Man Up & Take Me! Alpha Male or Beta Hubby?

Q&AI’m back at it again — answering readers’ questions from my Q&A with J at HHH post. Today’s topic is about the approach that a husband takes toward his wife as he pursues, or doesn’t pursue, his wife sexually.

Here’s the question from an anonymous commenter:

I’d love a post on the fact that an overly “beta” husband is a real libido killer in most wives (or at least this one!!!). Our society, and especially the church, seems to groom men to be so sensitive and attentive and egalitarian in their approach with us. Don’t get me wrong–I love all the kitchen help and back rubs and love I get from my honey. But I want to feel like he is stronger than I am, that I can have a bad day and be bossy and he will stop me, he will push back when I go too far, he will be tough enough to stand up to me without backing down.

I don’t know if this makes sense, but I guess I’m asking if I’m crazy for wishing my husband didn’t cater so much to me? That he would aggressively tease me during the day, and that night say, “Take your clothes off, because I am not sleeping till we have made love…and I want you to Xxxx…” rather than try to be snuggly and pet on me and hint around and be all hesitant. Am I weird? I’m so grateful I’m not married to a brick who doesn’t care what I feel, but I’m so eager and willing to follow, if he would just be more…manly?? about it.

And don’t get me wrong. We have a great marriage and lots of sex, prob 4-5 times a week. He leads in lots of areas, and I just can’t understand why he gets so hesitant when I haven’t turned him down for sex in years and enjoy it a lot.

Am I unwittingly doing or saying something to cause this?

This was a particularly interesting topic since my husband recently read some study showing that a majority of women fantasize about being “taken” sexually. (I cannot find the source he originally saw or I would cite it here.)

Then there is the current reading trend toward sexy and erotic romances which often include a more aggressive (if not outright dominant) male love interest. I won’t go into that topic here (it’s been well-covered by several fellow marriage bloggers). However, while I do not believe that women are attracted to being dominated in some of the ways these books describe, I wonder if such stories tap into many women’s deeper desire for men to take the lead in the relationship.

Indeed, I found plenty of research and reports indicating that a top sexual fantasy for females is to be sexually ravished. Let’s be incredibly clear here: This is NOT talking about rape. Emotionally healthy women do not fantasize about being forced to have sex. However, wives often enjoy the notion that their husbands are stronger and more assertive in personality than they are and then experiencing that intensity in the bedroom.

It’s true of much of the animal kingdom and the human species: The alpha male is appealing.

As an aside, I feel for men out there. You guys get mixed messages all day long. You are supposed to be strong but not aggressive, leading but not dominating, romantic but not sappy, sexual but not sex-crazy. You’re supposed to know what we feel before we say it and say what you feel even when you don’t know. Now you’re supposed to ravage your wife, but not pressure her for sex? Good gracious! How’s a hubby to walk the tightrope here?

Gone with the Wind kiss

Rhett & Scarlett from Gone with the Wind

That said, I pretty much agree with the commenter above. Beta husbands are not all that attractive. Scarlett O’Hara might have thought she wanted Ashley Wilkes, but she — and every gal in the theater — knew that Rhett Butler was the catch in Gone with the Wind.

So how do we wives bring out the Rhett in our men? Every man has a tiger in him somewhere. We want to bring out that roar without bringing out the teeth.

I consulted with a man on this post. My husband said, “She should tell him to take her.” Wow, Honey. How profound. Admittedly, my husband believes that women can best communicate with men at all times by using as few words as possible, getting to the point, and, if possible, drawing a diagram. His advice is a good start, though. So we’ll begin there.

Talk to your husband about what you like. If you haven’t shared what you like in the bedroom, approaching the topic may be as awkward as that first foray onto the junior high gym dance floor with the guy you had a huge crush on way back then. But you didn’t die from that, did you? You can survive this too.

Don’t talk about what you want while in the bedroom or even close to the time of the act. Find a different place, a different time, and make sure it’s private and relaxed for the both of you. Then throw out there what you love about your husband’s lovemaking. Don’t describe it in a Marilyn Monroe tone that gets his engine revving and checks his brain out. Instead, be conversational. For instance: “The other day when you kissed my neck for a while, I loved that” or “I was thinking about how crazy my body gets when you watch me undress” or whatever. Let him respond. Maybe you can both share things you already like.

Stroke his manhood by honestly expressing what you enjoy about the way he makes you feel in your relationship and in the bedroom.

Share your fantasies. Then suggest what you might want to try. “Sometimes I wish you would be more assertive — you know, like telling me what you want or turning me in the direction you desire.” Think about how you want to say this part. Don’t describe the person you want your husband to be; give him an action to try. Since we gals are confusing at times with what we want, husbands can be hesitant to “be more assertive” without knowing what you mean by that. What if he doesn’t do it right? He’ll feel worse than before! But if he knows that you want to try X, Y and Z, he knows what “assertive” (and not aggressive) looks like to you.

