29 Days to Great Sex Day 14: When You Don’t Want to Make Love

Before we launch into Day 14 of 29 Days to Great Sex, I have to show you this! My books arrived yesterday! Here’s a 30 second clip of the first time I saw the printed version of The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex:

So cool! Get your copy here!

Okay, now back to the task at hand. In looking at sex this month, we started with how we feel about sex, leading to how to have fun with your husband, and this week we’re looking at what happens when you wind up in the bedroom together at night. Now it’s Day 14 of 29 Days to Great Sex, which means it’s Valentine’s Day! For many of us that’s a lot of pressure. Sure we could buy him chocolates and a card, but we know what he really wants. Can we deliver?

Don't Want to Make Love? Here's how to get "in the mood"--even if you don't feel like it. Too often it’s hard because we think, “I just don’t want sex.”

Today I want to walk you all through how desire works in women, because I think we often misunderstand it.

In movies, a couple totally hot for each other, and so they fall into bed together. They’re both “in the mood”. They’re both aroused. And so they make love.

That’s honest. They make love because they want to make love. They’re in the mood, and they’re acting on that.

The problem is it’s also not realistic.

Most women just are not “in the mood” at the drop of a hat, panting and waiting to fall into bed.

A Psychology Today article explained this well:

That’s what University of British Columbia psychiatrist Rosemary Basson, M.D., discovered in interviews with hundreds of women. Contrary to the conventional model, for many women, desire is not the cause of lovemaking, but rather, its result. “Women,” Basson explains, “often begin sexual experiences feeling sexually neutral.” But as things heat up, so do they, and they eventually experience desire.

What does that mean for us?

It means that we need to rethink what being “in the mood” actually means.

You see, men were designed to need very little stimulation. They see something and they’re ready to go. Women, on the other hand, simply don’t work that way. We need to relax, be able to concentrate on what’s going on, and slowly heat up. It’s not like there’s a physical need in the same way (which is not to say that women don’t get aroused, or that we aren’t bothered if we go for too long without sex; only that physiologically we tend to work very differently).

That means that to make love when you aren’t currently “in the mood” isn’t lying or being dishonest.

Instead, what you’re doing is responding to your husband. He pursues you, and tries to arouse you, and then you respond. That actually makes perfect sense. Men, after all, are more the pursuer, and we are more the responder. That’s the way we were made. And so our bodies are made to respond to theirs; they weren’t made to necessarily be ready before the pursuit is actually begun.

I’m afraid that many women are missing out on how great sex can be, and what a great sex life they can have, because they figure they don’t want sex, they aren’t “in the mood” so they can’t, because it would be somehow akin to faking. But to start to kiss him when he wants to make love, and to start to let your hands wander, and to respond to his hands wandering, is not faking. It’s responding. And when you put your head in the game, as Rosemary Basson found, women do tend to heat up.

Now, if you never heat up, there could be several reasons, some of which we’ll cover in the next few days. You could have low testosterone, and if you never have sexy dreams, never get aroused, and never seem to desire sex, you should be checked for this. He could simply not have learned how to properly stimulate you, or perhaps because you don’t know yourself, and we’ll look more at that this week. Or you could have some issues with sex, such as past abuse, which you need to seek healing from. But in general, if your husband has learned what your body likes, and you make a decision to respond, your body will indeed follow.

'Anna' photo (c) 2010, David Salafia - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

It’s this decision part that’s so important.

If you don’t make that mental leap that says, “I’m going to throw myself into this and enjoy it”, then you likely won’t. You’ll keep thinking, “I don’t want sex”, and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You have to turn on your own switch. No matter what he does, he can’t arouse you unless you decide to become aroused, because we control our own sex drive. And this, too, makes sense. If women automatically could become aroused no matter who they were with, then the pursuit really wouldn’t be as big a deal, would it? But women don’t automatically become aroused; we have to choose to let ourselves, which means that we are choosing to enjoy our husbands. He’s pursuing, and we’re choosing to be caught. Incidentally, this is what men often wish women understood. They desire sex not just for physical release, or even primarily for physical release. Sex is their way of seeing if we actually will respond to them and accept them. It’s their way of seeing whether we would choose them again. So what really interests a man is not his orgasm nearly as much as it is his wife’s ability–or choice–to respond sexually.

