Oftentimes, there’s a very important part of marriage that is not emphasized before hand – foreplay before sex. Of course, people know about it, but it’s not until after marriage that couples fully realize the importance of foreplay. Much of this post is inspired by the book Intended for Pleasure.
The first year is especially hard for couples because they don’t really know what they’re doing. Many do not pay enough attention to foreplay, which leads to some difficulty in their intimate life. Not communicating well is a common problem and as Intended for Pleasure accurately states, “One of the most common sources of sexual unhappiness is the failure of a woman to tell her husband frankly and clearly what stimulates her and when she is ready for a particular stimulation (page 84).”
Obviously, there is a lot to learn, but as an older married woman once wisely said, “It’s OK to talk during sex, especially during the first year of marriage to find out what exactly is mutually pleasing to each partner.” That’s something a lot of couples don’t pay much thought to, but it makes sense, right? It’s so simple, but in the moment, somewhat mortifying for some. Wasn’t sex just supposed to always feel good, whenever, and however you did it? Nope. Wrong. Movies, social media, and cultural expectations tend to cloud over the fact that God made man and woman completely different so that you must work together to keep your marriage stable and your sex life godly, just like you must work on your personal walk with the Lord. Communication is key. Once again, Intended for Pleasure phrases it perfectly when it points out: “God so designed us that we cannot be truly satisfied with mere physical and physiological relief in sex (page 33).” True intimacy is necessary for true satisfaction and this intimacy can only be fostered by good communication. This then ties back into the importance of foreplay.
Practically speaking, foreplay is necessary to help prepare the wife, as well as the husband, to have a more pleasurable experience. However, the focus shouldn’t be on that alone. Foreplay is a way to become closer to your spouse mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually as you explore what is pleasurable for both partners. This is sometimes a taboo subject but it definitely needs to be addressed. Ladies, you have to let him know what works or doesn’t work. Your husband doesn’t know what is best because (as we all know) their anatomy is quite different than ours. You know your body better than he does, so don’t be afraid to let him know if it does or doesn’t feel good! Don’t be afraid of hurting his ego. The more you grow and communicate effectively, the better your sex life will be.
Now for men, it is easier to achieve an orgasm than it is for women. However, men need foreplay more than they know! Intended for Pleasure notes that there are several phases to a man’s arousal. Phase one is getting the initial erection. Most men generally skip to phase three, which is orgasm, but there’s a middle section that needs to be addressed. As stated in the book, “…phase two [maintaining an erection] needs to be prolonged for 10 to 20 minutes or more, if he is to receive maximum pleasure from orgasm (page 82).” It will mean the world to your wife if you don’t finish before she is done, and will also contribute to a more fulfilling sexual experience in the marriage bed. However, the point is not to to see how long you can maintain an erection. The point is to remind you that sex is not a one way relationship.
Sex is a two way relationship that requires good communication for mutual pleasure. Again, quoting from Intended for Pleasure, “The union of marriage frees the couple to enjoy their bodies in whatever way pleasing, provided that both are being pleased. Without restrictions (other than selfish acts…), the couple should feel free to experiment and to ‘know’ each other in the most intimate sense possible (page 82).” That, ladies and gentlemen, is what God intended! There is a reason why God commands the husband to take a year to ‘know’ his wife. By ‘knowing’, God isn’t just talking about how you would get to know a friend, but rather, knowing his wife sexually and intimately in the way God designed for sex in the context of marriage to be. Isn’t that beautiful?!?! Now, in this day and age, it would be impossible to actually take a year off of work (that’s crazy talk, right?), despite that, God understands that and His command still stands in the sense that the husband and wife should be devoted to ‘knowing’ each other in the context of a Godly marriage.
There is a lot to learn about sex and foreplay. The purpose of this blog is to at least let you know some of the things that could help you in your sex life, as well as to recommend the book Intended for Pleasure. Even if you’ve been married for awhile, just got married, or are about to get married, this book will change your life.