Thursday, December 26, 2013

Survey - Reduced Penile Sensitivity

One of my previous Blog posts, 'The Angle of his Dangle' continues to get a lot of hits, so it seems there is an interest in posts addressing issues around mens' sexual health. I have been catching up on my reading over the holidays, and have read a couple of very interesting articles on 'Reduced Penile Sensitivity' or RPS. As input to a planned Blog post on RPS, I have designed a short survey to collect some data from my readership to incorporate into the article. Please complete it for me:\

Monday, October 14, 2013

Best sex tip we've received

Best sex tip we've ever had? When we were going through the baby and toddler years, and were really struggling with the marked change for the worse in our intimate relationship, another sex positive couple from our small group, a couple of years older than us, told us 'just hang in there, don't give up, it will get better if you just stick with it', and that was the right encouragement, at the right time, for us to keep making an effort.

We had to schedule weekly sessions for a while, and C was uncomfortable and battled to orgasm for almost a year each time after nasty episiotomies, but in time it did get better, and now, after 16 years of marriage, we are having as much sex as we ever have, and it is as good, if not better, than it has ever been (so, Miley, as an aside, your theory about life being over at 40 is way off base!).

In our counseling, we come across too many couples who eventually just gave up in the child rearing years of their marriage. It became easier to just not try, than to deal with the emotional issues that come with this change in the dynamics of their intimate relationship, and the result is that either the husband has put up a wall to protect himself from the feelings of rejection, or the wife has put up a wall to protect herself from the feelings of inadequacy and guilt, or both have withdrawn, and this becomes a lasting pattern, that is very hard to come back from. Many never do, and resort to being parents, and maybe friends, but no longer lovers.

So rather tough it out, schedule Thursday night nookie in your diaries, have a glass of wine, break out the lube (our other favourite tip), deal with the leaky boobs, do your kegels and even if it is not the greatest sex you have ever had, see it as an investment that will return great dividends in years to come. 

And give yourself enough time, as much as you need. Cilla Lee, from the popular HTB Marriage Course, reckons that it took her until her youngest child was 2 years old before her body, hormones and libido were fully recovered from the years of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and lack of sleep. Husbands, you may need to find deep reserves of patience, and wives don't feel guilty or abnormal if you are not 'back to normal' within 6 months, let alone the oft touted 6 weeks!

Finally, find a couple in your church that you trust and that you are comfortable speaking to about intimate issues, and ask for their counsel when you need it. We are eternally greatful that we had such a couple at a tough time in our marriage. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The link between marital and sexual satisfaction - and how this differs by gender

The results of the latest 'Happy Hubby' survey are in, and while there were fewer people than usual who completed the survey (summer holidays?), the respondents included a good spread in terms of their gender, age, years married and with and without young children in the home, so I think my results are valid. And they do support the hypothesis that I was testing, that men and women have a very different psychology when it comes to the relationship between sexual and marital fulfillment.

Broadly put, for the majority of the wives who responded, their degree of satisfaction with their overall marriage relationship directly influenced their sexual relationship with their spouse.

For the majority of the husbands on the other hand, their degree of satisfaction with their sexual relationship directly influenced their overall marriage relationship.

What then is the take-away from this? Simply put,

- Wives, if you want to improve your overall marriage relationship with your husband, then give adequate attention to his needs in the bedroom, and

- Husbands, if you want to improve your sexual relationship with your wife, then give adequate attention to your marriage outside of the bedroom.

It seems that the old adage holds true: "Women need to feel loved to want sex, and husbands need sex to feel loved."

(I know that there are wives who are the higher drive in their relationship, and for whom a lack of adequate intimacy is negatively impacting their overall marriage relationship, so the above is a broad generalization, but like most generalizations, it will hold true for many couples.)

To give the supporting data from which I drew the above conclusions:

I asked respondents to choose the best option from a choice of 4 alternatives:

- My level of satisfaction with my overall marriage relationship positively influences my intimate relationship with my spouse.

