Top 10 Tips for Initiating Sex with Your Husband

How to Initiate Sex with Your Husband--without feeling awkward Out of the last five times you’ve made love, how many have you initiated, and how many has your husband initiated?

If you say he’s initiated all 5, that could be a problem!

Now, I know sometimes you just start making love because you’re kissing and snuggling, and it’s not clear WHO initiated. It just happened (all the more reason to go to bed at the same time, so that things can “just happen”!). And sometimes he has a really low sex drive, and so the whole initiation pattern is thrown off. I’ve got a series for women in that situation here.

But quite often we get into this rut where he wants sex more than you do, and so he’s the one who always initiates making love. And you’re not even sure how to initiate sex, because you’ve never really done it!

When I was researching my book The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, I did surveys and interviewed both men and women. And here’s what one guy said about initiating sex:

Men don’t want to be placated; they want to be wanted.

Paul Byerly, who writes at the Generous Husband, puts it this way:

For men sex communicates love and acceptance, while a lack of sex communicates the opposite. I realise this is not usually what women are communicating with sex and saying no, but it is what men feel. Even when you convince a man this is not what she means, he will still feel it.

When a man feels a good sexual connection with his wife he starts to want other forms of intimacy. Not tolerate, want. The need was always there, but it is hard to hear over the much louder need for sexual intimacy.

So, ladies, it’s time to step up to the plate! But how do you initiate sex?

Top Ten TuesdayToday, on Top 10 Tuesday, I’d like to share 10 tips on how to initiate sex with your husband

–and help your husband feel like the most blessed man in the world!

1. DO Show Enthusiasm

Initiating sex requires enthusiasm. The following do NOT count as initiating sex:

(Lying in bed, arms crossed. Turning head towards him). We can if you wanna.

(Standing at the bottom of the stairs, heading up to bed). I’m heading to bed. If you come up within the next 10 minutes we may still have time, I guess.

(Lying in bed, looking at the ceiling). So, I shaved my legs today.

(Lying in bed, arms crossed). So…I guess we’re due, eh?

(Sorry, that’s the Canadian coming out in me in the last one).

If you’re going to initiate, the first step is NOT telling him “do you wanna?” The first step is getting in the right frame of mind for sex so that you’re enthusiastic about it, too!

2. DON’T Overthink It

Why don’t we initiate sex? Because often as soon as the thought pops into our heads we talk ourselves out of it.

Do I want to tonight? Well, I don’t know. It is kind of late, and I do need my sleep. And he wasn’t very nice to me tonight. He hardly hugged me when he came home from work. I just feel so distant right now. I can’t make love if we’re distant, can I? Wouldn’t that be deceptive? And what if the kids wake up? And what if….

Turn it off! Seriously. When you get the thought, pounce on it! You’ll be happier later–and you’ll likely sleep better, too!

3. DON’T Be Embarrassed

“Good girls don’t like sex.”

Did you grow up thinking that? If you grew up thinking that only boys wanted sex, and girls just acquiesced, then you may think that it’s your role to sit back and just respond to him. Anything else somehow upsets the apple cart.

But good girls DO want sex! God gave us sex drives, too. And inside marriage sex is supposed to be a wonderful thing for both of you!

Think about it this way: This is the only man on earth who can touch you like that. He’s the only man on earth who really truly knows you. You don’t need to be embarrassed around him.

I know that can be a hard transition to make. But practice little things, like saying to him the morning after you made love, “I had fun last night”, or “you made me feel great!” Practice talking about it afterwards, and it makes it easier to talk about it beforehand!

4. DON’T Beat Around the Bush

If you’re embarrassed about saying, “do you want to make love tonight?”, then you may not give clear signals.

My husband was leaving for a business trip for a week recently, and he was spending the morning before he was picked up sorting papers and paying bills and getting some tasks done around the house. I kept getting up from my computer whenever he got up from his and walking over and seeing if I could get him interested in something, but I never let him know what I was doing.

I thought he was just busy and wasn’t interested. But after following him around like a puppy dog for an hour, he finally turned to me and said, “are you okay?”, and I said, “I just thought we could go upstairs for some fun before you left.” He jumped on board immediately. I had thought he was busy and was rejecting me, but he just really didn’t know what I was getting at.

Men are usually afraid of getting rejected, and if he tends to have the higher sex drive in your marriage, he may have conditioned himself to never think about it, or to try not to assume you’re going somewhere, because he doesn’t want to get his hopes up. Subtlety, then, isn’t a good thing. Be obvious. It’s easier on everyone!

5. DO Use Your Hands

Don’t like talking about sex? You don’t have to. Come up behind him, wrap your arms around him, start nibbling his ear, and let your hands wander.

Or lead him to the bedroom–but not with HIS hand. You can get things going without saying any words, if the words make you shy. Just do it!

6. DO Be Creative

Initiating sex can start earlier in the day. You can text him at work (“You’re in for it tonight!”). You can get dressed in your “pretty” underwear (not your functional underwear), and let him see, and say something like, “so this is what I’ll be wearing all day today….” You can put a note in his lunchbox, like a Skor bar, and say, “Wanna Skor tonight?”

If a thought occurs to you, do it! Chances are it’s a good thought, and most guys won’t laugh at you. They’ll definitely go with it!

7. DO Laugh

It’s okay to smile, and chuckle, and be giggly. It’s okay to act like teenagers. It doesn’t have to be super serious. You can joke around. “Hey, Big Man, do you have anything to help Little Ole Me?” You can flirt with your husband! It really is okay. And the more laughter, the more fun all around.

8. DO Be Eye Candy (It’s Okay!)

Instead of wearing your flannel pyjamas, get into some silk ones. Or put on a matching bra and panty set, and as you get undressed, show him what you’re wearing. Try putting on a teddy!

Or go naked underneath a bathrobe and “flash” him while he’s downstairs. Then walk away, and see if he follows.

9. DO Follow Through

If you’ve been texting him all day, or you whispered in his ear when he walked in the door, then do follow through. It’s hard on a guy to get his engines revving and then stopping with no warning. Obviously if something comes up you may have to forego sex that evening, but if you’ve been hinting, then as much as possible, set the right conditions.

