Resources for Improving Intimacy:  “The Art of Desire”

A review of the e-course “The Art of Desire” by Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

By Celeste

This is the second half of my “Resources for Improving Intimacy” post.  Check out the first half about a book called “31 Days to Great Sex” here.

This post is part 5 of the series:  Improving Intimacy
Part 1:  How to Agree on How Often to Have Sex
Part 2:   Waiting for Sex Until Marriage- Can I Really Do It?
Part 3:  When Sex is Painful:  One Woman’s Story
       Part 4:  A Therapist Answers Your Questions About Sex First Half  and Second Half
Part 5:  Resources for Improving Intimacy:  “31 Days to Great Sex” and “The Art of Desire”

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Art of Desire

This is an e-course from Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, an LDS sex therapist written for Mormon women.

This course was so much more eye-opening for me than I ever anticipated.  I was expecting it to go something like, “for years you thought sex was bad and now you need to know sex is good, let’s discuss.”  But it was so, SO much more than that.  It made me take a good, hard, thorough look at myself, my relationship to desire and all sorts of masks and facades I may be hiding behind that I didn’t realize were there at all.

The course is divided into four classes:

  • Class 1:  Understanding and overcoming women’s cultural and psychological challenges to desire. (1.5 hours)
  • Class 2:  The art of desire:  How to discover and cultivate your authentic passion. (1.5 hours)
  • Class 3:  Understanding female arousal:  Physical and psychological factors (2 hours)
  • Class 4:  Sexual Self Development: (Including the how-tos of orgasm and sexual thought)  (2 hours)

She doesn’t even really get into talking about sex until Class 3.  Similar to the “31 Days to Greater Sex” book, she makes you tread through some uncomfortable water of what your psychological issues are, not only with desire but with yourself.  And you come out better and stronger for it.

Here’s a quote from another lady who went through the course and wrote about it on her blog:

“JFF’s perspective, and the introspection it’s incited, has completely changed the way I view real intimacy. It’s opened my eyes to the flaws in needing validation from your significant other and confusing that validation for real connection. We do this all the time, in all kinds of sneaky ways, and we sell our relationships short because of it.

We want our partners to see us at our worst and tell us they love all our imperfections as they are and wouldn’t want us to change a thing. We call that real love. So often when we’re dating, we fall in love, not with another person, but with the perfected view of ourselves we see reflected off them. …. [We must create] a space where we can be fully known and stand solidly, even if it forces us to acknowledge the ugly parts of ourselves.”

I know, right?  It gets all kinds of real.

Anyway, maybe my favorite thing from the course was that it called me out, it calls us all out on consistently defining our desire (women’s desire) only in terms of men’s desires.  Generally, we focus on men as the desirers (active) and women as the ones who are desirable (passive).  As LDS women, our relationship to desire is primarily REPRESSION (occasionally mixed with fear, guilt and/or control).  This focus on desirability instead of desire fosters non-identification with our self-knowledge and our desires and deeply undermines women’s strength and self-confidence.

For example, Dr. Finalyson-Fife says women who come to her wanting to improve intimacy so often say, “I owe my husband better sex!” and struggle to see a problem with negating any relationship to desire for themselves, which you kind of have to do to make sex better for both you and your spouse anyway.  Throughout the course, I had to keep reminding myself to focus on this course just FOR ME.  I had to own up to my own relationship with desire outside of just how it relates to my husband and my marriage.  Something I have never done before.

I’m starting to see sex in a totally new way.  I’ll be honest that throughout this month, in the back of my mind I kept holding on to the question, “Yeah, but do I REALLY need to explore this side of myself?”  Both Sheila and Jennifer pose the question that if our relationship to desire was supposed to be repression, why would God have given us a clitoris?  A part of our body that serves NO other function other than physical desire. A part of our body that contains 8,000 nerve fibers (twice as many as a man’s genitalia).

I’m now committed to figuring out and strengthening my own relationship with desire.  The homework assignments really help out with that, and I’m excited to read some of the books she suggests, such as Passionate Marriage and Slow Sex.

My one hold up with recommending the course full-throttle is that I wasn’t a huge fan of the format- which is a formerly “live” e-course with a little video of Jennifer talking in the corner, a power point in the center and a chat window where you can see the former live participants chatting below that.  I would prefer either being an active participant in a live course (being able to live chat and have her respond throughout the classes) OR just watching a lecture from Jennifer where she isn’t interacting with anyone- just speaking.  In any case, this issue doesn’t affect the QUALITY of her message, just the delivery.

