Hot, Holy & Humorous

What Wives Are Missing in Marital Intimacy

What are wives missing in their physical intimacy? That is, what do they wish they had a lot more of with their husbands?

What Wives Are Missing in Marital IntimacyI 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 DifferentlySparkly Science: The science behind kissing: 10 things that happen when we kiss; Live Science: Men, Women, and the Two Stories Behind Every Kiss

21 thoughts on “What Wives Are Missing in Marital Intimacy”

  1. I’m the one that doesn’t like much kissing. So funny. 🙂 I do hear from a lot of women that they do want to kiss more. They need it and crave it. Whatever dynamics you are working with in your marriage, you should seek to meet each others’ needs.

  2. Hi J, I’m curious – do you teach your kids that heavy-duty, toe-curling, lip-locking kissing that leads them feeling like make-out masters is a holy thing before marriage and a good way for a guy to woo a girl? Your third paragraph implies that view but I suspect there’s at least a more nuanced view from your heart as a mom.

    1. Nope. But I’m not among those who think you must only kiss your fiance or spouse. I teach them that heavy kissing that arouses you too much requires a taking a break. Yet I think it’s rare that a man and woman getting married without having shared some heavy-duty kissing. Maybe the language I used is more realistic than idealistic.

  3. My experience is that the kissing stops with the refusals. Personally I think kissing is THE MOST EROTIC PART of lovemaking. The wife who loves to orgasm during deep erotic kissing is the bomb!!! I have never had a wife like that. That would be wonderful.

  4. J wrote: “He . . . goes straight to the erogenous zones . . . (the) husbands I mostly hear about [skip kissing] . . .”

    Eric sez: Wow! Husbands, J added, “don’t feel about kissing the way we (wives) do.”

    Guilty as charged. Guilty enough, in fact to reveal some personal background. By age 19 I’d had exactly three dates, all of whom I’d seen as potential marriage partners. Not once had I kissed a girl. Like Joshua Harris in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, I believed in courtship, rather than dating, as a social activity. My family weren’t kissers. Oh, I did kiss my mother, grandmothers and a couple of childless aunts on the cheek. I’m sure my parents kissed, but behind the bedroom door. My grandparents, too . . . probably.

    Then, as a college student, I struck up a relationship with another student, a lovely Canadian girl, a virgin. A year and a half later we hadn’t kissed, but we had pledged to marry. Then my world collapsed. She’d decided to not return to college, so I drove to Canada to visit her. Well, that was 58 years ago, and we sat on a bench in Grand Pré Provincial Park, Nova Scotia. We kissed. We cried real tears. We kissed some more. It was a public place, or things might have gotten out of hand. And so we said goodbye. Next morning my last sight of her after she left my car was her salmon skirt swishing about what I then believed to be the prettiest pair of ankles on earth as she hurried through an office door. I wished I could drag her back and kiss her some more.

    I flunked my classes next semester.

    Three years—and one date—later I had a nearly-committed girlfriend at a different college in a city 1,500 miles west of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia. But one evening she made what I thought was a strange request: “Kiss me.”

    (Again, Wow!) My last (and only) kissing session had ended in disaster. I’d frankly hoped to save this for marriage, when, naked and unashamed, alone together we could do the “real” thing. There’d be lots of kissing, of course.

    So I visited the dean’s wife, a motherly, godly lady whom we both respected and loved. I explained my dilemma.

    “Kiss her,” she said. (Another Wow!) “Some girls need to be kissed in order to know their hearts.”

    Well, I’d always believed that important decisions are made in the head. But I had to concede that Jesus appealed to the heart. So I kissed her. A year and a half later we married, and we kissed in public (my ears burned red!).

    Thousands of lovemaking sessions were interspersed with four kids over the next 14 years. Yet I gradually came to discover that we were kissing less and less. So one day I resolved to kiss my sweetie whenever the opportunity arose—on the cheeks, forehead, lips and wherever her lovely anatomy presented itself (the “wherevers” in private, of course). And you know what? Though age has slowed down the sex over our 53 years, the times of warmth and romantic affection have increased and improved.

    So, kiss her. You’ll like it. She’ll love it, and love you more for it.

    1. So very sweet a story! I absolutely love when hubby kisses me on the forehead. It feels so loving and secure. I love when he kisses my neck. It feels so impulsive and erotic. He’s a kisser and a cuddler outside the bedroom, which is great, even if other parts of our marriage need work.