So how do you actually heat up? This is going to sound really strange, but trust me on this. When you’re making love and he’s touching you, keep asking yourself, over and over, “where do I want him to touch now? What feels good?” If you ask “where do I want him to touch now?”, then you’re paying attention to your body and you’re thinking about what it’s feeling. And that, in and of itself, is the key to arousal. You’re not letting yourself become distracted; you’re thinking about your physical body. And as you do, you’ll likely find that some body part does want to be touched. Just move his hand there and show him! And then the arousal will likely start.

With tonight being Valentine’s Day, many women will want to give their husbands a fun time. That’s great. Just remember that you don’t have to be “in the mood” first. You just have to love him and be willing to jump in, and then concentrate once you do. You’re deciding to accept him, and deciding to respond, and chances are your body will. (And if it still won’t, more on that in the next few days!).

Great Sex Challenge 14: Jump in and initiate sex, even if you don’t think you’re in the mood. Make a decision to have a fun time, and really throw yourself into it, and see if your body responds!

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.

29 Days to Great Sex:

Day 1: The Act of Marriage
Day 2: Starting Fresh
Day 3: Loving the Skin You’re In
Day 4: Pucker Up!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
Day 12: If you’re Having a Hard Time with these Challenges
Day 13: Getting Your Head in the Game

Next: Day 15: What is Foreplay?
Day 16: How to Orgasm
Day 17: The Pleasure Center
Day 18: Foreplay Can Be for Him, Too!
Day 19: How to Come Alive Again
Day 20: Deciding on Boundaries
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!
Day 24: Initiate, Baby!
Day 25: Sex When You Have Kids
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when You Make Love
Day 28: Overcoming Selfishness
Day 29: A Contest & a Party!

Remember to hit the Share buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! (or any other buttons below :). Let’s spread the word about the series, and help other marriages thrive!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.


  1. Any comments on a marriage where the wife who told the husband on the 11th that she had been reading all of this serries, but has not allowed any sexual contact since January 28th?

    • Fred, that’s really, really tough. I’d try to have a long conversation with her and let her hear your heart, which, if I know you well from the comments (and from other guys I’ve talked to), would go something like this:

      I love you and I want us to feel close and truly intimate in every way. It’s not just about me wanting pleasure; it’s about me wanting us to really connect. And I know sex can do that in a relationship in a way that nothing else will. I just feel like we’re missing out on something. Will you please talk to me and show me how I can make it really wonderful for you, so that you feel like we’re “making love” and not just “having sex”?

      Maybe if she understands your desire for true intimacy, then she may be more open to it. I think many women really think that men are just imposing because they want a physical high, and they don’t understand the emotional and spiritual connection that you can both get from it, you know?

  2. Tammy Henriquez says:

    Thanks Sheila, just pre-ordered my book. Can’t wait.

  3. “No matter what he does, he can’t arouse you unless you decide to become aroused, because we control our own sex drive.”

    This is so true. There is a moment of decision when you are either in or out. The decision came sooner when I was young. LOL! But it still works the same. Our main sex organ is our brain. I can hear the tired mommies now … but really, why wouldn’t we want to be caught again and again by our husband’s loving pursuit? If it isn’t enjoyable, there are reasons for it, and, as you said, it should be investigated. Oh, goodness, don’t waste any more time on an unsatisfying sex life!

    Fred, bless your heart. There must be some underlying things going on with your wife.

  4. I can remember so many times in the past where I felt reluctant to have sex because I was just too tired or whatever other reason, and at the end actually said to my husband, “That was fun! We should do it more often!!”
    Megan Elzey recently posted…Gently, He leads meMy Profile

    • Megan, what a great comment! Thanks for leaving that. I think it will encourage many. And I TOTALLY understand what you’re saying. I’m the same way. Except that over the last few years I’ve wised up, and I’ve realized that sex actually helps me sleep better. So when I’m exhausted, I just turn to him and say, “Okay, baby, put me to sleep!”. It works :).

    • I’ve had the same experience many a time! I just thought I wasn’t “in the mood” but it turns out I wasn’t in the mood YET. :) I almost always end up enjoying it and wondering why I didn’t want to in the first place!
      Vinae recently posted…A Clean House is a Lonely HouseMy Profile

  5. This so perfectly describes the approach I take with marital intimacy. I have always tried to just jump in and every time I do my body follows. When I give myself over to the time with my husband my life is blessed.

