Editor's Note: The subject's name was not used to preserve her family's privacy.
Years ago, Pearl's marriage was in the dumps.
She and her husband no longer connected physically or emotionally like they once did.
"We were at a point where, at the worst of it, my husband had a burgeoning sex addiction. He doesn't mind me talking about it now. And I was medicating through food and alcohol," she said. "We had to assess what our top social needs were. His was sexual fulfillment and mine was conversation."
They also took a class at a Wilmington church called Dynamic Marriage. The class changed their lives, and the couple became trained to facilitate the class. On top of that, Pearl felt the need to write about what she had learned in their lives as well as through her training.
She calls her blog on sex, marriage and fulfillment from a Christian perspective Pearl's OysterBed. That's where the pseudonym comes in. Her blog has become so popular locally, it caught the attention of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association, where she's now a member.
In a recent blog post titled "Make love to your wife, not your iPhone," Pearl paired a reference to Proverbs 16:24 with a message to men.
"I’m tellin’ ya, if you get it right and talk with her daily, she will open up to you in a whole new dimension," she wrote " How would you like to sexually explore variety (within godly bounds…..)? This may come to fruition if you have good communication."
We caught up with Pearl recently to ask her how she got comfortable discussing sex and scripture in the same paragraph.
Q: How did you settle on the name Pearl?
A: "Both men and women read my blog. I wanted to maintain men’s focus on the word because they’re very visual. But if they’re not happy in their marriage and wishing wife more sexual I didn't want their thoughts to go anywhere other than the written word and God’s word. I taught a ladies class one time, and I was going through a lot of trials. I thought a pearl is formed from grit, an irritant in the flesh. And that irritant was the trials in my life. And through God’s word and with every trial, I get another layer of God’s perfection and hope. Through Christ, I was able to deal with some issues and come out pretty happy with life. Pearls are pretty tough, too."
Q: How much courage does it take to discuss your own sexual interests on a public blog?
A: "I write as much as I am comfortable revealing. I’m a pretty candid person. Courage? I’m anonymous so I guess I am scared a little bit. I just felt so compelled to write. I have so many friends who are miserable in their marriages. Sex isn’t very easy to talk about. There’s so much more to marriage than sex. But it is the glue."
Q: How has your relationship with your husband changed through all of this?
A: "He was better than me in becoming self-introspective and changing. He did it. I’m so proud of him, and he inspired me to want to meet his needs. We had to learn how to meet each other’s needs when it’s not intuitive. The courage came in him and I laying aside our hurt and ourselves and really hearing what the other person had to say. Our satisfaction skyrocketed, and we got back to where we were at the start of our marriage."
Q: What do you think about the craze surrounding the subject of bondage in "50 Shades of Grey"?
A: I haven't written about bondage. What’s biblical there? If you’re two Christians and you agree, and you’re OK with it? I don't know. I think the book issue is more pornography for women. I did post about libido boundaries. I use scripture and other things about what healthy sex is. I have not read the book, though. I don’t think I’m going to."
Q: What do you hope women and men take away from your blog?
A: "You look at couples in church, and they look fine. But everyone has problems," Pearl said. "I just still felt the need for this message to get out. There’s hope that no matter how hard your marriage is there is hope for reconciliation, even if there's been adultery. And yes God doesn’t like divorce, and yes staying together is for giving our next generation hope and joy. But it’s all God, he led me there."