Predictability and Passion Can Improve a Boring Sex Life

  1. Share
3 2

If you are married, there is a very good chance that you and your spouse have different sexual appetites. This not only applies to how often you want to have sex, but also to how adventurous you would each like to be in the bedroom. 

A healthy sex life has aspects of both routine and adventure: If a couple builds sexual excitement by always searching for that next new experience, sex becomes less about intimacy and more about pursuing the physical high of sexual novelty. On the other hand, if a couple settles into a routine that never varies, sex will become mundane and lose the element of fun and passion that make the sexual relationship a special retreat from everyday life. 

In the Song of Solomon, the bride tells her husband: The mandrakes send forth a fragrance, and at our door is every delicacy, new as well as old, that I have treasured up for you, my beloved. 

Through this veiled language, we see that this woman was able to delight in both new sexual experiences as well as appreciating the old. 

Science tells us that our bodies respond differently to new sexual experiences than they do to having sex in a routine fashion. Novel sexual experiences are likely to be powerful and memorable as they cause our bodies to release the neurotransmitter PEA (a natural opioid) and adrenaline. Think about God’s plan for a new bride and groom, seeing each other naked for the first time. They were meant to be intoxicated with love as these powerful chemicals washed over their brains. 

When a couple has sex over the years, they may undervalue the beauty of the patterns of foreplay they’ve developed and how they routinely touch each other. While our bodies respond with a less potent cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters during  these “normal” sexual experiences, they also have a great benefit for a married couple. Notably couples experience a surge of oxytocin, a powerful bonding hormone. Their brains also release natural endorphins which promote relaxation, boost immunity, aid sleep, and give a general sense of well being. (Who doesn’t need that??)

How do you as a couple build a sex life that enjoys the benefits of both “new” and “old” sexual treasures? Here are a few thoughts that may help:


Mix routine with spontaneity.

Practically every couple will admit that sex isn’t likely to happen if they are not intentional about establishing a routine. The best of intentions are likely to be extinguished with the realities of children, job stress, and entertaining distractions. Even if the morning began with flirting, by the end of the day, one of you is likely to simply be too tired. 

Like any other healthy practice in our lives, routine sets the stage for consistency. Sunday signals a time for rest and worship. Morning and evening remind us to brush our teeth. Couples who want to build intimacy in their marriages need to establish routines that make sexual intimacy a normal part of their lives together. They may agree on certain mornings or evenings during the week or even put time for sex on the calendar as they prepare for the week. 

Remember: Routine doesn’t have to mean inflexibility! Taking a weekend away from the kids, meeting for a special rendevous during your lunch break, and waking up in the middle of the night to have sex are not practical routines, but can ignite your sex life with excitement and adventure. 


Recognize ruts.

Mike and I had been married for about 10 years and had three young sons. Sex had become only a necessary routine for us—and not an enjoyable one for me as an exhausted mother. I was so frustrated by my lack of passion that one day, my thoughts went like this, “Mike and I have been married about ten years. We have sex an average of twice a week. That means about 1,000 times … my bedroom ceiling just isn’t that fascinating!” I knew we were in a rut and needed help to get out. 

For three months, I asked the Lord in my own private prayer time to help me learn to enjoy sex. I looked for Christian books and studies that would help get us out of our rut. Even though money was tight, we committed to a date night every other week and challenged each other to take turns being creative. 

There are times when you need to make sexual intimacy a focus of your marriage, and not just when there is an obvious problem. Too often couples play “defense” against sexual temptation without realizing that we also need to play “offense.”  


Understand the difference between pushing comfort vs. conscience.

When sex becomes adventurous, you and your spouse try new things. You venture outside of the bedroom, try new positions, and look for ways to “spice things up.” Invariably, you will end up with questions like, “Is God okay with us doing THAT???” Here is a blog that will help you sort through how to answer those questions. Your sexual relationship can have a lot of grey areas, not just in whether or not something is ok, but also in whether or not something is enjoyable. In some cases, one spouse is comfortable doing something that his or her partner is not. 

In these situations, it’s important to distinguish between comfort and conscience. To grow in any area of life, we need to push past what feels comfortable and be willing to try new things. This is also true of sexual intimacy. If a man or a woman says, “I’m only willing to have sex in this position and in this room,” that couple will be limited in experiencing the joy of the gift of sex in their marriage. Learning to love each other sexually requires getting out of your comfort zone. You might even find that you like something that you originally thought you wouldn’t!

Having said that, there are some sexual acts or choices that violate your conscience. Before God, you just don’t feel that you have the freedom to engage in that act. For example, a wife might not feel free to use a sex toy during lovemaking because she views it as triggering for memories of sexual abuse. In that situation, her husband should respect her conscience. Paul taught that we never want to use our freedom in a way that would cause someone to stumble or to violate their conscience. As a couple works on their sex life together, it’s healthy to lovingly challenge comfort, but to always respect conscience. 


God has designed sexual intimacy in marriage to be a journey, filled with many different facets of love throughout the years. There are seasons of explosive passion, seasons of desperately fighting for intimacy, and also seasons of resting in the comfort of familiar love. Like much of life, the secret to joy is to appreciate the beauty of every phase of marriage. 

Would you like to continue learning how to build sexual intimacy in your marriage? Join us in person at our Reclaim 2022 conference on Oct. 14-15!

You may also find the following resources helpful:
Java with Juli #262: Experiencing Sexual Pleasure, Part 1
Java with Juli #406: Every Couple Has a Sexual Dance. What Does Yours Say About You?

Why I Care About Your Sex Life (blog)

Community tags

This content has 0 tags that match your profile.

Topics I'm Interested In


To leave a comment, login or sign up.
  • Keyri Bourne

    Kati Vasquez

    This was a helpful article. It gave me ideas for how I can talk to my husband about this area of our marriage. Thank you!
  • Linda Thwing

    Linda Thwing

    This is a wonderful balance - it’s like life with many days being good and enjoyable with no major surprises; and then the Wow days of parties and vacations and surprise happenings. It takes both kinds of days to keep life interesting and fun without overdoing either one. Thanks, Juli, for expressing it so well.

Related Content

Being Sexy Has Nothing To Do With Your Body
When I talk to women about sex in marriage, one of the most common concerns is their bodies. “I’m just not sexy!” Practically every woman feels like she is either too old, too fat, too flat-chested, or too plain to be sexy. We live in a world that has definite opinions on what is attractive and sexy. Marketers spend millions of dollars and countless hours transforming naturally beautiful people into virtual goddesses with makeup, lighting, stylists and photo editing. As a result, we each carry images in our mind of unattainable standards of beauty. We can never be young enough, thin enough, or pretty enough to be sexy. Like most women, I’ve gone through seasons of insecurity, wondering how in the world my husband could ever view me as sexy when I’ve given birth to three children, have stretch marks and wrinkles and score all “A’s” in my cup size. Mike has seen beautiful women and been impacted by the seductive and pornographic images that are so prevalent in our culture. No way I can compete with that! Fortunately, God has created a husband to be excited and sexually aroused by his wife even after decades of marriage and even if he has seen women far more beautiful than she is. The average husband has the capacity to be sexually captivated by his very average-looking wife.  Sexy Is a State of Mind While men are often sexually stimulated by what they see, they are sexually enticed by an invitation. Pornography, prostitution, and affairs offer more than naked women. They present an invitation… an invitation to have fun, to be wild, to let go, to be aroused, and to be accepted. I believe that most men choose these options not because the women are more beautiful, but because the women are more available… more enticing. Solomon wrote about an immoral woman seducing a young man. Read what he wrote and notice how little he says about the women’s appearance in contrast to her availability: He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, ‘I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, for my husband is not home.’ She seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.” Proverbs 7:8-21 Without knowing anything about this woman’s appearance, we can tell that she is sexy. She is confident, enticing, available and eager. This is what men respond to and what they often don't experience in marriage. Sexy isn't an act you put on to fulfill a husband's desire. It is embracing the fact that God created you as a sexual person, able to enjoy the beauty and passion of your sexuality with your husband.  What does it actually mean to be “sexy?” The dictionary defines “sexy” as “sexually attractive or arousing.” According to this definition, it is a very good thing to be sexy with your own husband. While I don’t want to be seen as “sexy” to the average guy, I do want my husband to view me not only as his friend, but also as sexy. I want him to experience me as his passionate, confident sexual partner. I also understand that this an important aspect of my own maturity and freedom to enjoy sex within our marriage.  Embracing Sexy I can remember many years ago being a brand new mom. One day I was walking down the stairs with my newborn son and saw my image holding him in the mirror. In that moment, motherhood dawned on me. I could now “see” myself in this new role. Becoming a mom happens the moment you get pregnant but it takes many months to grow into the role of motherhood. This is also true as a wife. You became a wife on your wedding day, but it takes months and years to realize what that means - particularly related to your sexuality. Just like any other area of life, you have to grow and mature in your sexuality. It’s not something that just happens. In fact, you may need to relearn being sexy as you transition into different stages of marriage and confront new challenges. I love how Linda Dillow says it. “It’s not what you got, but what you do with what you got that matters in the bedroom.” Linda is in her 70’s and has been married for over 50 years. As bodies age and break down, a mindset of pleasing and enjoying each means that you can still have a passionate relationship in the golden years of marriage.   As women, we can spend far too much energy worrying about what we look like. That time and energy will be far better spent if we learn what it means to be fully present and able to enjoy the pleasure of sex with our husbands.  The woman you read about in Proverbs 7 used her sexuality to entice a man she wasn’t married to. However, we can learn from her about how to use our sexuality to entice the man we are married to! Here a few practical things you can do to grow into a wife who is comfortable being sexy with her husband: Entice with words. She seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. Proverbs 7:21. As a married woman, you say a lot of things to your husband. You ask him to pick up milk at the grocery store, you scold him when he tosses the baby in the air and you might thank him now and then for being a good husband. But how often do you use your words to entice him sexually?  Just read a few verses from the Song of Solomon and you will meet a wife who did just this! Entice with your clothes. The woman approached him, seductively dressed. Proverbs 7: 10. Wearing something black and lacy may not be for your husband as much as it is for you. As ridiculous as you may feel at first, wearing sexy nighties or underwear helps you get in the mood and can encourage you in believing that you have something wonderful to share with your husband. Entice with your bedroom. My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Proverbs 7:16-17. In the throws of normal life, your bedroom can become a pretty unromantic, uninviting place. How about a bedroom makeover, creating a space that says, “It’s time to be sensual and have fun together”? Next time you wonder if you’re really sexy, skip the article in Cosmo and remember that sexy is a state of mind. 