The course is normally $145, but for a limited time only, Dr. Finlayson-Fife is generously offering a 10% discount to my readers by entering the code “ATHING10” at checkout!

The cost may sound like a lot, but it’s actually a great deal because not only does this include all four classes, but also 12 months of “office hours” which is a live, anonymous group meeting held once a month where you can call in and ask questions about any of the course content and questions specific to your situation.  She then sends you a recording of the whole “office hours” session.

Seeing that one session with a sex therapist will generally cost you $100 – $200+, this is actually a pretty phenomenal deal.  Buy it here. She also offers three other courses for couples on her site (which I hope to review in the future!).

Resources for Improving Intimacy: “31 Days to Great Sex”

A review of book “31 Days to Great Sex” by Sheila Wray Gregoire.

By Celeste

This post is part 5 of the series:  Improving Intimacy
Part 1:  How to Agree on How Often to Have Sex
Part 2:   Waiting for Sex Until Marriage- Can I Really Do It?
Part 3:  When Sex is Painful:  One Woman’s Story
       Part 4:  A Therapist Answers Your Questions About Sex First Half  and Second Half
Part 5:  Resources for Improving Intimacy:  “31 Days to Great Sex” and “The Art of Desire

This post contains affiliate links.
31 Days to Great Sex
For Married CouplesThis is an e-book written by Sheila Wray Gregoire.  I’ll admit at first I was a little skeptical.  It’s sounds a little too Pinterest-y for me.  Like all those pins that boast “the 5 most helpful things ever ever!!”  And then you take the bait and click and it turns out those things are so surface-level and not helpful at all?  You know those?But guys.  This book is not like that.It was SO helpful!  Rich and I read it together about a month ago and I can seriously point to reading it together as a springboard to what has been, for a lot of reasons, a wonderful month in our marriage. A turning point of sorts that we will look to for years to come as something awesome we did for our marriage.

The number one thing that has surprised me the most from reading this book and then working to improve both the quantity and quality of our intimacy, is how much it has impacted EVERY OTHER ASPECT of our relationship.  Seriously, we’ve been more forgiving, more compassionate, more flirtatious, more fun and more loving to each other.  I mentioned this in my last email newsletter (sign up on the sidebar- I talk about a marriage “win” I had every other week!). This book directly resulted in a lot of unexpected “marriage wins” for us.

Working to improve our sex life has helped us resolve long-standing disagreements that are completely unrelated to intimacy.  We’ve been more willing to see each others side and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

If I had known that this was going to be the result, I would have read a sex book together A LONG TIME AGO!!!

Although, I have to admit, without this blog I don’t think I ever would have because both Rich and I have mostly been happy with our love life throughout our marriage.  No terrible issues so no need for book reading and research, right?  Wrong!  Whether you have great big issues regarding intimacy or no visible ones, I would really suggest you read a book and do some research on how to make your sex life even better.  You may be surprised at the result.

So, on to the book.  The book is short- we read most of it together in an afternoon.  There is a challenge every day, but also a short little chapter for each of the 31 days discussing the topic of the day.  The book is divided into three main sections:

  1. Emotional Intimacy (the power of your thoughts, making sex fun)
  2. Physical Intimacy (how to make sex feel wonderful)
  3. Spiritual Intimacy  (true oneness in the bedroom)

She also has an intro section called “turning sex into something positive” and a concluding section called “keep the momentum going.”

First off, Sheila is a Christian author, and I’m glad because the spiritual aspects of intimacy really resonate with me and I feel like she dictates those aspects really well.  I mentioned in this post how much it bothers me in our culture that we look to sex as just a physical experience, so highlighting the emotional and spiritual aspects of sex was important to me in a sex book.

In the very beginning of the book she says that you may be tempted to skip ahead to the physical challenges but not to do those until you go through the first ones. She says we need to think the right things about sex and feel the right things about sex before our bodies will behave the right way. This was a good warning, because that’s what we were going to do. But we rolled our eyes and started at the beginning. And it was the right move! In the end, we gained the most by talking through the non-physical chapters.