- My level of satisfaction with my overall marriage relationship negatively influences my intimate relationship with my spouse.

- My level of satisfaction with my intimate relationship with my spouse positively influences my overall relationship with my spouse.

- My level of satisfaction with my intimate relationship with my spouse negatively influences my overall relationship with my spouse.

The male respondents overwhelmingly (75.6%) selected the third and fourth options, showing that their take on their intimate relationship with their spouse impacts their overall marriage relationship, more than vice versa.

The female respondents on the other hand primarily (60%) selected the first and second options, showing that their take on their overall marriage relationship impacts their desire to be intimate with their spouse, more than vice versa.

Other stats from the feedback for the stats junkies (like me!) out there -

The respondents on the whole rated their satisfaction with their overall marriage relationship high, at an average 8.04 out of 10 (Wives 7.53 and Husbands 8.24).

Overall satisfaction with their sex life rated lower, at only 6.46 out of 10 (Wives 6.73 and Husbands 6.35).

Satisfaction with the frequency of sex rated lower still, at 5.98 (Wives 5.73 and Husbands 6.08).

The average number of times that respondents are intimate is just over 2 times per week. The distribution varies quite widely, however, with:

23% of respondents intimate less than once per week,
21% intimate once per week,
17% intimate 2 times and another 17% 3 times per week,
14% 4 times per week,
4% 5 times per week and another 4% 6 times per week.

Overall satisfaction with the quality of intimate encounters was pleasingly high, at an average of 7.21 out of 10 (Wives 7.33 and Husbands 7.16). A full 43% of respondents (46% of Wives and 40% of Husbands) scored this question a 9 or 10 out of 10! The lower score for the overall level of satisfaction with intimacy thus seems to relate more to quantity than to quality, and should thus be quite easy to fix!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Follow-up post: Reader question - is masturbation within marriage a sin?

A reader has asked whether masturbation within marriage is sinful, following my Blog post of earlier this week - 'An intimate gift for Hubby'

My view on this issue is as follows:

The scriptures are silent on the topic of masturbation, with no explicit or analogous references to the practice. Genesis 38: 3-10, the Sin of Onan, is sometimes claimed to purport that masturbation is sinful, but this interpretation is incorrect. After Onan's brother Er was slain by God, his father Judah told him to fulfill his duty as a brother-in-law to Tamar, by giving her offspring. However, when Onan had sex with Tamar, he withdrew before climax and "spilled his seed [or semen] on the ground", since any child born would not legally be considered his heir. So God slew him. His sin was therefore not the spilling of his seed, but rather his disobedience to God by refusing to fulfil his obligations under the law - he was happy to have intercourse with Tamar, but he refused to allow her to become pregnant.

We thus need to apply our own judgement in deciding whether masturbation is an acceptable practice. 

My view is that for married couples, masturbation is harmful where it negatively impacts your intimate relationship with your spouse, for example where associated with the use of porn, where you would rather masturbate than make love with your spouse, or where excessive masturbation takes away your ability to make love with your spouse.

Masturbation involving your spouse, for example masturbating together, watching each other masturbate, sharing phone or FaceTime sex when separated by work or other travel commitments, etc is not in my view sinful or harmful to your intimate relationship. Rather the opposite, it can be very arousing.

A slightly more contentious area is married people masturbating without their spouse involved. My view here is that this is again okay where it does not negatively impact your intimate relationship with your spouse, as described above, where it does not involve the use of porn, where any accompanying fantasies are of your spouse and are not prompted by lusting after someone else, and where your spouse knows about and is comfortable with the practice.

Related Blog posts:

Talking to your children about masturbation

An intimate gift for hubby

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An intimate gift for Hubby

Wives, if you want to give Hubby a really intimate and special treat, allow him to watch you masturbate, all the way to orgasm. But if you are going to do this, then you can't be self-conscious; if you are shy, as many women understandably are about being watched, close your eyes, pretend you are alone, go to your happy place, and go for it just as you would if you were on your own. 