    Shelia, pre-ordered the book and look forward to reading it.
    donotdisturb blog recently posted…Speaking Well of Your Mate:My Profile

    • Thanks for that encouraging comment, too! I know many readers don’t think that’s possible, but trust me, it really is. Sometimes we have issues because we really haven’t figured out how to make it feel good, and that’s okay. You can work on that. But honestly, I think understanding how our libidos differ is one of the most important things couples can do.

  6. Sheila,

    Man who reads your blog. I’m a guy who has started consciously pursuing my wife, who is evidently quite sexually uninterested, (at least compared to Christian woman who read and write sex blogs!) and had some great results. In short, I started reading blogs like yours and other sources about 9 months ago and started to try to make myself more attractive to my wife and be more intentional about asking her for sex, to be put the moves on her, etc.

    We’ve been married almost 13 years and honestly, I think we had more sex from May-December last year than we had in the rest of our marriage (getting up to once every 3 days in Nov and Dec). I know that sounds remarkable, but on our 12 day honeymoon we made love about 5 times (3 times in one night), and after that in our first year of marriage maybe once every 2 weeks.

    So now…. my wife is pregnant again with our fifth baby (conceived in Dec) and she is feeling quite a bit of nausea at night. We have not had any kind of sexual activity in over a month (she does not like oral [for either of us] or handjobs) and I have resorted to asking her in the morning when she usually feels a bit bettter (we’ve never done it in the morning). During the day won’t work either, as we have 4 kids under 9 and she is a bit uncomfortable with the idea (to my exasperation… : ) )

    I love my wife and she is a good woman. But I am really frustrated about this. Do you have any posts about pregnancy-type situations like this that you could refer me to?

    Thank you,

    • Wow, that’s awesome that you took the initiative and turned things around like that! That’s really wonderful.

      As for pregnancy, that can just be a really hard time for a couple, especially if she’s really sick. I’m sorry there’s no magic pill, but I’d say just keep laughing with her and keep the friendship open with her and try to lighten her load as much as possible with the other kids, like putting them to bed so she can put her feet up, and things like that. If she’s in her first trimester she’s probably just exhausted.

      The good news is that for many women, months 4-7 are actually quite good ones. They’re not as tired, energy returns, and the libido actually increases. So if you can hang on, that’s great. But I think the big thing is just to keep pursuing her, keep telling her how much you love her, keep saying things like, “the best thing we can do for our kids is to be truly intimate with one another, and that’s what I want, in every way. I want you to know how much you mean to me. I want us to feel connected in every way,” and then just show her that by your actions. You can certainly talk to her about your frustrations (that’s totally legitimate) and ask for what you’d like, and then just keep loving her in as many practical ways as possible. And get her to read this blog!

      Tell her that you’ll always think of her as a woman, and not just a mom. And that you will always find her attractive. That helps a lot of women, too. I’m sorry there’s not a better answer, but I remember how awful I felt in those first few months, too! It’s just a difficult time.

      • Speaking as a woman who is currently 7-months pregnant with her 3rd, Shelia offers some great advice. Hopefully your wife’s libido will pick up in the 2nd trimester (mine sure did!) and encourage her to take advantage of it (I was reluctant to take advantage of my higher libido, and needed encouragement). Keep letting her know that you do want her because she is beautiful and you are attracted to her. I personally am uncomfortable with my body when I am pregnant, both physically and mentally, and it takes me a looooooong time to warm up. I wanted to get over this (perfect timing on your series, Shelia!) and have had to just ‘reserve’ a time in my mind that I know I am going to persue my husband. When I prepare myself in this way, I have much more fun.
        Vinae recently posted…Why, Yes, Yes I Am PregnantMy Profile

    • I was fortunate when I was pregnant that I didn’t get morning sickness, but during sex, I would actually get motion sickness. It did subside a bit as the pregnancy progressed, but it didn’t completely go away until after my son was born. Something that helped me, was we would use the exercise/birthing ball for me to lean over during sex, it gave me support and I could also use it to steady myself so the motion didn’t affect me as much. I understand how you feel, anonymous, but your wife might really be trying and is just unable to handle the physical intimacy right now. Maybe you can continue being supportive emotionally and as she is able she will respond physically.