Rich and I thought ourselves pretty well off when it came to communication on this topic (it comes up frequently in our weekly companionship inventories), but wow! We’ve been married for years, but we were talking about things that we never once had questioned before (Fun fact: Did you know your spouse might prefer wetter kisses or drier kisses than you do? I do now!). As the book went on, she often described our erroneous thoughts and attitudes about sex so spot on that we had to laugh out loud.

Largely because of this book (and the Art of Desire e-course), we have literally talked for hours and hours and hours this month about intimacy and about thoughts or hangups we didn’t realize we had (also we’ve discussed each post in this series at length 🙂 marriage blogs are fun!).

Anyway, here’s a sampling of the chapters you’ll find in the book:

  • Challenging the Lies You’re Telling Yourself
  • Hitting the Reset Button on Your Sex Life
  • Loving the Skin You’re In
  • 14 Ways to Play Together as a Couple
  • Preparing for Sex Throughout the Day
  • Little Changes That Feel Amazing For Her (and the next chapter for him)
  • Trying New Positions
  • 8 Ways to Spice Things Up
  • Quickies Can Be Fun

To say that I REALLY recommend this book would be putting it lightly.  It’s short, it’s cheap and it’s so helpful.  Plus it would make an AMAZING Christmas present (particularly if you are the low-desire partner- this just may be your spouse’s very favorite gift 😉 ).  Plus it’s only five bucks.  Buy it here.

A Therapist Answers Your Questions about Sex – Part 2

A marriage and family therapist answers more of YOUR questions about sex.

By Aimee Heffernan

This post is part 4.5 of the series:  Improving Intimacy
Part 1:  How to Agree on How Often to Have Sex
Part 2:   Waiting for Sex Until Marriage- Can I Really Do It?
  Part 3:  When Sex is Painful:  One Woman’s Story
Part 4:  A Therapist Answers Your Questions About Sex Part I


This post is the second part of answers to your (our readers’) questions about sex, as provided by my friend, Aimee Heffernan, a certified, licensed marriage and family therapist.

Aimee’s answers in Part I were really great. I think of particular note is what she had to say about the crucial skill of creating safe spaces within your marriage “to have conversations about personal, difficult things.” She gives more, extremely practical advice on how to do that in this post.

I really do hope that that, along with the rest of Aimee’s advice and answers, come across as being worthwhile, not to just the readers who asked the questions, but to everyone trying to have healthy, happy, and fulfilling marital intimacy. 

– Rich

*Everything below are Aimee’s responses to these questions as transcribed by Rich

 Issue: It seems like tiredness is our biggest obstacle.This might be kind of blunt but, truth is, that’s probably NOT the biggest obstacle. The biggest obstacle probably isn’t tiredness, but rather being intentional about creating time to focus on your sexuality as a couple. People carve out time to do all kinds of things that they prioritize: getting up to do yoga, to exercise at the gym, to spend time on social media, or watch TV. I guess what I’d say is that if you are intentional, you can make it a more engaging experience and physical tiredness may not seem like such a barrier. How can you be more intentional? Wear something different. Schedule when you’re going to have sex. Text each other during that day so you can be thinking about it leading up to that night.

I think the biggest thing I want to say is this: Being engaged in your sexuality is a gift to your marriage. That applies to all of these questions, but that’s my advice for them.


Question: How can you better your intimacy when your spouse starts finding you less attractive? 

This is a hard one. I guess there are a few things I have to say, but first of all, this: Sexuality is more than bodies. I think a lot of times people have sex, or connect sex, to feeling “validated.” “If they want to have sex with me, it means I am physically a certain way and that says something about me and who I am.”

I’m sorry to be cheesy, but this is something I really believe, that sex is an exchange of souls. I really see it that way. Focusing not just on how it works, or just how to do it, but caring what it feels like, I think, is the sign of a person who is interested in the experience of sex.

So if you are feeling less sexy, less physically desirable, well it’s a true fact that sex is in your brain. Your brain is your biggest sex organ. What do you need to help you feel and believe in your brain that you ARE desirable? Sexy lingerie? Maybe sexy texting with your spouse? This is something I said in response to a different question, but the thing is, people can be all different sizes, they might even have erectile dysfunction, but if they can stay laughing, playful and have fun, then sex can be a positive and desirable thing!

One thing that a lot of people tend to do during the actual act of sex is “body monitoring.” They think, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t touch my stomach, it’s so fat!” Or, “My butt looks so big right now.” Or maybe that’s how you are looking at your spouse’s body. But the point is, you aren’t being present in your sexuality.

