Wifey Wednesday: Reaching Your Sexual Prime–The Right Way

Reaching Your Sexual Prime--the Right Way!

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you can all link up in the Linky below. Today I want to start with a basic question:

Who has the best sex?

Good Girls Guide My SiteIt isn’t the starlets that grace our magazine covers. It’s the married women who have put in over a decade with their men, who had borne children and balanced checkbooks and navigated mother-in-law issues. When I did my surveys for the Good Girls Guide to Great Sex, I found that it was those married 16-20 years who report the best sex. That’s when we hit our sexual prime–when women peak, so to speak.

Now, society has long known that women often feel “sexier” in their late thirties and early forties than they did in their early twenties.

We’re more confident. We often have more money–and time–to spend on taking care of ourselves. We’re more at peace with our bodies.

But just because society gets the timing right doesn’t mean that it understands women well.

Instead of showing women that have hit their sexual stride in marriage, they turn to the Sex and the City phenomenon, or the “cougar” stereotype: in both cases, older, more mature women on the hunt for anyone to go to bed with. Reaching one’s sexual prime, where one is the most confident and the most “in the mood”, is seen as synonymous with throwing off the shackles of convention and having fun!

Their idea of fun, though, is just about the same as what we are constantly advising our teens not to do. What do we tell our kids?

Sex is better when you’re married, because sex is a real bond between two people. You can’t have sex lightly. Making love and lust are not the same thing.

And yet often women in their thirties and forties forget the reason that all of these things are true for teenagers is the exact same reason that they’re true for us: God made sex to be between two married people. He made it to connect us on three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It isn’t just a physical act.

We don’t tell teens that sex is supposed to be for marriage, and that they shouldn’t “hook up”, because they’re too young to handle that kind of behaviour. We tell teens that because it’s true regardless of age.

And that means it’s true for us, too.

Yet many moms aren’t getting that message. Sure, we may not be sleeping with new guys, but we’re still looking to “throw off those shackles”. Why else would 50 Shades of Grey, a mommy porn book that depicts a bondage relationship as something that is loving and erotic, become such a huge bestseller? Because women equate it with sexual freedom. You don’t have to be bored with your husband! You can read some steamy stuff to get you in the mood! Explore your boundaries! Set yourself free!

I understand the pull.

I really do. So many of us have spent years in sexually unfulfilling marriages. We put up with it, and said little, because we were embarrassed, or we just figured that there was something wrong with us.

And then the kids get older, and we gain some confidence, and we think, “I don’t need to put up with this anymore! I’m missing out on so much, and I am going to have some FUN!”

But that’s the wrong prescription. Getting yourself aroused by reading erotica, and then having sex with your husband, means that you’re treating him like a sex toy. You’re having sex, but you’re fantasizing about a novel. And it’s not real intimacy.

What makes sex so great for those married for two decades is that we know each other well enough that we can be truly vulnerable. We can let our guard down. We can be totally open. That makes for amazing sex. Fantasizing about something else just causes us to lose the intimacy.

Sex can be hot, and most women find that it does get amazing once they’ve put in a decade and a half of marriage.

But the best way to have more fun isn’t to look to “throw off the shackles”; it’s to work on more communication, spicing things up, having more fun, and initiating more with your spouse, within your marriage. That’s the recipe for real sexual fun.

So if you’re hitting your late thirties and early forties, and you’re finally feeling like you’re “coming in to yourself”, and figuring out who you really are, that’s great. Maybe your libido is finally hiking, and you really do want to start having some real fun in the bedroom. You want to feel alive. You want to feel absolute passion. That’s all good stuff, and you were made to feel that way!

But remember not to buy in to our world’s idea of what freedom is, and what passion is.

True freedom is being with one person that you can become vulnerable with and share with and explore with. True freedom is having fun with your spouse to explore. It isn’t buying in to everything our world tells us is sexy; it’s finding that sexual freedom that you were always meant to have with your spouse.

Sex should be hot, and that’s totally possible in your marriage. But if you try to spice things up with erotica, or porn, or weird sex toys, it isn’t going to give you the passion you want, because real passion is paired with true intimacy.

What do you think? Have you seen the pressure to “explore” in weirder and weirder ways? How do you respond?

Christian Marriage Advice

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The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

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



  1. As a wife of 25 years, I can concur that the years of trust have made a wonderful foundation for an open, fulfilling intimate relationship that we enjoy even more now than in the early years of our marriage.

    I appreciate your willingness to be open and speak such necessary truths about a topic that’s so often considered “off-limits” in the Christian community.


