How can a man be a generous lover?
Last week we talked about what it took for a wife to be a generous lover. And all month we’ve been looking at what it means for sex to be a mutual experience–where it’s meant to be good for both of you, where both of you are the focus, and where both of you are giving and receiving.
Today is the big culmination to that, and I want to speak directly to men. If you want to make this a reality in your life, I highly recommend working through 31 Days to Great Sex, which helps BOTH of your needs be met in the bedroom, and which prioritizes both of you. But for just a taste, here we go:
In the Bible, sex is always portrayed as being mutual
And when it’s not, it’s because it’s an assault. When we talk about sex though, we tend to talk about it as something that men need and that women should give. That is NOT how the Bible talks about sex at all. On the contrary, whenever the Bible talks about sex in marriage, it talks about it as a mutual thing. In the famous “do not deprive” verses, the woman’s sexual needs are even mentioned first!
1 Corinthians 7:3-5
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
In Song of Solomon, the book about the Bible that revolves around the sexual relationship of a couple, BOTH of them are portrayed as being excited for sex and enjoying it.
Most women, on the other hand, grow up in church hearing these messages:
- Men need sex terribly, very frequently
- God made sex only to be in marriage, so wives need to fulfill their husband’s needs
- Men are visually stimulated, and if women don’t give sex, they will lust at other women
The cumulative effect of these messages kills a woman’s sex drive. First, she never hears that she even has a sex drive; she’s only told about her husband’s. Then, she’s told that her husband is really only interested in her so that he can reach orgasm. If he doesn’t get that with her, he’ll look for it elsewhere. Sex, then, has little to do with love, and only with need. Women are made to feel like objects, even in popular marriage books.
Other Posts in our Every Man’s Battle Series on Lust:
A generous lover knows that this message is wrong, and works towards showing his wife that he believes that sex is for both of them, but also:
A generous lover knows that sex was meant for intimacy
The Bible also talks about sex as a deep “knowing”. It is not just about physical release. In Genesis 4:1, the Bible says “Adam KNEW his wife Eve…” That word “to know” is the same verb that is used in the Psalms, when David says “search me and KNOW me, O God.” God uses that word to tell us that sex is not only physical, but is a deep knowing at every level.
We can also see from our physical bodies that sex was meant to be intimate. The height of intimacy, after all, is vulnerability. So let’s talk a bit about a woman’s climax. In order for her to reach orgasm, she has to let go of control. In order to let go of control, she has to be in a safe place of trust. She has to know that you are safe. Then, she has to stop all the millions of stray thoughts that are in her head and train herself just to BE–just to experience this feeling that she only has during sex. That’s a highly vulnerable state, and that makes sex highly intimate. While men can reach orgasm far more on just physical stimulation, women need that emotional safety as well, to a much greater degree.
Not just that, but the way that God created her body shows that He meant for sex to be intimate. He placed the clitoris, the part of her body that gives her pleasure, in front of the vagina, so that it receives stimulation usually when you are in the face-to-face position, unlike other animals. God was distinguishing the way that we make love from that of other animals. It is about the relationship, not only about the sex drive.
A good lover knows that women were designed for foreplay
If sex is supposed to be about both of you, then, a generous lover will take time to learn what feels good for his wife, and will understand that her body is different. Because men get maximum stimulation from intercourse, they may assume that she should as well. Sometimes the attitude given, then, is that she should “catch up” to him and figure out how to make intercourse feel amazingly wonderful, because that’s what it’s supposed to.
Actually, though, a woman’s body does not work like a man’s. She receives maximum stimulation not through intercourse but through direct clitoral stimulation (either orally or manually)–and that’s not a mistake. That’s how God designed women, so that men would have to take time to pleasure their wives in a way that doesn’t necessarily lead to direct stimulation for men. God designed women’s bodies to make men giving!
That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to give her an orgasm through intercourse (and there are lots of tips in 31 Days to Great Sex!), but remember that most women requite a lot of foreplay first if they have a hope of having an orgasm during intercourse.
Foreplay is not an “extra”, or the ticket to the main event. For many women, foreplay IS the main event–and that’s how God made it.
A generous lover is dedicated to helping his wife learn to orgasm
Men largely reach orgasm by themselves–they thrust during intercourse, and the orgasm happens. Sometimes there can be a disconnect, then, because it can be assumed that women also should be able to do this. Women should be able to reach orgasm themselves while they’re moving or doing something during intercourse.
However, women, in general, can’t. A generous lover realizes that not only is he responsible for his own orgasm; he’s responsible for hers, too.