Finally, attraction is also about who you are as people. Is there is something lacking in your emotional dynamic? Emotional imbalances, if one person has too much “power,” that is something people bring to their sexuality. For example, if a wife is being too much like a mom, nagging, reminding, etc. to their spouse, that sort of power dynamic might affect things.

Once again, these are just ideas. If I had this couple in for counseling, there is a lot I would want to talk about.


Question: How can you ask your spouse to try new things if you think they’ll be shocked or ashamed of you for asking? 

These kind of conversations can sometimes bring up a lot of hurt. If there has been hurt in your relationship because of attempts to talk about things like this, well, it might be better to help communicate that with the help of a sex therapist.

But here’s the number one thing I would say. Don’t bring up “trying new things” when you are actually having sex. This is a part of something that a lot of people have problems with. Some people don’t know how to talk about sex when they are not actively being sexual. This is an important skill. Because that moment is a time when people are the MOST vulnerable and emotional, and suggestions or critiques can be very hard to both express AND to hear.

Here’s the next thing: There is something to be said about opening yourself up to new things. The example I give is when I was a little kid and I first heard about French kissing and I was COMPLETELY grossed out. But then later it’s something you become more or less familiar with. And then when I was eight and my parents sat me down and explained “and the penis goes in the vagina” and I was floored. I realized that all these parents, my friends parents, were doing that and I wanted none of it. But . . . you change. And slowly you start to open yourself up to something that at first seemed you could never get past.

Consent is a BIG part of this conversation. And it is a conversation. We talked about this in regards to frequency of sex and high-desire and a low-desire partners. Having a conversation and compromise about that doesn’t always mean the low-desire partner will increase to match their partner’s preferences. Some things couples may simply never agree on. But you can still have that hard conversation.

So if you want to bring up something new, how can you do that? You might give your spouse a warning by saying something like this: “Hey, I want to talk about something related to our sex life later, is that ok?” Tell them that in person or maybe send a text while you’re apart. It creates a space. You know that you’ll be talking about something new. Creating that space is crucial because you don’t want to bring up something when they feel vulnerable or defensive.

[Note from Rich: I really thought it was helpful to hear phrases that people might actually use, so I asked Aimee to give some more examples.]

Other examples of things you could you say? “I want to bring something up, but try not to make me feel embarrassed because talking about this is hard for me.” Or maybe, “Hey, I wanted to bring up a fun idea later.” Make it a flirty text. But it still creates that space. And later, when you’ve talked about it, saying something like, “I want to start trying/using _____. Is that something we’d be into?” And you don’t have to go in with a decision, you just go into wanting to hear what they have to say.

Final Question (from Rich at the end of our conversation): A lot of the readers of this blog are LDS. Do you have any Mormon-specific advice?
If you look at surveys, Jewish and Mormon women report having more sex than almost any other group. That usually surprises people. But the problem is, the women in those marriages are generally having “duty sex” – the frequency is so high because they see it solely as a marital responsibility. And “duty sex” doesn’t do anyone any good. Truly one of the things that I love the very most, is when I can work with couples and then later the women come back and tell me, “I never knew my body could do this!” They start owning their bodies and owning their sexuality and start to have fun with sex.One thing a lot of religions do, prior to being married, is provide pre-marital counseling for the couple. And talking about sexual expectations would be a part of that. I wish we had something like that, something more in-depth than worthiness interviews with priesthood leaders. I don’t think, generally, Mormons are very good about talking about our sexual expectations. Before OR during marriage. We aren’t really even supposed to talk about sex until you’re actually married, and then you go into marriage and, a lot of the time, you end up disappointed. People bring these really high expectations into their marriages – they did everything right, they were great missionaries, they married their hot wife, but then sex doesn’t go like they envisioned and that can drive these spouses away from each other, drive them underground.We have, as a religion, these beliefs that glorify sex. Or at least marriage and eternal relationships, and sex is a part of that. But we don’t have any way to provide skills on how to accomplish that, how to work past the fumbling.

We need to do a better job of teaching people how to talk about sex. People need to see how crucial that is to having a holy and sacred marriage! It’s what makes people different from being just roommates or co-parents or even co-habitating. It’s the ingredient that makes love fun! So it’s got to be done well.

