We wives ask ourselves this very question at varied times.
After a long day when your shoulder muscles are tight, you ask your hubby to give you a quick massage. He starts rubbing your shoulders, your head falls forward as you “ooh” and “aah” at his firm but gentle touch, and stress begins to ebb from your body . . . until his hands move forward over your shoulders and begin to touch your breasts instead. Next thing you know, the relaxing massage for you has become a titillating experience for him and he’s ready and eager to get to the bedroom and massage other parts.
As he comes home, you greet your husband at the door with a fond embrace and a soft-lipped kiss — either because you enjoy his presence or you’re thrilled to have reinforcements to handle the rambunctious spawn tearing up your house little by little. The peck was so nice that you extend the kissing with another, deeper, more passionate kiss. Happy to have had your Hollywood movie moment, you’re ready to get back to dinner preparations or lock yourself away in your bathroom in a hot bubbly tub. But he has read your cue as “She wants me” and suggests a sexual encounter.
I could give plenty of other examples, but these two will suffice. The point is that wives often feel that any show of affection is immediately interpreted by their husbands as a come-on or a sign of sexual readiness.
Husbands, take note of the two very important rules that follow.
Affection does not lead to sex. Not always. Most women enjoy affection for its own sake. Holding her hand or hugging your wife may make her feel secure not sensual. Kissing her evokes romantic, not necessarily sexual, feelings. We like to sit close, cuddle, stroke our lover’s skin, and get massages without the pressure of sexual performance automatically tied to the affection. Most women are more generous with touching and kissing when they feel that it can be enjoyed as its own separate pleasure.
Remember when you were dating? Unless your relationship began with a one-night stand (which I hope it did not, but I don’t exclude the possibility), you moved slowly from small touches to grander gestures of affection. Perhaps you recall the first time you held one another’s hand or your first kiss — including where you were, what you wore, or what music played in the background. You didn’t expect to “get lucky” the first time you touched.
Guess what? You won’t get lucky every time you touch just because you’re married now. While sex is a fabulous experience, you should also enjoy the small gestures of affection that create a romantic atmosphere, communicate tenderness and like for one another, and foster closeness and emotional security in the marriage.
Affection does lead to sex. Wait, this is the exact opposite. Yes and no. The paradox is that when husbands show affection without strings attached and when intimate gestures become routine and enjoyed for their own sake, it creates the environment in which sexual encounters are more likely to occur.
Foreplay for women is not merely the 10 to 15 minutes before intercourse; it’s what has happened in the last 24 to 72 hours. When a wife feels secure and loved for herself, when she can get a stress-reducing massage that lasts longer than three minutes and doesn’t involved a breast-squeeze, she feels connected to her husband and more willing engage sexually with him. Those minor touches and brushes of skin against skin, those tender kisses stolen in the kitchen or the utility room as you work together — they lay the groundwork for the wife to open up with her husband later in the bedroom.
Thus, affection does lead to sex. Just not always right away. It may take fifty minor acts of affection for the wife to equal the kind of sexual interest a husband might have after two seconds of “naked woman emerges from shower.” A wise husband will take time to demonstrate genuine desire for his wife — not simply for her body, but for her — with or without sex in that immediate moment.
I realize, of course, that there are exceptions — wives who want oodles of affection and still won’t put out a welcome sign no matter what. They likely have underlying issues which I and other marriage bloggers address in different posts.
But on the whole, courting your wife with affection for its own sake is a smart move, hubbies. You might also discover that you relish kissing her soft, pink lips and holding her curvy body close to yours, just because.
“Greet one another with a kiss of love.”
1 Peter 5:14