Be clear about this for yourself too. In the question, the commenter did this with the wish that hubby would say, Take your clothes off, because I am not sleeping till we have made love…and I want you to Xxxx…” I don’t know what “Xxxx” is, but I bet she does. Define what you want as specifically as possible. Yes, you’re looking for an attitude, but you can likely come up with specific actions that express that — like your husband shutting up your whining session with a well-planted kiss or interrupting your get-ready-for-bed routine and undressing you himself. Figure out what would make you feel like he’s taking the lead and being the man and then tell him.

Set up a plan. Try to come up with a time you’ll give it a shot. It can be a specific time like “Let’s try that tonight after the kids go to bed, lover” or more general “I want to be with you in this way sometime next week.” However, I recommend a deadline of sorts here. You don’t want this conversation to fizzle and two weeks later, he’s lost that boldness from your words and feels awkward again. If you want him to take the lead, you could say, “Sometime in this next week, honey, I want you to initiate and try this. Whenever you choose, I promise that I will go along.”

Encourage his manliness. When your husband does engage in manly, sexy behaviors, reward him with positive words or expressions of pleasure, touch and physical stimulation, and/or returning the favor with sexual or merely kind gestures. What do I mean by all of that? Examples:

When he exerts decision-making: Let him know you appreciate his wisdom and courage. Follow him where he leads. Give him your trust and respect. You can help him feel like a man by treating him like the man you know he can be.

When he makes a move on you: Don’t push him away. If you can’t engage at that moment, tell him what the obstacle is (“I have to get this casserole done and take it over to the sick neighbor,” etc.) and suggest another time in the near future. Accept the offer. Then explain that his initiation turned you on.

During lovemaking: Express your enjoyment! Whether this is gasping, moaning, or yelling, “Superman!” right in the middle, make a guy feel awesome. I am NOT saying to fake orgasm. Do not fake orgasm. But express genuine pleasure. If he does something particularly nice, tell him. “Ooh, I like when you do that” doesn’t take much effort to say but goes a long way toward making a hubby feel like he’s potent in the bedroom.

Post-coitus: “You made my body shiver all over.” “You are an amazing lover.” “I am going to be thinking about that all weekend long.” What guy wouldn’t want to hear that? Or go into the bathroom and prepare a warm, wet washcloth for him to clean up afterward. Get him a drink from the kitchen. Yes, I know you’re not his maid; these are merely small acts of service that express love and appreciation.

A few more creative ideas: When he’s not around, slap on your sappiest smile, snap a photo, and then text or email it to him with a message like, “This is what my face does every time I think about last night.” Tuck a pair of your panties into his briefcase or glove compartment (you’d better know he’ll be the only one around when it’s discovered, though) and add a note like, “Guess what I’m not wearing.” Write a note on his bathroom mirror with a permanent marker (it comes off with alcohol) saying something like, “You’re my bedroom hero!” or “I’m Team Hubby.”

Don’t criticize him. I feel the need to remind the ladies out there that the worst thing to do to a guy is get him naked and then insult him. Would you want that? So telling your man he isn’t man enough for you in the bedroom isn’t going to help your marital intimacy! It’s going to make him far less likely to feel that necessary emotional security so that he can assert his manliness with you in the bedroom and expect to be accepted for who he is.

Thus, avoid telling your husband:

  • What you haven’t liked in the past. He hears: You were doing it wrong.
  • What you saw or heard or read about someone else doing. He hears: You’re not as good as he is.
  • That you aren’t satisfied. He hears: You aren’t good enough.
  • That you won’t be happy unless he “mans up.” He hears: You better get it right or else.

Who could perform under that pressure?

You have to find some way to maintain an encouraging, supportive, safe atmosphere so that you both feel free to express yourselves and come to a mutually satisfying experience.

Why this all might work. You may recognize two psychology things happening here. One, the Sandwich Technique. This is where you ask for something different or an improvement by sandwiching the request (meat) between positive comments (bread). It’s Bread (love what you’re doing), then Meat (wish we could try X), then Bread again (let’s give it a go/you were awesome).

Two, Behavioral Modification. I’m not treating your hubby like Pavlov’s dog, but trying a new behavior and having a good experience tends to reinforce the behavior and increase the likelihood that it will be repeated. Over time, your perspective of the situation changes such that if you exercise enough and get tight abs, eventually you enjoy exercising (or so I’ve heard). In this case, if hubby has a good experience with taking charge in the bedroom, he becomes more likely to take charge in the bedroom in the future and then feels like a take-charge kind of guy. It becomes a reinforcement loop.