Don’t watch a chick flick if it’s likely to make you so tired that at the end of it you want to collapse into bed. It may seem romantic, but if it will push bedtime back too far, then make love FIRST, before the movie. Don’t get on the computer thinking, “after I’m done this we’ll head upstairs.” If sex is your plan, then make sure it happens early, when you’re still thinking about it, rather than giving other things–the news, the computer, the movies–a chance to distract you and make you change your mind.

10. DO Be Active

Once you’ve caught his attention, and you’re heading to the bedroom, don’t let the initiation end. Be active as you make love. Touch him. Guide his hand. Be the aggressor–at least a little bit. Find a good position yourself. When you’re active, it shows him, “I want to do this.” If you lie there on your back and don’t do much, he may think, “she’s just doing this for me.” Show him you are interested, and you do want this to happen–by making it happen!

Remember our Top 10 Tuesday strategy: Pick 1-3 things and then DO THEM. You don’t need to do all 10. Just find the 1-3 tips on how to initiate sex that resonate the most with you. Small changes now can add up to big changes in the long run. Now go and have a great time with your man!

Initiating Sex--Say Yes!

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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. Sheila,

    I just want to thank you for your blog, and your books. You have helped me see sex and intimacy in a COMPLETELY different light. While my husband and I (mostly me) struggle with a consistent sex life, at least I’m thinking and reading and sharing my thoughts with my husband and attempting to get over my insecurities to let sex just happen. I feel like sex will take FOREVER and impede on other things. I’m working in making sex and my husband the priority.

    I’m a woman who struggles with pain from previous partners. I was that girl who just placated, and gave myself when I wasn’t ready.

    I’m also a woman who struggles with previous porn use. Not “porn” in the traditional sense, but cyber intimacy, chat room addiction as a teen, and researching and “play-acting” the freaky stuff online, along with reading and WRITING erotica. Pretty hardcore erotica at that. I have a great gift for writing, and I’m pretty good at romances.

    Since I got married I have struggled with these past unfortunate mistakes. I see sex as this freaky over-acted, over-processed thing. I don’t read romances anymore, as they set unreal expectations in my mind, just like porn. I also don’t write it anymore, and I struggle with thoughts popping up in the bedroom. I have it in my mind that he wants, or will want, the freaky stuff I know about (he does too – he’s read my erotica) but I’m actually a pretty shy “vanilla” girl. I don’t DO that stuff.

    It makes it terribly hard to initiate anything. But I’ll try. #2, 3 and 4 are the ones I’m going to focus on and see what comes of it.

    • So glad I can help you, Davita! And I’m sorry about your past. I know that this grieves you. But remember that Jesus did paid for it, and He doesn’t want you to carry it around anymore. He died to set you free! I know it’s really, really hard to get those images and expectations out of your head, but I do believe that He wants to help you with that. You’re not alone.

    • Praying for God to remove the past junk from your mind and allow room for His best for you & your husband.
      Porn is puke and God helped me to recover from using it.
      Gods best,

  2. Your examples in #1 made me laugh. I think all of us ladies have been there at one time or another with our pseudo-enthusiasm. Thanks for being real & helping me to aspire to something more =)

  3. Oh boy. Here. We. Go. Again. Bear with me. To all of you ladies whose husbands want sex all the time, consider yourselves blessed! How wonderful it must be to be so attractive and desirable that he wants you all the time. I have been struggling with the opposite for quite a while and I think I have found the source of many of my issues. Christian marriage blogs. (NOT Sheila’s – Sheila’s is one of the best, most honest, and most realistic.) But I read a LOT, and my high expectations and my glaring failures are a result of all of that reading.
    I will NOT initiate any more. I have a wonderful husband in almost every way. He is a very hard worker. He goes to work at 5 am, works 10 or more hours in construction, and falls asleep around 7:30 pm – especially in the winter months. That is a lot of the reason why we only have sex once in a while. I also have a tween and a teen who do not go to bed before 9:30 and a very small house. So logistically it is hard as well.
    We have sex once, MAYBE twice a week. According to so many blogs out there, all the other husbands want their wives daily or more. That is a hard and bitter pill for me to swallow. My husband is not into porn, when we do have sex it is awesome. So the only other answer must be that I am not attractive enough for him to want me every day. Ouch.
    Another failure these other blogs point out is that I only have two children. From what I’ve been reading, good Christians will have as many children as they can conceive. Due to two complicated deliveries, we were advised by doctors that more pregnancies could be dangerous. We decided to heed the doctors warnings and be happy and blessed by our little family. But now I am reading that if I don’t just go for it anyway, I’m not trusting God. Ouch! I try to grow as a Christian and grow in trust, but again – another hard and bitter blog pill to swallow.
    Also, I am not hideous, my husband seems to like me. I’m tall, average build (size 8/10), blonde, blue eyes – average looking mom. But I can not compare to these blogs where these “good, Christian moms” take countless pictures of themselves looking flawless and being super moms. So not being obsessed with my appearance is apparently another one of my failures. Although – thanks to Sheila, I did start “fighting the frump” and my husband is quite appreciative. So thank you!
    I don’t mean to sound like Debbie Downer, but sometimes in reading the comments of other readers, it helps me to realize we are all flawed and in great need of our Savior. Thankful for Jesus and for all of you. But all of that to say – ladies with husbands who want you – QUIT COMPLAINING and start realizing how blessed you are! There are some of us who would love to be as attractive and desirable to our husbands as you are to yours!

    • Becca,
      Wow, you could have been telling my story! My hubby is a log truck driver and is up at 2am and in bed by 7pm during the week. This is a second marriage for both us and my teen son (almost 19) still lives with us. So needless to say, due to hubby being exhausted during the week and having a teen boy in the house, it comes down to sex being once, sometimes twice on the weekends only.
      And even on a week day where he is home early and we have an empty house he rarely has any interest in making love, he always seems to have an excuse or ignores my initiation until it’s too late and he has to go to bed.
      I’ve cried myself to sleep plenty of times because of wanting him to desire sex with me more and it makes it very difficult to understand when most blogs about men needing and wanting sex so often. My hubby really seems content with only once a week and it does start to make me wonder if it’s something about me.
      So, all that to say, you are not alone. I think there are perhaps more women out there like us that do desire more sex with their husbands, but often get turned down. Unfortunately, society typically views the woman as the denier and as having little sexual desire.
      And I’m with you…I just want to scream when I read comments from women who are upset at how much their husbands desire them sexually…be grateful and enjoy sex with your husband!
      Amy recently posted…A guest postMy Profile

      • That would actually be a good post, wouldn’t it? “Why you should be happy your husband wants sex so much!” Maybe I’ll think about writing that one soon…

      • zJessica says:

        I just want to say this to amy, maybe his job has wired his brain to want sex with images instead of a person. It isnt you, its him. Keep your head up :/ *hugs*

      • Could you be confusing sex with wanting quality/ emotional time with your husband? Maybe because he is so busy and tired, sex time is the only time that he gives you one on one intense quality time?

