Sexual Appetite

A big welcome to the Kentucky Colonel from A Grown Up Marriage. His blog is both thoughtful and challenging as he addresses how to grow up in marriage, rather than grow apart. As he says, “Marriage will expose your immaturity and selfishness faster than anything on earth . . .”

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Today the Kentucky Colonel is addressing sexual appetite. Take it away, KC!

Appetites vary. A football player needs more calories than the average person to maintain their size and strength. Some men are meat and potatoes guys and others are more eclectic in their tastes. The same can be said of husband’s sexual appetites; they are varied. Some husbands want sex more often than their wife, some less often. Some want sex more varied than their wife, some less varied. The question for the wives is where does MY husband fall in that spectrum and what can I do to improve our sexual intimacy so that it is something that blesses me, my husband, and my marriage?

This probably isn’t going to be what you expected. I’m not going to tell you that ALL husbands are the same. We ALL want more sex than our wife is giving us and we want it in more varied ways than our wife is willing to give us because THAT ISN’T TRUE. It’s a lie. There are marriages where the wife wants more sex and more varied sex than her husband. It’s a fact.

So, what I’m going to tell you is that you are married to a flawed man and your husband is married to a flawed woman. Every marriage consists of two sinners. No more. No less. Every person in every marriage is in need of grace from the person to whom they are married. You need grace from your husband and he needs grace from you. You each have wants, needs, desires and expectations and to borrow from Dr. Eggerichs who wrote Love and Respect, you are likely withholding what your spouse needs, wants, or desires in the expectation that you’re withholding will open their eyes to your own unmet wants, needs and desires. STOP! It isn’t going to work. Likely they’re already doing the same thing that you are. They’re withholding what you want, need, desire in the expectation that you’ll wake up and give them what they want, need and desire. It isn’t working for either of you. It’s time to try something more mature.

Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about one of my favorite topics, marital sex. Most of the women reading this are frustrated for one of two reasons; you aren’t satisfied with your sex life or your husband isn’t satisfied with your sex life. Sure, a few of you may not be in either camp but you’re the exception, not the rule. Some of you want to know how to decrease your husband’s sexual appetite and the others want to know how to increase it. That puts me in a tough spot, don’t you think?

Here’s what I am willing to do: I’m willing to give you some ideas that might actually work to bring a more satisfying sexual experience to your marriage. Here’s the catch, though; you’re going to have to be willing to change because you cannot change your spouse. You control you. You do NOT control your spouse. If you’re trying to control your spouse, STOP! If you’re trying to manipulate your spouse, STOP! The changes have to begin within you or the changes are not going to build intimacy between you and your husband but the attempts to control and manipulate him are likely going to destroy the intimacy.

What is the right amount of sex for a marriage? I think there is only one right answer to this and that answer is: Enough so that both spouses have their sexual desires fulfilled.* If your spouse isn’t satisfied with your sex life then you have to step up. If you aren’t satisfied with your sex life then you have to be willing to let down your guard and address that with your spouse. In either case that might mean that you need personal or couples counseling. If your own efforts aren’t making the changes needed in your marriage then it might be time to get a professional, third-party involved in helping you work together to improve your marriage.

These types of issues do not solve themselves, unless you consider less intimacy, more distance, living as roommates, or divorce as solutions. I hope that none of you do. Happy and fulfilling marriages take concerted effort, proper prioritization, and commitment to better ourselves.

Now let me talk to those of you whose husbands want more or more varied sex. This may be overwhelming to you because it will likely take you out of your comfort zone. Since he wants more sex or more varied sex, this places you in the position of control. Whether you want it or not, because you want it less you control it. The only way this changes is if you are willing to allow the change. If you are not, then you are still in control and your husband is still unsatisfied with your sex life. No one has changed. No one has grown.

If you are a wife that would like more or more varied sex then your husband is the one with the control over this. You cannot wrest that control from him. It is likely that he doesn’t know that he controls it or, if he does, wishes he didn’t. That’s just the way it is. It is likely as overwhelming to you as well but for another reason. For things to change you’ll have to tell him what needs to change and that’s risky. If you don’t, you’ll remain unsatisfied and no one will have changed and no one will have grown.

Please don’t stop growing until sex is a blessing to you, your husband, and your marriage.

That gets a hearty amen from J! Thanks, Colonel.

The Kentucky Colonel blogs at A Grown Up Marriage about moving from those immature expectations toward a more healthy and grown up view of what marriage should be. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.


