I wrote last Thursday on What’s the Aim of His Sex Drive? and made the case that the majority of husbands aren’t just after the sex. Rather, sex is a way to be intimate with their wives. Their goal is less the sex (although, sure, that’s a big part of it) and more the connection with this woman they love.
Not surprisingly, I got a bit of push-back. Which got me thinking about when the sex drive is more intense.
A male friend once stated that the longer it’s been since sex happened, the more the drive itself is focused on the sex. And I think that’s likely true.
It’s like anything else that you crave. If you know it’s in abundant supply, you can savor the thing itself — whether it’s good food, great music, or sexual intimacy. But when you feel this deep need that goes unmet for a long time, it becomes far more like a hunger or even, for some, can become almost an obsession. Thus, the higher-drive spouse who seems to be all about the sex, and the lower-drive spouse who feels like an object.
Yeah, I get it.
And neither one of those roles is a good place to be. In this case, it’s hard for the higher-drive spouse to keep that focus where it should be. Their physical need seems so intense, it’s like pangs of hunger and a growling stomach. Sure, you want to be able to take your time, let things unfold, and savor that lady (or man) of your dreams, but at some level you just need a cheeseburger from the drive-thru, so to speak. And no, no, no, I am not comparing any spouse to a cheeseburger. Heaven forbid! It’s simply an analogy to make a point.
Meanwhile, for the lower-drive spouse . . . well, who wants to be a cheeseburger? That’s just insulting. Especially for women who’ve already coped with being ogled pre-marriage by at least a few idiots, we hardly want that kind of groping-eyes-and-hands thing happening with the guy who’s supposed to treat us like we’re a princess. Or princess-like, at least.
So what’s the answer here? What about when that sex drive is so intense that it leans toward being more about the sex itself and not quite as much about the deep love for this person you’re with?
Since you can only change yourself, you have to ask which spouse you are in this scenario. Are the higher-drive spouse? Or the lower-drive spouse? Because each of you can make some changes to effect a better outcome.
Higher-drive spouse. In all honesty, you’re where I currently reside. If I go a long time without, I definitely feel the absence. And my desire for sex becomes even more need-like.
Here’s the advice: Take a chill pill, as they say. Back it up and remember what your real goal is. Remind yourself that a purely physical relationship is pleasurable, but not satisfying. And you’re not willing to settle for less than God intended. (No, really, you’re not!) You can make some real strides toward better intimacy by focusing on your mate. Consider their needs.
What in that moment would make him/her feel loved? How could you bring pleasure or happiness to them? What would reassure them of the love underneath your longing?
Dwell on those thoughts and cultivate those feelings that foster a unique attachment to your spouse. Our minds can be powerful actors on our bodies. Pray for God’s view of your spouse. Show patience and self-control when needed (Galatians 5:22-23). Remember to give your spouse honor (“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” — Romans 12:10).
Of course you can ask for and pursue sex, but seek intimacy in all areas of your marriage.
Lower-drive spouse. Yes, I know you don’t need sex as frequently as your mate desires, and it can be a bit of a bother to engage so often. But — still using that inadequate, but useful food analogy — it’s easier to relax when you know where your next meal is coming from. That is, your spouse may relax a bit about the sex thing if you regularly communicate and cooperate with sexual intimacy.
Look for possible ways and times to engage, rather than putting your energy into avoidance. If you can’t have sex when he/she asks, suggest a better time (and then follow through). If can create some consistency, that could help you both avoid that situation in which he’s pleading and you’re resisting and everyone ends up in a bad mood.
Also be willing to express what you need to make it a more meaningful experience. If you want it to feel less rushed and climax-driven, go ahead and ask for the massage or the time in the bubble bath or a slow dance before you begin. You may find that your beloved is willing to add some romance and flair to the moment when they know what you want — that they actually enjoy the full experience more than an off-to-the-races, get-er-done approach.
What ideas do you have for helping both sides experience deeper sexual intimacy? What helps your sexual encounters move from merely physical to a more meaningful connection between husband and wife?