PODCAST Extras: Arousal–The Missing Piece

by | May 14, 2020 | Uncategorized | 13 comments

Podcast: The Missing Arousal Piece

When women can’t reach orgasm or don’t receive a lot of pleasure from sex, a lot of times it’s because they’ve never figured out the arousal piece.

We’ve been talking on the blog lately about that arousal piece, and what can hinder it, and in today’s podcast, Rebecca and I try to fill in some of the blanks. It’s a shorter one because we’re under such deadline to get our book done, but we wanted to share some thoughts with you anyway.

Listen in!

Why is arousal the missing piece?

Becoming aroused means being in touch with your body, and many women were never given permission to do that, or were actively taught things that made it much less likely.

We’ve talked about this on the blog a lot lately, and I just finished writing a chapter about it for The Great Sex Rescue (our new book due in at the publisher tomorrow!).

And we thought we’d try to summarize much of the points we’re making here (and summarize some of your amazing comments, especially from the gatekeeper post) in this podcast.

I mentioned a few things I also want to share with you. First, I’ve shared this video before, but it really is awesome.

We also know that if couples can get that arousal piece early in their sex lives together once they’re married, sex becomes much better for her. But the problem is that we often rush to sex because we feel like we have to, and then it’s hard to go backwards afterwards (because it will feel like you’re going backwards).

When did informal surveys on Twitter and Facebook, I found that about 46% of women were not aroused the first time they had sex after the wedding, and that’s a stat that I’d love to see come down. Let’s talk about arousal as if it’s just as important as intercourse, if not more so (because it is). If women’s pleasure matters (and it does), then figuring out how to get her aroused early sets things up so much better. If we “do the deed” when she’s not aroused, though, we can create dynamics where it’s harder to learn later.

That’s why we were so adamant in The Honeymoon Prep Course that arousal is the big thing couples should work on first. If you’re getting married soon, please take it together! And if you have children, friends, nieces, whatever getting married soon, you can give it as a gift, too. Just purchase it, and then reply to the confirmation email and we’ll get you all set up!

Are you ready for the honeymoon you always dreamed of?

The Honeymoon Course is here to help you plan the perfect honeymoon and start your marriage (and your sex life!) off with laughter, joy and fun!

Don’t make the same mistakes other couples have–get it right from the beginning! 

To be totally honest, I don’t have a lot of time to elaborate today.

We’ve been working at least 12 hour days the last week trying to get this book ready, and I’ve got to go edit. That’s why I haven’t been as active in the comments, too!

But I am so looking forward to tomorrow afternoon after I hit send!

I hope you enjoy the podcast, though. It was actually a good break for us to record this between edits. 

So let us know what you think: How can we teach better about the importance of arousal? What tips help? Let’s talk in the comments!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. edl

    Romans 12:4-6 says “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”
    Sheila, Rebecca, Keith, and all the LHV family, God has truly gifted you with an important ministry. In fact, perhaps, one of THE most important ministries / keys for helping create loving, stable marriages (and therefore homes and families; and by extension, communities).
    God is pleased and glorified when we are able to “be” all that He created us to be. This involves every aspect of our lives. A contented heart and home is then able to reach out to the troubled culture around them, and the full message of God’s kingdom and redemption spreads out like ripple effect, impacting others for their good and His glory
    We thank God for your gifts. We thank you for your hard work and perseverance. May God bless you.

  2. Natalie

    Great podcast. Another one that totally applied to me. While I’d say I was turned on and feeling romantic and felt like I looked and felt sexy the first time we had sex, my body definitely wasn’t “needing” it / “omg give it to me nowwwww”.
    For me, arousal is really my entire issue. I feel like I’ve known that for awhile, even though I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s not a lack of passion or a lack of wanting to get the most out of sex and my marriage as possible. For me, it’s more like I can’t “find my sexy mental place.” Everything just seems so humdrum, monotonous & boring/uninspiring. Honestly, given the quarantine and staying in your house with a lack of novelty and small children screaming 24/7 and not sleeping like they did before quarantine, I don’t even think now is the time for me to start tackling this issue. I really don’t know how I’ll be able to even start tackling this issue with a 1yo and 3yo in the house. Even my husband has said he hasn’t been feeling in the mood lately, and like it’s harder for him to stay present and reach orgasm when we’re having sex. (& he’s never had any ED issues, even when he was at his heaviest weight). Just goes to show that mastering arousal and orgasm during the honeymooon pre-children phase of life is SO important! Cuz it just gets harder and harder the more responsibilities and distractions you take on as life goes on.
    PLEASE revisit this topic once your book is done! I think there is so much you could cover that would really resonate with probably 98% of your readers.

    • Ina

      I always seem to relate to your comments 100 percent, Natalie!
      There must be something to help us young, exhausted Moms out there! I don’t know if you’re breastfeeding, but if you are that can’t help! As soon as things settle down, I know I’m asking my doctor for a full hormone panel. Maybe our problem is actually secretly physical?!

