Jessica Kennedy, CFCP
What is SPICE anyway?
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
SPICE is a very important aspect of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System. What is SPICE anyway? In short, it is the whole person. It’s looking at someone in a holistic view and seeing how they like to be loved and cared for; like in the five love languages. We are not just our genitals.
The S, as in Spiritual, is about how we connect with someone on a spiritual level. This can be praying together before meals, or it can be a bit more complicated - discerning the next step in life, such as having a baby, a new house, or changing careers. It could be figuring out what church you plan on attending and then going together. This can really help a couple to become connected in a deeper, more rooted way.
The next part of SPICE is P, Physical. Now I know what you may be thinking “now this is going to be interesting.” It is. Talking about how to be physical with non-genital contact is very important. There are two different types of physical contact, arousal and affirming. This is crucial for the couple to learn to help them respect each other and their use of a natural system. It is important to remember that two people may have different reactions to the same touch. A back rub could be felt as arousing to one person; making them frustrated with the decision to avoid pregnancy. Affirming touch is so important because it tells the person I love you just the way you are with no exceptions.
Now, on to the I, Intellectual, we can be intellectual in many ways with each other. In ways like grabbing a book to read together (one of my personal favorites, my husband will read our selection out loud). Working together to learn the system is another way to be together intellectually. Really anything requiring you to think, even fun things like board games or card games are intellectual.
The next letter is C, Creative/Communicative. This is a fun one. This is where we can show love through giving gifts like flowers, taking a special walk through the garden, doing hobbies or projects together, planning special trips together. This allows the couple to get messy, make mistakes and laugh making great memories together.
E is for Emotional. This one is very important. It is a time where the couple sits down and just talks, explores, and expresses feelings. It is being vulnerable with one another. This is a time to talk about how you feel about genital contact and anger or frustration and then work through it together. This can be sharing how you want to be shown love in other ways. When we are vulnerable and honest with others it can be hard, but the hard work produces good fruit in marriage. With emotional, you should also have a sense of humor and laugh with each other. Inside jokes really help - like that one time someone left their suitcase at home and did not realize it until we were four hours away from home and about to go biking (we packed the bikes).
Another important thing to remember is that you can combine these aspects. You can be creative and intellectual while planning a trip. Or emotional and creative doing projects together. Or really any combination you can think of, so long as you are doing it together and working together, it can be used to strengthen your marriage.
The important thing to know about SPICE is that it helps you grow in your marriage. Times of avoiding genital contact does not mean you have to sleep in different beds or altogether avoid each other. Rather you get to go back to the times of dating and experience the whole person. Avoiding genital contact allows for greater respect and self-mastery. Self-mastery in this area of life can lead to greater self-mastery in other areas. So try out our SPICE bingo for a great stay-at-home date night. Make sure to get spicey.