Have you ever heard the expression, “men are like microwaves, women are like slow cookers”?

It’s often uttered at marriage conferences, as if it’s very profound. Here’s what it means:

Men are like microwaves. They heat up quickly, and once they’re heated up, they’re really hot. Women, on the other hand, heat up very slowly. And they continue to cook, but very slowly. Then, by the time it’s all over, she’s really tender.

I don’t buy it.

Sure, there’s an element of truth to that, as every married woman will know. Men do tend to be “in the mood” almost instantaneously, if the thought crosses their mind. We women don’t work like microwaves at all.

But are we really slow cookers?

To say that we are implies that we will, eventually, actually heat up.

But we may not! The truth is that for us sex is primarily in our brains. We have to have our brains in gear for our bodies to follow. So it doesn’t really matter what he does to try to heat us up, we won’t heat up unless we also decide to. It’s a head thing.

You can really only say that women are like slow cookers if you also acknowledge that it’s women who control the switch. No one else can switch us on. It’s a decision that we make to enjoy this. And you all know what I mean. Have you ever been having a very good time with your husband when you realize all of a sudden that you don’t have milk in the fridge for breakfast in the morning? You start ticking off a mental grocery list in your head, and you’re gone! You’re not paying attention anymore, and your body follows into the abyss. Our heads need to be in the game for sex to work! That’s why, by the way, it’s often hard for a woman to a want to make love if she has a headache. The headache is a distraction, and when we’re distracted, we can’t concentrate.

The phrase "Women are like slow cookers, men are like microwaves" is uttered at a lot of marriage conferences. But is it accurate? I say it's not, and here's why.

When we can’t concentrate, our bodies often don’t work right.

That’s not true for men. I remember soon after I was married my husband caught a horrible virus. He was in bed with a fever of 103 and a rash all over, and I crept into the bedroom. “Is there anything I can do for you?”, I whispered in sympathy.

That all too familiar look came over his face, and he smirked. “Well, since you asked…”

I thought to myself, “He is sick! In more ways than one!” But what I’ve come to realize is that this is how God made us differently, and He made us this way for a reason.

Men’s bodies are more tuned to desire sex quickly and to be able to perform right away (though obviously there can be problems, which we may deal with in another article in the future). If God also made women the same way, then what would our lives together look like? We’d likely be physically intimate extremely frequently, but there would be no impetus to actually talk to each other, or get to know each other on a much deeper level.

Women, on the other hand, were designed to desire relationship first. For us, sex comes out of our feeling of being loved. When we feel safe and secure, we want to make love. If God made both genders like this, we’d probably be physically intimate far less frequently, and we’d miss out on the profound beauty that comes when we’re intimate both spiritually and physically at the same time.

Men make love to feel loved, whereas women need to feel loved in order to make love.

Our motivations are different, and our bodies respond differently. But it’s all so that both sexes have an incredible drive and need for each other that is expressed in slightly different ways. And that means that to get our primary need met, we have to meet each other’s primary need. We are forced to be selfless, generous, and giving in the marriage relationship.

That’s a good thing. So next time you’re wondering why your husband doesn’t want to talk and snuggle as much, and why he’s only interested in one thing, realize that he is not a lesser human being. It’s not that you are morally superior because you value relationship first; it’s that you are simply different, and that’s the way God made you.

And think about this: when you do make love, chances are he talks to you a lot more afterwards. He snuggles. And the next day his step seems lighter, and he’s more fun to be with. He’s all the things that you want, but it happens after you make love, not before.

Don’t concentrate so much on what you need; try to step out and give him what he needs, too. Think about sex in a positive way, where you’re “flipping the switch”, so to speak. Anticipate it. Enjoy it. Even initiate!  Think about how great it’s going to be to be with your husband tonight. Don’t just get in bed and then wait for him to turn you on. Jump in and be enthusiastic about it! Most women, when they start to make love, aren’t actually aroused yet. But once you start, your body follows if you make that mental decision to enjoy this. So just because you don’t feel “in the mood” first doesn’t mean you aren’t. It just means that your body hasn’t picked up your mental signals yet. When it does, you’ll probably be fine. And if you do initiate, you’ll find that your own emotional needs for more connection will likely be fulfilled as well.

That’s how God made us. It works beautifully when we decide that we’re going to give to each other. So can you make that decision, even if you can think of all the things he’s doing wrong? Someone has to take that first step and decide to reach out. Can it be you today? Why not pray and ask God to make you thoroughly excited for your husband. Ask God to help you anticipate being with him tonight. And you just may find that you’ll heat up, after all!

What do you think of the “women are like slow cookers, men are like microwaves” mentality? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

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