Welcome WDCX listeners! You can find The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex here, and the 29 Days to Great Sex series here. And if you’re a frustrated husband, here’s a post to show your wife. But read on for more marriage thoughts!
Yesterday I was talking about how sometimes we get into this dangerous pattern of thinking of sex as something we give him “as a favor” or “as a reward”. We think that having sex means we’re being selfless. But if you dissect this, what you’re really saying is:
I’m doing something I don’t want to do to try to make you happy.
So the attitude says: I think of sex as a chore.
That’s going to kill a guy’s self-image and really hurt your marriage.
Now, for many of us sex is difficult because we have some real issues–like sex hurts, or we have been abused in the past, or we feel really guilty for things we’ve done before. I totally understand, and I know that it can take a while to get through some of these things. But I also believe that if you’re up front with your husband, and tell him that you’re struggling, but you honestly want to get over the issues, and you’re taking steps to do so, he’ll likely understand and not take it personally.
But for most of us, that’s not the issue. It’s not that it hurts or it brings back flashbacks. It’s that sex has become a chore. And we think, “why should I make love to him if he can’t even be affectionate towards me? Why should I go out of my way for him if he can’t do the dishes sometimes or lighten my load? And doesn’t he understand that I’m exhausted?” And so we don’t.
What if there were another way of looking at it? What if you could actually start to believe that sex was for you, too? It isn’t something you just “give” him; it’s something that actually benefits you, and that can help you with your exhaustion, or your insecurities, or your loneliness?
So let’s jump in. Here’s why sex is good for you, too:
1. You Sleep Better
Honestly! If you are really exhausted, sex is often the best thing for you. You’ll fall asleep faster, and then you’ll sleep deeper. And it’s not only if you orgasm (although that is a big part of it). Simply feeling close to him, and repairing some of the emotional distance, can also help you sleep.
Some nights when I know it’s been a while, and I know we should really make love, I say no because I’m so tired. Those are often the nights I toss and turn and can’t get to sleep. And I’ve realized it doesn’t work. So now when I’m really exhausted, I say to my husband, “Put me to sleep, baby.” It works every time!
2. You Feel Closer
Often the reason that we don’t want to make love is because we feel distant. You’re not sure if he really loves and values you the way he once did. He hasn’t been feeling affectionate.
But do the close feelings come before sex, or does sex bring the close feelings? And often you can’t really distinguish it. It’s not obvious. For many of us, we feel closer after we make love. And the reason is quite simple: by making love, we reaffirm our commitment and our love. Making love is the only thing that only married people can do. It’s reserved just for you. When you do make love, you say, “I would marry you again.” And God designed sex to bring us together! We release hormones during sex that help us to “bond”. So if you’re feeling distant, maybe the solution is to make love, rather than to wait to feel closer.
One caveat, though: don’t expect miracles if you make love very rarely. I’ve had letters from women who say something like this:
We only make love once a month or less because I’m so busy and so tired, and we’re growing apart. But I don’t find that he’s any more affectionate after we make love than when we don’t.
I understand, but perhaps the problem is the frequency. When you make love less than once a month, your husband is going to feel very unloved. Maybe you don’t think that’s fair, but that’s just the way it is. And if it’s obvious that you don’t really want to, then making love isn’t really going to boost his ego at all.
So try this instead: for two weeks, make love often (let’s say 3 times a week). And then see if you feel closer to him! I’m pretty sure you will, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be awfully happy, too!
3. You Feel More Secure
Sex helps you to feel like your relationship is strong. When you make love, you cement it together again. Sex makes you feel protected. It makes you feel loved. It makes you feel like you have a future together. It makes you feel happier.
On the days after you make love, you can smile slyly at each other because you have this secret. You can giggle with each other more. You touch each other more. But most of all, you feel like the relationship is stronger. That’s because sex is a vital part of a relationship. As one commenter wrote in the comments yesterday, “sex isn’t the icing on the cake; it’s the oil that keeps the engine going.” When we don’t make love, our relationship can get really clogged up. When we do, we feel like things are humming along much better.
4. You Feel Wonderful
Let’s not forget the final part: sex actually feels good! Now, maybe for you it doesn’t yet. That’s okay. As I found in the surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, it can take a decade or so for couples to find that sex works like clockwork. It needs practice! So if you’re not there yet, pick up the book for some great tips, and work through our 29 Days to Great Sex!
Don’t settle for mediocre! If sex isn’t wonderful for you yet, don’t despair. Take it as a research project you can do together–a project with lots of benefits. Maybe you need to hit the reset button on your sex life and start over because you’ve developed some bad habits, like rushing through it. Or maybe he doesn’t know what you like.
But don’t despair! Sex does feel wonderful. And you can get there!
So if you’re feeling exhausted, and feeling distant from your husband, and feeling tense, then instead of saying, “there’s no way I can make love given how I feel“, why not say instead, “I had better make love given how I feel!” Making love can cure all of those problems!
If that’s so, why are women often so reluctant? I think it’s because we don’t get aroused the way men do. We think that we have to “be in the mood” to make love, and when we’re exhausted, we’re not aroused. We don’t even necessarily desire it very much.
For women, though, so much of sex is in our brains. When our heads are engaged because we’re thinking positively about sex, then our bodies will follow. So instead of dreading it or avoiding it, why not say, “this is what I need to feel better!” You’ll be more positive about sex, and you’ll likely find that your body will then engage. And then all these benefits will come to you!
Now, I want to know: what do you think about this? And what problems do you still have with it (if any?) I’d love to write a follow-up post for some of you who are still struggling in any of these areas, so let me know, and I’ll try to elaborate where I can.