40 responses

  1. Hurley
    May 24, 2012

    What about husbands who think of sex as their reward?
    I know sex is fundamentally about intimacy and all the spiritual stuff, but a small part of me thinks of it as a reward for doing what “good” husbands do. That includes both what I do because I want to and what I may feel obligated to do. (I try hard to not be manipulative.)
    There is a fine line between sex as a reward (after doing good husband things) and sex as a motivator (before doing good things).
    Again, I know we fundamentally don’t have to earn sex. So is this reward mentality ungodly?

    • Sheila
      May 24, 2012

      I do think that it’s just a dangerous attitude to get into, because it sets it up as sex being something that is “for him”–and that’s not good for a guy, either. If he thinks he’s going to get “a reward”, then again, he’s thinking that sex is primarily for him. Sex really needs to be something that is for the both of you, that is about cementing your relationship, not about a reward for doing what’s right. That’s why in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul tells us to “not deprive each other”. He wouldn’t say that if sex could be conditional–you do the right thing, and then I’ll sleep with you.

      Of course, it’s hard to distinguish motivation sometimes, because sex is about showing love, and often we want to show love more when we feel loved. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! But if you get into a cycle where it’s “if you do X, I’ll do Y”, then you’re also telling your brain “this is for him, not me”. Because you don’t do it just for you. And that’s not good for the relationship at all!

      I think we need to realize that sex is a key part of marriage–and we can’t neglect it if we feel distant. That’s not biblical, it’s selfish, and it also in the end hurts both of us, you know?

  2. Mary
    May 24, 2012

    Great post and so true! The problem that I have sometimes is getting my brain going in the right direction. Last night was a prime example of this. I was agitated, beyond exhausted and totally overwhelmed. I sometimes feel like this when it’s been too long since we’ve had sex – and this time it’s been a week (my period).

    We spent some time relaxing watching TV, which helped. However, when we went upstairs, I just felt sick. I wanted to have sex, but I knew that with the state of mind that I was in, I was extra vulnerable to dissociating. As I’ve mentioned in previous comments on other posts, now that I’ve experienced being present on many occasions, when I “slip”, it’s just heart wrenching. I was trying to think positively about sex to get myself in the mood as you’ve described in this post, but then those thoughts kept getting overwhelmed by the fear of guilt that I could end up feeling – not for past actions, but for PRESENT actions (dissociation).

    I’ve experimented with some ways of decompressing before sex so that I’m less vulnerable to negative thoughts during the act itself, but anything that works for me has a negative side effect (i.e. chocolate adds to my hips!). I need the release of the orgasm itself, but in that state I can’t get there without accessing a part of my brain that I’m trying to shut down.

  3. Amy P
    May 24, 2012

    I don’t know if this is common since you keep saying sex gives us betrer sleep, but it takes me forever to fall asleep after sex. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t get release (I’ve never orgasmed), or if it’s too much like exercise (which they say you shouldn’t do before bed), or what the problem is. But it definitely makes me less interested in sex at night when I’m already tired and in bed – I know it’ll be another two hours or so before I sleep if we do have it. So I try to do it in the afternoon when our daughter naps if possible but those days aren’t common.

    I guess it’s just annoying because you keep promoting it as one of the main attractions to having sex, and it backfires for me. I’m wondering if this is just me or if it’s a common problem.

    • Sheila
      May 24, 2012

      Amy, it may very well be related to the fact that you don’t get release. For most people it does bring better sleep, but obviously there are always exceptions to the rule. I’m wondering if you and your husband could work more towards helping you climax? I do have an article on it here, and I’ve got more about it in my book. I know it’s difficult for many women, and usually we can get there through other ways rather than intercourse. It takes a lot of relaxation, and trying not to have too much pressure, which I know seems almost impossible. But I would definitely work on that, because this is something that you should get to experience, and it certainly isn’t hopeless at all!

      • Mel Schellenberg
        May 25, 2012

        I have to agree with Amy, ,y husband and I have a fairly good sex life and 95% of the time I get the release. After we have sex I will stay awake in bed for 2 plus hours while my hubby lies beside me in a deep sleep! I guess I am one of the exceptions as well.

