Juli Slattery

by Juli Slattery


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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. But it may take some effort on your part to continue to capture your husband’s imagination.

Sexy is a state of mind

While most men appreciate the work we do to look healthy, fit and attractive, they are even more appreciative of the energy we put into the mental state of sexiness. Let me explain.

Men are visual. Yes, they are sexually stimulated by what they see, but 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 served 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 never experience with their wives.

The word “sexy” has a negative connotation. 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 don’t have to worry about that!), I do want my husband to think of me as his “sexy wife.” I want him to think of me as confident, enticing, available and eager.

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. You have to “learn” to become sexy. 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 smokin’ hot 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 enticing, exciting and available for 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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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 offer your husband.

  3. 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. You can choose to be all that your husband needs and desires.

Comments

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  • Carlene Seghers

    Carlene Seghers

    Thank you for the reminder to be inviting, enthusiastic and intentional about our sexual relationship. However, for women who struggle to embrace being sexy, I'd like to share that for many years trying to be 'sexy' for my husband was a performance I couldn't enjoy. To shed the pressure to perform and feel truly free to enjoy sex and being sexy, I needed to have a renewed mind, as in Romans 12:1&2, about God's view of sexual intimacy. That kind of renewal happens with understanding God's heart on the matter. The Biblical picture of sex is that sex is a sacred act of unity in marriage representing Christ and the Church. When my husband and I shared this understanding, we both began to experience sex as sacred, intimate, and for me, vulnerability finally felt enjoyable instead of risky. Our physical relationship became an act of worship, and 'sexy' part of the pleasure of intimacy we enjoyed by worshipping God in this unique way He created for a husband and wife. I wish for husbands also to read this. If they would, I'd like to say it's emotionally draining to entice sexually and be inviting when a mutual understanding of one another's need is missing. Your wife has emotional needs equally as strong as your physical needs. You can equip and inspire your wife to enjoy her relationship with you in these ways when you make it a practice to prioritize nurturing and cherishing her by embracing and valuing her emotional needs in the same way that you hope she will nurture and cherish your physical needs.
  • Nancy Pone

    Nancy Pone

    Amen Carlene! "If they would, I'd like to say it's emotionally draining to entice sexually and be inviting when a mutual understanding of one another's need is missing. Your wife has emotional needs equally as strong as your physical needs. You can equip and inspire your wife to enjoy her relationship with you in these ways when you make it a practice to prioritize nurturing and cherishing her by embracing and valuing her emotional needs in the same way that you hope she will nurture and cherish your physical needs." I have dreams of being an enticing woman to my husband...but for the challenge for us, is how do we live in the holding pattern? Do we live this out as if nothing were wrong? Giving, giving sexually...while our bodies do not even participate...waiting for him to someday be loving enough to meet our needs? While withlolding is wrong, pursuing is right, but pursing a holistic sexual relationship - especially with complications from sexual sin and/or abuse - is not a few months. How are women to live right by God while enduring this emotional pain (and hopefully not creating further trauma) and still calling their husbands to righteousness so that the marriage can truly glorify God and mirror his intent. And not be just a giving person being taken advantage of by a selfish or lost other half?
  • Carlene Seghers

    Carlene Seghers

    Thanks for opening up and continuing the conversation, Nancy. Holding patterns are challenging, and not God’s desire for our relationships. I will admit that healing for us was a process of understanding that took years. I wish I thought there was an easier way; my hope is that it can happen quicker as the body of Christ becomes better at sharing our loads. Regardless of the details, change always happens in God's time. You are correct, and we also experienced that patterns of our pasts create complications only God can guide us through. I believe being transparent we can share our journeys in a way that lightens the load, inspires perseverance, and facilitates understanding to bring freedom even from the bonds of our sexual histories. I have experienced God’s work of changing my husband’s heart. I also recognize now, the ways that God’s work also required changes in my own heart. It is God’s will and plan for your marriage to experience unity that equips both you and your husband. Don’t give up on that hope. 1 Peter 3 indicates that even husbands who are disobedient to the Word may be won. I believe that. I hope you do too, though I know, sometimes it’s difficult. From my experience, I can share that change didn't happen according to my timetable. That’s what makes it difficult to keep believing. But I’ve also seen God on more than one occasion orchestrate circumstances that created genuine understanding between my husband and me. Change always happened in ways I hadn't anticipated. I’m convinced He can do it for you too. We’re writing a Bible study we hope to publish one day. If you’re interested in continuing our conversation more privately, you can contact me through our website at carleneseghers.com .

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