      • Great tip, Jennifer! Thank you for that. And I second what you’ve said: for some women, sex is just really difficult during pregnancy because they feel truly awful, and husbands will have to be sympathetic.

        • I got pregnant about four months after my husband and I got married. We had good and bad months throughout the pregnancy… sometimes I was extra turned on, sometimes my libido vanished. Strangely enough, the best sex we’ve ever had was during the last week before I gave birth.

          My problem is BREASTFEEDING! We are breastfeeding successfully, and I feel so blessed to be able to do that for my daughter when so many of my friends have had major issues and been forced to switch to formula. However, my little girl is three months old and I have ZERO sex drive. I am getting enough rest, I’ve healed ‘down there,’ my husband is helpful, thoughtful and doesn’t pressure me for sex. I _want_ to want to have sex, but it’s still really, really painful, and the few times we actually have managed to get me turned on I’m still completely dry.

          I know that this is fairly normal for many women. I know it’s hormones, etc, etc, but it SUCKS! WHY were we designed to either be pregnant or breastfeeding for years and years, if that completely destroys our libido? It’s not fair to our husbands, it’s miserable for us wives when we want to enjoy our husbands sexually and simply CAN’T. People say, just use lots of lube, but I think it would take about a bathtub full of astroglide to make it not painful for me. I love my baby, I would be happy to breastfeed her for a long time, but I feel like I’m being punished for doing the right thing by her.

          Sheila, I can’t be the only one out there with this problem. I’ve googled it and gotten little or no help. The common thread seems to be, ‘Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get through this.’ That’s all very well if you’re planning on having one or two kids, max, but it can’t be God’s plan that any couple who has more than 2.3 children has to spend YEARS at the beginning of their married life almost unable to have sex! That just doesn’t ring true, and yet here I am, a very frustrated newlywed. Perhaps once you’ve done this series you could open a discussion about pregnancy, breastfeeding, and how it affects sex.

          (Love your blog, btw :)

          • Elizabeth, no, you are not the only one like that! And I do want to give this one the attention it deserves. I’ve had other people ask about sex during pregnancy, so I think I’ll do a big “round-up” post early in March where I talk about all of these issues, because it can be so difficult.

            Honestly, though, if it still hurts, and it’s not a matter of not enough lubrication, then I just want to make sure you’re not still torn or anything like that. Sometimes it hurts because our muscles tense up, and that’s a different pain than just being dry. If that’s the case, then doing Kegel exercises can help (and you can find more info on that here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/11/help-when-youre-too-loose-to-make-love-or-too-tight/). Just start the evening with some massage and do something to really relax you.

            I’ll give other tips later, but I just want you to make sure that it’s a muscle pain and not pain from not being healed properly, because I do know women who have developed quite bad fissures because they never healed properly after childbirth, that’s all. I’m not trying to make you paranoid; I’m just worried about why it’s hurting if you are using lube. Muscle pain: okay. We can do something about that. But just make sure that’s what it is, okay? :)

  7. Such a great post! I think it helps to be reminded that it’s NOT lying to be willing to go there even if we’re not already there when we start. I sometimes have a hard time verbalizing this-“well, no, I don’t WANT to, but I WANT to want to…” :) Thanks for explaining this this way-I have found it to be true many times!!!
    Cat recently posted…Books: The Bad ListMy Profile

    • Cat, I know exactly what you mean :). At first there’s a difference between want and WANT, but give it time and the two end up being one and the same thing.

  8. Sheila, I’m another man who has been reading your blog. You have good insights, and keep up the good work.

    I would like to amplify something you said- you make the point that men tend to be the pursuer and the women tend to be the pursued. More than once I’ve read comments from women about wanting to be pursued. There’s an important point here that women who desire to be pursued need to keep in mind: If you want to be pursued, LET HIM CATCH YOU. Men have a finely honed instinct for work that is pointless. We just don’t like to do things that don’t matter. If you want your man to pursue you but never let him catch you, do not be surprised that he stops pursuing. That is because you have taught him that pursuing you is a thankless and pointless task. Mice won’t run the maze without the cheese at the end.

    You may have emotional baggage; whatever- try to deal with it instead of hiding behind it. If you want your man to make the move, to try and come after you, remember that marriage isn’t junior high school. All that hard to get stuff ought to have ended long before now. Communicate with him- help him know how to pursue you and let him know that his efforts will be rewarded.