    Candy recently posted…Book Review – “9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom”My Profile

  2. I had not heard this before about women having their sexual prime time in their 30’s and 40’s. I find this encouraging really! I have heard some people talk about getting bored over time. But this seems to me this would be a time to try new things our with your husband and switch things up. We have been married going on 3 years and we thankfully have not had issues like some couples. However, now through our first pregnancy we have had to change things up and communicate more. Thank you for sharing this information!
    Cassie recently posted…Staying Connected in Your Marriage through ChangesMy Profile

    • Ah, yes. Pregnancy is tricky! It’s good training for enhanced communication, though–and enhanced patience. And you’ll need both! Best wishes to all 3 of you!

  3. I find your honesty and courage so refreshing here. I’ve definitely had an uptick in sexual drive (yep, I’m in that 40s range), and for some of the reasons you stated. But I also find that I’m freer with my husband because WE have been through so much together, and we’re still here and happy. With all our history and commitment, our lovemaking is more intimate, so I desire it more. To me, that makes our sexual life together even better than it was in earlier years — because, as you say, it’s far more than physical.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Still Nervous about Giving Him Oral? Yeah, I Get It.My Profile

  4. I love your honest writing. One would think everyone is having hot sex…that’s the why movies, tv, and books would make it appear anyway. But, that honestly isn’t the case. We really just need more honesty about this subject. Thank you!
    Jeri recently posted…Think Before You Pick Up That RockMy Profile

  5. We are both now in our 70s and nearing the end of our 4th decade of marriage. We make love less often but when we do it it is more exciting than it ever was. We are truly ‘one flesh’. If things don’t go according to plan, as sometimes happens, we just laugh and cuddle and try again. Our marriage keeps getting better and better. Of course, we pray for our marriage every day.

    • I love your faithful witness, P. Thanks for all your comments, and for continuing to read and encourage us with your successful marriage!

  6. I find this article intriguing as I pass into the almost 40 age frame. It’s very hard when you have a husband that is in my opinion “stuck”. I’m really praying and trying to keep the lines of communication open.

  7. I just love this,Sheila! I was told that your sex life gets better ,this was when I was pregnant with my 3rd child- ha! So I didn’t really believe it! But something happened to me about 2 yrs ago…I read your book…i changed & my husband loves it.. ;D. We are about to celebrate 25 yrs of marriage! Wow! I am one Lucky girl

  8. Sheila, I just love this post!

    My heart aches as I see so many women, including those in the Christian community, focusing solely on the physical aspect of sex in looking for a way to make it more fulfilling… always in pursuit of that “something” that will make the act hotter, sexier, kinky-er, more erotic, etc. — pursuit of that “something” that will get them physically aroused enough to be able to be an active participant. I imagine that would work for a while… but I’ve always wondered, once they’ve tried every toy, position, etc. then what? I’m guessing that’s where porn and erotica make their entrance?? I would think that path would eventually lead to nothing but emptiness.

    My husband and I are in our mid-40s, now married for 22 years. We’ve never used a toy, never read erotica, never viewed porn. And, we are having the best sex! But, as a result of the intimacy we have experienced by spending time together, having fun together, and talking openly and honestly with each other often. When we make love, our hearts are talking, not just our bodies. Sex for us is a physical expression of what’s going on in our hearts. The chemistry isn’t *just* a hormonal response. I still get butterflies when he smiles at me.

    Thanks for opening up the conversation. Looking forward to reading what others have experienced.

  9. Puzzled husband says:

    One thing that has come up in our sex life numerous times is my desire to try new things vs her desire to stay the same. We have been married almost 25 years and even though many say it gets better over time, we haven’t seemed to grow at all. And to say that a woman peaks at a later age and is more comfortable in expressing what she wants isn’t true for us at all. Any time I express desire for this or that, slower, faster, more time to spend together, etc… it is met with the reaction on her part of “why isn’t what I/we do good enough?” “I feel like a failure.” “Why cant’ you be content? The Bible says to be content.” If I ask her to communicate with me to make it better for her she says “I can’t talk during sex. It will only break my concentration and I will not enjoy it.” So most times I don’t know how to pleasure my wife because I can’t feel what she feels and she won’t tell me if what I’m doing is good or bad. I have told her that the “I don’t care about (talking about sex)(climaxing)(new positions)etc” statements are very hurtful to me as a man, but to no avail. Last night when I asked her if there was anything I could do to make it better for her she said she just “takes whatever I do and is happy with that”. She won’t tell me if there is more I could do because “I can’t talk during sex. ……(see above)”.

    I want to be a better lover and for my wife to feel free to express herself sexually, both for her sake and mine. Ladies, I know you don’t know my wife (or me), but do you have any thoughts on this situation? She is OK with sex, but we dare not concentrate on it too much or let it be too important. After all, we don’t want to become like this ‘sex crazed world’.

    • Hi there,

      That is tough. Let me say that the “I can’t talk because I have to concentrate” thing can be very real. A woman is just so distractible, and our arousal depends on being able to concentrate on our bodies. If we have to start talking, the focus turns outward, rather than inward on what we’re experiencing, and that can kill the mood.

