This post is going to be rated R. I will be dealing bluntly with several questions that men have asked me about sex, and I will be doing so to in no uncertain terms. If you are easily offended or squeamish about sex, turn back now. However, if you are looking for some real answers about why your wife may not wish to have sex with you or why your sex life is fizzling, then you might want to read on. Ladies, feel free to use this as conversation starter for your marriage.
My wife never wants to have sex anymore, is typically how the conversation starts. Then I get a whole list of things that the husband wants to do with his wife, but how she never responds to his desires. Now, fellows, let me just start out by saying that most of you drop the ball with your wife right here. You are talking to me and not talking to your wife, because when I ask you if you have told her that these are things you would like to explore in the bedroom 80% of the time you tell me, “No, I just know that she wouldn’t.” Seriously? You are not a mind reader. This is an established fact, and no, you cannot tell me that you know your wife well enough to know the answer unless you have already discussed it.
Look, I know you hate using your words, and it feels incredibly vulnerable to open to the one person who has the most power to hurt you, but you are going to have to do it if you want things to change.
Think of it this way – one of the most vulnerable things a woman can do is to present you with her naked flesh. We have been told over and over again by so many that our bodies are not good enough, sexy enough, thin enough, curvy enough, or hot enough to please any man, and every time we reveal them to you we are taking a risk. It can be a scary and vulnerable thing for us to do in ways that you may never understand, but we should not be the only ones taking a risk when it comes to sex. Using your words is one way you can help build intimacy. For most of you, this is the only part of the post you need to read because words are all your wife is waiting for to act.
While we are on the topic of words, let’s talk about compliments. Women love compliments, but just telling us that we are beautiful is not really a compliment. We see it as lazy and dismissive. We want specific compliments and this doesn’t just go for our bodies but it can be. So if you love our smiles, tell us that. If you think we have beautiful eyes, tell us that. If you love the meal we prepared, tell us that. If you appreciate how we take care of our children, tell us that. Whatever it is that you notice about us and enjoy that is what you should tell us about.
The other thing you should know about words is you have to listen to them. If you wife says that she needs or wants something, you should realize that we are choosing to be vulnerable to you and respect that. And it is not enough that you hear us, you have to demonstrate that you hear us. For instance, if she says that she needs the trash taken out, take the freaking trash out. If she says that she hates when you don’t shower before you come to bed, take a shower already. If she says that she loves it when you touch her back, touch her back. Women have had it pounded into their heads that we need to be a fierce and independent if we are to be real women, and it is hard to ask for your help. It feels like weakness, and as our husbands we need you to protect our weak places.
So what does this have to do with sex? It is simple. Women need to feel secure in order to enjoy and fully participate in sex. If we can’t trust you to get a job, help around the house or with the kids, or be where you told us you would be, why in the world would we trust you with hearts and bodies? If you aren’t taking good care of your body, why would we expect you to take care of ours? If you aren’t celebrating our accomplishments in everyday life, how do you expect us to feel like you can celebrate what we offer you sexually?
Many men kill their sex lives without ever realizing what they are doing. One often repeated folly is only saying or doing nice things for their wives when they want sex. In a woman’s mind this means one thing, you are using us. And no one likes to be used. Did you know that one sincere compliment a day will buy you more fun in the bedroom than amount of grumbling and complaining? And if you offer it up when there is no chance of sex we are more likely to see it as sincere? Also prompted compliments do not count. Sorry, guys, they just don’t. If we have to ask how we look, if you liked dinner, or noticed the new haircut, you have actually lost ground.
We want to know that you are paying attention to us, and you do that by actually noticing the things we do because we know that men pay attention to the things they love. And if you can tell your buddies the exact mileage on your truck, the details about how you rebuilt your Harley, or the stats of your favorite ball team, we know you can remember the things we tell you. If you aren’t remembering what we have said you are telling us that the truck, Harley, and ball team are far more important than we are. The same goes for the opening day of dove season, when the crappie are running, and the exact spot you were standing when you shot that prize buck. If you can remember all that you can remember birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentines.
Allow me to offer some thing you need to keep in mind and some realistic things you can do get what you want.. I know that sounds manipulative, but let’s face it, manipulation isn’t always a bad thing. Ask anyone who loves their chiropractor. If the goal is a better, healthier marriage and nothing is being done in an underhanded way, then go for it.
