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It’s Not Just You

by Candice Young

honestly

August 27, 2014

It's Not Just You

I was crying on the toilet for the second time that week. We had been married six months and despite my husband's tender and creative attention, the only release I found in lovemaking was crying afterward. Before our wedding day, though I was totally (and gladly) inexperienced, I was excited to learn about sex with my husband. The initial pain faded with practice and I enjoyed all the touching involved. I could not figure out what needed to happen for me to have an orgasm. 

My husband was loving and patient, but we were both beginning to dread the bedroom and our sexual interactions became robotic. He was trying to get finished as quickly as possible without working me up so that I did not have to weep to release pent up sexual tension. It was starting to feel like a marriage deal breaker. 

Where could I go for help? I have a wonderful relationship with my mother, but it has never been sexually explicit. I was too ashamed to ask my friends. They gave no hints of sexual problems. So, as I often do, I turned to books. I read all of the Christian marriage/sexual literature available, but I could not find what I needed - a step-by-step "how-to" manual. I broadened my search, a little nervously, and finally found a book with detailed instructions. I followed them and began learning about how my body worked and how important it was to be focused and relaxed, two things that had not been happening. About three weeks later, my husband and I broke through that barrier in our marriage. 

Eight years of marriage later, I still listen for clues when I am in a conversation with women and intimate issues come up. Was I the only one this happened to? One day, in a pregnancy conversation with a friend, sex came up. Something she alluded to made me brave my pounding heart and ask her if she had ever had an orgasm. She quietly told me that she had not had one even after more than ten years of marriage and that they had given up trying. I start gushing, red-cheeked, with my own story in the hope I could help her. Our talk lasted late into the night. I encouraged her that it was worth the effort and not too late for her. I recommended some resources and was very excited to receive a text about a month later, they too had crossed that barrier. 

Now I am over my hesitation in bringing up my own experiences, in the appropriate venue, in the hope I can help another woman realize she is not alone.


 

Candice Young is a Nutella-eating, comma-abusing mom of a girl and two red-headed boys ages 6, 3, and six months. She started a blog and is hoping that she can write more than a yearly Christmas letter.


 

 

 

 

Fashionable, colorful, and inspiring — this gold, geometrically designed necklace adds a modish touch to outfits of every style!

 

 

 

 

What wise words about sex have been imparted to you that have changed intimacy with your husband?

Related topics: Wife, Transparency, In the Bedroom

Share your thoughts

I have no answer for the question. Sex, when discussed is never talked about as a "here's the problems" I've had, kind of talk.

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Your bio sounds like me. I just ate nutella off a spoon and have NO idea where to put a comma or where not :) I was hoping you would the name of the book. Thanks!

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That is awesome. I eat Nutella every day :) I put my email in a comment below. If you want to shoot me an email, I can give you my much longer explanation about what book I used and why.

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I'm curious about the book that you read that was helpful. :-) My hubby and I are working through similar issues right now. We had the best conversation about it the other day.

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Savannah - see my response above :)

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There can be humor and laughter during sex:) We get a little silly ourselves sometimes!

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Communication is key!

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You need to take the first step sometimes.

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I feel like a huge break through for me was learning that my husband wasn't looking at my imperfections when we were being intimate. After I was able to over come this fear I was able to "enjoy" our time together. We have also learned to talk very openly about our needs. It is important to not do this during an intimate moment but at a different quiet time with him.

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Great thoughts - it took me a few years to get over my insecurities about my imperfections and they still pop up on occasion.

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Thank you for sharing. It is nice to know I'm not alone.

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You are welcome :)

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As a new reader to these blogs I think it's refreshing to hear this in an appropriate forum. My breakthrough happened at a marriage retreat where I realized I was still "ashamed" and self conscious about sex and with my husband even though it was God's gift to me. I spent so much of my life keeping sex sacred that once I was married I didn't know how to be free in this area and instead felt inhibited. Becoming comfortable with who I was and open with my husband, knowing this was an area of our relationship that needed effort and work like any other, brought new life into our relationship. I find that the big "O" often occurs when I let myself go more and even concentrate on pleasing him more.

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So true!

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Nothing comes to mind, but I appreciate this post.

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The best thing I was told about sex (and have to remind myself often) is that sex to men is like conversation to women. While we can both like/need both, if a woman went days/weeks without a meaningful conversation, she would feel very disconnected. For a man, the same is true about sex. I agree that sexual topics in church would be very helpful.

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Wow, I could have written the first part of this. That barrier still exists in our bedroom. I just want to say that it is possible to not experience sexual attraction. This is going to sound odd, but I've never been sexually attracted to my husband. Or anyone ever for that matter. I figured it would magically happened when I got married, then I'd finally develop interest/desire for sex. Of course, nothing changed the day I was married. I did all sorts of research, talked to my doctor, had all sorts of lab tests done. But everything was fine with me medically. I felt awful, like I was abnormal. I do my best to fulfill my marriage vows, and my saint of a husband has given me so much grace in our three years of marriage. It was my doctor that first suggested the issue might not be "low libido," but maybe asexuality, the absence of sexual attraction. That was a game changer for us. Communication is such a vital thing. I still have hope that maybe that barrier can be overcome.