      • Courtney

        I can absolutely relate as a new mom, breastfeeding, always tired, hard to get in the mood problem. One thing I’ve tried that has been helpful is napping during nap times again so I can be more awake for intimacy later at night – or (even better) have some surprise daytime sex during nap time & go to bed early! Just because we’re quarantined doesn’t mean I’m any less tired, and I’ve found that sleep is absolutely crucial for good, present intimacy.

    • Matilda

      What do you do if you just don’t find your husbands body attractive? So much emphasis is put on the woman’s body, lingerie and everything but what about the man’s? Why are women expected to just be aroused by him being a good husband, but he’s supposed to receive a strip show & a fully made up woman in lingerie?

  3. Anon

    As an about-to-be-married-as-soon-as-lockdown-lifts, this is so helpful, especially hearing about how long it can take to be aroused first time.
    It’s also an eye-opener for someone who was raised with the ‘hold hands for more than 5 minutes and you’ll suddenly be overwhelmed with desire and won’t be able to stop yourself having sex’ teaching. I guess their thinking was that if you don’t do the first stage, you’ll never end up going through all the other stages to the last stage until you’re married. But no one ever mentioned that there WERE other stages! I’m wondering how many other couples got to their wedding night and thought something must be wrong with them when it didn’t happen that fast. And I’m thankful for this blog giving me the education I need BEFORE my wedding night.
    One thing that puzzled me a bit though – in this podcast, it sounds like it takes a long time to get aroused, but in your previous post, you mentioned that it’s a matter for concern if it’s not really hard to keep your hands off each other during engagement…are we talking about two different things here? Because I would have thought that if, as an engaged couple, you are struggling not to go where you shouldn’t, then you’re already aroused?!

    • Anon

      P.S. Hope those last few hours on the book went ok!

    • Beks

      As a one week married wife (#coronabride 😂 we got married with 7 people present in my in-laws garden on one week notice) I can say that arousal comes and goes very erratically once you get rid of the sexual frustration you’ve lived with during abstinence. I felt like when we were engaged I was aroused very easily (and continuously) and i think the excitement of knowing that soon we will be allowed to go further made it a lot more intense. The difference going from “I’m aroused I want to kiss you” to “I’m aroused to the point that I want to have sex” are quite different, and I was surprised to find I often just feel like kissing etc. Without going further, which is an absolute mystery to my nelywedded husband 😅. So in my 10 days of experience, getting aroused to the point of wanting sex takes more effort and intentionality… All the best for your marriage and I hope lockdown lifts soon!!

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes, that’s very common, Beks! But intentionality can do wonders. And congratulations on your wedding! I know it’s tough when it’s not what you envisioned, but it sounds like you made it work anyway!

  4. E

    Ughhhhh arousal! I feel like there have only been a handful of times I’ve been aroused in our 7 months of marriage. My husband struggled with performance anxiety at the beginning of our marriage. It freaked us both out pretty bad. Since then the struggle to get us both ready at the same time has been horrible. Thankfully I’m super high drive and love it even if I’m not very aroused. Bring high drive means I’m more likely to jump the gun and be like “let’s do it now!” Even if I’m not ready physically. I still enjoy sex so much, my hubby can hardly keep up! But I’ve only “finished” maybe once and it’s been months since and I don’t know how to get it back. Help???!!! That being said I still love sex! Does anybody use arousal gel? Do you have any recommendations?

  5. Jo

    I’m 27, been married 3 years, no kids and have never had an orgasm. Arousal is easy enough for me, but it seems to peak when HE’s done. Unfortunate timing always. My husband is usually pretty good at making sex last long but it just never seems to be ENOUGH for me. I only get “the feeling” (my idea of verging on orgasm, I think) when I do things myself with/for him to me. But I don’t think I would ever be able to bring myself to completion that way cause it’s too exhausting to push through the good feelings. Sometimes I truly believe I will never orgasm. Cause if I can’t now, when? Anyone else??

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I get it, Jo. I’m working on a “how to have an orgasm” course as we speak, that I hope will be out in August/September. In the meantime, my book 31 Days to Great Sex will be out next month again, and it can help you figure out together what’s arousing and what’s not, and how to push through those feelings, I hope that helps! If you’re on the email list, you’ll hear as soon as it’s available (and you can preorder here).

    • Sharon

      Jo: Have you not ever had one at all or just with him/during sex? If you’ve not had one at all, PLEASE consider adding toys! It’s really hard to get to an orgasm with someone else if you’ve never had one at all. The small vibrators on low and/or the “suction” toys that go on the clitoris are good option. There’s even a ring he can wear around the base of his penis that has a little vibrating piece that can make contact with your clitoris while he’s inside you that might help! If you’re more likely to have an orgasm during your times with him, you’ll look forward to it more and it’ll probably get even easier to achieve! Best wishes!


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