Sexual intercourse suffers from a narrow definition, especially in circles where propriety and privacy are high values. This can lead to couples giving up on sexual connection in their marriage simply because they cannot complete penile penetration of the vagina in a way that is satisfying to both spouses. The topic becomes stressful: the lower drive partner feels pressured, the higher drive spouse feels rejected, and both feel unloved by their apparently selfish spouse who does not consider their needs as more important.
This stress and lack of sex cause a decrease in the hormones that fuel the unity and passion of marriage. The purpose of this document is to provide couples with a variety of exercises, at least some of which they are both comfortable and able to complete, to restore those hormones. Once restored, they will have the resources they need to overcome the day to day obstacles that all marriages must endure.
These exercises will not solve long-entrenched problems or acute medical and psychological difficulties. They are stepping stones for couples to regain their sexual relationship. I definitely recommend sexual therapy and pelvic floor physical therapy, but those steps are too difficult for many people.
We will examine oxytocin, testosterone, and cortisol. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone, its effects best exemplified by the attachment between a mother and child. Testosterone is a motivational hormone. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones that inhibit relationships.
For many, the topic of sexual self-stimulation is a morally gray area, and this can be a deterrent. The Bible addresses ejaculation in three contexts: during sexual intercourse (Leviticus 15:18), nocturnal emission (Deuteronomy 23:10), and everything else (Leviticus 15:16). In all three cases, the response is the same. A man was not more unclean for self-stimulation or less unclean because he was with his wife, nor was he condemned because he abstained from ejaculation long enough to have a nocturnal emission. In every case, he was unclean until evening. To say that masturbation was wrong because it makes you unclean until evening is to simultaneously say that vaginal intercourse is more unclean because it makes both the man and his wife unclean for the same period.
A married couple is emotionally glued together by a hormone called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is created by physical contact, emotional and recreational intimacy, and orgasm. For these exercises, we will be focusing on using physical contact to boost Oxytocin. Reserve an hour or more so that both spouses have a chance to relax. Perform one of these exercises at least twice a week to keep Oxytocin levels up.
Exercise 1: Naked and Unashamed
Both spouses should be completely nude and in as much physical contact as possible, e.g., cuddling on the couch and watching a movie or lying in bed while falling asleep. Choose an activity that distracts both of you but does not require involvement, like streaming media. You can either use your hands to massage, explore, caress, and fondle your spouse or not—this is not an exercise in getting your spouse to touch you in a certain way.
One potential obstacle is that one spouse will become aroused and will be unable to focus without orgasm. If you encounter that situation, proceed with the orgasm immediately in the simplest way possible, even manual self-stimulation. Once that obstacle is out of the way, both spouses will be more able to relax without feeling pressured to act or touch in a certain way.
This is not an exercise in overcoming touching barriers, so if you do not like how your spouse is touching you, ask them to touch somewhere else. Instead of saying, “Do not touch my neck,” say, “Please touch my back.” Hands cannot be everywhere at once, so if you ask your spouse to touch a certain part of you, they cannot also touch you in ways you do not like.
Exercise 2: Let Her Breasts Satisfy You at All Times
Nipple stimulation and lactation are oxytocin generators for both men and women. Both spouses should have exposed upper bodies for this exercise. Use hands, mouth, and genitals to stimulate both spouses’ breasts and nipples, in turn and simultaneously. Nipples can become weary of stimulation, so breaks & switching should be responses to those feelings. At the very least, the husband should lay his head or place his penis between his wife’s breasts.
Again, this exercise may arouse one or both spouses. The aroused spouse should seek orgasm quickly and unceremoniously so that the arousal does not distract from the exercise’s focus.
Almost everything sexual is repulsive at one level or another. Children abhor even the notion of their parents kissing, so “is it gross?” is not a good standard by which to determine the limits of your sexual activities. In American culture, breastfeeding is strictly done by infants. That is not the case in other cultures, nor is it a Biblical or moral principle. Adult nursing is an excellent oxytocin generator, can help keep the milk ducts in the woman’s breast free of obstruction, and can be used to decrease fertility.