* See 1 Corinthians 7. “Fulfilling sex” should be within reason. What is reasonable should be discussed between the spouses. Personally I’d consider anything up to once a day as reasonable. As far as variety I’d suggest the article, Sexual Relationships Always Consist of ‘Leftovers’, by Dr. David Schnarch.

15 thoughts on “Sexual Appetite

  1. Anonymous

    I’ve been married for 13 1/2 years which 7 has been sexless. My wife and I got married at 18, 4 months later got pregnant and I was an idiot! I didn’t understand not having sex for 18 years then an awesome 4 months of sex every 3-5 days then the spicket was shut off. I admit I was a horrible partner and fights were very prevalent, almost daily I believe. Then after almost 3 yrs without sex and 7 or 8 months of throwing around the “D” word, I had a 1 night stand. I’m not proud of it but I’ve always felt that it got our attention and jolted us back together. She has thrown it up in my face many many times over the years but now just mentions that I’ve never had to worry about trust with her. She has caught me….flying solo (trying to be as modest at possible) a few times and recently found pics I downloaded on my phone. She says that really hurt her, which I believe that to be true but I’m only human. After the 3 yrs without it happened once a month or 2( hey I was happy with that) until she got pregnant with our 2nd child. Once a gain almost 2 yrs without sex. Then 3rd child. Once again 22 months. In the last 5 years we’ve had sex 4 times and we’re knocking on another 2 yr anniversary without it. I’ve tried counseling after the affair, solo and a few months ago tried to go see a marriage counselor and she won’t go. I’m at my wits end and not only is my family suffering, my business is too. I told her if we fixed that part of our relationship I would make sales and she said that makes her feel like a prostitute. I love my kids more than life it self and it pains me to even think about not living under the same roof as them and not to see my babies when they first wake up. And God has placed a special love for my wife in me to where all she has to do is bat her eyes at me and I’m a kid in love again. I’m dying inside and I can’t catch my breath. I have learned to cope as if I was in an accident and a part of me is paralyzed but the bitterness and resentment is starting to build beyond my control at times. Let me end by saying I’ve never said it has all been her. I was a childish immature brat before and the first few years but now I just miss being happy.
    Thanks for reading

    1. Annie

      Hey, there, anonymous! I just want to let you know that you and your relationship with your dear wife will be in our prayers. I am so sorry for what yall have been through. God can still give you beauty for your ashes! Don’t give up hope in Him!

    2. Christy

      Anonymous. Wow. First what a powerful and honest comment. I never pretend to have all the answers but something in your letter hit so close to home that I just felt like you needed to be encouraged. My husband and I have been married 16 years. We both came to the marriage as Christians but had baggage of past relationships. I truly believe that past sin in our lives scarred our marriage and with the lack of good premarital councilong( our pastor at the time did not cover sex and Gods desire for us in the marriage bed) we were doomed from the get go. Sadly we spent the first 8 years of our marriage rarely having sex and then when I was faced with a life changing illness it just compounded the problem. I too found my husband downloading photos and “taking care” of himself. It hurt. It hurt that deep down I knew I was failing and that we were broken. I like your wife made sure my husband knew he had sinned and hurt me. It wasn’t until we were supposed to be at a marriage retreat and I was refusing to go did a friend call me and ask me point blank,”When is the last time you had sex?” I was so angry and quick to remind her of my husbands past and his wrongs against me. She stopped me in my tracks and asked me what that had to do with my walk and serving my husband like God commands. Whew…….that hit a cord. She was right. God knows people are going to sin against us and we will be hurt and angry and sometimes it short changes us in a relationship BUT we are still accountable to do the right thing whether we feel like it or not. I won’t lie it wasn’t easy; I had to set myself aside and love my husband like Christ and love him because I wanted the very best God had for him. Love your wife. Pray for her. Serve her. Do it because you want to see Gods very best in her. Do it for no other reason than God loved you first. I always reference the movie fireproof because it mirrors my life. When I turned it around and started loving my husband just because I wanted to see what God was capable of it was remarkable. My God is bigger than affairs. Heis bigger than pornography. He is bigger than the hurt and abandonment you feel. He IS bigger. Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.Matt. 7:8. It’s gonna take time but all great masterpieces do. I believe God wants you to finish strong and have your marriage be a masterpiece. I will pray for your marriage. Sorry my comment is SO long.

    3. J

      I was going to get on here and give my advice, but I see three others have responded as well. Good stuff.