    I’m sure somebody will chime in and reply with some kind of “BUT…,” and that’s fine. I’m speaking in gross generalities, and there’s sure to be a specific situation where this doesn’t apply. Still, your issues are your issues, and blaming your man for the sins of another is a huge obstacle and will stand in the way of true intimacy, not just sex.

    So when your man pursues you, even if it’s just more like playground tag than a full blown police chase with spike strips and helicopter support, remember that this isn’t Tom and Jerry. If he pursues you and you manage to escape his pursuit, you haven’t won. You’ve both lost. Decide to let him catch you, and you both win.

    • Phil, thank you so much for that insight! I love this sentence:

      Still, your issues are your issues, and blaming your man for the sins of another is a huge obstacle and will stand in the way of true intimacy, not just sex.

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard it expressed so well, and I’m going to copy that and make a new blog post about it, probably in March!

      Very true about letting him catch you or else the guys will give up, too. As part of my surveys, I asked men how often they initiate vs. how often their wives initiate. I had quite a few men saying they have stopped initiating altogether because they always get turned down. It was really sad.

      • Sheila, grab that and run with it with my permission. I’m glad I can contribute to the discussion.

        • PHil, Thanks for the metaphor. I think I understand what you mean with “Mice won’t run the maze without the cheese at the end.”

    • Phil

      I want to say that I appreciate your words and am humbled by them in my own marriage and relationship with my husband. It’s so true about allowing our husbands to catch us in his pursuit.

      thank you
      Kamille@Redeeming the Table recently posted…Vulnerability Births HospitalityMy Profile

    • Wow, I think I need to let myself be caught more. Thanks for the eye opener, Phil!
      Vinae recently posted…A Clean House is a Lonely HouseMy Profile

  9. Sheila

    I’ve been seeing these posts announced on twitter and I have yet to come, but thought I would today. Thank you for speaking directly, boldly & still graciously on this lightly treaded area. I appreciate your encouragement for us women that we are not being fake when we don’t feel like it, but we are allowing ourselves to receive & know our husband, and meet him. I do feel fake, so I really value hearing these words that it’s more of a hardwiring issue:)

    Kamille@Redeeming the Table recently posted…Vulnerability Births HospitalityMy Profile

    • You’re so welcome, Kamille! I know it was quite revolutionary to me the first time I realized this. I thought that if I jumped in when I wasn’t already panting, then I was definitely faking and compromising real intimacy. But it’s not that at all!

  10. Sheila,

    Your posts are so insightful. I have referred newly marrieds here, and I check your site regularly.

    True intimacy is a real issue for so many women, myself included. Thanks for talking about an issue that so many are too embarrassed to discuss, yet that is so crucial to the health of marriages.

  11. pjsterling says:

    I really don’t understand this one. I am always in the mood – if my husband wants it – yahoo! If I want it, then HE better be ready. Especially as a Christian woman – Good Heavens – what did you think the Lord made it all for? Celebrate!

  12. What is your advice for someone whose husband never initiates? We used to have sex all the time and then I realized I was doing all the work, so I stopped to see how long it would go before he noticed. And even though we have had countless conversations about him initiating, it still rarely happens. So I lie there resentful and nothing is really resolved. I will add that I am 9 mos pregnant with our second child, but this was never a problem with the first pregnancy. Do I just go back to initiating all the time?

    • Beth, that is a real problem for many women. I totally feel for you, because when a husband doesn’t initiate, it feels as if you aren’t desirable or attractive. 3 quick things to think about: first, make sure this isn’t a medical issue. Has he had his testosterone checked? Low libido in men can actually be a sign of some pretty serious medical conditions, so don’t ignore that possibility. Second, make sure porn isn’t a factor. Many men shut down sexually from their wives because they’re secretly involved with porn, which rewires the brain to make actual women unarousing. So check his computer. Finally, check in on your relationship. Are you good friends? Is he secure in your love? And the more goodwill you have in your relationship, the easier it is to talk about these things.

      I’m not sure if his not initiating is only when you’re pregnant, though, and if it is, a lot of guys shut down over pregnancy because they have fears that the baby will supplant them, or they’re afraid their wife won’t pay as much attention anymore, or they’re worried about the responsibility. This tends to be a temporary thing. If it’s more chronic in your marriage, then check out those three things.