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These words here! I had the same problem my first year of marriage and i wish so much there was more literature about the subject or openess among women in the church! Thank you for sharing this story!!

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That it is important for your relationship! Especially for your hubby!

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Seriously! STOP WINNING EVERYTHING!!! :p

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Thanks for sharing this.. I'm also one of these women. My Husband & I have been together 7 years & it's just now started bothering him that I haven't had the big O yet. But honestly, I have zero sex drive & he hates being the one to initiate it all the time just to get trend down :/

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Through twelve years of marriage, my husband never initiated lovemaking. I still don't know why. Did he not desire me? Did he have a medical problem? Low testosterone? I know he had depression. He refused to talk about sex. He refused to go to a doctor. He refused to communicate about it. It was all shameful and embarrassing and swept under the rug. He did not make love to me on our wedding night. I ended the night in tears. He wouldn't even cuddle me. Maybe because he was embarrassed? I don't know why. He wouldn't talk about it. He did not make love to me the next day. On the third day, he finally tried. Throughout the 12 years, we'd have sex between 0 - 5 times a year. It hurt me so much that we didn't share that physical bond. I needed it. It ripped me apart. I think what hurt the most is that he didn't want to communicate about it. Or get help. So my wise words are: communicate, talk about it, don't sweep it under the rug and get help if you need it.

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I can only imagine how difficult it was to live with that kind of frustration and disappointment and not be able to talk about it together or seek help because your husband was unwilling. I'm sorry for what you've gone through, and my prayer for you is a renewed sense of hope.

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Thank you.

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Stay in the moment!

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Sounds like you've embraced this concept fully - it works in almost every situation.

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I think it is so good to hear that "you're not the only one" when you feel so isolated in a problem. I have vulvodynia which makes it extremely painful. Taking that initial step in looking for resources and help is the hardest but I've come a long way in understanding and healing.

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Thanks, Jennifer! The first step is always the hardest. Good for you for doing it.

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Hearing from my husband that he's not truly satisfied until I am. Communication is key.

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That's a great thing for your husband to tell you, out loud! Good stuff.

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Being open and honest about my feelings, and my husband with me about his, is what makes things work for us. Knowing that regardless of what I say or how I feel that my husband will be there for me, and that together we will make the best of our relationship, sexual or otherwise, is very important to me.

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It makes all the difference in the world to be in it together - that's for sure!

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Shoot just having sex would be nice. I haven't had a drive for years and my hubby doesn't want to have sex with someone not in the mood. And no he's not going elsewhere to get it. Last time we had sex was over 2 years ago to get pregnant. It ducks and we waited but haven't figured out how to fix me. And to be honest, I feel so alone in this issue and not finding good resources to help. I hate it. Some day I know it will get better. Just got to figure it out!

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I hear you. Right now, I am nursing and that really depresses my drive. Talking to your doctor is a great start to see if there are hormonal issues happening. I second Liz - don't give up!

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That's tough, Merrie. If you haven't talked to your OBGyn, you should. It is tough not to have any drive in that department, you are not the only one, and there are absolutely solutions to this problem. Don't give up!

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I don't have any wise words, but I do appreciate people like you that are willing to chat about the tough stuff!

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Thanks Jennifer!

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Thumbs up!

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Talk. Acknowledge what's good and what's bad. You don't want to keep doing something your spouse doesn't like. And vice versa.

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Novel thought - we should also ask HIM what he likes/disliked. Great reminder, Demarae!

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You have to tell your husband what works and what doesn't. And try something new!

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Try. Something. New. I guarantee it's been awhile for most of us. Thank you for the great advice!

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Thanks for sharing! After I had my last sweet baby and had my tubes tied, my sex drive seemed to vanish! I feel horrible for my husband because I know he is suffering and I have no clue how to fix it :(

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Hi Cassie. Thank you for having the courage to share your situation. I would encourage you to talk to your OB-Gyn to make sure everything is functioning properly for you physically and see if he/she has any solutions, and in addition it might help if you and your husband saw a marriage therapist. You don't have to "fix it" by yourself - and reaching out for available resources is the first step in making things better.

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Thank you for sharing something that my husband and I still struggle with after 14 years of marriage. It does feel hopeless at times.

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I have a dear friend who feels the same way several years into marriage, but I do believe there's hope, and I also believe it's worth NOT giving up on. Thank you for being willing to share your challenges, Veronica.

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That most women don't orgasm during intercourse itself

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Isn't that a good thing to know??

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Be sure to communicate what you actually need. "No, not like that, try this," is actually helpful and doesn't usually bruise his ego too much.

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Good advice, Lara. And in my experience my husband wants to know what works best for me. It takes courage, but communicating clearly with your spouse about sex can only improve things.

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This is definitely a "common" problem that is uncommonly not talked about. I used to wonder how in the world anyone enjoyed sex. Sheet Music by Kevin Leman was a book gifted to me as a young wife that helped. But Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus was nice because it was from a woman's point of view.