        When I first married my husband, I wanted sex every day. It scared him a bit because he had been a bachelor and without sex for so long. After a couple of years, my sex drive normalized, where now I want it once a week, but will have more for his sake. The other day I realized that I had been conditioned to associate sex with quality emotional time with a man. Because of previous abusive relationships, the only time I received attention or positive input was while having sex, I thought the only way to get love was being physical.

        Thanks to God, my husband is a wonderful man who loves me and spends time with me listening, doing things for me and fills my emotional bank without necessarily being physical. We do have a fulfilling sexual life.

        I also believe that the amount of sex varies according to the couples lifestyle. It’s unreal to want to compare your sex life to other bloggers or people. Ask you husband what he thinks. If he wants more. Tell him what you are feeling. Really you are the only 2 people who should be concerned and involved in it, anyway. :)
        tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations recently posted…Learning Log of June 2014My Profile

      • ok ladies the problem here is not that they don’t want you…is that they work a lot and are too tired. Their schedules! Be comprehensive. I have a husband who wants sex all the time which is great, but he wants it too late for me to get my 7 hours of sleep. Weve been married for only one month and we are very unhappy because of this. Slepping is very important for your health. How can people dont understand this??

    • Becca, I hate to hear that you think you are not attractive or desirable to your husband just because it happens “only” once or twice a week. I think that is a very normal rate! In fact, I think you’ve got it better than lots of folks. I can say that my marriage is not that active (though we do have our issues…). Besides, everybody is different and comparison is the WORST trap we allow ourselves to fall into. I can tell that that is a huge stronghold for you based on your comment. Focus on God and be thankful for what you DO have. Don’t concern yourself with others and what you feel pressured to have/do. I’m with you…I can only stomach a few very down-to-earth Christian woman/marriage blogs.

    • I would love it if my husband and I had sex more than one or twice a month. It drives me nuts, and hurts me too, reading about all these ladies who complain about having it to much. Makes me want to tell them to shut up and enjoy it.

      My husband is a truck driver and works in another state than we live in. We live in southern NH and he works just north of Boston, MA. He has no set time to go into work and works until the job is done. Sometimes he begins at 5am, sometimes at 9am. When works ends,sometimes it is at 3pm, sometimes it is 9pm. So, he is always tired when he gets home. He falls asleep the moment he sits down it seems.

      We only have sex on the weekends when we do, and it is always initiated by me. For once I would like for him to initiate sex. Send me the cute little love notes and texts. The one time I sent him a texts saying just “Love you more”, he called me thinking something was wrong. Not exactly how I thought it would turn out.

    • If you and your husband are both happy to have sex once or twice a week, then I think that’s just fine! There’s not a mandate in the Bible about how much sex to have.

      I’m overweight, and have had drastic weight fluctuations throughout our relationship. Right now, I haven’t lost much of the baby weight from our third baby, and feel self conscious about my body. I definitely don’t look like a model or one of the adorable bloggers you mentioned.

      My husband and I finally had a real talk about it one night, and he said, “I have enjoyed your body for so many years at so many different weights. I just want to touch you and be with you.” I honestly think this is probably how most good-hearted men feel about their wives. Realistically, would he love it if I lost some weight? Of course. But, this is where I am right now. He had never said those words to me, and it was really freeing to just see that little bit of his heart. I bet your husband feels the same way about you. There is NOT an explanation needed for having great sex once or twice a week, and even if there were an explanation, I really, truly don’t believe that it would be that he isn’t attracted to you. Try to get that thought out of your head.
      Megan G. recently posted…Honeyed Chicken & PineappleMy Profile

      • From the way I read her comment, I think Becca wants more sex and her feelings of being undesirable come from her husband not wanting sex very often. And this is where I’m at also in my marriage. I appreciate how hard my hubby works and I know without a doubt he loves me, but when he turns me down every time I initiate it is hard not to feel undesirable or wonder what is wrong with me, even if that isn’t what is going on. And because we all hear how men need and want sex so often I think it makes it even harder when the wife is turned down or has a husband who just doesn’t seem interested very often.
        Amy recently posted…A guest postMy Profile

    • I feel for you, but many women would consider once or twice a week an amazing improvement. (Yes, you read that right!) And considering all the hard work he does, I would take that often as a sign that he DOES find you incredibly attractive. Also, you don’t mention his age, but that can play a role as well. 20-year-olds can often (though not always!) go any time the wind blows. As men age, sometimes the mind is willing but the body just isn’t able at that moment – and I don’t mean just men in old folks’ homes or in need of little blue pills. (Maturity can factor in as well. Maybe your husband could work 10 hour days and still have fun every night when he was 20 but now he knows a good night’s sleep is important if the next day at work is going to be particularly rough.)

      It is so easy for us women to see a perceived slight (tired hubby only wants sex once or twice a week) and immediately assume that either he is doing something wrong (another woman, porn) or that we are (not attractive enough, etc.) And the truth is, the more we worry about whether we’re attractive enough, the less fun we are in bed. As my husband says, “there’s a seat for every saddle” – kinda romantic, I know 😉 – but think about the wide range of couples you come across in a day, the wide range of women (body types, sizes, personalities, breast sizes, everything). It is absolutely NOT true that one or another “type” of women as a group is not getting sex because they’re not ___ enough. Someone you might not think of as attractive is likely getting loads of sex because her husband loves HER, not a specific body type, AND because she enjoys sex with him. It is WAY more about our attitude than our appearance. (Has your husband ever gone crazy over you when you were dirty from going on a run or working in the yard? See what I mean!?)

      Sorry, Sheila – not trying to hijack. This just struck a nerve. Apparently.
      Kendra Burrows recently posted…The Long Awakening – A Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Becca- oh my goodness, what I wouldnt give to do it once or twice a week! We’re talking once a month over here if i’m lucky.

