One of the benefits the Rave Reviews Book Club offers is being a spotlight author. This involves a massive amount of promotion, for the author who earns this spot, by the members.
I’ve personally benefitted from this position, and it’s amazing what a bunch of promotion over a short time can do for a title. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, you might want to check out the Rave Reviews Book Club.
There is a secondary benefit when it comes to the blog tour part of the Spotlight event. Members get to host the spotlight author on their blogs. As a member, I get the benefit of a whole bunch of new traffic. Some of those people will stick around for the insanity that goes on over here.
The spotlight is currently shining on Rebecca Reilly. Enjoy her post, leave her a comment, and check out her wares.
“The mistake the two of us made,” I said, “was that we skimped the foreplay. I’m not blaming you, it was as much my fault as yours, but it was a fault nonetheless.”
― J.M. Coetzee
At times in your relationship, your body and mind readies for sex in the blink of an eye. The smell of him, the glance from across the room that makes you feel desired, the lighting of a scented candle, or some other meaningful act that cues that sex is on the menu is all you need to get your juices flowing.
Other times, nothing seems to get you in the mood.
The longer a couple has been married, the less time they tend to spend engaging in foreplay. And the more they need it.
Married 19 years
I barely have time, or energy, for sex. Adding foreplay means taking time away from sleep. I’d rather grab a tube of lube than wait for my husband to get my juices flowing.
Married 8 years
We have our routine down. I know by looking at him if he wants to, you know. That’s all I need for foreplay.
Married 22 years
It would be nice, really nice, if sometimes my husband would do more than grunt, or worse grab my breast, and expect me to be ready for him. When that’s all he does, I walk to our bedroom frustrated. I just want to get through it.
Married 12 years
What is foreplay? Is it long making-out before sex? Because if it is, we don’t do that. If it’s knowing he loves me, and me being ready for him when we want each other, then yes, we practice foreplay everyday—except when we’re fighting.
Married 18 years
I don’t know what to do. I try to be romantic and add more cuddling or foreplay, and my wife seems irritated like she doesn’t have time for that. Then, when I skip straight to sex, she gets mad because I didn’t seduce her. I can’t win.
What is Foreplay?
I’m Scottish. My idea of foreplay is “roll over, Margaret.”
― Andrea Speed
Foreplay is anything that prepares your mind, body, and/or emotions for sexual intercourse. Physically, foreplay stimulates sexual arousal. Maybe more importantly, though, are the psychological benefits of intentionally introducing desire to your mate. Foreplay lowers inhibitions, increases trust, and deepens emotional intimacy between partners.
The basic principles that apply to your relationship are confirmed in foreplay. Foreplay demonstrates your love, both intellectually and emotionally. When you take time to plan and initiate the beginning act of your lovemaking, you say without words, I think about making love to you when you’re not with me. Foreplay tells your mate that your love is unconditional and self-sacrificial. When you initiate foreplay, you invest in meeting his or her needs before your own. Planned foreplay lets your spouse know your love is erotic—he or she drives you to think about sex. Foreplay communicates respect, trust, and a desire for deeper intimacy.
If investing in greater foreplay with our spouse can exponentially deepen our intimacy, why aren’t we all foreplay enthusiasts? It’s not simple, routine, or mapped out and easy to follow. God created each of us to be unique. We bring our past, our culture, our sensitivities, and our fears into the bedroom. Your foreplay needs may be very different than those of your spouse, and different than what media culture tells us are normal.
A marriage counselor shared with me a story of a couple that did not understand each other’s foreplay needs. The husband insisted on at least an hour of kissing and touch before they had intercourse. The wife complained to the counselor that foreplay took too much effort. They rarely could carve out enough time for sex, and when they did, she was so tired her orgasms were weak or non-existent. When the counselor brought the husband into the conversation, he said that he’d always heard that a woman needs that kind of intentional care and seduction to be ready for sex. In his mind and heart, he was loving his wife the best way he knew. He thought she tried to hurry him to make him happy, and that he was being selfish if he made love to his wife too soon, even though she asked for it.