When C does this for me, I don't want her to put on a show, or to try and act like an over the top porn acctress, I want her to allow me in to her private world to share how she truly likes to pleasure herself - I want her to do it for me the way she does it for her, and not the way she might think I want to see.

A nice ancillary bonus, wives, is that he will likely learn quite a bit about how you like to be touched, and how this changes as you approach and reach orgasm.

And husbands, if your wife is willing to do this for you, accept her gift with the gravitas that it deserves - this is an intensely private part of her that she has likely never shared with anyone before, and she is really opening herself up, and making herself totally vulnerable by doing this for you. It is an ultimate expression of Trust and Intimacy for her, and should be treated accordingly. You can't pressure her to do this, it is a gift that must be freely given. And if it is, then watch quietly, and respectfully, learn what you can, and afterwards take her in your arms, snuggle,  and thank her appropriately. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Angle of his Dangle - Survey Results

This is a follow-on to my previous blog post, summarizing the results of the penis survey included in that post.

127 respondents completed the survey. Of those 71% were men and 29% were wives answering for their husbands. The respondents were primarily in the 25-44 year old age group (74%) with 6% being younger than 25 and the remaining 20% older than 44.

86% of respondents are circumcised. Interestingly, the circumcision rate in the US has been falling steadily over the years, with only 56% of baby boys now circumcised in the US overall (although this varies widely by state, with 2007 data showing 15 states with rates over 75% and 5 states with rates below 25%). In Europe the rate is now below 10% and in Africa it is over 70%.

91% of respondents said that the natural angle of their fully erect penis is between 1 o'clock and 3 o'clock. Of these, 64% are above the horizontal (22% are at one o' clock and 42% at 2 o'clock) and 27% stand horizontal at 3 o'clock.

Of the 9% below the horizontal, 4% point at four o'clock, 2% five o'clock and 4% six o' clock when erect.

As Paul Byerly of TMB pointed out in his comment posted on the original blog, this angle is genetically determined "The angle is determined by how the root of the penis (the almost half of the total that is inside the body) is situated. This cannot be changed, it is what it is."

In response to the question as to whether the natural angle has declined with age, a large majority of respondents indicated that this is not the case. Those that had experienced a drop mostly pointed out that this was due to factors such as injury, surgery, erectile dysfunction or lifestyle illnesses such as obesity or heart disease that impact their ability to achieve a fully firm erection anymore. One respondent indicated that since he had started treatment for his ED with Viagra, his original angle was fully restored.

As to the angle that the erect penis can comfortably bend down to, to comfortably accommodate various positions for intercourse, there is quite a wide and evenly distributed range. 81% can comfortably go below horizontal to four o' clock or lower. Many of the 19% (me included) that indicated that 3 o' clock or less was their maximum angle without discomfit noted that this does to some degree limit the positions that they can comfortably use for intercourse. Positions that were noted as being problematic include reverse cowgirl, scissors, side by side and oral sex.

For those that have greater flexibility, there was a fairly normal distribution, with 26% going down to four o' clock, 25% to five o' clock and 20% to six o'clock. A full 10% can bend down beyond the vertical to beyond six o'clock. Not surprisingly, none of the more flexible respondents indicated any problems with various lovemaking positions.

Some respondents did however indicate that penis size is a limiting factor in their choice of positions, with deep entry positions being uncomfortable and even painful for wives of those on the large side and spooning and rear entry being potentially problematic for smaller men.

Curvature returned some interesting data with less than half of the respondents (47%) having a straight erection. 20% are concave (upward sloping), 19% curve to the left slightly, 12% curve slightly to the right. 4% have a pronounced left hook, but interestingly none have a pronounced right hook (probably just an anomaly brought on by the relatively small sample size). 4% are convex (downward sloping).