Some other resources I might point people toward are, as I said before, anything from Jennifer Finlayson-Fife is excellent [Note from Rich: Jennifer is actually having a holiday sale currently (Dec. 2015) on her courses. We’ll be reviewing one of them in the next few days]. You should also check out this great book/website called Real Intimacy. Their book is wonderful and an excellent resource I point out to a lot of my Mormon clients.

[Last Note from Rich: If you are in the Seattle area, you should definitely consider Aimee to be an excellent resource, which I think is pretty clear.]

When Sex is Painful:  One Woman’s Story

An interview with a woman who saw an obstetrician about pain during sex and came away with not only solutions to her pain but a new relationship with desire as well.

By Anonymous

This post is part 4 of the series:  Improving Intimacy
Part 1: How to Agree on How Often to Have Sex
Part 2:   Waiting for Sex Until Marriage- Can I Really Do It?
Part 3:  A Therapist Answers Your Questions About Sex Part I

I’ve received FOUR emails now asking me to address pain during sex.  I’m hearing you.  I have a friend who experienced this, went through multiple treatments for it and finally got it all figured out.  And she figured out how to enjoy sex in the process!  Win win.

She has very nicely allowed me to interview her.  The following are some question/answer snippets from our two hour conversation 🙂  This post is divided up into four sections:  “My story,” “Pain During Sex,” “My Relationship With Desire” and “Advice.”   -Celeste


 My Story

Celeste: “Can you walk me through how you decided to go to a doctor?”
I had been married four or five years.  We had sex regularly, like 2-4 times a week, but I was never the high-desire partner. I didn’t really look forward to or enjoy sex. It was always a little painful, but I knew it was something that made our relationship stronger.Four or five years into marriage, I ended up needing to see my family doctor about a strange rash I had in my perineum area. My doctor couldn’t figure out where it came from.

Luckily, my husband and I know quite a bit about the medical system and how to navigate it, so I did my research and found an obstetrician (OB) in the area who specialized in dyspareunia (painful sex) and vulvadynia (pain in the vulva area).

So, this OB I saw really knew what he was talking about.  The rash ended up being caused from complications with my birth control. It went down, but even then I still had more pain than usual with sex.

I went to him initially for my pain in the vulva area, but he ended up changing my relationship with sex entirely.

Pain During Sex

Celeste:  “You mentioned sex was always a little painful for you? Did you ever think before your rash that pain during sex was a big enough problem to see a doctor about?”

You know, I didn’t. I thought it was bearable enough. I didn’t have any reason to think it was abnormal. We didn’t know it could be any different.  But it can be!

Celeste: “Can you give us an overview of your treatment?”

So with painful sex there are lots of pieces to the puzzle.

  • Some of it can be infection (which aren’t just from STDs – birth control, like my Nuva ring, can cause infections)
  • Another piece is nerves over-firing.  There are some medications to help tone that down (some creams, others were pills).
  • Another piece was muscle tension.  That’s where physical therapy, myofascial release, and using a vaginal dialator came into play.
  • The last sort of piece of the puzzle is your anatomy.  Turns out there are some glands around the opening of the vagina, and mine were chronically and super inflamed.  We were able to get that inflammation down with all of the above treatment, eventually though I had to have a surgery to have them removed.

Celeste: “There  are physical therapists who specialize in pain during sex?”

There are physical therapists who specialize in every type of muscle group! Mine, who my OB recommended, specializes in pelvic floor muscles, whether they’re too tight (like mine) or too loose (causing things like incontinence). It can be really helpful for women to know how to relax their pelvic floor muscles to make sex feel good. Though there can be mental issues that contribute to that too.

Celeste:  “Wow, so you took pills, had creams, went through physical therapy and had a surgery?!?  That’s a lot! Was it worth it?”

Yeah, way more then I was bargaining for, but yes it was worth it!  We finally figured out how to make sex feel awesome for us and we grew a lot as a couple.

Also, it was very empowering to learn all about my body through this process.  Before this, I had never even held a mirror to my nether-region. After this experience, I knew all about my anatomy- what it looked like, what it felt like, what it should feel like and how to use it to have wonderful sex.  I also learned about my own body and how I climax (which is good to know!).


My Relationship with Desire

Celeste:  “So, you went in to your OB with a rash and came out with a better sex life??  How did that happen?”