A note for hubbies. Despite my ongoing attempts to understand your breed, I don’t know what it’s like to be a man. Not fully. However, when I read a recent post from the blog The Art of Manliness, my initial thought was, “How can I get every man to read this article?” Here it is: Want to Feel Like a Man? Then Act Like One. If you want to be the Alpha Male in the bedroom, act like one. Be sure you understand the biblical definition of a “real man,” of course. Do not treat your wife like your doormat or your sex toy. That’s not real manhood. Paul Byerly over at The Generous Husband does a good job as well of giving tips for what a godly husband looks like. There are other sources for biblical advice as well.

“Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.”

Song of Songs 1:4

Note: In the first rendition of this post, I used the word “forceful” a few times. As I stewed over the post, I decided that word “forceful” does not best convey my meaning. So I have replaced it with “assertive,” which I think better describes the approach wives often desire from their husbands. My apologies if I communicated a message I did not intend. Blessings!

43 thoughts on “Man Up & Take Me! Alpha Male or Beta Hubby?

  1. Nicole

    Great post, J! How can our hubbies possibly know what we want if we don’t know ourselves?! It’s good to think about these things and then have a conversation about them (in as few words as possible, as your hubby suggested).

    1. J

      I agree, Nicole. And I try to use as few words as possible, but as you likely can tell, I’m a talker! LOL.

  2. becominghiseve

    I love how manly and strong my husband is and I try to tell him that as often as possible. Complimenting him frequently boosts his ego and frankly…makes him better in bed. I also pay attention to what turns him on and makes him feel like he’s manly and strong and WANTED! Anytime I feel like I want him to take charge more, regardless of location, bedroom or otherwise, I gently nudge him in that direction, and if he doesn’t get the hint, I tell him what I’m looking for. Doesn’t usually take him very long to take over. :o) P.S. As an aside, I liked the “tiger” reference. My husband and I often joke that I’m his tigress and he’s my tiger.

    1. J

      I love this: “I also pay attention to what turns him on and makes him feel like he’s manly and strong and WANTED!” What great advice for all of us wives.

  3. Anonymous

    CRAP!

    Fantasies about being taken sexually? Men stronger, more forceful than women and “that” expressed in bedroom? for Christians?

    Is there really an analogy between animal kingdaom and humans – “the alpha male is appealing”? REALLY? Is that really true for animals (or it’s just a wrong conclusion to Darwin’s theory?) And for Christians – do you really judge and evaluate people on ALPHA criteria???

    I am a born again Christian and I can tell you – I do not wish to compare my sexuality with the animal;s kingdom – whatever it may be! Alpha or no alpha in animal kingdom, my focus and model is the Divine Lord Jesus (even though He was not married) and I hardly would classify Him as the ALPHA MALE of His generation.

    Such a pitty that you are a Christian blogger, but promote the world;s values and ideas about marriage and sexuality within it.

    I guess you still have to experience what sex is about: that profound mistical love and union that has nothing to do with control, power and be taken by someone sexually.

    Good “chance and luck” to that!

    E.

    1. J

      There are some similarities with sexuality between animals and humans and some vast differences as well. I chose to use a comparison, but I hardly think that human sexuality is merely animalistic. As the totality of my blog indicates, I believe quite the opposite — that humans are called to a higher level of intimacy because we are created in God’s image.

      My focus and model is also the Divine Lord Jesus. As I read scripture, Jesus was gentle when he needed to be and forceful, or perhaps the better word is “assertive,” when he needed to be. He was a manly man.

      I also believe that my post was very clear that I was not promoting male control or power in the relationship. Godly men lead; they do not dictate. And the phrase “be taken” were in reference to research on this topic and not my own words.

      I do appreciate that you took the time to comment. However, I believe that your objections misrepresent my message. Perhaps I could have been clearer in some way.

    2. Sara with an H

      I don’t think J was promoting the “world’s values and ideas about marriage and sexuality within it.” Yes, the world has some pretty messed up views about sexuality, but so do some Christians. I personally believe that Christians should be able to enjoy married sex as often, and in most cases, however they would like. Song of Solomon, while beautifully poetic, is also very graphic sexually.

      My husband and I have a great sex life. We also talk A LOT about our sex life and make sure we’re on the same level as far as what we feel is ok and what is not. Sometimes, I love taking our time and enjoying each other, but sometimes, I’d rather be ravished and taken. And as long as both my husband and I are ok with that, then there’s nothing wrong with it.Why does the world get to have all the fun?

      That being said, there may be some things that you and your husband are totally ok with that other people aren’t. And there may be some things that you two wouldn’t ever think of doing that other people find A-Ok. And that’s ok. As long as the communication is open between the two of you, and you’re clear on where each other stands, go for it!

