Tag Archives: low libido wives

Q&A with J: “I Can’t Really Seem to Get Into Sex”

Today’s question is from a wife who’s struggling with her pleasure in the marriage bed:

Hi, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. My husband and I have been happily married for 11 years…I love him more than ever…the problem is I can’t really seem to get into sex. I know it’s important and we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it. I do orgasm most of the time but I just want to desire sex…I want to really want sex!!! I want to have the wet “horny” feeling but only very occasionally does happen. We do have 4 kids aged from 3-9 years so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I’m kinda hoping one day this stage will pass and I’ll all of a sudden be back into sex? Anyway, any advice would be great!

Blog title + couple's feet in bed pointed away from each other

First off, yes, I think four children ages 3 to 9 years has something to do with it. Lots of wives report a decrease in their libido while their children are young, because that’s when we’re exhausted, distracted, and stressed. If you think that’s contributing, then check out my suggestions in When My Sex Life Sucked – Part 2.

But the libido and pleasure issues may run deeper, as they sometimes do for wives. I’ve talked recently about how in 15-30% of marriages wives are estimated to be the higher-drive spouse, but that still means that in 70-85% of marriages, he wants sex more than she does.

And many women have been sold the idea that they’re supposed to want sex like their husbands — with a burning need or intense desire to be experience sexual pleasure. They think the proper order of things is desire, arousal, sex, and then orgasm. But you know what? That’s not what the research shows. Rather, female sexual desire seems to kick in for many after the decision to engage and getting aroused.

Yet what concerns me is that you say, “we usually have sex twice a week but I don’t seemed to get turned on through it.” Yeah, your body should be more responsive to sexual sensations. That’s how God intended it to work.

So while I don’t want you to sweat not having that “horny” feeling before you start having sex, I do think you need to look into why you’re not enjoying the experience.

And for that, I’m actually going to turn you over to three trusted sources. Because while I’ve definitely addressed this topic (for instance, herehere, and here), these three ladies have gone above and beyond in reaching out to lower-desire wives. I believe they can help you get on track.

OysterBed7. Bonny Burns maintains the OysterBed7 blog where she says, “I blend science, scripture and stories of my own life to encourage and empower the low sex drive wife and her marriage. You write what you know and I know about low sex drive.”

Her honest, gentle approach is also biblically and practically based. While I suggest reading her blog, and listening to her on our joint podcast, Sex Chat for Christian Wives, she has a specific resource you might want to check out: Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation.

The Forgiven Wife. Chris Taylor defines the mission of her blog as: “to encourage Christian wives as they work to grow in their approach to sexual intimacy in their marriages. After 20 years of restricting the sex life in my marriage, I have learned to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with my husband.”

I know you’re not restricting sex in your marriage, but Chris delves into reasons why a wife would feel disengaged in the bedroom and unable to experience full pleasure, and then she addresses them with practical suggestions. You can also hear Chris on our podcast.

Boost Your Libido Course. Sheila Gregoire recently launched a new product, and I had the pleasure of checking it out fully. Her Boost Your Libido course not only deals with a wife’s sex drive, but her pleasure in the bedroom. This course has 10 modules with videos of Sheila explaining the main points in a wife-to-wife chat format, along with a fact sheet, worksheet, brainstorming exercise, and additional resources.

Sheila deals with such issues as “What Is Libido?”, “Making Hormones Your Friend,” and yes, “When It Doesn’t Feel Good.” I’ve really enjoyed Sheila’s blog and resources over the years, but I found this course in particular to be a great approach for working through the issues of low libido and enjoyment of sexual intimacy.

You can view the videos in the privacy of your home, or perhaps with a friend or two so that you can discuss and support one another. (However, you should each pay for your own course, for ethical reasons and to get the additional materials you need to make progress.) She suggests taking your time through the homework, but it’s not hard to complete. You can easily see the big picture and how progress will be made by working on these modules.

And you know what? It’s $39. I know that’s more than a book, but $39 is a pair of shoes, one piano lesson for your child, a meal for two at a sit-down restaurant, and just 1/15th of an iPhone. Seriously, a total bargain. For more info, click on the pic below.

Let me assure you that I rarely do affiliate links. While looking into advertising some on my blog, I’ve been so reluctant to do so because I’m not willing to just throw products at my audience that I don’t entirely believe in. If I outright suggest something, I’ve viewed the entire resource myself and believe it’s a good deal for my audience.

So, while I write some about low libido, I know that it’s not my niche like it is for these three women I’ve mentioned. And I trust them to give you good advice. I encourage you to check out their resources.

How Libido Works: For Women, That Is

If you follow me here or on social media, you’ll quickly discover that I share a lot of what Sheila Wray Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum writes. That’s because we have very similar views on sex in marriage, and her wisdom is well worth my readers’ time.

Not to mention that we’re friends. Which is one of major bonuses of doing what I do — getting to meet like-minded people who are smart, fun, and Christ-like.

It’s my pleasure to share her with you today! Sheila’s here to talk about how libido works — for women, that is. Because it’s not how many of us were taught that sex drive works. And now…Sheila.How Libido Works: For Women, That IsHave you ever noticed that movies and TV shows make women’s sex drives look just like men’s?

