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.