      And no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going at it like bunnies 😉

    3. Anonymous

      ‘sometimes, I’d rather be ravished ..’
      This made me smile because I remembered what my husband said to me last week. He meant to tell me that I looked ‘ravishing’, but instead he told me that I looked ‘ravenous’! Well, I suppose I have been watching what I eat lately!
      Kate

    4. Male Perspective

      It’s interesting how some metaphors can break down. I agree that I am not an animal; I am made in the image of God with a higher level of responsibility. The world tells us we’re just highly evolved animals, but scripture tells a different story. How would you, “E”, describe that internal hunger and drive that so beautifully mixes with our spiritual, emotional, and mental self? I think we can describe it as an animal-like instinct without jumping to the world’s perspective that we are indeed animals.

      Now that that point is clear, let’s talk about the whole idea of an Alpha-Male. Definitions become very important here. Is the idea of an Alpha-Male all about “control, power and be[ing] taken by someone sexually”? Is that simply a cliché that captures an idea? Did Christ resemble any portion of that cliché or does it have some merit?

      Here’s my response: No one who has read the scriptures would say that Christ was in any way weak, shy, unassertive, or lacking in boldness. He was a man who knew who He was, spoke with boldness in the face of ridicule and death, and worked with his hands. At the same time, Jesus Christ was patient and gentle, He loved Children, He was not afraid of genuine male affection, in short He was meek. He kept incredible power under control. He perfectly mixed dominance and servant hood, authority and love.

      Whether or not you use the term “Alpha-male” or some other descriptor, I believe a Man should mirror Christ. That example should carry through to the bedroom. A husband should be loving and strong, take the lead and serve. What does that look like? A wife’s body is not her own, and when a man uses his strength in partnership with intense desire for his wife (and only her), with love and servant hood at its core, to take what is his, well… A lot like “Take your clothes off, because I am not sleeping till we have made love…”

  4. Anonymous

    Good article, but I do have a word of caution… BE VERY SPECIFIC ABOUT THE BEHAVIOUR YOU WANT. LIKE EXTREME DETAIL (His ears only of course).

    How many couples can relate to the classic dinner problem. Before we took Love and Respect my wife was upset that I had stopped suggesting we go out to dinner. I didn’t know how to tell her before, but when I would suggest it the conversation would end up with “You choose hun”, so I would and then she would reply “No, not there.” Eventually frustrated I would make her pick, she never understood how frustrating it was to be asked to make a decision and instead have it be a guessing game.

    Eventually I stopped asking, and it wasn’t even intentional on my part, I just didn’t feel like it anymore.

    So too with this, if you say I want you to do X, but he does X in the wrong room or at a different time and you don’t respond or repsond in a negative way…

    Today’s society seems to try and have men play two different roles at the same time, not so easy for us.

    But really good blog you have here and that’s from a husband’s point of view.

    1. J

      Great example with the dinner story. Communication goes a long way with couples because we often think we know what the other wants or means and we don’t! Talking things out specifically helps wives and husbands to understand each other and remove the misunderstandings that otherwise happen. Thanks for your input!

  5. Pearl

    As a biology major and a Christian, I get the point of this fabulous post!!

    Male sexual ego is delicate. In spite of all the male bravado, the most Alpha male can lack confidence. This area of a man’s identity is most vulnerable. Even as you said, as women we can’t truly understand this complexity of man. This is speaking to our fleshly nature, yes. But, the divine nature of our union, the one flesh spiritual union can be enhanced by positive words regarding the act of the flesh. All of your suggestions are positive and will enhance the God mandated marital union.

    AND I believe creating a safe environment where our husbands can ‘take us’ adds spice to the marriage and ultimately adds strength to our spiritual union. There’s nothing wrong with SPICE and enjoying our coitus. “….but put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment,” 1Tim6:17. As long as you both are individually striving to do what is pleasing do God. Then jointly working to please God as a couple.

    1. J

      I agree, Pearl. I love this sentence: “But, the divine nature of our union, the one flesh spiritual union can be enhanced by positive words regarding the act of the flesh.” Indeed.

  6. Paul Byerly

    J – Great post, thanks.

    I think it’s a case of some from category A and some from category B. Men have gone from being too insensitive to being far too sensitive, and what most women want and need is some of each.

    No women feels good about being “taken” when she is exhausted, has a sinus headache, and has to get up in 5½ hours. That is when she needs him to be sensitive enough to see her situation, rub her shoulder, and let her sleep.

    1. J

      Absolutely, Paul! As humans, we can handle some complexity. It isn’t all one way or the other. As a wife, some days I need my hubby’s sensitive side, and some days I need his assertiveness. I hoped I was getting that across with the statement that if your husband approaches you and it’s not a good time, I think it’s a-okay to tell him so. Tell him what you need in that moment, and then reschedule the spicy stuff.

