Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Ashley Graham says waiting to have sex with her husband built a foundation of trust prior to their marriage.
The 31-year-old model said in the February issue of Elle that her decision to not sleep with Justin Ervin until their wedding day made their relationship stronger.
"Something that it did for us was build up our friendship, and it also built up our trust and communication," Graham told the magazine.
"Of course we were sexually attracted to each other; we would make out heavily. All those things were there," she said. "I wasn't worried about, What's sex gonna be like with him? It was more, do I trust him? Is he someone I want to be with for the rest of my life?"
Graham first met Ervin at church when she was 21 years old and had already "slept with half of New York City." The couple married in August 2010 and keep their relationship "fresh" by having sex regularly.
"Have sex all the time. Even if you don't feel like it, just have sex," Graham advised.
"I have found that if we haven't had sex, we get snippy, and then if we are having sex, we're all over each other," she explained. "For us it's like, 'Oh, let's have sex.' And then we're just right back in a great mood."
The Sports Illustrated model said she and Ervin also connect over their shared Christian faith. The pair attend church together and have also been fasting one day a week.
"When you fast and you pray, it's bringing more sensitivity to hear from God," Graham said. "That's exactly what we wanted."
"We do it together because there's a verse in the Bible that says, 'When two or more are gathered, He is in the midst.' So as we do it together, it just makes it even stronger," she explained.
Graham dedicated a sweet post to Ervin on his birthday on New Year's Eve in December. The couple celebrated the occasion with locals during their trip to Ethiopia.
"When the whole block comes out for your birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUSTIN!! What a special celebration!! I love you more everyday," Graham captioned a slideshow on Instagram.