      • I know how you feel. My husband I only have sex 3 times out of the year or sometimes even longer just let’s say between seven to eight months without having intercourse. I understand that that is not normal. What should I do? I feel that I am falling apart and that I might cheat on him.

        • Hi Sandy, I have quite a few posts on that. Try this one first, and then follow the links to the rest.

        • Petrina says:

          Hi Sandy, I feel your pain. My husband and I have been having sex two or three times a year for 4 years now. I am feeling excessively hurt tonight as I tried to initiate sex this morning only to be told I smell. I would have been happy to jump in the shower to freshen up but my husbands desire is so lacking for me that I didn’t think it would help. He just isn’t interested in me anymore. I am an Australian size 14 and have done some modelling work in my younger years but now that I am 43 and overweight he isn’t interested in me. I still try to look good and dress smartly but he rarely looks at me and regularly yells and complains that the house is not clean enough even tho it is and there are only a couple of grains of rice on the floor from our 4 year olds dinner. I am a woman of faith and put my love and trust in the lord and my husband but he is getting more distant, more abusive and more resentful by the weeks which pass. He works hard but he choose to. There is no pressure on him to perform at work as he works in a family business yet he is highly strung and angry with me ALL the time. I keep trying to please him with doing all the housework before he gets home and look after our young children and work part time too as he was so resentful that I want contributing enough before I went back to work. He still not happy and today I have thought about going to an escort agency just to receive some intimacy but I could never actually go thru with that. My husband has said that no one would ever want me as I have had mental health issues in the past and will have to take medication for life. I am at a point where I don’t know what to do. He doesn’t find me attractive anymore and said under his breath tonight that I was fat which is a result of my medication. I am so hurt by all of this and am begging God to give me the strength to carry on when all I want to do is overdose on my medication as divorce is not the option and it is the only thing I can think of to ease my hurt at his constant verbal rejection. What is wrong with me? Maybe because I used to be desirable and am no longer young and sexy but it is so hurtful as most of my friends husbands want them every night and have had more sex than me by the end of the first week in jan than I have had in years. I desperately feel for all those men and women who are constantly shut down and just wish that those of us who were lucky enough to have love and passion would just shut up and go away. Geez it’s hard. I don’t know where or what to do. I have tried to lose weight for years now but can’t.

          • Sweet heart this sound abusive. Please go seek counseling, if even from your church. A god man will respect the mother of his children. <3

    • Praise God that you both connect 1-2x’s a week. My wife kicked me to the curb and it’s
      close to 2.5ys of no sexual intimacy. Imagine doing that to your husband!? Not good!

    • I would not be complaining about once or twice a week – that would definitely make me feel desirable – try once a month which is my story – I have a high sex drive and this is destroying things – what I would give for once or twice a week

  4. I actually sent my husband a message the other day, telling him I shaved a little more than my legs ;-). His response; rawr ;-)).

    But great points, as usual.

  5. Great Ideas – any husband would love it is his wife did any or all of these ideas!!
    Jed recently posted…Make Out Monday – America, Bread, & The EaglesMy Profile

  6. Great tips Sheila! I definitely feel like this is out of my comfort zone. So reading up on this really helps.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a blessed day!
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments recently posted…Keep My Eyes Above the WavesMy Profile

  7. Becca, I would love to share a few things that have helped me. I see from reading what you said your husband DOES find you attractive, to work those long hours in a physically demanding job and still be able to have great sex twice a week is an amazing feat. We are farmers, and my husband also works off farm weed spraying, again long hours and physically demanding. Sometimes I milk cows for some neighbours, early mornings and late nights. Sex can be hard to fit in. But he is blessed that I desire him, and some days that has to be enough.

    Many years ago I would listen every day to Focus on the family, I had to stop because it became like porn to me. Meaning that I would get upset because my husband didn’t live up to the expectations I heard about every day. But when I stepped back from that and took a realistic look at our marriage I could see that he might not put love letters in jars for me, or buy flowers, or go out to dinner. But that is not him, he shows his love in different ways.

    Some things that you may find helpful, well things that work for us anyway. Go to him in the shower and wash his back. When he goes to bed exhausted, give him a massage. When you are just sitting on the couch watching telly massage his hands or arms, do these with no expectations of anything more. Sleep naked and let him know that you don’t mind being woken up in the middle of the night or early morning. We have always showered or bathed together, so our now late teenage/adult children just expect it, I often sit on his knee while watching a movie or just sitting around talking with the family, We usually give each other a touch or rub as we walk past one another, sometimes it might only be on the arm sometimes it might be somewhere more personal.

    Don’t get down, give thanks for the good man you have. And don’t waste your time on marriage blogs etc that are telling you that you are doing it wrong. They are wrong for you.

    • these are great tips. Finding out what your husband’s love language is can be very helpful. My husband loves to be touched. So massages, back rubs help him relax, de-stress and sometimes get him ready for sex. Communication is essential between husband and wife. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to have a good sex life without talking and expressing your feelings and needs. If you and husband can’t talk/ communicate, that is the first issue you need to work on.
      tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations recently posted…Learning Log of June 2014My Profile

  8. I have read article after article about him wanting it and the women not wanting it. What if the woman wants it but he doesn’t? What are we to do? I personally have tried everything from lingerie, to making his favorite meal, to going to bed in my birthday suit, to flat out asking and still get told “no”. It is now going on a year and a half. We are suppose to be in our prime time sexually but all I’m getting is pushed away. Advice and suggestions are very much wanted and welcomed.

    • Sharon, I totally hear you, and in about 30-35% of marriages now that’s the way it is. I have a whole series for women in that situation that starts here. I hope that helps!

  9. Another thought on something that Becca mentioned, I’m sorry it’s a bit offtopic. I think it is very responsible to “only” have two children. Imagine if everyone had as many as possible in a world which is already struggeling with overpopulation and where so many people have children but are not willing to look after them properly.