      Thanks for your input. Love your blog!

  7. Male Perspective

    J,

    I liked your post and I do agree with you, but while I was reading I couldn’t help but think, “What about the men who would like their wives to exert a little more “Tigress” in the bedroom?”

    Here’s my problem/query. Not meaning to sound egotistical, but I believe I do a good job of being the “Alpha-Male” husband (within a Christ-like context) in my marriage. I also understand that there is a time for everything and there must be balance. I can’t be the dominant husband who just “takes” my wife all of the time. However, what I deeply crave from my wife is an equally intense response reflecting her desire for me. In other words, “please don’t just lay there in some sort of submission, interact with me!”

    I can visibly tell (and my wife will tell me) that she enjoys our intimate time, but she doesn’t do anything that tells me she wants to have me. Beyond kissing me back during foreplay, it’s all my show, so to speak. For example, I would love for to: initiate sex when I haven’t asked for it, undress me like I would undress her (or even undress herself so I can see my bride, visually, as the gift she is), dress up for the occasion for that matter, verbally acknowledge that she’s enjoying herself (as much as we try for it not to happen, if someone happens to hear, it’s not the end of the world), or get on top for a change (I mean do I have to do all the work?).

    To each of these she will say that that is simply not her.

    Am I crazy to want this from my wife? Is this simply the delusion I’ve been fed by Hollywood?

    What is your opinion?

    1. J

      You are not at all crazy. In fact, I hear this from husbands quite often: That hubbies don’t merely desire sex; they want for their wives to sexually desire and enjoy them as well. When you read the Song of Songs, it’s very clear that both partners desire one another — she as much as him. You might try to turn this around a bit and tell her how much you wish she would “take” you one of these days. The “that’s not me” doesn’t work. All kinds of things aren’t us until we do them and make them us. In fact, that’s kind of how our Christian lives work. We’re told to do things whether or not we feel like it in that moment because they are the right thing. Thankfully, as God made us, we can create new habits and attitudes as we adopt God’s ways.

      And now I’m contemplating doing a post simply titled “Woman on Top.” What do you think?

    2. Male Perspective

      J,

      I’d be interested in a post that delved into the topic; particularly how a husband can encourage his bride to be more assertive and confident in the bedroom, without making her feel like she must “act” instead of being herself.

      For me, my wife and I were married just three years ago (First marriage, and first partner). She came from a family where sex was a taboo topic for conversation. She was taught that sex should be within the confines of marriage (which I agree with and am thankful for), but after that; nothing. I can therefore understand how openly discussing sex or asking her to be more confident would push her out of her comfort zone. I don’t want her to feel that I am asking her to be “slutty”, I am not. But she shouldn’t feel uncomfortable openly enjoying herself, and I shouldn’t feel like I’m the only one in the room.

  8. Anonymous

    To all who responded to me…

    Dear people, I feel like you’re dancing around the topic. And rationalizing your ideas…

    But just for the sake of argument, how you define the ALPHA MALE? In biology and evolution theory, it is the stronger, the most powerful, the easier to adapt, the survivor to great calamities, the DOMINANT MALE in his environment. That has absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s character and assertiveness. Having some strong character traits has nothing to do with being ALPHA or with leading your wife or being a presbiter/pastor in your church.

    But in your culture, you seem to say that Jesus was a mainly man, and God has woman’s gentleness etc (Eldridges books mainly) – which I find but an…heresy.

    Jesus didn’t come here to be the ALPHA or the mainly man, He didn’t come here to dominate anyone, but he was God crucified out of His love for us sinners.

    Only when the focus is on the right thing (God) can we understand and apply specifically His principles to specific areas – like sexuality in marriage. I am sorry, I am a woman and I love that Song of Songs love making = where there is such mutuality in passion and such deep communion – nothing of the “”alpha man and beta hubby”you suggest, nothing of been taken sexually by either of the spouses.

    E

    1. J

      I recognize the classic scientific definition of “alpha male,” but the phrase is also used in the vernacular to connote a man with strong masculine characteristics. That was its usage here.

      My perspective of Jesus obviously differs from yours. I believe that a take-charge guy can also be a self-sacrificing guy. To me, Jesus was both strong and commanding in his personality and pursuit of his mission, while remaining humble and compassionate to those around him.

      I agree that the “mutuality in passion and such deep communion” is the beautiful part of God’s design for sexuality. This is what makes human, marital intimacy unique. It is a taste of Christ’s love for His bride, the church.

    2. Anonymous

      Well it’s good to have the definitions cleared.