Exercise 3: Let the Husband Fulfill His Marital Obligation to His Wife
Women produce oxytocin during orgasm and foreplay. Interestingly, the more different sexual partners they currently have or have had in the past will reduce this effect. Unlike men, women generate more oxytocin during foreplay and after-play than during actual orgasm, so this exercise focuses on drawing out the sexual encounter as much as possible in a way that is pleasurable to her.
The husband should stimulate his wife’s genitals, breasts, and mouth in whatever way is most pleasing to her. While non-sexual touches will likely be desired initially, as the exercise progresses, touches should become sexually stimulating rather than simply pleasurable. Because unlike men, women can generally orgasm many times in a single sexual encounter, her orgasm should be expected and encouraged. Extended deep kissing, oral-genital stimulation (cunnilingus), and direct clitoral stimulation are the most reliable ways for most women to achieve orgasm.
In the very likely event that the husband’s arousal distracts him from his wife, he should ejaculate quickly and unceremoniously in whatever way is most convenient for her. Generally, there is nothing more arousing for a husband than his wife’s sexual pleasure, so this eventuality is to be expected and planned for.
Exercise 4: Let the Wife Fulfill Her Marital Obligation to Her Husband
Men have a naturally lower level of oxytocin than women. One instance in which his level reaches and exceeds that of his wife is during is orgasm and shortly thereafter. Men affected by this oxytocin are naturally less aroused by other women and more attached to their own wife and family. Because vaginal intercourse produces the most oxytocin, attempt to maintain that connection with few and brief interruptions throughout your time together. Also, try to engage the penis as deeply into the vagina as is comfortable for both partners. Stimulation of his nipples will also be beneficial for this exercise.
In order to maintain his erection, postpone ejaculation by using the quiet vagina technique. A quite vagina is simply a stationary penis: no thrusting. Additionally, a ring made of a stretchy material can be put around the base of the shaft and testicles and/or around the base of the shaft only to keep blood in the shaft of the penis and improve the erection. A hairband can be used if it is not too tight or too loose. If he has ejaculated within the last few hours, he will be able to go longer before orgasm, but this often reduces the strength of his erection and probably should not be encouraged.
If the male is the higher drive spouse, as is often the case, it may be beneficial for him to be blindfolded or have his limbs restrained to prevent his taking control of stimulation and proceeding to ejaculation quickly. Whether this is the case or not, start by using a woman-on-top position.
If the wife becomes aroused during the exercise and is distracted by her desire to orgasm, she should do so ideally without removing her husband’s erection from her vagina.
Testosterone is the hormone that drives sexual desire in both men and women. On average, men have many times more testosterone than their wives, which is why men are famous for having a higher sex drive. Men generate testosterone through a variety of activities.
Especially in men, testosterone is a motivating force. A man with low testosterone suffers from lethargy, depression, loss of muscle, and weight gain. If testosterone is too low, pharmaceutical solutions may be needed.
Reserve at least half an hour on your calendar two to three times a week for these activities.
Exercise 1: For the Win
Men have been shown to have increased testosterone whenever they achieve a victory of any kind. Even something as simple as winning a coin toss. For this exercise, choose an activity that involves many successes. Foosball will fit into most homes, is competitive, and would fit the bill nicely. Ping pong is another excellent option. Physical activity is beneficial in testosterone production, but not the purpose of this exercise. A puzzle or board game is another good option.
Because success and achievement are important, find something that you are good at. If your score is <100, bowling may not be the best choice. It is important to do the activity together, so find something that both of you enjoy. If one of you is merely enduring it, you will find it hard to maintain the activity.
Exercise 2: No Pain, No Gain
Physical activity increases testosterone, especially weight training. If regular exercise is something you and your spouse can stick to, it is an excellent idea. Regularly volunteering to move inventory around a warehouse at a local food bank or donation center can also be an excellent physical outlet.
Exercise 3: Body Fluids
Saliva is one way that testosterone can be transferred from a husband to his wife. To facilitate this, open-mouthed kissing is ideal. Hence the term “Swapping Spit.”
