own language than someone else’s language.  I’ve never read the book The Five Love Languages, but I would venture to guess it talks about this in it.   Another thing I learned from Dr. Laura is to recognize and take love where it is, not be looking for it however we might want it.   It’s great if Conan shows me he loves me in my love language, but I have learned to recognize the little ways he shows me that are in his language.   And I’ve learned to accept them and appreciate them.  (And now I’ve used the word “language” quite enough.)

Anyway, if you are sitting around waiting for your spouse to show love only the way you want it shown, you’re going to be pretty disappointed most of the time.  None of us are that perfect!   You have to learn to recognize when your spouse is showing love.

When we learned to show love for each other better, and to accept acts of love from each other, that was one more piece of the intricate puzzle of our marriage that brought about a better sex life.   I’ve said it before, and I still don’t know which came first–a better, more loving relationship or better sex.   But I do know one thing.  Even if better sex did come first, if the better, more loving relationship had not followed, the sex wouldn’t have continued in quantity and quality.   And if the great sex hadn’t continued, I don’t think we’d be able to continue with a mutually loving relationship.

Being Enthusiastically Giving

Me:  Hey, Conan, guess what my next post is going to be about?  Conan: What, Doll?  Me:  Sex! *rolls around on bed laughing hysterically*  Conan:  *looks dubiously at wife while contemplating calling the men in white coats*  hee hee hee!

I’ve been thinking a lot about participating in sex enthusiastically.    And that’s relatively easy when both spouses like exactly the same things in bed.  But what if there is something that really gets one partner going but isn’t the other partner’s favorite thing?  I’m not talking they HATE it, I’m just saying it doesn’t get them going like it does the other partner.

I’m sure there is something in your sex life that your spouse likes more than you do.  And vice versa.  So what do you do about it?  My suggestion is to participate as enthusiastically as you can.  Maybe it’s not your favorite thing.  But if it gives your spouse pleasure, why hold back?  Put it on the sexual menu.  It doesn’t have to be all the time, but as something special and nice for your spouse.

There’s nothing like your loving spouse participating in something you like, to give you pleasure, even though it doesn’t give them as much pleasure.  Where’s their pleasure, then?  The satisfaction comes from seeing you enjoying yourself and knowing it was all because of them.

Let’s say the wife wants something that her husband really doesn’t care about.  He doesn’t hate it, but it’s just not his thing.  It is one of her deepest fantasies.  He discovers this and does what he can to please her in that area.   And when that happens, she will love and appreciate him so much for it!  And then she should definitely go way out of her way to be sure that he has a fantastic experience, as well.

Switch it around and the same thing applies.  If it’s your husband’s deepest desire for a certain experience that you’re not as excited about as he is, it is a huge act of love to participate enthusiastically anyway.   And he will love you so much for it!  We can get a lot of satisfaction and pleasure from pleasing and pleasuring out spouse.

I look at it this way.  If you don’t care for a certain type of movie that your spouse really likes, you don’t have to go see it with your spouse.  Your spouse can go with a friend to see that movie.  Or even go alone.  However, If your spouse wants a certain something in bed, you are the only one who can provide that.  Of course, your spouse can do without that little something, but if it makes him or her happy, then why not give it to them?  (Unless it’s going to put your life in danger or something, of course!! ha ha!)

I encourage you to be enthusiastically giving in bed, even when what your spouse wants might not be your favorite thing.  You will for sure reap the rewards yourself!

If you’re doing that for your spouse already, you are an awesome, wonderful, fabulous spouse who should be commended for your willing participation and thanked profusely!

Daily Sex

Hello and Happy Tuesday!  I’ve been pretty absent from my blog for the last week, I’ve been very busy with work and other mundane things.  I also have something else taking up my free time right now.  Conan says I’m obsessed, and maybe I am, I do tend to fixate on things (cue Conan rolling his eyes heavenward), but I’ve been enjoying myself.  Anyway, thanks for coming to my blog and thanks for all the comments!  I’ll reply soon.

So now.  Conan and I have decided that we are going to have some sort of daily sex.  Instead of one of us initiating, or asking, or us wondering if tonight we’re going to “do it”, or wondering if the other is “in the mood” or not,  we’re going to turn it around so that it’s as normal a part of our evening as brushing our teeth and saying our prayers.  Then, if there is a day/night we don’t have some sort of sex, that will be the exception, not the rule.

The reason for this is:  On Mormon Missionary Position they were discussing initiating and how people go about doing that.  I started thinking that initiating seems to be stressful for some people.  It certainly used to be very stressful for Conan.  Poor guy.  I started thinking that it would be so much easier if there was no initiating.  But how does one go about that?  My solution was daily sex!  I approached Conan with the idea and he said, that’s great, but you’re crazy if you think we can do it!   I agree that it might be challenging, but I really want to try.  One person commented that we might not be able to do it, because she thought men needed three days to recharge after sex, but maybe that was just older men.  I think she got confused.  Most men can wait NO LONGER than three days, they don’t want to take three days to recharge.  I told her that Conan certainly doesn’t need three days to recharge, and he’s 50.  Very little about Conan has changed in that area since he was 25 years old.  In fact I have teased him that the Viagra people need his blood to make their little blue pills, ha ha!  The only thing different that I can tell is that he doesn’t have sex on the brain 24/7.  His job is too stressful for that.  Another guy approaching 50 said he doesn’t need three HOURS to recharge.  Good for him.