    • lorie
      May 24, 2012

      I am in the same boat…it takes me forever to fall asleep after sex, although I almost always orgasm. And it is never helped by the fact my husband is asleep in about 30 seconds, deeply sleeping and snoring loudly in my ear. Snuggling and cuddling after? Ummmm…not so much! Sometimes I read, sometimes I get up and get some things done, sometimes I just lay there and think (at least it is peaceful, except for the snoring of course, and no one needs me for anything!) Nights we don’t have sex, I am asleep when my head hits the pillow! You and I might just be in the minority and not get the sleep benefits that others seem to get!

      • Sheila
        May 25, 2012

        That stinks! I wish I knew what to say to help you. I guess some bodies just respond differently.

      • dayna
        September 25, 2014

        I can’t sleep afterward either. It’s like my body is wound up.

    • Natalie
      June 21, 2012

      You know, sometimes I am awake for 2 hours afterwards, and other nights I fall asleep quickly. If we have fun during the daytime, I can either clean the house like a madwoman afterwards, or I’m so exhausted for the rest of the day. I wonder if it depends on the food, drink, or sleep of the night before that affects the results afterwards. My husband during the day just gets up and keeps going, but at night, he snores away. So, it doesn’t seem to affect him one way or the other. LOL

  4. kristin
    May 24, 2012

    SO true, I always sleep like a baby. Sometimes I/we will be dozing off on the couch and it would be so easy to just go crawl in bed and go to sleep, but one of us will start nuzzling and kissing the other to wake up and then it’s on! Doesn’t take long to get ready for bed and jump in fully awake! :)

  5. rebeccah
    May 24, 2012

    What if I’m way more interested insex than my husband???

    • Sheila
      May 24, 2012

      Rebeccah, totally understand your predicament! I wrote a series for women in that position that begins here, and then goes here. You can follow the internal links as well. I hope that helps!

  6. Nicole
    May 24, 2012

    I definitely agree that making love can make one feel more secure and close to their spouse. And the giggling is fun too, especially if it’s a mighty creative or fun romp ;) Thanks for posting on this Sheila! Be blessed.

    Nicole recently posted…Delicious JuiceMy Profile

  7. MMM
    May 24, 2012

    The thing I love about your blog and your sex posts is that it makes me so grateful. I have a wonderful husband and we have an amazing sex life. I saw the title of this post and I thought, “What if you feel guilty sometimes because you received so much pleasure and it seems like he had to do all the work?” I really am blessed to have a husband who is attentive to my body and makes sure that I always have a good time.

    I have found that even if I’m not necessarily in the mood….if we start things up I am in the mood soon! My advice to women is just do it! You’ll be in the mood after you get started. Oh, and the sleep after…..I love how well I sleep!

    • Greg
      May 25, 2012

      I think it’s safe to say that your husband doesn’t see it as work. :) It sounds like you have a husband who is just deeply grateful to have a wife like yourself who values intimacy as much as he does–if not more!

  8. Sherri Madrigal
    May 24, 2012

    Great post! I’ve had this issue in the past…I’m too tired, etc…I like the idea of saying, put me to sleep! Sex does help me go to sleep more quickly, so why have I not made the connection yet?!?!?!? I’m hoping to put all of your advice to good use once my husband comes back from deployment!

  9. Jamie
    May 24, 2012

    I love your post! What are some ways to get in “the mood”? Are there some physical, concrete things we can do to get in the mindset for making love? I would love your advice!

  10. Megan G.
    May 24, 2012

    We have really found that the more sex we’re having the closer and happier we are. I don’t know if the happy feelings of closeness lead to the sex…or the sex leads to the happy feelings of closeness…or both!

    • Sheila
      May 24, 2012

      This is so true, Megan! And I don’t know if you can tell which comes first; I think it’s more like a circle!