So I will say, the initial appointment was pretty embarrassing.  We had a chat in his office with my husband there.  I wasn’t used to talking about my sex life with someone other than my husband or close girlfriends.  I’m from a fairly conservative culture when it comes to sex.  He asked me:

  • what my best sexual experience was (couldn’t really say – maybe my first time?)
  • when I first had sex, (my wedding night at 21) – he looked a bit dubious when I said that
  • on a scale of 1-10 what my pain level was with sex (before the rash always at least a 2 or 3)
  • if I had ever had an orgasm (maybe I don’t know?) “That means you haven’t had one,” he said

He said that over the course of treatment my husband and I would need to figure out to get me to have orgasms. However, in the state of pain I was in, that wasn’t in the near future. He needed to help me get my pain under control.

Celeste: “Wow.  How did you feel about your OB talking to you about orgasms?  That probably wasn’t what you expected.”

Not. At. All.  I was totally embarrassed.

Celeste: “Were you on board to try new things or pretty hesitant?”

Well, we had time because I was actually prescribed no sex for a period of time until we could get my pain levels under control. But I’m glad he brought it up at the first appointment. It gave me time to understand that how I had been experiencing sex could be much different. And more pleasurable for me.

It also opened up conversation between my husband and I.  Since we’re very familiar with the medical field, we started reading journal articles in sexual health journals (yes those exist).  And they were very eye-opening.

Celeste: What did you learn?

Just learning all the medical aspects of physical pleasure for women was instructive for me; and to be able to do that in an environment that felt “safe” (ie not pornographic or demeaning to women).

I learned that a woman getting to an orgasm is harder than for a man. And that many women need vibrators or other things to help get the stimulation they need. Also a woman’s emotional and mental state really plays a role as well. What I’m thinking about during sex will play a role on whether or not I can have one. The more I learned about it, the more I was like, “Huh. Sounds like sex could be way more awesome for me.”

I felt more empowered to embrace that side of myself.

Celeste:  How did your husband feel after that first appointment?

He was relieved there was something to help me. We tried having sex once or twice during this intensely painful period. We had to stop because I was in tears it hurt so bad.

Also he felt sad that there had been such an imbalance in sexual pleasure in our relationship. We’d been married a few years! He really wanted me to be able to feel great during sex too.
His response surprised me since I hadn’t given my sexual pleasure all that much thought.  Sex shouldn’t be just pain-free for me. It could be really pleasurable.

He was in my corner.  We were going to figure out how to make that happen.


Celeste:  “What would you say to girls who are in pain during sex?”

First off, see a doctor.  Second off, see the right doctor.  Find a specialist!  This is SO commonly misdiagnosed.  A quote from the National Association of Vulvodynia (NAV):

A recent Harvard study showed that as many as six million American women suffer from vulvodynia. Almost 60 percent of patients report visiting three or more health care providers to obtain a diagnosis and an astounding 40 percent remain undiagnosed. This study also reported that 40% of women with painful symptoms did not even seek medical care. Some women incorrectly assume that some level of discomfort or pain with intercourse is normal, while others may be hesitant to discuss painful symptoms with their health care providers for many reasons.

Those are huge percentages of women who either go undiagnosed after seeing a doctor or do not seek medical care at all!  If you are not happy with your doctor’s answers, do your research and find someone who specializes in dyspareunia and vulvodynia.  And lucky for you, the NAV has a list of doctors who specialize in this across the USA here.

Celeste: “How painful would you say it should be before you see a doctor about it?”

It shouldn’t be painful at all!!  If you’ve been having sex for some length of time and it is still painful, there are so many specialists and doctors out there whose job is to help you!  Find them and get help!

Celeste: “So, you mention that you never really saw a problem with your sex life for four or five years even though you never really enjoyed it.  What would you say to women who similarly don’t really enjoy sex, but don’t really see a problem with that?

Good question.  I think this includes a lot of women.  I would say, do some digging into why you don’t enjoy sex.  Low libido?  Too tired?  Pain?  Need more help around the house?  Feeling pressured?

Try to address as many of those issues as possible.  Then, I would say experiment a little.  My own physical pleasure is not something I would have ever prioritized if I hadn’t seen that obstetrician, but I’m shocked at the positive impact it has had on me.  You never know how a better sex life will improve your life and marriage until you prioritize it and try new things!