Here’s a really common question I get:
My husband wants something in the bedroom that I think is just gross. (editor’s note: she spelled out what it is; I want to leave this vague so that my answer applies to more people’s situations! So if you’re struggling with this, insert your own idea here). Do I have to do it?
My quick answer would be, “No.” Sex is supposed to be mutual. It isn’t supposed to be selfish. But that being said, here are just a few thoughts to help you figure this out in your particular situation:How do you figure out what's okay to do in the bedroom? Some thoughts! Click To Tweet
1. Dare Yourself to Make What You Do Enjoy Awesome
It’s honestly okay to say no to some things in the bedroom. Vaginal intercourse–no, you can’t say not to that (I mean IN GENERAL–like you can’t say “we can never do this”, though of course you can say no on certain nights. I’ve got more on that here). Intercourse is the height of intimacy. But other things? Absolutely. No one has to do everything.
But if you do say no, I just dare you to make the things you are comfortable with awesome for your husband! Really throw yourself into it. Dedicate yourself to having a fulfilling sex life–which means getting yourself in the right frame of mind so you can enjoy it, too. If you’re really struggling with this, pick up the 31 Days to Great Sex. It’s only $5. And seriously, it will help. This is what it was written for!
2. Ask Yourself, “Is it Sinful?”
If your husband wants something you don’t, ask yourself, “is it sinful?” Now be careful here, because we often assume that because we don’t like something it must be sinful. But I don’t think the Bible calls very many things sinful in marriage. Anything involving a third party (porn, affairs, fantasizing about a football team): sinful. Enjoying each other’s bodies: nope. (now I think there are things which are definitely a bad idea that don’t involve a third party; but I’m still not sure they’re sinful. I think they’re more in the “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” category).
Why is this important to determine? Because sometimes we’re quick to label things sinful and then we cut things out of the bedroom entirely. And we also start to think of our husbands as perverts. It honestly is okay to say “no”. But just be honest and if it ISN’T sinful, realize that you’re saying no because you don’t find it appealing, not because he’s a pervert. That’s an important distinction!
And sometimes by realizing it isn’t sinful (if it’s something that isn’t), it does help us stretch ourselves a bit. And for many couples, that can be a good thing!
3. Be Careful of Porn’s Influence
Maybe the answer to “is it sinful” honestly is yes, though. Then what?
Then you just need to talk about this. And I think it’s a really good idea to ensure that he’s not using porn. Porn fuels the desire for things that are sinful, and lessens the appeal of being truly intimate. If your husband is using porn, start here and read on about what to do about it.
4. Be Careful of Substituting Other Things for Intercourse
One thing I’ve found with couples who explore a little more is that sometimes that thing that one of you wants to do starts taking over. Let’s say he enjoys something else more than he does intercourse, and he starts asking for that. In fact, he’d prefer it. This is really dangerous.
I’m all for play! I think play is great–hence the term foreplay. But it is FOREplay. It shouldn’t be the whole thing.
That doesn’t mean it can NEVER be the whole thing, but if another sexual act becomes your regular sexual encounter, rather than vaginal intercourse, there’s a real danger and a problem. Now sometimes, when health concerns arise, that’s necessary, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But intercourse was designed to unite us spiritually as well as physically; we’re supposed to be feel one. Sex isn’t supposed to be about getting the greatest orgasm; it’s supposed to be about feeling close. Now, when we feel close the physical ALSO tends to feel better. But our pornographic culture has really infiltrated the bedroom so much that we almost use each other more than we make love to each other. I don’t think that’s a good dynamic.
So if you want to explore, that’s great! But make it about play, not about replacing intimacy.
5. Have His Nights/Her Nights
If there’s something he likes that you’re willing to do, but you really don’t like it, consider once a month having his nights/her nights. Once a month you’ll make love totally for him, and once a month for her. And then the other times you’ll just do it as you prefer to together.
That way he doesn’t feel deprived, but you both get what you want. Maybe your night starts with a long back massage. That’s totally fair!
If, of course, you absolutely CAN’T do it, see #1. That’s totally fine. But if you just dislike it, here’s another way to handle it.
6. Open Up to Him Yourself
The hardest thing for many women is telling their husbands what they’d like in the bedroom. Sometimes it’s because we just don’t know. Sometimes it’s because we’re shy. Sometimes we’re ashamed.
But what often really arouses a man is understanding what arouses his wife. If you can become more in touch with yourself, and more open with him, you might find that this “thing” he wants diminishes in importance because he feels closer to you and you are being more exciting in the bedroom. Again, that’s what the 31 Days to Great Sex is for. It gets you talking about this stuff! But I’d really urge you to try and open up. You really do feel incredibly close when you do that, and that’s part of what makes sex so intimate!
So there you go. Six points to hopefully provide some balance to this issue, from very different points of view. I hope you can glean something from that that’s helpful!