Harvard graduate, and Marriage Researcher Shanti Feldhahn talks about her book Secrets of Sex and Marriage - 8 Surprises That Make All the Difference. Shanti's relationship books have sold over 3 million copies.
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This episode provides insightful and practical guidance for married couples seeking to improve their sexual intimacy, with guest expert Shaunti Feldhahn. She shares research debunking harmful myths about desire, frequency and initiation that undermine many relationships.
Shaunti's research found the average sexual frequency for married couples is 1-2 times per week. But comparisons aren't helpful - mutual satisfaction with your sex life is what matters, not numbers. If you're on different pages, have open conversations to understand each other's needs and wiring. The key is adjusting to your differences as a team, rather than judging negatively.
The main encouragement is that small changes in awareness and relating well can make a big difference in your intimacy. You're likely closer in values than you realize - build on your strengths. Nurturing your friendship and pursuing closeness prepares the soil for passion. With grace and teamwork, nearly every couple can unlock greater pleasure and connection. But you both have to make it a priority.
A key insight is understanding the two types of sexual desire. Initiating desire involves arousal first, then wanting sex. Receptive desire means making an intentional decision to be sexual, with arousal coming after stimulation starts. Surprisingly, most couples have one spouse with initiating desire and the other receptive. Recognizing this difference can be a huge breakthrough.
Women in particular often have receptive desire, so they need to feel loved, pursued and cherished daily. Thoughtful gestures like affectionate touch and appreciative texts remind her that she's valued. When a woman feels emotionally connected outside the bedroom, she'll more likely be receptive to sex. Men should focus on what makes their wife feel loved before expecting her interest.
If past trauma, addictions, physical pain or other dysfunctions are hindering your intimacy, get help from a counselor or sex therapist. Special skills can get your sex life back on track.
For more wisdom and insights, get Shaunti's book “Secrets of Sex and Marriage” or explore her website. With candid understanding, you can build the rewarding intimacy God designed for your marriage.