What does it mean to be a generous lover?

A few years after we were married a read a magazine article by a woman who had vowed at their wedding day to never say no to her husband sexually. Whenever he wanted sex, she would give it.

I was just coming out of a bad few years in our marriage, and was determined to get on a better trajectory. Plus I’m a type-A personality who loves a challenge! So when I read that, I decided, “If she can do it, I can do it!”

And I did.

I was so proud of myself. I got out a calendar and started circling in red all the nights that we had sex.

Then one day Keith came to me and said, “I just feel like we never make love.”

I was incensed. Didn’t he realize how giving I had been? I pulled out that calendar and I showed him, “you have nothing to complain about, buddy!”

That started a rather interesting conversation, and what I finally understood was that my husband did not want to be placated. He wanted to be wanted.

Keith instinctively understood what I’ve been talking about for the last few weeks: God made sex to be a mutual experience, where both husband and wife are giving and receiving; where both are throwing themselves into the sexual side of their relationship; where both are dedicated to truly “knowing” each other in every sense. He wasn’t interested in just “having sex”–ie just having intercourse. He wanted a relationship where I was enthusiastic, too.

I’ve been talking for the last few weeks about how far too often women are the ones who are deprived during sex, because we’re the ones who are the least likely to experience sexual pleasure, and because we’re often afterthoughts when it comes to sex. Sex involves his climax, and anything else is a bonus. I’ve been arguing that we shouldn’t see sex as primarily about his physical release; instead, we should see it as a mutual experience.

But if we’re going to ask men to make that leap–if we’re going to ask husbands to realize that we matter just as much as they do in the bedroom, and that our experience is important, then we also have to take a leap. We have to decide that we’ll dedicate ourselves to making sure that he enjoys making love, too. So let’s look at what that means!

I’m going to be linking to a lot of past posts in this post, because I’ve written so much about all of this before. So rather than make this post 15,000 words long, you can just click through on the links that pertain to you.

Being a generous lover means embracing sex as more than just about HIS physical release

One of the things men tell me over and over again is that what they really want from their wives is not just sex, but enthusiasm. They want their wives to want sex! So part of being a generous lover, ironically, is embracing our own sexual side.

We have to decide that we’re going to embrace mutual sex, too.

We’re going to stop seeing sex as just about his “physical release”. We’re going to stop feeling like we’ve “done our duty” if we have sex frequently.

We’re going to embrace sex as something that is for us, too.

Have a hard time embracing sex as something for YOU, too?

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It’s supposed to be great physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Feel like something’s missing?

Being a generous lover means being committed to our own pleasure

On the surface that makes no sense, I know. How can it be generous to be committed to OUR pleasure? But you see, most men actually want to give their wives pleasure. It helps men feel as if you want to be there on your own merit. I explain it more here in why our enthusiasm matters with sex, but it is key. I receive so many comments on the blog that say something like this:

Unfortunately, some have decided that because of (pain, body image, inhibitions, a brain that won’t let go of the day, … make your own long list), sex is not for her. And when that is decided, the willingness of the husband to engage in the process, to it’s fullest possible pleasure for his wife, is wasted and feels useless. Everything else in her life takes priority.

I may be in the minority of men here, but my experience is that my wife doesn’t want to want. Wanting, desiring, seeking are part of the equation, and the most generous man can’t compensate when those things are missing in his wife.

Others have said how they want to try to pleasure their wives, but their wives say no, and want their husbands to just “hurry and get it over with.” Again, that’s seeing sex NOT as a mutual thing, but only as about his pleasure. And that doesn’t tend to be what men want. Husbands want us to jump in! So if you’re going to be a generous lover, you need to be committed to receiving pleasure, too. Giving to someone else is very affirming and very erotic. To stop your husband from giving takes away something he was meant to do. God designed our bodies so that we would receive pleasure especially through foreplay, where we are the main event.