      Quickly, though: (1) Work on dealing with your issues and loving your wife the way you should regardless of whether she gets it or not. Do it because God wants you to; because you will gain emotional health and integrity; because at the end of the day, you can only change yourself. (2) If talking about the issue is causing constant conflict, stop talking for a time. You might explain to your wife that her actions are hurting you, but that you’ve decided to first work on how to save all of your sexual energy for her. Make it happen and then readdress the issue later after showing her how committed you are to changing the sexual dynamic in your marriage. (3) Pray for your wife and her openness. I suspect there is something more going on here for her. She may have past sexual issues, vast changes in her hormones affecting her libido, or even depression issues (many moms experience post-partum “blues” or dysthymia). (4) Seek counseling if you can. Go without her, but be sure that your counselor is committed to helping you keep your marriage.

      My heart aches for you in your situation. Too many wives feel that their husbands are just trying to get their itch scratched, when I have heard from so many husbands that they feel unloved when they are not sexually desired. Sex is physical, but it is highly emotional for men as well. I will be praying for your wife to hear that message–whether through you, a friend, a resource, or the Spirit nudging her.

  2. Reid

    ^^^ Anon, my humble advice? Go to counseling. Tell her you would welcome her there with you, but go with or without her. Yes, she has some issues she will need to be asked to own, eventually, but right now you need better tools for yourself and need to get completely healthy. Whether she goes or not, it will benefit you immensely and equip you to deal with your situation in a healthy way. And If porn is still an issue, I’d consider a 12-step program such as Celebrate Recovery. In my opinion very few get completely free of porn addictions apart from a recovery-based approach. Blessings to you and your bride as you sort this out.

  3. Anonymous

    Blog idea I got while reading this. Make a check list of varieties of sex you make reference to. Something fun for a husband and wife to check off this year to some degree of complication. Kinda a game that will help breach sexual topics with spouse we may be afraid of breaching. Positions, toys, locations, time of day, etc.

  4. desiringdiscipline

    Sexual appetite–what a great treatment of the subject. It is so, so hard though to work through it, finding that delicate balance. My blog essentially is about this topic: http://desiringdiscipline.wordpress.com

    I’ve been in a 20 year marriage where we never could find “our groove” and we were well into the co-existing roommates stage, with a lot of stuffed-down anger, hurt and aggression. It was miserable and I was 99% sure that once our kids were gone, so too would I be. I am in that minority of women who have a HUGE sexual appetite; my husbands is probably on the low side of normal but given my high needs–his seemed almost non-existent. It eventually “wasn’t even worth my while” and we went through many years with no intimacy. My anger and frustration turned me to eating and gaining unhealthy weight. I was not only unhappy with my husband, I was unhappy with me.

    Crazy enough, the best thing that has happened for our marriage is that I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and just before that I made a commitment to lose weight and get in shape. Not that it’s great literature, but it put me back in touch with a side to me I was always ashamed to explore–the one that wanted a strong male who still loved and respected me. Searching terms like “dominance” and “submission” (the latter a term I was well familiar with as a Christian woman, but had eschewed bitterly) I came upon many websites (christian and secular) on the topic of domestic discipline or taken in hand, and began realizing I’d been doing things all wrong. My efforts to control things and not trust had made my husband into a man I didn’t respect or feel attracted to. As someone commented above, it starts with me and it doesn’t matter who was wrong (Do watch Fireproof). I had to make the changes, and I had to confess to my husband what I’d done wrong in our relationship, and I had to tell him how important intimacy and sex were for me to feel connected in our marriage (the amazing power of the one-flesh union), and in turn respectful, loving and supportive of him.

    Things are turning around for us. I am still trying to convince him that I really do want him to be our head of household and take the lead, and slowly he is believing me. It came down to my attitude change. Sometimes he now will ask me/tell me to do something in a joking way, and seem happily surprised at my submissive attitude. At first it does feel like acting, but actions do precede beliefs, and before long I realized this was the marriage I wanted.

    I don’t know if we’ll ever get to a point of both feeling our sexual needs are met, but we are working on it. We are now communicating our needs better. Getting to a good sex place has been a bumpy road for many reasons, not the least of which is relationships I had in my single years. Too much to compare to, not a good dynamic in marriage. I want sex almost every night. He has gone from nothing to at least once a week. I try very hard to be grateful for this improvement.

    No one said it would be easy, but being open about what you need and want, and changing yourself first are keys. No one can resist respect and support in a mate. Try it on. It’ll have positive results.

