Author and Advocate for Healthy Sexuality and Spirituality


Harnessing Your Sexual Power- Part 2



3.  View sex as much more than just a reward for good behavior.

A woman is naturally more prone to initiate physical affection when she is pleased with her husbands’ performance.  When he goes above and beyond to help you in the house or make you feel special, or gets a promotion at work, or really goes the extra mile in spending quality time with the kids, it’s easy to want to toss him a cookie.  

However, women have to be careful not to reduce sex to a doggie treat that’s handed out only when he does the right tricks or obeys our commands.  He’ll catch on to that quickly, and while he loves the treats, he’ll come to resent the hoops he’s expected to jump through to get them.  The sexually confident wife doesn’t keep her husband on a short sexual leash with the expectation that he’ll heed her every instruction.  She initiates sex with him simply because she loves him and wants him to know it, even when his performance isn’t necessarily worthy of special attention.  Besides, awarding sex only when he pays the right price causes a wife to more closely resemble a prostitute than a life partner.  Remember, your sexual relationship isn’t about what you accomplish for each other.  It’s about who you are and what you mean to each other. 
4.  Avoid the old “bait and switch” trick.

“I don’t understand why my wife finds ________ such a repulsive act when she seemed more than happy to do that when we were dating.  I feel like she pulled the old ‘bait and switch’ trick on me!”  Sadly, my husband and I have heard this sentiment expressed on numerous occasions.  Women often wield their sexual power by doing anything their boyfriend desires to get them hooked.  But after the wedding band goes on her finger, she re-writes the sexual rulebook.  By making certain acts against the rules, she is basically saying to her husband, “That’s gross.  And you’re gross for wanting to do that.  I must have married a pervert.”  And what does this do to his sexual confidence?  Let’s just say that if his feelings were visible and audible, we’d see him wince and hear him yell, “Ouch!”

One of the worst uses of our sexual power is to use it to insult or inflict harm on our husbands.  If there are sexual activities you’ve engaged in together previously that you no longer feel comfortable with, verbalize why you feel the way you do and make sure he does not feel judged for enjoying that act.  Talk it through with the goal of reaching a compromise that you can both feel good about.  Chapter 11 [of The Sexually Confident Wife] will help you establish a set of sexual boundaries that feel comfortable for you, and will help you respectfully communicate those as well.
5. Don’t keep score in the bedroom.

“Sex is always all about you!  It’s never about me and what I want!”  While many women may have the right to feel that way, harshly verbalizing such a sentiment isn’t the greatest of aphrodisiacs.  A friend once informed her husband that they’d only be having sex when they had the time and energy for them both to reach orgasm.  What did this do to their sex life?  Quite frankly, it killed it.  While they used to have sex at least once each week, it became more like once every six weeks or so, then she admitted to me that it had been six months!  When I asked what she was getting out of this little game, she replied, “I’m keeping the score even.”  

Consider two women – one who gives far more than she receives sexually (but doesn’t keep score), and the other who plays this “tit for tat” game (no pun intended).  Which one of them is really the winner in her marriage?  The one who demands every bit as much attention as she gives, or the one who gives freely?  The sexually insecure wife keeps score and demands equality.  But the sexually confident wife knows that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, for that is how we inspire (rather than require) intimacy in a relationship. 


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Excerpted from The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind*Body*Heart*Spirit by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

Harnessing Your Sexual Power- Part 1

When we use our external beauty and seductive powers to lure men into meeting our emotional needs for attention and affirmation, we assume our insecurities will just sweetly melt away like cotton candy on a child’s tongue.  But we often create a tumultuous double life when we look to another man to medicate our emotional pain.  Once the high of an affair wears off, we frequently find ourselves addicted, going back to our old “junkie” or finding a new one to provide more of our drug of choice.  This extramarital high makes it more and more difficult to find satisfaction on the home front.  What we’re really longing for – genuine passion, intimacy, and connection – can best be found not by looking for a new man, but by creating the relationship of our dreams with the man we already have.  Rather than relentlessly searching for the ideal lover, let’s simply create the ideal love.

How is that possible?  Here’s five guidelines to help you harness your sexual power and use it for the greater good of your marriage relationship…

1.  Recognize the enormous power your sexuality holds.

The one aspect that sets your marriage relationship apart from all others is the fact that there’s sexual intimacy involved.  No matter how close we are with our parents, children, or best friends, we can only go so deep in those relationships.  In marriage, however, intimacy knows no boundaries.  The more intimately our bodies are touched, the more deeply our hearts and souls are touched.  The more our bodies are neglected or abused by one another, the more deeply our hearts and souls are scarred.  

Some women say they want the marriage without the sex, or vice versa.  However, a marriage without sex is nothing more than a live-in friendship.  And sexual relationship without a marriage commitment is just a temporary thrill and a heartache waiting to happen.  But a husband and wife giving freely of themselves to arouse and satisfy one another in a way that no one else on the planet is allowed to is an incredibly powerful thing.  It’s like sexual cement that forms the pillars of a strong family and society.  Be a good steward of that sexual relationship, placing it on a plane above all others.


2.  Never withhold sex as punishment for bad behavior.

Occasionally I’ll see a report on the news about parents who severely neglect or abuse “bad” children by withholding a basic need such as nutritious food or medicine when they are ill.  Perhaps you’ve heard of such examples as well, and if you’re like me, it’s enraged you.  We wonder, How could someone abuse their power by withholding a genuine need from someone they love?


In all honesty, I’ve wondered the same thing at times when we receive emails from husbands, bewildered by their wives’ withholding of sex.  Of course, there are times when a woman is being abused herself and is withholding sex as a self-protective mechanism, but I’m not talking about that.  I’m referring to situations when women are simply overlooking what a basic need sex is for their husbands, and choosing to abuse their power by withholding their bodies as punishment for some petty behavior they don’t appreciate.  While you may feel justified in doing this at times thinking it’s not that big of a deal to him, keep in mind that some husbands would sooner give up food or shelter before they’d chose to give up sex.  If you love him, show him by sharing your body freely with him.  No strings attached.



Excerpted from The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind*Body*Heart*Spirit by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.