      Not all women experience this, but it is very common. Most women do find that the key to orgasm is being able to concentrate.

      That may also be why she doesn’t know what to tell you to do. She may honestly not know. She may be thinking so much about what she’s feeling that it’s hard to break the rhythm to do something else. Once you’ve found something that works, you want to stick to it. The idea of trying something new, and then learning how to let THAT arouse you, can seem overwhelming.

      Like I said, not all women experience this, but for many women who had a hard time learning to orgasm, once they’ve learned how to do it one way doesn’t mean that they think they can do it any other way. So that may be why she has a harder time being adventurous.

      Perhaps if you spent some nights that were “her” nights, when you were just concentrating on making her feel good without even intercourse, and then some nights that were “your” nights, when she didn’t HAVE to feel good, she could just do other things, that would help. Sometimes women feel such pressure to orgasm/feel good that doing something new is scary. If they know the pressure is off, and they can just concentrate on you without the night feeling like a failure if they don’t experience pleasure, it can be easier to try something new.

      I hope that helps!

      • Puzzled husband says:

        I understand (sort of) the concentration thing. I guess I just hoped that if she gave me some direction once or twice it would give me a place to start and then in the future she might not need to talk and be able to concentrate. But even if she is given the chance to ‘concentrate’, she still doesn’t orgasm often. And doesn’t care either way! I fully realize that a woman doesn’t need to climax to enjoy the sensations of sex, and I’m OK with that. But the very low % that she does O is troubling to me as her husband who wants to give her that gift (and enjoy it myself, selfishly). It seems almost a fear of enjoying it too much.

        As to “her” nights. She really doesn’t want those, she likes intercourse. As long as it is the same way we always do it with no changes to the routine. I have even asked to go to bed earlier in order to spend some additional time together, but she doesn’t seem to want that either. If we have too much time, we may have to fill that time with something new! Eeek! I try not to pressure her to O because I know that is the sure way to NOT O. But the bottom line is that she sees no need to try anything different with intercourse or to elevate either of our pleasure. Good enough for her automatically means it should be good enough for me. Over 25 years, 2000 times of the same thing gets old. It is almost like I’m some weirdo (or even un-Christian) for even thinking, “Hey what about this?” Because she takes that comment to mean, “I’m not good enough like I am. He wants more.” I just want to improve and keep fresh the gift that God gave us. I want it to get better over time.

        • Sounds like your wife has some underlying issues (that likely have nothing to do with sex) that need addressing before anything else. Let me explain from my own personal experience: I struggle with that very same wound (“I’m not good enough”) which surfaced early in our relationship when we started renovating our house (which used to be just mine before we got married.) Every little thing in the house that my hubby wanted to change, I personalized and took it to mean that there was something defective about ME. It’s only been through intensive individual counselling, that I’ve been able to untangle some of these feelings. Your wife sounds a lot like me…. very insecure. Deep down, she feels like she’s not worth the extra attention and that she should just settle for whatever she can get because she doesn’t deserve anything amazing. Keep on loving and supporting her, and showing her how much you treasure her for who she is. I would also recommend some Christian counselling.
          D recently posted…spring has sprungMy Profile

          • Puzzled husband says:

            Yes, sounds similar. I’m sure she has underlying issues. I even think I have a good handle on what they are. But getting her to go there has been next to impossible. I would love to see a counselor for this area, but that also would involve her admitting that something is off in our situation. You know, don’t change what ain’t broke!

        • Jennifer says:

          Of course, not knowing your wife, this is speculation, but it may be that she feels too embarrassed to discuss sexual things and she just can not get past that to verbalize it, and/or she may feel like telling you what to do will make you feel like you are not doing it the right way. I would advise you to seek God’s face about it. Ask Him at every move you are about to make…. what do I do? how do I please her more? If you are truly wanting to improve things, focus on her needs, even if you have to go over her head to do it…… God knows what you should do….. He created you both and loves you both an incredible amount and this is important to Him, also.

          You might also ask if instead of speaking to you about it, if she would be willing to have some physical signals, like squeeze your arm if you are moving to firmly with her or something like that. Also, watch her face. She may wince if you are touching her in an unpleasant manner, but you would have to be paying close attention to her to see that. But, don’t jump or have a sudden reaction if you notice something, don’t make her feel like you’re watching her. Be very smooth in your transition to something different when you notice she is not reacting with pleasure. Also, pay close attention to how you get her to O, when she does get there. If you pay close attention to her and how she responds to your different touches….. you may get your answers.

          Something else may be the possibility of sexual abuse? Or just an upbringing that made her feel like sex is dirty. But, again, God has the answers to these, as well. ASK HIM! : )

          • Puzzled husband says:

            (Gone for the Memorial Day weekend, I’m back.)

