Daily Archives: August 22, 2015

Q&A for J: How Can I Help My Husband Be More Adventurous In Bed?

Today’s question is from a higher drive wife:

I am the higher drive spouse in my marriage, though not by a big gap. I love finding helpful sexual advice from HHH or similar sources, but often have to invert the advice for husbands and wives, since I am higher drive. After some thought and occasional conversations with my wonderful man, I think one of the reasons I’m struggling is that he’s so content with “same as usual” sex. If I do not take the initiative to put on lingerie, set the mood, flirt, etc, then he is fine with getting into bed with the lights off and initiating sex with me quietly, pretty much out of nowhere, and what I would call “bread and butter sex.” I would prefer more. He is always happy when I make the effort to make it more of an encounter, which I do several times a week, but I’m longing to feel pursued in the bedroom, not just responded to…

He’s often willing to try something, but I have to take the lead. Can you suggest some ways I can help my husband be more adventurous in bed and help him initiate more?

Q&A with J: How Can I Help My Husband Be More Adventurous in Bed?

Do you feel like you have a “lazy lover” in bed? You’re having sex, but each time is pretty much like the last and, to be honest, the last one only scored about a C+.

You’re getting fed, sure, but you’re missing out on the feast of sexual intimacy in your marriage! Yet you wonder when you’ll experience that biblical phrase: “Drink, be intoxicated with love!” (Song of Songs 5:1, HCSB). How do you get your guy to raise his goblet and drink his fill? Or pour out a goblet of goodies for you that fully satisfies?

Talk about your desires. Have you talked outside the bedroom about what you’d like to see happening inside the bedroom? Like any other goal in our marriage, it often takes intentionality and conversation to decide together what we want to attain.

Explain what you’d like your sexual intimacy to look like. That can include the build-up toward sexual encounters, how often you each initiate, what practices you’d like to try, what feelings you want to evoke, and the overall mood of sensuality in your marriage. Avoid complaining about the past or the current situation, focusing instead of nurturing sexual intimacy and adventure in your marriage bed.

Just as important, listen to his desires. Ask how he views your sexual intimacy and what he’d like to see happen. If he tries to brush it off saying he’s happy with the status quo, you could tell him you appreciate that, but you’d like to know what would make him even more eager to make love and feel “intoxicated” with your sex life. Be willing to attend to what would make him feel loved. There might be an area of neglect you didn’t know about, that you can then remedy, which could embolden him to engage more.

Turn to helpful resources. If you’re tired of initiating, maybe you can turn up the heat by introducing some love-stoking resources into your bedroom. Get a sexy board game or offer to play Strip Poker or Battleship. Go through sex-focused books for married couples, like Sheila Gregoire’s 31 Days to Great Sex or Kevin Leman’s Sheet MusicAlthough written primary for Christian wives, you could also go through Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Your Marriage together to spark conversation and sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Purchase some lovemaking coupons or make custom ones. See if he’s willing to try out a new coupon with a fresh idea each week. Make a list of locations or positions you’d like to attempt (I say attempt, because some don’t work out like you’d think…), then refer to the list when you’re ready to make love. (For more specific positions with no explicit pictures, you can check out Christian Friendly Sex Positions.)

Make a point of assessing how things are going, by letting each of you rate the new “adventure.” By the way, I’ve learned with my cooking that the best way to rate recipes is for my family not to say things like, “That was too dry” or “It was too salty” or “Blech,” but rather give a thumbs up or down on whether it’s worth repeating and provide suggestions for making it better next time. I suggest trying that with your bedroom activities. Keep things positive: Ask if it’s a repeat and talk about what you might want to tweak next time around. You might discover some adventurous activities among these ideas that he enjoys and eagerly anticipates repeating.

Pursue deeper answers if needed. If after trying to stir up the sexual fires, his flame is still burning low, you may need to dig deeper and find out why he’s not willing to do more in bed. There are a number of possibilities — ranging from low testosterone levels, to poor teachings about sex that make him feel guilty for being adventurous even with his wife, to past or current porn use that makes arousal more difficult face-to-face. If there’s an underlying reason why he isn’t more engaged in sex, you need to find why and then get on his side to help him through it.

Men typically have a tough time revealing the obstacles they’re facing and asking for help. But open a conversation and encourage him to reveal what’s going on. Let him know you are a safe place for him to dump his concerns, and that you’ll support him in figuring things out and becoming more involved and excited about your sexual intimacy.