Lack of time and lack of energy are the two biggest deterrents to practicing regular foreplay. Foreplay does not need to take hours. For some, a text message, a special perfume, or music and candles set up in your room sets the stage and engages the mind and emotions. Then, the body works to catch up.
Others need their body stimulated by touch, and then their emotions join the party.
The pre-planning of foreplay raises the power level to that of a seduction. Thinking about foreplay in advance is probably the most potent aphrodisiac of all—for the one who does the planning. If you decide to take your mate on an arousing journey, you must visualize sexual activities with your spouse hours before they occur. Planning engages your mind and emotions on a deep level, and thus your body prepares. Many find it far more powerful to formulate a plan of seduction than to be on the receiving end. Therefore, if you want to raise your level of desire for your spouse, think of ways for you to seduce him or her.
If you and your spouse find your daily energy level too low for foreplay, focus on pre-planning. When you turn on her mind and emotions without being in her presence, you might find the amount of time needed for physical foreplay diminishes.
• Send suggestive and loving notes, texts, or phone messages throughout the day. Use your phone alarm to remind you.
• Make a habit of squeezing an extra ten seconds in your hugs (while whispering something sensual).
• Bring a spontaneous gift.
• Do things throughout the day that prepare your minds, emotions, and bodies to mate.
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.
• Turn on the stereo instead of the television. Dance together. Put your whole body into it.
• Give her a back massage with scented oils.
• Put something that reminds him of your sexual intimacy in his lunch, briefcase, or car. This can be a note, a silk tie, a toy, or something known only to the two of you. This is just for him. Don’t embarrass him by making it too obvious, or it may have the opposite effect.
• Sit on his lap.
• Undress her slowly.
• Strip for him.
• Hold his hand. Squeeze it suggestively.
• Think about what makes her happy. Plan it. Take the time and energy to do it.
On Your Own
• What activities does your spouse do now that helps your mind, body, and emotions prepare for sexual intercourse?
• What activities do you wish your spouse would do to help your mind, body, and emotions prepare for sexual intercourse?
• What activities do you do to help your spouse prepare his or her mind, body, and emotions for sexual intercourse?
• What keeps you from investing the time and energy needed for foreplay?
• What cues do you give your spouse to tell him or her you need to be seduced? Are they clear enough for him or her to read?
• List things you can do to arouse the mind and emotions of your mate.
• List things you can do to arouse the body of your mate.
• List ten things you admire, respect, enjoy, or find attractive about your spouse.
Sometime this week, say these things to your spouse:
• I rejoice and delight in you; I will praise your love more than wine (Song of Solomon 1:4).
• I want to give you a back massage.
• Please kiss me here.
• I miss you when we’re apart.
• I love you. I’m glad I married you. I’d marry you again tomorrow.
• How can I know when you need me to spend more time pleasuring you before we consummate our love?
• What fragrances make you think of me?
• If you compared our sex life to a trail, what kind of trail would it be? (Climbing Mt. Everest—a lot of work but when you get to the top it’s amazing; A run down hill that ends at the dump; a beautiful mountain hike with surprising pockets of wildflowers; etc.).
• What can I do to you to make you feel loved?
Just an Idea
• Add an extra zing to your hugs this week.
• Block out an hour of time on your schedule. Use it to deepen your physical love.
• Take a hike together. Hold hands whenever possible.
• Fix a meal together. Light candles, play music, and tell each other secrets while you cook and eat.
Rebecca Reilly is a pastor and has been working in ministry for over thirty years. A wife and mother of two and grandmother of one, Rebecca enjoys hiking, jogging, and taking cruises. When she’s in her Northern California home, she works as a pastor of student ministries, a massage therapist, a health coach, and a writer. Rebecca enjoys writing mysteries (Into Dark Waters and Haunting Megan), but has also written humor (Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage), a children’s chapter book (The Geek Club), and two picture books (Heart of a Kitty and Jammers and His Flying Bed Adventure). Right now, Rebecca is working on follow- up novels in all four genres.
Christian Sex & Marriage It’s Complicated