            I have prayed A LOT about this, it is very painful. There is a real hole in my earthly life. I have tried to focus on her needs, but she seems to not have any.??? She feels the need to be with me in an intimate way, but sees no need to insert any variety or ‘keep it fresh’. Honestly, she just likes to lay there and be a recipient. She sees no need to O or even share what is good or not. There have been times when I’d be touching her and after 10-15 minutes she’d say “that isn’t doing anything”, or “that’s uncomfortable”. So I’d try to tell her that she needs to tell me sooner so I can change since I don’t have her nerve endings. She just won’t speak up. She also makes the excuse that she can’t make ‘physical signals’ because that will break her focus. Focus on what? She sees no need to O. (see above)

            I don’t think she thinks sex is dirty, but from her upbringing I think she was WAY too protected which in and of itself puts sexuality into a different realm.

      • Sorry for your struggles, and for your wife’s as well.

        I know of a book that might help?? It’s called The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women by Dr. Gary & Barbara Rosberg. It would be ideal if you and/or your wife could read this book aloud to one another and discuss what you’re reading as you go along. BUT even if only you read it, I think it could be really, really helpful.

        Blessings to you both. Stay positive. All things are possible with God — He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or even think!

        • Puzzled husband says:

          Thank you. I will look into that book. I don’t see it being helpful (pessimistic) because she will not read ‘sex books’ (her words, ‘marital intimacy books’ my words) for some reason. It is almost like she doesn’t think sexuality and spirituality are compatible. One can’t dwell on that and be a good Christian. I’ve told her it is OK for us to think about sex with each other and it not be lust, but she doesn’t agree. I have so many books now, another would just be a reason for her to say “That is all you think about!”

  10. 40+ years for us now. I am upper 50’s he is lower 60’s and it keeps getting better and better!!!

    • Yay! After a rough start to the last two years with health issues, I’m so looking forward to the next decade!

  11. This is great information and so true. And I just want to add that it doesn’t have to end or even go downhill after your 40s. I am on the other side (ahem!) of 50, and my husband is 8 years older than me, and things are still going uphill rather than down for us. Communicating openly (which is a work-in-progress for me), managing stress, having more time as the kids become more independent, and taking care of your health (exercise, healthy diet, healthy weight) are things that make it possible to enjoy sex and intimacy for many, many years.
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    • Amen, Gaye! Thanks for all the encouragement from the “older” women. We need to know that it can keep getting better–if we work on taking care of ourselves and our relationships!

  12. That’s amazing news! I mean, sex is awesome now, and we just celebrated our 13th anniversary!
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  13. patricia Abule says:

    That is awesome to know some kind of information. Thanks

  14. Elizabeth says:

    And I always thought it was a coincidence that as soon as I hit my prime that all of the time that passed since we began our married life during his prime, I have found that he really doesnt want it as much as me. Funny, huh? And it isn’t an affair or porn or any of those ‘go to’ reasons that are always assumed when a husband loses interest or doesn’t sustain his interest in his mid-life. All he says is that he just got tired of being refused during some of those more difficult years of babies, deployments, financial worries, etc. And I do take full responsibility for his attitude. And while I know deep in my heart that God doesn’t operate like this, the very cynical part of my brain is convinced that this is perpetual punishment for all of those difficult years during our 24 years of marriage. Its demoralizing to be the only one in the last few years to be interested in our sexual relationship. Its demoralizing to hope and be disappointed time and time again that we could have a better, more intimate relationship. It has hardened my heart and made me very angry with God. I get down on my knees and beg him again and again for a radical change of heart and mind towards my husband and my marriage and NOTHING changes. Some days its all I can do to just hang on. My strong Catholic faith, usually unshakeable, is truly being tested of late and I embarrassed that I have fallen so far from what I wanted with my spouse.

  15. Sex is better when you’re married…to a person who is sexually compatible with you and doesn’t reject you. That is my feeling after 5 years of marriage. I love and adore my husband, he is a wonderful person, but there is no “spark” at all.

    There is no romance or sexual chemistry. There is no foreplay at all anymore when we do have sex, which is about twice a year if I’m lucky. He doesn’t seem to find me attractive. I love him dearly but this is very frustrating. I’ve tried talking about it and asking him if I’m meeting his needs, but now I just think he has no interest anymore. I am 30, he is 44.
    I’m not sure if it is a sex drive issue or a possible affair or stress or what, but it is taking a toll on our relationship.

    There is more to marriage than sex but sex is a VERY important part of marriage. If one spouse can’t tell the other one about his/her feelings or ask for honest feedback, there is a problem. I’m still young…I want children (at least one) and I need to feel desirable to my husband. Apparently there is some type of control issue that causes him to withhold intimacy.

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