      I think the missing piece isn’t so much kissing as it is the wooing….the reminder that “I choose you all over again. You are worth pursuing. You are worth my attention and affection.”

  5. I had to chuckle because I’m the one who has to remember to kiss and my husband still loves it :). Other kinds of touch I still want – the hand at the small of my back, holding hands, sitting close to each other, caressing. Kissing has shifted in importance to me since marriage. But I need to remember it’s still very important to my husband 🙂 (and I’m the lower-drive spouse).

  6. I never kissed anyone in a romantic way except my husband. When we moved from friends to dating, we began kissing and I didn’t like it at all at the beginning. Now, married nearly 2 years, I love kissing, and my husband (who was a widower when we married) tells me that it’s unusual for a married couple to kiss as much as we do. When I take off my glasses, he knows what’s coming 🙂

  7. I remember a scene from a movie where two girls were discussing kissing. One had been kissed by a new suitor and her friend asked “Did you kiss him back?” At the time I didn’t know that sometimes when a kiss is given it’s not returned.

    Thank you for including “Let making out lead to sex.” Like all aspects of intimacy in our marriage, if I ain’t pushing the train down the track, it ain’t moving. I’m told my kissing gets in the way of her other duties through the day. She doesn’t say it, but the kisses aren’t returned. A little make-out leads to another checking of the schedule because we don’t have time to take it further, and at the end of the day she’s simply too tired. It would be one thing if our kids were little and there was something I could take off her shoulders. But it’s days filled meeting about every other need from every other person on the planet. Meeting work needs, meeting church needs, meeting community needs.

    A returned kiss would mean so much. Dear sisters in the gospel, your men will stop doing things when they stop working. Namely, if some nice deep kisses leads to both of you being naked, you will get more kisses. You will get all types of kisses because your husbands know they are laying (no pun intended… well, okay a little pun) the foundation for something greater. That “greater” doesn’t have to happen that day, but when it does, you’ve just given your husband an indelible lesson in addition, and that his efforts equal something great.

  8. On one hand I wished my husband and I kissed more but at the same time I don’t push it because he doesn’t brush his teeth. When we do kiss I discreetly limit it to pecks on the lips or I may linger on his lips but then avoid letting him take it further yet I want so much more. How do I approach the subject with him? He showers regularly but I have no idea what’s up with the teeth brushing.

  9. My husband and I have been married 3 years. During that time, he has only kissed me on the mouth maybe 3 times. Is this unusual? He says he is attracted to me, but I’m not sure I believe that. He is a great guy, and I think he loves me as a very good friend. But I think maybe I did him a disservice by marrying him, because he did not get someone he passionately loves. The dynamic works for us, as long as I don’t let doubts creep in.

  10. Is it something I should be concerned about? Should I address it with him? I hear so many people say it is a barometer of a relationship. He’ll hug me once in awhile and say he loves me. I think it may just be his personality. We have a kid, and I feel we have a strong family core, I just don’t know of I should be concerned.

    1. I’m not trying to create problems where there aren’t any. If you’re missing it, talk to him. If you feel like you’re getting enough affection with what you’re doing, then no worries.

  11. My husband says he just has no desires towards me like he once did. Says he doesn’t enjoy my kisses & if he has anything to do with me complains about me not being able to heat him up, although he basically wants nothing to do with foreplay. My response at first was to cry privately a lot… I have missed my intimacy with him. I have missed the looks he once gave me & how he spoke to me & of me.
    Then I stopped feeling sorry for myself & began to pray that I would draw closer to my Heavenly Father. I once was closer to HIM & drifted away. I pray/prayed that my relationship would grow towards HIM in the way HE desires to have soul intamacy with me.
    My husband remains aloof, even though I have not stopped praying for our intamacy to grow.
    Meanwhile, my Heavenly Father gives me love in a way no human can match. I am grateful to know HIM & someday when this life is over, I will be with the ONE who’s love remains forever.

  12. I love to kiss. Hooked from the first one. In fact if a guy’s kiss did NOT knock my socks off. NEXT! I an so oooh serious. My husband is a great kisser. Does not kiss me enough. Basically he does not Like to Kiss very much. He gives me this crap that he always thinks about the end game. When it doesn’t end like THAT he is disappointed. I think his reason is a cover for If it cannot end like i want then I don’t want to kiss.

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