  11. Jan
    May 24, 2012

    How do you get over though- that he NEVER initiates? I tried tried tried having more sex after reading your 29 days series. It was good for awhile but he is still never affectionate, never romantic, doesn’t help out that much around the house unless i really bug him about it. I tried to tell him I could use more romance- the funny thing is he thinks he’s romantic- but he doesn’t show it at all! He would rather just veg out on the couch night after night and watch TV. It’s disheartening to be the only one giving. I do like sex and I think he does too when we get around to it. It’s like he lacks motivation.

    • A man
      May 24, 2012

      umm, so.. motivate him. Get some lingerie. Kiss on him. Snuggle him. Be inviting.

      • David
        May 25, 2012

        Yeah, but it may not be that simple. Jan’s man may have low testosterone, which this sounds a lot like. And to be safe, he should get himself checked for that — even if he doesn’t think it may be an issue — just out of love for his bride. Low T affects far more than sex drive or sexual initiative: it can greatly affect energy levels, other kinds of initiative and overal health. (And be leery of docs who say he’s “low normal” and proclaim that there’s nothing to be done — a man in his 20s can be “low normal” with the T levels of an average 70-year-old!)

      • Sheila
        May 25, 2012

        Very true, David! Great point. And testosterone is a relatively easily treated thing in men–not so much in women, but definitely in men.

  12. A Guy
    May 30, 2012

    I think one way I can tell my wife thinks of sex as “for me” is that she has never once in 20+ years said anything like “i would like to have sex”. It is always, “do you want to do something? Or “i have a few minutes if you hurry”

  13. Katie Did
    June 4, 2012

    I LOVE having sex with my husband and I often initiate it. However, it isn’t as enjoyable for me, because he doesn’t take the time to bring me to orgasm. When he’s done, he’s done and I often lay there afterwards writhing because I’m aroused, but sex is done and he’s asleep.

    • Sheila
      June 5, 2012

      That’s a tough one, Katie, but I’d really suggest talking to him about this. And a good way around it is to ask him to bring you to orgasm BEFORE his orgasm (so do it in a way other than intercourse, if necessary, before). That way you’re not left hanging. I do think it’s important to talk to him about it, because it makes it so much more difficult afterwards once you’ve developed negative habits, and then you may start to resent sex. I have a post on how to hit the “Reset Button” on your sex life and start over again right here that may help!

  14. Natalie
    June 21, 2012

    It’s funny you say that comment about sex being good for energy on Rasing Olives site, because I’m so exhausted and feel too tired for it most of the time, but what you say is right…if I can get past the feeling of being too exhausted, it does give more energy and better sleep. My being overweight does not help at all either….I feel much better about it when I’m much lighter.

    Also, I do believe that sex is what helps keeps a great marriage going… and you’re reminding me that I just need to do it more often (like we had been doing for the past 10 years–but the last year and a half has been very difficult due to a prolapsed uterus and a surprise pregnancy and lack of sleep from having our beautiful little baby #6).

    • Sheila
      June 21, 2012

      Oh, Natalie, what a busy time you must be having! I hope you do find time just to relax and do things for you. But I hope that sex can be a part of that, because I do think we all feel better–in a whole variety of ways–when sex is a part of our lives!

  15. Sherri Madrigal
    June 21, 2012

    I’m excited and nervous about having sex again after my husband comes home after a 6 month deployment. He will be home next week! I’m afraid that since we have been apart for so long, that everything I’ve been reading from you will go out the window! Do we just go crazy for the first couple of days and then try to incorporate some things after he gets settled back into home life?

    • Sheila
      June 21, 2012

      Sherri, I vote for the going crazy thing for a few days! Just give each other a lot of grace after being away from each other that long. Then, after all the emotional stuff has settled down, you can really get to it :). But just have fun, take some deep breaths, and don’t put a ton of pressure on each other!

      And congratulations. I hope your reunion is wonderful, and thank you so much to both of you for your sacrifice you’ve made.

