It’s Day 6 of the 29 Days to Great Sex here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, a series I wrote leading up to the launch of my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.
If you’re late joining us, you can start here and follow the links. Up until now we’ve looked at some of the roadblocks that we women have for enjoying sex–and if we think we’re not going to have fun, it’s very likely that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Later this week we’re going to switch gears and start looking at how to have fun with our spouses and learn to nurture that side of our relationship. But before we turn there, let’s deal with one more big issue:
Many women feel as if sex is an obligation. If only he didn’t want it so much, all the problems would go away. But he’s sex-obsessed, which makes me always feel guilty. And that’s why sex has become a problem.
We start defining the problem as him wanting it too much. So today I want to help us to see sex in a different way. Let’s understand what he thinks, and then let’s look at how changing our attitude can change the whole dynamic in our relationship. Now, I know that some of you women have a different problem: your guy seems to never want sex. Read this post, and then come back here for some more challenges later this week, because I have some things that will help! But if you find in your marriage that you’re the one who tends to avoid sex, read on below.
To let you in on a guy’s perspective, I’ve asked Paul Byerley, from The Generous Husband, to share some thoughts.
Why does your husband want sex so much? Maybe you think the why is that he is over sexed, or selfish, or has seen too much porn. Any or all of those might be in the mix, but there are other things that are more important – things that have to do with emotions and relationship. Yes, men have those feelings – they tend to be buried and denied, but they are there.
For men sex is intimately connected with their sense of masculinity, self-image, and self-worth. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I know it’s a fact of life. This means sex is personal, and that having sex makes him feel loved, appreciated, and valued, while not having sex makes him feel the opposite. Wives often say “It’s not personal” when saying no to sex. For her it’s not personal, but for him it is. Even if he can accept it’s not personal for her (most of us have a hard time taking that on faith, forget about understanding it), it’s still personal for him. “No” still hurts, it’s still a rejection, and it still makes him feel unloved, undesired, and unneeded.
You may be wondering why you have not hear about this from your husband. In part it’s because men don’t do very well at communicating about their feelings. Beyond that, many men don’t even admit their feeling to themselves. If you deny it, you can ignore it and pretend it does not hurt. That doesn’t really work, but a lot of guys keep doing it all the same.
Here’s how I often explain it: men make love to feel loved, while women need to feel loved to make love. It seems like a recipe for disaster! But perhaps it makes sense. For us each to get our deepest need met, we have to reach out to the other. It’s one of God’s primary vehicles through which marriage brings holiness; it teaches us to think about the other.
I think women have a tendency to think that we are the superior sex, because we care about important things, like relationships, while men care about shallow things, like breasts. But let’s not forget that this is the way that men were made, and it is for a purpose. Men like to feel as if they can chase a woman and win her. It’s part of their identity. When we don’t let him “win” us, then he starts to feel like there’s something wrong with him.
So what do you do? Recognize that the circle works both ways. Yes, when we’re tired, and we say no, he feels distant. That makes him avoid us, which makes us angry and guilty, which drives a wedge. But when you’re tired, and you say yes, he feels close to us. That makes him release oxytocin (the bonding hormone), which makes him feel lovey-dovey towards us. That helps us sleep well, and then the next day he’s often much more affectionate.
If you long to feel close to your hubby, then, the power is in your hands! I think what many of us women want is for our husbands to love us and act all affectionate EVEN IF we don’t make love, and in an ideal world, perhaps they would be able to. But that’s asking an awful lot of a guy. Sex is so tied up in his ability to feel loved, that you’re basically saying to him: “I want you to shower me with affection and love me completely even if I don’t show you any love at all.” That’s rough.
So today’s challenge is to change the way we look at sex. Let’s stop:
- Thinking that our husbands are pathetic for wanting sex so much, because they were made that way!
- Thinking that life would be better if sex didn’t interfere, because sex bonds us together (there are even hormones for that!)
- Thinking that we are morally superior for liking to cuddle, because we need to recognize that we were simply made with different priorities
- Thinking that he should make the first move and show us affection regardless of whether or not we have sex (because then we’re setting up an unfair double standard).
And here’s how we’re going to do that! We’re going to a reverse exercise from yesterday. Yesterday you asked your husband to touch you to show you that you could feel pleasure. Today I challenge you to make him lie still while you spend at least 15 minutes straight feeling him and touching him, any way you want to. Shower him with some sexual attention! He’ll feel really loved!
But here’s something else: you’ll feel really powerful. Sometimes we women become a little passive in bed and we let him make most of the moves. Then we miss out and don’t see what effect we can actually have on our guys! Take that 15 minutes and look at how you can reduce him to a whimpering mess as he begs you for some release! That’s power, girls. And that’s how much he wants you.
At the end of those 15 minutes, you can do whatever you like (or he may have some very definite ideas of something he’d like to do). But take the full time to just touch him, because men are often very worried about whether or not their wives feel pleasure, that to have a sexual interlude dedicated simply to making them feel good takes the pressure off and puts them on Cloud Nine.
To sum up, here’s your challenge:
Great Sex Challenge 6: Explore your husband’s for 15 minutes straight, without letting him move! Concentrate on how his body responds, on what he likes, and on the effect you have on him. Watch how he feels really loved during this–and try to start seeing that desire he has for you as a very positive thing!
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29 Days to Great Sex:
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
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 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!
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