If sex only happens once in a blue moon, and only if conditions are perfect, your husband may be a wildebeest.
Allow me to explain.
After our missions project at the Mulli Children’s Family that I told you about on Tuesday, our team spent two days on safari at Ambuseli Park in Kenya.
On safari, you’re broken up into groups of about 5 or 6 and taken around in these jeeps where you can stand up and see the animals and take pictures. A naturalist driver tells you all about the animals and the surroundings and history as you go on game drives.
We’ve been on safari before when the kids were younger, and I don’t know if it’s just that Rebecca’s an adult now, or if it’s because we were in a different park, but it seems like this safari was very R-rated. We saw multiple animals mating. We saw a male elephant that looked like it had 5 legs (it must have been thinking about something interesting, but then they do say that an elephant never forgets). And we heard a whole lot about the mating habits of the various animals.
Connor, Rebecca’s husband, has just joined the team to help me out on this blog, and so the whole safari we were killing ourselves with possible blog posts.
Is your husband a baboon? (Let’s just say that baboons seem very interested in the task at hand, but said task rarely takes more than 4 seconds. I can’t think that is very satisfying for the woman.)
Is your husband an elephant–who has a great fantasy life all by himself?
Is your husband a lion, who competes for all the women, and masters the women, but then also does no work and expects them to feed him.
Or is your husband a crowned crane, a bat-eared fox, or a goose who mates for life, and frequently will die of heartache if his mate dies?
But the one we settled on, the one that we just couldn’t get over, was The Lone Wildebeest.
Allow me to tell you the sad tale of male wildebeests.
Wildebeests live in large family groupings, with women running the family. When the males get to a certain age, they’re kicked out of the group, and go off to live on their own.
These wildebeests now have one main desire in life: to mate. They want to attract a woman wildebeest, and Get. It. On.
The only problem? The females are only interested in “getting it on” once a year, during the migration.
So here’s how it works. The male wildebeest has to scout out the landscape, and choose a territory that he hopes some females will pass through during migration. Then he guards that territory with great ferocity.
But the females only pass through the good territory. Conditions have to be perfect, you see. Some territories, then, are better than others. Throughout the year the male wildebeest might challenge another wildebeest to get a better piece of land, but even that is a bit of a crapshoot, because you never know what those women wildebeests are going to do.
Our lone wildebeest could stand there for the entire year, hoping upon hope that she will come his way, only to see her pass 100 feet to the left and go through some other wildebeest’s territory.
All over the African savannah are these lonely wildebeests, standing all by themselves, guarding their tiny plot of land, hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe, conditions will be perfect enough for her to say yes, on that fateful day once a year.
These lonely animals dot the landscape, guarding their land. And they wait.
(Now, the analogy breaks down a little bit here because the wildebeests who do get lucky get REALLY lucky, and can mate with up to 100 females in a day. Then they have to spend the next year getting their energy up again. But let’s just work with the waiting lone wildebeest trying to create the perfect conditions, and never knowing if that will be enough. That’s the picture that really resonated with me.)
I think a lot of us have turned our husbands into lone wildebeests.
They’re out there, trying so hard to make conditions perfect, but never knowing if it will actually work. And even if it does work, it’s only for one day in an endless long series of other days. That’s an awfully lonely life.
As I explained in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, most men make love in order to feel loved. When a woman enthusiastically wants to have sex with him, then he feels as if she is accepting him and loves him. Women, on the other hand, often need to feel loved in order to make love.
If you look at that equation, then, it seems as if it’s easier for men to feel loved than it is for women to feel loved, and I actually think that’s quite true. If a man feels like you appreciate him and that you want him then, in general, he’ll feel ten feet tall. Oxytocin, that bonding hormone that we release during sex, will kick in, lowering his stress and making him more affectionate. He’ll feel competent and appreciated, and he’ll want to keep excelling in the family sphere because it’s something he does well.
It seems so easy! So why, oh, why, is it so hard for women to want to make love like that?
Because we don’t work that way.
I’ve known many men who are working so hard to make conditions absolutely perfect–they’re being saints at home, but we often don’t acknowledge it, thinking that they have an ulterior motive, and so they don’t deserve to be thanked.
Are we too focused on what is “right” and what is “fair“?
Women are naturally multi-taskers, and we have a million things in our minds at one time. If our husbands meet one of our needs, then, we’ll simply think of 99 others that are unmet, because all of it is sloshing around in our brains, all the time. We’re asking ourselves, how much did he care for the kids today? How much housework did he do? Did he let me talk? Did he care? And if the answer is no in any of these areas, we tend to hold it as our right to pull back from him until he improves.
We don’t tend to feel all lovey dovey towards him when he does something right. We don’t feel ten feet tall when he does the dishes or takes care of the kids. We simply think, “that’s what he should have been doing anyway”–and then we focus on all the other things we still need.
So the adage, “meet your spouse’s needs, and they’ll meet yours” has much more of a chance of working for women than it does for men.
It’s much easier to make conditions perfect for a guy, you see (you just have to walk through his territory!), then it is for a guy to make conditions perfect for you (he has to figure out what territory you like, make claim to it, make it perfect, and make sure he’s exactly in the right place at the right time). Because men can focus on one thing at a time, then when you show appreciation, he feels appreciated. Because women are multi-taskers, we’re not as straightforward, and it’s harder for us to feel all lovey dovey.
I know that so many of us have good reasons for not wanting to walk into our husband’s territory. Maybe he doesn’t care about your pleasure in the bedroom. Maybe he’s addicted to porn or is controlling or abusive.
And if that’s the case, you certainly have to deal with those things before you work on sex!
But for many of us, I do believe that we are making our husbands wait an awfully long time for sex–and then we’re still saying, “Conditions aren’t quite perfect.” That’s not going to create a happy marriage. And it’s going to make your husband really lonely.
So let me ask you–are you acting like a female wildebeest?
Then perhaps it’s time to stress sex more in your marriage! My Boost Your Libido course can help you do just that, showing you that you actually can feel more in the mood. You don’t need conditions to be perfect. You can take control over so many aspects of your libido, and you can start thinking differently about sex! And then you can start creating the marriage you want.
Don’t let your husband get discouraged like this.
Don’t let him be a lonely wildebeest. Just love him–even if conditions aren’t perfect. And I think you’ll both be much happier.