  10. TheStruggle says:

    There is so much pressure on wives for sex. Reading all these blogs and posts are stressful in themselves. Every now and again I would like to see a blog tellinghusbands to be intimate outside of sex, or be understanding when your wife is having libido issues, or even educate yourselves on the causes and possible treatments of a low libido. Instead, all I see is “suck it up and have sex”. And not only have sex, but pretend to be enthused about it. Having sex when you simply dont want to can be painful and damaging,and doing it anyway (as alot of us do) is a huge sacrafice, that i dont mind making occasionally. But where are the blogs telling my husband to make equally large sacrafices for me?? Please point me in that direction. I feel no “connection” during sex, because its just sex. I feel the whole “men feel loved through sex” is a lie, its just a tactic to make wives feel bad about something they have no control over. There are sooooooo many other ways i show my husband unconditional love throughout the day, but the only one that matters is sex??? Give me a break!

    • Oh, I really do hear you! And there are sites with male readerships that do help men see the women’s perspective {folks, jump in with good ones; I don’t regularly read them because I’m not a man, but I’ve seen some good ones}, but this blog does cater mostly to women. And there’s not much we can ever do except work on ourselves.

      That said, I don’t think Sheila (or any other sites I’ve seen) are advocating the “suck it up” approach or suggesting gals “pretend to be enthused.” I think the idea is: get enthused and then you don’t have to pretend or suck it up!

      I KNOW – that’s easier said than done. I used to have a quite low libido (for a variety of reasons) and even once said, “What’s so good about sex anyhow?! Who says it’s all that? Maybe I’m the normal one and everybody else is off base!” At the time I was quite serious but now that I’ve found my quite healthy libido, I realize the error of my thinking. This is a biological urge that God put in each of us {or “evolution” if you roll that way}. It is necessary for the survival of the species and it is meant to be fun for both parties. If it’s not, that’s likely the first place to focus.

      Of course, the husband may have to adjust his expectations a bit, too. But if his approach is “I want some” (even if it’s a lot) and hers is “I don’t want any” (like mine attitude used to be), then the only place to change at first is hers. Besides, often he wants it “all the time” (or seems to, to someone who never wants it), because he’s never getting it. Once he gets some, that might settle down. Plus, that’s the only place to start for helping him to expect it less, when he’s getting some (good) sex in the first place. We can’t expect starving men to not want ANY food.

      I don’t mean this is necessarily you. Honestly, I’m “tangent girl” tonight and went off on my past issues. But it seems they might be informative for someone reading. Blessings to you, my dear. Seriously. I know that’s such a hard spot to be in. I was there for many, many years (and it ultimately ruined my first marriage). I feel nothing but sadness when I think of how alone my previous husband must have felt, and I didn’t understand until it was years too late.
      Kendra Burrows recently posted…The Long Awakening – A Book ReviewMy Profile

    • wifemomsupahero says:

      I have (slowly but surely) learned that most of the time my feelings follow my actions. Fake til you make it 😉

    • Here is a site that might helpful if your husband is a Christian and wants to love you as Christ loves the church –
      tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations recently posted…Learning Log of June 2014My Profile

  11. I did the nice nightie deal and my husband decided to play “she’s rocking the beer gut” can you write article for husbands. What not to dowben your wife initiates

  12. Hello again everyone,
    Thanks for your replies and your encouragement. To those of you who feel like me, I’m sorry, I know how painful it can be.
    To the other wives who don’t seem to like sex, or have low libido, I may not know how you feel – or even understand it – but I am so sorry. How strange that sex can be the root of so many different problems. Thank you Sheila, for giving us a forum to discuss it. I do believe men feel loved through sex (most men anyway), because I know I do – and I think that’s why I get so upset when my husband doesn’t seem to want it. In fact, when he says he loves me or tells me how beautiful I am – I get so upset because I think he’s just blowing hot air – then he gets upset that I don’t believe him! But seriously, if he felt that way, why wouldn’t he desire sex more often than once or twice a week? So many articles you read say that men think of sex constantly – so if I am ready and willing – and he doesn’t want to take advantage of the opportunity – then what other conclusion can I draw? He’s not attracted to me enough to want to be with me more often – so telling me I’m beautiful is just mean! I have asked him what I should do – get breast implants – get veneers – dye my hair – lose weight – what?! And he won’t answer! He says he loves me just the way I am – but obviously not. Actions speak louder than words, right? THAT is why I won’t initiate. Most times he will respond if I initiate, but that is pity sex, and that makes me feel even worse about myself. All I want is to feel desirable – to my husband – not to anybody else. Am I nuts? Because sometimes I feel so frustrated!

    Thank you for listening. It helps just to be able to express my feelings.

    • Oh sweetie, I hear you!! SO much, I hear you. I’m big on small steps and experiments. What if – for ONE WEEK – every time your husband says you’re beautiful, smile big, say “thank you”, and resist the urge to downplay it in your head or out loud. Whether you deep-down think he means it or not, ACT like he does. {The smile first is crucial, not just because it communicates to your husband, but more important, because it tells your brain that you mean it. Seriously.}

      Just that, one week, every time.You’ve inspired me to try my own version of the experiment this week. Thanks!!
      Kendra Burrows recently posted…The Long Awakening – A Book ReviewMy Profile

      • I’ll try. I really will. It’s so hard when I don’t believe it, but I’ll give it a try. Thanks Kendra!

    • Becca, It seems to me that the two of you are expressing love to one another in the way that you want to receive love. If you’ve not read The Five Love Language I would highly recommend it. Just from what you’ve written it seems like physical touch is your love language and when you try and express love to him in the way you need to receive and he rejects you then you start doubting yourself and feeling rejected. However, the same goes for him. He is expressing love to you in the way he wants to receive it which is words of affirmation and when you reject his loving words and accuse him of lying or even in your heart think he is because he is rejecting you physically you are doing the same thing to him. Think about how hurt you feel when he rejects your physical advances. Now think about how hurt he must feel when you reject his words of love. You seem to be shooting right over each other. My advice would be to give him love in the way he is showing you he needs it. Shower him with words of love and affirmations of your affection and see what it does to him. It will awaken him and then there might be an opening for you to tenderly talk to him about how he can make you feel loved and cherished. And absolutely do what was suggested above. When he gives you words of love then just accept them. Don’t let Satan tell you they are anything different then what they are, which are affirmations of his love. Just a thought!