I know it’s not a question of physical ability.  The question is scheduling and organization.  We need to be sure the kids get to bed on time.  We need to be sure we get to bed on time.  We need to be sure we’re showered and clean before 11 o’clock at night!  If I kill myself on the treadmill one day (actually every day that treadmill just about kills me), I can’t wait until just before bed to take a shower, because in all likelihood by the time I get out Conan will be asleep or it will be too late and we’ll both just want to sleep.  Conan gets up very early and works long days, so this part is especially important.

I was talking to my two BFFs about this the other day.  Both of them also said that’s a pretty ambitious goal.  The husband of one of my girlfriends travels for work, so it’s impossible for them to get together for sex every day.  But she did tell me something funny.  Her way of initiating is to, get this, start the washing machine and the dryer.  Her wonderful husband knows when he hears that washer and dryer going that he should get upstairs quick!  I just about died laughing, because I also start the washer and dryer and even leave the laundry room door open for noise control, I guess you could call it!  Too funny!  How does her husband initiate?  Well, she comes upstairs and he is laid out on the bed naked.  That’s it.  She says that’s fine, but she wishes he would take off his black dress socks, too, ha ha!!  Okay, I just had to get that in there.

So how are we doing so far?  Five out of seven.  Due to one of us getting some kind of stomach crud.  You can’t be having hot sex when you’re puking your guts out.   It’s been fun so far.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

If YOU were going to go about having daily sex of some kind and both parties were willing, what would you need to do to accomplish that?  How would that change the dynamic of your relationship?

Conan Knows What I Need

I recently found some men’s blogs that I’ve been reading.  The blogs are very interesting, and present a point of view that makes sense to me in a lot of ways.  I like men, and can sympathize with a lot of their issues.

Some of  the comments on these blogs, however, are a different story.  Reading those comments made me feel, as a 40 something woman, that I was pretty much worthless to men and society.  I have no sexual value; they call it “SMV”, which stands for “sexual market value.”  I would not rate a 9 or 10, simply because once a woman is over 40 the highest she  can rate is a 5 or 6.  If I suddenly became single, no real man would look at me twice.  If Conan were suddenly to become single, he’d automatically be looking for “SMV” in a woman half his age.  Additionally, women who value staying home to raise their children and be a wife and mother are scorned and looked upon as something that was scraped off the bottom of a shoe: lazy, worthless, non-contributing leeches who drain their husbands of money and pretty much nothing else.  The condescending and over-simplified question one person put out there was what’s so hard about holding down a full-time job and then coming home and doing a little vacuuming and dusting?

Anyway, my heart was feeling bruised and battered, and I really was starting to feel worthless.  I knew intellectually that I simply cannot let anonymous comments on the internet bother me, but emotionally I was really internalizing all those things that were being said and I was just hurting.  Feeling worthless was something that in my refusing days would have turned me cold.  I would have projected those negative feelings onto Conan and I would have completely shut down sexually and turned away from him.   But now I want to turn TO him for strength, comfort and love.

When Conan got home from work, he asked me what was wrong.  I didn’t want to seem foolish, so I didn’t tell him all that, I just said I needed him to love me and be tender to me, please, that night.   Now, Conan is far from romantic, but he is loving, and he simply held me on his lap and stroked my hair for a while.

Later that evening, I knew what I really needed from him.  I needed him to show me how much he desired me, how much he enjoyed being in bed with me, and how attracted he was to me.   I needed to give him all of me, so that he could accept me and take me and make me feel like the most beautiful, desirable woman in the world to him.  Just to him.  That’s all that matters.   If we could take each other to the heights of passion, I would see my value and worth as a wife and forget about everything else.   That’s what married sex can do for a person.  It’s incredible, isn’t it?  Sex can be so much more than physical pleasure.

Conan gave me exactly what I needed that night, without me saying a word.   My emotions were raw that night, and what we had was raw, too.  And it healed my soul.  He is the most wonderful man in the world, and he loves me and feels that I am the most wonderful woman in the world.

Life is good.

Pack 12 Football and General Conference

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Okay, this has nothing at all to do with sex or marriage or sex in marriage, ha ha!  But I have to say that it endears me to Conan when I sit and watch a football game with him once in a while, and that is good for our marriage and sex life!

Conan says:  “31 to 14.  Welcome to the Pack 12, Utes”   (And I don’t think he was being all that nice when he said it, because he did his Husky bark and looked like the one guy who just tackled the other guy and is standing over him and looking down on him with a “try to get up you beep beep beep” look.  Do you know what I’m talking about?   ha ha ha!)

I am wondering how many priesthood holders skipped the priesthood session tonight and went to the Utes/Huskies game instead!   The stadium was packed.

Enjoy the rest of Conference everybody.  It’s been wonderful so far.