Semen also contains testosterone that can be transferred to the wife either vaginally or orally. Thus, she can increase her testosterone levels through sex. The increase in testosterone will increase her desire for sex, which will again increase her testosterone. Because schedules do not always allow for long-term encounters, you can focus on quickly causing the husband’s ejaculation.
Exercise 4: Protein, Carbs, and Fat
Diet is important to the body’s testosterone production, and eliminating carbs, protein, or even fat from your diet can have a negative impact on its production. Because of this, avoid eliminating one of these energy sources entirely for long periods of time. Try reducing portion sizes or rotating foods if you are trying to reduce calorie intake.
A vitamin supplement is also an excellent tool to maintain testosterone and other hormone levels especially if you spend most of your time indoors and have a vitamin D deficiency.
Avoid estrogen-like compounds such as soy-based foods and parabens in hygienic products.
Prescription drugs that reduce cholesterol can adversely affect testosterone levels.
Exercise 5: Morning Wood
Because sleep is important to testosterone production and wakefulness in the morning, remove streaming media and other distractions from the bedroom to facilitate earlier sleep cycles. Dim light sources and avoid screen time for an hour before bed in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Ambient light is one of the first indications to your body to begin preparing for sleep cycles.
If your sleep cycles are regularly interrupted by children that do not sleep through the night, attempt to divide the responsibility such that each spouse gets at least one 3 to 4-hour block of good sleep without interruption.
Both men and women have elevated testosterone levels in the morning. Take advantage of this fact by engaging in sexual acts first thing in the morning. Generally, the lower drive wife can even waken her husband with direct genital stimulation. That option may be available to low drive husbands or high drive wives and should be discussed before being attempted.
If a husband regularly wakes up without an erection, it is likely that he has low testosterone.
Stress related hormones like cortisol directly affect other hormone levels. There are a myriad of methods for reducing stress, but as this document focuses on marriage, we will only cover a few.
Exercise 1: Sexual intimacy
For situations where the husband is stressed and the wife is not, sexual intercourse of any kind can be an excellent solution. In general, men are more aroused by stressed, but women are stifled. Take that into account when applying this solution because a stressed wife who is required to add one more thing to her todo list, even sex, will not benefit.
Exercise 2: Get away
Arrange childcare & get away from the house and work. Other authors have done a better job describing the benefits of regular date nights. Try engaging in sexual intercourse before the date if arousal is something that will be distracting or “looming” over the date.
Be sure to choose a date activity during which you can relate the day’s events. Even if interactive discussion is not involved, simply reporting on current interests & distractions to a listening spouse is stress relieving especially for women. Whether you are worried about the political future of the nation is not an ideal topic. Conversation topics can include books being read, challenges overcome, even relating boredom at work to a sympathetic spouse can be immensely relaxing. Avoid discussing future potential problems.
Exercise 3: Testosterone
Anything that increases a man’s testosterone also decreases cortisol.
Exercise 4: Oxytocin
When a woman’s oxytocin is up, her stress level goes down.
Exercise 5: Community Involvement
Social activities are immensely beneficial for reducing stress. Joining a church, team, small group Bible study or club based on a hobby with your spouse can be an excellent stress relief. The important factors are that you are present with people apart from your home, family and business stressors focusing on something for which you have a passion.
So, now that you are having sex 3 times a week, are exercising, sleeping well, eating right and are involved in church & play tennis on the weekends, your life will be perfect. Probably not. If you are doing all these things, you are probably too busy! These assignments are things you and your spouse can try to incorporate into your life to build up the hormonal basis for your marriage. Obviously, you need commitment, selflessness & love. But more oxytocin, good testosterone and less cortisol will make all of those things easier.
Some readers here are married to sexual refusers.
Some couples cut sex out of their life postpartum.
Personally, I didn’t learn about Oxytocin in high school health class.
Ideally, if you are in any of those categories, this is for you.
I’d love your feedback – especially if something here is blatantly wrong.
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