      • Hmmmm… interesting. My husband’s family is not a very affectionate bunch. They aren’t touchy feely people. My family wasn’t really either, but we did hug a lot more. Yet my family was not big on words of affirmation. In fact, they were more likely to put one another down. I was so cute and athletic as a teenager (I’ve seen pictures!) – but I didn’t think so. My older sister told me almost every day how fat and ugly I was. I believed her! I think in some ways, I still do. I told my husband not that long ago, that when people compliment you they are usually lying (to butter you up for whatever reason), but when they say something negative they are telling the truth – because who would be mean enough to say mean things unless they were true. The truth hurts, right? Wow – do I have issues or what? It sure sounds kind of stupid when I reread it.
        And I have noticed through the years that my husband – who is a VERY hard worker – is happiest at a job where his boss recognizes his hard work and takes the time to say so. I think you may be onto something here, Melissa. He does seem pretty happy when I speak words of affirmation to him, and even more when I speak positively of myself (which isn’t often). Maybe I have a lot of praying and heart examining to do. For some reason, I do not like to be complimented – it makes me downright uncomfortable, even angry at times, and I almost never believe it. I wish I could get past that, but I’m not really sure how.
        Thanks for commenting – you have given me a lot to think and pray about.

    • Becca, you are not alone. :-/

    • Becca, it’s not about you. Your guy could be married to Miss America or a Victoria’s Secret model & respond the same way. Apparently, his lack of desire is rooted in how HE’S put together, physically or emotionally, not how he feels about you.

      There are many physical and emotional issues that can decrease a man’s libido. Even just nt being able to keep up with you sexually must leave him feeling ashamed, as limp as a crushed cabbage leaf. If he has to have intercourse to prove he loves you & considers you beautiful, and he cannot, then your protests are telling him you consider him oess than manly.

      Unless he’s into porn or masturbating (this can be a control issue if he’s feeling belittled) then his low libido may be the result of 10 extra pounds (men lose an inch for every 10 pounds of extra weight, which leaves them less able), high or low blood sugar, fatigue, anemia, poor diet, thyroid disease, low testosterone, sex headaches, certain medications, Celiac disease, poor circulation… the list is endless.

      I know if you’re desperate for more physical intimacy, none of this is going to satisfy your needs, but perhaps it might give you perspective. Whatever you do, don’t nag him about any of the above mentioned possibilities. If you show concern for his health, don’t make it about sex. He needs to feel loved by you, not just a meeter of needs.

      I can’t tell you how to “fix him.” For better or worse includes sex, I’m afraid. Believing that everyone else is having sex every day doesn’t help. Supposedly, the “average” is twice a week. That means some get more and some get less. Perhaps he would be willing to satisfy you ways that do not include intercourse, if you ask nicely. Once onvolved, he made fht get interested. But I can tell you, the most mind blowing orgasm is more likely to happen when he is focused on you alone, and ypu might be glad you had the chance to find out. Seeing you in ecstasy will be a blessing to a truly loving husband. I pray God blesses you both.

    • Hey, in my first year of marriage sex was about once a fortnight and I would get all offended and cry a lot thinking all the stuff about not being attractive enough especially since this was supposed to be the “honeymoon period”. Our lives were so busy tho with studying and working & that was before kids! My husband too is a hard worker who is up at 4:30-5 and tired by 7:30. He is a wonderful wonderful man! On holidays we are more intimate (possibly 2-3 times a week) but it is usually once a week. And I’m ok with that now! It’s actually perfect for us. I know my hubby loves me and finds me attractive and there is no rule about how much sex is normal. I have come to like it this way because it isn’t a mundane thing we have to do all the time. I have learned to love and appreciate him for who he is and be secure in his love – not comparing our intimacy to other people’s ‘normal’.

  13. Question: what about when the husband is the overthinker? It’s difficult for him to initiate without overthinking it. And he’s an external processor, so he doesn’t overthink in his head, he overthinks out loud. And it doesn’t exactly get me in the mood. I’ve told him many times that if he wants to do it, then do it! Chances are better than not that I will respond really well if he just straight-up initiates! And then sometimes when I initiate he also overthinks, which totally kills MY mood. This is the way his brain works, he’s a thinker and a researcher by nature, but it’s not helpin’ life in the bedroom, ya know what I mean?

  14. Great post. I find often it just slips my mind to make an effort. These posts are super, full of real life and do-able ideas. Thank you x
    Jennifer recently posted…No Greater Joy-A TestimonyMy Profile

  15. Sheila, thank you so much for this blog! I just found it a few days ago, but already I am hooked. I have just recently come to think about sex with my husband differently – I never understood why he wanted it so much all the time before! Your blog is one of the tools that has really helped me understand him better, and it’s helping our love life a lot (especially the 29 Days to Great Sex)! And I love that it is Bible-based. I would have died of embarrassment looking at books on this topic in a bookstore, so I thank the Lord for the internet! I am thinking of ordering some of your books from Amazon, too. I so wish my mother would have explained a lot of things to me before I got married, but she and my dad never talked to us about relationships at all. Now I am so looking forward to sharing a lot of important information with my daughter as she grows up (she’s only 5 now) so she can have an easier, healthier start to her marriage when that time comes!

  16. One evening my wife was trying to initiate sex. She was in bed before I was. She was naked with the sheets up to her neck. I had no idea what she was doing. I crawled into bed gave a kiss goodnight the started to fall asleep. She got upset at me for not pouncing.

  17. I and my husband avoided premarital sex and I thought in marriage we will be like other normal couples. We ve sex less than once a month (like 10 or even less times a year)and he looks for all reasons to run away from sex. He complains of tiredness from sex!!! He looks for fights during weekends. He was a virgin before marriage. I have tried talking things, that we can even just cuddle ones our child is asleep, but he will sleep earlier than the child if he is at home early. I have complained and nagged too and all he says is that I should go get satisfaction somewhere else. I am even thinking of an affair, starting an emotional one first. I wish we had no kid, I did ve think of divorce more. Just wish I had a normal marriage

    • He should see a doctor, maybe he has a sleep disorder. That could cause him to be sleepy, not want sex, and be irritable on the weekends.