Here’s what happens, pretty much every time: the couple’s together, and they start to pant. So they fall into each other’s arms and they begin to kiss. Then the clothes come off. And then they end up in bed.

They pant, they kiss, they take off their clothes, and they end up in bed.

Pant. Kiss. Clothes. Bed.

Every time.

If this is what you see, over and over, you may begin to think that’s natural.

So there you are, at home with your husband, and you’re waiting to pant.

And nothing happens.

So you figure, “I guess I’m just not in the mood”, and you return to browsing Pinterest or you go and make another cup of tea.

But what if that whole portrayal of women’s and men’s sex drives is wrong?

Rosemary Abbott of the University of British Columbia did a study a while ago that found that while men tend to be aroused BEFORE they started to make love (that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?), most women are not aroused UNTIL they start. They’re not panting at all!

Instead, they make the decision to make love, and then once they start, they relax enough and tell themselves, “I am going to have FUN tonight!” It’s only then that their bodies kick in.

For women, our sex drives are primarily in our heads. If our heads aren’t engaged, our bodies won’t follow.

But that also means that we have a great deal of power when it comes to our libidos! Instead of waiting to feel in the mood, we can tell ourselves positive things about sex: “I am going to enjoy this tonight.” “I am going to sleep so well after this!” Or even, “I am going to rock my husband’s world!”

Unfortunately, many of us don’t quite understand this. We figure that our bodies should kick in if he does the right thing, romances us the right way, or touches just the right place. So we start making love, but while we’re doing that we’re also composing shopping lists in our heads, trying to figure out if there’s enough milk in the fridge to get us through breakfast, and planning our errands route for tomorrow. So sex feels lousy. And it must be his fault, because he’s just not doing it right!

Now, there’s no doubt that husbands often need to learn what makes wives feel good (because many husbands don’t understand foreplay, for instance!). But it’s also true that one night he could do something that has you in raptures, and three nights later he’s doing exactly the same thing, move for move, and you’re lying there thinking, “Will you just get over with because I want to get to sleep!” It’s not about what he’s doing; it’s about what you’re thinking!

That’s why great sex isn’t about panting beforehand and it isn’t JUST about him doing the right thing. It’s also about us concentrating and putting our brains to work for us!

When you make love, ask yourself, “What feels good right now?” That makes your brain cut off that shopping list and concentrate instead on your body. And you just may find that it does feel good, after all!

God made women so that our response isn’t as automatic as men’s sexual response tends to be.

We have to make the decision that we want to make love. We even have to make the decision that we’re going to have a good time! But I think there’s a logic behind that. Because we need to make that decision, then both husbands and wives have an incentive to work on feeling intimate outside of the bedroom, too. We have to build goodwill towards each other to even want to make love in the first place. If our sexual response was always automatic, then our relationships could be quite shallow.

Instead, when things work well, we get the best of both worlds. We feel close to our husbands, and we feel great in the bedroom. But ultimately it’s up to us: will we decide to jump in and take the initiative, or will we sit back and wait for the panting to happen?

Personally, I’d suggest jumping in. Sex helps you sleep better. Sex helps you feel closer. Plus great sex feels amazing! It’s too great a gift to leave to chance. So decide to have fun tonight, and see what happens!

Sheila WC 100Sheila is the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. She blogs everyday at To Love, Honor and Vacuum.

Come on over and download her free ebook, 36 Ways to Bring Sexy Back to The Bedroom!

Thanks, Sheila! I love this wise advice.

Permission to Feel Beautiful with Bonny Logsdon Burns

We are nearing the end of this Feel Beautiful series, but I definitely haven’t run out of favorite marriage bloggers talking on this subject. And each has something special to add to this conversation.

Today we have Bonny Logsdon Burns, who runs the Oyster Bed 7 site with lower-drive wives in mind. Her outreach for godly marital intimacy is amazing, and she has a compassionate heart for those who struggle with libido. She’s delightful in so many ways, and I can’t wait to share what she has to say on feeling beautiful. So here it is!

Permission to Feel Beautiful with Bonny Logsdon Burns

I love this series. I feel more beautiful already! The wisdom in each guest post is as unique as the author’s brand of beauty. Thank you, J, for allowing me to accompany all these great encouragers!

For a long while I was not in a good place with sexual intimacy and part of the struggle was trying to reconcile the inner beauty/outer beauty mindset. Scripture seemed to tell me inner beauty was the only thing of value. However, my husband likes me wearing makeup and nice things, which involved my outer beauty. And honestly, I felt better about myself when I spent time on my outer beauty. But, wasn’t this focus on outer beauty a sin?

Can I be both Mother Theresa and Marilyn Monroe (the faithfully married kind)? Is that OK with God? If so, how does that work?

1 Samuel 16:7, “…..The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

It is interesting to me that in verse 7 of 1 Samuel 16 (above), it says the Lord does not look at outward appearance as a man. Yet, just 4 verses down we read:

1 Samuel 16:12 — “He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.”

Then, I saw all of these heroes and heroines of God described as having physical beauty.