      Strong masculine characteristics – maybe?

      What does suggest to you an image of God crucified? All powerful yet all so humbling and humiliating?

      Is the image of the crucified Christ the image of an alpha male as “strong masculine characteristics”? Do you honestly see that when you see Christ crucified?

      His assertiveness, His passion, His character – have not to do with masculinity, for there are plenty of biblical godly women who possess the same characteristics (abigail with kind David, Esther, Ruth etc).

      So again, what is the point?

    3. J

      E – I see many things when I look at the life of Jesus — the man who challenged the existing religious structure with authority, who cleared the temple when it was being used improperly, who washed his disciples’ feet, who fed the 5000, who wept when his friend Lazarus died, who rebuked Peter, who spoke with a Samaritan woman at a well, who was crucified, and much more. I also believe that God chose to have Jesus come to earth as a man, with the masculinity that goes with it. Jesus demonstrated what real manhood looks like, though, with his mixture of assertiveness and gentleness. I would hope that my husband would do the same.

    4. Bob

      E,

      Can there be anything MORE manly than putting oneself between their loved ones and harm? We celebrate our military heroes who pay the ultimate price all the time. I have never once seen anyone question the manhood of any of any soldier who has put himself between danger and his companions or civilians.

      Did not Christ do the same thing, only on a global scale? What difference is there between dying by a bullet or sword and dying on the cross? So he went willingly without a fight. He faced his destiny and went through with it knowing what the end result must be.

      So when I look at the cross I do indeed see the very picture of the Alpha Male (a concept I absolutely believe in, btw, and I have no illusions about whether or not man is an animal).

      To be honest, I am bit unsure how anyone can read the accounts of Christ’s life leading up to the crucifiction and see anything else.

      Bob

  9. The Raving Prophet

    Just because the alpha/beta terms have been used in evolutionary biology does not mean we cannot redeem, claim, and use such terminology as well.

    We can even point back to creation as a guide here… yes, all that “Jesus is our model” is fine and dandy, but as He remained unmarried, it is going to be rather difficult to derive a full vision of husband/wife intimacy resting solely on Christology. Sure, we need to keep things Godly and treat one another with love and respect, but even J recognizes that the gospels are incomplete in this respect (as she turned to the Song of Solomon to illustrate her point).

    Looking at the creative order, we see that men are created to be bigger, stronger, and often more assertive in many ways. We also see than women are generally physically smaller, weaker, and may not be as assertive. There is something in both male and female that yearns for the other… we complement each other and are at our best when we are together.

    Thus, it does not surprise me in the least when women cry out for the man to BE that stronger and more assertive partner in the bedroom. There’s certainly room for variety (as the Male Perspective points out… there’s times when the man needs the woman to initiate and take the lead as well- it shows she is an eager participant too), but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read posts by women saying what they REALLY desired was for their men to take charge. Ladies, what would be more effective at getting your motor running… a weak peck on the lips or for your man to place his hands on your head, look into your eyes hungrily, and then guide you to him as he plants a good lingering kiss? One can extrapolate from that.

    Now, we can add the standard disclaimers about how this is truly at its best when in a relationship where both spouses love and respect one another, caring for each other and serving one another, but quite honestly, I don’t see that such a disclaimer is needed- anybody clamoring for one reveals more about his or her own issues than about what has been said. Some things can simply be assumed.

    But whether we call the assertive man “alpha” or something else also reveals more personal issues than anything else. If we have to come up with some other term we’re going to spend more time defining and describing it than if we’d just run with the ball.

    So, in short, men… your woman does want you to take charge in an alpha-like way from time to time. However, keep in mind that a pure alpha male can be frightening- there’s precious little stability or consideration there. So the beta male’s stability and consideration is also valued, but a pure beta male just never gets her motor running. She wants to feel desired, pursued, and protected, and the beta can’t show that very well. So one needs to be both… both the guy who will do the laundry and empty the dishwasher but also the guy who will take her, kiss her like she’s never been kissed, and make her world move.

  10. Anonymous

    Well, I think some terminology needs to remain in its context and original meaning. otherwise, we can redefine pretty much any term and say we will use it differently.

    Jesus is the model is enough for every aspect of life, even if He personally remained unmarried – He still did show through the Scripture the heart of God for marriage. And the terms fine and dandy to Jesus’s model is kind of at least unpolite.
    The principle from Jesus is the model can be derived: since you are created in God’s image, and called to Christ-likeness, act accordingly and not like merely animals in the sexual department, needing the alpha etc. The spiritual takes over the merely physical, meaning out of love and respect and commitment and understanding, you behave physically a certain way (you control your desires and impulses by the power of the spiritual=Holy Spirit). By the way, you do the same when you fight temptation and adultery sins.