  18. Just wanted to say thanks for the article.

  19. I am 30. in the beginning of my relationship, i wanted sex all the time, few times a day all over the place. Now married, there was a period of time where he didnt want sex and i was depressed and upset about being in a sexless marriage. but now tables have turned, he wants sex ALL the time. and i have NO drive! its gone! Im either tired or not in the mood, i honestly could go with out. When we have it, im just ready to get it over with. One of the things is, for some reason, i focus more on the “pain” of having sex rather than the pleasure. Im just very upset that my libido has completely vanished–and there’s all these things to stimulate pleasure but heck i just want a magic pill for that! its to much work to put a mid aged woman in the mood compared to a younger woman! Im getting quite concerned considering, this has been very recent feeling for me and i use to be vamped for sex. (and this is probably the #1 reason why men do have affairs) because their wives have zero libido :(

  20. Jacqueline Cronje says:

    Hi, how to deal with it when the tables are turned. My husband has no libido and doesnt initiate sex? Which after 1 year of marriage feels like a slap in the face.

    • Hi Jacqueline, that’s so hard! I have a series of posts that may help you on what to do when your husband doesn’t want to make love. Here’s the first one; there are links to the others there. Hope that helps!

  21. Terriekenny says:

    So, I’m late forties and heading for the anticipated ‘scAriest’ event of womanhood – the change. I’ve dreaded my whole life and done as much as humanly possible to know and support its imminent arrival. So far so good, unbelievably my sex drive has just gone exponential – I’ve never been this ‘driven’. Sadly my husband is three years post prostate surgery and uninterested but takes a tablet to maintain relations, He rarely initiates events and I’m So tired of being rejected, my body and soul aches for pleasure, the guilt is huge. I can’t discuss this with him without making him feel bad. He struggles to perform and I give the reassurance required for him to ‘get there’, but am never satisfied, I’m always focused in his pleasure and rarely receive my own ‘just desserts’. Initiating sex is tentative because he’s concerned he won’t get there – but after three years I ve become selfish in my ‘recently driven heightened’ state. I have needs. Please advise, Desperate

  22. Hi everyone! This has been great to read. I’m a 25 year old newlywed and had thought I would be having lots of sex as a newlywed (based off of blogs and opinions). I am not. It’s been a very stressful time for us as we have been working a lot and going to school as well. We’ve been married for 4 months, and had tried many times in the beginning to have sex, but it hasn’t quite worked out well. My husband has orgasmed but I never have. We were both virgins prior to marriage.
    In the beginning I was very well interested in trying qns figuring it out, but I have recently found out that I don’t even think about sex anymore. The only thought I ever have about it about how we aren’t doing it and if I should be worried. We’ve recently gotten really busy as the semester ends and there a tons of things to do with work and school, so I blame it on that. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had this experience or knows if this is normal. I sense that he tried to initiate sex sometimes but I’m usually so tired after dinner, and he tries to respect that. I love my husband a lot, and worry that perhaps i am not making him a priority. I am very open to anyone’s interpretation and/or suggestion.

  23. Love what you wrote! Thank you..sometimes it’s easy to forget our importance and to get creative. — Now do you have a post for helping men to initiate?

  24. Wow, read all your blogs. My husband allways initiates, i’ve never made a move. I’ve been married 5 years n v hv 2 little kids, i’m very heavy n feel very shy n embarresed. But my husband makes me feel the happiest n beautiful women ever, v make love 4 to 5 times a week n sometimes twice a night but i’ve never ever made the first move. I think its the way i’v been brought up, if girls made the first move she’s sex crazy n thts really bad. As in our culture v r not allowed to hv sexual relations. U r only allowed sex after u r married. After reading your 10 tips im definatly going to mke the first move n im gona do it 2nite.

  25. Sheila thanks so much for the tip. I am 31 years old, mother of four. My husband hates me because of my lack of sex. I was having a lot of pain in my stomach. I had gallstones, but it has been taken out two weeks ago, but he doesn’t understand how I was feeling. Please help me to make my marriage work. He is always away travelling, but I want him to have a better sex when he’s with me. Please tell me what to do.

  26. Wow! Complaining about once or twice a week! I’m a man, my wife never really had a lot of interest in sex. I’d LOVE even just once a week at this point. I used to ask every single night and she’d say ‘no’ ‘no’ ‘no’ so after about 10 days — 2 weeks I’d sometimes feel pretty rejected and not ask for a night or two — but that just made her mad and she’s say “why haven’t you asked to make love for the past two nights? You don’t find me attractive? you aren’t turned on by me??” OR she’d wake up the next morning and say “I wanted to make love last night — too bad you missed it, you should have asked.” Honestly it felt like she was just playing games with me. So now, I don’t ask. At all. And she’s just fine with it. We do have sex though, on a predictable schedule: once 6-10 days after her monthly visitor (when she’s ‘fertile’ and her hormones are acting up) and sometimes, but not lately, the night BEFORE her monthly visitor. Twice a month on a good month. Which was all it had been for the past 10 years or so anyway but at least I’ve finally stopped getting my hopes up in between. So, enjoy what you have. Once or twice a week — smile, that’s pretty good!

    • Well I know what you mean, my husband don’t want to make love and when he does he finishes soooo fast that it leaves me frustrated that he falls asleep. This is a special moments that is just for him and I, but I feel that is all about him and then he calles it a day. It’s only 4 years. I Have try everything and I don’t get no reaction. This sucks royalty.

      • That’s a shame, Way2Go. And it’s especially hard that it’s only been 4 years for you and he’s like this. I hope he changes somehow soon.

  27. I am a woman aged 47, I enjoy sex a lot more now than when I was younger. It is indeed an issue of life.

  28. I am 56 yoa been married 2 years to the man I loved 30 years ago, sex has been good but in the last 6 months or so NOTHING MUCH! I am a stress eater and have put on about 20 pounds since we have been married and I don’t think he is attracted to me anymore, I’m not attracted the me! Is it really the truth when the men say “your weight doesn’t matter” or is it just a crock?

    • Oh please! I can’t imagine a guy not finding his wife attractive just because she put on 20 pounds or so! If he does think this is that big of an issue that he isn’t attracted as much to you he seems very shallow and should at least TELL you how he feels and talk about it but more importantly, you two should get into counseling. Both of you will go through bodily changes over the next 5-10 years — people age, they gain weight, things like that happen — it’s the PERSON that you are attracted to, not the weight on the scale or the size clothes you fit into.

  29. It makes me sad to read atleast most of u ladies hv some sort of a reason. Im just 29 yrs, we dont hv kids. My husband is only 33.Our sex life is really bad. We hv only once a month or even worse. It was not lik this before but for one year it has been like this. He is a really nice guy and I knw he cares abt me more than anythin in this world. I hv no doubt abt it. We hv discussed abt this issue and it nvr arrived out any convulsion. All I can think is he is not attracted towards me romantically. This has become a major thing in my life since I just feel so sad inside me. Its not like we dont hv time or anything like that. Now he tels me I should initiate and start it first. But the thought he doesn’t find me attractive enough to hv sex doesnt allow me to go forward.