      Finally, some guys just simply have low libidos for no good reason. But that’s not an excuse for not initiating or showing you affection and love anyway. So work on your friendship to keep communicating and figuring out how to meet each others’ needs better. I’m sorry about this. I hope you can feel really close to him, at least before the baby comes!

      • We’ve always had an awesome sex life, it’s only been in the past few months that things have changed. When we talk about it, he SAYS that he wants to have sex too, but saying it and doing it are two different things. He’ll initiate once and that’s about it. Because of lack of either of us initiating, it immediately brings to mind an affair and I don’t want to “push” him into that just because I’m too stubborn to initiate all the time. I’d rather initiate all the time and know he’s too exhausted to seek it elsewhere. At the same time I don’t want to sacrifice my sense of self-worth and respect. I’m 99% sure we can rule out libido, porn and medical reasons and I don’t know what else it could be.

        • If it’s only in the last few months, then it could very well be related to the pregnancy. I wonder if he has any guy friends that he can talk to about stress? And I guess I’d just encourage you to hang in there, because this likely isn’t a permanent condition, and when the baby comes, things might get back to normal. But do talk to him about whether he’s worried about what life will be like with the new baby.

    • Beth, when I was pregnant my husband stopped pursuing me as often because he felt uncomfortable including our child in our sex life, especially once he began moving and kicking and was “actively involved.” This might be what your husband is dealing with, as well.

  13. You mentioned testosterone levels…women don’t usually think of themselves as having a testosterone level, but they *do* and it is important! It normally peaks when a woman is in her 20’s and drops by about 10% each decade after that…Fatigue and stress decrease T levels, which affects libido and also affects bone density and muscle mass. Sex at least once a week helps maintain T levels, as does vigorous exercise – I read a pubmed article (about a study on bone density) recently that indicated free testosterone levels rose by almost 20% in early post-menopausal women for two hours following exercise…So…eat right, make sleep a priority (and we know what helps us sleep!), and take advantage of your husband (oops, i mean the opportunity) within two hours after exercising, when your T is at it’s highest! Wrestling is great exercise…especially with your hubby…and everybody benefits!

    • Kris, such good points! And I want to reiterate what Kris said–libido is largely a use it or lose it phenomenon. The more we make love, the higher our testosterone levels get. And if you are just never able to get aroused, and you never think about sex, you really should get your levels checked!

      The other thing about a decrease in testosterone around menopause is that it’s harder to get “lubricated”. So that’s when some lubricants can really help!

      • After being at the lowest point in my life, I finally got my hormone levels checked. I am 48, teach group exercise, eat right, etc.. I started on Bioidentical hormones (testosterone was very low). After 2 mo. Of starting I began feeling like my old self. Lots more energy, finally a libido(I had forgotten what that was) and a general feeling of well being. I was so hesitant to start the therapy, but I am Soooo glad I did. I was told, “you don’t have to live like this”, but I had for soo long I had forgotten what good felt like. I was also given B12 shots. That helped tremendously. Supplements don’t work the same. B12 by the way affects depression, ADD, anxiety, etc.

        Feeling good alone will change your sex like tremendously.

        • Becky, I have heard other women say the exact same thing. I hope those reading this take heart and get help! You don’t have to live feeling terrible.

        • Becky,
          What biodentical hormones were you put on? We’re they vaginal suppositories?

  14. I read somewhere that women who have been married between 15-20 years, this is the sexual prime? YAY me!! We’ve been married for 17 years, and I so believe this, lately, like in the past 4-6 months, we have been rockin it! Of course, the hints and tips and challenges on here are helping too, so all I can say to couples having a hard time, talk it through, show him what you like, tell him and you’ll learn how to please each other together! <3

  15. Thank you for being so candid on this subject! What a blessing!
    Jennifer recently posted…Gracious EvangelismMy Profile

  16. I get so offended when article are always written about females, what about the males??

    • I understand, but this blog series is specifically for women who want to do more to enjoy sex or want sex. I have written at length before on what to do when it’s the man who doesn’t want sex, such as right here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/09/posts-3/. There’s also extensive information on this in my new book. Please don’t judge what a whole blog says by just one post :). I have about 1200 posts here, and many of those other posts deal with what happens when the man doesn’t want sex. Before getting “so offended” at a blog, please look at the whole context! :)

  17. Sheila and others,

    I’m the guy who asked about my pregnant wife (yes, she is in the first trimester – almost 2 months now).