Finally, 97% consider themselves to be 'growers' (smaller when flaccid and increase proportionately more in length as they become erect) with only 3% considering themselves to be 'showers' (proportionately larger when flaccid and increase less in length as they become erect). While the other stats above in this survey fairly reasonably mirror what I have found in the research available on the Internet, this stat is somewhat off. Other research indicates that around 80% of men are growers and around 20% are showers. The accepted definition is apparently a ratio of greater or less than 1.7 : 1, ie the ratio of the erect to flaccid penis length, so someone who is 3 inches flaccid and 6 inches erect would have a ratio of 2:1 and be a 'grower', while someone 4 inches flaccid and 6 inches erect would have a ratio of 1.5 : 1 and be classified as a 'shower'. (Sex Ed should explain all this to teenage boys, thus preventing years of angst for millions of boys brought on by comparing their flaccid selves to the 'shower' that they likely share the locker room with!)

The takeaway for me of all the above is that there is really no normal or ideal penis - they vary quite widely across all metrics and on the whole all still manage to get the job done!

Monday, June 3, 2013

The angle of his dangle

This is a blog post that I have been in two minds about posting, but part of the point of my blog is to share based on my personal experience and to deal with the issues that others may shy away from, so here goes. Maybe someone has been grappling with the same issue and will be glad to know that they are not alone, or that their DH is quite normal after all!

Penises stand to attention at different angles, which for the sake of simplicity we can describe using the hands on a clock face, the hour hand representing the erect penis and the minute hand in the hour position the stomach when the man is standing up. The conventional wisdom is that in young men, the erection stands up at a high angle, so roughly at one o' clock, and that as one ages, the angle gradually increases, to three o' clock (90 degrees) or lower.

In my experience though, and based on some Internet based research I have been doing, age is not the   only issue at play here, and different guys of all ages display different levels of angle, firmness and flexibility, which has nothing to do with their extent of arousal. This can impact the ability of couples to achieve certain positions, or at least to do so comfortably. I have seen pictures of erect penises pointing down below the horizontal and even some that can be pointed straight down, ie at close to 180 degrees. I recall seeing a picture once of one at something like 270 degrees, ie pointing pretty much backwards! Clearly, this type of flexibility allows a wide variety of positions to be achieved, as the possible angles are so wide.

I have always been a high angle kind of guy, and even at 42 I have not seen much if any change in my 'angle'. I sit at somewhere between one o'clock and two o'clock and even when applying pressure, cannot comfortably go to three o'clock, let alone below. This definitely limits our choice of positions that we can comfortably use. So something quite simple like reverse cowgirl can be uncomfortable for me if C leans forward towards my feet rather than back, and the position where you see the couple lying 'head to toe' is beyond my ability to even conceive, requiring as it does an almost 6 o'clock or 180 degree angle between stomach and erection to achieve penetration. Oral sex requires C to approach me from the side of my head and not from between my legs, and 69 only works for us with C on top, as she would get a very stiff neck if we were side by side or she was underneath (yes, this post was conceived while writing my Position of the Week last night on Facebook on the 69 position).

The point of all this is that not all positions will work for all couples, so don't feel bad if they do not all work for you and your spouse. Experiment and see what does work, but don't feel bad about ditching something that is uncomfortable for you or your partner. And as always, don't rely on porn as your sex guide, and don't expect to be able to do everything that you see on tape.

For Christian couples and especially wives who are not experienced when they marry, realise that everyone is built differently and again do not compare your spouse to a picture or diagram that you may see in a Christian sex guide or on the Internet. In addition to the angle, penises vary widely in length, thickness, the size of the head or glans in relation to the shaft, whether circumcised or not, and in the angle. Don't assume that all penises are 'straight' either - they can bend like a banana, some quite alarmingly, to either side, or up or down (concave or convex). Chances are that DH's equipment works just fine for you - after all, God has brought you together, and I can't imagine Him making the error of a design defect in how your unique parts are designed to fit together!