Your Sexual Differences Can Make You Better Lovers
Have you ever wondered why God made you and your husband so different? For many years, I thought that might be my first question to God when I got to heaven. The differences between me and my husband, particularly in the bedroom, were driving us both crazy. Sexual intimacy created more conflict in our marriage than unity and more pain than pleasure. It seemed like a cruel joke or a gift that we were staring at but couldn’t seem to open. I know I’m not alone. I’ve met with women who want to end their marriages because they are “sexually incompatible.” Here’s a newsflash: If you married a man, you are sexually incompatible. You will probably argue about how often to have sex, whether or not to try new things, when to have sex, and how quickly to get to the “main event.” Over the years, God has been teaching me the beauty of differences. I am getting glimpses of His grand design—even in the middle of the frustrations differences sometimes cause. Now I see that sexual differences between a husband and wife can be a spectacular form of blessing. In fact, it is through differences that the deepest unity can be achieved. If you are doubtful about that statement, give me a chance to prove it.   Man and Woman were Different Before the Fall Imagine that you and your husband live in sexual utopia. You always want to have sex at exactly the same time and the same way that your husband wants it. Every initiation is met with an eager response. There is never any conflict about foreplay, being too tired, giving each other pleasure or trying something new in bed because your desires are always exactly the same. How fantastic would that be? It would be almost like the sex portrayed in movies—what a great love life! God, the creative Creator, certainly could have made sex that way. He could have created man and woman to be exactly the same sexually. But He didn’t. In fact, He intentionally made us vastly different.   Did God make a mistake? Did He "mess up" the master design of sex by making a husband and wife so diverse? Does He sit up in heaven and laugh that we can't seem to please each other? Remember that even before sin entered the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had primary sexual differences in the way God created them. God declared His creation of man and woman “very good” and this very good included sexual differences. Here's the deal. God's design for sex is NOT just for immediate exquisite pleasure (although he is all for that). God has a much more beautiful gift of intimacy for you and your husband to open than what the world says sex is about. But here's the catch: it requires a different kind of love. Sex is designed to be more than an expression of love between a husband and wife. It is also the refining fire of love. It tests and teaches a willing man and woman to reach beyond their natural desires and learn what servant love really is.   Every Difference Asks You a Question Every time you and your husband disagree about something sexual, you are presented with a question, “What kind of lover will I be?” The world knows only of a love that feels good. We are born with the natural response to “love” those who meet our physical and emotional needs. This kind of natural love is essentially self-love. It really says, “I love the way you make me feel.” If your husband had the same sex drive as you, if he liked to kiss and be touched all over the same way you do, frankly, loving him wouldn't cost you much. You already know how to love your husband with natural, selfish love. It's easy to please him when he's pleasing you. But do you know the secret of loving him when it’s a “bad husband day?" Do you know how to respond to him sexually when it's the very last thing on earth you feel like doing? Do you know how to give him grace when he isn’t able to meet your sexual needs? THIS is the kind of love that God wants to develop in you and your husband. And He just might be using your sexual differences as the training ground. In contrast to selfish love, God's love for us is unconditional, unchanging, and steadfast. I call this servant love. Instead of always asking, "What's in it for me?," servant love asks, "How can I bless my husband?" Marriage inevitably burns through the natural love pretty quickly. The time soon comes when your husband isn’t meeting your needs or wants to do something that you have no desire to do. If your love is limited to the natural, it will disappear through the challenges of differences. You will shut down, complain, or criticize because your husband just doesn’t do it for you. You will wonder if you are “falling out of love.” God is very concerned about what kind of lover you are becoming. Only by His love can you reach beyond what you want and begin to consider what your husband desires.   Sexual intimacy is one of the most tangible tests of love in marriage. There have been seasons of my marriage in which I would be willing to do almost anything for my husband except give my body to him. I would bake his favorite cookies or go camping with him, but giving myself sexually was asking too much. Now I see the beauty of becoming a great lover. Through differences God taught me aspects of love like empathy, mercy, forgiveness, and unselfishness. He’s taught my husband these same things. We are learning to yield to each other out of deep love. Look at it this way: if men and women were exactly the same, great sex would never require commitment or unselfishness. The way God has designed it, great sex over the years is impossible without genuine love. The greatest pleasure is reserved for those who are the greatest lovers. What a beautiful design! How about you? What differences are you and your husband fighting about? Ask the Lord right now to begin showing you how He can use those differences to challenge and refine your love! For more, check out  Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?, a 10-week Bible study through the Song of Solomon.