    Thanks for your advice. Helpful.


    • You’re welcome! I wish there was something else we can say, but like so many things in life, there is no magical solution.

  18. Such incredibly awesome and informative reads.. Am getting encouraged at every turn :)

    Sometimes I get frustrated with my slow “warm-up”, and this just complicates matters further. it’s great reading about how to make things better.
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…The Art Of Being Single On Valentines DayMy Profile

  19. Uzi 4 Short says:

    Thanks for a great article. I’ve been so blessed by it.

    I’ve always found it a ‘turn on’ if my wife initiates but this is such a rare thing. Going by this article, I’m supposed to be doing the pursuing.

    I have talked about this but I have a feeling that, maybe because she’s in her early 50s, I might be too late because she might be close to her ‘changes’.

    If you could point me in the right direction, I’d be really grateful.

    • I wouldn’t say that you’re necessarily supposed to do all the pursuing; in fact, I’ll have another article out later about how important it is for women to initiate, too. But yes, it’s important for men to initiate. I’m not sure what that looks like in your marriage, but most women do like to be “wooed” in some way. And I don’t think you’re ever too late! Just show her love in the form of little kindnesses all day, and see what happens!

      • I do feel like this is a great post for many wives, but honestly I cannot stand blanket statements such as, “oh, we’re designed differently – it’s just not in our nature.” I am a very sexual woman, but this does not make me any less feminine than a wife who needs to be romanced persistently before she is willing to focus on sex.

        While the Bible states that a wife must obey her husband as unto the Lord, and he must love her as the Lord loves his Church, I don’t believe it alludes that a man should initiate more often than the woman, or vice versa. I was under the impression that a Biblical marriage is essentially a partnership.

        I am no sex therapist, but I can say that, from my own personal experience, a fulfilling sex life is balanced. Men and women need to be “wooed” equally. It is backwards and trite thinking that leads women to either be embarrassed about their own sex drive, or to believe that their man should take the lead most of the time. Not true. Men need to feel desired, loved, and coveted (even protected) just as much.

  20. This 29 Day Challenge has been very helpful to spice up my marriage. I’m not taking it day by day. I just found it and I’m reading through all the days. I am trying to incorporate as many techniques as I can to make sex better for me and my husband. A few weeks ago I noticed he was upset because I didn’t initiate sex very often. Being a stay at home mom for an active 2 year old doesn’t give me much energy at he end of the day. But when you said “You just have to love him and be willing to jump in, and then concentrate once you do. You’re deciding to accept him, and deciding to respond, and chances are your body will,” that really made it all make sense for me. I haven’t told him I’ve come across your challenge, but I think he’s enjoying it.

  21. I’m going to ask my gyn to see if they will tear my hormones. I asked about never having a libido in my mid 20’s and basically my gyn told me to have more foreplay. I figured over an hour of foreplay was long enough which is what we had done regularly and still no change. I’ve never in my life had a libido of any kind. Even as a teenager. I’ve never had sexy dreams or sexual desires or thoughts and have never had a arousal response to any kind of stimulation. No vaginal lubrication expect the kind that come in a bottle. Never had a clitoral erection. Just nothing my entire life. I’m not 31 and after reading all Shielas books I think maybe my body has never produced even a drop of testosterone. Even as a teenager I just have never cared about sex and my body has never responded to sex or sexual thoughts or physical touch. I have had a few babies but both were Caesarian. I do have some pain and burning or ripping sensations during intercourse. You can’t fit even another finger in my vaginal opening when my husband is inside me. It’s too tight. All you feel is bone! Yes we use lube. Yes we use lots and no fans and have to keep the cover over us to keep it from drying any and often have to stop midcourse to apply more just because I’m still uncomfortable. Honestly the lube doesn’t ever take away the bone pain or the ripping sensation. I’ve been trying the 10-30 kegal exercises but have not seen any difference. Only time it seems to not hurt as much is around my ovulation time and only after he’s been able to fully enter me. Also I’m scared after researching hormone therapies. I’ve read where they are being linked to breast cancer and heart disease. I also already have terrible acne my entire life. Dermatologist just make my face hurt with all their chemicals. So when I ask my gyn I am hoping they will agree to at least test and investigate my hormones. I don’t think there is anything I can do about my small anatomy down there. I am not sure if it’s normal to have never ever had a libido or arousal response. Most women in read on here at least know what it’s like to want sex or be aroused. I feel the same way about sex as I did before puberty. I believe I have what is called sexual dysfunction. Sexual arousal disorder. I pray that God would give me whatever my body is lacking or has never had and make me whole. It’s a very broken feeling to know my body is supposed to respond and be sexual but it just never has in my 31 years of life. I’m curious if it’s possible that my body just never made testosterone even during puberty and beyond. I really pray god would be the healer of my issues and the pain part becaue I’m not sure I want to increase my risk for breast cancer just to want sex or become aroused…. How long do these therapies have to go one? I have two small children to raise and they need their mommy.