1. Moms with young kids often “touched out” at the end of a day, particularly if they are breastfeeding. The last thing we want is another person pulling on us. So take the kids out to the yard to play, offer to let your wife take a bath without Legos being shoved under the door or kids pounding on it the entire time she’s in there. It is amazing how thirty minutes of not having anyone making demands on you can recharge a battery.
2. This is going to seem counter to the last one, but this is where you have to use discernment and really pay attention to your wife – touch us when you do not want sex. A hand on the back when we walk past, a quick peck in the middle of a project, or a nuzzle while we do the dishes all given without expectation or demands helps us feel like we are being valued and loved throughout the day.
3. She is exhausted. Remember everything you take off your wife’s plate makes more room for you. If you help her conserve energy by washing the dishes, picking up the living room, or putting the kids to sleep, she will be more likely to have some energy left to devote to you.
4. Oral sex. This is probably the most frequent complaint I get from men. Their wives won’t give it to them. There are four common reasons for this:
You don’t keep it clean enough. So if you want it, wash it.
You are greedy. You want to receive but you don’t want to give. So again a wife isn’t feeling valued or honored in this area.
She doesn’t want to finish you this way. Be okay with keeping it limited to foreplay if this is how she feels.
You have forgotten that her throat is not wall to be beaten down with your battering ram of a penis. Do not jam her head down on it as if it were. Let her control the depth of the stroke.
5. If she has done things to prepare for some sexy time, you need to acknowledge it. I know one man who hasn’t seen his wife in lingerie for three years. Why? Because the last three times she put it on and he acted as if he didn’t notice – once she pranced through the bedroom where thigh-high stockings with a seam up the back and high heels, he wouldn’t put his phone down. Another time she sat on a boat dock in nothing but a teddy, and he decided he wanted to watch a movie. The last time, she walked in the bedroom and he never said a word. He just turned off the lights and went to sleep. An appropriate response would be, “Oh wow!” or just grabbing her up kissing her.
And it’s not just lingerie. If your wife has shaved anywhere she does not typically shave, she is sending you a message. If she has made arrangements for the kids to have a sleep over, then she probably is looking forward to some fun time with you. If she has candles on the table, don’t turn on the TV, just don’t, and don’t say you have to run over to you buddy’s house after dinner. She has other plans for you.
6. Some of you have not because you ask not. So initiate. Too many times a man is waiting for his wife to make the first move but never expressing his needs or desire for her. That's a major turn off for most woman, and it is the number one complaint I hear from wives – "He never initiates! When we were dating, I couldn’t keep him off of me. Now he just goes to bed and unless I make the first move then he just falls asleep. I wish he would be more aggressive." Nothing says you want your wife more than making the first move. If we are having to initiate more often than not, eventually we are going to quit because we don’t want to feel like we are getting pity sex from our husbands. It is far easier to go without than to have your lack of desire for us rubbed in our faces.
7. Ditch the porn. I don’t care how harmless you think it is, stop it. You are communicating to your wife that she is less appealing to you than images on a page or screen. It completely demoralizes us, and it is effecting your ability to perform sexually with your wife. You may not notice it today or next week, but at some point you will find it impossible to get an erection without porn and if continued, not even then.
8. Do not turn us down. If you want us to keep coming to you for sex, quit telling us no. The most important thing in your life aside from God is your marriage, and one way to protect it is to honor those times when your wife takes a risk by expressing her desire for you. I know you are fixing the car, worried about bills or work, and that you might be worn out but when we approach you we are often willing to do all the work. You can kick back and enjoy.
9. Ask us what we enjoy. We are experts on our bodies, and we will always know them better than you do. Add in hormonal fluctuations and the things we enjoy from one time to the next can often change. For instance, breast sensitivity can change drastically for some women through the course of our cycles, so sometimes we want a lot of attention there and other times it could hurt for you to touch the girls. So listen to what we are saying, because no, you do not know what we want better than we do. You just don’t and you never will. You might introduce us to some new things that we can enjoy, but if we say that we need something specific to orgasm then you need to do that. Stop questioning, just do it.