    As for creation, I do not see the man being described as bigger, stronger, more assertive. the only detail is that the woman came out of his ribb and that the man was appointed the leader of the new family.

    A woman as well can be forceful, assertive, courageous, fearless and so on – because these are not |manly traits| of alpha – man traits but character traits. The Bible is full of such women: Deborah, Esther, Abigail the wife of David, Ruth …..

    And I believe pure mutual passion and attraction has nothing to do with taking her by being the alpha – it’s just mutual intense passion. At least in my case – maybe an abnormality.

    E

    1. J

      Biology shows us that men are typically bigger, stronger, and more assertive. This is how God created them. And it’s a good thing if men use their strength as protectors and leaders; a bad thing if they abuse that power. We gals have our own challenges as well.

      As to the Bible being full of strong women like Deborah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth…yes, indeed. I love the strong women of the Bible! However, they still acted in feminine ways. Take Esther, for example, who consulted with Mordecai and followed his advice. Ruth was bold in pursuing what? A godly man who would provide for and protect her and her mother-in-law. (My personal favorite is Jael, who totally rocked with a tent peg!)

      Frankly, I’m kind of tired of debating this, are you? I can get a lot more worked up over the big attacks on godly sexuality like porn, adultery, etc. than the connotation of the phrase “alpha male.”

      Best wishes, E!

    2. Anonymous

      I am tired of it too…Franly, I wonder why I even bothered to comment and comment – you simply don’t try to understand the main point of the arguments. Or you don’t understand. Biology is one thing, spirituality is another: and we don’t (be)have alpha male as Christians in bedroom because we are not alpha human animals but humans.

      The problem is the Älpha male” is one of the world’s idea and it ia an attack to Christian sexuality also – you should be concerned about it.

      Take care – to not mix worldly things about sexuality with Christian guidelines and principles. This is the most dangerous combination ever!

      E

  11. Greg

    It goes without saying, but as I understand it, much also depends on the health of the marital relationship itself–a husband who is sexually assertive with a refusing wife (or vice-versa) is obviously a recipe for disaster. In that case, a careful, methodical approach is needed until the relationship has been restored.

    1. J

      Yes, Greg! That is a recipe for disaster. It’s tough thinking someone might read a single post and get the wrong idea, but it’s possible. Couples need to read their own situation and make adjustments as necessary. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Thanks!

  12. Anonymous

    J I have a question. My wife and I were married then had two amazing children then we got divorced. We later lived together then seperated. All this happened while I was lost and during our separation we had the most amazing sex we had ever had in 13 yrs together. I gave the LORD the life he gave me back to him and we did biblical counseling and moved her and the kids in the house and I moved out to do things the right way and honor GOD and give our kids an example of GODS grace and purity till we remarried. Since we remarried and have followed JESUS there’s unfortunately not been the passion between us as we had when we were sinning and basically fornicating while we were seperated. As I learned in counseling and reading several marriage blogs I help around the house with cleaning,cooking,dishes,bathe kids and get them to bed and most important communicate with my wife. But as MALE PERSPECTIVE said when I comes to sex, anything suggested to spice up our sex life like different positions or any small things that were done by her on her own have ceased completely since we were remarried as CHRISTIANS. I love my wife and will continue to love her as EPHESIANS 5 says,but after seeing her give her all to everyone all day long when it comes to sex she now just kind of assumes the only position we do know and I do all the work. After a 12 he work day I come home and spend myself trying to help her with whatever needs to be done. Our children are 7 & 10 yrs and she’s a stay at home wife.After communicating my concerns about our sex life and asking if I’m lacking in meeting any of her needs she replies that as MALE PERSPECTIVE said his wife responded thats just not me. Are we so broken in this cursed world that sin has more power than glorifying GOD in our bodies. I will continue to do as it says in Philippians 2.3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself. I will have to give an account of how I loved my wife as to the LORD regardless of her performance but in obedience and submission to CHRIST. As it says in Colossians 3.23 & 24 Whatever you do,do your work heartily,as for the LORD rather than for men;knowing that from the LORD you will receive the reward of the inheritance. Need some female advice please.

    1. J

      What if one day you decided to stop putting your dirty laundry in the hamper and left it strewn everywhere because “That’s just not me”? Or you decided to stop showering because “That’s just not me”? Or you let your toenails grow to lion-claw length because cutting them is “just not me”? None of these things is unbiblical, right? But they would be selfish! And selfishness is unbiblical.

      You are absolutely right in saying that you “will have to give an account of how I loved my wife as to the LORD regardless of her performance but in obedience and submission to CHRIST.” A lot of people don’t get to that point, so your heart is ahead of the game. Good for you. You seemed grounded in the Word and very willing to love your wife. Whether our spouse ever comes around or not, we have an obligation to be Christ-like in our attitude and actions toward them.