    • Ashlee, it really does sound like you may have a testosterone issue. I’d definitely talk to your doctor about it, and your doctor would be able to tell you about the risks and find something that wouldn’t have too many side effects, hopefully. But it sounds like getting it investigated is definitely warranted! I really hope they find something that works, and that God does help you feel real desire, maybe for the first time.

  22. Ashlee says:

    Well my testosterone levels fell within the normal range but on the lower side of normal. I explained to the obgyn that I have felt asexual my entire life. That my body grew through puberty but my sexuality is that of a 10 year old. That never had desires or thoughts or fantasies and never had physical arousal or lubrication much less anything else beyond that. She gave me some estrogen cream to apply to the thin tissues where it seems to hurt the most and she gave me a rx for testosterone cream to apply to my inner thigh to just experiment to see if it helps even though my levels are within normal range. She said it’s takes a few months to see results and she started me out 0.2ml once a day but I can take as much as 0.6ml three times a day which is a big difference in amount but just going to start off with the smallest dose. I’m still praying god heals whatever is broken since my whole sexual system from desire to arousal to climax and beyond has never even existed. I love the scripture where god gives back the years of what the locust has taken. (Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.) I’ve went my entire marriage with sexual dysfunction and I’m am on a journey to make things better for us both and believe god will give birth to my sexual side and restore lost years with great sexual blessings in our future. I’m doing all I can to work towards that but I have to have faith that God ultimately will lead me to the answes or even work a miracle in me. Thanks for this blog. Female sexual disorder is not a well known issue and there is very little treatment options even out there. Since my levels are normal I’m not even confident that the medications will work but it’s worth the try!!!! Just leavs me with no answers and nothing else to try since I wasn’t abused and since I have a great open communication relationship and I don’t have any hang ups about sex. So if it’s not mental or emotional and seemingly not physical then what….

  23. I’m just the opposite. I have an extremely high sex drive however my boyfriend has no sex drive. When I try and to turn up the heat the wind just keeps blowing the flame out.

  24. Hi, I am 26 years old. 2years back I got married. And my problem is me and my husband don’t have a sex life not even once in these 2 years. I don’t know what to do can u pls help me. He used to each pornography.

  25. Sorry for spelling mistake. I mean he used to watch pornography.

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  1. […] to women:  Here is a wonderful post by Sheila Wray Gregoire about not being in the mood.  Very informative and […]

  2. […] just means that you need to understand each other more. (And one more hint: when you understand the nature of a woman’s sex drive, you’ll see that we normally aren’t that turned on until we start making love. So go in […]

  3. […] don’t. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy making love anyway! If you throw yourself into it, and believe your body will follow, it likely […]

  4. […] a blog post last year, Sheila Wray Gregoire says that our husbands watch to see “if we actually will respond to […]

  5. […] you’re Having a Hard Time with these Challenges Day 13: Getting Your Head in the Game Day 14: What if You’re Not “In the Mood”? Day 15: What is Foreplay? Day 16: How to Orgasm Day 17: The Pleasure Center Day 18: Foreplay Can Be […]

  6. […] a recent blog post, Sheila Wray Gregoire says that our husbands watch to see “if we actually will respond to […]

  7. […] you’re Having a Hard Time with these ChallengesDay 13: Getting Your Head in the GameDay 14: What if You’re Not “In the Mood”?Day 15: What is Foreplay?Day 16: How to OrgasmDay 17: The Pleasure CenterDay 18: Foreplay Can Be […]

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