I often counsel wives to introduce difficult topics through shoulder-to-shoulder conversation, rather than face-to-face. We women usually want to look each other in the eye, but men often reveal more when you take a side-by-side walk or drive somewhere together or just sit on the couch facing forward. Let him look somewhere else if it helps him talk through what you need to know.

If there are underlying issues preventing him from engaging, resolving those will likely open up your marriage bed to greater adventure. And if you’re the one who needs to be more adventurous in bed, here’s a post to get you started.

Now for my readers, how have you been able to increase your spouse’s sense of adventure in the marriage bed? What has worked well for you?

Q&A with J: Husband Wants to “Rekindle the Flame”

Today’s question is from a husband frustrated with his marriage’s lack of intimacy. His wife’s frustrated too, but they can’t seem to see eye-to-eye on what next . . . and the marriage is suffering. Here’s his question:

My wife has been complaining about the lack of intimacy for many years- rightfully so. I am to blame because I have not had a healthy sex drive for many years. I want to rekindle the flame, and have suggested that we rearrange the furniture in the living room so that we can sit next to each other so that I can make physical contact with her and kiss and fondle her. She is now refusing to allow that, because she is saying that she is feeling mad, frustrated and love is dying in her for me.

I also want to encourage changing the scenery and would like to buy us sexy bedroom robes and high heels for her to lounge in. To me, intimacy starts by physically being close to her and by seeing her in sexy clothes or even as little clothes as possible. I also want to suggest that she get in the shower with me, which we have never done before. I am afraid she is going to turn me down on all these suggestions because of how she is feeling right now. I can’t get myself into the state of mind of wanting to have sex if my sexual fluids have not been lubed up.

She has never initiated sex, not do I expect her to ever start now. She complains about the lack of it and says she has a high sex drive. So how do I get myself out of this vicious circle? Please help me out. I want to save our marriage.

When someone poses a question, I address that person. If the wife wrote me, I might have some things to say to her, but this question is from the husband — and, while spouses can influence one another, you can only change you. With that in mind, what should the husband do?

Q&A with J: Husband Wants to "Rekindle the Flame"

Dude, your whole email is about what would get you revvin’. And I get it, I really do. I think that’s important information for your wife to have and consider. But NOT NOW. You’re in a tangled thicket of marital discord, and that is not the place from which any reasonable wife says to herself, “Hey, I know what I want! I want him to go straight to fondling me on the couch, I’ll dress in sexy lingerie and high heels for him, and I want to shower up his naked man-goods. Oh boy, I can’t wait!”

Think about it: You’re upset because you’re not getting what you want from your marriage, and it’s making it very difficult for you to engage in sexual intimacy with her. She‘s upset because she‘s not getting what she wants from her marriage, and it’s making it very difficult for her to engage in sexual intimacy with you. Since you can’t make her meet your desires, why not shift your focus to meeting hers? Not only is this likely to have a better chance of success, check these out:

“…remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35b).

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).

“A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water” (Proverbs 11:25, NRSV).

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NLT).

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

I could go on. Obviously, the Bible is chock-full of admonition and encouragement to love and serve others — and that’s especially important in our marriages, where we have a greater opportunity and obligation.

Therefore, I’d encourage you to hold off on requesting what you want until you’ve first given her the chance to express why she is struggling with physical intimacy and you’ve given it your best shot to meet her reasonable needs and desires. Is this hard stuff? Oh yeah. We are so primed to be aware of what we are not getting and what we want that it’s incredibly difficult to shove that aside, listen to your spouse, and focus on their pain, their concerns, their hopes.

Which is why I also think you need to pray. Not that sort of prayer that asks the Lord to change her, but to empower you to be the husband you want to be, the confidant she needs, the faithful protector of her heart and her body. Honestly, sometimes my prayers are me gritting my teeth, looking to heaven, and saying, “I can’t do this anymore. Help. Me.” I think God’s okay with that, and He shows up in those moments of need.

How can you find out what’s going on with her? I encourage you also read my posts on How to Talk about Sexual Problems with Your Spouse and 3 Barriers to Communicating with Your Spouse about Sex. It might take some time to break through and see real progress, but you’re right — the current situation is untenable, something’s gotta change. Sexual intimacy is important for your marriage. But you can take positive steps toward being the most loving husband you can be, and you might be surprised in the long run at the way a wife softens when her husband creates an atmosphere of emotional safety and genuine care.

First, rekindle her flame. Then you can ask her to rekindle yours — although I suspect it might be rekindled at that point too. There’s something about loving someone actively and extravagantly that makes you love them all the more.

What’s your advice on rekindling your spouse’s flame, your own, or the fires of the marriage itself?