(Please take a short, ten question survey to gather some data related to the above. I will share the results. Http:// )

UPDATE: link to post summarizing and analyzing the survey findings:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sawubona - I see you

I have developed a habit in recent years of engaging with toll booth operators when paying the toll for my daily commute. Nothing longwinded enough to upset the cars queuing behind me, but just taking the time to look the person in the eye and say a genuine greeting, thank-you and have a good day. I reckon it must be a soul-destroying job on the whole, and over time I have noticed a typical reaction. They don't expect to be greeted and as they realise that you are engaging them, they first look slightly surprised, then their faces light up, and then I get a big smile and an enthusiastic response.

I have often wondered at this and today it came to me that they just want to be noticed and acknowledged as a person inside the booth; they want to seen.

The traditional Zulu greeting is Sawubona, literally 'I see you', and this recognizes the need that we all have to be noticed and to be genuinely seen and engaged for who we are. There is a sense underlying the meaning of Sawubona that until you saw me I didn't exist.

So my question for today is, do you really see your spouse, and your children, and do you make time daily to put aside everything else, and to really connect with them one on one? And on the flip-side, do you allow your spouse 'in' and give them the privilege of engaging with the real you?

We are all so busy these days, and constant busyness and external sensory stimulation is one of Satan's weapons to keep us from spending time with God and with our spouse and families. Even when we are spending time together in the evenings on the couch, I will be clearing work e-mails on my iPad, Caryn will be on Facebook or Pinterest, and we will have something going on the TV in the background. How often do you have a whole conversation with your spouse, child or a work colleague, without ever looking up from your computer screen?

So take the time to put whatever else you are doing aside, to look people in the eye, give them the gift of your full and undivided attention and let them know that you see them.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Technology in the bedroom

- Do you check your e-mails, Twitter and Facebook as soon as you get into bed at night?
- is this the last thing you do before going to sleep?
- and/or is it the first thing you do in the morning?
- do you roll over and reach for your phone or tablet as soon as you finish making love?
- or, even worse, have you ever done this while making love!

If any of the above apply to you, then maybe you need to consider banning technology from your bedroom.

We have never had a TV in our bedroom, in the view that the bedroom should be a calm and restful place for cuddling, connecting, talking, making love, sleep and prayer, but we have fallen prey in recent years to the insidious creep of mobile technology into every aspect of our lives. So we are now banning our iPads and iPhones from the bedroom too.

One of Satan's strategies for keeping us from closeness to God, and from our spouse, is to keep us too busy to find time to really focus on Him, and on our spouse. So make your bedroom a haven where you focus just on each other and on Him. Take time to connect, emotionally and physically, and to focus intimately on each other before making love, and take time to cuddle and bond afterwards, and then fall asleep together in each others' arms.

In the early years of our marriage, C used to like going to bed much earlier than me, while I enjoyed staying up to watch TV. This definitely affected our sex life negatively. Either we ended up not making love as C was asleep by the time I got up to bed, or she would get upset if I jumped up straight after making love to go back downstairs to watch TV. We have since learned to adjust both our schedules, so that we go to bed together, and so that after making love we fall asleep together. On weekends, C likes to sleep in later than me, so I tend to get up and spend time with the kids, but a favorite thing is then to sneak back into bed as she is waking up, for a spot of slow, soft, sleepy morning nookie.

A firm boundary for Christian marriage is not to allow a third party into the marriage bed. Adultery, emotional  affairs, threesomes and porn are all obvious examples of allowing a third party into your marriage, but to my mind Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media apps can become problematic too if they bring your friends into your bedroom and start to take precedence for your attention when you should be focusing on alone-time with your spouse.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I've been doing a bit of reading up on hormones these past few weeks, and as usual I am in awe of God's grand design for us as a species.

Although we generally associate Testosterone with the male species, and Progesterone and Estrogen with females, both sexes actually have and need all three, but just in different amounts.

