What if you like sex, but you don’t really get the desire to please your husband sexually?
You enjoy making love, but pleasing him isn’t really at the forefront of your mind during the whole thing! Every Monday I like to post a reader question and take a stab at answering it, and this week we’re going to be talking about how to love your husband and make him feel awesome. And I thought we’d start with this reader question from a woman who is struggling with not feeling the desire to make sex about him:
Hi Sheila! I am wondering if you could tackle the subject of lacking a desire to please your husband sexually. My husband is very attentive to my needs and desires and thoroughly enjoys pleasing me. He has made me feel safe and secure in the bedroom and goes out of his way to make me feel wonderful. The problem is that I don’t have the same passion for pleasing him as he does for me. I will perform x, y, or z for him, but that passion and raw desire isn’t there. My husband is very hurt by this and says he feels like I don’t desire him or want him. He feels continually ignored. He says that he feels like the bedroom is all about me. So my question is, how do I desire to bring pleasure to him and be genuine about it?
Great question, and I think this comes down to some fundamentally different ways that the sexes experience sex. So let’s look at some basic principles about sex, and then I’ll give her some thoughts about what to do!
Women need to concentrate in order to make sex pleasurable, so we often have a hard time focusing on making him feel good during sex.
For some women it’s not a big deal, but for women who have trouble reaching orgasm, it can be trickier.
In contrast, men don’t get to “give in to their feelings” during sex. If they did, for many couples sex would last about 2 minutes. Men have to control themselves by not focusing on how good they’re feeling, but instead focusing on how good SHE feels.
Think about how this works for a moment: Many people ask me if God doesn’t like women because it’s so much harder for a woman to reach orgasm than for a man. But the way that God made sex, for sex to work well as a couple, she needs to let go of control and not worry about anything else (which, as women, we’re always worried about someone else and something else; it’s God telling us, ‘it’s okay for this to be about just feeling something, not doing something!”). He, in turn, needs to think about her, or sex will be over too quickly. He needs to NOT think only about himself.
God made sex so that he would have to think first and foremost about her, and she would be able to bask in it and enjoy it.
- If a husband concentrates on his wife, sex lasts longer and both receive a lot of pleasure.
- If a wife concentrates on her husband, sex often is shorter and only he tends to receive pleasure.
We’re just made differently!
So, yes, women have a hard time reaching orgasm. But isn’t that kind of cool the way God made it? To feel good, women must silence all those voices in their heads and the endless to-do lists and just FEEL and experience, and men must focus on someone other than themselves. That does have some benefits!
Here’s the relational downside, though. Men can then start to think:
During sex I concentrate on her and worry about her. Why doesn’t she ever worry about me? How is that fair?
Sex can easily seem like it’s about her.
After all, he has to work to make sure that she has an orgasm, whereas she doesn’t have to do any work to make sure that he has one. The couple tends to have sex only when she wants it (in cases where she has the lower libido). What about him? Doesn’t she love him? He’s going to all of this work for her, but why doesn’t she love him that way in return?
This is Exhibit A on why we need to understand the different physical dynamics and emotional dynamics to the ways our bodies work during sex. If men understood this, then perhaps there wouldn’t be so much frustration.
In the same way, I wrote a post a while ago on why a wife’s enthusiasm matters during sex. He needs to know that she actually wants to make love to him, not that she’s just doing it for him. It really does matter!
And sometimes low libido is a big contributor to the issue, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out my Boost Your Libido e-course to help you show up to “bed” more often and with more enthusiasm!
Have some conversations about the different ways men and women approach sex–and what we both need:
So to a couple battling this, here are some conversations I’d advise you to have:
- Read the post on why orgasm is harder for women–and why God may have made it that way. Understand the emotional dynamics that go into great sex, since we need to learn to communicate, trust, and give!
- Read the post on why enthusiasm matters to men–why it actually matters to a guy that his wife wants sex, and how we can signal that to our husbands.
- Read this post (this one here!) on why it’s easier for a husband to concentrate on his wife during sex than it is for a wife to concentrate on a husband.
Now, what can we do to show our husbands that we do love them and want them to have a great sex life, too? Here are just a few ideas:
Make Foreplay about Your Husband!
Once you start making love, it may be necessary for a woman to be able to concentrate–or at least to be carried away by feelings rather than thinking about making him feel good. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t concentrate on your husband BEFORE you begin to make love!
You can make foreplay fun for him, too! And one thing that men do like is looking. So put on some pretty lingerie. Or let him see you undressing. Don’t just get under the covers in a ratty T-shirt.
And during foreplay you can even take turns doing different things to each other. As I talked about recently, the Ultimate Intimacy App is awesome for that, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Play the His Nights and Her Nights Game
Sometimes there are specific things you’d each like to do (maybe a position you enjoy more, or maybe starting with a back massage, or whatever) but you don’t do these very often. I’ve talked before about the benefits of having a “his” night and a “her” night regularly. That way you can each feel that you get to do what you want occasionally, without your spouse feeling pressured to do that all the time.
(Note: I am not talking about participating in sinful things or things that you are very uncomfortable with. I’m just talking about occasionally giving your spouse a gift when you would prefer to do things in a different way if you had your say. This way you each get that chance occasionally, while normally sex is about both of you).
Make Love Sometimes Just for Him
Other times, make sex truly about him feeling good. Use some tips in my post on how to make sex feel amazing for your husband, and let him know that this one is going to be all about him. That may mean that it doesn’t really last very long, but that can be part of the gift that you’re giving him. He doesn’t have to worry about you and can just FEEL, and that’s fun, too! Quickies really can be fun.
Revel in Sexual Confidence from Seeing What You Can Do for Him!
Finally, she says that she doesn’t have the raw desire to make him feel good the way that he does for her. I do believe that this stems from the fact that for men, enthusiasm on their wife’s part really is part of what’s exciting, whereas for women the dynamics are different.
However, I think many women’s experience of sex would benefit from taking time to realize how much “sexual power” you have. That’s a strange phrase, and I don’t mean it in a negative or creepy way, and I certainly only mean it within marriage. But I think in church circles we have so run away from the idea of being “sexy” or the idea of being attractive that we almost make “sexual power” into a negative. As long as it’s within marriage, though, it’s not negative at all!
Given how insecure so many of us are about our bodies and so much else, it can be quite healing to realize the effect that we can have on our husbands. So during some of those quickies, watch his reaction when you do certain things. See how he acts when he’s given permission to just feel and not worry about you. See that YOU do all of this to him. You are the one who drives him crazy! When you begin to realize this, it can make you a lot more sexually confident.
Finally, need a way to add “his” nights and “her” nights into your marriage? Want to try some quickies but you don’t know where to start? Want to have those conversations about what you each desire, but find them a little bit awkward? That’s where 31 Days to Great Sex comes in! It’s a great challenge that I’ve written where you read 2-4 pages a night and then do what it says. And the challenges don’t just help you spice up your sex life (though they will do that), they also help you have those conversations so that you can understand each other better.
And they’re a lot of fun! Check it out here.
What do you think? Have you ever found this dynamic to be true in your sex life–where he concentrates on her more than she concentrates on him? Let’s talk in the comments!