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Thank you for sharing a couple of useful resources, Alicia.

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Don't put too much pressure on the situation....be as relaxed and comfortable as possible! Have fun! Have you tried sitting up during sex? This is always helpful for me with achieving orgasm.

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Thank you for the practical tip, Erin.

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It is so true! We grow up thinking marriage is something everyone does and it's all so perfect! Between many issues you have to face in a marriage adding in sex is so hard for a woman to admit. It is our physical way of pleasing our husband yet some of us can not have the same pleasure in turn. You are not a lone!

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It can feel so isolating to have any kind of bedroom challenge with our husbands! But finding a trusted friend (or group of them) to talk to about it helps you realize you aren't the only one.

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"Celebration of Sex" was a fun and helpful (Christian) book for me & my husband when we first got married. I agree with someone else who said being able to laugh together helps :)

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I also highly recommend resources from Jonalyn Fincher. She is frank, funny and believes God intended for married women to have rockin' sex lives. :)

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Communication about it, trust, relax, enjoy each other!

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RELAX - such great advice!! It is tempting to overthink everything in the bedroom, but there is something to the notion of letting your guard down and simply enjoying your spouse.

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It took a long time to realize that the sexual stereotypes we grow up with aren't always the norm, and that is ok! I expected my husband to have the high sex drive in our relationship; however, most of the time I am the one with the higher drive. My husband and I felt like freaks of nature for a long time and it was a real hindrance in our physical relationship. It took awhile for us to realize that this is ok--and even normal for some couples--it just isn't talked about frequently. It took time to work through and realize that there is nothing wrong with us and our differences present an opportunity to show each other love.

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Right on, Carrie! I think many of us buy into the stereotypes of the bedroom appetites of men vs. women, and every marriage is different in this department. Also, sex drive is not a fill-in-the-blank - it is a continuum. It changes over time, and then changes again. And that is totally normal.

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Truthfully, I haven't received a lot of wise words on sex. Wishing I had women in my life to encourage me in that area!

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Melanie, if you are in a MOPS group or have another group of mom friends, I encourage you to be BRAVE and BOLD and take the first step. I don't know a single woman who doesn't have issue(s) in the bedroom department at one time or another. And it is freeing to talk about it with someone. Another woman you know probably feels exactly the same way you do.

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I am struggling with this right now! My husband and I have been married for four years and I'm expecting baby #2. We just can't seem to break through with sex. Can you recommend some resources?

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These days, I really like Sheila Wray Gregoire's books. (She spoke at MOMcon last year.) My email is in comments below if you'd like more specifics on what helped me at the beginning. It is worth the effort!

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Melanie, it's always hard when you are expecting and have a newborn! We will continue discussing these hard topics and will try to gather some resources to post.

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I would also love to know the resources as I've also struggled with this problem.

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Just send me an email Kimberly and I can give you a little more info on what worked for me. I just don't feel like it is appropriate to go into all the details on the blog and the book isn't written from a Christian perspective, so I don't want it to appear that MOPS endorses it. candice.young@hotmail.com

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Kimberly, it sounds like she found bits and pieces from different books. Check out the authors response to the same question below where she posted her email address. It sounds like she is willing to share over email.

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The book the good girls guide to great sex is really helpful. She answers so many of these questions.

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Kim, thank you for the book suggestion!

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Kim, I picked up this book at MOMcon last year and it full of great information.

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Would you be willing to possibly share the resources that helped you? Pretty please? :)

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Hi Jen - you can email me at candice.young@hotmail.com. There were huge swaths of the book that I used that I didn't agree with and I don't want to wholeheartedly advocate it, but I can talk through which specific parts were useful if you'd like.

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Thank You for being so brave to share your experiences on a very intimate and personal subject. God is going to use you in a tremendous way!

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Thanks Joanna!

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It helped me immensely to find out that for most men, their libido peaks every 72 hours, and in the morning. I am a night owl, and was totally lost as to why my husband never seemed to want sex. I started tracking our intimacy, and found out that every 72 hours in the morning *is* what works best for my hubby. What a world of difference to be aware of this simple fact. I don't get so depressed when my evening advances are shut down. I know he'll probably take a raincheck until morning.

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That's great information, thank you for sharing!

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Never say no, communicate about sexual needs, and laugh. Sex is not like its in the movies and without a sense of humor things can quickly go downhill when something doesn't work out.

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Samantha, I think communication is huge! Sometimes it can be awkward, but it's always best to be on the same page.

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The idea that there are times I'm just not into it, and that's ok! Because once i start, I've never regretted it.

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Christie, I agree sometimes it's hard to get into, but once you start you are glad you did!

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Thank you so much for sharing this! My husband and I had also given up hope, but ended up having a good talk with a friend who had also struggled. I truly feel that is important to have someone who you can confide in.

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You are welcome Alexandrea! I agree that we need safe people to talk through hard sexual issues. Our marriages are worth it.

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