A husband's saliva and semen both contain Testosterone, and through kissing and intercourse, his wife receives a boost of Testosterone, with positive benefits for her libido and overall mood. At the same time, Progesterone is present in a woman's saliva and it is not too much of a stretch to assume that through kissing, she also transfers necessary small quantities of this hormone to her husband. Kissing and making love have also been shown to lower levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol, in both spouses, while increasing levels of Oxytocin, which promotes emotional bonding.

This for me is yet further proof of God's design for marriage between a man and a woman, and also of his design and desire for married couples to enjoy a regular and active sex life. Regular kissing and intercourse assists in optimal health through helping to balance hormone levels for both spouses.

But our hectic modern lifestyles, and toxic environment, can also negatively impact our hormone levels, and consequently our libidos, leading to an inter-connected downward spiral of cause and effect.

C's trainer has recently put her onto natural Progesterone supplementation. The premise is that we live in an Estrogen dominant world, through pesticides, plastics and other industrial compounds that leach synthetic Estrogens into our water supply, with the result that the average woman (and man and child) has a far higher Estrogen level than is healthy. This leads to Estrogen Dominance - Estrogen not being adequately balanced by Progesterone levels in the body. The negative effects of Estrogen Dominance include thyroid activity being blocked, leading to obesity, low energy levels and low libido, as well as migraines, more pronounced symptom's of PMS, and a host of other problems.

Progesterone supplementation, with a naturally derived bio-identical hormone, generally in the form of a cream applied to the skin, is beneficial to balance out these high Estrogen levels. The benefits of Progesterone supplementation include better sleep, higher libido, increased breast size and a flatter tummy.

On my side, I required a series of shots a couple of years back to kick-start my body's natural Testosterone production again. Four years ago I started a new division for my firm, just as the financial crisis hit, which was not great timing. It was a stressful time, and my annual executive medical revealed that my Testosterone levels had dropped to well below average for my age, which my GP explained is a potential symptom of burnout.

The noticeable effects that I had been experiencing included fatigue, decreased libido, less firm erections and occasionally difficulty reaching orgasm. I had a series of three shots three months apart of a drug that stimulates the body to start producing Testosterone naturally again and that resolved the problem. I now have my levels regularly tested and they have since stayed within the normal range. I must say that the shots could become quite addictive though - for a two to three week period after each shot they made me feel like I was 16 again, with buckets of energy, vivid erotic dreams and a raging teenage libido! Luckily C has a high drive that could cope!

So ask your doctor to test your hormone levels at least annually and where indicated, initiate treatment to correct any imbalances caused by our hectic modern lifestyle, that might be impacting your intimate physical relationship with your spouse and your overall health.

(As a disclaimer I am not a medical or healthcare practitioner, so my thoughts above should not be taken as medical advice. Speak to your doctor.)

Man Flu and expectation gaps

I had a nasty bug yesterday that left me with a high fever, shivers and an achy body, so I came home from work early and spent the afternoon in bed. C did what she often does when I am sick, and took the children out for the afternoon, leaving me at home alone.

When she is sick, all she wants is to be left alone to sleep it off, so in her mind, taking the children out for the afternoon is a loving act of service, as she is giving me what she would want, a quiet house and no interruptions to rest and recover.

For me though, that just leaves me feeling lonely and abandoned in my time of need (Man Flu is a terrible thing!). When I am sick, I am generally too uncomfortable to sleep, and I want someone to snuggle, and to talk to, and to nurse me and bring me things like soup and tea and cookies!

At the same time, when C is sick, my natural reaction is to do all of the above, no doubt irritating her when she just wants to be left alone to sleep.

The point is that we all have different expectations and reactions, so don't assume that what you would want in a given situation is what your spouse will want.

As always, the key to a succesful marriage lies in open and honest communication. Let your spouse know what you do and don't like, and ask them what they would like and how they want you to behave in response to life's various little curveballs.