Dennis Prager has been talking about sex in his recent Townhall columns. He says this in his essay, “When A Woman Isn’t In The Mood, Part I”:
It is an axiom of contemporary marital life that if a wife is not in the mood, she need not have sex with her husband. Here are some arguments why a woman who loves her husband might want to rethink this axiom.
First, women need to recognize how a man understands a wife’s refusal to have sex with him: A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny).
This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman. Many women think men’s natures are similar to theirs, and this is so different from a woman’s nature, that few women know this about men unless told about it. This is a major reason many husbands clam up. A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives. They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.
We’re going to deal with the second part to his essay series next week, but let’s deal with the first part.
Men and women think differently about sex. To women, if we’re not in the mood, we don’t really want to. And we rarely start out in the mood because sex, to us, is primarily relational. We have to feel loved to make love. It’s not a physical urge to the same extent.
For a man, on the other hand, it is a physical urge. And it’s also related to how he sees himself. He has to make love in order to feel loved.
So when your husband is interested in sex all the time, it’s natural for a woman to think there’s something wrong with him, because on the whole this isn’t how we work. Some men, of course, aren’t like this, and in about 30% of marriages she has the higher sex drive. But this tends to happen later in marriages. For those of us who are in our twenties and thirties, chances are he wants it, and you can’t figure out what all the fuss is about.
But the other issue is that we come into marriage with expectations of what sex will be like: it will be a glorious, riproaring fun, awesome experience. And if we know that we’re not going to be up for a glorious, riproaring fun, awesome experience, then we women tend to feel like we’re cheating if we make love now. We should wait until we’re really “in the mood”.
In a way, we feel like that’s the proper thing to do. To make love when you don’t actually feel like it seems somehow dishonest. But it’s not. I’m not talking about faking here, please understand me. What I am saying is that he needs it in a way that you do not. And if you can give yourself to him, even if you don’t particularly feel like it, you build incredible closeness in your marriage.
We still need those riproaring good times. But that doesn’t have to happen everytime. Occasionally a quickie really is okay. And if you have too much on your mind and you just don’t think you can relax tonight to enjoy it, then you can still make love for him. Challenge yourself to make it fun for your husband!
Now, I’m not saying that you should make love no matter what: even if he’s having an affair, or he’s into pornography, or he makes you feel dirty. Absolutely not. But in a regular marriage there needs to be give and take. And sex is vitally important to men. It’s horrible for them that we hold all the cards, because basically in most marriages we determine whether or not we’re going to make love. If we say yes, we do. If we say no, we don’t.
So they have no control over something that is the key to their hearts.
We women need to give up some control. We need to say occasionally–not every night, but at least sometimes–if you want it, I’m there. That’s part of marriage, is giving to our husbands.
And if we also get our minds in gear, then our bodies will likely follow, too. We may not feel in the mood beforehand, but we can get in the mood if we decide to, because sex, for women, is all in her head.
I know this is hard for some women. Believe me, I do. I had a really hard time with sex early in our marriage. But what I am saying is absolutely true. If you want a great marriage, you need to learn to give to him in this way. And if you have hangups because of past abuse, or flashbacks, that’s okay. You may not be able to yet. But please get help so that you can eventually get there, and believe that God does want healing in this part of your life!
Watch this GodTube video for more: