Years ago, our church discovered that many married couples are uncomfortable talking about sexual intimacy. Since the bedroom is a barometer of marital communication, we set out to help couples with conversation more than technique.

We gave each married couple in our church a two-hour burning candle and a list of questions. We asked them to go home, light the candle and ask one another as many of the questions as they felt comfortable answering.

One of our members returned the following Sunday and said, “Hey pastor, I found out that when you light that candle under a ceiling fan it only takes 45 minutes.” That was humorous, but not our goal.

Here are 25 questions to spark some holiday conversation. Light a candle and enjoy.

  1. How often, if ever, did you and your parents talk about sex?
  2. What kind of picture did your parents paint for you about sex?
  3. When and where did you first learn about sex?
  4. Are there any questions about sex that you think are off-limits for us to discuss?
  5. What parts of your body are you insecure about?
  6. What can I do to ease those insecurities?
  7. Do you like what I wear leading up to sex? (Should I burn the sweats?)
  8. What would you change about our bedroom to spice it up?
  9. How satisfied are you with how often we have sex?
  10. I enjoy having sex ___ times per week or month.
  11. Have you ever been frustrated thinking tonight’s the night only to be disappointed?
  12. What should our code phrases be around the kids on the night we are in the mood? (For example, “Let’s work on the budget tonight,” or, “Do we need anything at the supermarket?” Nobody uses the word supermarket anymore, so that works.)
  13. Do we do well sharing the initiation?
  14. Do we offer grace to each other when “tonight’s the night” doesn’t work out?
  15. How satisfied are you with our performance?
  16. Can you give me two or three ideas for foreplay?
  17. What position is most comfortable for you?
  18. Is there anything I ever do that makes you uncomfortable or causes you pain?
  19. Should we use more candles?
  20. What genre of music would you want on our lovemaking playlist?
  21. Lotions, oils, scents?
  22. What are the distractions that keep us from getting together and what can we do to eliminate them?
  23. How satisfied are you with how long we spend making love?
  24. Do you ever feel like we rush it?
  25. Have you ever been frustrated at how long it takes me to get in the mood?

Ted Cunningham is the founding pastor of Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, Missouri. A graduate of Liberty University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Cunningham is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Trophy Child and Young and in Love. He and his wife have two children.