Also, God designed pleasure and orgasm to be something that helps us become “out of control”. It’s the height of vulnerability. It’s a state of being that you’re supposed to share with your husband and no one else. It’s real intimacy. If you see intimacy as only about emotional connection and not that vulnerability/out of control aspect, you are missing something. I know it’s hard for many women to reach orgasm, and I’m not saying that it’s a necessity. I’m just saying don’t give up, keep trying, and make your pleasure a priority, because it does matter for both of you.

Being a generous lover means learning what makes sex feel good to him

If both of us are to be giving in the bedroom, then we also have to think about what makes him tick and what he likes! I do believe that the sexual relationship as a whole should focus on both of you giving and receiving, but that doesn’t mean that individual encounters can’t be focused on one of  you. Sometimes he may just need a quickie!

And just as he has to learn what makes us feel good, it’s good for us to learn what makes him feel good, too. While that may seem more obvious, because he has an easier time reaching climax on the whole, that doesn’t mean that it’s automatic or that we can’t improve. Play teacher some nights! Have his and her nights! Or find ways to make sex feel good for him, too:

Being a generous lover means helping him feel wanted and pursued

Your husband shouldn’t be the only one initiating sex! Show him that you’re interested in sex as well–and the cool thing is that as we initiate, we often ramp up our own libidos, too.

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How to Signal “Yes” to Your Husband

Being a generous lover means embracing frequency in your sex life, too

Let’s say that your libido would be satisfied with sex once a month, but he wants sex every day. Do you meet in the middle and compromise at twice a month?

No, I don’t think so, because that doesn’t validate his desires. it leaves him frustrated for the other 28 days a month. Now, I’m not saying that you have to have sex everyday. But “meeting in the middle” should not be the aim. Embracing intimacy and prioritizing intimacy should be. I think each marriage is different in what this will look like, and varies so much with shift work, ages of kids, health, etc. But if we’re going to say that sex is about a mutual joining, then we’re also saying that sex is important. So we should start prioritizing it in our life and making our default “yes” as much as possible–not because we want to get him off of our backs, but because we recognize how important it is for us and for the relationship, too.

Being a generous lover means having compassion when he’s sexually frustrated

Being a generous lover means that you recognize when stages of your life are leaving him sexually frustrated, and you do have compassion on him. Let’s say that you’ve been nauseous in pregnancy for a long time, and he’s been great about giving you space. It may be that occasionally you “give him a gift”, and that occasionally he also gives you a gift in the form of a long back rub or running a bath for you. You show that you still want to connect, even if intercourse seems impossible for you right now. And, again, you make sure it’s set up so that you’re both giving and receiving.

Being a generous lover means being open to spicing things up

Laughter and play in the bedroom can be wonderful at enhancing intimacy! I’m not talking about doing weird things (and I have my own opinions on sex toys and vibrators that I’ve shared). I definitely don’t think you should watch porn together. But you also don’t want to get stuck in a rut. Try the 31 Days to Great Sex–it’s a wonderful way to ease into spicing things up, to learn how to tell him what feels good (or how to figure out what feels good), how to flirt more, be more affectionate, and try new things.

Or you can jump right in and try the Sexy Dares!

Does your marriage need some spicing up–and some fun?

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Try these 24 dares–plus one bonus–to take your marriage to the next level!

Ladies, we can’t have it both ways when it comes to sex.

If we want sex to not just be about our obligation to give him release, but instead to be about mutuality, then we need to embrace our end of it, too! We need to prioritize intimacy; we need to become vulnerable and allow and encourage him to give us pleasure; we need to jump in. That really can only happen when we understand that sex was not just created for him, but created for us, too.

And if your problem jumping in is that he’s never figured out how to give you pleasure (or even tried!), that’s coming next week. But for today, let’s embrace all that God created sex to be. If He made it to be this wonderful, let’s not miss out on it. Make it a great research project!

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What do you think? What makes a wife a generous lover? Let’s talk in the comments!

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