  30. Sheila,
    I have read your blog quite often lately and am thankful for it and often in tears reading some of the posts. I have been faithfully married to my husband for 27 years we have 9 children. My problem is that my sex drive has dramatically increased ( thyroid meds finally kicked in) and my husband who knows I want it every night says that he suddenly has a low sex drive. I do believe that stress from his job is high because he feels that he could be let go due to not enough work to keep him billable. He asks me to keep him in prayer about this situation, we should probably pray more as a family. He always ends up finding work to do for his company and he is NOT into porn. That was a old problem that has been dealt with and repented for. I know he is not cheating on me ( I checked his fb messages! and he works from home). I have been doing a lot of crying myself to sleep lately and many nights just can’t sleep so when my best friend told him about just how badly I was feeling ( lack of sleep makes you crazy) he laughed. Probably more out of disbelief, but his comment was ” what comes around goes around”. He says it is my turn to be turned down. He says that for years I turned him down and avoided him ( he is sadly mostly right ). Our sex life was never great, I never had orgasms until years later when I was pregnant and finally got some female stimulation gel. I never enjoyed the way he touched me, it was like groping. But, in the last 5 years my husband has become a wonderful lover, making me feel totally loved , desired and taken care of. I spoke to a Priest about the situation recently in confession and he said that we should go to counseling and to a doctor. But when we spoke later that day he made me feel so much better. He told my friend that I am in a “selfish phase” right now. ( because I want sex a lot! ) I told him how I really appreciate the way he has changed his love making and desire him so much now. I believe that masturbation is sinful because as you said in a previous comment it is done in secret, and it is solitary as well as selfish, not self sharing, so does my husband.
    My husband now keeps calling me selfish for wanting sex. He will not spend time with me doing anything except at night watching tv before bed. I told him I feel that he does not want to be around me, do anything with me etc. I am always the one who has to think or plan on anything we do as a couple and as a family. I told him I was somewhat tired of it. I would love for him for once to plan something for us to do. I am tired of being lonely despite my husband being with me 24 hours a day!

    We have made love twice since we talked the first time he initiated! ( It used to be only him who did this ). The 2nd time it was during the day and I took him by surprise! Now he is staying up late at night to avoid coming to bed, then he immediately turns onto his stomach. He won’t touch me at all. Tonight when he came to bed at midnight I was standing in a cami by our bed and he said ” what are YOU wearing?” but that was it…..

    I am not sure what to do. I have been in prayer about this, because he keeps saying things about me being selfish and acting like ” a kid in a candy shop who can’t get enough”. He says he is concerned. I think it may be bringing back memories of his first girlfriend who wanted to have sex several times a day. So what should I do? Should I totally stop trying and initiating, start wearing flannels to bed? Should I pray that God takes my sexual desire away? My friend suggested I just stop everything. I think I am TOTALLY turning him off. I want a husband who wants to spend time with me and enjoys it. I want intimacy and feel like I can only get it through sex because he usually works 12 hours a day. I am a full time caretaker for one of my parents as well as mother to most of my children who are still at home .

    I have read a lot of your posts and really feel for many of your readers, it makes me feel grateful for what I do have but I am still left feeling empty and alone and searching for advice.

    Thank you again.

  31. This is my first time reading the article even though I am a long time fan and follower. I just don’t think I was ready to hear it! But now I am and you have totally changed my attitude and really shed some light on how my actions have been hurting my husband…. however I just found out we are expecting baby #4 so I should go read your hormone post because I am heading into another dry spell after one just finished…. :/

    • Congratulations on your new little one! That’s awesome, Alexis! And I’m glad you read this–the next little while may be difficult with all the babies, but don’t worry–marriage is decades long!

  32. Jen, It can be very hard to understand that a fairly young husband is changing too. He’s not a twenty something anymore that is always instantly hard by just looking at you.

    It’s not at all about your looks. Guys love your beautiful sexual parts even if you’ve gained weight. He’s likely starting a slow hormone decent that continues bringing his libido down.

    So, he NEEDS YOU to bring some excitement and enthusiasm to build up his desire. Initiating sex shows him you desire him too, not just enduring sex. Trying some suggestive texts, greeting him with a kiss and roaming hands and telling him how much you appreciate him might bring back interest. Likely he just needs a slight nudge to see you’ll meet him halfway in the starting something department. Then start reading to excite yourself to try or suggest new things. Ask what he wants to try. Tell him what you want. A little novelty can go a long way!

  33. Hi i was just wondering what should i do if im with the higher sex drive and i am always the one who initiates sex with my husband. Is there something wrong with me. I feel like it’s not normal to have the desire to have sex with my husband every other night.

  34. i don’t know if i can do this but i will try now.

  35. Hi! my husband & me haven’t done sex for 2 yrs & still counting…..I do cry for this….but he is so careless about all this….about me….never talk about anything…….just works and do his homely duties……sleeps immediately when in bed…..We have 2 children…..when it’s holiday, he watches his favourites on laptop…I’m so frustrated.he is always stressed.don’t know why??he’s not daring at all….& he is not after any other woman..

  36. I read this and I love the ideas. But honestly I don’t initiate because every time I do I am rejected. It seems to only happen when he initiates it, therefore I know he wants to. What then? My drive is way higher than his and I try to be understanding. I also have that voice in the back off my head that there’s something wrong with me because I want to so much more than my husband. I’m the female, he’s the male. He’s supposed to wasn’t too and I’m not. So what wrong with me? I guess I’ll keep trying and praying about it.

  37. colorofgrey says:

    Been trying too long, never gonna work with me and my wife. Sometimes that’s just what happens——if one side won’t work on themselves or the marriage, it’s time to go. For me, my credit’s ruined and she’s gotten everything she can and doesn’t want the rest.

  38. “Men are usually afraid of getting rejected, and if he tends to have the higher sex drive in your marriage, he may have conditioned himself to never think about it, or to try not to assume you’re going somewhere, because he doesn’t want to get his hopes up.” BOOM. Nail hit on head.

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