What are wives missing in their physical intimacy? That is, what do they wish they had a lot more of with their husbands?
I had a surprising conversation this past weekend with some married women about this very topic. These wives are relatively happy with the sexual intimacy in their marriages, but we all agreed that one thing had died down way too much in the many years since we’d said I do. What was that one thing? Kissing. And these aren’t the only wives I’ve heard that from.
Sometimes it feels like our guys wooed us really good before marriage, spending time not only on a touch of romance but some heavy-duty, curl-our-toes kissing. Especially if sex was off-limits (as it should be pre-nuptials), your main event of physical affection was lip-locking. You likely enjoyed the heady feelings that gave you, and perhaps got really good at it — like you were make-out masters.
Then the wedding happened. And oh, the freedom! Oh, the delights! Oh, the intensity! One or both of you discovered that sex not only aroused you like kissing did, it satisfied you.
And over the years, you just stopped kissing so much.
Okay, that’s a nice way of saying it. Here’s the more brutal truth I keep hearing: He ignores my lips and goes straight to the erogenous zones. Yep, it’s husbands I mostly hear about skipping the pucker-up pleasures, as if kissing is the pre-dinner salad and they’d far rather skip to the steak. Especially since they know they’re going to get steak. Why spend all that time picking at lettuce and veggies when they could be enjoying the juicy stuff?
Except it’s not salad for most women. It’s a whoppin’ big deal. Main course stuff.
Look, I know this is a hard sell for husbands long-term. Why? Scientifically speaking, you guys apparently don’t feel about kissing the way we do. One survey study concluded that “Women tend to use kissing to create a bond with their partners, and to assess them as potential mates,” while “men use kissing as a means to an end.” You know what the end is, of course. It’s sex. In this particularly study, more than half of the guys said they’d have a sex with a woman with no kissing involved, while only 14% of women agreed with that statement.
Based on other studies on kissing, one researcher concluded that, “In long-term relationships, the frequency of kissing is a good barometer of the health and well-being of that particular bond.” But that women specifically use kissing to evaluate the state of their partnership and are way more likely to insist on kissing before, during, and after sex.
It would be really easy for me to finish this out with a call for men to get over themselves and just kiss their wives more! After all, aren’t women correct that kissing should be a primary focus if it’s a barometer of relationship health?!
But my view is actually that, where gender differences occur, God has an opportunity to work on our weaknesses and strengthen our relationships. From which I draw two conclusions:
Hubbies, kiss her…a whole lot more. Most wives want to be a kissed much more than they currently are. They want to be greeted with kisses, wooed with kisses, aroused with kisses, assured with kisses. We want the kiss to linger on our lips and trip up our heartbeats. And I strongly suspect you had that effect on her at one time, or she probably wouldn’t have married you. (Women are also more prone to break off dating relationships with those they consider bad kissers.)
And a kiss isn’t just putting your mouth on hers. It’s a dance, my friend. So polish up your dancing shoes or your cowboy boots (we two-step where I live), and get into some tongue tango with the Missus. Use your hands and your arms to draw her into you, stroke her cheek, her shoulders, or her arms. Hover over her lips, breathing in the same air, letting anticipation build. Sink deeply into her mouth and kiss her the way she loves to be kissed.
If you don’t know how, ask her what she likes. There are different kinds of kisses, and women have preferences. My husband definitely knows mine, because I volunteered what I like.
Wives, let making out lead to sex. Sometimes kissing can feel like a buffet of delights, while sex is the dessert you’re not sure you have room for. Of course, plenty of wives are quite happy to move from kissing to the bedroom. However, I believe some husbands aren’t kissing their wives enough, in part because it rarely leads to sex anyway. And God apparently built him that way, to desire intercourse after a lot of kissing.
Indeed, not every kiss should lead to sex. You should be able to smooch your man in the kitchen and him not expect to sprawl you out on the dining table every time. But neither should you expect him to kiss and kiss and kiss, and never reach what he considers the main event.
You may need to ask him how much kissing or what kind of kissing he can do without feeling that now-now-now urge inside him. (And no, guys reading this, you don’t get to claim, “Any kissing should lead to sex.” Read the point above!) Negotiate a little. Figure out how to invest in more kissing, but make sure you both get your sexual needs met.
A lot of marriages are suffering from a lack of kissing. But if you need a little more of a push, here are some proven benefits of kissing:
- Revs up energy level through adrenaline
- Releases pheromones between you, which are attraction chemicals
- Tones your facial muscles
- Releases Oxytocin, the hormone that helps us feel bonded to one another
- Transfers testosterone from male to female through saliva, increasing her libido
- Releases other happy chemicals, like Dopamine, Endorphins, and Phenylethylamine (which is like an amphetamine)
So let’s improve the physical intimacy in our marriages by included that one thing so many wives feel they are missing — the beautiful gift of kissing.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Song of Songs 1:2
Sources: Time: The Science of Smooching: Why Men and Women Kiss Differently; Sparkly Science: The science behind kissing: 10 things that happen when we kiss; Live Science: Men, Women, and the Two Stories Behind Every Kiss