Sarah             (Gen. 12:11)
Rebekah        (Gen. 24:16)
Rachel            (Gen. 29:17)
Abigail            (1 Sam. 25:3)
Esther             (Esther 2:7)
David              (1 Sam. 16:12)
Joseph            (Gen. 39:6)

God is not against physical beauty.

1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment….rather it should be that of your inner self….”

Peter isn’t condemning a woman’s outer beauty. He is saying do not make it a pre-occupation. (Actually, the whole section is about how a believing wife can win an unbelieving husband over to Christ with the beauty of her way.) Christian women are encouraged to develop inner spiritual beauty. I don’t refute that.

However, God is not against outer beauty. He created original eye-candy! He painted lovely even in normal stuff. See?

Thistle for Bonny's post Beach for Bonny's post Rooster for Bonny's post

In the midst of trying to figure out the balance of inner beauty versus outer beauty, I realized inner beauty and outer beauty are like hydrogen and oxygen. Meld them together and create life giving water, H20. InnerBeauty2OuterBeauty. You see, the inner beauty needs twice the nurturing, but outer beauty is still important and a blessing from God. So, yeah, I think it’s okay to be both Mother Theresa and a faithfully married Marilyn Monroe.

Give yourself permission to feel beautiful.

Knowing that God created beauty, why is it still hard to embrace beautiful?

Saying that you feel beautiful does not mean that you are arrogant or vain. 

Vanity desires to be physically beautiful at all costs. There is no thought to serve any other than yourself. I would venture to go as far as to say it is similar to an addiction, being consumed with thoughts of the mirror and the desire to hear compliments.

Feeling your beauty, will not make you vain, unless you let it.

What if I start letting myself feel beautiful and rejection jumps out of nowhere to trample my heart? This is a real possibility. Your brand of outer beauty isn’t going to appeal to everyone. Just like your brand of inner beauty, having a heart soaked in Jesus, isn’t going to appeal to everyone.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18).

However, both your outer beauty and inner beauty are pleasing to God. He’s really the only opinion that matters.

Beautiful girls can feel beautiful, too.

Accepting that you have pleasant physical features does not mean you are haughty. It’s acknowledging that God is a better designer than Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, and Christian Dior combined.

Beautiful Christian ladies who realize their beauty, may experience guilt, shame, or confusion because of it.

My personal story of confusion is from when I was a child. Because of my coloring; black hair, blue eyes, and fair skin; people stared at me. Occasionally, my mother would cluck her tongue at these people (usually boys) and yank me away. I thought they were staring because of something wrong with me. I didn’t know that people stared when something was good, too. It wasn’t until one of my sisters told me I was, ‘such a beautiful child people stared,’ I realized what all the yanking was about.

You may experience guilt over undue attention or guilt for enjoying the undue attention. The attention is a little nod from God. It’s okay to delight in it for a moment.

You may experience shame that men other than your husband notice or shame that your beauty was the (perceived) cause of sexual abuse (it was not your fault!).

Gorgeous Jesus girls, embrace your God given beauty! He wanted you to look the way you look. If you are actively nurturing your inner Jesus beauty, free yourself from the heavy thought that you are causing another to sin with your outer beauty. Their heart and lack of self-control is what is causing their sin.

Christ’s freedom will help you feel beautiful.

“Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory.” (Romans 5:2).

He gave you your beauty so that you can use it to serve HIM more fully.

Admit you’re feeling beautiful, what’s the worst that could happen?

You’ll feel fabulous.

When you start to feel beautiful you might want to take care of that temple you’ve been hauling around all your life. Drink more water, less caffeine/sugar. Eat more fresh food, less processed. Get more sleep and don’t say mean things to yourself. Dance, or at least take a nice long walk. All of this will spill over into feeling beautiful and liking it.

You’ll feel empowered.

Satan uses our negative self-image and negative self-value as a hurdle to many things, including sexual intimacy. Owning your inner beauty and outer beauty chases Satan away and can improve sexual conflict. There’s nothing more attractive than a beautiful woman with beautiful ways about her.

Jesus will be heard.

The reality is, our society values outward appearance. Your pretty face and warmth of heart will help draw people to you. Once they pick up on your hope, you’ll be able to share the story of your favorite designer, Jesus.

..I have become all things to all people so that in all possible ways I might save some. I do all of that because of the good news. I want to share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).

Bonny Lodgson BurnsHi! I’m Bonny Logsdon Burns. I write to encourage the low libido wife at www.OysterBed7.com. I am passionate about empowering and equipping low-libido wives through God’s Word and practical tools. If you are a low-libido wife, please check out my book, Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation. It’s an easy journey that may have profound results.

My husband, Dave, and I are candid about struggles and victories in the sexual arena. We have three grown sons, two daughter-in-loves, and one sweetpea (granddaughter). My favorite thing to do is laugh at Dave’s corny jokes. We are currently relocating to south Florida, please pray for us because we’re living the notion that major relocations cause serious stress. Connect with me through Twitter and Facebook.