    1. J

      It is definitely a challenge to have a much higher drive than your spouse. Communicating is an important part of managing your sexual appetite differences. I appreciate your take regarding that aspect.

      However, I am strongly opposed to the inclusion of BDSM or physical or emotional abuse in the bedroom. The expressions of sexuality in the Bible all point to passion and tenderness, not an imbalance of power. Such activities do not promote the intimacy that the Bible compares to that of Christ and His church.

      I encourage you to awaken your sexuality and foster intimacy through more intense lovemaking without dealing in fringe activities. Blessings for your marriage!

    2. Anonymous

      Desiringdiscipline, I am right there with you! I could have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! But, unfortunately, my husband’s appetite doesn’t match mine. And it does build resentment.
      Also, just wanted to be candid here and tell you I also like a dominate male (I do like to be bound!).
      And I also had many previous sexual relationships (before I was married) which I know have damaged sexual intimacy in my marriage.
      Just wanted to tell you you’re not alone!

  5. Anonymous

    I am blessed by this post because 1) I have a MUCH higher sex drive than my husband and 2) This is a topic seldom addressed in churches & womens’ groups.
    My husband gets really concerned at times because he knows I have the higher sex drive and thinks that men around us who knew that would try to sleep with me. I do my best to help him feel secure with our marriage & don’t dress provocatively & don’t flirt with other men. I was wondering if this is a common fear with men who have wives with higher drives?

  6. Anonymous

    I wish my husband wanted me more. I never say no, am pretty attractive and LOVE sex. Why won’t he make love with me more? I’ve talked with him about it and told him that only once or twice a week is not enough for me. I would make love every single day if he wanted me. He loves me very much and has told me how I turn him on, and when we do make love it is amazing. I sit here tonight crying, alone, as my husband has gone to bed since he gets up by 3:30 throughout the week. I desire him and want him, but I’m tired of initiating and being turned down. I love him more than anything and just do.not.understand. I sleep naked with him every single night and I wear sexy underwear. he tells me I”m beautiful and enjoys looking at my body. this is a second marriage for the both of us and we feel extremely blessed to have found one another. We truly love each other and tell each other daily how much we love each other. and when we were first married a year ago we made love 4-5 times weekly. Now I’m lucky if it’s twice a week and not just in the early morning hours. Why doesn’t he want to make love to me more? I don’t understand.
    For the husbands that get turned constantly, I feel for you.
    For wives that turn their husbands down, get with it ladies…sex can be amazing! You are ruining your marriage. 🙁

    1. J

      From the little I have here, it sounds like your husband is having some issue–maybe physical, stress-related, emotional–that is sinking his desire. There are no guarantees here, so I don’t want to pretend otherwise. But talk to him about it away from the bedroom and instead of focusing on you wanting more sex, ask how you can help. Sometimes a husband knowing that he isn’t fully satisfying his wife’s desire can make him less apt to try; he just feels like he doesn’t measure up, which puts a damper on the manly swagger most guys need to initiate sex. So try putting the ball more in his court by asking what he envisions as a good sex life, what sparks his desire, what is causing him stress or reluctance, etc.

      Best wishes! And thanks for sharing your story and advice for others.

  7. Anonymous

    Hmmm..Your story reflects mine, with two differences. One…I’m the wife, and the one who is always rejected sexually. Second…though I accepted (tried my best) his low desire, and tried to fight the burn (be faithful, in EVERY way), He has recently told me he watched some porn on his phone. He didn’t have to tell me, but he wanted to “come clean” two videos and some photos. Now, I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried, as I said, to be accepting and love him regardless of “feeling” unwanted. But now, I think….you have next to zero drive, but you watched porn? Why would he do that? I have been fighting staying faithful now…in a huge way. My sense of panic is overwhelming.

  8. Anonymous

    Wow, I’m so glad I’m finally hearing women say this!! I experience the same thing with my husband. Only I’m lucky if I get sex once a month…no joke. The rest is the same. I’m VERY careful about modesty and not flirting. He tells me how gorgeous I am, and how he loves my body…funny that he never wants to touch it? Recently he told me that he watched two porn videos on his phone! of all things!! We’re both remarried. Been married for 13 years. He said this (last winter) was the first time he had done this in our marriage. I don’t know how to feel, and I’m afraid this is my life for the rest of my life. Everyone, including our children, adores him. He’s Mr. Wonderful.

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