      I’m not sure what to tell you: If you’ve talked to her, prayed about it, shown her love through your actions, etc., you’ve already done a lot. But her statement of “That’s just not me” sounds like the tip of the iceberg. There’s probably a whole lot more under the surface. Does she equate that intense sex with fornication in her mind? Does she feel guilt about the past? I have a feeling something else is going on, but you can’t solve it until she is willing to talk to you about it. For females, the thing we most need to be able to talk about our feelings is a safe place. Whatever you can do to help her understand that whatever the issues are, you’ll be there to work through them together, do it.

      In the meantime, I’ll say a prayer for you both myself. Best wishes!

  13. Kristi

    OK…I’m not sure how this will be received, but I’m always blunt and I’ve always been blunt on here, so here goes, J!

    When my hubby and I first got married the sex was great! Then, we had four kids and anyone with kids understands what happened to our sex life for a while. …grin… When our youngest was about 2 (she’s 8 now), I decided I missed our passion and hot sex. Turns out, so did my man! (duh, right?!) So, we talked it out and we agreed to be REALLY honest with each other. We talked about fantasies, things we wanted to try, things we’d “heard” about and things that were absolutly not gonna happen. Then, we set out to complete our bucket list of sexcapades. Within….I don’t know…2 weeks maybe, our sex life was hot enough to scorch the sheets.

    I had a body makeover that same year, and that revved us up even more. (A body makeover is weight loss, general overhaul and paying some attention to mommy for a change) The funny thing is, when THAT area of our life returned to what, I believe, God intended it to be, everything else in our marriage came together, as well. We communicate better, we laugh more and we talk more openly. Sex matters and God created sex for man and wife! He means for us to like it and enjoy it fully. And yes, one of our conversations was that I wanted him to, essentially, “take” me. I want to feel like he’s in charge in the bedroom and I want to know that he can care for me and make me feel safe and free while we’re in there. You just can’t get that feeling from a mewling, hesitant, insecure fella in the bedroom. Husbands, take note of this post…I’ve LONG believed that this is one of the primary problems that married couples have in the bedroom!! AWESOME POST, J!!

    1. J

      I’m SO GLAD you shared this story, Kristi! I had the same experience of seeing how our sexuality positively affected the rest of our relationship. Most women think it must go the other way. I think it’s all entangled together so improving any part can help the other parts. Thanks again.

  14. Kate

    Love this J! I agree that many women think about this and it is ok to some extent! I love that my hubby is stronger then me in all ways, but I also love his help and tender side, very much! I know it sounds crazy, but I think there has to be a good mix. Sounds like we want the best of both worlds, huh? Yet I think our men want us to be both humble and strong! I love what you have shared! 🙂 Kate

    1. J

      Thanks, Kate! Yes, the best of both worlds, please. It sounds like such a paradox, but I see men pull off the humble-and-strong approach every single day. Humans are complex, and we can handle more than one side of each other. Love your input!

  15. Larry, a concerned male

    Great blog essay.

    Isn’t it obvious though? Feminine women are attracted to, and enjoy being cared for by masculine men. And masculine men want for their women to be feminine. This is God’s plan. We use the term “opposite” sex as if the sexes are adversarial. Not so! Men and women complement (read: complete) each other, not just physically, but also, and more importantly, emotionally and psychologically.

    Having said that, I must add that the understanding of masculinity in America is really messed up. I have openly shed tears over the loss of a loved one – because I was and am capable of loving and feeling the loss of a loved one. Was I less manly because I publicly wept as a sign of my grief? (Things that make you go hmmmmm.)

    And, let us not overlook what we do to our baby boys in this country. We welcome most of them into the world by mutilating their genitals for life as soon as we can by needless circumcision. USA – only country in the world to do this to its newborns. (Only in America.) Women have a right to natural husbands. We ought to put that on our billboards and bumper stickers. (And males have a right to bodily integrity, too!)

    1. J

      To be honest, you had me until you compared circumcision and mutilation. I disagree with that assessment.

      But rather than get sidetracked by that issue, I want to focus on your great points that men and women should complement each other and that masculinity is not suppressing emotion and tenderness but rather showing those aspects in masculine ways. A man can be strong and show grief or gentleness. I don’t want women to act like men, or men to act like women. We need both in this world!

  16. Kathleen

    I totally agree with this post! The world seems to breed hesitant men, but nothing is better than knowing you have a husband who is strong and manly and loves you and wants you in his bed. Mmmmm.

  17. Anonymous

    Thanks for this great article. Don’t worry about the negative comments. There will always be those who misunderstand us and judge us unfairly. Blessings to you and your family!

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