He doesn’t just wonder afterwards, “so, was it good for you?” He pays attention to her body’s cues and he makes sure that she receives pleasure.
And what if she has trouble reaching orgasm? He is patient. He understands that the more anxious she gets about it, the less likely it is to happen. He understands that when he sighs or seems like he’s rushing it, she starts to feel embarrassed, and then she’ll never reach orgasm. He understands that she needs to be reassured that he doesn’t mind how long it takes, that they are going to figure this out together, because he desperately, really wants to give this to her.
Your wife will only reach orgasm if she is not pressured to. As long as you make her feel like she’s inferior in some way, or there’s something wrong with her, she won’t be able to climax. A generous lover, then, makes her feel like she’s the centre of attention, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Need more help? Try these!
A generous lover makes sure she reaches climax as much as possible
Once you have learned together how to help her reach climax, a generous lover ensures that sexual encounters tend to involve both of you reaching orgasm. If he climaxes during intercourse before she does, then he does other things afterwards to help bring her the same pleasure. He does not leave her hanging.
Do you yearn to have a more meaningful–and fun–sex life?
A generous lover does not focus on what he can get in bed, but what he can give
I did a big survey on both Twitter and Facebook a while ago where I asked, “in Christian circles, which message have you heard more? Do not deprive your husband, or women’s sexual pleasure matters?” The results were 95%-5%, on both platforms.
Overwhelmingly, what women have been taught is that husbands need sex and we are to give it no matter what. That message is largely responsible for killing her sexuality. It makes her feel used, and it makes her feel like she doesn’t matter.
A generous lover will work to make sure that the other half of the equation–“women’s sexual pleasure matters“–is his focus. He will work at making it feel good for his wife. He will think of how he can be giving in bed, not just on what he is “owed”. If she doesn’t regularly reach orgasm, he will make sure that she is at least aroused. He will also ensure that their sexual time together is relaxing for her, and not just for him, through giving her a backrub, having a bath with her, or whatever else helps her to feel relaxed and close to him, and gives similar benefits to orgasm.
A generous lover is not interested in “taking” from his wife
A generous lover would never “take” from his wife. If she is experiencing physical discomfort from illness, nausea, injury, or even sexual pain (like vaginismus), he will not insist on getting his own pleasure through her pain. He will instead try to find ways that they can feel close without causing her pain (perhaps through mutual masturbation or oral sex). Again, his focus will also be on how to make her feel good.
A generous lover makes sure that his wife knows she is loved and cherished
A generous lover makes his wife feel loved, cherished, and the sole object of his affection. He does not watch porn, and if he battles that temptation, he is committed to defeating it. He does not justify looking at other women in any way. He tells his wife how much he loves and cherishes her. During their lovemaking sessions, he speaks this out loud to her, to tell her that he wants to truly “know” her in the biblical sense, and not just reach climax.
A generous lover pursues his wife.
Finally, a generous lover initiates sex. Some of you may have a lower sex drive than your wife. A generous lover knows that his wife still needs to feel desired, and so he will go out of his way to initiate sex and start a romantic encounter, even if he doesn’t feel the “need” for it. He will throw himself into it and woo her, because he values her and he values the relationship and closeness.
A generous lover will do these things–and these things should be natural for any man who is a Christian.
Unfortunately, the church’s teachings on sex have gotten so messed up that we have not taught men to be generous lovers. We’ve taught them very little about how women work, and we’ve taught them that they need sex. This combination has been toxic to so many marriages. So let’s start giving this message instead.
Jesus focused on teaching us to be servants and to be giving towards one another. That attitude should follow us all into the bedroom–men or women. If we truly understand that sex was a mutual, intimate joining, where both gave and where both received, I think we’d have a lot more happy couples!
I also recognize that many of my male readers at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum are generous lovers but their wives just aren’t engaged.
They want desperately to make sex feel good for her, they try everything, and she just responds with, “Let’s just get it over with.” And that cuts them to the core.
If that’s your situation, and you can honestly answer yes to all of these traits of a generous lover, I recommend yesterday’s post for you (read it here). It tackles a problem in many marriages that often leads to the wife not even wanting to want sex because she’s in crisis management mode all the time. I hope it helps!
What do you think? Is there something I should add to the list? What one is the most difficult? Let’s talk in the comments!
Previous Posts on how Sex Should Be Mutual:
Sign up for our emails and get access to the TLHV free marriage and parenting resource library. We have over 25 downloads and are constantly adding more. Sign up here!