10. Forget your “signature move.” Please, just do it. I know your last fifty girlfriends claimed they loved it, but at some point it gets old and annoying – if it didn’t start off that way. No matter how impressive it may have been, if it is not pleasing to your wife then you need to stop.
11. News flash – we have more than four body parts. Really we do! You should explore them, all of them. Unlike most men, we need sex to be a full body experience and jumping right to the fun bits is just annoying because we aren’t ready for that. Take some time and get us worked up before you going to your favorite places. We will let you know when we are ready for you to go there.
12. Speaking of time, we need more of it. I mean physically and mentally, we actually require more time to achieve an orgasm then you do. It has nothing to do with how much we want you or how turned on you make us, it is just how we are wired, and there is nothing we can do about it. Now this does not mean that we need a half hour intercourse. It means that we need more time to become aroused, and often our heads need time to catch up to the arousal our bodies are feeling. So you kissing, petting, and nibbling for fifteen minutes or more should be standard. Set a freaking clock if you have to, but slow down before you jump in.
13. Foreplay! Do it, lots of it, and it shouldn’t start in the bedroom. It starts with a great kiss before you leave for work, a call on your lunch break, and some kind, loving words throughout the day. And then when you get to the bedroom, don’t quit.
14. And no, we do not expect you to have or maintain an erection for the duration of bedroom foreplay. We know that they come and go, and most of the time we aren’t worried about it because we know how to bring it back, barring a legitimate medical problem. Which in that case, go to the doctor and get it checked out. Not only could it be a sign of a greater medical issue, we just assume that by not trying to get that fixed you don’t really care about having sex with us. I know one man who did not address this issue for six years, and then was surprised when his wife cheated. Now, I am not excusing the wife’s actions, but he already knew what the problem was and the fix was easy – as demonstrated by the fact he got it taken care of the first month after the divorce. Don’t be that guy.
15. Do not come to bed exhausted every night. Put the phone done, step away from the computer, and turn off the TV. We want to be a priority and if you come stumbling into bed and offer us the crumbs of your day, we are going to have a hard time getting excited about that. Now, if you have a legitimate reason to be worn out, don’t worry. We understand that and appreciate all that you do for us and the family, but when you do have days when you could devote some time and energy to your wife and don’t, we notice.
16. Do not roll over the instant you are done and start talking about the bills, mowing the yard, or the hole in the roof. I know that in part this is how your brains are wired, but seriously, give us this moment to just enjoy. Don’t ruin it by dwelling on problems, because to us it sounds like you weren’t really in the moment with us.
17. Do not maul us when you are drunk. Look, I know that alcohol helps free up some of those inhibitions, but no woman likes the smell of your beer or whiskey breath. And we really hate how you can’t pay attention to us when your mind is clouded like that. It’s disrespectful and frustrating.
18. If we say something hurts, do not stop for a second and then try to do it again two seconds later. You are just going to hack us off and reluctant to trust you in this area.
19. Your penis is not a magic wand. I hate to break it to you, but it is not. Most women don’t care to look at it, we don’t want pics of it, and we may not even climax when you use it with us. Why? Because the majority of women cannot achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. We need clitoral stimulation. This does not mean you are a bad lover or failure in the bedroom. It just means our bodies were designed in such a way that to really please us you have to pay attention to our needs, and not your own. If you do not know where the clitoris is located, ask your wife to show you and ask her how she would like you to touch her there. (Pro tip - this counts as foreplay!)
20. Do not betray our trust – in or out of the bedroom. Lie to us, play us, make us look like fools, or expose our weaknesses to another and sex with you will not be something we enjoy. In order for us to feel the type of safety and security we need to really turn loose and be in the moment means that we cannot be on our guard against the person we are with. So defend us and our marriage so that we can enjoy those moments when it is just the two of us without having to silence all the doubts and fears that play through our heads.
Look, I know that all of these things might not pertain to your individual situation, and reasonable arguments only work with reasonable people. But over the years, these have been the chief things that wives tell me they wish their husbands would understand. So I encourage not to dismiss any of the suggestions. Instead, talk to your spouse, ask her if these are things that matter to her, if she would like to see any changes, or if she is satisfied with what you are doing. I am not offering this as a universal prescription, I doubt there is such a thing for our sexual relationships, but I am offering them as way for you start the conversations that matter. And if you are communicating with your spouse then your marriage is going to be better for it.