  16. Tracy Palmer
    September 28, 2013

    Sheila- I absolutely love your message! This topic in particular is something that I just shared in a small group of women friends. Recently, I have asked Holy Spirit to ‘change my mind and thinking wherever there are faulty messages’. My view of sex was on the list of incorrect thinking! While we have had 24 years of what we’d consider great sex, as we hit our 50s our bodies are beginning to drop the ball in many aspects. Because of the physical/mechanical challenges, I have come to think of sex as something I have to be ‘up’ for, give energy to, and talk myself into. God specifically said to me…’I want you to go to Stuart as a way to get the nurturing you want. Connecting with him will GIVE you emotional energy, GIVE you pain relieving endorphins, and bind you together against the energy draining circumstances in your life right now.

    This simple change in my ‘mind’ about what sex can DO FOR me and us… was revelatory AND fruitful! So it was so FUN to find you writing about it in your ‘voice’. I wish I could write with such a gift. Instead, I will just point people YOUR way.

    I recommend you daily. You make the hard truths easy and with my ‘in your face’ style! In our marriage ministry we use ballroom dancing as a metaphor to give aha revelation of the REAL divine design for partnership. Sex is the one of those amazing design secrets! Although I’d like to announce my personal revelations from our sex life to the world of hurting women out there, we have found that we need to stick with the message/assignment that God has given us and direct folks to the other parts of the Body in the Kingdom for the completing messages that they have been given. That’s where YOU come in! You are one of our very favorite resources because of the powerful and simple way that you present this dynamite (literal). Ok, I think you have the idea here. We really appreciate your ministry. BE ENCOURAGED that you cannot begin to see the ripple effects of your obedience to take this truth out of the bedroom and into the church.
    In fact, because we use our ‘tool’ of the lure of ballroom dancing to make the hard emotional and scriptural topics edible and FUN, we reach outside the four walls of the church by meeting a relevant need. THAT is also what you do. When even unbelievers experience the real deal in the bedroom, they are actually tasting the goodness of God and His design!

    I have been blown away recently by the level of dysfunction in Christian marriages! Over half the women I encounter in the church are unhappy or have given up on a great sex life; non-orgasmic, or have actually quit trying! HOLY COW! That reveals one of the answers to my question…”How in the world can we in the church have the same divorce rate as the world?” Your ministry and calling to change that is so needed and POWERFUL! Thank you.

    I wonder if there is some way that we would be working together someday!? Would LOVE to meet you.
    I promote your work and books constantly. It occurs to me that we might need to let you know that we list your books and blog in our ‘Favorite Resources’ page in our workbook. http://www.thedanceofmarriage.com

  17. Bible Babe
    October 15, 2013

    When we first marries, I asked the Redneck what he liked about me. He said that he liked that I didn’t use sex as a reward. A few days later, I found a book he had been wanting for a long time. I bought it and when I walked in the house, I said, “I may not use sex as a reward, but here’s a reward for the sex!” We laughed for says over that. Great post.

  18. cathy
    March 13, 2014

    Im deffenetly guilty of not giving my husband enough sex. Unfortunately for me sex Is usually painful. Currently im very pregnant with our third child so we have sex once or twice a week but before the pregnancy I would say 3-4 times a week… everytime I would go unwillingly. Sex has been hurting since I got pregnant with our first child and it never got better. Even with 3-4 times a week he would complain (probably because I didnt want it and only didbit for him) so I can see how lots of sex doesnt mean much to them if there wife is less than happy about giving it. In my deffense he is very lazy.. comes home throws his cloths everywere but in our bedroom.. dirty stinky socks on the furniture pants by the shoes and shirt somewere on the floor.. shoes not were they go… on top of me caring for a 3 year old and 18 month old and being pregnant I have a condition that makes it very hard for me to get up without feeling sick.. and he still refuses to help around the house and if he does the smallest chore he expects sex and gets upset if I feel to sick for it… he is very selfish and makes it hard for me to WANT to have sex with him. I am hoping I get some energy after this baby is born so I can repair our sex life… but we have talked many times about him showing me more affection and spending time with me to make me feel loved and he still has not improved.. hoping things will imrove after baby

Leave a Reply




CommentLuv badge

Back to top